In an economy with no jobs, it is becoming increasingly difficult for recent college grads to begin repayment of student loans. With interest accruing and no money being generated, some recent grads have become very creative in ways of escaping loan repayments.
Anthony Spelling, a recent Engineering graduate claims to have invented a vanishing machine. Unlike federal loans, private loans do not forgive repayment requirements if the borrower has passed on. Anthony Spelling took out private loans; therefore, "death is not an escape route."
I meet with Anthony in a lab on his former campus where he is tinkering with his machine.
Spelling explains, "Yes, if I die, my loans must still be repaid. So that's out of the question. But what about vanishing? You know, into thin air! Show me where it mentions that in the loan repayment contract! If I can't pay them off, what other option do I have?"
Spelling's machine, created during his time in school, was originally invented for, "getting rid of old hats or boots."
Spelling's plan is to step into his machine, wait for the countdown, and then dematerialize. Then, if everything works according to plan, he will re-materialize when the job market has picked up, which he claims, "...according to my colleague's research, will be in about 300 years."
Spelling steps into his machine as if practicing for the big moment.
"So you see? I just wait it out! Sure, I'll still have to pay off the loans, but at that point there will be jobs aplenty! I'll be making millions!"
I ask if he has factored in interest on the loans.
"What?! Oh my god! Interest! Why didn't I think about interest! Depending on when I re-materialize, let's see 300 years at a 7% variable rate compounding quarterly...my loans could be in the billions! Oh god. Oh god!"
Anthony begins throwing beakers and gears around the lab muttering to himself Interest...interest!
As a means to calm Spelling, I ask if he has considered other options, like a part-time job.
"What, like at a Quiznos?"
Spelling takes a breath and unplugs his machine.
"I guess that'd be fine. I'm a little weary about the machine anyway. All the boots I try to de-materialize just end up re-materializing over there in the corner."
Spelling points to the corner of the room where a mound of old boots and hats are piled.
"I'd have to move back in with my parents, but I guess that might be better than de-materializing. Wow when I say it out loud it sounds really insane. Honestly, I thought it was a brilliant idea."
Two months later, I stop into a Quiznos and find Spelling behind the counter. He explained to me everyone making sandwiches that day had college degrees. He claims they also had stories of attempting to outrun private loans only to realize its futility.
Whether or not more jobs will become available for recent grads is an uncertainty. Whether or not recent grads will find ways generating enough money to pay off loans is another uncertainty. In fact, it seems the only real certainty right now is: some very intelligent sandwiches are being made.