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10 Things I Teach My Children About Surviving the Student Loan Crisis

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From http://www.flickr.com/photos/47422005@N04/6304808136/: A degree in debt slavery
A degree in debt slavery
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10 Things I Teach My Children About Surviving the Student Loan Crisis


By Ali Hangan  

1) Should I go to college?  

Yes, the working class student must attend some form of college or advanced training beyond high school to earn an income that will meet their basic needs, to survive in the modern economy.

2) What are the current job prospects for recent college graduates?  

Over 50 percent of new college graduates are unemployed and 36 percent find jobs that do not require a college degree. College graduates working for minimum wage has risen 71 percent from 5 years ago.

3) Should I take out a student loan?  



No, but if you must take out a student loan, borrow no more than $10,000.  You want your payments to be no more than 10 percent of your monthly net income. If the lowest wage you can earn is $10 per hour, say working at Wal-Mart assuming the federal minimum wage will be raised from $ 7.25 to $10, working full time should net you about $1,100 per month after taxes. If you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, you will be able to keep most of your wages. A $10,000 loan at 3.8 percent interest over 10 years will be a payment of about $115 per month. This is an affordable payment for a college graduate that is just entering the job market.

4) What's the cheapest way to get a college degree for a working class student?  

Start at community college then transfer to a state school.Take a few online general ed courses that can reduce the cost of your degree Apply for a Pell grant, which is a federal loan that does not have to be paid back. finally, get a wage-slave job in fast food or retail to help pay for books and supplies while in school.

5) How many college students are going into debt to pay for college?  

70 percent of college graduates have an average amount of $30,000 in student loan debt.  Students who went to a university for a graduate degree, borrowed $57,600 in 2012, a 43% increase from $40,209 in 2004.

6) What is the current total outstanding student loan debt among recent college graduates?  

The total outstanding student debt is 1 trillion dollars and growing annually. That is nearly 6% of the total outstanding debt for the entire nation. Some estimates project that the total student loan debt will be 3 trillion dollars in 10 years at the current rate of borrowing.

7) How many college graduates have defaulted on their student loans and what are some consequences if a student defaults on their loan?  

One in 10 recent borrowers have defaulted on their federal student loans within the first two years, the highest default rate since 1995. The IRS can take your tax return and go after your wages. In some states, driver's licenses have been suspended and professional licenses have been revoked. In Tennessee, some 40 nurses lost their licenses over defaulting on their student loans.  

8) What will the ratio of income to student loan debt be in the next 10 years among college graduates?  

The average amount of debt college students will leave school with will equal what the median graduate will earn in just a year. After 10 years, at the current rate of borrowing, the average student loan debt will exceed the average college graduate's income.

9) Why are jobs opportunities for college graduates decreasing and what is the long-term consequence for the economy, if student loan debt continues to grow at its current rate?

  The Capitalist system goes through accelerated or revolutionary periods of growth in technology. The economy has entered into a period of revolution in computer software and robotics. Various forms of these technologies are being rapidly adapted to carry out tasks previously performed by humans. The rapid pace that technology is replacing jobs in industry stands to decrease job opportunities for college graduates to pay off their student loans.  It we take into account the 1 trillion dollars in outstanding student loan debt and projected 47 percent of jobs to be replaced by technology, according to some studies, the conditions are being set for an economic crisis that will rival the economic crisis in 2008, resulting in a broad ripple effect in the global financial system, industry and costing millions of jobs.

10) What can I do to avoid the economic crisis?  

The social inertia behind 100's of millions of people acting on their own economic self-interest is so substantial that, no individual, social class or government agency can stop or avoid being effected by this growing economic crisis. The one recourse a working class, college student has, is knowledge that this economic crisis is predictable. So plan now, to protect your survival needs for the future.

During an economic crisis, hyperinflation can make fiat money worthless. I suggest learning as many practical skills as you can such as household, car maintenance and health care skills etc. These skills can come in handy to barter for food, water and basic goods and services.

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Ali M. Hangan is a Desert Storm Veteran, High School Economics teacher, and writes on trends in Technology and Education.


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