The Student Loan Scheme

There is no Statute of Limitations on Student Loan Debt...

You WILL eventually pay, even if it's deducted from your Social Security


  1. I wrote about ten pages here earlier, then managed to have it disappear when I selected my blog as the "comment as"...just as well because I talk too much.

    The gist of my comment was this: I read a book called The Money Game years ago (good book) and in it "Adam Smith" mentioned a nearby school, the University of Rochester. He deduced that in 1969 the U of R had $150 million in cash and securities at its disposal. That seemed impossible until I thought about it, about how many alumni probably found jobs at Kodak and Haloid (now known as Xerox) (both of which were founded in Rochester and were making their early investors big money by then) and had given shares of stock they'd purchased years before to the college.

    The schools ALWAYS had money; tuition rose at absurd rates given the situation. Seriously, is a chemistry teacher worth 15 percent more every year? For the most part, I would guess not.

    It took me until today to realize fully what is going on. I'm not saying I'm right but it feels like this: Colleges (well endowed by alumni and always up for government grants in the name of education) are the goals of 17- and 18-year-olds who feel the need to attend but also might not have any clue what they really want to do with their lives. And these young people want to go to college. Never mind that they might not know what the hell they want to gain from it. And their families urge them to go, not out of cruelty but out of genuine hopes that they, the young people going to school, will make something of themselves.

    I think these people have the noblest of intentions. I am NOT putting them down.

    I AM, however, saying that the government fosters this belief in the need of higher education so that it can create income for itself that doesn't ever show up on the tax rolls. If the government holds the note on a person's education, then the government can change the rules any damn time it wants to...I am now blessed with the ability to NEVER think the government is really looking out for me or anyone else who tries to accomplish anything, and I'm even more sure that if there were any moral compass among the minds who decide such things, the government wouldn't be in control of anything like student loans. The problem with student loans is that most people who have them feel the obligation to pay them back. Not that they all do, or can, but I'd bet most people who owe on them do try to pay them back.

    And if they can't, it's just a mob shakedown that lasts for life.

    I may be wrong, but I wonder this (and wouldn't have ever thought about it if your blog hadn't mentioned it): I wonder if (in states where 17-year-olds are considered minors) anyone who was 17 has ever been given a student loan without a co-signer.

    Maybe I think too much.

    Thanks for posting this, JR.

    PS- No axe to grind here; I paid my own way thru grants and scholarships..and dropped out of the same community college twice. I took an AUTOCAD class there years later and got a 4.00... My job paid for 80 percent of it and it was a great investment because it's still paying them back. As for me, it was among the best $80 I ever spent. Like I said, I am all for education. I just hate government deception and ripoffs and - basically - indentured servitude.

  2. Funny...I replied with a long comment to yours on Steely Dan and it disappeared.

    I absolutely get where you're coming from so no explanation necessary. I was in a position where I wanted to go to college, my parents could afford to help me but only a little and I would have to live at home. I started working at the old phone company when I was 16 and they had a great tuition program, way before other companies did, so I stuck with a boring job (it was also another bad recession era, the 70s) and worked mostly full time and went to school full time. That sounds grueling but it wasn't really, I had lots of company at work in the situation I was in and going to the same school. Sort of a built in social network.

    I did get a bachelors degree but it took 6 years and it wasn't exactly what I envisioned. I originally wanted to go to college for a specific profession but circumstances and the time just didn't allow for me to continue to the next level. I did achieve one thing though, I finished school, paid for through my company or my own money and no debt and earned a degree that I was proud of doing basically on my own.

    Over the years I can't say I've held jobs that required a degree but the degree and how I earned it opened doors for me that wouldn't have been. In the old days people respected and admired you for having gotten one on your own.

    Sometime in the 90s I noticed a shift in attitudes where an education was an object of contempt or resentment among a lot of people. Sort of "a degree doesn't mean anything" attitude that I now recognize was because the level of college had become 13th grade of high school. Simultaneously other people would also sort of apologize or try to explain why they didn't have a degree, as if I thought less of them because of that.

    I'm not sure of what all that means except that sometime in the 90s our whole set of ideas and values about education got mixed up. I suspect Affirmative Action admissions also had a play in this. It's too bad because college or specific trade schools are not for everyone. Some people are suited for college, some for learning CAD and some just aren't meant for further education. It has nothing to do with you value as a person or what you contribute to society and the work force but what works best for each individual. I find the judgments a peculiarly snotty thing on all sides.

    Until the economic crisis cut hiring off, we had kids coming to us just out of college and I was astounded at how much they owed (into 6 digits) and how little they knew about anything. It struck me as a ridiculous waste of money and infuriates me about the state universities.

    I wonder how many people realize that student loans, like taxes, child support and repudiating some federally backed mortgages cannot be written off? If you live long enough and there still is Social Security in the future, it is garnished from that before you can receive benefits.

    The company I work for now has good tuition benefits and since the recession is on, I rarely work 40 hours anymore, so I’m thinking it’s a good time to do my research about what education will be useful for employment in five years, and finally going to get that master’s degree. There is no way I’m going into debt for it though.