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“Suicide or Canada?” Asks Student Debtor. I Recommend Canada!

Written by Gary North on August 28, 2012

A man who took on $100,000 of student debt to attend law school flunked out. He now makes $20,000 a year. He cannot repay his loans. He says he is contemplating suicide or fleeing to Canada.

I recommend Canada. You can come back from Canada.

Here is his story.

I failed out of law school after 2.5 years. I accumulated $100k in student loan debt. Some of it is federal and some of it is private. I have no job in the legal field. I work in retail making less than $20k a year.

All of my student loans are in default. I filed bankruptcy last year which got rid of my credit card debt but the student loan debt remains. There is no way I will ever be able to pay this debt. I have no idea what I am supposed to do.

I have seriously considered immigrating to Canada to get away from it. That or suicide. I’m kidding about the suicide bit. Mostly.

He could also go before a judge and plead that he cannot pay. A judge might let him declare bankruptcy if he really has minimal income. It’s worth a try.

He flunked out late. It would have better if he had flunked out after the first semester.

About 50% of students who start college fail to graduate after 6 years. Those who flunk out or drop out late owe on any debt. They may get jobs worse than a high school graduate has. A high school graduate got into the job market early. He did not waste time in college, running up debt.

The risk of not graduating is high. The risk of getting trapped by debt is also high. Both can be avoided, but students do not take advantage of the loopholes.


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23 thoughts on ““Suicide or Canada?” Asks Student Debtor. I Recommend Canada!

  1. Perhaps someone should take a look at tuitions. Perhaps the increases in tuition that continue regardless of the economy or it seems like ANYTHING should be examined. Anytime the government gets it's hand in something, the cost go up dramatically. GET Government out of student loans and all the various grants that drive up the cost of education. When a professor is tenured after 10 years, and makes $200,000 whether he teaches ONE student anything or not, something is wrong.

  2. Obviously you don’t know about working for a non-profit organization. http://www.finaid.org/loans/publicservice.phtml is a web site you can check out. From the website: Public service jobs include, among other positions, emergency management, government (excluding time served as a member of Congress), military service, public safety and law enforcement (police and fire), public health (including nurses, nurse practitioners, nurses in a clinical setting, and full-time professionals engaged in health care practitioner occupations and health care support occupations), public education, early childhood education (including licensed or regulated childcare, Head Start, and State-funded prekindergarten), social work in a public child or family service agency, public services for individuals with disabilities or the elderly, public interest legal services (including prosecutors, public defenders and legal advocacy on behalf of low-income communities at a nonprofit organization), public librarians, school librarians and other school-based services, and employees of tax exempt 501(c)(3) organizations. Full-time faculty at tribal colleges and universities, as well as faculty teaching in high-need subject areas and shortage areas (including nurse faculty, foreign language faculty, and part-time faculty at community colleges), also qualify.

  3. Sorry, stop blaming others, or tuition costs. Maybe the student should have realized in year one, or two, that he/she wass not lawyer material, BEFORE racking up a $100,000 debt. Take responsibility. We hear stories like this, or the student who had $200,000 debt but no job in their field – and we are supposed to feel sorry for them being unable to think for themselves?
    An old movie line comes to mind "chose wisely….." when selecting the cup from which you drink..
    I graduated 40 years ago, having paid my way thru college. Of my 5 children who attended college (2 w/ PhD's, 2 with Masters) the largest debt any had was $35,000. And that "child" was earning $75k upon graduation. Scholarships and hard work is what college should be about. Giving people 4 years in college to make them feel better about themselves, is, well, stupid.
    This is not hard to figure out. The proverbial "underwater basketweaving" degree, even from Harvard, is expensive and useless.

  4. What job paid a new college grad 75K? Looking for avenues that my high school kids can take to a good-paying job as quick as they can.

  5. Golden Dragon says:

    The rush to Canada (or the Philippines, or anywhere, really) could become a stampede. It seems the sensible thing to do when the alternatives are suicide and a lifetime of indentured servitude.

  6. No sympathy here for an idiot who was obviously unsuited to law. It's not even a difficult course of study, judging by the steady stream of graduates from schools across the nation.

    Let this genius go to Canada where, perhaps, he can learn how to operate a snow plow and then pick up unemployment the other 5 or 6 months of the year. Warning: A written test will be required for him to get the license endorsement to operate the plow.

  7. Did it take him that long to realize he just did not have what it takes. It is a sad lesson to learn. He wouldn't have been that good in his field if he couldn't even make the grade. That is why I have always said, not everyone is college material.
    There are great trade schools with skills that probably won't make you a millionaire but will make you a decent living.
    I wonder if he went to school under Obama, but then I guess he never dreamed the unemployment rate of kids getting out of college now is so high.

  8. People contemplating suicide just need to always remember, Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. There are usually ways to get around any problem, such as moving to Canada. Anyone who would take on this sort of college debt is not smart enough to graduate from law school or to do any sort of serious work. The days of easy money have dragged a lot of young people down into this sort of situation, as well as home owners, and people with large credit card debt. Anything that seems too good to be true, likely is just that. If you have a brain, use it folks.

  9. Anyone who can get through the first two years of college has the brains to go as far as they wish. Go to a community college for those first two years to see if you can go the rest of the way and find an alternative way to finance it other than going head over heels in debt. Find less expensive places to live while going to college, get a part time job for some of your expenses, and lay off the expensive party times. That is the way most of us old fogies got through college, with no debt when we got out. Tuition has gone up but you do not have to attend an Ivy League School, and if enough people realized that, the tuition would go down, as they would either have a lack of students or lower the costs. As long as Uncle Sugar will pay your way (it seems, until the bills come due) the colleges will charge as much as they want, kids will take out loans they cannot afford, and the kids will get out of college with debts they with either never pay off or they will be paying off the rest of their lives. And if you are a parent or grandparent, don't co-sign if you cannot afford to pay, your kid will likely default and you will be forced to pay your kid's loans. They are even garnishing social security checks to pay off co-signed defaulted loans.

  10. Student Load Bad says:

    There may be an error of fact in this report. From what I know you can NOT get out of a student load by declairing bankruptsy. The story reports that the student ALREADY declared bankruptsy. That is the way I read the story. Bottom line is this: don't ever take out a student loan if you hope to be debt free. It is a bad trap and I know it from personal experience.

  11. Perhaps the parents of this person should have told this guy that there is no "free" lunch. Perhaps Obummer and his minions should tell the American people there is no "free" lunch, instead of treating tuition costs as if they were the responsibility of the government. Hey – you want to go to Law school – become a Lawyer, and make the big bucks? Maybe a Doctor, making the big bucks? it doesn't come free, or cheap, or without sacrifice, and responsibility. If your parents cannot send you on their dime, (or even if they can) it will take a heap of work on your part to become that Doctor or Lawyer 'making the big bucks'. Taxpayers are not responsible for you to become a Doctor or Lawyer, just like they should not be responsible for your birth control, should you decide to 'sow your wild oats' and be prolific about it . (think Sandra Fluke) If you cannot bring the effort to the table to succeed, then don't borrow the money to attend the classes.

  12. cedricward says:

    What makes you think Canada will accept you? It takes some big money and time to become a landed immigrant in Canada.
    Go to there website and learn what it takes to even VISIT Canada, let alone get back in the good 'ol U.S. of A. (sarc)

  13. cedricward says:

    bankruptCy. Good grief, it was just printed several times in the article and you still don't know how to spell it.
    And don't say it was just a mistake. You spelled it the same TWICE!
    We have become a nation of idiots who can't even PROOFREAD what we put in print. And we even have
    Google and other spell checkers at our fingertips.
    What a lazy bunch of idiots we have become.
    We DESERVE to fail as a nation.
    And yes…this applies to our WORST MIS-SPELLER…the great GARY NORTH, who claims it's because he writes
    so many article each day.
    Thanks for contributing to the problem Gary. Your example, as someone with KNOWLEDGE, makes people
    assume what you print is correct. So, you are enhancing the problem.
    And we are even afforded the option to EDIT our posts after submitting them…yet another chance to check our work and fix it.

  14. Too bad they didnt have a course in commonsense mandatory before choosing to go to college. Only problem with that is who would teach it!

  15. Read any newspaper, or most public information and see the "typos". What happened to the proofreaders? And then we have the text messages…… Good grief! Lazy? I've seen couples texting each other sitting on opposite sides of the couch!
    Oh I know no one is perfect, I sure am not, and I try hard not to jump at everybody who misspelled a word or two. But I am taken back by newspapers and professional websites that constantly mess up.

  16. Opps! " there website" lol just kidding, we all make mistakes..

  17. cedricward says:

    Congratulations…you got me.

  18. cedricward says:

    I agree…it's an abomination what has happened to our media's inability to print or speak correct English or use proper grammar and it has become pervasive.
    It pisses me off because I put in the work to learn it correctly as a child in the 8th grade when it was particularly difficult to care about the subject when I was more interested in girls and cracking jokes with my buddies or playing baseball or anything else besides school work.

    I just noticed you wrote "student LOAD'…That may be truer than what you intended to write. Ha ha!

    Who checks the checkers' checkers?

  19. Joe Sabin says:

    To get into law school one hasto graduate from a college first. Does he not have college degree and in what fled of study?

  20. jim shipley says:

    Run to Canada. It worked for Bill Clinton did it not?

  21. sandman4X4 says:

    what is this fools name anyway? Pluto? "fat dumb and stupid are no way to go thru life" quote Dean Wormer.

  22. Why is it someone else’s fault that this man couldn’t pass school? If he flunked out after 2.5 years, he had to be flunking in the beginning as well. He should have stopped while he was behind. Sometimes the truth hurts, bit it will always set you free. In this case free from oversized student loan debt.

  23. WorkThroughCollege says:

    He got a college degree before he went to law school, didn't he? He signed the paperwork and went to school. Pay the piper and take responsibility.