$250,000 in student debt after 13 years...

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by AsianStew, May 30, 2022.

  1. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    Well, there was the lady who went to NYU for their Masters and had to "sell her eggs", meet another NYU graduate who is in even greater debt. Guess what? She's now doing a PhD at UMass-Amherst! Ouch, I guess she hasn't really thought out what she's trying to accomplish... I would get out of debt first before putting myself in more debt!

    Link: Meet a 34-year-old with $250,000 in student debt after 13 years of barely keeping up with her monthly interest payments: 'I never felt like I could get a handle on it' (msn.com)
    Dustin likes this.
  2. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    First thought: Is the NYU name really worth $100K? I only learned it's prestigious since moving to the US. In Canada, nobody would think NYU was any better than SUNY.

    Second thought: why throw good money after bad getting an MPH and now a PhD if she's going to be qualified for basically the same jobs she is today? It feels like she didn't gain any marketable skills in undergrad or grad school and is just going to keep going to school to defer the payments instead of working on relevant job skills.
  3. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    Isn’t there an option to keep deferring some part (all?) of your student loans as long as you are in school? I think some people may keep kicking the can down the road even knowing the debt is increasing if it means they don’t have to deal with it today.
  4. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Governments (all levels) do that all the time. They think they can afford to, because they have a never-ending revenue stream - taxes. As for individuals - monkey see - monkey do.

    I hear stories like this and they confirm my theories and my financial m.o. :

    (1) There is no correlation between intellect and common sense. None whatsoever.

    (2) Just as drug addiction or gambling does, this type of loan creates a rock-solid dependency. Some people become afraid or unwilling to live outside their student environment. "If only I could stay in school forever -- and the loans could go on forever..." The parameters of these loans are conducive to that. They are all wrong.

    (3) Some years ago, after looking into the subject, I adopted some Islamic financial principles; among those, I no longer pay interest - or collect it. When I invest, I do not do so in interest-bearing papers. I wish I'd found these (and other) principles 40 years earlier. I sleep better and am far better off financially. I paid for college as I went - in my 40s when I was working and could afford it.
    Last edited: May 30, 2022
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  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I've begun to dislike reading these student debt stories. It's like reading a story about junkies. You always know how it ends.

    As a budding fashion guy, I can say it's not a good look on the lenders - OR on the student borrowers.
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  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Johann: "I don't pay interest - or collect it."
    You guys/gals: "OK Johann, so how do you get a mortgage?"

    Easy. I'm nearly 80 years old - so I DON'T. :)

    For others - Muslim or not, it's pretty easy, around here. There are around 1.3 million Muslims in Canada and they've become a consumer segment to be reckoned with - and to have their needs met. There are several credit unions in Ontario that will grant Islamic-style "musharraka" (basically "partnership") mortgages to any qualifying individual who wants one - Muslim or otherwise.

    These are rent-to-own mortgages, basically, with a diminishing rental component as equity increases. You agree to rent the property for a flat amount monthly. Say $1500. You have 20% equity (down payment) so 80% of your first $1500 payment goes to rent, 20% to increased equity. Your second payment, you have slightly more than 20% equity and so slightly more goes to equity, slightly less to rental ...and so on, until you own 100% of the property. You're only charged rent on the portion of the property you don't yet own.

    There are tables that allow construction of a musharraka payment schedule with a return to the lender that will equal whatever the current lending rate is.

    You still pay the lender - but it's rent, not interest - so it's shari'a compliant and allowable.

    When I say I (Johann) don't pay interest - I mean I don't have any interest-bearing debt. I pay my one credit card off every 30 days when I get the bill - and for most on-ground (not online) purchases I use my own money - or my Credit Union debit card. Nothing beyond 30 days - zip, nada, zilch.
    Last edited: May 30, 2022
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  7. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    @Johann You read my mind! I was curious how that was done, since I know that people in Islamic countries still buy properties and buy-now-pay-later. Thanks for the rundown!
  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    على الرحب والسعة "Ealaa alrahb walsaea." - (You're welcome.) :)
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  9. SnafuRacer

    SnafuRacer Active Member

    I had a dentist with me in the Army. Met him in Iraq. He did his schooling at USC in Cali. He was an orthodontist and racked up about $1.1M in student loans. I think the Army was going to pay about 40-50% over 10 years of government service and I guess the rest would be “forgiven”.
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  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Obviously, your guy had a plan. And a guaranteed rewarding career, in the financial sense. Most of these tale-of-woe people wind up with NEITHER. I take it you're not sure about the "forgiveness." Neither am I. But no matter - I'm sure if there was anything to be repaid, a practising orthodontist could make it work, more easily than most.
  11. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    There is a not insignificant segment of our population that feels that more degrees will ALWAYS be better. That if the position requires a bachelors degree and you show up with a PhD that you'll blow the other candidates out of the water. It simply isn't true. But that doesn't stop people from believing it.

    A similar myth persists with regard to school name. Better to pay for NYU than a CUNY school, the wisdom goes. It will take you farther. And hey, if you can afford it, why not?

    If you want to take a serious shot at acting you might actually have a better shot at it with a degree from Tisch than if you go with a drama program at a random community college. The key difference between that and the topic at hand, you'll note, is that professional acting as much less to do with the name on the paper and more to do with the connections you make along the way.
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  12. Nemo

    Nemo Member

    As recently as a year ago I had a conversation with a classmate who said he's going to rack up as much debt as he can because he's 100% certain the President will "forgive" it. I suggested that meant his fellow taxpayers would be taking that burden rather than the President, and he paused, then shrugged, and proceeded to tell me about his post-doctoral considerations.
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  13. Vicki

    Vicki Well-Known Member

    What an idiot. And if that relief ends up being maxed at $10,000? Then what? And if it never passes? Then what?
  14. ArielB

    ArielB Member

    I used to work for a large public company in the credit reporting space. One of the things they trained us on as a hiring manager was to not commit "educational discrimination" - that is, that an accredited degree from one institution was any better than from another institution. The degree was a requirement for most jobs but we weren't allowed to take into account where it came from while making a hiring decision.
  15. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I wonder how wide the gulf was between hiring managers being told not to do that and hiring managers actually not doing that.
  16. nomaduser

    nomaduser Active Member

    I realized there are only few degrees that can pay off the tuition debts:

    1. Computer science / software engineering
    2. Any med degree
    3. Mechanical, electrical engineering degrees
    4. Business Administration or Finance ONLY if you know what you're doing

    Other degree holders will have hard time paying tuition debts off after graduation.

    I highly recommend universities to permanently remove below degree programs:

    1. Art degrees
    2. Arts management degree
    3. English degree

    They only make people suffer through their lives.. they should be offered only as general electives, minors, or associate's degrees.

    These degrees are designed to create debts and ruin your life unless you're rich enough to afford the damages.

    I know an English major graduate from the top 100 university. He ended up as a dog walker. He earned Business bachelor again at other top university but it didn't help.
    I know an arts management degree guy from the top 100 university. He's re-doing his bachelor in CS.
    I know a CS grad from the top 100 university... he's working at JP Morgan as a software developer. He already paid his debts years ago.
    I know an IT grad from the top 100 university. He's working at JP Morgan as a developer too.

    Not too many people will survive without CS, IT, med, engineering degrees...
    Last edited: May 31, 2022
  17. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Treating trends as absolutes is an error in thinking.
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  18. nomaduser

    nomaduser Active Member

    Hell no.

    The guy who majored in English re-did bachelor's in business administration. Total $200k+ spent on education but he's still working as a dog walker, security guard, etc.
    Another guy who majored in music had to re-do his bachelor in IT to get a job. Total $300k+ spent on education... but he was able to get an IT job. $150k on music degree was wasted.

    The majors that don't guarantee career should be removed from universities' catalogues.

    The only guys who paid debts and got married were CS majors.
    All other guys had to suffer greatly... and this trend will go on for the next two decades at least.

    Netflix, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Quora, and all other tech companies offer the most stable, high-paying jobs. Everything else's look really fake unless it's medical or finance.
  19. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

  20. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Except that plenty of those programs still provide value to society, and quantifying career value is basically impossible.

    If someone does a BA and then does grad school, has the BA failed for them? What about if it takes them a while to figure out what they want to do?

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