- 6 years ago
This is kind of a vent and kind of question.
Ok, I think we can all agree that the cost of higher education is getting out of control and costs need to come down/stop increasing. While the cost of tuition is related to student loan debt, I do believe that as a borrower, you do have control over how much you take out. Yes, we need better education about student loans and debt management, but ultimately, if you sign on the dotted line, you take the responsibilty.
So, I had an interesting “debate” with a co-worker today who is strongly believes in student loan forgiveness. He has about $89,000 in debt from undergrad and a Master’s in Business. Our positions do not require a Master’s degree, but we do get paid a pretty good salary. While I sympathize to some extent that he has a lot of debt, I also think that it was his choice to take out those loans…and so I don’t think they should be forgiven.
I personally took out about $15,000 for undergrad. The rest was funded through merit and need based scholarships. I recognize I am fortunate to not have high loans, but I also intentionally selected a school that would cost me the least, but still offered a great education. I have worked hard for the past 5 years and put a lot of extra money toward them and paid all but $1,100 off at this point. I also chose not to pursue a master’s degree because 1) it’s not required for our field/position) and 2) I don’t want to take on a bunch of debt. My DH took out about $30,000 for his undergrad and master’s degree. We are still paying that back as well. So combined, about $45,000.
My co-worker constantly makes comments like, “must be nice to buy a home since you don’t have to pay so much in student loans” or “you can take nice vacations because you don’t have to pay back high loans.” For the record, we own a modest home and go on a modest vacation once a year…not that it’s any of his business. If he were better with his money (he eats out 3-4 times a week) then maybe he’d have more money…but I would never tell him that.
Anyway, my stance is pretty firm, though some may think it’s harsh. You take out the loans, you pay them back. I think some loan forgiveness programs are great for the medical field/teaching if you choose to live in certain areas or work with certain demographics. But other than that, I really think the focus should be on better finance education and pushing to lower tuition costs.
I also wonder where people think these “magical” funds would come from for student loan forgiveness. More government debt? Higher taxes? It won’t just appear out of nowhere.
Where do you bees stand on the issue?