How and why to default on your student loan

The plumber who just fixed my well pump makes $150 an hour. He’s always busy, and no one in Asia can do his job over the web. He did not go to college.


If that happens again I will personally join the ranks to eat the rich. I am so fucking tired of this.


…says the, by far, most sanctimonious person in the thread.


Yes, thinking you should pay back money you agreed to pay back is so, so self-righteous of me.

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You could claim it’s rigged when there are other systems in other countries that show that it’s not necessary for a system to dig a deep pit in the middle of your path of life, shove you into it, and say “find your way out of THAT one!”


Who’s being shoved? No one is forced to take out these loans, they choose to.

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In a vacuum that is true. In real life, where everyone. EVERY. ONE. Is guiding, pressuring, even scaring you into going to college, and into going into the best colleges, that line of reasoning is BULLSHIT. I had panic attacks thinking about college while in high school, and by the time I got into a program at a decent university and realized it wasn’t what I wanted I was already $15,000 in debt.

We need to stop acting like institutions and society at large don’t shape our individual decisions. We need to accept that our society here in the United States is extremely predatory and it is unfair to expect the next generation to bear a greatly inflated burden that was pressed into them. We need to stop defending the financial sector and assuming that every deal is fair. These loans are not fair. We should not have needed them. It should be okay to default on them and the system that allowed this market manipulation to happen should bear that cost and be deeply inspected and reformed.

Edited for clarity.


I’d be fine with people making a business decision to default on their student loans if the degree earned could be repo’d, just like a car or a house.

I suspect that the blue book value of some of those degrees isn’t very much though…


If those majors promise high-paying jobs, they should be sued for fraud. Attempting to blame this on choice of major is complete foolishness - the economy is to the point where it’s based on luck and who you know to get a job, major be damned.

All you’re showing is that you have zero actual understanding of the issue.


If the loans were not guaranteed by the taxpayer, they would be much harder to get.

If the loans were harder to get, tuition would fall to levels appropriate to the amount of loan money in the pool.

The whole system would reach a new, and much lower, equilibrium.


I love this line of reasoning. What other crimes can we chalk up to “institutions and society”? Shoplifting? Arson? Assault?

There are also ways of going to college that don’t require loans, like paying as you go, or scooping up some of $3 billion in unclaimed grants and scholarships that are left laying around.

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Note also that student loans are a very recent phenomenon. I was one of the last generation of students to pass through university before loans were introduced. Now it seems that system may have cost the taxpayer less than the current one.


Out of necessity, I defaulted on my student loans. Years later, I was tracked down and threatened with wage garnishment if I didn’t agree to a payment plan. Wage garnishment is supposedly legally mandated to leave you enough to live on, but that’s by doing the sort of math that assumes you spend no more than 30% of your income on rent and so forth. In other words, I had to agree to a payment plan, or go homeless. Siegel, the author, doesn’t explain how he evaded wage garnishment.

So, I don’t see how the author’s proposal could work for most people, unless we had a mass campaign of everyone refusing to pay their debts. Which would be a very good idea, actually, but needs some coordination.


Oh. How… horrible?


RTFA. You can’t just claim the unclaimed Pell money. That’s not how it works. If you complete a FAFSA, you get what you get. Hell, to get student loans, you’re going to complete your FAFSA, chances are. Many students who don’t complete the FAFSA are those who dont bother because they know they’re ineligible due to family income.


faking your death might work. but the government and banks would probably catch on if everyone with student loans faked their death simultaneously.

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He’s just run a NYT article, claiming the Education Department is still looking for him, so obviously he’s not faked his own death.

I’m serious, though. If we actually had a mass campaign of refusing to pay back college loans, a debt strike, it would deal a real blow to the finance industry.


Or force the gov’ments hand to enact severely harsh laws for defaulters. Remember, it’s not just the banks that make money off of these loans.

*Perks up*

Intriguing… Go on…