I was driving home from work fantasizing about making my last car payment in two months, then turning over the idea of selling it (it’s a rare, collectible two-seater turbocharged sports car) and getting something a little more fit for grocery shopping. I quickly banished the thought – I love my little stick shift roadster. Not to mention, the idea of no car payments wafting past my nose like farmer’s fruit stand pancakes… It’s a little too scrumptious to discount.
It then occurred to me that I couldn’t do that even if I wanted to. Well, not wholly.
The exchange with the finance manger at the car dealership would go something like this:
“Madam, we are not able to extend an offer of financing to you. Have you a husband? Perhaps he could co-sign this loan?”
“I don’t catch your drift, sir. I’m 32, I have a good job and health insurance and a home and I pay my bills on time and I am perfectly capable of making a car payment exclusive of my husband’s bank accounts, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve just paid this one off. Do elaborate.”
“Well, here lies the problem. You have enough student debt to very nearly pay for a house. Your debt-to-income ratio is reminiscent of a punch line I heard at Ole Chaps Bar on Saturday night over a rousing game of darts. A bank won’t lend money to someone with such a staggering amount of student debt.”
“But sir. You don’t understand. I went to Northeastern University in Boston! You know, one of the country’s premier, top ranked private research universities? I attended this impeccable institution of excellence in higher learning and critical thinking so that I might graduate on the swell of an amazing career! So that I might very well change the world, or at the very least, contribute to its betterment in a meaningful and creative way! Prestige like that costs $36,000 a year plus books and parking and lab fees! ! Don’t you know who I am!?”