Thursday, January 3, 2013

Financial Aid Brings Pot Of GOLD ...

  Institutional Cards to Which I Am Forever Indebted 

My children and I shall be forever indebted to the world of Financial Aid.  Indebted until 2031.

It’s not just that their colleges mysteriously qualified them for enough funding to purchase private islands peppered with personal handmaidens. It’s that their debt-ratios make them excellent credit risks.

 Long ago, each of their institutions of higher tuition calculated, very carefully, their credit risks.  And if you can’t trust them for accuracy, well… go visit parking lots of any institution of higher learning to see the kinds of cars financial aid staff drive.  

My kids don’t know any this, of course (unless they’re reading this now, but I’m probably safe). Although, there is a chance my oldest child suspects he possesses super-hero credit.  He and his fiancĂ©e recently qualified for nearly twenty ba-skillion dollars for a variety of high-end homes near Ontario, one of which they bought and live in as I write this. 

At first we thought this was due to the metric system Canada uses. But it is technically thanks to Nick’s college and its intrepid Financial Aid department.

From 1998 until 2003 when (YAY!) all three of our sons attended a variety of universities full-time (private schools to boot, since these provide the best loans money can’t buy) they all began receiving mail order invitations to enjoy additional debt, via plastic.

Since our kids list our personal mailbox as their legal address, my mail contained an average of 20 credit card applications per week, per son, for decades.

Our first-born received the most powerful offers. That is because we were the most poor when he started college. If you’ve ever taken a Sociology course, you know that the offspring of impoverished parents tend to inherit that same earning-capacity.  Ergo, with poverty as the key indicator American financial institutions use to calculate ability to pay back loans, Nick had qualified -- by his 18th birthday -- for more than $300 K.

The letters that accompanied his invitations to plastic wealth were monuments to creative writing.

Dear Master Nicholas,

You should be proud of your exemplary credit rating.  It has not gone unnoticed.

Because you take debt seriously, it should please you to know we have included YOU amongst our select family of Executive Gold Card Elitists.

Welcome to the world of Preferred Debt!

Your Personal Gold Card Team

His cards were all at zero per cent interest for the first twelve months, no annual fee, and each came with Gold Leaf Blanque Cheques. Thrilling executive cheques that promised to “consolidate high interest loans if you simply fill in the blank!”

So I did.  Twenty-three times.  For all of my kids.  For fifteen years.

The most difficult part was practicing their autographs but I pretty much nailed this by Nicholas’ graduation.

In fact, between Nick’s freshman year and our third son’s graduation in 2008, I'd earned a total of 30 Gold Leaf Cards with Companion-Cheques to pay off various credit-lines such as mortgages and things and was never charged even zero per cent!

I have heard some of this is obliquely sub-legal, but credit card companies would not be offering to pay off my other lines of credit if we did not somehow all win in the end. 

Besides.  Those “first twelve months” never transpire.  It says so in the fine print on my Gold Leaf Applications.

But even if my loans do “come to term,” my daughter’s Financial Aid department will qualify her for Graduate School.  And once her institution sees how many Gold Cards her brothers’ colleges won me, Abby will receive scholarships.

 My favorite thing about my 30 Gold Leaf Cards is that I can finally mail all of those ‘Welcome To Preferred Debt’ letters to my creditors.

 They keep sending me remittance hate mail.

Dear "Nicholas And/Or Jacob,"

It has been eight months since we sent your first bill for the Nighty-Night-NOOK you ordered for "J Given" who must surely be your cherished Dad. How we wish we could have been there to see his face! 

Thanks to insightful sons like you, Barnes vs Noble can continue its crusade against dementia by using WORDS to stimulate minds of aging parents LIKE YOURS! 

Because it is people like YOU, "Nicholas And/Or Jacob," who recognize the MERITS of words, we have allowed these eight months to lapse without a remittance reminder.  We know that people like YOU are busy improving our world.

Perhaps your checque and our correspondence crossed in the mail. After all, someone with YOUR exemplary credit would never neglect his obligations.  So we thank you in advance for your remittance.

If, however, you have chosen not to pay, check your mailbox next month for a letter from Phase Two of our Collection Plan.

Don’t make us hurt you.

Nighty-NOOK Credit Services, Barnes vs Noble LTD

Dear "Zachary And/Or Abigail,"

We are not certain how you can look in the mirror.  Here we are, eleven months after the root canal you agreed to – begged for – for your retired, aging mother.

Thanks to high-tech lasers, your mother enjoys the miracle of mastication with two freshly-capped bicuspids.

Research has proven that teeth are crucial to the continued neural development of our aging population.  Parents rendered toothless by negligent children can no longer think OR chew.

It is evident, "Zachary And/Or Abigail," that you once counted yourselves among children who loved their parents.  Heinously, we realize you lie.

Enclosed find a warrant for your arrest from the Presidential Task Force To Stop Elder Abuse.

See You In The Mail,
Smile-A-While Credit Team 

Dear Smiling And/Or Nookie Loan Sharks, Inc.  

Now, see here.

Attached for your convenience are more than 30 credit references from powerful institutions who find us gods.  As you can see, our entire family is comprised of Executive Gold Card Elitists.

Our Gold Card institutions will not take kindly to your abuse. 

We demand you apologize for your libelous insults, or suffer the Gold Card Wrath.

You shock us, 
The Family Midas
Dear Consumer X,

We are sorry to inform you we must rescind your Gold Card Privileges.  We are unable at this time to include in our elite circle fugitives from justice like yourselves. 

Had we understood you are wanted by the Presidential Task Force To Stop Elder Abuse, we would have mailed our cards to your neighbors.

We spit on you,
Your Ex-Gold Card Benefactors

I recommend that students with financial need avoid student loans entirely and go on the Monthly Installment Plan offered at institutions of highest tuition.  Your  paychecks or those of your parents will be electronically tampered with on the first day of each month by Sven at a Sviss Bank.

If there is anything else I can do for you in the world of high finance, send your questions to my new P.O. Box at MCI. (Not the bankrupt cell company. They folded after extending me credit in ‘97.)

I’m at the Institution for Higher Learning a la Massachusetts Correctional, where I learn many important new things, each day.

Nicholas And/Or Jacob And/Or Zachary And/Or Abigail