Sallie Scam: The Student Loan Debacle

There are a few ways to avoid being stuck with student loan payments after graduation has come and gone. You can work during high school and save up and continue to do so while furthering your education, be born to extremely rich parents, have parents that work at the college you’re heading to for discounted rates, or take full and complete advantage of the countless scholarships that are available. You can get one for being everything from a redhead to a twin. Who knew? The reality though is that loans are inevitable for most of us. Last year The Wall Street Journal reported the data brought to them by Mark Kantrowitz, publisher at Edvisors, that, “The average class of 2015 graduate with student-loan debt will have to pay back a little more than $35,000.” College, the most expensive path to a “better life.”

That’s exactly what they preach to us growing up, and Joel and Eric Best noted that in The Student Loan Mess when he said, “You were encouraged to view college as a ladder, a route towards a better life.” Looking back though, it’s all about how you treat college while you’re there. If you have no idea why you’re enrolled or what you want to do – graduation will come and you’ll have nothing more than monthly calls from the depths of Sallie Mae. They’ve been sending out those letters and making those calls since they started back in the 70’s and as Best pointed out, “…as college costs rose, fewer students were able to muster the resources needed to graduate from college debt free.

They say you can’t get a good job without a degree, but today it seems like you can’t get a degree without taking out at least one loan. Then, if you’re someone who didn’t score a good job thanks to college, you’re stuck with these loan payments but have no way to pay them back because you’re paycheck is more than gone once you pay rent, bills, for gas, eat and whatnot. Unless you’re still residing with your parents after college, then you really have no excuse of why Sallie Mae has to call and remind you of those payments. Oh you know the calls, they come at like 6am and are neverending. You’d think after not answering for a year – they’d get the point.
Here’s the thing though, while you think Sallie Mae, Navient and all the rest are the devil – they do have a soft side if you aren’t able to make your monthly payments. If you’re not working or working very little, and happen to have actual living expenses – all you have to do is show proof and they will suspend your payments for a year’s time to help you out. See, they aren’t that bad.

It sucks we get stuck with this shit, but you shouldn’t just ignore the payments. It also blows that we end up in debt for this “better life,” but it’s part of the adult experience. Being responsible about your money, not the being forever in debt. Try and work with those who gave you a loan so that you’re not swimming in debt forever because that crap follows you to the grave. Then you’re dead and then, who cares?

The Highs and Lows of Student Loans

  1. According to Do Something, we have more student loan debt in America than credit card debt.
  2. Remember when I said that follows you? Well it does, and according to The Huffington Post, you can be less employable if you’ve defaulted on your loans. Ain’t that something? Hey, I need a job to pay these loans…oh, I can’t get the job because I couldn’t afford to pay back the loans?
  3. Brookings noted last year that the number of students borrowing had reached 42 million.
  4. 15% of students were walking away from college with their loans in the six-figure range. That’s what The Wall Street Journal reported back in 2014.
  5. According to those surveyed here, the biggest high and low of student loans was it helping pay for things other than tuition like housing and those damn interest rates.

Over the course of this week I sadly will not be able to help you make payments to your existing student loans. I have some pesky ones myself to tend to. I will however tell you my reasoning on why no one would do an interview about student loans, why mine helped me way after college, take a pop culture look and, you know the rest.


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