1. In the UK, income-based repayment is the predominate norm – anyone who does it otherwise is the anomaly (although it is profoundly worse in England and Wales as we have free tuition fees up here). The running joke since forever is “Finally paid off my student loan” next the picture of a skeleton. Kind of disturbing that US students might not know about that option, though.

    As for #1, this has been a rolling argument with my friend (28 in summer) since 2012/13ish after this phenomenally dumb situation: he’d gotten himself a job as a warden at an access college, so his pay was in free accommodation and food, allowing him to save up money from his grant (around £1000/$1200 in the end) as an emergency fund – or as it’s better known in Edinburgh, emergency one-month’s rent and deposit between term-time accom. 2013 rolls around, and that mo’fugga went blew through over half of it on guitar amps. Amps! The man plays bass, but he hadn’t touched that or his guitar in years! So many examples with him, lovely boy that he is, but his biggest downfall with paying people back was his whole ‘pay back in big amounts and you’ll pay it off faster’, conveniently forgetting that it will also mean you have nothing left to, y’know, live on. But it all boiled down not being used to have that much cash in the bank, something that he (and his family) have never been used to. He’s getting better…slowly. I’m worried what he’d do with a fixed salary, though…

    • AbsentElemental

      I don’t think income based repayment is a completely unknown option so much as it is one that people are reluctant to ask for. Because it’s not the default payback option, it feels like you’re getting some sort of charity using it. Most people (myself included) are turned off by that idea, even if it is the best for us personally. I’m pretty sure it’s intentionally set up that way for that specific reason.

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