Entitlement, and How I Paid Off My Student Loans

Wow, I just reread all the thought-provoking comments in my Don’t Be A Victim post. After some good discussion with friends, I’ve put a finger on why I feel so strongly about this – Entitlement. When people feel entitled to things it just irks me. I’ve also linked it to why many people have problems paying off their student loans after college…

*Newsflash* It is not your inalienable right as a college graduate (focusing on new grads here) to receive any of the following things:

A great paying job. Job markets are fickle, and you may have to suck it up and take a job that isn’t exactly what you want. You know what? Jobs are only temporary these days, get what you want out of it (be it money, experience, attractive coworkers) and move on. Most companies are thinking the same thing about you. Remember, every company is looking at you as a profit center. You make $50k? You’re making them $100k+. Believe it.

An apartment by yourself. Sure, a bachelor[ette] pad would be great. But it will cost you. Living with roommates is a very efficient way to live – you can split rent, utilities, internet, cable, pizzas, you name it.

A new car. Same thing. I hear the ‘I need reliable transportation’ thing a lot. You do not need to spend over $8,000 (if even that) to get a perfectly reliable car.

A new wardrobe. Sure, buy some clothes for work. Check out a Banana Republic outlet during a sale, if you disdain Ross’s or TJ Maxx. But just because you have a regular paycheck doesn’t mean you need to go to a place that serves you cappucinos while you shop.

A better lifestyle. You got a degree, so now you’re too good to drink Bud Light? Need to vacation in Cabo or dine at Babbo? Gimme a break.

Here’s the thing – I have college buddies who used to cut each other’s hair to save money, but now that they make 50-100k a year, they drive WRXs, live in a posh apartment, and make dinner reservations 3 times a week at, well, places that take dinner reservations ;)

And you know what? That’s fine!! Make your choices, but don’t complain to me about student loans and assume I don’t have any only because my parents paid them all. You know how I paid off my student loans? I lived exactly as I did when I was a student until my loans were all paid off. That meant living with roommates in an apartment barely above code, splitting expenses, eating cheap food ($1 chinese anyone?), going camping instead of taking cruises, not driving my used car much, and so forth. I figured if it was good enough for me for four years, it should be good enough for another four.

Ok, I’m stepping off the soapbox now, but that’s my new million-dollar book idea – ‘Keep Living Like A College Student: A Guide To Student Loan Repayment’. If someone steals it, please at least mention me in the Foreword. =)

p.s. Now that I’ve pissed off 60% of my friends, I want to say sorry. I wasn’t talking about you, really!

Comments

  1. 2? Worth says:

    You’ve hit the nail on the head! There are choices available; instant gratification or deferred. The real issue is the “want to have it all without having to pay for it” mentality.

  2. Miyoshi says:

    Amen to everything in your post. As a twenty something making 50-100K/year, there are so many times I want to slap my twenty something coworkers/friends for making so many stupid financial decisions: lease BMW, eat out every day, rent luxury apartment with marble counters, pay for car washes and house cleanings, and take 6 vacations per year, and then complain to me everyday that they live paycheck to paycheck. Give me a break.

  3. Excellent post! My friends are shocked at my lifestyle, and then they ask, “But, what do you do when you’re in Boots?” (A somewhat pricey pharmacy that sells makeup, etc) Answer: I don’t go in! That ellicited a gasp.

  4. And yet each one of us at some point in life with be viewed by family or friends as “lucky”.

  5. If our choices were so under our control, business wouldn’t spend billions and billions of dollars on marketing & advertising to influence them.

  6. Amen! This article should be shouted from the mountain tops. Although I would add a paragraph about credit card debt. I know some debt is sometimes necessary but I can’t seem to make people (especially the twenty somethings) that the more you owe the less you are in control of your destiny. And that one little mishap/bad luck incident can put you in a hole that is extremely hard to dig out of and could have been avoided with just a little bit of disipline/ fiscal responsibility.

  7. “Stop buying stuff you can’t afford!!” (the SNL skit). It really can be that simple. (I’m not talking true poverty here, that’s just entirely a different situation – just the majority of americans who DO indeed have the choice)

    However…friends don’t let friends drink bud light! I mean..c’mon…*EVERYONE* is “too good” for bud light ;)

  8. Ouch, that hurt Caitlin ;) Now I gotta go hide my 12-pack in the fridge…

  9. Jonathan,

    You really ought to read STRAPPED. It’ll get your blood pressure stoked for sure.

    (We’re on the same page regarding the Entitlement Mentality. It’s big, and it’s everywhere. It might be my largest pet peeve, now that I think about it.)

  10. you can keep drinking your bud light until we get to the caymans (that *is* where we are all meeting one day isn’t it? heh) and then I promise to bring the good beer ;)

  11. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know if any one here has taught at a private college . . . but most of my 18 year old students probably wouldn’t even go to college at all if they weren’t convinced that these entitlements actually existed. And if they don’t go to college, Jonathan, what happens to them and what happens to society at large? What happens to the companies that you invest in when they can’t find educated workers? What kind of country are we going to have when everybody and their mothers are still working at the local mall? As sarcastic as this sounds, could it be that the promise of unfullfilled entitlements is the glue that holds this house of cards together?

  12. Anonymous says:

    If you’re being frugal, why drink at all? Alcohol usually ends up being half or two-thirds the bill at any resturaunt or grocery counter. It sucks worse than paying for cable. Smoking sucks too. So does meat. And soda . . . it’s basically corn syrup and flavoring mixed with low quality fizzy water that’s been marked up 75982472897 times.

  13. Good inspirational piece, but bad financial info

    No point in ever paying back your loans if your interest is low enough. Consolidate with UHEAA and get 1.25% reduction and 1% after 4 years.
    Let’s say average interest rate on your loans is
    5%-1.25 = 3.75% becomes 2.75% after 4 years. The interest on student loans is an above the line deduction (negates both federal + state/local) which makes it equivalent to money offered in savings account. So, intead of paying off your student loans, put the money in savings account/CD. If the rates ever drop to below how much your paying, you can just pay it off.

    BTW, anybody who has yet to consolidate their loans should do that now. The rules change after jul 1.

  14. Amen.

  15. Anon1 – Very insightful, I’ll have to ponder that. But the point is not that you will NEVER have such things, but that you do not deserve them RIGHT out of college.

    Anon2 – Everyone can have their spurgles, it is the spice of life. The point is to realize that they are blessings, not a right. Starbucks Caramel Frapaccino, a blessing? I think so =)

    LSD – You are correct, of course. I even listed paying off my student loans early as a personal mistake in my Reverse Carnival of Money Mistakes. You can put the money towards something else and pay the minimums on your student loans. That way you still essentially have them covered.

  16. hear hear! For many students, I think the whole college experience is as close as Westerners can get to some type of monastic period of “doing without.” Of course, many students are spoiled, or spend outrageous amounts of money. . . and most of those are just how you describe (i.e., they feel entitled and are spoiled brats). But, for those of us who had to deal with the notion of actually getting value for money, collectively approaching expenses (and resource distribution), stretching our dollars, etc. — well, I think it makes it all the more easier to live another four years (or, the rest of your life) with the same sort of utilitarian disregard for all the “finer” things in life. I know that as I’ve been a student, there’s been an almost illogical desire for efficiency and value that has swept into my mind. I used to find basic ways that people could save money (or, more importantly, still get by if they really had next to nothing). Obviously, the ways of reducing expenses and increasing income/savings/investments are many. . . but, I loved how in college, you get the chance to fully experience eating $1 chinese, shopping at “less-than-perfect” clothing stores, etc.— and best of all, many students who didn’t realize that there’s little difference (in the grand scope of things) between a reliable, though cosmetically “questionable” used car vs. a new, flashy, $20K+ monstrosity gas-guzzling SUV. . . well, they *finally* have the opportunity to see that the difference between brand and luxury items are frequently so miniscule that the only difference is the “status” associated with the item, and that all too often = subjective/a ridiculous notion in the first place. I wish everybody could be happy “living like students.” I remember many evenings spent in deep conversation with other students/friends. We simply sat with a good, inexpensive table wine and good, inexpensive food that we had all prepared and cooked together. It’s cliche, but those really were some of the best memories of my life, and the best conversations I’ve had with people. Naturally, it all cost next to nothing. Happiness/success can be such a simple thing, but people get caught up in the material aspect of things. Then again, some people aren’t happy unless they have a new Ford F150-XJRZ100000 (or whatever) sitting in their driveway, and I guess more power to them. . . \(;-_-)/

  17. I appreciated anonymous’s advice. It sounds silly (well, no it doesn’t. I guess my name says it all) but I’m still unsure of how to approach the whole consolidating student loans issue. I know I need to do it, and do it soon, but I’m not sure what interest rates, companies, practices, and dates are involved. Time to get cracking!

  18. I realize I could have been clearer, so I added a bit about how this post was not targetted at all college grads (big group!), but rather new or recent college grads.

  19. We’re yet again faced with skyrocketing national debt and energy prices. My biggest complaint is that there is such a huge subsidy for homeowners that as a new grad with no house I’ll have almost no deductions and 1/3 of my paycheck will go to pay taxes.

  20. autologic says:

    Caitlin: You raise an interesting point however I have to disagree. One of the reasons that recent college grads aren?t making a lot more than high school grads IMHO is that the percentage of people going to college is on the rise. Everyone does not need to go to college. Why do we want 18 year old kids going off to college getting into 50K+ debt before they are 22 for a degree they don’t even want or know how to use. I don’t understand why tricking a teenager out of four years of work and into a 50K debt for a promise we all know is false is a good idea.

  21. autologic, I think you have me confused with another commenter. I was only talking about beer ;) and for the record, I agree with what you said.

  22. Matthew says:

    Rahrid!! Sing it brother.

    Rahrid – a phraze from Blazing Saddles that means I agree.

  23. Anonymous says:

    “1/3 of my paycheck will go to pay taxes”

    Wait until you’re a consultant, and 50% goes to the govmnt.

    About houses, property tax is getting real expensive as house prices go up. Even though low interest rates keep monthly mortgage costs low, that cant stop the state from reaping 10k/year on somebody’s house.

    So, when you feel jealous about the house deduction, just think that their PITI is probably 4-5x your rent. I just built a house, and now I sort of wish I was back to the simpler (and cheaper) time of renting!

  24. Jeff – “1/3 of my paycheck will go to pay taxes”
    Anonymous – “Wait until you’re a consultant, and 50% goes to the govmnt.”

    I may be mistaken, but the HIGHEST 2006 marginal tax rate on ordinary income is 35%. And that is only on the income you make in excess of $336,550. Additionally, you only pay Social Security Insurance on your first ~$90K of income, so that 35% is the real limit.

    I don’t see how anyone could be paying 50% in taxes, even if their state income tax was quite high.

    Further evidence is shown by CBO estimates. The richest 20% of American households only pay 23%-29% in taxes annually between 2001 & 2014. This overall tax burden, as described in the report, consists of income tax (IRS), payroll taxes (SSI) and excise taxes (sales) combined.

    Lastly, there are plenty of people making way less than you are. Even if you are in the 25% tax bracket, then you are making more than half the households in the US.

    References:

    Single – 25% on income between $30,650 and $74,200
    Married – 25% on income between $61,300 and $123,700
    http://taxes.about.com/od/2006taxes/qt/2006_tax_rates.htm

    Effective Federal Tax Rates – Under Current Law, 2001 to 2014
    http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=5746&sequence=1#table2

    $44,473 – Median Household Income (Avg 2002-2004)
    http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/income04/statemhi.html

  25. Katiebug says:

    Excuse me? Entitlement? Have you looked at the Federal Poverty Level? I was a single mother that worked her rear off from 9-5 and went to college from 5-10 picked her daughter up from a babysitter’s house and walked home, carrying her while she slept. I sacrificed time away from my precious baby to try to make a better life for us. I received absolutely no GRANTS of any kind even though I maintained a 3.8- 4.0 averages. I received no child support from my ex-husband and ended up with $30,000 in college tuition debt. When I graduated I went to the financial aid office and asked for help to consolidate my loans, in which case I was told, that wasn’t their job and they wouldn’t know how to start. When I finally got my loans consolidated, they lost my paperwork 4 times (even though I overnighted them once, and certified mailed them another time) putting them into default. Then to make matters worse, they left off one of the loans, even though I told them about it, it is now in default. I finally was making headway in payments and was getting out of the default that they put me in when all of a sudden US Dept of Ed tells me they’re raising my payments $400 per month or my loans will stay in default. Still a single mother raised a great kid, don’t drink, smoke or do any kind of recreational , just work hard. My student loans have almost made me have a nervous breakdown, are now $40,000 and I have absolutely no hope of ever being able to make the kind of money to pay them off. The area I live in is considered “economically depressed” and making $100,000 is off the scale, but moving elsewhere is not an option either. We don’t dine on filet mignon, prime rib or lobster. We don’t even go out to eat, because we can’t afford it. Taco Bell is an extravagance. And you accuse other people of acting entitled?

  26. I’m applaud your efforts. I’m sure I’ve had my entitled moments, for sure I am no saint. I feel extremely lucky every day for being born in this country, and to parents who are able to support me both emotionally and financially. Life is no way fair.

    But your comments beg the question – do you think anyone who has more money than you is automatically ‘entitled’? I don’t necessarily think so. Because no matter how poor you are, there is someone poorer, and who can judge you in the same way.

  27. mysticaltyger says:

    I pretty much agree with Jonathan here. I got my first decent job back in 1996 at age 26. I lived (mostly) like a college student until I was 35 (roommates, not spending much on entertainment, etc). I paid off student loans, paid off credit card debt, started 401k type plan, and replaced my crappy car with a decent used car.

    By age 35 (that’s 8.5 YEARS later, folks!!!), I had a net worth that exceeded 100K. Then, and only then, did I begin to do any serious lifestyle upgrades. I got my own (studio) apartment. I bought some nice clothes from Macy’s (mostly on sale). I now get an expensive haircut (I love my hair but still gag at the price). I’m still driving that decent used car I bought back in 2000. It’ 11 years old and still runs without too many problems.

    Despite my lifestyle upgrade, I’ve also given some things up. I haven’t done any international travel in several years because my rent for my own apartment gobbles up more of my income.

    One of the unfrugal lifestyle choices that nobody ever mentions is the high cost of having kids out of wedlock. Yet, with 1/3 of today’s kids being born out of welock it has become the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about.

    Ladies, if the guy you laid down with is an irresponsible bum, then seriously consider giving your child up for adoption. It’s usually better for you and your child, and not just in a financial sense.

  28. Wow: the poster above is tougher than even *I* usually am, although he is, sadly, probably right: a US child up for adoption would likely move in with an overeducated 40-ish affluent hippy couple somewhere in New England. Not a bad deal.

    As for single parenthood: what is WITH you ppl? And, yes, I fully expect to hear “it wasn’t my fault!” But you know what? *I* never fathered any children with anyone but my wife; what’s more NO MAN I HAVE EVER KNOWN HAS DONE SO EITHER. Where do involuntary single mothers dig up these schlubs? (I can hear it now: “how NICE for YOU.” But do I REALLY move in an inaccessible and vaunted bubble of traditional normalcy? Why do some have more control over their destinies than others? Can it REALLY be dumb luck/something-ism/thepartriarchaloppressiveeuromajoritydeathculture? As Descartes once said, just before his untimely disappearance, “I think not.”)

  29. …thats great. but what about those of us who don’t live a posh lifestyle.. cut our own hair.. eat spagetti 5 days a week… and pay 1200 a month to dwindle down a 100k+ student loan over the course of 30 years?

    i personally wont be able to retire due to my outstanding college loan.

    hopefully ill be able to afford kids someday so i can tell them how *I* paid off my student loans…

  30. If I write the book I’ll give you a nod…but I’ll also have to give a nod to Single Ma, my parents, my financial aid officer…you get the idea;) But I am completely ready to embrace it…I will graduate from an Ivy League university this June, about $45,000 in debt. I know that there are a bunch of you that are looking at that figure and saying, “Oh hell no!” But, take into consideration that this is less than the cost of one year at school and this University helped me to become who I am. I plan to have my student loans paid off within three years, living with roomates, working retail on the weekend (at a really nice department store) for discounts on clothes and extra money towards my student loan repayment and other frugal measures.

  31. I am a single mom of a wonderful 10 year old son whom I gave birth to when I was just 19 and in the USAF. I take full responsibility and have never complained of the “difficulties” to say the least, of single-parenthood. I have however, put myself through school using the Montgomery GI BILL and studen loans ( $12,000 ). I was also able to get financial aid due to me being a single parent making minimum wage at that time. I mainly took out the loans to use for living expenses, including rent, gas, food, etc. There are many benefits available to single parents out here, you just have to look and put the time in. Giving him up for adoption never even occured to me! He is now 10 years old, wonderful, caring and in the gifted and talented program at school. Sorry to tell ya, but times have changed and there is nothing wrong with being a single parent if you become one responsibly. :-)

  32. Wow, OK, the original post doesn’t sound that entitled to me but the idiots in the comments going on about how single parents are TEH EVUL and should give up our kids? I’d say how I really feel about that, but I’d like to be able to come back here and comment again. I guess I’ll go Brit for a second: “What a load of old rubbish.”

    Until you’ve had to give up a child and suffer the agony and the heartbreak and the constant second-guessing for the next nine years and counting, don’t you come at me and other single moms (I know you said “single PARENT” but let’s not be precious here, we know who you’re talking about) with your “let them eat cake” attitude, “Oh, you can just give them up for adoption.” No. No, I can’t. Sorry. I did that once and it almost killed me.

    Maybe YOU feel no attachment to YOUR children and it makes no difference to YOU what happens to YOUR family so long as YOU can preserve YOUR precious bottom line, MysticalTyger and Anonymous Bosh, but some of US are HUMAN BEINGS.

    As for what happened to me? Part of it was my own stupidity and denial, part of it was his abject refusal to take responsibility for *his* choices either. On the one hand, if I had it to do over I wouldn’t even be in the same state as him, much less mother of his child. On the other hand I wish there were some way to go back in time, undo his genetic link to her and yet still have her now, because she is one nifty kid. And I wish like hell her brother were here with us.

    I’ll take the longer, harder road to financial solvency because the alternative is unthinkable. It wasn’t becoming a single mother that made me poor, anyway; I was in poverty before that. But lots of single mothers have managed to make something of themselves even with kids to raise. It’s no different in the end from having a physical disability or living in a depressed area of the country, and it’s better than those life situations in a lot of ways.

    But single moms reserve the right to rant about their predicaments, because it’s G-D-ed hard. And it’s just a rant. It is not the end of the world and it threatens no one’s bottom line, and certainly doesn’t deserve some rich guy going all Marie Antoinette on us. You know what happened to Marie, right? Don’t lay any more burden on burdened people than what they already carry. If I can give no other advice ever again in my life, there you go, and it’s the best I’ll probably ever do.

  33. I should add that my daughter’s dad does support us, and a lot better than many single moms get from their babydaddies. In that way, at least, he’s made up somewhat for his original irresponsibility–not in making me pregnant when we weren’t married, but in trying to foist us off on someone else rather than have to face how his life was changing–but he’s screwed the pooch as far as ever having a chance with me in a relationship again. But my choice to keep my daughter doesn’t take away from the things he did wrong. I’m tired of seeing people who’ve been put through hardship of some kind being expected to shoulder the entire blame even though another human being was involved in imposing the hardship. Why nobody jumps all over noncustodial dads about this stuff is beyond me, especially since so many of them go deadbeat about child support. Why isn’t that a “bad financial choice”?

  34. I completely understand and agree to everything your saying buddy. I’m often told that I’m tight with my money because between my wife(21) and I(23) we have two IRA’s two TSP’s, and a 401k, no credit cards and no car payments. I don’t understand it. We together make around 75 to 80 a year and plan on retiring early.(35) A lot of sacrifices are required that I think most people aren’t willing to cope with.

  35. Useitsellitmoveon says:

    Having a well off family helps but certainly does not set you. A person who starts with nothing can do much better than a person who starts with 100K trust fund and a no interest anytime anywhere loan that you can get away with not repaying just a phone call away.

    If you spend $2000 for a new treadmill when you can get one about the same for $100 and that is how you make your decisions then irregardless of having a safety net or not I’d bet on the one who knows the difference . The way I look at it is every purchase you ever make you pay for for the rest of your life. That $1900 compounded really adds up (take into account clothing,shoes,brand of cigarettes—(though this one is hard to sacrifice on),food,etc…)

    The same goes for a college education. If you are smart enough to get into an ivy league school (-$$$$) then I bet you can get some nice scholarships/free education from CC’s and plain old universities.

    Having a degree from pompous silky Saks 5th underwear university might look good but is it really worth 100K debt + the interest on the loan when you can get the same job for a much less expensive or near free education? Just ravage every test especially the national standards. I think it is just overkill.

    The fact is life is like a computer. You pay 400% the cost of the standard for an upgrade that only gives a slight improvement. Most people need to just settle for oak cabinets not 50,000 year old petrified rainforest ones and spend time shopping instead of impulse buying everything. If you make $100 an hour then I suppose it isnt worth your time to spend 2 hours shopping to save $60 and if you make 250K + then I guess it doesn’t matter what you pay for things as you got a big lake that won’t dry up soon.

  36. Can I still comment on something 3 years old? First of all I want to say I am a recent graduate as of Dec 08. I did, in the beginning, think I was going to college to better my life. I thought a degree meant financial security. For me, a degree ended up meaning $116K in student loans for BFA in Interior Design. Since graduation I have wondered how I will ever survive 15 years paying over 50% of my paycheck to my student loans.
    Determinded not to be a victim, I’ve come up with a plan. Luckily in July I was married to a man ready to share that debt. Neither of us make much, he is a ballroom dancer with no degree earning 30K and I am a CAD Designer (not many jobs available in this economy) making 32,500K. Its hard having other friends who’s parents or spouses put them through school and now they are living poshly and I continue to live like a college student. Thinking about it only makes me more depressed so we have decided to budget everything out and live off his income alone while mine is payed directly to the loan. As of June we will down grade the apartment we live in, we no longer have car payments, we don’t go out on the town, we will limit eatting out to 1 time a month, we have no other debt at all, and we will find things to do for free. The difference in our situation is that all I know is college living, so if I don’t know any different, it won’t be such a shock. I esitmate it taking about 4 years to pay…taking into consideration new jobs, raises, and interest. I think it can absolutely be done. People have to get over the fact that they are not everyone else and they can’t live the way other people do. I’ve read so many articles about how student loans ruined people’s lives, but they were the ones taking them out to begin with. I got stuck and thought I was going to fall into that same trap. But then you read about people actually paying them off and you realize its a matter of responsible choices and the support system to back you up.

  37. klein3351f says:

    How great it was for you to be able to CHOOSE to live like a college student after you graduated.

    Some of us don’t get jobs that pay those huge salaries, and how much did you have in student loans anyway? $10k, $20k? That’s peanuts compared to some.

    You, sir, sit there, rich as you are, and preach to us how we should live our lives like you, but we don’t have the capacity to make your 6 figure income or have a partner who is helping us along.

  38. Nice job Amy, I’m impressed. Many in your situation would buckle under such a burden. Kudos.

    My route was the military. I did 4 years in the Army, got out and went to a public university (of CT). Lived the college life, now I’m graduated. I still took 20k in college loans even though the Army was paying the tuition, but the payments are $182.60…

    I did have to sacrifice 4 years of my live but now, even making only 40 grand, I’m much better off than my classmates that graduated with much more in loans. I’ve been out of school a year, and it’s down to 16k. I figure 3 more years.

  39. Why do people end up with 100k loans if they only expect to earn 30-40k ?

    I sympathise, but you know it’s not our fault don’t you?

  40. words to live by!!!! this whole sense of entitlement gives me the shits! put the damn 27 dollar abercrombie tee….(that you’ll only wear a month)down!!! and go pick up a hanes! I work and live around this type 24/7 and their sooo f’n annoying!!i know,i know…you worked two 7 hr days back to back,mom and dad owe you a mediteranian cruise! you people are disgusting!!!!!!

  41. I totally agree. If you are in debt and saving money is key, living like a college student is the only way to go.

    One thing that bothers me is people who complain about bills they “must” pay… If you’re complaining about an iPhone bill, get a cheaper phone. If the water or electric bill is too high, be more conservative with how much you use. It is easy to cut back one you start recognizing the areas in which you spend way too much money. Finally…. I guarantee that you do not need to spend $7 on coffee every morning, no matter how fancy the name sounds.

  42. Lets not forget that graduates feel they are entitled to these things because parents, high school teachers, etc. set the expectations. High expectations for life after college is not innate.

  43. Not to start this off the wrong way, but a lot of the commenters here sound like heartless jerks. I have been paying my student loans faithfully, for over 6 years and they are not going down at all. Sallie Mae has been charging extra fees and when I call they put me on hold and never come back. Capitalized interest, which I understood to mean they were adding their interest at the beginning but then they added about $700 of capitalized interest 4 years after I graduated. They don’t have that on their computers they said. Oh and this particular loan is a private loan that I can’t consolidate for whatever reason. And not to mention they can change the terms whenever they want and their is nothing I can do.

    Why on earth would anyone go to college if it meant you had to live like you never went and that you should give up your children? Are you serious?

    I guess you would then suggest that college isn’t for poor people. Maybe it’s not if you get a liberal arts education where they don’t teach you anything useful.
    I personally believe our how whole education system is rigged and that students are targets of predatory lending practices. Not every student has people in their corner that teaches them about financial things and no one thinks it’s important to teach anything about real life in school. So I say again , it’s rigged.

  44. Oh and I taught myself a ton about personal finance once I graduated and saw the mess I was in. Unfortunately it was too late because I had already taken that awful private loan from Sallie Mae. I have pretty much given up hope that these things will be paid off and I will say taking student loans has to be one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made, aside from moving in with my in-laws as a newlywed.

    Oh and student loans are not good for relationships and dating. It’s a bit of a turn off.

  45. Why don’t more single moms move in together? My friend and I did it for years. We alternated work schedules and took care of each other’s kids and basically saved a chunk of money. We were both divorced with plenty of bills that needed paying down. Luckily, we are both pretty good cooks. 5 people in a large 3 bedroom (the 3 boys shared the master) and rent in a nice neighborhood with good schools isn’t bad at all when you are splitting the bills and responsibilities. It frees up a lot of money to pay bills.

  46. Fantastic post. Timeless. I am in the same position right now. I working my bum off to pay off some loans and trying to learn money management in the process so that someday I can smile when I look at my bank statement. It’s tough but it’s inspiring that you have done it and I believe I can too. I will keep reading and hope I can immulate what you have done here.

    Job market is rough so I decided to go to South Korea to teach for a while and hope I can save a little as well. So far it’s not bad here. But we will see.

  47. Hi Everyone,
    I think there are two sides to every story. Wouldn’t you all agree…? There are multiple reasons for ppl to take on student loans. In some cases pursuing certain high paying professions usually require one take on loans. In other cases, maybe you weren’t able to get by on the pell grant after your community college years. Everyone’s reason is different. SOME have a very valid reason to complain. SOME DON’T!! JOE BLOW spends 120,000 dollars to be chef….social worker….hmmm ok you don’t have an excuse other than perhaps you should have taken a personal finance class. OTHERS who like myself went to a flight school (this would fall under your technical training) to become a commercial airline pilot. I walked away with the school shutting there doors pretending to go bankrupt and refusing to pay back anyones left over tuition (private student loans). I was sitting there with half an education and 20,000 dollars out of the 65,0000 taken out in loans that was now stoled from me. The school has now been summoned by the AG and the owners are in jail on 20 counts of fraud. I will likely never see the tuition money that was stolen from me again. The banks however still want there money and have offered no forgiveness or exceptions. The government failed to provide basic protection in these instances. I am left to to foot the bill while only having got half the licenses required. However the point I am trying to make is everyones student loans situation is different. Private VS Federal BIIIIIIIG difference in ones experience with this topic! I personally had private and there are no protections against fraud no gov support. JUST PLAIN AND SIMPLE YOU STILL OWE and 13% interest too! I luckily I landed a high paying job and within the last year have paid off almost 60,0000 dollars and still owe another 20,000 (85,000 in total after two years of deferment) I will have it paid off this upcoming year….but for the longest time i was two steps away from jumping off a bridge making 9.50 hr!! With no future in sight! 85,000$$$ GONE wheww!! I AM ONE OF THE LUCKY ONES!! MY FRIENDS ARE STILL & WILL BE PAYING FOR 20 Years to come but hey we all took that gamble.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Single Worker Bee (2003-2004) I thought about teaching high school, but instead off to the corporate consulting world I went. Triple the salary + bonuses, 8am-5pm, traffic, cubicles, yada yada. Within the first few months, all my student loans were paid off. Want to know how? [...]

  2. [...] One thing I worry about is lifestyle inflation. No matter how little or how much someone earns, their spending tends to match their income. When you’re living the student life, your friends are also broke, and it’s easy to eat frozen pizza for dinner and manage without a car. That was probably one of the funnest periods in your life! But when you have more money, you start looking to upgrade: a nicer car, a bigger house, brand name clothes, cooler gadgets. Call it peer pressure, entitlement, or simply money burning a hole in your pocket. [...]

  3. Rant » MONEY says:

    [...] a money blog that Brian sent me today, I was poking around and found a post where the guy described how he paid off his student loan debt by living as if he was still in [...]

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