What should we do about student loans?

Author: thett3 ,

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  • thett3
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    The Democratic candidates are tripping over each other trying to outbid the others, offering policies that range from perfectly reasonable (Yang’s. policy that if you devote 10% of your income to the debt for 10 years the remainder is forgiven) to the truly insane (Bernie “let’s destroy the stock market” Sanders.) 

    As someone who has never had any student loan debt I can talk about this objectively. The lack of sympathy from conservatives on this issue really disgusts me. Not only were many students totally misled their entire lives about college, but this is a textbook example of the government messing everything up. No one would ever lend a jobless 18 year old fifty grand if student loans weren’t a special class of debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. The totally unlimited supply of credit available to jobless and broke 18 year olds for education is the true reason that tuition has skyrocketed to the extent it has. The real solution to student loan debt is politically toxic: end student loans entirely. Colleges would be forced to lower their prices to the point that the average person can afford to pay for college with cash or by working their way through school. 

    What do you guys think?
  • triangle.128k
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    The problem with ending student loans entirely is that it would inherently disenfranchise students from lower incomes who couldn't initially afford college - especially those who attend more prestigious and expensive schools. 
  • thett3
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    --> @triangle.128k
    Yeah that’s why it would be politically impossible. But structurally, it is the right solution. At the very least, they should be be treated like normal debts and dischargeable upon bankruptcy. Although ultimately the issue goes back to our societies view on education, which desparately needs to change. Probably less than a quarter of jobs actually need that much education, but these days almost every middle income career path requires that you spent four years and tens of thousands of dollars on college. And for what, exactly?
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @thett3
    Stop subsidizing the private schools that charge 60k a year.

    Encourage people of low income to attend public schools and have the government put a cap on what public colleges can charge.

    Also encourage low income people to attend a local college so that it is more likely that reverse gentrification from the brain drain of urban minority youths does not add to the existing urban blight problems. It's bad enough already that socialist policies are chasing young productive talent away.
  • triangle.128k
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    --> @thett3
    Yeah there's definitely a huge and pointless artificial demand for education. All under some BS guise of "broadening minds" or whatever. It really turns into pseudo-intellectualism in practice.
  • Mopac
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    I just finished paying off my student loans last paycheck


    Feels good, man.

    Next paycheck I will be completely out of all debt.


    I would advise paying off all your debts. I would also advise avoiding debt like the plague. I know some pretty smart people who would make exceptions for things like house mortgages and such, they are probably right. Still makes me nervous. 

    Also, avoid bad habits like addictions. Eat little. Spend little. Always save a chunk of your paycheck. Be diligent in your work. Take overtime when it is available. In all things be content.

    What should we do about student loans?

    Pay them off.

    Pay them off quickly.

    Always put in more than minimum payment if you can.

    And yeah, maybe getting rid of them entirely is a good idea, but I am not going to junp on that right away.












  • thett3
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    --> @Greyparrot
    At the very least community college should be destigmatized. If you don't have what it takes to get into a truly elite University (few people do), going to a CC on the cheap for two years and then transferring to a four year institution is a great life hack that can cut your costs in half. 

    and tbh while student debt is a very serious problem, I think it is a bit exaggerated. Students in six figure debt are a minority of borrowers, and students with that much debt for a useless undergrad (as opposed to something like med school or an engineering masters) are a smaller group still. The average borrower owes about $30k, and while it sucks to start out life thirty grand in the hole, it's not the kind of debt that can never be paid back and it certainly isn't worth destroying the economy over (looking at you, Bernie.) 

    Yang once again has the best idea. Paying 10% of your income for 10 years is a very serious effort, forgiving the remainder of the debt is still a hand out but much more tolerable. And let's face it...if you can't pay it off by then you were probably scammed 
  • thett3
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    --> @triangle.128k
    yea our system really sucks at producing high skilled blue collar work, which is pretty much the only kind of work accessible to ordinary people that isn't totally saturated. "just pick up a trade!!!" is a bad meme that misunderstands how the economy really works for the most part, but for some fields there really is a shortage of people because everyone is going to college instead, even if they aren't academically inclined (which doesn't necessarily mean you are stupid, btw)
  • thett3
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    --> @Mopac
    Wow, great job and great advice. I totally agree. I think Americans take on way too much debt as a general rule. In some cases it can't really be avoided (like buying a house) but I see financing options for things like meat smokers at Home Depot. the amount of credit available to the average American is wild
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @thett3
    I have never had a credit card, and I am 49.

    I went to a local community school debt free, and today I have my dream job.

  • Outplayz
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    --> @Greyparrot
    I have never had a credit card, and I am 49.
    It's about time you get one. You have 49 years of practice how not to be an idiot with your money... use that. Credit cards give you free money after using them for a little while. Why not use that against them? I sent my sister to Hawaii last year with my credit card rewards... i've never been in debt either. It's a win / win.  
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @Outplayz
    Problem is I make more money than I spend, and I only work 2 hours a day.
  • Outplayz
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    Problem is I make more money than I spend, and I only work 2 hours a day.
    So basically you don't need free cash bc you have too much cash... okay. To each his own. I guess it's just a Persian thing on my part. 
  • Polytheist-Witch
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    Pay them. I did. 
  • triangle.128k
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    --> @Greyparrot
    I don't think the idea of attending a local university is inherently bad. However, a fundamental problem here is that resources seem to be concentrating in a elite few of colleges with growingly corrupt admissions practices.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @triangle.128k

    I see your point, but local colleges are a decent bandaid for deteriorating cities struggling to keep the good people from leaving.

    Perhaps colleges should be forced to be upfront about the ROI numbers. (return on investment) specifically breaking down the ROI's by degree choices at each college.
  • Mharman
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    The Student Loan Crisis isn't even a crisis


    You took out the loan knowing you would have to pay it back. now get a job a devote some of your paycheck each month to paying off your debt.
  • n8nrgmi
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    --> @thett3
    how do you view my views below?

    how do you feel about the government using price controls to stop colleges from charging too much? every other developed country and to some extent, the usa does that to some extent now with healthcare, so i dont know why we couldn't do it with college costs. 

    i also like free community college. government loans past that only for the top twenty percent of students based on test scores, or for STEM like science degrees. i also like paying only ten percent of your income per year till you reach ten years or maybe half your debt, whichever is bigger, to prevent students from just charging too much cause they will get it discharged. 

  • n8nrgmi
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    --> @Mharman
    it's a crisis because students cannot afford to get houses and spend their money on other things, stimulating the economy. it's stagnating the economy, student loans are. 

    students are forced to borrow a lot just to keep up, cause costs keep rising. students can find ways to keep costs down, but it's still a problem. 

    you need to do more problem solving and less criticizing. 
  • n8nrgmi
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    --> @Greyparrot
    how do you view my ideas in post 18?
  • thett3
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    --> @Mharman
    I understand and respect that point of view, but I do think that society/the government bears some responsibility for the situation. Yes, many people made bad choices (something teenagers are known to do) but they were exposed to a lifetime of propaganda that distorted any reasonable expectations about college. In addition the government created a completely perverse system. It’s batshit insane that a jobless 18 year old basically has an unlimited line of credit for education, and it’s just dirty that these loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. 

    I would never support a student loan jubilee because as you correctly note, it actually isn’t that big of an issue most of the time. Andrew Yang proposes that if someone pays 10% of their income towards the loan for 10 years, the remainder of the debt will be forgiven. The vast majority of people would be able to pay it off by then. If someone can’t they are in a really, really in a bad spot. Those people made a mistake, but I don’t think their life should be ruined over it. The structures that allowed them to make those choices should’ve never existed. 
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @n8nrgmi
    If government is going to be in the business of subsidizing, yes they should put a cap on tuitions, seeing as they are the ones paying the bill.

    If a university wants to not have a cap, then they can forgo government subsidies.
  • thett3
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    --> @n8nrgmi
    I think government should just say “get your prices to the levels they were at in the 1990s or you are no longer eligible for federally subsidized student loans” and it would be amazing how quickly they managed to cut costs

    and you raise a good point about students over charging because their debt would be forgiven. I hadn’t thought of that, but I know that it’s basically a blank check that could be used for anything. Something would definitely have to be done about that before promising to forgive debt 
  • Outplayz
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    --> @thett3
    Schools are a business. Businesses only care about profits. Some students are screwed bc of this. I payed off my loans. I went to a school i knew i could work my way through and pay... but i accept that not everyone is like me. To screw them for being ambitious but not making it is just wrong. They are rich enough with no care that people are going broke or living paycheck to paycheck bc of their greed. Greed in any form in our society should be fought just like a murder looking for a victim. Just bc it isn't physical pain doesn't make it right.  
  • Levi
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    --> @thett3
    In the US, you can already get a good college degree for a very reasonable amount of money. You get massive debt by wasting $120,000 on a BA or $70,000 on a master's program when there's great ones for much less.

    I'd stop lending money for these schools. I wouldn't end student loans entirely.

    Will ending student loans lower costs? I'm skeptical. Is there data supporting that? I know lots of universities waste money on expensive useless shit but why would that change just because you get rid of loans? We already have plenty of affordable colleges that can barely stay open at their current level of funding, and ending loans won't impact their tuition at all. The goal should be to encourage students to weigh costs in their decisions, not to eliminate expensive options altogether. 

    As for already-existing debt, I understand paying more taxes to help the disadvantaged. But paying more taxes to forgive the debt of entitled irresponsible folks? I don't think that's right. Let's say we forgive their debt, what's the likelihood these people won't rack up the same debt within a couple years? And why should responsible non-entitled students have to pay for the luxuries of the irresponsible?

    Yes, it sucks that a bunch of students were misled. But there's also a lot of students who were able to make responsible decisions & they shouldn't be punished. And going forward the priority needs to be changing the culture -- getting kids to weigh costs instead of blindly chasing prestige -- and forgiving loans seems like something that would solidify the current culture instead of promoting change. 

    By the way, this is FourTrouble from DDO. I just joined the site to see what's going on, and looked for a familiar person to respond to. How are things going around here? Seems fairly dead.