Letter Re: Requesting Advice for a Recent College Graduate

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Hi HJL,

I need some advice on what I should do next, and I am sure that many of the young college graduates who are reading your site are in a similar predicament. Here is the back story. I graduated from a university with about 80K in student loans– 52K in state and 28K in federal. I was very blessed to get a great job out of college working for my alma mater as a researcher making about 47K (pretax). I live at home and commute to work (1.5 hours each way), and now I am going back to graduate school for almost free. The federal loans are deferred and I am making the minimum payments. I am also trying to actively build my supply stockpile. My aim is to have a minimum of 6 months worth of supplies of basic food, ammo, medical supplies, and some comm equipment. I know that having such high financial liabilities is terrible, but I also know that I need to have some supplies for the coming crisis that will certainly occur.

I have four options for the road ahead, as far as I can tell.

  • Option 1: Divert all funds to my loans and get them paid off ASAP.
  • Option 2: Make the minimum payments and focus on supplies.
  • Option 3: Pay off my Federal immediately, then build supplies as I make minimum payments on my state loan.
  • Option 4: Get to the 6-month threshold and then attack my debt (federal first, then state) with all available funds.

I think (and here is where I would like some guidance) that Option 4 is the right path and is my current choice, but what do you think? Do you put a higher value on getting supplies first or financial freedom? Is there another option I have yet to think of? Thanks for any and all advice.

Respectfully, Patriot in Occupied NJ

P.S. And of course knowledge is free, so I have gotten many of the suggested books and plan to start reading through them in and around my graduate studies.

Hugh Replies: The college debt bubble is one of the largest and most damaging debt bubbles on the horizon. While it’s too late for your situation, others may learn from your situation. I highly recommend several resources for folks who are thinking about debt as an option to fund education:

These three resources give you a plethora of information about how the college system is financially rigged as a money maker for universities and how they enslave young people who might otherwise have avoided the debt/slave paradigm that has a stranglehold on the world at the moment. Having spent a good portion of my career as a high school teacher of Physics, I saw first hand how the “god” of higher education was pushed upon all students. I personally hold two engineering undergraduate degrees, one masters degree, and a number of “certificates” from extensive schooling. I did get caught up in the debt tangle and spent many years untangling myself. However, in all that time, in all the positions I have held, not once did anyone ever look at one of my transcripts or degrees (except for the FBI in their background checks, but that is another story) and not one job has ever been dependent on anything other than what I learned on my own.

For those who are considering college, know that nobody cares where most of your schooling occurs. The prestige is based upon where you graduated from. Take as many credits as you can at a local community college, CLEP test out of anything you can, transfer into the school of your choice as late as possible, and if nothing else, avoid the debt at all cost. If you are not sure what you want out of college, the answer is simple– don’t go! Don’t spend the money, at least not until you have a clue what you want out of it.

As you have realized, that $80,000 of debt is like a millstone around your neck while you are trying to swim. You will not be able to discharge it either. I think you answered your own question best: Get out of that debt as quickly as possible! You can still prep on a smaller scale, but I would put the bulk of my resources in eliminating the school loan debt.

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