Debtonator

14 November 2013

rang-300x300“Hey Jason. Woah your new tv is huge!”

“Yeah, it’s a 60 inch. And I got GTA 5! I’ve been playing all day – it’s sick.”

“Yeah I’ve heard it’s pretty great…wait where did you get the money for all of this? I thought you were paying for all your expenses yourself?”

“Oh yeah, my student loans came in yesterday. I’m rolling in it.”

This is an actual conversation I have had with a friend and it is not out of the norm in this day and age. Almost anyone who has a friend with student loans has had a similar conversation. In this case, he pays for everything himself – school, rent, utilities, food – everything. And he struggles to pay for all of that. Yet as soon as he gets his student loan, the money goes to things completely unrelated to being a student. Semester after semester, I see people receiving their student loans and blowing their money on material goods that do not further their education (or applying for loans they don’t need!).

They understand that it’s a loan, not a grant. They understand that as soon as they graduate they will have to start making payments, but that’s a problem for their future self, and they do not care right now. And any attempt at pointing out that these student loans are meant for school are met with staunch rebuttals:

“I’ll be making minimum 45K coming out of college. I’ll have that loan paid off in 3 years tops. Don’t worry about it.”

Not only are students spending their excess student loans on frivolous items, but they assume that they will be able to pay off their loans in a very short time period. Students fail to account for the cost of living, taxes, and actual minimum salary coming out of college when they consider paying off student loans. Personally, I am tired of watching friends dig themselves into deeper and deeper holes, often holes they do not even realize they are digging.

The Debtonator application will hopefully show students that student loans are not to be trivialized and abused. Hopefully it will prevent that spur-of-the-moment-60-inch-television-purchase. Hopefully it will show students that while their loan is worth every cent, it is not something to scoff about or waste.

Project Website: studentdebt.mynmi.net