Here is how the writer David Sedaris once described Sallie Mae, the student loan conglomerate:
“I came home this afternoon and checked the machine for a message from UPS but the only message I got was from the company that holds my student loan, Sallie Mae. Sallie Mae sounds like a naive and barefoot hillbilly girl but in fact they are a ruthless and aggressive conglomeration of bullies located in a tall brick building somewhere in Kansas. I picture it to be the tallest building in that state and I have decided they hire their employees straight out of prison. It scares me.” (via The New York Times)
Here’s another piece of student loan news: “Student loans outstanding will exceed $1 trillion this year”, according to USA Today. (No kicky colored pie chart, though; just a depressing line graph.)
Oh, and I thought you might be interested in this: Two Hundred Thou: The $200,000 Graduation Gift Project. There, you’ll learn about Kelli Space, who spent $200,000 (just like it says on the tin) on an undergrad degree. UNDERgrad. The first-pancake-that-you-throw-out degree that doesn’t mean anything.
And a final bit of great news: consumers now owe more money in student loans than you do in credit card debt.
America once used to make things like cars and jazz. Now it makes things like bubbles: housing and, now, student loans. As USA Today grimly tells us, “Students are borrowing twice what they did a decade ago after adjusting for inflation.” (Probably because the price of tuition keeps rising.) And student loan debt can’t be discharged through bankruptcy. Like an ill-advised tattoo, pernicious social disease, or the poor, student loan you’ll have, pretty much always.
This, of course, is sort of great news for the collections industry (Kaulkin Ginsberg’s Mark Russell discusses this point at length in a blog also running today). However, since God never gives with both hands (the other hand is always ready with a slap), it’s important to remember that kids who can’t pay their student loan debt probably can’t pay a collection agency, either.