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(Yahoo)   Today's student loan sob story comes from a woman who is $160,000 in debt for a sociology degree   (news.yahoo.com) divider line 346
    More: Obvious, debts, students, loans  
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11440 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 May 2013 at 5:25 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-14 12:06:22 AM  
How do you rack up $160k in loans for a 4 year degree from ASU.  Methinks she made some seriously bad decisions over her last 10 years and now wants someone to feel sympathy for her.
 
2013-05-14 12:11:46 AM  

Snotnose: How do you rack up $160k in loans for a 4 year degree from ASU?


That's what I want to know.
 
2013-05-14 12:17:16 AM  

violentsalvation: Snotnose: How do you rack up $160k in loans for a 4 year degree from ASU?

That's what I want to know.


Hitting Mill Ave. every night ain't cheap!
 
2013-05-14 12:29:56 AM  

violentsalvation: Snotnose: How do you rack up $160k in loans for a 4 year degree from ASU?

That's what I want to know.


 I'm guessing her $60,000 or so was from all the interest accruing while she took deferments for five years or so.
 
2013-05-14 12:40:54 AM  

Gwendolyn: violentsalvation: Snotnose: How do you rack up $160k in loans for a 4 year degree from ASU?

That's what I want to know.

 I'm guessing her $60,000 or so was from all the interest accruing while she took deferments for five years or so.


That would be a large interest rate for student loans (around 10% if I'm figuring correctly). I'm more curious as to why she didn't plan for the very large payments which she had to know she was going to pay. You can't take out these massive loans without at least knowing that.
 
2013-05-14 12:46:48 AM  
I think her degree is in creative writing.
 
2013-05-14 12:49:46 AM  
She could have studied harder in high school and earned a scholarship, taken classes at a community college to get pre-reqs out of the way at a much lower cost, or started paying off the loans earlier instead of letting the interest pile up.  Plus, if she says she can only make $1,500 per month with a college degree, she's not trying very hard.

It would have taken her less than an hour to add up what she was going to owe by the time she graduated, plug that amount into an interest calculator, and find out what payments she'd be on the hook for.

Her situation sounds rough, but she's also entirely responsible for it.  Why should her lenders now have to work with her when she entered into the agreement of her own free will?  They fulfilled their end of the bargain by fronting her the money for her education, not it's her duty to repay them based on the terms she agreed to.  She doesn't need someone to fight for her, she needs to own her past decisions, man up, and fulfill her end of the commitment.
 
2013-05-14 02:51:24 AM  
That is not the kind of photo I've become accustomed to when discussing Arizona State co-eds, even if it does explain why paying off that degree at Bourbon Street Circus was not viable.
 
2013-05-14 03:10:21 AM  
As someone who just recently paid off their student loans, I'm getting a kick...

Luckily post-secondary education here in Canada is cheaper than in the states, but I still worked like a fiend while attending university (both during the the school year and working several jobs over the summer) to help pay off my tuition and living costs. I lived off apples and english muffins; furnished my apartment with milk-crate, hand-me-down or end of the driveway furniture. I rode a bicycle everywhere and only traveled home to see my family once or twice a year on major holidays. This was completely standard behaviour as well, virtually all my friends were in the same financial situation.

I don't want to sound all bootstrappy, but she really should have done some research into the possible salary ranges for someone with an undergraduate degree in sociology. Was it really necessary to attend a state school on the other side of the country while accruing $40,000 a year in debt, knowing full well that your eventual salary, even in the best case scenario, would require most of her adult life to pay off said debt?

TuteTibiImperes: Her situation sounds rough, but she's also entirely responsible for it.


Basically, this.
 
2013-05-14 03:37:17 AM  
I thought student loans for undergrad were capped at like $67k.
 
2013-05-14 03:47:28 AM  
Normally I'm the first in line to cast stones at the poor-decision-makers who make Fark entertaining, but when it comes to student loans, I'm a softy.  The people making these bad decisions are usually 18 years old.

When I was 18, I wasn't making dumb decisions like that, but I knew people who were, and they weren't bad or dumb people.  Naive, overly optimistic, but basically decent.  Losing a decade or two of financial independence is a steep penalty for the mistake of overvaluing education.

If people get in trouble for being selfish, or for being cruel, that's one thing.  But getting in trouble for trying to self-improve, and for pursuing education, albeit dumbly, is something I don't want to cheer.
 
2013-05-14 03:53:38 AM  

TuteTibiImperes: Why should her lenders now have to work with her when she entered into the agreement of her own free will?


Because education should be free, or at least capped at a pauper's pittance and whatever you find under the couch in interest.

Seriously, America is no longer the best nation on Earth. if it ever was. Our system is broken on just about every level. It's not just the fact you have people who think it's okay to run up $160K on a sociology degree, it's that it's possible to do so. Most of that money went to pay middlemen and executives. There's no reason for the bill to be that high for an education, there's no reason interest should be allowed to go that high uncapped on an educational expense, and there's no reason not to fix the system just because "it's her fault."

If a child drinks bleach, and the child dies, it's the child's fault. Most animals, even babies, with a caustic like bleach in their mouth, will NOT swallow It takes an exceptionally Darwin inclined being to poison themselves with something so noxious. However, when you see an uncapped bottle of Clorox in the baby's play area, you cap that sucker and put it somewhere else. Why? Because even though the child should be smart enough not drink something that burns the nose like hellfire and sings on the tongue and any rational being would not drink, it still SHOULD NOT BE IN THE PLAYROOM. This woman might be naive as a baby, but that's still no reason for such a pitfall to be even be possible in the financial system. It's time to cap the bleach.
 
2013-05-14 04:10:38 AM  
Well... Sociology is better than Women's Studies...
 
2013-05-14 04:19:10 AM  
FTFA: At 27, I am a slave to my student loans with no end in sight. I owe more than $160,000. My lenders, private and federal, thus far are unwilling to work with each other or me, even after I explain my situation in depth. I wish there was an individual or group that would fight on my behalf. I can't even begin to describe how miserable I am daily. I really don't know how much more of this I can take. I wish I'd never gone to college; instead of enhancing my life, it has made me lifeless. All thanks to student loans.

Okay... um... Is this for real? TFA isn't some kind of sociology experiment in itself, is it? Could she just be posting this to see how people would react? Collect the responses from various sources in order to publish a paper?

The reason I'm asking is this: How do you rack up $160K in student loans before you figure out that you'll spend the rest of your life repaying them? At no time during the entire span of her college career did it ever occur to her, "Gee... This might get expensive?" I mean... really? I find the whole thing so unbelievable that I'm tempted to call Shenanigans.
 
2013-05-14 05:10:09 AM  

Mugato: I thought student loans for undergrad were capped at like $67k.


$57K, but that's only what the feds will lend you.  Private lenders can sink their hooks in as far you'll let them.

http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized#how-muc h- can-i-borrow
 
2013-05-14 05:35:38 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: I think her degree is in creative writing.


Then she should get her money back...creative writers are supposed to make you feel empathy towards their characters...
 
2013-05-14 05:37:14 AM  

TuteTibiImperes: She could have studied harder in high school and earned a scholarship, taken classes at a community college to get pre-reqs out of the way at a much lower cost, or started paying off the loans earlier instead of letting the interest pile up.  Plus, if she says she can only make $1,500 per month with a college degree, she's not trying very hard.

It would have taken her less than an hour to add up what she was going to owe by the time she graduated, plug that amount into an interest calculator, and find out what payments she'd be on the hook for.

Her situation sounds rough, but she's also entirely responsible for it.  Why should her lenders now have to work with her when she entered into the agreement of her own free will?  They fulfilled their end of the bargain by fronting her the money for her education, not it's her duty to repay them based on the terms she agreed to.  She doesn't need someone to fight for her, she needs to own her past decisions, man up, and fulfill her end of the commitment.


This, this, this, this, and that.  All solid points.
 
2013-05-14 05:40:16 AM  
She needs to consolidate her loans and apply for IBR or IBC. 10% of your gross monthly income and forgiveness after 25 years of payments, 10 if you work in government.
 
Ni
2013-05-14 05:40:39 AM  

Snotnose: How do you rack up $160k in loans for a 4 year degree from ASU.  Methinks she made some seriously bad decisions over her last 10 years and now wants someone to feel sympathy for her.


Out of state tuition, plus living expenses, plus not working while going to school. You could easily spend that much over 4 years, and it might've taken her longer than 4.

Besides, once you've gone a couple years and are thinking "holy crap, I'm going to be in bad debt" you can't stop riding that horse or you won't even have the degree to show for it.
 
2013-05-14 05:41:26 AM  

Captain Dan: Normally I'm the first in line to cast stones at the poor-decision-makers who make Fark entertaining, but when it comes to student loans, I'm a softy.  The people making these bad decisions are usually 18 years old.



Parents?  Grandparents?  High school counselors?  Heck, even the internet?


She should have cut back on her cheetos budget.
 
2013-05-14 05:41:37 AM  
I took out 90k for an MS in Broadcast Journalism.
I've been unemployed for half a year almost.

Did I just get the new "degree in basketweaving" equivalent?

I'm a-feared. I paid back my loans when I got a BA in English, but I became a teacher pretty quickly after I greaduated then.
 
2013-05-14 05:42:07 AM  
When your peers are paying 10x less than you on their school loans per month, you can't blame the system.
 
2013-05-14 05:42:53 AM  
Jeebus... here's Rhiannon Pooler's resume'.  Yes, Walmart is there, and worse.
 
2013-05-14 05:45:56 AM  
I have a sociology degree.  I'd say her debt is about equal to one year's salary or the price of a decent car.  I don't see what the big deal is.
 
2013-05-14 05:49:51 AM  

Captain Dan: Normally I'm the first in line to cast stones at the poor-decision-makers who make Fark entertaining, but when it comes to student loans, I'm a softy.  The people making these bad decisions are usually 18 years old.

When I was 18, I wasn't making dumb decisions like that, but I knew people who were, and they weren't bad or dumb people.  Naive, overly optimistic, but basically decent.  Losing a decade or two of financial independence is a steep penalty for the mistake of overvaluing education.

If people get in trouble for being selfish, or for being cruel, that's one thing.  But getting in trouble for trying to self-improve, and for pursuing education, albeit dumbly, is something I don't want to cheer.


This
 
2013-05-14 05:50:53 AM  

filter: I'd say her debt is about equal to one year's salary or the price of a decent car.


$160k only buys you a  decent car?

You and I have dramatically different ideas about what qualifies as a decent car.
 
2013-05-14 05:51:34 AM  

JWideman: When your peers are paying 10x less than you on their school loans per month, you can't blame the system.


Unless you're out of state.

I racked up quite a bit of debt on out of state expenses. In state it was cheap as free because the first two years I was down the road from home and working. But when I moved onto campus and became a full time student? Or when I took a year abroad? Cha-ching.

I didn't rack up $160K, but then again I have been raped by predatory financial people before. If I had been using them for school finance, $160K is a conservative estimate of how much I'd be in the hole with interest.
 
2013-05-14 05:53:34 AM  
Change the last two words in the article from "student loans" to "poor choices" and just shrug.

BarkingUnicorn: Jeebus... here's Rhiannon Pooler's resume'.  Yes, Walmart is there, and worse.


She also has a two year degree from a community college! Did she not transfer any credits to the university? This makes that 160k loan even more "wut?' because she probably didn't even have to go all four years.
 
2013-05-14 05:53:37 AM  
Can't work another job because your "minimum wage" 1,500 a month job is mentally exhausting? Sounds odd. Extraordinarily high loans for a nominal degree and institution? Sounds odd. I think my ex's degree from Harvard was less than 160k.

I wish that education cost less for those who can't afford it. But this woman sounds lazy and like she makes bad decisions.
 
2013-05-14 05:54:50 AM  

filter: I'd say her debt is about equal to one year's salary or the price of a decent car. I don't see what the big deal is.


www.dragoart.com
 
2013-05-14 05:58:47 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: Jeebus... here's Rhiannon Pooler's resume'.  Yes, Walmart is there, and worse.


I'm wondering if the article is fakity fake.  I mean, "Desperately Desiring Hotel Front Desk"?

Not buying it.
 
2013-05-14 06:00:41 AM  

Ebbelwoi: Captain Dan: Normally I'm the first in line to cast stones at the poor-decision-makers who make Fark entertaining, but when it comes to student loans, I'm a softy.  The people making these bad decisions are usually 18 years old.


Parents?  Grandparents?  High school counselors?  Heck, even the internet?


She should have cut back on her cheetos budget.


Parents? Oh yes, baby boomers. Folks who believe the system still works the way it did back when education was heavily subsidized. "We're middle class, so you'd better get a Bachelor's of Anything no matter what!" "No expense is too great for education!" "It will all pay off in the end!" "Don't even look at your loans!" "See, this graph says you'll make a million more dollars per lifetime if you finish your degree!"

Grandparents?"Work hard and anything is possible." "I fought in the war." "Do what your parents tell you."

High School Counselors? *You've got to be kidding me, right?*

 In the end, the people making these decisions are 18 years old, and they're the ones paying for it.
 
2013-05-14 06:01:23 AM  
Sounds to me like someone was getting loans and using them for something other than paying for school, then getting more loans.
 
2013-05-14 06:02:05 AM  
Getting a kick, etc. as we prepare to pay for daughter's final semester. She will be debt-free, but is on her own for her masters. We need a new roof and a vacation.
 
2013-05-14 06:02:10 AM  
Count me in on the "it's a sociological experiment" crowd. I'm sure she's hoping for a better grade than her last project "How many Hostess Fruit Pies can I eat while watching SoapNet?"
 
2013-05-14 06:02:16 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: Jeebus... here's Rhiannon Pooler's resume'.  Yes, Walmart is there, and worse.


Does she have jobs she only worked for a month on there or am I missing the years?
 
2013-05-14 06:03:02 AM  
Dear Article Writer,

justapeanutbuttermother.files.wordpress.com

Sincerely,

The World
 
2013-05-14 06:03:06 AM  

dmoynihan: BarkingUnicorn: Jeebus... here's Rhiannon Pooler's resume'.  Yes, Walmart is there, and worse.

I'm wondering if the article is fakity fake.  I mean, "Desperately Desiring Hotel Front Desk"?

Not buying it.


That's a lot of effort just to troll a yahoo article.
 
2013-05-14 06:04:28 AM  
"I work full-time at a job that I wouldn't have required my college degree in sociology from Arizona State."

We could start by making sure you understand English.
 
2013-05-14 06:04:39 AM  
The outrage is limited to the very stupid.
 
2013-05-14 06:04:43 AM  

filter: I have a sociology degree.  I'd say her debt is about equal to one year's salary or the price of a decent car.  I don't see what the big deal is.


Yeah, she can't quite get into a 911 Turbo but she should be able to swing a C4S.
 
2013-05-14 06:05:18 AM  
Just to ball park this thing, the current total cost for a year at ASU
Total Cost: $23,001 (in-state); $36.254 (out-of-state)

For simplicity, let's assume she stayed for 4 years and the lower cost of attending 5 years ago (she's 27) is balanced out by the interest on her loans.  It looks like she took out loans to cover the entire 4 year cost of out of state tuition and then some.  Holy crap.  She couldn't get any scholarships, grants or work study?  Her parents didn't stop her and say, "hey, we can't help that much with your college, you need to go to an in state school"?

Should we have colleges give accepted students more direct counseling on student loans BEFORE the student commits to them?  Hey, we noticed you're paying all 36k with a loan from some guy named Vinnie.  You probably shouldn't do that.  Maybe switch to an in state school instead?
 
2013-05-14 06:06:01 AM  

180IQ: filter: I'd say her debt is about equal to one year's salary or the price of a decent car.

$160k only buys you a  decent car?

You and I have dramatically different ideas about what qualifies as a decent car.


Filter is a cheap bastard for sure.
 
2013-05-14 06:09:18 AM  
I think the mistake she made was she thought she'd land a job in her chosen field right away. I made the same mistake, but fortunately I don't have a debt like that. (I do have a $2.7K medical emergency debt that I want to get rid of). I guess this is something that adults fail to teach kids. Just because you finished college and have a degree doesn't mean you'll actually get a job in whatever field you studied for. This is very painful but also very true.

I remember when we were kids and teens, we were always told to be positive, optimistic, study well, work hard for our dreams, and we'll eventually get there. I have a computer science degree and I'm still unemployed right now. I've been writing customized cover letters and resumes to send to companies I've been applying to, yet not even a call for an interview or an e-mail. Some say it's because I'm "over qualified" for certain jobs (I even applied to Walmart but never got an answer despite me toning down my resume), and for other computer related jobs, they need experienced people and I have a lot of catching up to do. In other words, I'm caught in this sort of limbo where people say I'm too good for easier jobs and they're afraid to hire me because I might demand for lots of money or leave the moment I find a job more suitable for me, while at the same time I'm not good enough anymore for the field I studied for.

Sometimes I think maybe I shouldn't have just gone to college. At least people would hire me for easier jobs. :(
 
2013-05-14 06:10:02 AM  
The college financial experience in the USA is seriously farked up to some other places on the planet. My wife is Australian and she's been in school here for the last 4 years and it's cost us 0 dollars upfront, but she has to pay it back in HECS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tertiary_education_fees_in_Australia#HE CS).

The interesting thing about the aussie HECS scheme is that the repayment rates and fees are actually income tested based on the applicants degree. Being all socialist and shiat down here (har har) the way it works is that people who are band 3 (doctors, lawyers, finance degrees, etc) pay the most, people who are band 1 (teachers, nurses, sociology students like this woman in the article) pay the least. Also, there is a special band called "national priority" where the government actively encourages people to pursue degrees in areas they want to build capability (math, science) by offering extremely favorable borrowing rates.

Finally, the HELP debt (loans) that people accumulate do not accrue interest, they are instead indexed to inflation every year for the balance unpaid in the previous 11 months and there is a matching in-kind scheme on behalf of the federal government on early repayments.

That being said, most students don't even bother with the early repayments because this is basically the cheapest loan you can get from anyone aside from your parents.

I have to say, after being exposed to this system, I'm fairly confident that university in the states is a scam on students.
 
2013-05-14 06:13:53 AM  
At least it wasn't an econ/finance degree.
 
2013-05-14 06:15:29 AM  

Unhip1: I took out 90k for an MS in Broadcast Journalism.
I've been unemployed for half a year almost.

Did I just get the new "degree in basketweaving" equivalent?

I'm a-feared. I paid back my loans when I got a BA in English, but I became a teacher pretty quickly after I greaduated then.


Does your town have anything like community cable?  Mine does...great to place to volunteer, offers free classes, you can pick up experience, buff the resume while you're looking for paying work.
 
2013-05-14 06:19:44 AM  

E5bie: Ebbelwoi: Captain Dan: Normally I'm the first in line to cast stones at the poor-decision-makers who make Fark entertaining, but when it comes to student loans, I'm a softy.  The people making these bad decisions are usually 18 years old.


Parents?  Grandparents?  High school counselors?  Heck, even the internet?


She should have cut back on her cheetos budget.

Parents? Oh yes, baby boomers. Folks who believe the system still works the way it did back when education was heavily subsidized. "We're middle class, so you'd better get a Bachelor's of Anything no matter what!" "No expense is too great for education!" "It will all pay off in the end!" "Don't even look at your loans!" "See, this graph says you'll make a million more dollars per lifetime if you finish your degree!"

Grandparents?"Work hard and anything is possible." "I fought in the war." "Do what your parents tell you."

High School Counselors? *You've got to be kidding me, right?*

 In the end, the people making these decisions are 18 years old, and they're the ones paying for it.


You're also making good points...the ground is shifting, and not everybody got the word in time.

Wonder if we'll see a surge in blue-collar vocational schools...trucking, welding, electrical and plumbing, etc.
Tough to outsource...for now.
 
2013-05-14 06:20:44 AM  
Despite her biatching, I would say she has no problem eating.
/dated a girl who went to ASU
//holy hell, the stories
///her loans were cheap though
 
2013-05-14 06:22:58 AM  
Subby sounds unemployed.
 
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