22 February 2009

More tax and student loan stupidity

Ya know, I don't mind paying taxes. They go to all sorts of good things, like medical care and roads and buses. But when the rules are fucking stupid? I bitch.

Student loans are the bane of my existence. Damn near everything about them is unfair.

- To qualify, your partner's or parents' income is taken into account. This is ridiculous if neither of them will pay for you.
- When paying them back, if you can't afford to pay them back, your partner is on the hook for them. However, your partner cannot claim the tax credit for the interest paid. Even if s/he is the one paying all of your loan payments. This is doubly stupid because in order to qualify for interest relief or debt reduction, your partner's income is considered to be yours.
- Loan payments are charged higher amounts of interest than the average mortgage. Why are banks allowed to charge interest on these at all? They're guaranteed by the government, so there's no risk at all to the bank! It's infuriating that multi-billion $ corporations are allowed to make millions off the backs of struggling students.
- For some reason, declaring bankruptcy doesn't clear student loans. Why are these loans different from every other debt?
- If a married couple with kids both have student loans, the mother gets the money to pay for the kids. This means a higher debtload for women, who are statistically more likely to be poor and underpaid.

This is so infuriating. My husband has paid off thousands of dollars of interest on my loans, but cannot claim the tax credit. Although we went to school for the same amount of time and were married for all but one year of it, I have a much much larger debt load than he does, because *I* was the one who had to claim the dependent (I'm the Mom!).

This is sexism at its finest. I have a larger debtload than he does, because I'm the mother. But I have a lower paying job than he does, because I'm the woman. He is expected to pay my loans off, because "we're equal partners" (*snort* We weren't when they determined the loan payments). But only I can claim my interest payments. And I can't claim them because I don't even make more money than my basic personal amount. This is what I get for being a SAHM. I thought that's what the conservatards wanted!


Saskboy said...

Student loans are indeed crooked. I think I'll be complaining more about them as the years, and debt loads pile up, even though I've never taken out one.

Luna said...

Between my husband and I, we owe about 90K. It's crippling us. There's so much good we could do with that money. There are so many people around here that need help. And we just can't right now. It's painful.