4 THINGS STUDENT LOANS AND A STD HAVE IN COMMON

 

Associates, Bachelors, Masters, Doctoral – they all sound nice especially when tacked at the end of one’s name. But, as with all things beautiful, they come at a price. A high price which is now a veritable prize in today’s economy – money. I touched on this before in my post: Is a college degree worth it.

 

So, here comes the proverbial answer to that dilemma. Loans, right? Specifically, a student loan that will get you that coveted degree. And much like easy sex, it is there, up for grabs and quite deliciously easy to take.

 

Student loans abound, with Federal student loans (those guaranteed by the United States Department of Education) or private loans (those that come from banks or financial companies). And, they’re quite easy to take. Really, that should tip one off already.

 

But, there it is, the need for and the avenue with which to take it. Student’s sign on the loan, go to college or a university and what do you know? The problem has just begun. Why? One loan is usually never enough. Students take on more loans. The payment and interest dues pile up and with the other basic needs to take care of? Spell headache and burden to a T.

 

Student loans are sounding very much like a dreaded sexually transmitted disease or STD. And, STD’s being what it is, it sounds like a serious enough problem. Let’s correlate the two, shall we?

 

1. IT HURTS

 

Just like STD, student loan payment and interests hurt an individual. Not only some necessities (good food, better housing, and good clothing) are passed on in favor of making the required payments but other significant and life-changing events are delayed. Think about settling down in 20 years time instead of 10.

 

2. IT IS TIME CONSUMING

 

And, from the first comparison, student loans just like STD take time to get rid of. Sometimes, it just becomes a vicious cycle of working hard just to make the payment without ever completely settling it.


 

STD likewise takes a couple of months of treatment depending on the type and severity. It would involve numerous visits to the doctor, undergoing tests and taking medicines for a specified period of time.


 

3. IT IS ISOLATING

 

STD’s will make one feel like a pariah. Of course, no one wants to be infected right? Student loans create the same situation. With a really tight budget string, forget about going out and enjoying. An individual with student loan payments to make will most likely be juggling several jobs so there’s no time anyway. And, if a possible partner gets fed up with commitment delays, say hello to more alone time.

 

4. LASTLY, IT IS EXPENSIVE

 

Making monthly student payments, dealing with accrual of interests, need I say more? Just as how STD cures are expensive with doctor fees, tests and medicines, the same is true in settling student loans.

 

Education is valued by most. If one feels that getting higher education is worth taking on student loans, then that is a choice, much like sex. The key is to make an informed decision about it. This involves getting as much information about the best student loan for you. Grants and scholarship (which does not need to be paid back unlike student loans) should also be explored first. Study and compare loan options.

 

Decide on a student loan that you feel most comfortable with. One that you feel, looking forward, you’d be able to handle in terms of future payments. Take precautionary measures and be responsible about its consequences. Just like in sex, if one can’t abstain from taking on student loans, then just be as careful as possible so as not to get burned with unwelcome effects.

 

Comments

  1. URFinanceSimple says:

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  2. I offer my response by way of poetry…

    Bad Investment?

    I’ve never paid a student loan
    I doubt I ever will
    My monthly tab is half my pay
    I can’t afford that bill

    I defer in perpetuity
    I’m productive and employed
    By law I am called "destitute"
    So, the payments I avoid

    Some might think I live in shame
    Or, if I don’t, I should
    Why didn't you study finance
    So, then you could make good!

    It's clear you wasted too much time
    On humanities and art
    On history and languages
    Does culture make you smart?

    You could have been a lawyer
    Or, learned a decent trade
    America needs engineers
    It’s your fault you’re not paid!

    Screw your wise humanity
    Your care for land and seas
    Get busy and create some wealth
    Fuck your god damned trees

    These taunts I write are just a few
    You’ve heard them all before
    Enjoy your high school income
    For you deserve no more!

    So that is what I’m going to do
    For I don’t need so much
    Just a room to hang my hat
    A place to stay in touch

    With languages and literature
    Artful film and books
    A laptop for my poetry
    Who cares how poor it looks

    I have no need to own a home
    A father I won’t be
    “Loneliness” will not compute
    I live with wild esprit!

    With a bicycle and camping gear
    I’ll hit the roads and trails
    I’ll climb the Adirondack’s peaks
    Explore the hills and dales

    I’ll openly commune with life
    Seek kindness where it lives
    Show my love for Mother Earth
    And everything she gives

    I won’t be sad or frustrated
    That I can’t pay it back
    The law says I don’t have to
    If income’s what I lack

    I’m proud of education
    I’ll pursue it to the hilt
    The elusive trillion dollars?
    Let bankers own the guilt!

    I'm blessed with one small irony
    I work in Ivory Halls
    And close to Master's number two
    To decorate my walls

    The money fairy is not kind
    To me… but I don't care
    I have better fairy friends
    To her I give no prayer

    So, I’m a bad investment?
    I’m sure I’ll die in debt
    But will I still enjoy myself?
    Of course, for sure, YOU BET!

    ***
    Theo J. van Joolen ©2012

  3. I’m still learning from you, as I’m improving myself. I definitely enjoy reading all that is posted on your website.Keep the posts coming. I liked it!

  4. Nice correlation. ;) I was thankful that I worked extra hard in high school to get scholarships to pay for college. Always a great feeling when hardwork and smart planning pay off.

    • Great job on finding scholarships to pay for college. Did you have any student loans? How did you find the scholarships?

  5. I agree with you. This is a perfect analogy (and perfect title – got me hook, line, and sinker!). I've been picking up quite a few student loans (I'm either at or very close to my aggregate limit). The main reason I keep going? I'm so close to finally getting my BACHELOR'S degree – yep Bachelor's. I've been in school seven years and never decided what I wanted to be when I grow up. Now I'm paying the price. I'm a super duper duper senior and have watched most of of the people I went to high school with graduate. But, I digress…

    I'm not looking forward to paying back any of that student loan debt. I think there really has to be a better system – where people can pay a lower amount for a longer period of time. I'd be totally OK with paying $100 per month and not paying it off until I die. I feel like it won't be paid off until then anyway, so the payment may as well be lower…

    My plan, though, is to get into an Graduate Apprenticeship program where I get my full tuition paid plus a stipend. I plan to keep doing what I'm doing now and use the stipend to pay down a good chunk of my student loans (hopefully). After that, I plan to continue on to get my Doctorate. As long as I stay in school, I may be able to avoid loan payments as well. Just trying to find a way around it…lol

    • To answer you question about lowering the payment. Student loans can be paid in a graduate loan repayment schedule. What this does is lower your payment amount for the first 4 years or so then gradually increase your payment amount after year 4 so you can pay your loan off within the required term.

      My student loan is being paid under a graduate payment schedule. The first four years I paid 96 dollars. Now I pay 184 dollars / month until my loan is completed.

      If I was you I would definitely look into grants, scholarships and work programs which pay your tuition. The less student loans the better.

      What do you plan on getting your masters and doctorate degrees in?

  6. This post was pure genius. A fantastic parallel indeed. I think they both take responsibility. Just like you can't go around having unprotected sex, you can't just keep borrowing money. Like anything, you need to consider all of your options, the risks involved, and weigh which option provides the most benefit. Just like STD's are easy to catch, loans are easy to get. Students don't understand what a loan means sometimes, even though that is really sad. They don't get how they have to pay them back with interest etc. just like they don't understand that STD's don't always just go away.

  7. Great stuff. I can't wait to eradicate my STD, I mean student loans. That is the last beast I must slay before I tackle my mortgage.

    • Nice! How much do you how? I owe 17k on my loans but can't bring myself to pay them off. The interest rate is only 3.5% and I make so much more money else where.

  8. You are the king of catchy titles! Excellent comparison!

  9. My jaw dropped when I read the title of this post; love it! My 2 cents on this topic is to take full advantage of tuition assistance programs through your employer. If your F-T job doesn't provide this kind of benefit, definitely take on a P-T position that does (Universities are famous for incredible TA programs). Take the classes part-time and be prepared for a bit of a nutty schedule. From someone who has amassed three Masters degrees and a few professional certificates this way, it's DEFINITELY worth it!!

    • Woah.. 3 masters degrees. That's amazing. What did you get your degrees in? How are they helping you now? Do you have an article up speaking to how you achieved these feats with minimum cost?

      • I definitely will be writing about this in my Confessions of a PF Blogger series, but I should probably also do a separate post about how exactly I navigated this; thanks for the inspiration!

        They're in Psychology, Education, and Anthropology. The latest certificate is soon to be in Strategic Management. The benefits have been varied but have included doors being opened due to having an Ivy League education (I hate how that sounds, but it is true), conversation starters as to why I have so many degrees (personal interest/drive to never stop learning), additional salary increases based on educational level (a great bargaining chip), and a general sense of my work ethic being found once I elaborate that I worked full-time while obtaining all of them. Thankfully, all are in some way applicable to what I do for a day job.

        I also was creative in finding assistantship positions, so for one of them, I ended up being paid by the school to take the classes…haha! But I did amass about $12K in loans from the first two. Now, I find ways to make it free or cheap enough to fit in the monthly budget–I will never take another student loan again!

        • 12k in loans for 3 master degrees is nothing!!! You worked the hell out of the system. I can't wait for your post about it.

  10. The big difference is that one is cheap and easy to avoid while the other isn't so much (unless you forego college entirely eliminating the need for the loan)!

    • True, I would say they both take discipline. As an adult you can't just go all willy nilly and get all the student loans just like you should go unprotected in sexual situations.

  11. Haha! I was curious to see what comparison you are going to provide. I could not agree more: the price is high for both!

    • The price is high for both… unless your name is Magic Johnson. That guy contracted the deadliest STD and then proceeded to get filthy rich.

  12. What a fantastic comparison.

    To take the metaphor further, it turns out the best solution for both is prevention and the way to prevention is through education!

  13. Well that made me actually laugh out load at my desk! I agree completely with this idea, unfortunately there isn't a student loan condom that you can use to get most of the benefits and still greatly reduce risks. Well maybe there is, and it is called working during school. Loans certainly are expensive, and it's one thing if your a doctor with a large income in the future that you can likely count on, but those with degrees in philosphy or history, while great degrees, are certainly less likely to make large salaries and pay off loans.

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