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in debt, out of debt, back in debt

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i paid off my student loans this year, all of them. i am psyched about it. but since doing it months ago i didn't get any notice that it was all said and done, and you need that in case a credit report ever gets it wrong, or something. i did it proper (called to get the loan payoff amount and everything) so i had to see what was up.

 

i called.

 

the department of education added a balance of $0.12 to my debt after i paid it off. twelve cents.

 

it's been accumulating interest for months. MONTHS! and if unchecked it would've gone delinquent and accrued even more fees.

 

joke's on me.

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Yeah, pretty much.

But lucky you caught it, and even more lucky to have paid it off. Congrats are in order, it's a very lame milestone that many are still struggling to make.

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I was doing backflips when i paid my student loan debt off, it was only like 16k because i worked a full time job the whole time i was enrolled. I just didn't want to be to deep in the red right after graduating. I got some friends that are in real bad financial trouble because their degrees are pretty much worthless and non serviceable

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thanks all, it's nice to close the book(s) on them. almost. i hope everyone who has outstanding loans pays it off and gets that feeling of security, word.

 

the latest is i get to wait 30 days to see if the department of education discharges them or settles it, or whatever. it's dumb. it could be up to 23 cents by then, man

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Not to thread jack, but this seems to naturally evolve towards a discussion on whether a college degree is even worth it anymore. Listened to an interesting podcast talking about the end of education as we know it. It seems to have been mostly objective and was just discussing the business of college versus the debt of college versus new technologies that could likely make college as we know it obsolete and even had a bit in there regarding robots and automation and how that is mostly being held back purposely because those that could easily automate would be impacting the economy to such a degree that it would greatly affect the business itself by creating massive unemployment that in turn means less customers.

 

Anyhow, personally I went to college. Despite getting a full ride still incurred pretty large debt due to costs of living and because I was a dumbass and signed essentially every paper offered to me. I definitely learned a lot in college, but can't honestly say its anything I couldn't have learned from a good mentor or better self discipline. Seems basic, but shit like how to problem solve and how to focus. Though these broad strokes definitely play a part in my day to day, my degree and the specific skillset I was there to learn isn't often used and could easily be replaced bya couple good books, a few podcasts and a few months on lynda.com and itunes university. I believe there are even more options out there... Sites like Kahn Academy and Code Academy. Honestly its kind of nuts IMO for a kid these days to really go to college unless they're pursuing a licensed profession like being a doctor or engineer.

 

Wondering what other peoples' experiences are in this regard? Forgot where I read it, but somewhere I read an article basically saying that the increase in pay from having a degree is more than offset by the cost of the education, even before factoring in the debt.

 

Thoughts? Share...

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I'm with you on this Misteraven. I went to college & ended up with a five figure debt & didn't even get a job related to the field lol. If i could go back in time & invest in something else debt free, I would.

 

It was a good life experience though not worth the debt for me.

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I'm with you on this Misteraven. I went to college & ended up with a five figure debt & didn't even get a job related to the field lol. If i could go back in time & invest in something else debt free, I would.

 

It was a good life experience though not worth the debt for me.

 

5 figures isn't as bad as lots of what I've heard of. These days, graduating owing $120,000 - $150,000. I've even heard of people racking up $250k and more. So insane.

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That is really nuts. $250k is actually several property down payments and then put up for rent. After a few years you pull equity and buy several more and continue. Literally wind up a real estate mogul.

 

Or perhaps more realistic is invest in building a small online business... Spend some time on Code Academy and Lynda.com learning some basic design and development, $65 for a nice WordPress / WooCommerce theme on Themeforest and start small. Guessing after sticking with it for 4 years and using that money to invest, promote and grow, you'd find yourself in a better position at the end of those 4 years than a kid with a degree, looking for a job and carrying $250k of debt on their back.

 

In regards to those in a creative field... Seeing a kid with a degree just tells me they don't know shit and they're in debt or have rich parents. I've advised several that they're better off moving to NYC, getting a job bar backing and beg the best studio they can find to let them work for free, even if its getting coffee and sweeping the floor. Guaranteed that if they're serious that by the time 4 years rolls around they're working with cameras, have a bad ass professional level portfolio and are likely earning money instead of carrying debt.

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Yeah, our educational system is pretty crazy. I got into tech by accident, really. I've always enjoyed design and technology, and as a kid just picked up basic programming and ran with it. Nowadays, there are so many resources available online for learning that type of thing (many for free), you can learn just about anything. Maybe not a true, deep understanding, but at least the basics. And from that, you can start to develop a network and learn from others.

 

I ran into a kid I went to high school with a few years back. He was complaining how he hated his job as an accountant. The dude always hated math, but for some reason went to school to be an accountant. Still can't figure out that logic...

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Raven that's your 2nd post mentioning those places- they paying you to advertise? Lol.

 

Yeah, went to school, racked up big debt similar to Raven. Lucky to have dwindled it down to where it might be gone in a year or 2. One of the things that was pointed out to me is that the people making student loans were doing so knowing that the odds would be stacked against people paying them back- forgot what the issue was here but a lot of loans were handed out in this fashion, at least at the time.

 

School was a worthwhile experience overall, I guess. But- I will say that much of the learning and education that was the most meaningful did not come out of the classroom but from other activities as well as internship/training opportunities. When choosing an education these days one has to consider the overall cost of the education vs what you can earn with that education. There are definitely good job opportunities available that do not require a college education. There are also educational paths that you can get stuck on, like you earned a degree but a higher degree is needed to make up for the cost of living. The whole topic is worth exploring as far as what you get, is it needed, etc. I was commenting in another thread the other day that going to college does not equal being intelligent or being more intelligent than others.

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Yeah, our educational system is pretty crazy. I got into tech by accident, really. I've always enjoyed design and technology, and as a kid just picked up basic programming and ran with it. Nowadays, there are so many resources available online for learning that type of thing (many for free), you can learn just about anything. Maybe not a true, deep understanding, but at least the basics. And from that, you can start to develop a network and learn from others.

 

I ran into a kid I went to high school with a few years back. He was complaining how he hated his job as an accountant. The dude always hated math, but for some reason went to school to be an accountant. Still can't figure out that logic...

 

 

Yeah man, I agree totally... Honestly its a great time to be alive. Business has become a bit like what I think the wild frontier must have been like in that there's so much opportunity to explore new things and setup shop surrounded by tons of resources. I know entrepreneurism isn't a trait everyone has (and unfortunately seems to be discouraged by politicians and legislations if you you're to take a look at what's happening), but there's really not much excuse for not setting up a small website and developing a business model for it. Or, using the resources online to expand or diversify ones skill set, at least enough to be able to slide into a mentor or internship situation and then evolve it forward even further into a career. I know it sounds easier said than done, but truth is if you're motivated, the opportunities are certainly available.

 

Looping this back to on topic, really is getting harder to justify the cost / investment of a degree all this considered. Unless of course you're going towards a licensed profession.

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Raven that's your 2nd post mentioning those places- they paying you to advertise? Lol.

 

LOL, nah.... I really believe they're that good! On lynda.com I took a few courses on stuff I know very well and honestly, they're instruction is beyond anything I've seen anywhere else, whether books or live instruction. Actually learned some new stuff. On Kahn Academy I took some advanced math lessons for shit I was never able to grasp in school and again, they made it so freakin easy to understand. Definitely endorse them, but not being paid!

 

Yeah, went to school, racked up big debt similar to Raven. Lucky to have dwindled it down to where it might be gone in a year or 2. One of the things that was pointed out to me is that the people making student loans were doing so knowing that the odds would be stacked against people paying them back- forgot what the issue was here but a lot of loans were handed out in this fashion, at least at the time.

 

This is one of the largest looming financial catastrophes on the horizon. This and unfunded liabilities that some economists put at somewhere in the range of $250 - $400 trillion dollars since the government finally stopped reporting these (I believe under the Clinton administration). Both are reaching a critical juncture in the next decade. Scary stuff...

 

School was a worthwhile experience overall, I guess. But- I will say that much of the learning and education that was the most meaningful did not come out of the classroom but from other activities as well as internship/training opportunities. When choosing an education these days one has to consider the overall cost of the education vs what you can earn with that education. There are definitely good job opportunities available that do not require a college education. There are also educational paths that you can get stuck on, like you earned a degree but a higher degree is needed to make up for the cost of living. The whole topic is worth exploring as far as what you get, is it needed, etc. I was commenting in another thread the other day that going to college does not equal being intelligent or being more intelligent than others.

 

100% agree. Shame that most kids graduating high school just aren't equipped to make this decision and most parents are brainwashed into thinking you're standing in society is lesser if you don't hold a 'respectable' degree. I've read / heard people actually talk down on professions like mechanics, despite the fact that there's opportunities there to earn incomes that far exceed the national average. I know of a guy that has a metal shop that literally earns 7 figures and dude has no college and is well under 30. Just customizes old cars and harley's.

 

I really do hope we see a return to mentoring... No doubt this doesn't scale as easily as a financial institution can, but I believe it's far better if the goal is to get good at something and quickly setup in a practical sense.

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i'm all for a thread jack on this topic.

 

i graduated with a debt in the five figures six years ago, took subsidized and unsubsidized loans. i transferred into a private name-brand school because i bought the hype about it; one of the biggest mistakes i made in education and elsewhere. (well, my parents bought the hype too.)

 

the idea that everyone needs to go to college is insane, the costs around it are insane. that was one of my biggest beefs with the "free college for all" crowd this year - there was no way to control the costs of college, which has been wildly outpacing inflation for some time now, owing partially to an explosion in the size of college administrations and overhead. and as raven and many others pointed out, you can/often do make a living on more than a degree alone. plenty of people with degrees struggle to do that.

 

i think some of what's taught in high school and some of what's taught in college should be swapped. remedial courses like pre-calc shouldn't be taught in college at all (and i took pre-calc in college). that stuff should stay at the high school level. if you test into college-level math, by all means, go; we need you. if you test into college-level writing and reading comprehension, by all means, go if it makes sense.

 

at the same time, financial management courses and the like that are often only found in business school should be taught in high school. kids should know how to pay a bill, balance a checkbook, take out a loan, etc. this would never happen because financial institutions need consumers who don't know what they're doing. but i think this shit's vital. [another on my high school curriculum: a requirement that you work an hourly, entry level customer-facing job for at least 3 months; this does more to prepare someone for the real world than any course i've ever taken and the best people i've worked with, especially in adult professional life, have been people who've worked those jobs.]

 

imo, college should be a place to learn and advance thinking and education on a particular topic. advance sciences, arts, etc. and i don't think the government should pay for all of it.

 

outside of fields that require one, a degree DOES NOT and SHOULD NOT be viewed as a guarantor of a job. that's a deception. a liberal arts education isn't a guarantee of a job (which is okay!). merit and/or money should get you into a college if you want to pursue a liberal arts education. a more comprehensive high school curriculum and degree would help identify people who can and should pursue higher learning.

 

i should've learned to fix cars.

 

$0.02

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I do front-end work in the web industry. I went to school when it was just starting to pick up momentum in regards to Visual Design taking over and Responsive websites were just starting to emerge. When I was in school the only parts I paid attention to was Graphic Design, HTML,CSS, Video and Sound Design(for trailers, video shit). Anyway, I was there for 3 years and got a 5 figure debt at the time not caring cuz I had a little one coming and just had to get up off the couch and figure out what can make me some decent money. Even 3 years ago I noticed there are so many free resources to learn how to code and build web apps etc. So for my field you don't need to go to school, you just need to know that you enjoy code enough to create small projects for yourself, truly study to learn the basics and push yourself to alway tryout new technology. Raven pointed out pretty much those most popular ones, however youtube has a lot of independent developers teaching. I think all creative fields pretty much just want to see that you know what you are doing and that you can own your work. We have hired people with marketing backgrounds that just like coding or graphic design, same with customer service people that wanna learn.

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I do front-end work in the web industry. I went to school when it was just starting to pick up momentum in regards to Visual Design taking over and Responsive websites were just starting to emerge. When I was in school the only parts I paid attention to was Graphic Design, HTML,CSS, Video and Sound Design(for trailers, video shit). Anyway, I was there for 3 years and got a 5 figure debt at the time not caring cuz I had a little one coming and just had to get up off the couch and figure out what can make me some decent money. Even 3 years ago I noticed there are so many free resources to learn how to code and build web apps etc. So for my field you don't need to go to school, you just need to know that you enjoy code enough to create small projects for yourself, truly study to learn the basics and push yourself to alway tryout new technology. Raven pointed out pretty much those most popular ones, however youtube has a lot of independent developers teaching. I think all creative fields pretty much just want to see that you know what you are doing and that you can own your work. We have hired people with marketing backgrounds that just like coding or graphic design, same with customer service people that wanna learn.

 

That's awesome man, thanks for sharing that story. Seems this thread is becoming a bit of testimonial on the subject form various points of view. Would be really interesting to see the trend continue on here and hear from others that can chime and tell their story as to whether a college education had a net positive / neutral / negative effect on their career and overall life so far.

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Yeah, I agree. For sure though, what I learned in school was out of date even when I was learning to code. I was interning at a place pushing for responsive web design as a standard and my teacher was like no its a fad...haha

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I thought I was excaping student loans by diving into work after dropping out of school senior year. Biggest fuck up that I've learned is blaming an entire resume of shitty work-stays on my money problems. I have hopes for Trump's presidency, and the last eight years have been absolute hell. I made it through, beaten down by living at moms, drinking my way through nights of bleeding out money. A lot of it was my lack of wanting to work in a political state of CA's very personal problematic Bay Area bullshit, which was highly influenced by my East Coast family's ties in Obama's reign of terror. I know it's not commonly held in high regard here, but I started work when it was still the Bush era. Working in high end restaurants kind of forces you into trickle down economics, and I had the highest positions that I could, being front of house, which was usually right in the dead middle pack of a lot of heavy hitters.

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I thought I was excaping student loans by diving into work after dropping out of school senior year. Biggest fuck up that I've learned is blaming an entire resume of shitty work-stays on my money problems. I have hopes for Trump's presidency, and the last eight years have been absolute hell. I made it through, beaten down by living at moms, drinking my way through nights of bleeding out money. A lot of it was my lack of wanting to work in a political state of CA's very personal problematic Bay Area bullshit, which was highly influenced by my East Coast family's ties in Obama's reign of terror. I know it's not commonly held in high regard here, but I started work when it was still the Bush era. Working in high end restaurants kind of forces you into trickle down economics, and I had the highest positions that I could, being front of house, which was usually right in the dead middle pack of a lot of heavy hitters.

 

Not sure I understand what you're saying. Can you please elaborate? Interested in hearing your story and all I can gather is you skipped the college route so would like to hear the different perspective you have from those that have spoken up so far. Only bits I understood was the high hopes for this next administration (hopeful as well as I'm not a fan of these last 8 years myself despite having been a hopeful supporter in 08).

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Yeah, I agree. For sure though, what I learned in school was out of date even when I was learning to code. I was interning at a place pushing for responsive web design as a standard and my teacher was like no its a fad...haha

 

Not for nothing, but I also thought responsive design would be a trend. Reason is I'm old enough to remember the Flash era when companies would sometimes build a slick site in Flash and then stripped down version in HTML with a landing page that checked for the plugin and prompted you to have a minimum browser version and Flash plugin, but would give you an option to view an HTML version anyways.

 

I still find it a little crazy that most people have a hard enough time developing and maintaining a decent site and now you need to account for 3 - 5+ viewport sizes and design / develop an optimized solution to each. I suspect if it wasn't for free / commercial themes and an abundance of open source bootstrap projects, responsive design would have stalled out. Now its simple enough to download a responsive theme and slightly tweak colors and general shit and maybe slightly customizing the desktop version of it. Still a pretty big pain in the ass once you get past that and need to start testing across mobile / tablet (portrait and landscape), then desktop and now responsive assets for 4k and retina. It's a lot to wrestle with unless you're pretty dedicated.

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Not for nothing, but I also thought responsive design would be a trend. Reason is I'm old enough to remember the Flash era when companies would sometimes build a slick site in Flash and then stripped down version in HTML with a landing page that checked for the plugin and prompted you to have a minimum browser version and Flash plugin, but would give you an option to view an HTML version anyways.

 

I still find it a little crazy that most people have a hard enough time developing and maintaining a decent site and now you need to account for 3 - 5+ viewport sizes and design / develop an optimized solution to each. I suspect if it wasn't for free / commercial themes and an abundance of open source bootstrap projects, responsive design would have stalled out. Now its simple enough to download a responsive theme and slightly tweak colors and general shit and maybe slightly customizing the desktop version of it. Still a pretty big pain in the ass once you get past that and need to start testing across mobile / tablet (portrait and landscape), then desktop and now responsive assets for 4k and retina. It's a lot to wrestle with unless you're pretty dedicated.

 

Hearst is spoken for since the early 19th century. Just released as news scandals in the middle 20th. It's just cowardice and racial vs. ignorance of language usage and racism as similarities so fine lined that no one cares to read last, trust and speak and hold old friends through 8 or 4 years.

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Yeah, I agree. For sure though, what I learned in school was out of date even when I was learning to code.

I had a similar experience. I worked at a sign shop in high school, and we started doing websites for local businesses. After high school I picked up a couple web classes at a community college. Some of the shit they taught wasn't just out of date, it was straight up wrong, haha. Learned more from Googling shit at the sign shop than I ever did in school.

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