Ok, for a change from the usual, I am putting the quote at the end of this, because I want what I say to be the focal point. Just need the quote to provide context.
This thread, and what tsar has addressed below and in his other posts, just keep going through my mind.
I'll try to keep the following bitchfest short, then ask my questions.
It is so frustrating to be unendingly told things like "how quaint", "your generation doesn't see things clearly", "you think it is just that simple", etc. At the same time, we apparant dunderheads are given over and over again links that inform us of $1.3 trillion in debt, high housing costs, low wages. etc.
But where is the context? $1.3 trillion in debt. But divided by how many people with loans? Looking it up, numbers vary, but one source says 44.2 million. That and some other figure I found that was a stand alone give the results as an average debt of $29K to $38K.
Oh, but that "just an average" Yes, it is. it means that while some might have $75K debt, others have $10K
My main complaint, whenever the subject of student loans come up, is that the vast majority of what we are told we don't understand are these mind bending numbers like $1.3 trillion, how no one will ever get out from under it. Millions of people, underemployed and so on.
We......understand.....we.....heard......you.....the first 50 times you sent us those links and told us how we have ruined everthing for you.
We look at your big numbers, do the math and say "ok, it's 29K to 38K on the average. A big number sure, but let's see what we can do with it.
We hear they keep changing the schedule/ terms, a multitude of other things, but no answers to questions.
But when asked if part of that is raising the interest rate? No answer.
When asked how often they make these changes, just like they have done with let's say mortgages? No answer.
That is something I often feel about communications with a certain range of age. In a way it feels like click bait. Now before anyone loses their sh!t over that, it's a joke son.
But in a way, true.
Speaking for myself, and that's the only one I can speak for, I'm not belittling or making light of your debt. But to understand it so maybe you'll stop calling me out of touch, I need specifics.
I don't care about millions. It's this big number intended to produce hopelessness. It's meant to paralyze.
I care about individuals. What is Your specfic debt? What are Your payments? What is Your budget for everything you spend?
Why is it there is no response when I ask people, as individuals, if they understood their loan agreement, if they check every month to see if payments were applied properly, if the payment schedule changed, if something was wrong did they have it corrected.
2 links, one provided by tsar, one by neptune, provided such mixed messages.
tsar, you provided the 1.3 trillion number..... Then below that, the same article that was to show how horrible things are, tells you to keep up on what is going on, and when you see a mistake, have it corrected.
neptune also shows some figures how bad the debt is....Then the article goes on to show how one guy takes on extra work, and I think some other guy did the same. One pays in off in 7 years, the other in 5.
What was supposed to show how terrible things are was to me actually inspirational on how these 2 individuals sallied forth and took control.
I've not had a response to the following, I can only think because there are eyes rolling out of their sockets over how quaint I am....
For someone who is getting by, even if barely, is there indeed something else you could be doing?
I get the impression that many feel like "there's 1.3 trillion debt, I give up." Or even "I personally have $38K debt, I give up." Then the disconnect how not spending or earning literally less than a dollar a day can have an impact.
What is that about?
In the college that you went to, that put you into debt, did no one ever show you an amortization schedule? I'm serious, not kidding. If some professor didn't have a class in it, or if your parents for someone unknown reason were ignorant of it as well, had you just not on the entire internet ever come across the power of early payments of even small amounts?
Next I feel like I'm treading on to some sacred ground, but here goes....
During the course of every month, for someone that let's assume does not have one red cent left over, are you really, honor bright, telling me that there was nothing you could have not bought, not one coupon, rebate, paid errand, few hours gig, something, anything, that you absolutely positively could not have scraped up some coin/paper to put in that prepayment envelope?
If you did that consistently, and was able to cut a few years off your loan, do you honestly think you will look back and say "That was so bad that I didn't get something from the vending machine every other time I wanted something. I missed over time one festival a year I wanted to go to and my life isn't complete.
I mean seriously, WTF?
But all I get in response is you don't think clearly, how quaint, you don't understand.
Me? I wonder who isn't thinking clearly sometimes when a person can't figure out that even the smallest amount of money, produced by honestly small little consistent method will turn into something huge.
If someone could answer the questions I posed, without going off into the big general picture, but looking at yourself and your debt situation as an individual, I'd be very interested.
tsar, how much debt did you start with?
What were/are you payments?
Did you ever do extra work and put that money for prepayments?
When you saw changes in your loan payments was it ever a higher interest rate? If so, how much did the increase your monthly payment?
How many times have conditions changed, and what were those condition?
When the conditions changed, did you call the lender to correct or confirm or whatever needed to be done?
Do you feel anything you could have occassional (god I'm not even talking regularly, heaven forbid) cut out or diminished that could have gone into prepayments?
Regardless of how quaint you feel these questions are, these are important.
If in college, in a class taught by some acknowledged authority, they told you that after your graduation you should set aside before anything else this small amount from your paychecks and showed you what kind of impact it had?
Would you have thought them quaint, or been like "wow, this is good stuff, it's really going to help."
In 1981, in a general economics class, we were told, off handedly, about this unbelieveable thing called a IRA.
It seemed absolutely impossible in what it promised.
What?! You mean for putting aside this little bit of money each month, I could end up with THIS MUCH? No way.
Later with Roth IRA? I lost my mind with the concept.
We are not quaint or stupid guys.
But when the loan is purchased, aren't the terms of the loan still the same as when you signed your name to it? In regards to the interest rate I mean. And doesn't the interest not begin accruing until some set time after you leave school? I would think that regardless of who holds the loan, the terms cannot be modified.
Dear lord the conditions have changed too many times. They change with every change of the loan owner's set of hands. I don't think you understand how flexible (towards the bank the legalese is written). The terms cannot be modified? That seems quaint.
I know your generation doesn't see things particularly clearly but the thing is Bachelors degrees are the new high school diploma.
This is irrelevant to the issue really. Unless you are going to argue that states should pay for one's college education just like they do for a high school education. And that is a different discussion that you might be surprised on my viewpoint.
Too many people are drowning from preexisting loans. I know some people (in the Baby Boomer generation) getting their degrees from a cracker jack box (if they so inclined to get a degree in the first place and still get a professional - not trade based occupation) and the companies they go make a lifetime career at ... don't give a damn but that's not possible these days.
My ironic situation is I've attended two PUBLIC colleges in my life. My student loans come from my first (failing) attempt at college. I didn't get a degree from this college.
My second attempt? Here in NYC, I got my four year degree (mostly paid in terms of two grants... one being the very famous Pell Grant... can't remember the name of the other). I'm definitely not an outlier in this department. Making public universities and colleges tuition (and beyond) free isn't going to help the literal thousands (and more) who pay their student loans on a timely basis but ... you know... choose to not be homeless or go into starvation mode to pay off loans that have morphed into legalized highway robbery/loan sharkery.