It’s true, budding Patriactionaries! (Except for one BIG exception.).
So I was reading this depressing story in the New York Times, about the permanence of student loan debt. I’ve got some quotes for you, and they’re cherce:
At a protest last year at New York University, students called attention to their mounting debt by wearing T-shirts with the amount they owed scribbled across the front — $90,000, $75,000, $20,000.
On the sidelines was a business consultant for the debt collection industry with a different take.
“I couldn’t believe the accumulated wealth they represent — for our industry,” the consultant, Jerry Ashton, wrote in a column for a trade publication, InsideARM.com. “It was lip-smacking.”
Oh, but the ghouls in the debt collection industry are hiring!
Business is booming at ConServe, a debt collection agency in suburban Rochester. The company recently expanded into a neighboring building. The payroll of 420 is expected to double in three years.
It’s not just young people who have trouble with debts:
Patrick Writer of Redding, Calif., received a certificate in computer programming in 2008 from Shasta College, a community college. But he graduated in the midst of the financial crisis and has not been able to find a job as a programmer. He defaulted on $12,000 in federally backed loans in 2009.
“If you can’t make your utilities and your rent, your student loan payments are almost goofy, inconsequential,” said Mr. Writer, who is 57.
But Mr. Writer said he had come to realize what it meant to have a student loan that was guaranteed by the federal government. “It’s the closest thing to debtor prison that there is on this earth,” he said.
How did this situation come about?
There is no statute of limitations on collecting federally guaranteed student loans, unlike credit cards and mortgages, and Congress has made it difficult for borrowers to wipe out the debt through bankruptcy.
All standard stuff. Then there are money quotes like these: “You are going to pay it, or you are going to die with it,” said John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at SmartCredit.com, a credit monitoring service. You are going to DIE with it, indeed!
But Wait! There’s Relief to be had
It turns out that the NY Times story links to a web page about Income-Based Repayment. In a nutshell: your payments are set at a level according to how much you make annually. You pay that amount, monthly, for 25 years. At the end of 25 years, your debt is paid off, regardless of how much you have paid on the balance. (Warning: loan forgiveness MAY get credited as income.)
There’s also a calculator provided. Using said calculator, I found out that a single person, with 25,000 in income, who has 50,000 in student loan debt and had a 60,000 starting balance and an interest rate of 6%, would have to pay $66 monthly in debt repayment. The same person with an 18,000 salary would have to pay $16 a month in loan payments, for 25 years. (Note that 50K in debt at 6% incurs $250 monthly in interest charges.)
Your opportunity to score a virtual wife has never been better!
So, how could an unmarried Patriactionary profit from this? Well, consider Allison Student, recently graduated, low partner count, all the glow of a youthful 22 years upon her. Sadly, Allison majored in Sociology, took out 70K in debt to do so, and now cannot find a job to pay off her loans. Allison can roll the dice on grad school (in which case, she’s hopeless), or she can move back in with Mom and (well, would any Dad let his little girl get this deep in debt?), uh, family, while she tries to work out a repayment plan. But Allison wants more from life: that’s where you come in.
Without marrying Allison, you can offer her the traditional role of wife and mother. She can work in your house, free, in exchange for the rent and sustenance, performing child-bearing and child-raising duties traditionally the purview of married women. Cleaning, cooking, all that, but unpaid. You see, Allison has turned herself into a debt slave, but she’s a slave to the bankers and the Feds. Your job is to turn her into a faithful, committed, PERSONAL debt slave, by providing a place for her to live in return for her signing a contract. She can even earn 18,000 a year and pay a minimal amount on her loan, if she feels so inspired.
Of course, while she makes this minimal payment, the interest piles up, so the loan balance increases to the skies. She gets further and further behind, meaning she cannot borrow money in her own name, cannot take out a mortgage or a car loan, cannot get a normal credit card. If she ever leaves you, she will need to provide support for herself, which will mean making more money, which will mean the debt payments go WAY up (of course, sadly, child support payments are not income. You’ll need to finesse that one). She has a huge millstone incentive to never leave you!
And it all works, except that you can never marry her. Well, maybe when she turns 47, and the debt drops off. By that time, her chances to EPL you should be minimal, and you can look forward to your old age with a wife you saved from Mammon and the banksters.