Student loans

I hope this isn’t considered political but this subject greatly affects me personally. I graduated from college back in 2001 with a BA in History and a minor in Geology. My student loans at the time of graduation was around $43000. My current balance is almost $53000. I’ve been paying on for the most part since then but had to go on forbearance a few times due to drop in income to hardship when I lost my first wife to cancer and other life issues.
So $10000 is automatically forgiven and up to $20000 if you used the Pell grant. I used the Pell grant back in the early 90s at the start of my college career so I just need to make sure they have that on file. I currently work for the Post office for 4 years and I was in the navy for 4 years so best case scenario is I just need to work 2 more years with the post office to meet the 10 years minimum working for the Federal gov’t to get the remaining balance of my student loans forgiven.


Does anyone know if this applies to graduate student loans too? I don’t have any loans (and I dropped out of college, go me!) but my wife owes a lot in graduate loans.


I know there are a lot of opinions on both sides of this. As a person with student loans…let me tell you what they never talk about!

The interest…not the interest rate. Mine is 4.25% (not terrible) it’s the way that they compound it.

they compound the interest DAILY

This means that, depending on how much you owe (they compound that while you’re in deferrment…so THAT’s FUN!) you could be paying $10-13 a DAY in interest. Pay once a month? Nope, because if you know how to compound interest, you take the interest from day 1 add it to the total owed and then compound that total again for day 2. Rinse, repeat.

That means that you are getting charged over $300 a month, and barely touching the principle. I learned this really quickly once I graduated and my loans came due. I started paying bi-monthly and then switched to weekly. This resets the compounding and you pay a little less interest than if you just pay monthly.

So, the max you can borrow (at least when I graduated in 2014…non traditional student, I was in my 40s) $45,000 grew into $98,000. If I paid on their schedule (graduated…meaning the payments get bigger every few years) I would be paying for 30 years and would pay back over $137,000.

I am HAPPY to pay my loans back, even with a little interest. But to pay over THREE times what I actually borrowed should be a crime! I think I could get a better loan from a loan shark…lmao!


@FlyingSquid Yes, they do!

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Great to hear, thanks!

Student loan forgiveness is way overdue, I’m glad to see it finally happen. I am fortunate enough not to have incurred any myself, but it’s been an absolute millstone around the neck of too many people. There is something sinister about lumbering people with this kind of lifelong debt right at the cusp of maturity. (The way credit card companies go after students is another predatory practice.) And the fact that it has long been the one kind of debt you can’t bankrupt out of proves that they know exactly what they are doing when they saddle people with it.


I think they need to lower the interest rates if they want to give some real relief long term.
I have no loans or kids so I could be in the group of people that see no reason for this relief but alas I have empathy and I see how this is good for all of us.


It is possible the interest rates will come down soon, now that they’ve served the primary purpose of cooling the meltdown housing market. One positive of the interest rate increases has been that it’s a fantastic time to buy I-bonds. I’m looking to get another while the rates on them are so sweet.

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I worked real hard and made many sacrifices in order to get my loans paid off, and it was terrible and awful and I don’t want other people to go through that. I fully support an overhaul of the system, the elimination of the predatory nature of the loans, and you know while we’re at it, I’d be cool with tax-supported free education for all. Because when we get down to it, I’d much like to have a bunch more educated people out and about, if for no other reason than my selfish desire to not deal with stupid people when I venture outside.


As someone who went to college in '70s for FREE (everything paid, tuition, fees, room and board and living expenses) I think it’s a crime what we’ve done to the later generations. We need to invest in people, people are our greatest resource (besides which, it’s just the right thing to do).

I think all education, at least through the bachelor level, should be cost free. Student loan forgiveness is a first step, but it’s not enough.


That’s why the best part of the new EO is this:

" Cover the borrower’s unpaid monthly interest, so that unlike other existing income-driven repayment plans, no borrower’s loan balance will grow as long as they make their monthly payments—even when that monthly payment is $0 because their income is low."

As far as I know this only applies to federal student loans, but this is such a key part of the change – no student loan should ever get bigger after you graduate!


My loans were sold off several times and somehow got transformed into private loans so when I thought I reached my 20 year mark that’s when I discovered my loans weren’t the right ‘type’ of loans, so a year and a half ago I worked on getting them designated back to federal loans (which I succeeded working for the post office).
With these new changes it looks like it will be a lot easier for me to get them entirely forgiven now so long as I make what ever minimum payment they calculate starting in January, 2023 until I reach my designated/calculated 10 year mark to officially apply for the remaining balance to be forgiven… I might just cry, then celebrate and go on a vacation :innocent:


Yeah. I hope it’s not political but college should be free.

I was lucky that my folks took care of mine. (Though if I had it to do all over again, I think I’d go to trade school. Maybe meet a nice recovered werewolf. :milk_glass: )


I probably should have stopped after getting my 2 year AA (Associates in Arts) which I used both my GI Bill and the Pell grant to acquire, but then I went on to a 4 year university and that’s when I started to dig my financial aid hole that I’ve never been able to get out of :weary:

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Absolutely. I started uni in 1998, which was the last year student grants were offered in the UK (a risible amount, about £300 IIRC) and fortunately before they decided to start charging for tuition as well. On graduation I owed £9000 (the maximum amount in those days) and in the 21 years since have earned enough to meet the minimum payment threshold in three years. I currently owe about £13.5k apparently, and see no prospect of ever earning enough to pay that off.

Why is it a good idea to make people pay for education (asked in a completely un-political and non-partisan way)?

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It’s ok to talk about student loans and finances, but, in order to respect our “no politics” rule, please avoid:

  1. Expressing opinions, positive or negative, about the underlying government policy or policymakers.
  2. Advocating for additional policy changes.
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One of my favorite moments was when one of my loans got sold off to another entity, but I didn’t get a notification and my automated payments kept going to the old place. (To their credit, they didn’t process them. To their not credit, they never told me to stop sending them money, their website still had an account for me, and it showed a remaining balance.)

I found out six months later when a letter from the new place (the first communication from them) said I was going to default on the loan I’d not been paying. And then when I tried to pay it they refused my money because they didn’t believe who I was. “You can’t pay your son’s loan; he has to pay it himself,” the person told me, and I was like “what makes you think I’m my father, but also why can’t someone pay off their child’s debt? Anyway, I’m me, and the only way you’re getting any money is if you let me pay you.”

They relented and gave me permission to send money. Fortunately I was at a place where I could pay off the remaining balance on that loan, so I ended my relationship with that company right then and there.


As nice as the concept is of “College should be free” … well … it isn’t. Because when it comes to the brass tacks, nothing is actually free. Someone always has to pay. The question is … who pays? IMO its not sensible to expect people who aren’t attending college to pay for the educations of other adults and not to have any say in how that money is used. Likewise, colleges today are so expensive it isn’t reasonable to expect adults fresh out of high school to be able to afford overpriced and (often undelivering) educations.

There’s an argument that if a college wants to be the recipient of these sorts of freebies that they should be required to reform and end the outdated 4-year system that make them so costly … and instead streamline to become financially affordable options that lead to profitable, in-demand careers in 2 years (or less!). Otherwise I’d say they should be ineligible for assistance because they are poor stewards of the investment.


Parts do and parts don’t. The $10k (or $20k if you had a Pell Grant) of loan forgiveness part is for any federal direct loan (undergrad or grad) but some of the the subsidy parts (like the annual 5% of income repayment cap instead of current 10%) only apply to undergrad loans.

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Your whole post violates both prongs of the “no politics” guidance two posts above you.