Students

Woman Uses Student Loans for Plastic Surgery

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A U.K. woman has taken the unusual position of publicly raving about her student loans. Only she didn’t use them to get an education. Instead, she says she used them to get plastic surgery. Her family supported her through college, so upon graduating, she spent the 10,000 pounds (about $17,000) of loans on breast implants and liposuction, the Daily Mirror reports.

She’s not done financing her transformation, however. She says she plans to borrow money for a nose job, because she hasn’t been able to save for the surgery.

“I think after my next operation I’ll be completely happy,” said Katerina Christodoulou, as quoted in the Mirror.

Before her surgery, Christodoulou earned an English literature degree from the University of Essex and worked as a trainee solicitor (in the U.K., that’s someone who’s training to become a lawyer), but she temporarily quit to become a model.

Using student loan money for non-educational expenses could cause you some serious problems, because you’re likely violating the terms of your loan agreement. In that case, the lender could require you to repay the balance immediately.

Potential ramifications aside, Christodoulou may have made a smart choice, as far as financing goes: Student loan interest rates in the U.K. are around 1.5%, which is a lot lower than rates on personal loans — those start at about 4.1%.

Student loans aren’t a good choice for financing optional expenses (nor are any loan products, really, but education loans are a particularly prickly product). In the U.S., you’re going to have a tough time dealing with lenders if you can’t make your payments, and student loans are rarely discharged in bankruptcy. You have to repay what you borrow, so it better be worth the cost.

As with any loans, you’re risking your credit standing by taking on education debt: Failure to make loan payments on time will mangle your credit score, not to mention the financial impact of late fees. Student loan borrowers should track their credit scores to make sure their repayment behavior is being properly reported to the credit bureaus, because errors could cause problems in other areas of your finances. Anyone with loans should understand the importance of credit scores — you can see your credit scores for free through Credit.com — and you should also regularly check your credit reports for accuracy. You can get free annual credit reports by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com.

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