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New Peril for Parents: Their Kids' Student Loans
Wall Street Journal ^ | 10/26/2012 | Kelly Greene

Posted on 10/27/2012 6:50:47 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

Cyndee Marcoux already was stretched thin, thanks to the $80,000 in student loans she racked up after getting divorced and going back to school a decade ago. Her breaking point came in 2010, when her daughter defaulted on student-loan payments of her own.

That's because Ms. Marcoux, a 53-year-old library administrator in Seekonk, Mass., co-signed for about $55,000 of her daughter's loans. When the daughter was unable to keep making payments, Ms. Marcoux was on the hook—a burden that forced her to reshuffle her entire life. To scrape up the extra $550 a month she owed, she sold her house, then took a second job registering emergency-room patients on the weekend overnight shift. "You work your whole life and never pay a bill late," says Ms. Marcoux. "You don't ever think your kid isn't going to pay."

After years of facing all sorts of financial pressures they never expected, from adult kids moving back home to their own parents needing help to retire, empty nest parents are struggling with a new headache. Thinking it was only natural to want to help children and grandchildren, many co-signed student loans. Now, they're becoming the latest victims of the nation's mounting problem with student-loan debt, which surpassed the $1 trillion mark last year.

At a growing rate, young graduates who are either out of work or who didn't land high-paying jobs find themselves unable to pay their loans. When primary borrowers stop paying, co-signers are expected to pick up the tab—and soon find themselves fending off debt collectors. "People are confused about what it means to co-sign, and their ongoing obligation," says Deanne Loonin, director of the Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project at the National Consumer Law Center, a consumer-advocacy group in Boston. "When they come to understand that they are equally liable,

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: college; studentloans; tuition
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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1 posted on 10/27/2012 6:50:56 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

So now that will be excuse to make the taxpayer pay these as well.


2 posted on 10/27/2012 6:59:40 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration (Pr 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation:but sin is a reproach to any people)
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To: SeekAndFind

Needs subscription to WSJ to see it all.

Sounds like double plus unsmart for the parents who did this. It’s one thing to spring to cosign for a few thousand bucks of car loan that you could easily pay off, so a kid can hopefully get a credit rating going if all goes well. It’s another thing for these student loans and it really ought not to be easy at all to do it.


3 posted on 10/27/2012 7:01:23 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (cat dog, cat dog, alone in the world is a little cat dog)
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To: fortheDeclaration

Who else?


4 posted on 10/27/2012 7:02:58 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (cat dog, cat dog, alone in the world is a little cat dog)
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To: SeekAndFind
I have a woman relative who is 60 and still paying off her student loan from when she started to college in her 30s. She got a master's degree and is a counselor at a woman's shelter.

She doesn't miss her loan payments, but said when she starts collecting Social Security, she won't be able to pay it but they will take it out of her SS check automatically. She wonders how she will manage to live then.

I am old and there was no such thing as a college loan when I went to college. My father bought stock in his company and when I started to college, that stock paid for my college. People either paid for their college right then as they went along year after year, or they didn't go.

5 posted on 10/27/2012 7:03:18 PM PDT by Marcella (Republican Conservatism is dead. PREPARE.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The student loan “business” has become a sham designed to make debt slaves out of the maximum number of people.

Colleges charge outrageous amounts of money because they know thew government is going to step right up and “help” with easy money. There is no way for the average person to afford to pay for college. They take out loans. They have parent and grandparents co-sign the loans.

Student loans NEVER, EVER go away. They can not be discharged in bankruptcy. The US government will hound you until the day you die to collect - to even taking money from your social security checks.


6 posted on 10/27/2012 7:06:48 PM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: SeekAndFind

Let’s see...Mom is a “library administrator.” We know who she and her daughter voted for.

Mom, being a innumerate Democrat, co-signs daughter’s loan.

Obama proceeds to destroy US economy per his handler’s instructions.

Daughter graduates, probably with a near-worthless degree and can’t find work.

Mom goes broke, contacts media, and wails her sob story.

The only thing missing in this real-life scenario is Obama forgiving all student loans in August or September 2012.


7 posted on 10/27/2012 7:06:53 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: Marcella

They can only take a maximum of 15% from a social security check. And you have to draw a check above a certain amount before they can deduct anything...not sure what that amount is though.


8 posted on 10/27/2012 7:10:55 PM PDT by Bobalu (It is not obama we are fighting, it is the media.)
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To: SeekAndFind
No problem, as long as university professors and administrators continue to get their salaries, tenure, bonuses, benefits and retirement.

We need a surf class indebted to academia.

9 posted on 10/27/2012 7:12:37 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
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To: 2banana

Don’t forget how colleges pressure young people to take out the loans in the first place - then pocket the money, and the student is left holding the debt and a worthless degree.

It really is a scam.


10 posted on 10/27/2012 7:15:38 PM PDT by jtal (Runnin' a World in Need with White Folks' Greed - since 1492)
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To: SeekAndFind
More parents need to make it clear to their kids that college isn't to be presumed -- it's something to be worked for.

I remember a time when I was 5 or 6 years old that my dad was talking to another relative -- I still can remember my dad saying that if I wanted to go to college, I would need to work hard and earn scholarships.

I kept that with me the whole time I was in school (though my dad has since forgotten saying it). My parents were never overbearing about grades -- they expected me to do my best, and made it clear that they would always be content with my grades providing they reflected the best work I was able to do. I did well through high school, and was in turn able to get a full-tuition scholarship to a private Christian college.

My parents were content to pay my room and board, with the expectation that I would keep my grades up and would get a job on campus. Four years later, I graduated debt-free.

But it all began with the idea that if I wanted to go to college, I had to work for it -- and that if I didn't work for it, then it might not happen at all.

11 posted on 10/27/2012 7:18:04 PM PDT by GCC Catholic
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To: HiTech RedNeck

“Needs subscription to WSJ to see it all.”

Not usually. Try copying the headline into Google and hit the first two links. Usually one of them comes up with the full story - about 80% of the time for me, at least (including this article).


12 posted on 10/27/2012 7:21:51 PM PDT by BobL (You can live each day only once. You can waste a few, but don't waste too many.)
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To: Marcella

I’m with you! I didn’t go because my parents and myself could not pay for it. I refuse to pay for others college mishaps! I’ve put 1 child through with a second one in his 2nd year. Another wants to go next year, but we will have to see how that goes! She may have to wait a year!


13 posted on 10/27/2012 7:31:22 PM PDT by jcsjcm (This country was built on exceptionalism and individualism. In God we Trust - Laus Deo)
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To: Marcella

That is crazy... what did she envision her ensuing career was going to be? While she may consider it a labor of love, that love won’t pay back this obscene thing.

It is going to blow up into a huge political stink, and liberals will find some way to make that happen during a conservative government.


14 posted on 10/27/2012 7:35:08 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (cat dog, cat dog, alone in the world is a little cat dog)
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To: GCC Catholic

Due to my fortunately living in the same city as a very competent engineering school, my father was able and willing to pay the relatively paltry in-state tuition. He did that for both my brother and I, and he earned good grades and I earned excellent grades.

Now my brother is doing the same for his kids, and it costs him over an order of magnitude more because the kids are attending an out of state school. I wondered why they couldn’t at least go to school in the same state.


15 posted on 10/27/2012 7:40:34 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (cat dog, cat dog, alone in the world is a little cat dog)
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To: fortheDeclaration
So now that will be excuse to make the taxpayer pay these as well.

As if those are two different sets of people.

16 posted on 10/27/2012 7:45:24 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: HiTech RedNeck

I’m curious - why doesn’t the left go after Education the way they go after health-care and insurance companies? College costs have grown faster than health care costs, and more people are being broken by student loans than by health care expenses.


17 posted on 10/27/2012 7:52:20 PM PDT by PGR88
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To: PGR88

That would be to gore their sacred cow.


18 posted on 10/27/2012 7:55:32 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (cat dog, cat dog, alone in the world is a little cat dog)
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To: PGR88

Because the universities are their mouthpieces.


19 posted on 10/27/2012 7:57:24 PM PDT by A_perfect_lady
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To: Vince Ferrer

Well, it’s a little group of taxpayers vs. a big one.

It ought to be very very hard to get one of these. Now some people just don’t plan wisely, and they may deserve the debacle they find themselves in, but that’s not the case for everybody who is trampled by this juggernaut that is even bankruptcy-proof. The only escape might be to leave America altogether for somewhere, like Singapore, which doesn’t extradite.


20 posted on 10/27/2012 7:59:39 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (cat dog, cat dog, alone in the world is a little cat dog)
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To: A_perfect_lady

Universities are their preaching platforms. Why should they endanger those. Why should they demand changes — to make schools of higher education operate more like businesses — that would disgruntle university liberals?


21 posted on 10/27/2012 8:03:17 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (cat dog, cat dog, alone in the world is a little cat dog)
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To: 2banana
that's because knowledge is what was bought with the loan and you own it for the rest of your life as it can't be repossessed...
22 posted on 10/27/2012 8:19:13 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: SeekAndFind
“People are confused about what it means to co-sign, and their ongoing obligation,” says Deanne Loonin, director of the Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project at the National Consumer Law Center, a consumer-advocacy group in Boston. “When they come to understand that they are equally liable,.....”

What sort of rot is this? The parents aren't that stupid, they simply hope creditors will chase the borrower, their kid, instead of them. If the parents believed they had no obligation to repay the kid's loan why do they think they were called on to cosign?

$55,000 student loan? That's nuts! and cosigning for it more so. Tell the kid to find a job and save a few bucks and promise to match their savings so they can go to a community college. It won't cost $55,000.

And what sort of idiot child would play so fast and loose with their parents lives?

I'll try to feel bad, I really will.

23 posted on 10/27/2012 8:23:32 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: SeekAndFind
library administrator

This requires $80K in student loan debt? I got an Engineering degree for a fraction of that. Granted, a kid going to school today might expect to have that, but certainly not all in loans.

Another reason why I'll never co-sign a student loan for either of my kids when they go off to college.
24 posted on 10/27/2012 8:29:47 PM PDT by OCCASparky (Steely-eyed killer of the deep.)
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To: count-your-change

One that’s bought a bill of goods maybe.


25 posted on 10/27/2012 8:30:26 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (cat dog, cat dog, alone in the world is a little cat dog)
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To: OCCASparky

Oh, an out of state and/or private school will be tickled to charge that much for the fancy matriculation. Why this Super Librarian got a degree at Harvard! Or Yale! Too bad he or she only has a job administrating the library at Podunkville in Flyoverstate.

Why is Uncle Sam in this business.


26 posted on 10/27/2012 8:33:36 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (cat dog, cat dog, alone in the world is a little cat dog)
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To: Marcella
I am old and there was no such thing as a college loan when I went to college. My father bought stock in his company and when I started to college, that stock paid for my college. People either paid for their college right then as they went along year after year, or they didn't go.

Of course, a generation or two ago people could afford to pay for college out of pocket (as well as their medical bills). When I went to college 20+ years ago, an entire four years of tuition and books at a reputable state university cost less than a new car did at the time. Today, the cost is comparable to a home. It has gotten out of hand.

27 posted on 10/27/2012 8:33:50 PM PDT by Drew68 (I WILL vote to defeat Barack Hussein Obama!)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Not so HiTech try this link: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CC4QqQIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10000872396390444024204578044622648516106.html&ei=wKiMULybOKqo0AGbzoD4Bw&usg=AFQjCNHB6Wld1zPXKdeVqyokThXBz0tAlA


28 posted on 10/27/2012 8:46:33 PM PDT by FreedomNotSafety
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To: SeekAndFind

Well, that’s what “co-sign” means.

I co-signed for one son’s loans, but I did it with both eyes open, realizing I’d have to pay them if he did not.


29 posted on 10/27/2012 8:51:43 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
“Now some people just don’t plan wisely, and they may deserve the debacle they find themselves in, but that’s not the case for everybody who is trampled by this juggernaut...” How is anyone who signs the loan papers not deserving of this? How do some people deserve it and others do not? Anyone who signs their name to a loan is bound to the terms of the agreement. What does “deserve” have to do with it?
30 posted on 10/27/2012 8:57:30 PM PDT by FreedomNotSafety
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To: FreedomNotSafety

If they don’t deserve it, why should they be condemned if they find a way to wriggle out?


31 posted on 10/27/2012 8:59:09 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (cat dog, cat dog, alone in the world is a little cat dog)
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To: 2banana

“Student loans NEVER, EVER go away. They can not be discharged in bankruptcy. The US government will hound you until the day you die to collect - to even taking money from your social security checks.”

I have read that quite a number of college grads have left the country to escape student loan debt. Apparently, it’s very difficult to collect debts overseas.


32 posted on 10/27/2012 9:04:51 PM PDT by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
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To: FreedomNotSafety

There are consumer laws and court decisions about fraud and duress and true meeting of the minds in a contract, if you were not aware of it. This sounds in some respects like it was operated very much like a scam.


33 posted on 10/27/2012 9:09:03 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (cat dog, cat dog, alone in the world is a little cat dog)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

I am well aware of it and know that a well written contract is very hard to break. As for duress that will probably not apply to the incessant whining of a child trying to get into a school they cannot afford. Duress is when the grantor does something to coerce the guaranteeor (person signing)into signing. What is it the bank is doing to coerce these undeserving people? What scam makes people sign a paper of their own free will guaranteeing a loan?


34 posted on 10/27/2012 9:21:30 PM PDT by FreedomNotSafety
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Explain why someone who co-signs for a loan does not “deserve” to repay it? Please explain how you become deserving of not repaying something you agreed to? IF there is room in the contract to wiggle out then fine wiggle out and be glad the contract was weak. I doubt that many loan agreements are weakly written documents.


35 posted on 10/27/2012 9:30:36 PM PDT by FreedomNotSafety
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To: FreedomNotSafety

Setting up strawmen and begging the question will not prevail when this becomes a genuine political stink. It’s not “banks” that were ever in the position to be holding the bag here. It is the government, and that is an eminently politically malleable entity. A bankruptcy proof loan is a very rare bird today outside of this student loan business, and it is unlikely to be considered conscionable for much longer because the scope has become so great.


36 posted on 10/27/2012 9:30:56 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (cat dog, cat dog, alone in the world is a little cat dog)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Lecturing on the inevitability of discharging student loans in bankruptcy is a nice diversion fromm your initial comments that some people dont “deserve” having to pay off co-signed loans while other do “deserve” to pay them off because of poor planning.

I have asked you to explain how it is that some people do not “deserve” to have to pay these loans. So far you have not other than to point to “duress” or a “meeting of the minds”.

Anyone who signs a loan document “deserves” to repay it per the terms of the agreement that they signed. Exceptions would be for fraud or duress but I sincerely doubt that the banks have been forcing people to sign or somehow engaged on trickery.


37 posted on 10/27/2012 9:46:21 PM PDT by FreedomNotSafety
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To: FreedomNotSafety

Ultimately government will be asked to mediate that very question, and the fact that such signatures were made so easy to get will doubtless weigh heavily in the debate. Count it unsurprising if bankruptcy is ultimately allowed to intervene in these government owned loans.


38 posted on 10/27/2012 9:50:26 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (cat dog, cat dog, alone in the world is a little cat dog)
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To: FreedomNotSafety

The same thing, by the way, could have been said during the debates about the debtors prisons that were repudiated in the early 20th century. Why did these people not deserve to go to prison any more? The same thing will be asked about what is in essence a perpetual fine.

Mores change. Congresses who agreed to this kind of loan structure and agreed to put the confiscatory muscle of the government behind it, should have foreseen it was not going to bear the light of day.


39 posted on 10/27/2012 9:55:09 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (cat dog, cat dog, alone in the world is a little cat dog)
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To: PGR88
I’m curious - why doesn’t the left go after Education the way they go after health-care and insurance companies? College costs have grown faster than health care costs, and more people are being broken by student loans than by health care expenses.

Because THE LEFT DESIGNED THE SYSTEM. It is merely another clever income transfer trap.

I have two children in college. The financial applications have to go through the Federal govt. now, and the govt informs the family what they must pay in addition to the kids getting their own maximum loans.

The cute thing is, if the students' parents never married or are divorced, only ONE parent's income is reported. If the student is unmarried and has a child, NO parental income needs to be reported. And of course, welfare-for-life and disability moochers don't have to show income.

So the middle-class working families with married parents get SLAUGHTERED when the "family financial contribution" is calculated. The family doesn't sign to pay it, then the student can't go, as simple as that.

Then you have the joy of racking up 10-20 thousand a year debt for your child to be sitting next to someone in class whose family pays NOTHING because they never got married, or grew up in a welfare-as-a-career household or the student is a teen mother.

Massive money from conservative working families goes to pay for the college educations of OBAMA's base...it's all about "paying your fair share" now.

.

40 posted on 10/27/2012 10:06:35 PM PDT by Tamzee (The U.S. re-electing Obama would be like the Titanic backing up and ramming the iceberg again.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Still don't want to answer the question about why some people don't “deserve” to have to pay their loans? What does “easy to get” mean? Is it “coerced” signatures or easy to get signatures? So it is the banks fault that it finds willing borrowers? The borrowers are just victims of the mean greedy banks who forced or begged them to borrow money?

Now government will be asked to mediate whether the terms of a private contract should be changed post-facto? So the government should intervene and void private contracts so that the “deserving” (we will wait for you to define who “deserves” or not) can stiff a private lender?

41 posted on 10/27/2012 10:08:36 PM PDT by FreedomNotSafety
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To: HiTech RedNeck

People borrowed money back then knowing that they could go to prison if they did not repay their debt. So anyone who borrowed money under that arrangement and went to prison for not repaying their debt deserved to go to prison. Whether they actually did or not is irrelevant. The fact that some people got off because the government changed the laws did not mean they did not deserve prison.

How is being required to repay a loan you agreed to a “perpetual fine”. Loan repayments are not “fines”.

The government is the only legal confiscastory muscle that there is and is the only entity that can legally compel action via the threat of force. Debtors prison was a way of discharging debt and reinforced the idea that breeching a contract and not repaying a debt is stealing.

So honoring an agreement, and in the case of a student loan a written contract, that you make is just a matter of changing mores? If mores change then its ok not to pay? So all we need is enough people to agree that student loans shouldnt be repaid and they no longer need to be repaid?


42 posted on 10/27/2012 10:36:53 PM PDT by FreedomNotSafety
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Why is Uncle Sam in this business.

To create dependency and control. And make their buddies wealthy. As usual.

43 posted on 10/28/2012 12:06:57 AM PDT by Paul R. (We are in a break in an Ice Age. A brief break at that...)
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To: FreedomNotSafety

Still don’t want to say why that’s any different from how people “deserved” to go to debtors prison?


44 posted on 10/28/2012 12:20:18 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (cat dog, cat dog, alone in the world is a little cat dog)
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To: Tamzee

“The financial applications have to go through the Federal govt. now,”

We have a son going off to college next year and just doing the applications now. I was wondering about the financial stuff. So it sounds like I can’t just take out a regular loan? (Which if things did go REALLY bad it would be covered under bankruptcy). Although I’m guessing that the “student” loans have lower rates?

But yeah - what a scam. And it WILL fall apart some day, but with my luck it will be the year after all my kids graduate. It is just like the real estate boom and crash. All built on the promise of free and easy money.


45 posted on 10/28/2012 12:20:32 AM PDT by 21twelve (So I [God] gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. Psalm 81:12)
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To: FreedomNotSafety

You typed so anxiously and hastily that you misspelled “confiscatory.”


46 posted on 10/28/2012 12:21:39 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (cat dog, cat dog, alone in the world is a little cat dog)
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To: FreedomNotSafety
So honoring an agreement, and in the case of a student loan a written contract, that you make is just a matter of changing mores?

What kind of agreement is conscionable to enforce is indeed a matter of changing mores. None of these kinds of loans would have even been possible under the supposedly harsh Old Testament, by the way. You could get stoned for sodomy or fornication -- yet loans were temporary and there was a jubilee year every 50 years. Do you think God knew something you don't?

47 posted on 10/28/2012 12:26:14 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (cat dog, cat dog, alone in the world is a little cat dog)
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To: SeekAndFind

Student loans are another way to become subservient to the government. Don’t go to college unless yu can afford it or know For Sure you can pay any loans back. And you can’t be sure, usually.

One good thing to do with student loans, when you are sending a child to college: make them get out a small amount of student loans but still something they would feel, like maybe $10k. (Obviously do not cosign.). Tell them if they work hard and do well and finish, you will pay off these loans. If they don’t, they are on the hook.


48 posted on 10/28/2012 12:31:58 AM PDT by Yaelle
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To: Yaelle

Great idea - thanks!


49 posted on 10/28/2012 12:34:32 AM PDT by 21twelve (So I [God] gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. Psalm 81:12)
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To: Yaelle

There is no single size fits all formula. And I might point out that by your own light and formula you are calling to threaten less than successful progeny with becoming subservient to government....

One does not need a boutique university for most pursuits that require or are enhanced by higher education. The overselling of such boutique universities is a large part of the problem.


50 posted on 10/28/2012 12:38:25 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (cat dog, cat dog, alone in the world is a little cat dog)
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