Gasp! Student Loans Must Be Repaid?

by Ron Haynes


USA Today featured a story in the Money section entitled “Student loans are crushing new grads.” Cry me a river.

As someone who has been paying on MY student loans since 1989, I’m just totally sorry. You took the money. Now you gotta pay it back. In the immortal words of Gomer Pyle, “surprise, surprise, surprise!”

I feel like it’s a real shame that people like me are coming out of college, weighed down by all this debt.” — Austin Light, 24

Hey Austin, I “feel” like it’s a real shame that people invested money in your education with your promise that you’d pay it back … and now you don’t want to because it isn’t convenient to you. I “feel” like it’s a real shame that people pour their life’s savings into banks that lent money to students who still haven’t grown up enough to realize that their signature on those papers means they DO have to give the money back.

Apparently there are quite a few people who “feel” that they’re owed everything, free cars, free college, free housing, free medical care. Here’s a news flash:

NOTHING IS “FREE”

Everything is paid for by someone. The problem is all those “someones” have raised a generation that thinks everything is free or should be. Life is like Friends, no one has to work, everyone has plenty of money, life is just one big laugh.

Guess what? It doesn’t work that way. Welcome to the real world. Now get to work.

Oh, and sorry you cant find that $85,000/year job that starts work at 10, ends at 2 with a company paid 2 hour lunch … 4 days a week.

The article states:

Without such an option (you can’t file bankruptcy on student loans), many college grads are saddled with debt and unable to buy a home or obtain other credit. That can leave them in some cases unable to pursue the careers they studied for because they must take low-paying jobs just to keep up.

Holy Cow. Can’t buy a home just out of college??? Can’t work in your preferred field RIGHT out of college??? What’s this world coming to when college graduates can’t graduate on Friday, throw back a few Yeager Bombs on Saturday, sleep it off on Sunday, start their “dream job” on Monday, and buy their McMansion on Tuesday?

Now they want to be able to legally steal all those thousands of dollars by declaring bankruptcy when times get tough? Have we raised a bunch of wimps or a bunch of thieves?

I’ve been in those exact shoes. Try making $13,947 in one year (pre-tax) with a stay at home wife, two children under 14 months of age, with a $440 rent payment (never late), a $140 car payment (never late), and $20,000 in student loan debt (late but never in default). I wasn’t working in my “dream job” either. But it made a man out of me. Hard times will do that if you let them. I had to put my nose to the grindstone and work like a dog to claw my way up out of that pit. No elevator. No ladder. No government bailout. Nothing but sweat and tears in jobs that taught me the value of hard work.

Another group in the story wonders why there were bailouts of banks but not for college student loans. “It’s not fair,” they whine, “The system is against us.” Oh, grow up. Any government bailout is stupid. Why should the taxpayers have another one foisted on us?

Here’s a radical idea:

Pay your bills. You knew what the payback would be when you signed those papers. Now keep your word.

It’s what mature people do.

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 988 articles on The Wisdom Journal.


The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.