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Student Loans: Debt for Life

If student loans are good debt, how do you account for the reaction of Christina Mills, 30, of Minneapolis, when she found out her payment on college and law school loans would be $1,400 a month? “I just went into the car and started sobbing,” says Mills, who works for a nonprofit. “It was more than my paycheck at the time.”

Medical student Thomas Smith, 25, of Hamilton, N.J., is $310,000 in debt and is struggling to make ends meet even before beginning to repay his loans. “I don’t even know what I eat,” he says. “I just go to the supermarket and buy the cheapest thing I can and buy as much of it as I can.”

Then there’s Michael DiPietro, 25, of Brooklyn, who accumulated about $100,000 in debt while getting a bachelor’s degree in fashion, sculpture, and performance, and spent the next two years waiting tables. He has since landed a fundraising job in the arts but still has no idea how he will pay back all that money. “I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s an obsolete idea that a college education is like your golden ticket,” DiPietro says. “It’s an idea that an older generation holds on to.”


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Student loans are just like mortgage loans!

Its money that did not exist until the person signs the promissory/contract note. At that point the note is deposited and give back to the borrower as a loan. Now you spend the next 10 years or longer paying the banksters back plus interest on money that did not exist until the banksters got your signature.

We have a candidate for the world's worst infographics

Speaking of education, check the infographics at the link. How much student debt is the creator carrying? Is this an example of "art and design" that's being taught these days?

Move over Michaelangelo!

Be brave, be brave, the Myan pilot needs no aeroplane.

Just musing: If I were 19 again,

in this economy, and without family connections (ie, not rich), what would I do to ensure a relatively sound financial future for myself and my future family...

Some options:

1. (Business) Find wealthy entrepreneurs in my community and get an apprenticeship/internship for very low wages while living cheaply at home. Go to school part-time; take business classes at night school (maybe one or two per semester). Make sure that experience ends with a couple of great recommendations and a few referrals. Let the first major corporate employer pay for your degree through some kind of tuition reimbursement program. I see that as a far better avenue than going for a business degree/MBA and competing out of the gate with horses that may have a better pedigree than I do.

2. (Health field) Skip nursing or doctoring. Go into the field of medical imaging, pharmaceuticals, or health care administration. Lots of money, a fraction of the stress.

3. (Art) If I really loved art, I guess I would have to decide very quickly if I: 1) had any talent; 2) just wanted to be an expert and drink expensive wine at galleries; or 3) didn't mind teaching students who are careless and sloppy. If it is (1), then I'd better find somebody influential to agree with me BEFORE I spend too much on education. If it is (2), I'd better find an internship with an auction house (good luck to me, I hope my family has CONNECTIONS); and if it is (3), make sure I take mandatory education classes and get ready to compromise any creativity that I might have to oblivion. If I were interested in graphic arts (a field that is so saturated these days that proposals go out on the internet for $5 per job), I guess I would try to find an internship, again, with some kind of major Hollywood graphic production/design firm. Nope, wouldn't do it.

4. (Academia) A living wage is possible as a public school teacher, but get used to living that wage paycheck to paycheck, and get used to longer and more intense demands on my time while that check covers less and less at the grocery store. This is the death by a thousand cuts. Chinese water torture. You get the idea.

OR, I could try my luck in another country that is on the cusp of an industrial boom (with skills that are less regulated by governmental agencies). If I tried that, I would remind myself daily that frugality of living expenses is the single greatest favor I can do for myself, and invest whatever may be left every month in some cheap but productive land and physical gold/silver (Out of principle, I would keep it out of nontangible assets like IRAs or 401ks.)

Unfortunately, the middle management jobs that allowed our existing middle class in America to take home salaries in excess of $60,000 per year with only five years of experience are largely GONE.

Most importantly, what will be required of emerging adults of this generation is humility and a revised perspective to entitlement. Yes, their parents had a five bedroom/three bath home while they raised three kids, but those baby boomers are feeling the pain now and downsizing rapidly (unless they worked for senior management of TBTF banks).

Well, I don't know. What would YOU all do?

Please share how you were able to achieve this. It would

help others.


I'm going to graduate college this year without a penny of debt.

Take that you chicken hawkers.

Wallow in your conspiracy-justified mediocrity.

LOL. Hello to Bernanke's favorite nephew.

Or are you Geithner's "natural" son?

:) What, are you slumming?

But, But

Its every student's right to go to college. The government should help them. They NEED an education. How will they ever get a job?

All these are lies force fed to them to get them enslaved to the federal government.

"Once you become knowledgeable, you have an obligation to do something about it."- Ron Paul

Problem is...

parents, schools, and business owners buy into this idea that a college degree is essentially mandatory for a job, therefore making it true at the end of the day.

I don't play, I commission the league.

wow- finally we agree

now you are making sense - so change the narrative - make so hard work is once again boss - not academic pedigree.

wow, people are actually surprised??

I am sorry, but how can anybody who takes out a loan be surprised at what the payments will be down the line. ????? no personal responsibility there, that is for sure. Always know what you are signing on for people. Don't parents teach their kids anything anymore? Don't schools teach this? It is appalling to hear stories like this.

I had over 30k in student loans when I graduated MANY years ago and had no trouble paying it off in a field that didn't pay much more than minimum wage. Which was a lot less back then. And my student loan interest rates were way higher than they are now. So paying 60k shouldn't an issue. and doctors and lawyers much more.

That said, college is a raquet (sp?) made with good intentions of course. Think before you take loans people. Always. There are other ways to go to school if you want. Spend your first 2 years in Community College.

And yes I do realize it is hard to get a job right now, but not impossible. Even minimum wage, live in a room in a shared house, etc. Live on rice and beans. You can do it. Do your best to pay your debt. If I had the money I'd help some of you out but I am hurting as much or more as you in this "recession". And if you can't pay, you can't pay. It happens all the time.


Don't parents teach their kids anything anymore? Don't schools teach this?

Parents are stuck in the old, out-of-touch Boomer mindset that hard work guarantees success, and that failure only comes from "not working hard enough".

Schools don't even bother teaching anymore. It's all about tests, numbers, and looking good on paper.

Kids don't have time to learn the financial basics because they're too busy with the million clubs they need to join, the million teams they need to play on, and the hours of homework assigned by lazy teachers in order to get into a good college.

Our educational system is an embarrassment. There's no room for curiosity and no reason to love learning. School has become not only a chore, but a constant source of stress.

I don't play, I commission the league.

Student Debt

Should be liquidated with a depression. The students just have to hold on for a few more years lol



College is a huge racket

start with conditioning kids from birth that they must go to college. what crap

then colleges admit anyone with a pulse to pay the astronomical tuition. and let's not forget the books, wow what a markup.

When I was a freshman in 1984 we were told only 1 in 4 would graduate. So 3 of 4 wasted their time and money.

There are so many things people can do without going to college and be equally successful, or even more. It makes no sense to go into this kind of debt. But I can't fully fault the borrower. They were conditioned from birth to do this. And when they don't see the bill for years down the road it makes it any easy decision.


then colleges admit anyone with a pulse

So wrong, it's not even funny. It's the opposite: after all the kids of rich foreign diplomats and old-money families get their guaranteed spots, normal people are made to feel like it's impossible for them to get into any college. Indeed, the standards will only get more and more outrageous every year until we reach the point where basically nobody other than the 1% can get into college.

I don't play, I commission the league.

almost anyone can get into a state college

and I doubt anybody is turned away at all the little "colleges" that seem to be everywhere.

they get you in with the no money down routine. you go to class for awhile. find out you don't like it, can't do it, flunk out, or find something better. then the bills start coming and they can't be extinguished by bankruptcy.

do you see why these schools will admit anyone. the bill has to be paid no matter what. you don't need to graduate but the school still gets paid.

it's a racket with the government as the muscle

Liberty4us does have a point

about the pulse. I live next door to a state university, and I know that most of the students who are admitted can't write a decent sentence or put together a logical train of thought. I have long suspected that the university just needs to fill up the campus with warm bodies to keep the money coming in.

This is why youth are leaving the Democrats.

Whenever Bill Clinton got in trouble politically he and Billary went into poor communities and talked up education. Obama said he wanted everyone to go to college. Student loans were the way to do that. The problem is that a college degree today doesn't guarantee anything it terms of success. For those taking student loans, however, it does guarantee a lifetime of debt.

The same two party duopoly that had no problem spending billions to bail out the big wall street banks, won't admit that student loan debt is both a financial and moral problem. The macroeconomic policy of the past 20 years has been to outsource jobs while importing labor. Those policies do not create the kind of jobs which require as many engineers, etc., nor do the jobs which have been created pay well enough for many to pay back their loans and have any kind of quality of life.

What has been created is indentured servitude, and it is un-American. People came to America to escape this kind of system in Europe and elsewhere. Keeping the laws which deny the ability to remove these loans will result in debtors simply leaving the country since they have no real future here. The nation loses out both from the unpaid loans and the loss of educated citizens when that happens.

Young people are catching on that the student loans are an elaborate scam. They are realizing that the Democratic Party promised them things it won't deliver both about education guaranteeing financial success, and with Obamacare. (The nation's youth are the donor host for the insurance companies with Obamacare.) These people are looking for a new solution from the Liberty movement, but the Rmoney GOP isn't going to get them.


I've always thought indentured servitude was underrated and under-utilized, historically speaking.

Now we have college grads - and quite a few college dropouts - who are just that, if not outright slaves. Indentured servants gone upscale! Woohoo!

We can always look to our elected leaders for this kind of progressive thinking.


Graduated with $60,000 in debt and got a salary of $40,000. Thank God my wife had a job! Without her, I'd be living paycheck to paycheck. If I could do it over, I would either not go to collage or pick a different career! Wish I learned more about finances in high school when it matters! And I'm the lucky one! Most of my class is not working because of the economy!

"Then there’s Michael

"Then there’s Michael DiPietro, 25, of Brooklyn, who accumulated about $100,000 in debt while getting a bachelor’s degree in fashion, sculpture, and performance"

Are we supposed to feel sympathy for people like Michael? Why would you rack up so much debt for a totally useless degree?

Getting rid of all the stupid programs like art and fashion in college might help in reducing the cost of college. Then the liberals can get real jobs that actually help the economy.

Then there is MyKillK

who thinks Fashion, sculpture, and performance is useless although he wears clothes, walks by countless of expensive art sculptures which is growing, and probably enjoys going to shows which he pays good money for seats.

Stupid programs like Art? Where the hell do you think the modern day PC came from?!

His name is Edward Snowden

What is Capitalism?

Last lesson for HS Kids

who are college prep: learn how to calculate return on investment (ROI) and do the exercise with your proposed college, degree program and job prospect salary levels.

Think our public high schools can manage at least that lesson?

Or will that be the functional equivalent of the red pill, tipping kids off that the deck is totally stacked against them?

High schools are too busy

High schools are too busy pushing the propaganda that you HAVE to go to college to get a good job and your salary will be directly proportional to how "good" (i.e. expensive) the university you attend. They have no time for a reality based assessment of higher education.

uh- so you think there is no

uh- so you think there is no need for people who are able to think creatively and problem solve? People with art degrees are some of the most sought after by corporations.... a degree in the arts makes you flexible and able to fill just about any position.

You obviously have no understanding of what it takes to build a business from nothing, how to problem solve, think creatively, think outside the box, etc. Also, the art market is the largest unregulated market in existence taking in billions annually. Also- get rid of fashion? Have you heard of a thing called clothes? Ya, people wear those these days...

"You obviously have no

"You obviously have no understanding of what it takes to build a business from nothing,"

I doubt you do either if you think degrees in art, fashion, and performance are going to help you build a business

If you have to go to college

If you have to go to college to be artistic, you're doing it wrong.

And yet here he is without a job

go figure.

If you have to have someone teach you fashion - clearly you don't have any.

A degree in the art makes you flexible - oh - I bet it does!!!

Other than a medical or legal

Other than a medical or legal career, most people are quite capable of learning on the job, even if that means starting out in a very low position for low pay. If you know what you want to do, you'll do it regardless of low or high pay.


there are practical uses for all three of those majors. The BS niche degree fad went out with the '90s.

I don't play, I commission the league.

practical use for all those majors

YEH- except making money - which is the point of working.

I say again - not everyone gets a trophy in the real world- welcome to it.