What the Future: Student Loans Are Super Sketch

Candidates are pushing student loan debt relief and they should as the current balance is over a trillion dollars. Student loan debt is a universal issue as it affects the elderly and millennials but what it did to the millennials was created a ripple effect that will take decades to repair the North American economy.

I didn’t know anything about student loans until after graduation because everyone knows that an eighteen year old knows everything but nothing at all. Let’s not argue about that because if it wasn’t true, eighteen year olds would legally be allowed to drink in the United States.

All these industries the millennials are “killing” might be dying because the millennials don’t have disposable income like the generations before them. The crippling student loan debt has prolonged purchasing a house, car, and even prolonged parenthood for most. I have a theory, in a time where decreasing enrollment is a concern in universities across the nation the millennials might be to blame. Those early millennials who prolonged parenthood and don’t have any children were supposed to be sending their kiddos to college and when there’s no kiddos or not enough kiddos there goes your future customers (if we’re talking money here students are indeed customers).

I could go on all day about what went wrong with high education but that’s not my current gripe. My current gripe is the sibling to higher education… the student loan industry.

Student loans are the only form of debt that cannot be discharged via bankruptcy. They follow lenders in life and sometimes even after death. Some parents took out loans for young adults who passed away and even with no living child, are still stuck paying for said education. Crazy right? If any other industry did what the student loan industry is doing it would be considered a scam. These things I learned, I did it through research and I feel like financial aid departments should tell you these things before you even sign your name on the dotted line.

You Never Know the Balance until Your Done

When I walked into a dealership and got my 2016 Ford Fiesta I filled out the paperwork, I told the dealer my income, and what I could afford and they broke down my total payment, interest, and how much I would pay on a monthly basis. Student loans do not do this. As tuition can change from year to year, they can only give you a ballpark. Who wants to ballpark thousands of dollars?It might be 40,000 at the end of four year or you might owe us 60.

Not So Forgiving Forgiveness Plan

A lot of people don’t know that if you join an income based repayment plan or any of the other plans that have forgiveness attached to it after a certain amount of on time monthly payments, the odds are not in your favor of getting that forgiveness. Last year 99 percent of the thousands of applicants were rejected for student loan forgiveness. Most of the applicants worked in service and nonprofit industries and only 1 percent were actually forgiven. Most were rejected on technicalities. In particular, the teachers are not okay, they were the ones that would benefit the most from this plan.

Taxable Discharge

If you actually become one of the lucky ones to get their debt discharged, guess what? You have to pay taxes on it because it counts as taxable income. If you get 40,000 dollars of your debt discharged congrats, you now owe the IRS. Most likely because you couldn’t pay the original balance of your student loans, you don’t have thousands of dollars laying around, so you’ll now have shorter but monthly payments to the IRS until you can pay off the taxes.

Dis(Interested)

Instead of learning about the correlation between philosophical logic and South Park I probably should’ve studied up how interest works. Making just the monthly payment on your student loan balance will do nothing but make you angry as interest on thousands of dollars is a lot of money. Interest alone could have you eternally indebted to the federal student loan department.

I’m not certain who is at fault for the student loan debt crisis but I know it’s not all on the borrow here. While every other developed country is laughing at our North American student loan crisis The White House seems disinterested in finding the most obvious solution. When a country is willing to bail out entire industries instead of its people it says more about the government than the people.

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