Student Loans Are Evil!

I alluded in a very long post a couple of weeks ago to my distaste for student loans – they are perfectly horrid things and I would rather see my children work their way up from being potato peelers in the Salvation Army kitchen than take on any. Any one who thinks that I’m being ridiculous needs to read this. We really are failing our young people if the best we can offer them as they start life is exhorbenant college costs which render trying to work your way through unfeasible and the opportunity to take on a lifetime of crippling debt.
I have a particular problem with financial planners who say that student loans are “good debt”. Not only are they a huge burden on young people’s lives, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get anything for them. If you go to the government student loan website one of the most common issues they address is whether you have to pay your loans back even if the college you attended did not meet its obligations as an educator or you cannot find employment. If I borrow money to buy a car, at least I know I will have a car in my driveway for my money. If I buy a new car or a warranty on a used car, I can even be reasonably sure I will have a working car in my driveway. Plus, I know exactly what my loan payments are when I borrow the money and I know how they will fit into my budget, since I know what my budget is, I can make a good decision about how much I can afford to borrow. With student loans, I may end up getting very little for my money (especially if I can no longer afford to attend and drop out) and since students usually don’t know what their loan payments will be and have no idea what their budget will be when paying off those loans, there’s no way they can make good decisions about how much they can afford to borrow. I think it’s a program the government should get out of. Let private lenders step in the gap if they want to. Either the government is willing to help fund higher education or not, but this garbage of setting up a program which does nothing to encourage market discipline in the system and makes it harder for students to get started in life is complete crap.

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