Student loans and CRAP: A fun look at the amazing similarities

It’s fascinating how people have such different views on student loans (and debt in general). Some believe you should pay them off fast. Some think you should pay them as slowly as possible.

Evelyn Ngugi wrote a fantastic and fun article on the two philosophies people have about paying off student loans. It is titled The Tale of Two Student Debt Philosophies at the SALT Blog. (The SALT™ Blog helps college students and young alums with personal finance – in a way that is fun and different).

Here are a few selected quotes:

“Philosophy #1: I Can Never Be Fully Free Unless I Have No Debt

People who live by this philosophy are perpetually calculating and recalculating the time it will take to pay off their loans. “If I just increase my monthly payment by $50, that shaves 5 years off my plan!” they scream.

The minimum monthly payment is a major no-no. That’s what “The Man” wants you to do! Pay forever. Keep paying. And paying… and paying. No! They won’t be bound to this ball and chain of borrowed money.”

Philosophy #2: I Will Always Have Debt, So Let’s All Just Live Our Lives

People who live by this philosophy do not intend to pay off their loans in a shorter amount of time than given by the bank or government. The way they see it, all the big things in life require loans, so why run themselves into the ground trying to pay loans off?

First comes college. What if they desire more formal education after that? Med school? A Ph.D. program? Loans. Then comes buying a home. Mortgage! And what if you want to start your own business? A loan will probably be involved.”

I posted a comment on the article in order to participate in the fun approach she took to the subject. I replaced each reference to student debt or borrowed money with the word sh*! (I decided sh*! might be slightly less offensive than using the word crap everywhere.) :-)

I just wanted to see how the two philosophies compared when looking at student debt through a slightly different lens.

Here is an expanded version of my comment.

“Fantastic look at student loans and how people think about paying them off Evelyn. I am an old fart (51) and my philosophy is to get rid of debt so you have more money to save and live. I love financial independence. Keeping debt around for life strikes me as hurting that goal.

Just for fun, I replaced the reference to student debt in the article with the word sh*! Here are a couple examples.

Philosophy #1: I Can Never Be Fully Free Unless I Have No Sh*!

People who live by this philosophy are perpetually calculating and recalculating the time it will take to pay off their sh*!.

The minimum monthly payment is a major no-no. That’s what “The Man” wants you to do! Pay forever. Keep paying. And paying… and paying. No! They won’t be bound to this ball and chain of sh*!.

Philosophy #2: I Will Always Have Sh*!, So Let’s All Just Live Our Lives

People who live by this philosophy do not intend to pay off their sh*! in a shorter amount of time than given by the bank or government. The way they see it, all the big things in life require sh*!, so why run themselves into the ground trying to pay sh*! off?

First comes college. What if they desire more formal education after that? Med school? A Ph.D. program? Sh*!. Then comes buying a home. Sh*! And what if you want to start your own business? Sh*! will probably be involved.

Using the sh*! analogy, the two approaches could be looked at like different views on cleanliness.

The first group knows sh*! is a fact of life. But they clean it up fast after it happens.

The second group lets the sh*! sit around for a while and doesn’t get too anal (sorry, couldn’t resist) about cleaning it up and flushing it quickly.

They say “Why clean it up? It is just going to happen again. I’m getting tired of always having to clean this sh*! up all the time.”

Great article Evelyn. Thank you for sharing it.

Well, that is my attempt to inject a little humor into the two approaches to paying off student loans.

Do you have sh*!? If so, what is your approach to cleaning it up? :-)