I was recently asked what was the core idea of the Say No! To College Debt book. I blundered around a bit and don’t quite remember what I said. I gave it some thought and came up with a good principle. It’s the core of the book and also an excellent guide for life.
The principle is, “If you follow the crowd, you can expect the crowd’s consequences.” Think about that for a moment or two. I’ll bet that you’ve had some not-so-good situation in which you found yourself because you had followed the crowd. One of the key goals of people committing fraud or running a scam is using relationships to get into the door. The Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme was only successful because the early victims made some money and told all their friends, who then bought in. Tens of billions of dollars were lost.
How about your buddies that are a little older than you coming home for the holidays from their first year of college, saying, “It’s so easy to get into college at (name of college here)”? They go on to tell you that all they did was to go into the admissions office and sign some forms. The school didn’t even ask for any cash. How cool is that?
What they don’t know is they had just indebted themselves for a couple of decades of making payments, sometimes quite large payments. They won’t be able to do what they had always wanted to do since they’ll need to get the best job they can to make the payments. Those payments may also delay marriage and having children. Who can afford children when you have colossal school debt payments? Dave Ramsey has a saying, “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” Make the decision now to not sign on the loans, and later on, you can go where your heart leads you not burdened with the ball and chain of large loans. Financial freedom is wonderful, and it is achievable. Stay tuned for more blog posts and the Say No! To College Debt book, coming out in late July.