KISS–And Student Loans

7 Apr

Feeling the urge to rant today …

One of the most fundamentally important principles in life is the KISS principle – Keep It Simple, Stupid. Put crudely, the more complex your plan, the more likely something will go wrong.

For example, if you want to fly from Britain to Malaysia, the simplest way to do it is the direct London-Kuala Lumpur flight from Heathrow. It means 14 hours of suffering in economy class (or a significantly lighter wallet if you fly Business Class) but it is relatively simple. You just have to get to London, get on the plane and Bob’s your uncle.

On the other hand, if you decide to do the trip in a number of smaller hops, you can get into trouble quite easily. If you fly via the Middle East, you might miss your connecting flight … which would make you very late, at best, before you reach KL. This might spark off a series of missed flights, train journeys, taxi rides, etc that would ensure you were very late when you reached your final destination.

I mention all this because I finally feel in a position to pay off my student loan. It wasn’t value for money, but that’s my fault, not theirs. I have an obligation to pay off the loan, so I should pay it off as soon as possible. So I write to them, explain I can pay and would they please send me instructions for how to pay?

Now, the simplest way to do this would be for them to write back and say I should send them a cheque, bank transfer, even a large bag of cash. They want the money. I want to give them the money. There shouldn’t be any problem with this, should there?

What did they send me? Well, a list of hoops I have to jump through to make it clear that I can actually pay. And they don’t even bother to send me instructions for actually jumping through these hoops. In fact, the letter reads as if it were written by at least three different people.

<bangs head on wall>. I’m almost tempted to just send them a cheque with a covering letter, then wash my hands of the whole affair. I’d bet good money that most of the students who graduated with me are in no condition to pay, even now. They should be delighted to hear from me.

Only in Britain is the bureaucracy fighting the guy who’s actually trying to PAY.

24 Responses to “KISS–And Student Loans”

  1. Dave April 7, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

    It’s not only Britain. I lived in California. I was leaving the state. The state owed me a tax REFUND of $797. I enjoyed living there and thought I’d just leave the money with them so they could spend it on parks or trees or something nice. They filed a tax lien on my REFUND because I failed to file a form saying they could have the money! The lien followed me for seven years. Sad to say it’s not only Britain. Bureaucrats here in America are equally immune to making simple transactions easy and logical.

    BTW this communication also gives me the chance to say that I am a huge fan of your TEC series. I’ve sampled some of your other “worlds” and they are good, but TEC is GREAT! I vote for more TEC books…

  2. steve coutee April 7, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

    he’s right book 3 of arc royale thank you

  3. johntae71 April 7, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

    We can all thank the Chinese for inventing a cheap method of producing paper, which led to the government of desks, bureaucracy. Then curse the Koreans for developing the movable metal printing press which allowed the bureaucrats to cheaply develop and apply the “triplicate” form.

  4. Chris Manno April 7, 2014 at 10:08 pm #

    I know this is off topic (sorry!) but I’d really like to participate in your discussion forum, only I guess I wasn’t smart enough to find the sign up instructions.

    BTW, I’ve been moping around ever since the last “Star Carrier,” until I came upon Ark Royal. Great news: a fantastic series I can get into, realistic dialogue, personal stories, action, clever plot. I’m on book two, with gratitude!

    • chrishanger April 8, 2014 at 6:56 pm #

      You can get into a register screen through here – http://www.counter-factual.net/upload/ It’s a subset of the much larger site. Chris Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2014 21:08:24 +0000 To: christopher_g_nuttall@hotmail.com

      • Nonya Beeznus April 9, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

        Actually registration for your board and the site in general has been closed for almost a month due to some kiddie porn spammer from what I can tell. Sadly the information is almost hidden and I would guess that 99% of the people that try to register don’t know why. Not sure why you closed your old forums that was at chrishanger.net, this doesn’t seem to be an improvement.

      • chrishanger April 9, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

        The old forums had far too much spam. Basically, we had someone send porn to several members. You need to post in the intro forum first,i think, but you should be able to sign up. http://www.counter-factual.net/upload/forumdisplay.php?f=39 Chris Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 14:43:32 +0000 To: christopher_g_nuttall@hotmail.com

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard April 9, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

        When I tried to register, I got a message that I had to wait until they approved my registration. I never heard back.

      • chrishanger April 9, 2014 at 5:03 pm #

        Yeah. We had a nasty outbreak some time back and registrations seem to be still barred, for the moment. I’ll post a note when that changes. Sorry. Chris Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 14:56:31 +0000 To: christopher_g_nuttall@hotmail.com

      • Nonya Beeznus April 9, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

        You have to register to post in that forum and registration has been closed since the 18th of last month. Look at the “newest” member at the bottom of the forum. He joined on the 15th of last month.

      • johntae71 April 10, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

        I believe this part of the thread should be labeled under “Irony”

      • chrishanger April 10, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

        Bone-headed stupidity might be better. Chris Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 17:21:38 +0000 To: christopher_g_nuttall@hotmail.com

  5. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard April 7, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

    Now you see why we kicked Britain out of our country. [Wink]

  6. niksu April 11, 2014 at 12:35 am #

    Can’t think of a good anecdote about the idiocy of bureaucracy but it isn’t just England.

    I work for an EU institution. On my first day, I had to fill in 6 different forms which had about 30% in common.

  7. skygunner68 April 12, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

    The strangling bureaucracy seems to be a worldwide epidemic instead just one or two nations affected. Are politicians sent to a secret school somewhere to learn how to bring their country to its knees by rewarding yes men and promoting people to levels of authority that boggle your mind when it’s realized the person was overpromoted when he graduated from high school! Or, has it always been this way, but now we have the ability to read about how things stand in other countries? From what I’ve studied about history, I believe it is the latter.

    • chrishanger April 12, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

      It’s also the advance of technology making government more intrusive and less responsive (or sometimes TOO responsive). Chris Date: Sat, 12 Apr 2014 19:45:15 +0000 To: christopher_g_nuttall@hotmail.com

      • SkyGunner68 April 13, 2014 at 12:38 am #

        You don’t know how true that statement is, my friend. It scares me to think what is available now and more sophisticated every day.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] may recall that I posted an article some time ago about my problems trying to repay my student loan – a problem caused not by the shortage of money, but by the Student Loans Agency being unwilling […]

  3. Personal Responsibility (Or Not) | The Chrishanger - March 5, 2015

    […] blogged before about the difficulty in paying off my student loans when I had the money to do it (a problem caused by bureaucratic stupidity). It was a great deal harder to think about them when I […]

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