Is a UK student loan considered debt

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Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby marcpiano » Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:07 am

Hi all,

Is a UK student loan (ie through the Student Loans Company rather than a private arrangement between an individual and a bank) considered a debt for the purposes of fulfilling the pre-requisites for ordination?

Its repayment is linked to earnings (so if you're unemployed, you don't pay it back until you gain employment) and it is automatically cleared after 25 years.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby fabianfred » Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:14 am

Like most things...intention is all important. If you are intending to ordain to escape your debts then that is wrong...otherwise you should be OK.
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby PeterB » Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:17 am

marcpiano wrote:Hi all,

Is a UK student loan (ie through the Student Loans Company rather than a private arrangement between an individual and a bank) considered a debt for the purposes of fulfilling the pre-requisites for ordination?

Its repayment is linked to earnings (so if you're unemployed, you don't pay it back until you gain employment) and it is automatically cleared after 25 years.

Thanks in advance!

I dont know the answer marcpiano. I suggest that you contact the loan company and outline your querie to them.
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby marcpiano » Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:37 am

Hi, I'm just doing some preliminary research into the practicalities at the moment. No intention to escape debts - it's the only debt I have as I'm fortunate enough to be able to live without credit or the need for credit!

If I were to ordain it wouldn't be for a couple of years yet, with escape not even being on the agenda! I'll explain in more detail on the weekend.
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Annapurna » Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:44 am

In short:

If you accept a loan, and the person or organisation expects it back, and that is a condition of your contract, that's all she wrote.
Its repayment is linked to earnings (so if you're unemployed, you don't pay it back until you gain employment) and it is automatically cleared after 25 years.


Ok, but it is agreed that the person actively seeks employment, and a monk can't.

If your intention is to ordinate after studies, it is deceptive to accept a loan, unless you lay open your plans and they accept you will not be making any money. .
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Mawkish1983 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:00 am

In the UK the student loan system is quite special. Maybe 'loan' is a misnomer, it is more of a 'grant now, tax later' system. In many cases, the student loans company doesn't expect it back at all (as used to be the case with teachers, there was a scheme to encourage new teachers to stay in the profession whereby after five years - I think - the loan was wiped. Not sure if they still do that). Unlike a 'real' loan you can't avoid paying it because it comes straight out of your wages. You'll never have debt collectors knocking at your door for it. You'll never default no a payment. When I got my mortgage they didn't even count it as debt.

In my opinion, a student loan isn't debt and wouldn't hold you back from ordaining.

(Incidentally, I have over £12000 in student loans and this year will add another £6000 to it)
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Mawkish1983 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:07 am

Annapurna wrote:the person or organisation expects it back, and that is a condition of your contract ... it is agreed that the person actively seeks employment

This isn't true. Getting a job isn't a postrequisite, nor is even getting a qualification.
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby PeterB » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:35 am

Its true Mawkish...its a specific kind of debt. Thats why I suggested talking it through with the SLC.
It may be that producing evidence of not being in the jobs market they might put the requirement on hold..
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Mawkish1983 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:03 am

PeterB wrote:It may be that producing evidence of not being in the jobs market they might put the requirement on hold..
Who is they? If you're talking about the student loans company, they would already know because the money is taken directly from someone's pay (BACS, alongside PAYE), so it's all automated. If you don't earn, you don't pay, just like income tax. If you're saying 'they' is the monastery, won't they already know the monk isn't working?

I don't get it :s
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby PeterB » Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:44 am

marcpiano wrote:Hi all,

Is a UK student loan (ie through the Student Loans Company rather than a private arrangement between an individual and a bank) considered a debt for the purposes of fulfilling the pre-requisites for ordination?

Its repayment is linked to earnings (so if you're unemployed, you don't pay it back until you gain employment) and it is automatically cleared after 25 years.

Thanks in advance!

OK I wasnt very clear. :smile:

It seems to me that the issue here might be ( in addition to the logistics and so on ) marcpianos peace of mind.
If that is a correct assumption then a conversation with someone at student loans may promote his peace of mind.
Just a thought.
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Annapurna » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:31 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:In the UK the student loan system is quite special. Maybe 'loan' is a misnomer, it is more of a 'grant now, tax later' system. In many cases, the student loans company doesn't expect it back at all (as used to be the case with teachers, there was a scheme to encourage new teachers to stay in the profession whereby after five years - I think - the loan was wiped. Not sure if they still do that). Unlike a 'real' loan you can't avoid paying it because it comes straight out of your wages. You'll never have debt collectors knocking at your door for it. You'll never default no a payment. When I got my mortgage they didn't even count it as debt.

In my opinion, a student loan isn't debt and wouldn't hold you back from ordaining.

(Incidentally, I have over £12000 in student loans and this year will add another £6000 to it)


We have the same system, more or less.

The state pays a monthly support for poor people, and they have to pay it back after finding a job.
ot money from the state.

I would feel grateful and indebted and would try to pay it back, if I had enjoyed this support.

But I didn't. My parents had payed an education insurance, so I got that while studying, and after that was over, I paid my medical school from my own money.
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Annapurna » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:39 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:
Annapurna wrote:the person or organisation expects it back, and that is a condition of your contract ... it is agreed that the person actively seeks employment

This isn't true. Getting a job isn't a postrequisite, nor is even getting a qualification.


Please quote me in context.

I said:

Its repayment is linked to earnings (so if you're unemployed, you don't pay it back until you gain employment) and it is automatically cleared after 25 years.


Ok, but it is agreed that the person actively seeks employment, and a monk can't.


WHY would anybody study when he already intends to get ordained?
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby 5heaps » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:49 pm

ignore your student loans, they're highly immoral.

furthermore its not agreed that you must actively seek employment.. it just says that in the case that you do find employment something goes into effect. if you dont find work, you have zero obligation.
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby marcpiano » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:56 pm

Just to clarify, I completed the studies 4 years ago and have been working since, with the exploration of the idea of ordination only coming in the last 8 months. I'm now doing in depth due diligence on all aspects of it, and this was one part. Cheers for the replies and the moral aspect which I'd not considered as well! I now have some more information and enquiries to make on this.
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Annapurna » Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:15 pm

5heaps wrote:ignore your student loans, they're highly immoral.

furthermore its not agreed that you must actively seek employment.. it just says that in the case that you do find employment something goes into effect. if you dont find work, you have zero obligation.


furthermore its not agreed that you must actively seek employment..


Ok, perhaps the English are a bit different from ze Germans. :tongue:

We have to seek work, and proove we do.

And accept the jobs we are being offered.

As far as I'm informed, I really don't care a lot, I have more work than I can handle.
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Tsetan » Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:06 pm

I'm in the same boat as marcpiano, only i'm in the usa. My student loans began when I was 15 and started college. I finished graduate school in 2006, and found the dharma in 2007. My interest in ordaining has been growing over the past year. My loans are massive, but in a program where if my income is below poverty level, as a monk's surely is, I pay nothing and they are forgiven after 25 years. I believe the monastic calling is the most important type of "work" a human being can engage in, I have no concerns over this debt or desire to escape it, I really have no need to escape it b/c it doesn't really effect me in life as I know it.
To maintain my loans in this federal program I need only provide proof of making less that a certain amount 1x/year.
So, could one ordain under these circumstances? If not, would my best option be to live at a monastery as a layman?
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby JimKai » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:40 pm

Tsetan wrote:I'm in the same boat as marcpiano, only i'm in the usa. My student loans began when I was 15 and started college. I finished graduate school in 2006, and found the dharma in 2007. My interest in ordaining has been growing over the past year. My loans are massive, but in a program where if my income is below poverty level, as a monk's surely is, I pay nothing and they are forgiven after 25 years. I believe the monastic calling is the most important type of "work" a human being can engage in, I have no concerns over this debt or desire to escape it, I really have no need to escape it b/c it doesn't really effect me in life as I know it.
To maintain my loans in this federal program I need only provide proof of making less that a certain amount 1x/year.
So, could one ordain under these circumstances? If not, would my best option be to live at a monastery as a layman?

What are the conditions set for getting student loans in the U.S.? One might assume that with commercial banks the terms would be stricter than with these European quasi-socialist schemes.

If you took on the loan with the bank expecting full return on their investment, I would think it as morally questionable to not seek to repay them, even if you're not conciously avoiding payback. Just my $0.02
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby BlackBird » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:54 pm

Here in NZ our student loans are interest free, and your typical bachelors degree will see you rack up around $15,000. However if you leave the country for more than 1 year you start incurring interest at market rates. Before I left for Sri Lanka I had a student loan of about $4000 and I worked for about 4 or 5 months paying it off. I know in my country at least the Government expects it back and thus it fulfills the criteria for debt. Your example on the other hand is probably a bit of a grey area.
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Tsetan » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:50 pm

I'm also wondering if taking novice monk vows- samenera- involves the preceptor asking you if you have debt? If that is not a requirement for samenera then I could just remain a novice, which is fine with me, I'll always consider myself a novice anyway.
If I'm totally ineligible for ordination, is it reasonable to just live at a monastery as a layman? Being in the monastic environment is a support for my practice I think I need.
My debt is insurmountable short of winning the lottery, you could buy a large house with this amount of money- but as I said, the debt is not really an issue for me in regular life because I do not make enough money to have to repay it...and I have no aspiration to make lots of money.
I have a real gripe, in fact, with making lots of money in this day and age- as a usa taxpayer, some of my tax money goes to pay for wars and even torture. The more money I make, the more taxes I pay, which I would be fine with except that the money is used by the government, in part, for some pretty bad stuff. If it was just to pay schoolteachers and feed the needy and all that, I would be happy to pay more in taxes.
If I feel that ordination is my path, do I have any chance of making this happen given this debt?
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby BlackBird » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:01 am

If you feel your debt is insurmountable, and you wish to ordain, have you considered bankruptcy?
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