I wanted to share this article I came across today. Here is the link.
I’m going to stick to the facts of this story. She graduated in 2008 from 3 years of post secondary education, which is in the same time frame I graduated from university. She graduated with $25,000 in debt. Oh, does that scare you? Well that is nothing compared to the nearly $40,000 I racked up. After 5 years she has paid back $2,000, or about $35 a month, and she did default on her loan. There is a comment in the story that the payment seemed like a large amount for someone who is seasonally employed and has a husband still in school. It does not specifically say if she looked into the interest relief program, or whatever it is called now a days. Generally this program will lower your loan payments in some form on your government student loans if your income is under a certain amount. Perhaps she didn’t know about such a program? Maybe, but come on people, you have graduated high school, you have some extra years on top of that. Everything isn’t going to be handed to you at this point in your life. A quick glance at the government student loan page, and it took me about 20 seconds to look up the information, I’m sure it wasn’t much different in 2008. I will add that the featured person is definitely not in the minority in terms of missed/defaulted loan payments. I know this first hand, a very high percentage, I would estimate as high as 80%, of younger folk who ventured into my bank office had issues making payments on their student loans, as I witnessed many credit bureau reports. Another funny thing, I can clearly remember back in university the student loan representatives coming to campus to talk about repayment of the student loan and how it works for students graduating in the near future. I practically ran there to make sure I got a seat. Well I had nothing to worry about, there were exactly 9 people there to hear this crucial information. Why was I so “lucky” to be so prepared for all this financial stuff? Maybe because I was a bit older for my second go-round at university? Although I also didn’t have any issues the first time through with my loans. You know it might be because one of my loans for my practice run at university was co signed by my grandfather. I wanted to make sure that I made every payment and followed the rules by the book, I didn’t want a missed or late payment associated with his name. Maybe that is what set me on my course for financial certainty, well after the Dark Years anyway.
What does everyone else think? Are student loans too high these days? Is it too hard to find a job? Is it just lack of financial instinct? Why is it the same story year after year?