Gotta Choose One: Feed Your Kids or Repay That Big PLUS Student Loan?

Should You Get a PLUS Loan for Your Kids College?

Hey, my business people. In today’s Lessons for Business and Motivation:

Following up on that nearly half a million medical school student loan debt video I did recently, here’s another heartbreaking story of a sista who felt it was the right thing to do when she took out huge college student loan debt for her children a few years ago. Sadly, she is now stuck with a nearly $200k debt load, and she is still thinking about doing another one for another child.

Why people why?

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As I read the story, it was the typical media bias where they focus on the emotion of not being able to pay back the debt and begging Biden to forgive the loans, but nowhere did the article explain what majors did the children choose and why have THEY not been able to repay the loan with lucrative careers?

Here’s a quote from the article on what happened after her older kids graduated college:

“After her children graduated college in 2017 and 2019, Mansfield was placed on an income-driven repayment plan that allowed her to temporarily make $0 monthly payments because of her low income. While she said not having to make those payments was helpful, the interest continued to build, making it almost impossible for her to get ahead of her debt — and she said that element has affected her “tremendously.”

Notice she had to essentially get help in repaying the loans. This quote focuses on the emotions of the struggle, but the big elephant in the room is: what did they major in? You know where I’m going with this if you saw my other videos in this series. This mother, like a lot of our parents but especially sistas, have bought into the propaganda that you have to get ANY 4 year college degree to make mama proud and to be successful. Sure, mama may be proud of that piece of paper, but if the major ain’t in STEM, other pieces of paper we call bills will come due, and those over educated kids will be working at a fast food or retail store job with all that student loan debt piling up with interest. Now mama goes from being proud to being worried and stressed.

Speaking of mama’s stress and worry, let’s continue so you can understand why I do what I do in these videos:

“I had this debt on my credit, and it was restricting me from getting a house because my student-loan amount was so high that the lenders didn’t even want to lend me money to buy a house,” Mansfield said. “And I certainly don’t make enough money to pay off the loan, and feeding my children and taking care of our necessities is my first choice.”

As much as I respect her for loving her children and wanting what’s best, but do you see how unprepared she was for this loan? She has been reduced to making a choice between paying back the loan or feeding her educated children, plus the other one about to graduate high school. People, this is insane. Get off the college debt kool aid. Let’s continue:

“[this mother] isn’t alone in her struggles — many other parents have taken out student loans under their own names to provide for their kids, and they’re left paying off debt that gets higher and higher because of surging interest. A recent report from The Century Foundation, a left-leaning think tank, said the average PLUS-loan borrower still has 55% of the initial balance remaining after 10 years of repayment — and 38% after 20 years, which means most parents spend more time paying off student loans than they did raising their kids.”

If you recall a recent video I did, I pointed out stats that showed that our people, especially sistas who love them some PhDs, are the most burdened with student loan debt. Sistas, y’all are far outweigh all groups, male and female, when it comes to undergrad and post graduate debt, yet have the lowest net worth and median incomes. Look, I understand you feel a sense of emotional accomplishment with these degrees and high five each other, but once the dust settles, you end up like the sista in this tragic story. This cycle of debt is absolutely crippling our community and is unsustainable.

As you see with these high interest rates and inflation going on right now, if you don’t pay that debt down, I hate to see what happens later this year or early next year when the cost of living climbs much higher. And waiting on the government once again to rescue you is not the answer. Right now, the most needy group waiting on Biden to forgive all these senseless student loan debts is sistas. This is holding all of us back.

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Let’s finish with one last quote from this mother:

“I just want us parents that have put our name on the dotted line so that our children can be successful to be considered in the fact that we, too, have struggles,” Mansfield said. “We took the loans out for our children to be successful. We need to be considered in the loan forgiveness as well.”

My people, did you notice what’s wrong in her statement? Trust me, I have a lot of sympathy for her as many of us fell into this trap. But notice, she wants so much for her children to be successful, but what does “success” mean? Is it the paper, or the major that leads to a lucrative career? This is something many of us are missing when pursuing a college degree. Recall in one of my videos earlier this month, I was surprised that a college offered a Masters degree in Happiness Studies. Is this success, getting a masters in silly stuff?

People, we need to plan our careers and academics after high school a lot better than we bet on these sports games. Some of us do more planning with picking hair styles for a big event or concert than we do on post high school careers. With us having the lowest median incomes and dam near no net worth per capita, we don’t have the luxury of picking struggle majors. Stop that, and stop taking out huge debts on non STEM majors. These massive student loans simply have not worked for us. The reason this world ignores us is because too many of us don’t have any money or wealth, and every loan we take out decreases our net worth.

Think about it. Many of us already suffer redlining when it comes to credit and insurance. If we can’t get real loans to improve our communities, and no investments from equity funds, and the government ain’t giving us the right kind of money to build up, then the one thing we can improve are what careers we choose. Let’s start with less expensive 2 year community colleges that offer REAL STEM majors that lead directly to jobs that pay higher than $55k a year. I picked that number because it is more than $10k higher than the median income of brothas, who have higher incomes than sistas. Both sexes should strive for better paying STEM careers.

Until the next video, brothas and sistas, take care.

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This is the full “You Can Do Better Playlist” of all our related videos:

Mom With $187K in Student Debt Wants Biden to Consider Parental Relief (

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