These are the times that try our souls, and especially our credit ratings. We've discussed the issue of student loan debt at some length here, and more and more data have emerged on the pitfalls of mortgaging young futures in exchange for elusive, prestigious dreams.
Consumerist.com, ever ready to reveal the flaws of a debt-ridden lifestyle, has recently published two superb articles on that subject. The first, Student Loans, Gateway Drug To Debt Slavery, includes a masterful illustrated chronology showing how we got into this mess in the first place. The second, Love In The Time Of Soul-Crushing Student Loan Debt, warns of some unintended consequences of owing a lot of money to others.
Here are some excerpts from each:
One of the most important lessons students learn in college is how to get into debt and stay there. It's crucial to the success of the Republic. An indebted population is easier to control; needing to pay off crushing debt - a debt that if defaulted on has been stripped of many normal consumer protections and rights - graduates more willingly shuttle into cubicles, becoming the square pegs demanded by the square holes. After a few futile years of floundering idealism, their souls have been successfully jackbooted into powder and they're ready to keep the thumb on the next generation of would-be drones so as to protect their empire of matchsticks. But how did we get here? This chunky infographic examines the origins and (d)evolution of the student loan leviathan . . . [By all means, check out the infographic.]
What kind of lies about money would cause you to end a romantic relationship? What is more important--debt or money problems themselves, or if your significant other lies about them? As young Americans begin their adult lives with unprecedented amounts of student loan debt, it's important to confront debt and be honest with oneself and before pursuing a serious relationship. Just ask the California woman whose fiancé broke their engagement after learning that her student loan debts were significantly higher than she had previously disclosed . . .
. . . The Times' advice for avoiding such romantic/financial catastrophes? Be honest with yourself and with your significant other. Be brutally honest about your career plans and your debt load when preparing for marriage or moving in together. Legal agreements that put into writing whose salary pays whose debt are crucial in the event of (yes, you have to think about it) a divorce.
Bottom line: Think twice about signing up for those loans that provide immediate college gratification but, in the end, can cause lingering fiscal and emotional heartburn.
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