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Rant of the day: never, ever co-sign a loan

Dat Student Loan Life

March 27, 2014 | 4 Comments » | Topics: main

student loans

When my bank notifies me that a student loan payment is due

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How I felt making my first student loan payment

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When my last student loan payment was sent 

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Here’s how our student loans work in a nutshell:

School: Welcome to our prestigious institution, where you pay us ridiculous amounts of money but we generally treat you like crap. Now pay up.

Student: I… uh… don’t have enormous amounts of money… so…

Bank: Don’t worry son, we’ll lend you the money. You have your entire life to pay us back with interest, and statistics show that you have about 60 years to live, so that’s pretty much as safe a bet as we can think of.

Student: Alright. I know nothing about interest rates, personal finances, the dollar value of my education and the stability of the economy, but everyone else is doing this, so I might as well do it too!

Bank: Fantastic. Sign here. – No, no, no… we’ll need that signature in blood.

Student: Awesome… so… I can have my money now?

Bank: No… we’re giving it all to the school. They’ll write you a check for whatever doesn’t go into your tuition.

Student: That doesn’t really make any sense… Why can’t I hold onto it until the end of the semester? Put it in a savings account and make some interest on it?

School: Well, it appears that everything is in order here! Why don’t you go ahead and register.

Student: …yeah, but you didn’t answer my question.

School: Here’s your disbursement check. Why don’t you go spend it on textbooks in our school store?

Student: …yeah, but-

School: JUST GO!

Student: …but I-

School: Tah tah! See you next year so we can go through this whole thing all over again.

Four years later:

School: Congratulations, here’s a piece of paper.

Graduate (formerly Student): Woohoo! Life, here I come!

Bank: uh… not so fast there son. We’re going to need all that money back now.

Graduate: Yeah, but can you at least wait until after I change out of my cap and gown?

Bank: sigh…. Fine, but make it snappy.

Graduate: Alright, I’ll pay you back, but I need to get a job first.

Potential Employer: Hey there son, I see you have a crisp new piece of paper. How much did you spend on that?

Graduate: I spent a small fortune. I really need a high paying job now.

Potential Employer: Well, we can give you a job. I’m afraid it’s only slightly above minimum wage though. You probably would have been better off working straight out of high school. By now you would have worked your way up the ranks and you’d be making twice as much, without any debt. This economy is a nightmare, you know.

Graduate: Ugghhh.. Fine. Well, I’ll take it, just until the economy turns around.

Economy: snicker. Don’t hold your breath buddy-boy.

Bank: Do you have our money yet?

Graduate: Hold your damn horses! I just signed up for a new job.

Bank: Awesome. We REALLY need your money, the economy is so shitty right now on account of us destroying it with bad lending practices.

Graduate: Woo hoo! First day of work! I’m a real live grown up now!

Government: Huh? What’s going on?! Wait you’re a grown up now?! Awesome, we can tax you!

Graduate: Son of a bitch! That’s like a third of my paycheck!

Landlord: Gimme!

Girlfriend: Gimme!

Bank: Gimme!

Graduate: WTF?! I’m making like negative money now!

Bank: Have you seen our lovely selection of credit cards?

Graduate: Ooooh… pretty!

Economy: creeeeeak…..

Graduate: What was that sound?!

Government: Oh… nothing…

Employer: Bad news, son, we’re not giving cost-of-living raises this year. Actually we may have to cut down on your hours. The economy… it’s just not looking good.

Graduate: Son of a bi-

Employer: BACK TO WORK!

Bank: We know times are tough, which is why we’re offering you a loan consolidation plan!

Graduate: Awesome! Hey… wait a minute… this doesn’t look like it will save me any money… in fact… it looks like it’ll just end up costing me more.

Bank: Yes, but it’s more convenient this way. For us, I mean.

Girlfriend: I want to get married. Why haven’t you asked me yet?

Graduate: I… uh…

School: Dear Alumni, the economy has just begun to crumble beneath our feet. Won’t you please donate some money?!

Graduate: You have got to be fucking kidding me!

School: What? Is now not a good time?

Girlfriend: I found the ring I want! It’s made from blood diamonds and baby seal hearts!

Bank: We can give you a loan for that.

Graduate: I… uh….

Landlord: Hey, I’m upping your rent. The economy is kicking my ass, you know.

Graduate: But what about my ass? … Hello? … Anyone?

Bank: WHOA! HOLY SHIT! STOP EVERYTHING! YOU JUST MISSED A CREDIT CARD PAYMENT!

Graduate: Yeah, sorry about that… it’s just that my rent went up and I needed to get some prescription drugs and I-

Bank: LALALALALA! DON’T CARE! We’re raising your interest rates. Like… REALLY raising them.

Graduate: That doesn’t really seem fair. You can see I’m already struggling…

Bank: NOT. OUR. PROBLEM. This is your fault for not being financially responsible.

Graduate: Um, look who’s talking?! Didn’t my tax dollars just pay to bail you out?!

Bank: I don’t understand what you’re saying.

Graduate: Yes you do.

Bank: Regulations are bad.

Graduate: What? We’re not even talking about-

Bank: REGULATIONS ARE KILLING THE ECONOMY!

Graduate: Can we stay on topic for a minute?

Girlfriend: I’m pregnant!

Graduate: What?! Are you fucking kidding me?!

Girlfriend: …with twins!

Employer: Bad news, your job is being outsourced.

Graduate: What?! Fine I’ll just look for a new job-

Every Other Employer in the U.S.: Whoa… not so fast. Sorry, we’re not really hiring right now.

School: You know, now would be a great time to give us another small fortune for a brand new piece of paper!

Graduate: That’s what got me into this mess in the first place. Oddly, though, it sounds like my best option.

School: JACKPOT!

Bank: JACKPOT!

Economy: ….creeeeeeeeeeeeeak….

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  • Max

    G.I. Bill > Student Loans.

  • Bob Frapples

    Whaaaaaaaa, I took out $100K loan to get a $36K/year job. Fuck those banks that lent me money so I can prolong my adolescence and work on my alcohol consumption tolerance. smh

    • Concerned Citizen

      today’s 20-somethings were brought up their whole lives believing that college was the ticket to a bright future. You did decently in high school, went to a respectable college, and got a suitable white collar job that put you squarely in the middle class.

      Forget for a moment that this mythos isn’t and never has been entirely true – an English degree didn’t directly lead to a job any more in 1985 than it did in 2005 – but this belief in the merits and inevitability of college has been pounded into everyone’s heads over the last 20 years, leading to skyrocketing enrollment rates.

      …but also skyrocketing costs. Since the 1980′s, college costs have risen 2-3x the pace of inflation, leaving the ’00s graduates with a lot more debt burden than previous generations. At the same time, because of the recession, opportunities are much scarcer for college grads at any point in many decades. Yes, it’s still more likely you’ll be employed if you have a college education than if you don’t, but it’s also much more likely you’ll be underemployed, running a register at Banana Republic instead of working in the field of your degree (that $10/hr doesn’t help much when you have 6 figures worth of student loans.)

      So in summary: recent grads have had the desirability of a college education driven into their heads since elementary school. They followed that advice and went to college, taking on more debt than ever before, only to graduate and find that the jobs weren’t there. You mention that it’s not like they were tricked, but a lot of them feel like they were. I definitely don’t think loan forgiveness is the solution, but I can’t blame them for being frustrated.

      • Bob Frapples

        I see your points. One thing I do agree with that some people say is that students should be able to “refinance” their loans, much like home loans, when the rates fluctuate. But don’t blame the gov’t for wanting to be repaid for the loans that they gave out, blame the parents and guidance counselors for not steering the kids down the right path.


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