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Should I just pay off my student loan?
August 18, 2012 12:26 AM   Subscribe

Should I just pay off my student loan? I owe $4800 for federal subsidized/unsubsidized loans. I have a three month grace period and already paid off $700. The thing is, I have $6000 in my bank, and if I pay off my loans, I'll have about $1000 (enough to keep my bank from charging me minimum balance fee) and also qualify for food stamps. The food stamp would really help because I have physical illnesses that keep me on a strict diet, and I don't see myself going desperate only with a $1000 now that I have a job that fully pays my rent. I don't really need $6000 for anything. It pretty much just sits there.

I have perfect credit (I use a credit card) and also don't see myself buying a car or a house for the next ten years. I heard that in the long run, paying off student loans early is bad because it does nothing for your credit or something. I plan on paying $500 to $1000 a week and get my loans over with in a month before it starts accrueing interest.
posted by kopi to Education (37 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Paying off debt is always a good idea - and regardless you're paying out interest on the money.
posted by mattoxic at 12:38 AM on August 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't think there's a clear cut yes/no answer to this question.

The benefit of paying off debt early that is worth paying attention to is avoiding interest. Avoiding interest is almost always good in the long term (there are complications, like student loan interest can be tax-deductible, but if you're earning little enough to qualify for food stamps this is probably not an issue).

However when you are up against it in any way shape or form it is hard to substitute cash on hand. This should not be discounted. If you lose your job in the scenario you're considering you will run out of money in 1/6th the time.

I'm all about running scenarios. How long would your savings sustain you if you lost your job right now? How long would they sustain you if you paid off your student loans and went on food stamps? These are pretty simple calculations. If you haven't done them you aren't really taking this question seriously, paying off your loan just "feels like the right thing to do".

Here's a very simple scenario where paying off that debt is not a good idea: you lose your job and get sick and rack up a $5,000 credit card bill dealing with medical costs that has an interest rate 3X your student loans. There's no inarguable answer to whether the risk of scenarios like this are worth it. You have to think about how you feel about these scenarios and make your choice. But make sure you're using the most real numbers you can come up with.

Couple other thoughts: you are probably not making enough in interest to justify dealing with an account with a minimum balance. You may need that money totally liquid. I'd consider shopping for a no-fee, no-minimum checking account instead.

With respect to the credit rating issue, I feel like this sort of consideration is hardly ever worth thinking about. What gives you good credit is having a good credit history, qualifying for credit and using it wisely. What gives you bad credit is missing bills, having too much revolving debt, major economic crisis like getting evicted, foreclosed, going bankrupt. These finesse the score things, who knows: the method of calculating credit scores is arcane and proprietary. Focus on the obvious stuff.

I'm noticing a little bit of things like this in your considerations: " don't see myself going desperate only with a $1000"... "don't see myself buying a car or a house for the next ten years"... "I heard... it does nothing for your credit or something" It seems like you're letting some pretty vague, questionably founded assumptions guide a pretty serious decisions.

I understand saying this may be stating the foolishly obvious but it seems like an overarching issue here is that you are in or near poverty. Don't lose sight of seeking the opportunity to improve your income. In the long run this is going to be a much more significant. If you found full-time work at $3 an hour more you'll be earning more than $6,000 more every year.
posted by nanojath at 1:07 AM on August 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


I don't think there's a clear cut yes/no answer to this question.

True. But to my lights, paying off the loan would seem to be the thing to do. On the other hand...

I don't really need $6000 for anything.

Yes you do. You just don't know what it is yet. As to the checking thing: get free checking. It's out there. Lots of banks have it if you have direct deposit, and a few just offer it period.

medical costs that has an interest rate 3X your student loans

Medical bills don't generally come with interest.
posted by valkyryn at 1:44 AM on August 18, 2012


paying off your loan just "feels like the right thing to do".

What the hell was that for? Anyway I probably didn't add enough detail to my post.

I only have a high school diploma, and I majored in art only for freshman year (only got to college so I can get away from my abusive family), so there's not that much of a chance at the moment where I can get something that pays $3 more. I work minimum wage at the moment ($8/hr). The minimum wage job isn't enough to sustain my rent + food alone, so my $6000 is slowly going down. I probably won't be able to pay neither rent + food + loans by the time 3 months pass.

On the other hand, if I pay the $4800 now and qualify for food stamps, I can get the loan off my back, have a job that fully pays my rent, and food stamps that give me more than enough to spend on food (My budget is $120 a month in a tight situation but the food stamp is worth $200). With the extra money from food stamps, I don't have to spend any of my wage on food, and actually add more variety to my diet. I would also be able to start saving up about $100 a month.

The physical illnesses I have result from a lifelong allergy, and once I figured my allergy out, the physical illnesses have been knocked down one by one. I am already getting better on a proper diet so I don't see my health going downhill. Perhaps I am too enthuasiastic. It's also unlikely that I'll get into a car issues/accidents because I use public transit.

If I am on food stamps, I can save only working at least 20 hours a week on minimum wage. Really not bad at all. But, the thing I AM concerned about is how stable my job is. I just got the job a month ago, and I work in customer service. I didn't tell my boss that I have autism, and even though boss told me I am getting better every day, he is wondering why I don't act "normal".

Should I just pay off the 4800 all at once, right before my grace period ends? It doesn't matter whether I pay them little by little versus all at once, would it?
posted by kopi at 1:47 AM on August 18, 2012


Is it all or nothing? I fully sympathise with getting loans off your back but there is also the virtue of keeping a rainy day fund (it might fund getting a better job). I'm a Brit so don't understand the significance of the grace period but could you for example pay off half the loan?
posted by epo at 2:07 AM on August 18, 2012


If the grace period is fully subsidized, that is, interest free, then maybe hold off. If its unsubsidized, then you should start paying it off. Exactly how much of a safety net you need is a personal decision, but to me, being debt free is a great safety net in itself.

Do not let concerns about your credit score color your decision. It's not a consequential change. Your score will benefit by paying it off with no late payments.
posted by skewed at 2:15 AM on August 18, 2012


Yes, all or nothing. I wouldn't qualify for food stamps paying off only half. Might as well pay off the whole thing, if there is no difference between paying little by little versus paying all at once. From what I hear from you guys, it seems it doesn't matter whether I pay it off early or all at once, as long as I don't accrue late payments.

I actually CAN spend the $1000 I have in my bank since I have student account, but I am worried that I might not qualify and need to maintain a minimum now that I am out of college (but at the same time I can just not tell my bank and let them assume I am a student). The pro about my bank is that it is everywhere, hence easy access.

My plan was to pay off my loan, get a free ride to good food (food stamps), and slowly build my way back up monetarily. But of course, job stability. My boss said he likes me but I don't know whether I should tell him I have autism. It can backfire.

Anyway, how do I fund getting a better job? I enjoy my job, it's a good job that is close to home (I can walk and my legs are very strong)
posted by kopi at 2:18 AM on August 18, 2012


I work minimum wage at the moment ($8/hr). The minimum wage job isn't enough to sustain my rent + food alone, so my $6000 is slowly going down. I probably won't be able to pay neither rent + food + loans by the time 3 months pass.

OP, if things are this dire, I would not pay off your loans at once. You do need this $6000 for something -- it's called surviving. Paying off debt definitely isn't always a good idea.

Let me explain: You don't mention interest rate, but if you took out this loan recently it's as low as 3.4%, which is pretty damn good. Let's say you are on a 10 year payment plan. That's going to be less than $50 a month. In the end, you'll pay about $900 in interest over the coirse of ten years. Although that's nothing to sneeze at, it's definitely a small price to pay (over the course of 10 years) for having money on hand to pay for necessities such as food and rent, let alone emergency medical expenses. And - who knows, in a year your financial situation could be great and you could pay off your entire loans then.

What I'm trying to say is, if the interest rate is low, this grace period is a red herring. Cash on hand is more valuable to you right now. Make your regular payments until you are financially stable and you can afford it. Find an online loan calculator and run the numbers yourself. Also, you should be able to get a payment schedule from your loan provider. I'd encourage you to check it out.

My plan was to pay off my loan, get a free ride to good food (food stamps), and slowly build my way back up monetarily.

OP, with all due respect, HUH? Your plan is to accelerate yourself into total poverty? I am really failing to
see what this does for you. Yes. You will get food stamps, and it seems like your rationale is that you will be on food stamps anyway in 3 months with no savings and no dent in your loan, why not at least pay off loan and be on food stamps?

OP- run the numbers. What do you make per month after taxes? How much is rent? How much is food? Loans, as I said above, really shouldn't be that much. If your income alone doesn't pay for rent and food, how much a month do you have to dip into your savings? Can you fill the gap by taking on a second job or looking for a better one?

Anyway OP I realize you are in a tough place, but please please take a good look at the numbers. I really don't think paying off your loans in full makes good financial sense in your circumstances.
posted by murfed13 at 3:34 AM on August 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


I disagree with the others. You *have* run the numbers, you're clearly going to be better off if you pay off the loan because food stamps will then increase your income. And if you don't pay off the loan the money will disappear anyway thanks to lack of food stamps, then you'll be left with no extra money and still have the loan (which will be accruing interest and going into arrears). It even seems that paying it off faster is better because then you get on food stamps more quickly, particularly given that will allow to start putting money aside again to rebuild the fund.

That's going to be less than $50 a month.

OK but if they pay off the money the OP will be able to start saving $100 per month while also having enough money to eat properly (which they currently do not).
posted by shelleycat at 4:40 AM on August 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


I think another thing to consider is that if the OP pays off the loan, qualifies for food stamps, starts saving $100/month, and tries to make that sustainable long-term, it won't be. As soon as the OP saves enough, they will once more be ineligible for food stamps. (If it's the $2K threshold I see online, that's only ten months of saving $100/month on top of the remaining $1K.)

I think it could make sense either way, OP. I feel like what you need most is a plan for getting out of this situation, because whether you pay off the loan or not, you're in an unsustainable place.

Ways to work your way to a better job:

-Is there a community college in your area? Can you keep on taking classes, even if it's just one a semester, towards an associates degree in a field you'd be happy working in? Being in school, even if just one class, will help you meet people and move towards a goal.

-Can you find a second job? Things to consider that might work around your hours: Restaurants and cafes. Home helper positions. Dog walking or pet sitting. Small-scale outside work for folks in your neighborhood, like raking leaves or shoveling snow or tech support on people's home computers.

-Can you volunteer for an organization you believe in? This will help you meet new people, make connections, and build different skills.
posted by pie ninja at 4:56 AM on August 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


OP, I'm not sure I'm understanding this correctly. What happens to the $100/month that you save by being on food stamps? Is it spending money? The way that you're phrasing things makes me assume (perhaps incorrectly) that you're going to be putting the money back into your savings account. Won't that eventually make you ineligible for food stamps?

I think what you've outlined is an okay short-term solution, but you also need to consider and plan for what happens if you lose your job, or if you stop being eligible for food stamps. Good luck!
posted by Stephanie Duy at 5:00 AM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


My understanding is that $200/month is the maximum food stamp benefit amount for a household of one with zero income. Are you sure you would get that much, even with your employment income? It's worth double-checking that.
posted by southern_sky at 5:03 AM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


My understanding is that $200/month is the maximum food stamp benefit amount for a household of one with zero income. Are you sure you would get that much, even with your employment income? It's worth double-checking that.

This is definitely worth looking into, before you go through with this plan. Obviously it varies state by state but I was on food stamps for a bit when I was earning what you are earning and I only got $65/month. Which would be helpful, but probably not worth destroying your safety net over.
posted by geegollygosh at 5:06 AM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Though I have never been on food stamps, I remember when I was younger and my family was trying to get some help, that it was a very long process to apply and get approved, with many people who very logically could use them, being denied. Maybe that has changed--or is different in your state--but it is worth it to consider how quickly the benefits would kick in.
posted by chiefthe at 5:54 AM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Calculcate the amount of food stamps you'll actually get based on your actual income. That $200 is scaled depending on how much you make.
posted by schroedinger at 5:58 AM on August 18, 2012


If I might suggest an alternate plan... You don't actually need to spend your safety net, you can simply hide it slowly - Start taking out $100/week on top of expenses, stop putting anything new in, and stick your "real" savings under your mattress (honestly, at the going rate of around 0.2%, you'll lose out on only a buck per year in interest). In a few months, you should have emptied your savings and will have no provable assets to count against you.

That said, as others have already pointed out, make sure you really would get as much as you think - Probably not worth it to risk having that much cash around for $50 a month.

And yes, before anyone scolds me, I consider my suggestion (and to a lesser degree, the original question) contemptible. You clearly have enough income and assets that you don't need to go on food stamps. And you want to give what assets you do have to a bank???
posted by pla at 5:58 AM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not clear if anyone mentioned this, but there are some student loans which PENALIZE you for paying them all off at once in a lump sum. Before you consider this, check the paperwork VERY carefully to see what the ramifications of paying the whole thing off actually are.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:15 AM on August 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


You don't have enough income to pay off your student loan with money you are earning, and not having this $4800 will qualify you for food stamps. So this seems like a solid plan.

My only concern is that if you lose your job with rent included, you have very limited funds to secure alternative housing. Beware.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:32 AM on August 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I want to second pla. I would not pay off the loan right now, but would create a new savings plan wherein your saved money is in a safe in your house and your recordable savings (the small amount kept in the bank) qualify you for the food stamps allowed with your wages. In the big scheme of things, you aren't working with large sums of money and i woudn't worry about that laying around in a secured safe. Noone will know about it so it's not like you'll be a target for robery.
posted by WeekendJen at 7:18 AM on August 18, 2012



I'm not clear if anyone mentioned this, but there are some student loans which PENALIZE you for paying them all off at once in a lump sum. Before you consider this, check the paperwork VERY carefully to see what the ramifications of paying the whole thing off actually are.

Since you mentioned the loans are federal loans, this is not an issue. The Higher Education Act of 1965 eliminated penalties for prepaying Stafford loans.
Calculcate the amount of food stamps you'll actually get based on your actual income. That $200 is scaled depending on how much you make.
Yes, plug your numbers into an online SNAP benefits estimator for a rough number.
posted by roomwithaview at 8:22 AM on August 18, 2012


What the hell was that for?

I honestly didn't intend anything I said as a personal dig. My point is just that without running through realistic alternate scenarios with the most accurate numbers you can develop, decisions of this sort end up being based on feelings about things like being debt free. I'm not claiming to know what is in your mind just pointing out common mistakes in making decisions of these sorts.

Make sure you know the actual payoff cost of your loans (this will not necessarily be the same as the amount you owe). You can find this out by contacting your lender. Make sure you are not using the best calculation of your food assistance benefit you can, and be aware that your actual benefit will be determined by a caseworker and may not be the same as an online calculator comes up with.
posted by nanojath at 8:38 AM on August 18, 2012


You say that you are on a strict diet so this answer may not be valid for you. If you have time, you don't have a family to worry about, and you are housed, then food is pretty easy to come by. Many churches have weekly food give away days. You can't predict what they'll have and if you have special dietary needs you're probably out of luck. n x $100.00 in food stamps may or may not be worth n x $100.00 to you.
posted by rdr at 8:42 AM on August 18, 2012


Churches usually don't have what I can eat. I am out of luck.

shelleycat, that was my exact line of thought. I don't care if I become ineligible for food stamps in the long run. I am ineligible with the $6000, and by the time that money runs out until I am eligible, I will have food stamps but a fat loan that I cannot pay off and could have months ago.

pie ninja, I already am looking for a second job and a volunteering position, and I already go to classes without having to pay for them. If I get on food stamps, I may actually be able to go to workshops and non-college classes to meet people in. I don't see a reason or even a way I can pay my way for college class, especially an overpriced one.

I qualify for $200, if this is correct: http://www.snap-step1.usda.gov/fns/index.jsp
I plan on going to a local welfare office to check for sure though. Obviously I won't go dump $4800 without even confirming what I qualify for.

DarlingBri, that's my concern. Clearly paying off the student loan will help me save, but I am not so set on job security.
posted by kopi at 9:03 AM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would suggest that you NOT pay it off. Being debt-free sounds nice, but think about this: your debt is really not $4800: it's $50/month. If you think about it this way (which I rarely advise except in your situation, where money is very tight), you will see that you now have:

Assets $6000
Debts $50/month
= Flexibility of $5950, $5900, $5850... each month

If you pay it off, you will have:

Assets $1200
Food stamp savings $80/month
Debts $0
= Flexibility of $1280, $1360, $1440... each month
(at $2000, you stop saving $80/ and get stuck at $2000)

You can see that your monthly flexibility (cash reserve) is much lower in case you lose your job, have to move to a new place, have more health issues, etc. THIS IS EXTREMELY LIKELY TO HAPPEN AT SOME POINT, BECAUSE IT HAPPENS TO EVERYONE.

That flexibility is key to keeping you off the streets in an emergency. It also means that you can take advantage of opportunities, like a really fantastic training course that can set you up for a lucrative career... but that costs you $3000, for example.

I would really VERY strongly suggest that you maximize flexibility in your situation.
posted by 3491again at 9:40 AM on August 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


If your family situation is still as dire as you've described in past questions, then I think it would be safer to have as much of a financial cushion as is feasible. For instance, if you suddenly have to pick up and move again, will you have enough in reserve to: pay last month's rent/penalty for breaking a lease, plus first month's rent and security on a new place? Not mention having to move your stuff or acquire new stuff?

If the family situation isn't relevant anymore, then ignore me.
posted by rtha at 10:15 AM on August 18, 2012


I would look with some care at the terms of the loan. Fine print included. This makes a very large difference over the lifetime of it.

If it is a friendly, non-recourse / dischargeable loan, with a fixed-repayment-scheme, permanently disassociated from private-collections, then maybe maybe go with 3491again's logic and try to maximize your flexibility.

But it is important to understand that (especially if you're American) student debt is potentially very hard to rid yourself of and may, through quite unscrupulous means of its holders or their later associates, be inflated through fees and penalties to many times its current level. Bankruptcy is (likely) not an option.

So I would, when considering student debt, err significantly on the side of paying it off first. Think of it not so much as a stable obligation you're free to schedule for when it's most convenient; more as the early signs of a sickness that could get much, much worse if you don't heal it while it's still manageable.

(The same is true of any loan, really. The superficial amount is not the problem. The terms set by the lender and their collectors -- who have long lives to spend feasting on your misery -- are the problem. Terms get especially punitive for the already-powerless and already-poor.)
posted by ead at 11:29 AM on August 18, 2012


In addition to the pros and cons everyone else has pointed out, I think this is worth considering:

With the extra money from food stamps, I don't have to spend any of my wage on food, and actually add more variety to my diet. […] The physical illnesses I have result from a lifelong allergy […] I am already getting better on a proper diet

Framing this in terms of money… poor health is expensive. Not just to treat, but also because it makes it harder for you to earn money, and leaves you with less physical/emotional energy to do things that can help yourself. Investing in your own health is a very good idea. (And, of course, poor health reduces your quality of life— and in the end, the whole point is to have a life you can enjoy; having enough money to pay for food and shelter is a darn good proxy for that though.)

My advice (take with a grain of salt) is to check whether there's a penalty for paying the loan off all at once in three months, and if not, plan to do that. By that time, you'll have had your job for four months, not one, so you'll have a better idea of whether it's stable. In the meantime, if you lose your job or have some disaster, you'll be glad to have the extra money to fall back on.
posted by hattifattener at 1:10 PM on August 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Just a quick note: If you transfer your account to a local credit union, you'll sometimes get interest paid to you on your checking account, and you probably won't need to carry a minimum balance at all...

Being super broke was what made me go to a credit union...I think the minimum balance is like 5 bucks in a savings account.

And, personally, I would pay off the loans ASAP, because that kind of action hanging over your head no matter can be, for some people, quite anxiety provoking. Keeping a balance on my credit card freaks the hell out of me, even if I can afford it. *shrugs* Really, it sounds like you have a plan.

Also, food stamps are great, but only use them for as long as you really need them.
posted by furnace.heart at 1:49 PM on August 18, 2012


OP, I am no expert in this sort of thing, but I believe if you have been diagnosed with autism you are protected by the ADA. You should tell your employer if this is the case, because it seems like it would help gain you more job security by explaining to your employer why you are the way you are, and it would give them pause before considering firing you for this because it could be construed as a violation of the ADA. That is just my read and I would see if you can get this confirmed by someone else who knows more before you do it.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 1:54 PM on August 18, 2012


Your loans are federal loans, if your income is low enough to qualify for SNAP than you are almost certainly eligible for income-contingent or income-based repayment. This would bring your loan payments down to a manageable level. Use this caluclator to see what your monthly payment would be capped at. Your monthly payment may be $20 or even $0. Interest will still accrue, but you need liquidity now as opposed to 6% of that cash later.

Food stamps are not a good enough reason to destroy your safety net. I would rather have $6000 liquid cash and $4000 in debt than $1000 liquid cash and $0 in debt when shit hits the fan. Once you pay the loan off, the money is gone. You will not save much in interest on an amount that small.

In your situation, liquid assets are paramount because they help you survive.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 2:29 PM on August 18, 2012


pla, my intention to get food stamps is not contemptible at all. This is an extreme example but a loan is like a cancer, it gets worse without "treatment". Would you go around telling people with cancer, "you shouldn't get food stamps because you can spend your money buying food instead of treating cancer". Paying off my loans is a preventative action. Clearly I don't have enough asset and income once the loans are dealt with.

$6000 on interest yields only a few cents a month. Not worth it.

hattifattener, that is a really good idea, to check if there is a penalty. I searched before and found none, and if I decide to pay it off, I will pay it off in the end of this or next month and get food stamps right away (I am already thinking of heading to an office this Monday). Investing in my health is a very good idea and sooner I do it the better (hence the desperation to get food stamps). People already began treating me better because I look and act very different from when I first started taking care of myself.

Yeah the loan really gets on my nerves.


treehorn bunny, the social workers all have diagnosed me with autism, but they didn't file anything legal nor was it made official. I don't even have contact number. I may just be another person claiming autism without "solid proof" thus not legally protected.
posted by kopi at 3:16 PM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't agree with the "don't pay it now" crowd. Student loans will follow you forever, and damage your credit forever if you can't pay them. Why not pay it now, get the monkey off your back, and go forward debt-free? Sure, there are options to not pay your loan for years through deferments and forbearance. But ultimately it will come due, only then with huge tacked-on interest. Even if you pay the income-based repayments, unless you're hitting the minimum in monthly interest accrual your loans will still be getting bigger instead of smaller. Since you don't have a firm plan to increase your income over the next five or ten years, what would change between now and then that would allow you to pay it versus not?

$50 per month seems reasonable to people who aren't making minimum wage. But it's a huge amount to someone who is. I understand the "you need a safety net" argument, and if this were a different kind of debt (a dischargeable kind) I'd agree. But I say pay it off, don't worry about how it won't add value to your credit score, and move on.

Keep the paid in full letter somewhere safe, too, once it arrives.
posted by clone boulevard at 3:18 PM on August 18, 2012


"Damage your credit forever" is hyperbolically unhelpful. I defaulted on my student loans in the 90s and my credit is now fine, and has been fine for more than a decade.
posted by rtha at 4:06 PM on August 18, 2012


pla, my intention to get food stamps is not contemptible at all.

I meant that comment in regards to giving what assets you do have to a bank - If you had asked about using your savings to buy a car, or to help out a friend in need, or even for something as sappy as paying for surgery on your dog, I wouldn't have said that.

Though make no mistake, I don't think you'll get much sympathy from those among us who depend on assistance and lack your current options.


This is an extreme example but a loan is like a cancer

You appear to have already rationalized your decision, and just want the MeFi community to give you emotional "permission". I have no problem with that, and even offered you a better way to do it than to leave yourself penniless. But let's call a spade a spade.

Or perhaps it would sound less fighty (which I don't mean this as) to put it this way - Maximizing your income while minimizing your long-term obligations makes an entirely reasonable approach to your situation - If you honestly expect your situation to change in the very near future. Fear of debt for its own sake, however, does not count as a rational fear, and in most cases, fluidity will keep you afloat longer than net worth.
posted by pla at 9:46 AM on August 19, 2012


This is an extreme example but a loan is like a cancer, it gets worse without "treatment". Would you go around telling people with cancer, "you shouldn't get food stamps because you can spend your money buying food instead of treating cancer".

A loan is so not like cancer, not at all. Last time I checked the Feds weren't trying to kill you or send you through chemotherapy or surgery or all the horrible last effects cancer survivors have to deal with.

Pay the loan off, that is what you want to do, but don't compare it to a devastating disease.
posted by SuzySmith at 11:13 AM on August 19, 2012


"Damage your credit forever" is hyperbolically unhelpful. I defaulted on my student loans in the 90s and my credit is now fine, and has been fine for more than a decade.

Ok, I admit, maybe "forever" was a poor choice of words. But a decade of bad credit is a really long part of the average person's lifetime, right? And if someone is going to be earning minimum wage for a significant portion of that, and perhaps beyond, it might just feel like forever.
posted by clone boulevard at 4:28 PM on August 19, 2012


pla, I rationalized it already, but was wondering if there were things I didn't think about. And there were people here who helped me. And yeah, loan is like a cancer, just not to the same degree.
posted by kopi at 7:50 PM on August 19, 2012


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