Student Loans

I have student loans just like everyone else.  I DO feel that it would be reasonable for the government to wipe out debt ONLY for people who have degrees that they are unable to use.  In exchange, colleges and universities would need to start disclosing how difficult it is to get a job in certain fields so people don't waste their money.  Certain degrees should in fact be free if they are useless in the corporate world.  It is sad how many young people go to school and later find out that they couldn't do anything with their degree and wasted both their time and money.  

As for all others, I feel the companies asking for a degree or "preferring" them should be paying separately for those.  As someone who has applied to many jobs with experience and no degree, I know firsthand how frustrating it is that employers expect you to put your time and money into a degree and then expect you to pay your student loans on top of the "market" rate of your profession.  This is NOT something the taxpayers are demanding from you, it is your employer.  Your employer should pay a standard amount for any of their educated professionals.  If you don't have student loans - great - you now make extra money on top of your market salary.  Not only does this make more sense, but it also benefits the people who didn't have loans or already paid them off.  Having the government wipe out debt of certain people isn't fair and is quite frankly a waste when it isn't the government demanding that you have a degree.  Which brings me to my next point that anyone working for state, local, or federal government should be the first to start receiving student loan payments.  This would include teachers, police, firefighters, social workers, etc.   The government should set the standard and hopefully others will follow along.  

I have held many jobs that have had strict degree requirements.   The nice thing is that I have NEVER been paid less because I didn’t have a college degree.   I have actually made more than double what my colleagues with degrees made.  A market rate is just that.  Student loan payments should be in addition to the market rate.  Some (few) employers already do pay over the market rate and those are employers who may be able to justify not doing something like this.  But many others with high expectations need to step up their game.  

Next the argument will be that education is included in the market rate.   Bullshit.  Someone who went to college and is making $50k a year (if that) with a $400 a month student loan payment is ridiculous.  That is a car payment and it is like paying for 2 cars since they likely have an actual car payment too.  Say with a $50k salary, they likely take home around $3,000 a month and their rent or mortgage is at least half of that - leaving them with $1500.  They make their car and student loan payment which is a combined $800, leaving them with $700.  So they have $700 to live off of.   How is that a fair salary when you demand that they have a degree?  Next they will argue that you should get a cheaper place to live.  Why should someone who went to college have to live in an unsafe area and struggle just so they can survive?  The worker did their part, but large businesses aren't doing theirs.  Next argument - well they should get married and split the bills.  Nobody should have to get married just to be able to survive.  Nobody wants to be dependent on someone else and whether someone is married should not have ANY impact on their pay whatsoever.  You are paying the individual - not the couple.  

Again, I think the employer should be paying an amount that reflects what it would typically cost for a student loan payment, regardless if someone has student loans or not.  The employer should be paying for the time and money people spent going to school to work for them.  If you don’t have student loans, great!  You now make extra money on top of your regular salary.  Employers will next say that will cost too much.  Lets take a look at the numbers of what this could look like:  

  • Associates/Certification/License:  $250/month  - $125 semi-monthly -  $115 bi-weekly

  • Bachelors:  $500/month - $250 semi-monthly - $231 bi-weekly

  • Masters:  $750/month - $375 semi-monthly - $346 bi-weekly

  • PHD, JD, MD, etc:   $1,000/month - $500 semi-monthly - $462 bi-weekly

These amounts would essentially act as the company making loan payments.  It shouldn’t matter what your actual loan payments are or if you even have student loans at all.   Something like this should be given out of respect for the time and any money you put into your education.  I see things this way out of how frustrating it is when employers have looked past me because I don’t have a degree.  If your employer wants a degree, they should pay for it.  

How do we get employers to pay for something like this?  If they don’t want to pay tax, then they need to ensure their employees are paid fair wages, a tuition payment, and a healthcare plan that has little to no out of pocket costs. 

While my voice will be very small in the world of politics, this is what I think needs to happen with the student loan situation.  We can't make companies do anything or pay specific amounts.  We can push for it and get the government to lead by example.  Time will tell if we can make any progress in this area, but if people want it enough, we can do anything.