Think! It May Save Your Financial Life

 Everyone has a purpose, even if it is simply to serve as a bad example for others.  Sure, it’s a funny line but it also comes with a dark side – sometimes it’s just plain true.

Take for example a couple that recently called into Dave Ramsey’s TV show on the Fox Business Network.

“We’re calling because we took out some student loans.  Now they are coming due and we don’t know what to do.”

This paraphrased statement alone is a case study in denial, irresponsibility, failing to understand causal if-then relationships, failed foresight, and sheer lunacy.

That the couple thought they could collect a magic “out phrase” from a national voice of reason known for calling out folks for their similarly misguided actions is datum for yet another study.

But that’s just when the call got interesting.  Further discussion revealed the following:

  • 2 student loans totaling nearly $300k
  • 1 loan payment for ~$750 and the other ~$650 for a whopping total of ~$1300 per month
  • Schooling was for a pilot’s license – no Docs or Lawyers in this equation
  • Starting salary – $23,000 – monthly minimum student loan payments EXCEED the income
  • Mom doesn’t work outside the home because of kids
  • Parents co-signed on the loan

A flabbergasted Ramsey offered that this deal may have bankrupted 2 families.  I’ve never seen him so mystified and dumbfounded by an individual’s experience or situation but I agree with his landing spot.  This is like when they want to study the brain of a serial killer to try to find insight into what makes it tick.

What would ever possess someone to purposefully string together such a series of mis-steps?  The military will give-away such training and any number of aviation institutes teach pilots every day for huge sums less.  Co-signing is Biblically wrong – that’s more an ‘order of magnitude’ statement than a spiritual one, and $23k for a couple with kids is a near poverty level income that could be replicated at any fast food joint.  How all these factors conspired into a single event is as amazing as it is tragic.

So next time you’re considering a financial decision do yourself a favor – stop and think, would that caller have made this same decision?  If you answer “yes” then run like the wind.  If “no”, then you may be on to something. 

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