Every few months I feel the need to share another story about how bad student loans have gotten. I find it interesting because for the first 5-7 years of writing this blog, the topic didn’t even occur to me. A few other personal finance writers would write an article or two, but I don’t remember reading much before 2010. Some advertisers asked me to write about student loans and I’d pass.
I didn’t feel qualified to write about student loans. I was blessed with a full scholarship. I didn’t have any clue how the system worked.
Fast forward to 2017 and it’s hard to stay away from the student loan news. Today, I wanted to share one instance of silver-lining to the student loan dark cloud.
“The system is broke and makes no sense!!”
A few weeks ago, NFL cornerback Logan Ryan announced something unusual on his Instagram. He paid off $82,000 of his brother’s student loans. Here’s what he wrote:
“Surprised my big bro and paid off his student loans for his 29th Bday!! My man got accepted to college, graduated with honors, and now works as an engineer. He did everything the right way and still lives with a ridiculous amount of student loan debt. The system is broke and makes no sense!!”
That’s a very nice thing that Mr. Ryan did for his brother. Of course Mr. Ryan signed a $30 million dollar contract for 3 seasons. On the surface, this isn’t too dissimilar than an athlete making millions and buying a new house for his parents.
However, let’s breakdown what we know (or at least what we are lead to believe):
- His brother graduated with honors.
- His brother graduated with a STEM degree.
- His brother is 29 years old. (We’ll presume he’s been out of school for 5+ years).
- His brother had $82,000 in loans (the check amount).
That’s a lot of student loans to have left after that long with what would seem to be a distinguished, high-paying degree/career. Logan Ryan is right, the system is broken and it doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t take a financial expert to see it.
I wish there were a way to get some politicians elected who could help make things better. Just a few days ago, the LA Times wrote that “It’s Betsy DeVos’ job to protect students from predatory for-profit colleges. She should do it”. It’s so bad that nearly 20 states had to sue her andn the Department of Education over what she’s doing to prevent students from getting helped by what the times says is, “the worst fraud in the higher education.”
It is hard for me to wrap my head around so many states suing a government agency because the agency wants to protect companies committing alleged fraud. It makes as much sense as fire trucks going around burning down houses.
Sorry for the rant, let me reel myself in and close with a few words about Logan Ryan. He played for the New England Patriots until he was signed by the Tennessee Titans as a free agent. As a fan of the Patriots, I came to appreciate the stuff he did off the field. He’s been extremely active in rescuing dogs, which regular readers know is a cause near and dear to me. I hope Titans appreciate his performance on and off of the field as much as I did.