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# /r/Peloton Pre-TDF Survey 2020

Gentlemen, Ladies and those otherwise addressed - we know you've been waiting for a good thing, and the survey results are finally ready!
The answers were collected from you all during August 2020 with 1428 unique replies. That's a participation of 0.5% of all subscribers! That's really not too bad, when you keep in mind how popular these kind of surveys are. But we here at /peloton want to show you that this is all about presenting the information in the subreddit to cater better to our audience!
Updated after a few hours to include some more historical data the final edit that for some reason wasn't copied properly
Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2018 Mar 2018 Aug 2019 2020
Results 2013-06-12 2014-06-25 2015-08-07 2016-11-17 2018-03-06 2018-08-20 2019-07-22 2020-10-12
Replies 351 598 1395 892 630 928 986 1428
Without further ado, let's get cracking on the response

You and Cycling

1. Where do you live?

Country 2015 2016 2018 Mar 2018 Aug 2019 2020
USA 32% 28.3% 22.84% 25.32% 20.23% 24.59%
UK 18.6% 17.6% 14.70% 20.13% 15.48% 14.80%
Netherlands 6.4% 9.4% 11.50% 11.58% 10.01% 11.01%
Germany 3.73% 3.4% 4.95% 6.39% 7.84% 6.65%
Denmark 3.9% 3.6% 4.31% 3.79% 7.64% 5.79%
Belgium 3.8% 2.7% 8.15% 3.57% 5.78% 5.36%
France 2.01% 1.08% 2.88% 2.27% 5.26% 3.50%
Canada 4.9% 7% 6.39% 4.22% 4.95% 4.50%
Australia 5.2% 4.7% 3.83% 4.00% 4.33% 3.93%
Slovenia 0.73% 0.32% 1.30% 1.14% 2.14%
Norway 2.58% 1.8% 1.60% 1.95% 2.58% 1.86%
Sweden 1.08% 1.09% 1.44% 1.41% 1.75% 1.43%
Ireland 1.00% 1.09% 1.44% 1.19% 0.72% 1.36%
Portugal 1.65% 1.8% 2.40% 1.52% 1.34% 1.14%
Italy 1.45% 1.44% 0.65% 1.03% 1.07%
Largely the same picture as ever, with the US leading the way, the UK in second and then a sliding scale of Europeans countries. Slovenia continues to pick its way up the pile for obvious reasons!
World Map to demonstrate

u17 17-19 20-25 26-30 31-35 36-40 41-50 51+ Total
2015 2.22% 12.04% 41.51% 24.66% 10.68% 4.87% 2.94% 1.08% 1395
2016 1.5% 8.9% 40.8% 24% 12% 5.4% 5.2% 2% 887
2018 Mar 1% 7.1% 33.5% 27.4% 16.2% 7% 5.7% 2.1% 617
2018 Aug 1.7% 9% 33.9% 26.4% 15.5% 7% 5% 1.5% 905
2019 1.5% 6.6% 33.2% 27.5% 16.4% 7.1% 5.8% 2% 972
2020 1.3% 6.8% 31.7% 28% 16.6% 7.2% 5% 2.5% 1420
Pretty much the same as last year, with the usual reddit demographics of majority 20 somethings dominating.

'13 '14 '15 '16 '18 (1) '18 (2) '19 '20
Male 97.2% 97% 94.9% 93.4% 93.3% 93.6% 95.1% 94.9%
Female 2.8% 2.7% 4.8% 5.3% 5.3% 5.4% 3.7% 4.8%
Other - 0.33% 0.29% 0.78% 0.76% - -
Non-Binary - - - - 0.64% 0.99% 1.2% 0.4%
More normality here for reddit.

4. How much of the men's season do you watch/follow?

Type March '18 (%) August '18 (%) 2019 (%) 2020 (%)
Grand Tours 84.7 92.0 90.2 87.3
Monuments 79.1 74.9 79 75.9
WT Stage races 67.4 62.4 70.5 71.7
WT One day races 73.3 59.8 62.3 60.7
Non WT Stage races 32.6 16.7 17.4 25
Non WT One day races 34.8 13.7 17.4 20.7
Literally everything I can consume 35.9 18.1 21.1 27.1
Whilst GT following may be down (somehow), all the lower level stuff is up, which makes sense considering how desperate we have been for any racing during the season shutdown.

5. Do you maintain an interest in women's professional road racing?

Do you maintain an interest in women's professional road racing? '19 '20
Yes 49.8 49.2
No 50.2 50.8
Still very much a half/half interest in women's cycling on the subreddit.

6. How much of the women's season do you follow?

The following is true for the half of you that follows womens cycling.
How Much %
Just the biggest televised events 63.15%
Most of the live televised/delayed coverage stuff 29.08%
All televised racing 5.09%
Down to .Pro & beyond 2.69%

7. How long have you been watching cycling?

How Long %
Under a year 2,95%
1-3 years 19,50%
4-6 years 19,85%
7-9 years 14,10%
10-12 years 13,81%
13-15 years 7,15%
15-20 years 10,73%
20-25 years 6,17%
25 years + 5,75%
Simplified the years a little this time, but whilst we have a fair number of newbies, most people have picked the sport up since around 2013/14.

Sporting Favourites

8. Do you have like/dislike feelings about WT teams?

Once more, 14.4% of people really don't have feelings on the subject.
Of those that do:
AG2R Astana Bahrain Bora CCC Cofidis Quick-Step EF FDJ
Like 352 213 127 770 156 116 847 724 423
Meh 775 620 773 415 889 896 310 448 700
Dislike 52 356 263 31 112 141 71 37 53
Karma 300 -143 -70 739 44 -25 776 677 370
Israel Lotto Michelton Movistar NTT Ineos Jumbo Sunweb Trek UAE
Like 135 364 517 231 101 304 925 279 383 118
Meh 740 764 626 646 931 414 282 805 765 734
Dislike 302 40 52 326 121 562 53 97 42 331
Karma -167 324 465 -95 -20 -258 872 182 341 -213
So, the most popular team this year is Jumbo-Visma, followed by Quick-Step & Bora-hansgrohe. Least popular are Ineos & UAE.
As per usual, no one cares about NTT & CCC, with nearly 81% of users rating NTT as meh. Pretty damning stuff.
Lastly, we have the usual historical comparison of how teams have fared over time, normalised to respondents to that question on the survey.
Things to note then, firstly that the Astana redemption arc is over, seeing them back in the negative, maybe Fulgsangs spring issues helped aid that? The petrodollar teams of UAE & Bahrain are stubbornly negative too, with Israel keeping up the Katusha negative streak. Meanwhile, at the top end, EF & Jumbo go from strength to strength, whilst some others like Sunweb are sliding over time - their transfer policies no doubt helping that.

10. Do you ride a bike regularly?

For fun 61.5% 63.4% 59.9% 62.9%
For fitness 59.3% 59.6% 54.8% 59.8%
For commuting 46% 46% 45.6% 40%
For racing 20.6% 20.6% 15.9% 17.7%
No, I don't 14.2% 12.9% 14.8% 13.6%
Still a fairly small group of racers out of all of us

11. Out of the sports you practice, is cycling your favourite?

Yes No
58,29% 41,71%
A new addition to the survey prompted by a good point last time, just over half of us rate cycling as the favourite sport we actually do.

12. What other sports do you follow?

Sport #
Association Football / Soccer 50.78%
Formula 1 35.81%
American Football 26.27%
Track & Field 17.58%
Esports (yes, this includes DotA) 17.30%
Rugby 14.27%
Skiing 14.12%
Ice Hockey 13.63%
Baseball 12.15%
Motorsports (Not including F1) 10.59%
Cricket 10.52%
Tennis 9.53%
Chess 8.97%
Triathlon 8.69%
Biathlon 8.12%
Snooker 7.06%
Golf 6.92%
Swimming 6.85%
Ski Jumping 6.78%
Climbing 5.72%
Martial Arts 5.65%
Handball 5.44%
Darts 5.01%
Speed Skating 5.01%
Football always tops the charts, and Formula 1 continues to rank extremely highly among our userbase. Those who have a little following below 5% include Sailing, Fencing, Surfing, Boxing & Ultra-Running.
Other cycling disciplines
Sport #
Cyclocross 22.10%
Track Cycling 14.34%
MTB 8.97%
BMX 1.20%

13. Out of the sports you follow, is cycling your favourite sport?

Yes No
61.79% 38,21%
Good. Makes sense if you hang out here.

Subreddit stats

14. How often do you participate in a /Peloton Race Thread whilst watching a race?

2015 2016 2018Mar 2018Aug 2019 2020
I always participate in Race Threads during races 2.8% 2% 2.2% 4% 2.5% 3%
I follow Race Threads during races 41.7% 36.7% 38.1% 42.1% 42.5% 38.9%
I often participate in Race Threads during races 16.8% 19% 16.5% 18.9% 15.2% 13%
I rarely/never participate in Race Threads during races 38.7% 41.3% 43.1% 35% 39.8% 45.1%
Slightly less invested than before, reverting back to an older trade.

15. How do you watch Races?

Method 2018Mar 2018Aug 2019 2020
Pirate Streams 62% 46.5% 50.2% 47.9%
Free Local TV 55.7% 64.5% 59.6% 53.9%
Desperately scrabbling for Youtube highlights 37.9% 30.2% 28.2% 24.9%
Paid Streaming services 32.3% 35.4% 38.3% 46.3%
Year on year, paid streaming services go up - the increasing availability of live content legally continues to improve, and so do the numbers on the survey.

16. Where else do you follow races live (in addition to watching them)?

Type 2018Mar 2018Aug 2019 2020
/Peloton race threads 86.2% 83.4% 80.2% 76.9%
PCS Liveticker - - 30.2% 32%
Official tracker (if available) 24%
The Cyclingnews liveticker 26% 23.5% 21.5% 18.9%
Sporza (site/ticker) 1.89% 9.5% 10.8% 10.8%
NOS Liveblog - 6.8% 7% 9.2%
Steephill 0.52% 13.5% 10.2% 8.2%
/Peloton discord 6.5% 5.4% 7.5% 7.2%
Other cycling forums 15.1% 8.1% 7.6% 7%
feltet.dk - 2.2% 5.4% 5.2%
BBC Ticker - 3.5% 2.1% 4.1%
DirectVelo - 1.3% 1.6% 1.8%
Non Cycling Forums - 1.3% 1.2% 1.2%
/cyc/ - 1.3% 1% 0.6%
/peloton IRC ~0 0.8% 0.4% 0.5%
The PCS liveticker continues to have a strong following, whilst the cyclingnews ticker slowly slides into less usage over time.

17. Do you use /Peloton mostly in classic reddit or redesign when on the desktop?

Type 2018 Aug 2019 2020
Classic 75.1% 67.2% 46.2%
Redesign 24.9% 32.8% 53.8%
Time to abandon ship. The end has come.

18. With what version of reddit do you browse the sub?

Version 2019 2020
Official App 17.9 31.1
Desktop Classic 37.8 25.8
3rd Party App 18.3 17.2
Mobile Web 12.4 14.7
Desktop Redesign 13.7 11.2
Phone browsing is very much in vogue.

19. How did you find the sub?

How %
Through other forms of reddit, f.e. /bicycling 48.33%
Too long - can't remember 38.65%
My friend told me 2,28%
I wanted to talk about my exercise bike 0.78%

Other bits and bobs

20. Did you think back in March we would see any more racing this year?

Yes No
52,81% 47,19%
Despite the threat, we have seen racing again

21. Will we manage to fulfill the rest of the UCI calendar without further Covid-19 issues postponing more races?

Yes No
25.3% 74.7%
Sorry to you 25%, Amstel, Roubaix & a bunch of other races have falled foul of COVID-19 related cancellations.

22. When did you become aware of Alexander Foliforov?

When %
Before the 2016 Giro 3,25%
22nd May, 2016 15,55%
On /pelotonmemes in 2020 21,13%
Who? 60,07%
If you didn't know of the man, watching him demolish the Giro field in 2016 on the stage 15 ITT should help to gain understanding

23. Who will win the 2020 Tour de France?

Rider %
Roglic 52,12%
Bernal 16,57%
Pinot 9,24%
Dumoulin 7,9%
N.Quintana 2,82%
Pogacar 1,41%
Richie Porte 0,35%
That's not a lot of confidence in Richie Porte either, the man who was to finish on the third spot of the podium. Alexander Foliforov (0,23%) had just a tiny number of votes less, and that man wasn't even in the race.

24. What for you was the defining cycling moment of the previous decade?

We had a lot of brilliant suggestions, but these were the clear five favourites when we tabulated the results.
• 2018 Giro - Chris Froome Solo Attack
• 2016 TDF - Chris Froome Running up Ventoux
• 2019 TDF - Landslides, First Columbian Winner, Pinot's bitter abandon - This was one race for the ages
• 2016 Paris-Roubaix - Mostly known for Tom Boonen losing. Also, some guy called Mat won.
• 2019 AGR - MvdP with his incredible catch-up for the win.
Honorable mentions go to the Giro 2018, which had Tom Dumoulin winning, and of almost identical fascination to many of you - Tom Dumoulin going on someones porta-potty in the middle of the stage.
Little bit of recency bias perhaps, but that's better than ignoring that this was for the last decade and firmly insisting Tom Boonens 2005 WC win was the biggest thing. Special shoutout to almost all the Danes present in /peloton who voted for Mads Pedersens WC win last year. It's an understandable reaction.

25. Any suggestions for the Survey?

New Questions
• Could you add a section on rider popularity, same as for the teams?
• Ask how people became interested in cycling
• Ask how people watch cycling (e.g. TV Channels/Streaming etc.)
• If you could be an animal for one day, which one would it be?
• Would you wear a facemask while watching a cycling race live?
• Which race do you look forward to see the most every year?
• Favourite riders of your own country?
• How many bikes do you own?
We promise to feature one of these suggestions in the next survey
Suggestions
• Always have a “no” or “not interested” option
We will try to implement this. But it will also skew results.
• More questions about womens cycling would be nice.
• Less questions about womens cycling
The subscribers are torn on Women's cycling, nearly a 50/50 split there as the survey showed - The moderators at /peloton are firmly in the "more cycling is better" basket, and we will continue to get as good coverage of womens cycling as possible.
Are you trying to give the moderators PTSD? Because this is how you give the moderators PTSD.

26. Any suggestions for the sub?

• More stationary fitness bike related content
ALSJFLKAJSLDKJAØLSJKD:M:CSAM)=#/()=#=/")¤=/)! - Your moderator seems to be out of function. Please stand by while we find you a new moderator
• Beginner guides
The Weekly threads are great for these types of questions, where several people can contribute and build up once it is understood which information is relevant.
• Allow limited doping talk in result threads.
Our experience is that "limited" will never be so, if we're going to moderate it fairly. Moderating is not a popularity contest, but believe it or not, we're actually trying to be as fair as possible. and for that, we need rules that are not subjective. Unless you have a stationary exercise bike.
• Written original content is always great - recaps, old race reviews or interesting rider bios, etc.
• Podcast discussion?
• Try and do some AMAs with pro cyclists, coaches, trainers, etc
All of these are good suggestions, but remember that all of you can also contribute - The mods are sometimes stretched thin, specially in the middle of hectic race schedules. It's easier if one of you has a way to contact a rider or a person of interest and can facilitate the initial communication.
• Standardize major event thread titles for better search.
We've worked on this! The Official Standard is now as follows: [Race Thread] 202x Race Name – Stage X (Class)
• A wiki that explains how races work. Roles of diff riders/support staff. History of racing.
This sounds as a nice community project for the after-season, and hopefully many of you subscribers can contribute.
• Tidy up the sidebar!
Come with suggestions on how to tidy it up!
• Don't assume everyone reading is a man, "thanks, bro". But that goes for all of Reddit. I know you can't fix that.
We have chastised all the mods. They are now perfectly trained in gender-neutral pronouns. Be well, fellow being.
• Have a buy you a beer link for the mods for all the work you do.
If we can implement this for hard liquor, you know we will.
• Remove the spoiler rule during grand tours. It kills the hype.
The spoiler rule is one that is discussed frequently - in general - some users absolutely hate it, but a majority love it. Perhaps we'll include a question in the next survey to see how this divide is exactly.
• Lose the spoiler tag when it is for serious things; Lambrecht death, Jakobsen fall.
We actually do - whenever there is a matter of life or death, we think public information is more important than a spoiler rule. But at the same time, we try to collect all the different posts into one main thread, so to keep things focused and letting very speculative posts meet with hard evidence from other sources.
• Less downvoting of opinions that differ from the fashionable consensus.
This is a tough ask of the internet. While we can agree that voting should be done accordingly to what insights they bring, not subjective opinions, it is very hard to turn that type of thinking around. We can ask of you, our subscribers, that you please think twice about hitting that downvote button, and only do so because of you think a post is factually incorrect, not because it differs with your own subjective opinion.
That's the primary analysis of the survey! Feel free to contribute with how you experience things here!

Student Loan Default: The Guide (ReUploaded)

NOTE: I'm pasting this guide from where I originally found it, over on Studentloandefaulters. It was originally pasted there from someone who found it after the original was deleted.

Student Loan Default: The Guide (reuploaded)

📷
The original guide that was recently deleted here: https://www.reddit.com/studentloandefaulters/comments/cg1fd7/student_loan_default_a_guide/
I take no credit for this post, just happened to have it saved in a document and thought I'd be doing an injustice by not sharing this information once I saw the original post was missing! All credit goes to the original author, and without further ado...
Student Loan Default: A Guide
I’ve been wanting to write this for a long time, and seeing that person be in $500,000 of debt and no one really helping him on studentloans, I felt it was time to summarize everything I’ve learned. While there is great information on this sub, it is not centralized. It requires some digging. I hope now to bring all of it to the surface. Definitions: Strategic Default: When a borrower realizes that he or she can spend less money by not paying a loan. The borrower waits out the statute of limitations and then either settles or waits the debt out. Shills: People who are paid to prevent the spread of student loan default information Statute of Limitations: The number of years your state requires before a debt can no longer be collected. Cosigner: The poor person who is just as legally required to pay your loans as you are Foreign Earned Income Tax Exclusion: A tax rule that states any US citizen can earn up to about$100,000 a year in another country and report their US taxes as 0.
Fraudulent Transfer: When a party tries to move assets to someone else in order to avoid a lien on their property.
Lien: Essentially when the government slaps a bill onto your property forcing you to pay off a debt before you can sell the property.
Income Based Repayment (IBR): Federal loans can be paid with 15% of your discretionary income (money earned after taxes) instead of a higher, unpayable amount
Aggregate Student Loan Limit: The total amount a student can take out before the federal government or a private lender stops authorizing new loans
Wage Garnishment: When a court forces your employer to take out a certain percentage of your paycheck to pay back a debt
Bank Levy: When the government or a court takes all of the money directly out of your bank account to pay a debt
Private Loans: Loans that originate from anyone but the federal government. These loans have a statute of limitations and less power but higher interest rates.
Federal Loans: These loans have no statute of limitations, the government can collect anything you earn to get these back, and they come with IBR which is manageable
Sallie Mae: The worst private lender on the market. They only offer deferment for four short years.
Forbearance: A period where you do not have to pay your student loans, but interest accrues.
Deferment: A period where you do not have to pay your student loans, but interest does not accrue.
Credit Score: A number that tells people how responsible of a borrower you are.
Student Loan Tax Bomb: After you have paid for 10 - 25 years on your federal loans, you are forgiven the rest. That is considered income by the IRS. You then add this “income” to your regular income for the year and pay the tax. It can be over $10,000. Insolvency: When you are unable to pay your debts. This works well for defusing the student loan tax bomb. Public Service Loan Forgiveness: If you work for 10 years at a government job, you can get your entire federal student loan balance forgiven. In 2019, the feds are making it near impossible to collect. This could change. A note on cosigners before we begin: Look, your cosigner is probably going to be very mad at you. Prepare for your relationship to be strained. You need to try and get them on the same page as you, and I do offer a tactic here to at least shift all of the financial burden off of your cosigner below. If you decide to do any of these tactics without getting your cosigner off the hook, there could be more risk involved if you or your cosigners have a lot of assets. Strategy Student loan default is a strategy. And to have a good strategy, one must plan as much as possible. You have to know all of your options. While strategy is your overall game plan, tactics are the individual options you have to get your strategy accomplished. Below are the tactics that you can employ to beat the student loan companies. Tactics Paying Your Loans: [low risk] In the rare chance you have anywhere between$1,000 to $20,000 in federal student loans and you have completed your bachelor’s degree, you should probably just pay the damn loans. All you have to do is set up an auto debit and forget about it. It will be about 15% of your income. You really want to try and avoid consolidating if you can, because it will count against some of your IBR payments. You would also lose your grace period if you did this. At the end of 10 to 25 years, you will be forgiven all of the loan amount you did not pay. That forgiven amount is considered income by the IRS, so you will be put into a higher tax bracket. I would get an accountant when this comes. In your case, your tax bomb will be low enough where you could probably just pay it. If you want to really shake things up though, you are welcome to try either the Asset Creation Tactic or the Madlad Method below. Here is more information on Income Based Repayment: https://www.studentdebtrelief.us/repayment-plans/income-based-repayment-plan/ Default Private IBR Federal (Staying Put): [low risk] The standard strategy here on studentloandefaulters. As mentioned above, for the federal loans, it’s best to just IBR and automatically debit your bank account each month and forget about it. For the private loans, this is where the game begins. Your overall plan here is to default, wait out the statute of limitations in your home state, and either settle the debt for less than 30% or just hope they leave you alone and you don’t pay at all. From this moment on, whatever you would have paid for your private monthly bill, sock that money away. Once you go past 120 days of no payments, you are in default. This is where the phone calls come in. They will start to harass you. They will call your work, your cell phone, your cosigner, etc relentlessly. Most likely, they’ll start doing this before you get to default. As they call you, you can either just give them the cold shoulder or start immediately acting like you do not own the debt. Never admit that you own the debt. Tell them you think they are crazy and have the wrong person. Inform your cosigner to do the same. Once your loans are sold to a collection agency, wait until they call you and ask for verification of the debt. If they do not provide it, you won. Chances are, they will be able to verify it, so just make sure you never admit to the debt on the phone or make a payment. If you make a payment, you’ll reset the statute of limitations. Do not give them five dollars, two dollars, a penny. If they do sue you, show up for court. Get a lawyer if you can afford it. You have to show up to court, or they win automatically. Even if you don’t have a lawyer in court, you need to make them verify the debt. You could still lose here. If you do lose in court, go to my tactic of “The Cat and Mouse Game.” They are playing a numbers game, and if you are harder to sue than John Smith down the street, they may prey on him or her instead of you. Now, there are four states in the United States that do not have wage garnishment: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. You could move there, and if you have barely any assets, you are considered judgement proof. This means you’re not worth the time to be sued, because you have nothing to take and cannot be garnished. Moving is hard, though, so that’s a personal decision. Also, from what I understand, if you do move to these states, you can switch your statute of limitations over to their states which may be less time until you cannot be sued anymore. If you do lose and just want to stop here, you could get your bank levied and you could be slapped with up to a 25% wage garnishment until paid in full Clarification: a lot of people do not ever get garnished, and bank levies are rare (they are non-existent on federal loans). Do not let this freak you out!. I repeat this is super rare and not likely to happen. Anyways, you have options at this point. If it does happen, try another tactic like leave the country or cat and mouse below. Default Private Default Federal: [medium risk] Some of the wilder people have attempted to default on both federal and private loans in order to do a cash settlement. The same strategy above in Default Private IBR Federal applies, but realize that the US government could just step in and do an administrative garnish on you eventually. If you were living some sort of cash existence, you could potentially avoid them and then write them a money order and settle for 30% or something. This way, you avoid the tax bomb and would probably pay a lot less interest overall. If you do this and it works, I would love to hear about it. Cat and Mouse: [medium risk] So, you want to avoid getting sued or you lost a judgement? You don’t have to sit back and take it. u/nowaysalliemae has successfully avoided being sued by essentially going on the run. You see, to be sued successfully, they need to know where you work. If you get sued, move to another state, and switch jobs, they have to do the entire process over again! This means find you, verify the debt, sue you, etc. You can essentially do this until your statute of limitations runs out. And then, you dispute the debt on your credit score. They take it off at that point, and you just saved a lot of money. I decided to put this as medium risk, because moving around a lot would require some luck. Especially since you would need to work wherever you go, there are a lot of moving parts here. I think it is totally doable, and if you are an adventurous personality type, it could be a lot of fun. This only works for the private student loan side, because the US government has a lot more power. You would still IBR your federal loans on this tactic. For more information, go through nowaysalliemae's post history. Leave the Country: [medium risk] What if you want to avoid all of this altogether? Do you want a reset button on your life? You can just leave the country and start over. Seriously. Your credit score does not follow you across countries. The federal government cannot garnish your paycheck if you work internationally. You are not a criminal doing this. Furthermore, there is something called the Foreign Earned Income Tax Exclusion. Since you will still IBR your federal loans on this plan, as long as you make less than$100,000 in another country, your US income is zero. This means you just got a free education while you make money in another country. Once you pay zero for 25 years, you will have to defuse your student tax bomb. Tactic Below. Private companies do not stand a chance here. There are countries in the commonwealth such as Australia and Canada that are more willing to take you in if you meet certain requirements. You could teach English at a bunch of places. You could apply for residency at these places or be a perpetual tourist. A perpetual tourist is someone who essentially moves to a new country, goes to a neighboring country for a weekend, and then goes back to that new country they are trying to start a new life in*. This in no means you have to go back to the U.S. Ever. For example, you want to live in Panama forever, every 90 days, you take a weekend trip to Nicaragua. You come back to Panama after the weekend is over and get another 90 day pass. Rinse and repeat. This gives you another 90 days in your country of choice. If you make money on the internet, this strategy would work pretty well. You can just be a perpetual tourist or marry someone in another country and start a new life. This will not be a good fit for everyone, but there’s something exciting about this. If you are young, single, and restless, this could be the adventure of a lifetime. Here's more info on being a perpetual traveler and the FEIE: https://www.escapeartist.com/blog/perpetual-traveler-us-tax-code/
Suspend Payment Without More Debt: [low risk] So recently, it has been brought to my attention that there is a community college, Luna Community College (in Las Vegas, NM), that has tuition so low you could go half time all year for about 684 dollars. They have a small amount of associate's degrees. If you just want to stop paying without taking any more loans, this would be the way to do it. You could do this for many years. Luna Community College's tuition matrix: https://luna.edu/tuition_matrix
Convert Federal Loans to Private: [medium risk] So, what if you wanted to go the opposite way? Maybe you want to convert all of your federal loans to private ones, default, and then leave the country? Hey, maybe there are reasons you want to hurry up the settlement process. You could essentially do the same strategy as above, but instead just borrow from Sallie Mae, Wells Fargo, etc until all of your federal loans are paid off. Then, either cat and mouse or leave the country. I don’t think a lot of people would find a use for this, but hey who knows?
Final Thoughts: Defaulting on student loans is not immoral or a sin. It is a business decision. Everyone else gets bailouts, why should student borrowers be any different? You’re going to have to ignore the people who tell you why they think you should be a good little slave and pay your loans. Those people are not your friends. Those people are not on your side. Some of the best advice I ever received in life was you have to do what’s best for you. Also, if you have anything you would like to add to this or would like to challenge, please let me know. I want this to be as accurate as possible. I will be looking at this perpetually to make sure there are no errors. Take care. Good luck. You can do this.

efficiency costs of purchase vs awakenings ideal ranks and their use in winning tournaments

https://preview.redd.it/govc8j6lwaw41.jpg?width=720&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b53ae8c35f697ea53d6d292ec05f434f29578784
blue = gem cost of initial purchase of a hero at that starting rank, vs. red = gem cost of the awakenings needed to get them to R6 (800*each rank) - together being 100% of their total cost. The "box"-looking effect is the proportion that each rank takes up irt its' relative cost - e.g., the blue boxes are always larger b/c they offer less efficiency at 1500/rank instead of the 800/rank for each awakening; and they are different sizes b/c the heroes have different total costs (i.e., so the awakenings take up a smaller or larger relative proportion of it). The black line is then the % of tokens that can be skipped when starting off with a hero at that starting rank, and the green dashed lines represent each successive rank above that, which are always the same regardless of a hero's starting rank: so a R0 hero starts off with none, but then at R1 is 3% of the way through, then at R2, R3, R4, R5, and R6 is 9, 18, 29, 53, and 1005 of the way through. Speaking of, I did not make another one for R7 though I could if there is interest - still, this should help get across the main points. And yes, I realize that there are no heroes that start at R3, or R6 (yet!), but it was easier to leave those in than to take them out.
Also an accompanying table of other helpful numbers.

starting rank: R0 R1 R2 R3 (though no hero starts here) R4 R5 R6 (doesn't exist - yet!?)
total gem cost: 4800 5500 6200 6900 7600 8300 9000
remaining tokens to R6: 170 165 155 140 120 80 0
People keep asking questions about the "efficiency" of ranking up heroes for tournament usage, so I thought I would share this graph, in case it helps.
For instance, did you realize that once you buy a hero that comes pre-awakened to R2, you've already spent nearly *half* of their total gem cost to fully awaken them to R6? (4 more awakenings*800 each=3200, vs. their 3000 price-tag) Although you start off only skipping 9% of the total tokens needed to get them there ((5+10)/(5+10+15+20+40+80)). Especially for newer players considering which heroes to buy and rank up to unlock worlds, these heroes offer fantastic utility for the campaign, Endless mode, and higher-difficulty RS situations. And then once bought, they offer the same efficiency as any other hero to finish off to their R6 for use in tournaments. It's a matter of preference to get one or several of them early and enjoy their use in the campaign, or to avoid their high cost and just awaken more inexpensive ones for faster, though more difficult progress.
In contrast, the heroes that come pre-awakened to R5 are more expensive - but their purchase price represents 90% of their total gem costs, and they already have more than half the total tokens that would be needed to unlock their R6. In short, if you have the gems, it's way more efficient to purchase Yan or Narlax and then finish them off to their R6 than it is to start a new hero at R1 (although if you would have to save up the gems first, read this post instead: https://www.reddit.com/RealmDefenseTD/comments/g1mmg5/advice_about_awakening_existing_heroes_vs_buying/). (Also, do not buy Leif, at least not for the sake of tournaments, although he's great for campaign, and the #1 hero for RS, so especially good for getting a new event hero to higher rank.)
As far as it pertains to "ideal" ranks (those below R6 that are worth pausing at, to win during a hero's week), that is something that many newer players want to know about, but don't quite realize that it's not necessarily for them just yet. But for those that are keen to know, read https://realm-defense-hero-legends-td.fandom.com/wiki/Meta#Season_11_Meta.2FAnalysis for the utility of heroes in Tournament settings, and https://realm-defense-hero-legends-td.fandom.com/wiki/Awakening_Tokens#Most_powerful_Ranks for the utility of each awakening, plus https://realm-defense-hero-legends-td.fandom.com/wiki/Heroes_overview for some additional commentary on hero ideal ranks. For instance, Smoulder has 2 of them, for different purposes: R4 for anti-flier stun situational effect, R5 for his own week that adds stun & a reduced cooldown, although really for his own week he's mostly R6-or-bust, but that depends heavily on the league & the lateness of the season.
I should perhaps add that I've never had much luck with ideal ranks. They seem mostly to be useful in Diamond League, and then by Masters already they are no longer useful. That said, you should give each one careful thought, individually for each hero, b/c it can save you a TON of time from getting a hero's R6 when you didn't need it (yet). Perhaps the most (in-)famous example is Yan's R6, which she doesn't need on her own week (I've literally seen Gold- rather than Purple-outlined Yans among the *very* top scores of a league), probably b/c she doesn't have great skills to help turn her blessed stat boost into actual DAMAGE (being mainly a "support" hero, which she is good at), and especially if you don't even have Efrigid or Bolton yet to receive the synergy that her R6 talent would offer, then it is fairly useless. Though these things do tend to change over time - like Narlax's R6 also used to be unnecessary, until this past season (11) when on his own blessed week it became mandatory to pull several strong bosses. Also one of Hogan's ideal ranks used to be R3 iirc (when his R5 decreased rather than increased his attack speed, before it was switched), then last season it became R5 to keep him alive (also against a strong boss), and now this season it looks like his blessed week is strongly pushing even his R6? Oh yes, some heroes can't/shouldn't really be paused at all, like Lancelot who prior to R6 is flat-out replaceable even when blessed, but at R6 gains a STRONG anti-air utility that is absolutely mandatory to win that week (as in, if ANYONE else in your group has it, who isn't terribly unskilled, then you have little chance to get a higher score than them).
Where the concept of "ideal ranks" is most helpful then, is when you already have (most of) the Meta, and are looking to win more reliably each week. Having a hero at an ideal rank may not be required to win in Gold League for instance, but it can be helpful to use that along the way while you work on other things too (like a second hero's ideal rank, or their R6, or even continuing on with the same hero, just holding back on the actual gem cost - btw strong shout-out thanks to lanclos for sharing with me most of what I know about ideal ranks:-). I suppose it may be like identifying potential resting spots while climbing a mountain - once you identify them you can either pause and rest at them, or else of course skip them and keep going, but either way they may be nice to at least plan to pass by during your ascent, just in case you find that you need them.
SPEAKING OF, here are some additional thoughts on tournaments that might help in that regard, though first I'll have to cover some basics:
a) there is an effect I call the "leading edge" whereby the earlier weeks in the season are the hardest. e.g., *this week* in Gold League is literally the hardest week that it will ever be in this season, b/c *this* is the week that it contains the most senior players (like former GMs). Then, next week, Platinum League will be created, and will be populated by the top 3 players from each group that managed to get promoted - which lets face it tends to be the most senior players, with the deepest hero investments and also the most experience & skill; and thus *that week* will be the hardest that Platinum will ever see, and so on in Diamond, and Masters, and...actually Legendary is special, b/c once a player reaches GM, they remain there. But the other leagues get easier the further the season goes, b/c of all the more senior players getting promoted each week. So therefore the last week of each season (prior to Legendary) is literally the easiest to get promoted in.
There are some important modifiers to this, b/c it may be easy or hard in general but not for you b/c of the heroes you have, and also an effect where campers used to try to not get promoted so quickly, but then towards the end of the season get nervous and want to move upwards, but anyway, this is generally true. So when I say "in lower leagues, later in the season", what I mean is "further away from the leading edge". IN OTHER WORDS, the difficulty of Gold League on week #1 is nowhere NEAR the same difficulty as Gold League on week #15. On the other hand, Platinum League on week #2 is quite similar actually to the difficulty of Legendary League, anytime, b/c that is the league where at that time all the veterans are (with anything above Platinum not yet having been created). See what I mean? But b/c of this effect, any talk about "Gold League" or "Platinum League" must be merely an average of how difficult it is to win, which basically means mid-way away from the leading edge, although be aware of these variations where earlier means *much*-harder-than-average, and later means much easier.
b) Gold League further is special in its' being so small, and in having players that haven't finished the campaign yet, which (vastly) increases the number of total players, and has the effect of "diluting" / spreading the veteran players out between/among the various groups. Therefore, even on week #1, its' difficulty is nowhere near as hard as Legendary League, b/c of being mitigated by this effect. Platinum on week #2 also isn't *quite* as hard as Legendary for similar reasons (the group size being 30 instead of 50; and effects like even former GMs lacking Hogan and not being promoted while others who have Hogan's R6 can do even better), but...Gold is truly special in being the easiest league to win in (aside from the non-repeatable Bronze and Silver of course). Though again, for people having trouble getting promoted from Gold League, take heart: as the season progresses it WILL get easier!:-)
c) in Gold League, with Koi & Raida you can pretty much win by accident even w/o meteors (though this particular week requires Narlax too, and might even need meteors - though I have never used any to get out of Gold myself). This is b/c those heroes provide so much higher utility, compared to so MANY players that lack them, that you definitely have a good chance. And that chance keeps repeating every week, as it gets easier and easier later and later into the season, so if you don't get promoted one week, keep trying the next. The advice for players lacking Koi & Raida is the same: keep trying, and eventually you'll get into a group that lacks Koi, or perhaps someone who doesn't know how to use them yet, and you CAN win! And if you truly want to prioritize this aspect of the game, before you finish the campaign, get a hero to an ideal rank or even R6, and on their blessed week, if it's late enough, you'll have a VERY good shot (though perhaps also needing good generic heroes like Narlax and Leif, unless you get VERY lucky with your group placement, or outright R6 a few heroes for this purpose).
d) in Platinum, it gets a bit harder. Though, if you have the Meta, not by that much. For those who have Raida & Koi, also pick up Yan, necro-Connie, Narlax, and Smoulder's R4 and you'll do fine in Platinum, even without the blessed hero (though of course, earlier in the season you may need them, while later you can get by without them, having strong generic+situational replacements).
e) in Diamond, it gets harder still, where you start to need the blessed hero more often. Though not every week, and not necessarily at an "ideal"/pausing rank. Two seasons ago (while I was still R6ing Koi) I got promoted by having Obsidian, not at his ideal rank of R4 but just about level 20 and rank R2 - & even then he was replaceable with Efri's R6 (which I did not have) - though that was week #13 out of 15, so very late. Many other similar stories told by veteran players abound: Mabyn's R2, Helios's R4, and if you have Yan's R6, then also Efri's R4 & Bolton's R3, etc.
f) in Masters, it is pretty much R6-or-bust, and so you are already past the stage where ideal ranks can help you for the most part (I mean Yan's R5 would probably still work, and Helios's R4 b/c towers don't add much to tournament situations, but...not much else). *If* you use the blessed hero at all, you probably need them all the way to R6. Though there are a few situations where a hero is outright replaceable - chiefly Sethos, Leif, and Masamune (possibly needing to be quite late in the season for that one), all of whom lack anti-air capabilities (though Masamune's R7 is going to change that!).
g) that said, Masters League is still nowhere near as difficult as Legendary. Scores that would get you promoted out of Masters won't even get you a reward in Legendary (although THIS season looks to be changing that - thus encouraging promotion and concurrently discouraging camping in lower leagues - definitely a plus for both veteran and more junior players alike!). Also, for the most part you can get by without the whole entire cast of "situational" heroes that are needed in Legendary, to win a GM. What I mean is: when veteran players have ALL the heroes to choose from, and they are all at R6, they can find the absolute BEST one for any given week - which could be Efri, Mabyn, Azura, Caldera, Connie, Helios, Shamiko, Narlax, Smoulder, etc., and if you want to get a GM, you need to have whatever it is that week that is among the BEST. While in Masters, you most often don't - so actually, R6-or-bust isn't that hard to do, at least compared to Legendary where you need both the blessed hero that week AND one of a large(-ish?) cast of situational heroes, and of course their R6 as well.
h) an argument against ideal ranks is that it may spread out your hero investments too thin to let you win many weeks. On the other hand, an argument for it is that even having a hero's R6 doesn't guarantee a win (e.g., at first I was absolutely terrible at using Narlax - and still I have yet to ever win a week where he is blessed). Also aiming for ideal ranks lets you maximize your elixir income (https://realm-defense-hero-legends-td.fandom.com/wiki/Realm_Siege_Strategies). Though an R6 hero also offers the option to use that hero even when not blessed (and yet this works better for some heroes and not so well for others - e.g., Mabyn can perhaps win at R2 in Diamond, but as a situational hero needs her 5th meteor talent gained at R6 to truly be effective; while Bolton + Obsidian are mostly only used when blessed, and never outside of that - although this week may again be revealing that the devs may change that in the future!). Therefore there are many benefits to either using, or not using, ideal ranks.
Ultimately whether you want to pause at an ideal rank, or keep going all the way to R6 for every hero that you own, seems to be a matter of personal preference: how EXTREME of a personality are you? Do you want to work on increasing your MAXIMUM power, to possibly win a GM title sooner - but also maybe fail to even reach Legendary League at all, as a more junior player, and also have little chance at all on weeks that you lack the blessed hero (at least in Diamond League, or others earlier in the season, closer to the seasonal reset - i.e., take a risk, and maybe be #1 on the weeks you've prepared heavily for, but then score very low on (many of) those you've invested literally nothing into? Or do you prefer to aim for a more AVERAGE level of power, which may leave you unable to be promoted on a given week (maybe several of them), but yet still maybe get some rewards, not being the best but neither being the worst, and yet still get practice either way, and maybe win sooner with less of a hero investment needed into a particular week, leaving you free to focus your efforts elsewhere?
Like most things in life, the ideal path is probably somewhere between the most extreme of R6ing one hero before moving on to the next, vs. having all heroes at ideal ranks but none at R6. Though there are people who have pursued each of those strategies! (and I can tell you some of their names if you want:-) Ultimately you need 4 wins to get to Legendary League, and then at least 1 more if you want a GM title that season. So pick a few heroes to get to R6, another few to get to ideal ranks, and with that collection you'll do well. Another hint: do you want your strongest hero investments to be earlier in the season, in your lowest league, or later, in the highest? Watch the https://realm-defense-hero-legends-td.fandom.com/wiki/Blessed_Heroes_-_Tournament page to see how early a hero is blessed in the last few seasons, and pick one that will likely be blessed later rather than earlier, and then aim to buy that hero and work on increasing their power. e.g., Yan and Narlax are both in the Meta, and blessed mid-to-late-season.
Also there are a TON of other helpful tips - about towers, heroes and synergies and combo moves, and many other tournament topics on https://realm-defense-hero-legends-td.fandom.com/wiki/Tournament_Basic_Info and https://realm-defense-hero-legends-td.fandom.com/wiki/Tournament_Detailed_Strategy. So now all that's left is for me to wish you good luck!:-)

Edit: while I thought about adding these couple of thoughts before, they didn't specifically touch on ideal ranks, so I left them out. But so many are asking so I'll put them in after all...
i) there are 3 hero roles to fulfill each week: generic, situational, and blessed. If you want to think about it harder it's "really" 2 situational and 1 blessed, but since right now one of those slots is nearly ALWAYS Koi, the former formula is at least a nice way to think about/remember it.
generic: especially if you lack blessed heroes and/or Koi, this is about all you've got - so use it! When you get to W3, Helios or Sethos can work, to help get you promoted from Gold - though you shouldn't get them just for this purpose (it is terribly inefficient to buy new heroes all the time when you can awaken earlier ones for nearly half the cost, though that takes TIME so this is a strategy mainly for P2W players). In W4, Yan and especially Narlax can get you promoted in Platinum (though again, don't buy JUST for this short-term purpose), and in W5, Leif/Caldera can get you promoted even as high as Diamond (later in the season). I doubt that any of these can get you promoted in Masters, and if anyone ever actuall DID that, they should count their lucky stars, but it's not something that you should "expect" to happen. Once you get Raida and Koi though, you'll never use these other heroes for their "generic" utility again.
situational: usually there is some hero / class of heroes that will work best for a given week. Otherwise, for example, if the only powerful heroes you have are Koi & Leif, then every week you'll always bring them, for their *generic* power. But Leif hardly does anything against fliers - merely blessing towers which, while that work GREAT in RS on blessed tower spots, is virtually useless in tournament situations. Instead, if you brought Smoulder, especially with his R4 anti-flier slow-down talent, then you have a *much* better defense & offense against fliers, even though Smoulder seems to offer FAR less "generic" power than Leif - but even thoug it is "less", it is "more" appropriate to the *situation* - see? So for a level lacking fliers entirely, Leif would be better, although for a sitaution where fliers are the ones ending your tournament play, Smoulder can be a huge boon.
Also, sometimes situational utility can (nearly or even completely) win out over generic or blessed heroes! An example is where on Sethos or Leif's blessed week, a team of strong anti-flier utility can relatively easily get scores as good as or better than a team including the blessed hero at R6 (though skill also plays a role of course). Lancelot prior to his R5 is also replaceable, and Masamune even at his R6 is *somewhat* so (if it's not a binary yes/no, but rather a continuum, where his R6 provides *one* route to win, but a strong anti-air team is *another* way, which even though offers less power, and so can't win a GM, is offered at much greater efficiency and may let you get high rewards or even promoted with from Masters League).
-) anti-fliers: Raida, Smoulder, Connie are enough to get you started, then later you'll want to add Helios & Azura. Each offers something different - like Smoulder slows them down, Raida stuns them, Connie does both, Azura can charm up to 4 (good for when there are more rare but tanky ones like W3 crows), and others can be good too like Efrigid also slows them, Narlax pulls them back, etc. The Narlax+Raida pull+charge/stun combo is ESPECIALLY powerful (read more at https://realm-defense-hero-legends-td.fandom.com/wiki/Tournament_Detailed_Strategy#Narlax_.2B_CC_combo). Note that while Fee is tremendous for fliers in campaign, she can't really keep up in this mode, except when she's blessed.
-) bosses: Koi & even Raida (& Leif if you got him for other reasons) can tank fairly well at first. Connie's bunny mamma does even better, and her little bunnies help slow it down. Narlax at his R6 can pull them back. Later, you'll want Azura who can help charm an enemy to use as a tank against the boss, and then there is Caldera who is immune to all physical damage, but extremely vulnerable to magic. Although the latter two are rarely blessed themselves, and often aren't as worth bringing as the blessed hero. If you are just getting started, Fee (at any rank) may actually work surprisingly well, as her wolves can delay a boss somewhat as it pauses to kill them.
-) delay: Connie, Raida to stun, Narlax to pull back, Efrigid to slow/freeze; or for just a few enemies that get past a checkpoint, Yan to teleport, or Mabyn for fear.
-) worlds: Mabyn works REALLY well for W3, to send enemies back whereupon the archer-bots can regain control of the situation after being broken through. Azura works really well for W4 since she is immune to the slow effect, can heal to help counteract all the ranged damage being thrown at you, and can charm strong enemies - like an armored tank to use against a boss, or a strong flier to use against other strong or weak ones, etc. Caldera isn't good in W3 (poison) or W4 (magic), but is very effective in W1,2,&5.
-) synergies: these can be stronger than anything else (yes even than Koi - in fact this is the ONLY reason why you might not want to use Koi if you have him) - basically you either have the synergy partners or you lose that week (except *maybe* in Gold?). Efri & Bolton need both Yan & Koi's R6, Bolton & Obsidian need each other, Fee needs at least 1-2 of her synergy partners, and Smoulder needs his R6 + Narlax to in. Read the wiki for more comprehensive details. Note that every one of Leif's synergies is absolutely useless and *never* worth bringing him along, unless you are a more junior player and lack anything better to do (hint: it might help once or twice, but it's REALLY not worth getting those 80 tokens and spending 800 gems to get his R6 - that should be one of it not literally THE last thing you do in the game; unless the devs change that soon? I personally would LOVE to see that!:-).
-) special mention 1: Yan hastes Koi, and is thus used more often than any other hero, after Koi himself. She can do this at her R5 though - no need to get her R6 until you are ready to take advantage of her 2 synergies.
-) special mention 2: Raida's extremely high generic utility (2nd only to Koi), AND his high situational utility (for fliers, stunning & damaging bosses, large CC, etc.) makes him the top #1 all-around utility / situational hero...though only providing a very "average" level whenever you lack some other hero who can provide a higher MAXIMUM power. When you have literally every other hero in the game, and to their R6, then you may never use Raida again (though even that's not quite true - players often use him in their first try at a level, to be ready for anything, even though he is always replaced with someone better to get the final maximum score), but until you invest that deeply (which will take YEARS of your life), Raida can provide a great deal of help. *Especially* on the days where you lack the blessed hero, though that is more of a generic functionality, and yet also when you lack the top situational hero for that week (Azura?). Use him as a stepping-stone.
blessed heroes: there is no getting around the fact that you need the blessed heroes to have the best chance to win on a given week. Especially by Masters League, though of course they still help a LOT to win more often in Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Until then, strong generic+situational utility can help fill in - some heroes are more replaceable than others as mentioned above - but after you get the Meta (Koi, Raida, Connie, Yan, Narlax), then you need to decide whether to prioritize more situational heroes, or more blessed heroes. Both ways work, and you probably want to split your efforts b/t the two. Often heroes work for both: e.g. Narlax is blessed every season, usually fairly late, and then last season (11) was also used another 4 times. In contrast, heroes like Fee, Lancelot, and Masamune are only ever used once, on their blessed week. But still, you only need 4 wins to get to Legendary, and especially if you already had these heroes at a high rank to help you unlock worlds in campaign, they can be a GREAT way to win, certainly much easier than trying to win with purely generic+situational utility that doesn't match what is needed on a given hero's blessed week. One tip: pick a hero that you like to work with, and get them to R6 - you'll likely do better with them than you would with some other hero that you don't enjoy as much.
j) R7 heroes and future predictions: many people, myself included, think that R7 will mostly be necessary for winning GMs. Thus, R6 becomes another ideal/pausing rank, though this one useful to win Masters League with. Many people want to know whether they "should" get an additional hero to R6, or focus that time instead to continue on to R7, though again this is up to your personal preference - do you want to win more often, though possibly not at the #1 spot and maybe not get promoted but do get rewards, so aiming for a higher "average" utility, or do you want to take a risk for a chance to get a GM, and aim for "maximum" utility instead (at the cost of being farther behind in terms of having fewer heroes to use whenever they are blessed)? It's a GAME, so go for what YOU want!:-)
TLDR: use ideal/pausing ranks for heroes blessed earlier in the season, and instead put your highest investments into heroes blessed later, where you'll need their power the most.

Student Loan Default: The Guide (reuploaded)

The original guide that was recently deleted here: https://www.reddit.com/studentloandefaulters/comments/cg1fd7/student_loan_default_a_guide/
I take no credit for this post, just happened to have it saved in a document and thought I'd be doing an injustice by not sharing this information once I saw the original post was missing! All credit goes to the original author, and without further ado...

Student Loan Default: A Guide
I’ve been wanting to write this for a long time, and seeing that person be in $500,000 of debt and no one really helping him on studentloans, I felt it was time to summarize everything I’ve learned. While there is great information on this sub, it is not centralized. It requires some digging. I hope now to bring all of it to the surface. Definitions: Strategic Default: When a borrower realizes that he or she can spend less money by not paying a loan. The borrower waits out the statute of limitations and then either settles or waits the debt out. Shills: People who are paid to prevent the spread of student loan default information Statute of Limitations: The number of years your state requires before a debt can no longer be collected. Cosigner: The poor person who is just as legally required to pay your loans as you are Foreign Earned Income Tax Exclusion: A tax rule that states any US citizen can earn up to about$100,000 a year in another country and report their US taxes as 0.

Fraudulent Transfer: When a party tries to move assets to someone else in order to avoid a lien on their property.

Lien: Essentially when the government slaps a bill onto your property forcing you to pay off a debt before you can sell the property.

Income Based Repayment (IBR): Federal loans can be paid with 15% of your discretionary income (money earned after taxes) instead of a higher, unpayable amount

Aggregate Student Loan Limit: The total amount a student can take out before the federal government or a private lender stops authorizing new loans

Wage Garnishment: When a court forces your employer to take out a certain percentage of your paycheck to pay back a debt

Bank Levy: When the government or a court takes all of the money directly out of your bank account to pay a debt

Private Loans: Loans that originate from anyone but the federal government. These loans have a statute of limitations and less power but higher interest rates.

Federal Loans: These loans have no statute of limitations, the government can collect anything you earn to get these back, and they come with IBR which is manageable

Sallie Mae: The worst private lender on the market. They only offer deferment for four short years.

Forbearance: A period where you do not have to pay your student loans, but interest accrues.

Deferment: A period where you do not have to pay your student loans, but interest does not accrue.

Credit Score: A number that tells people how responsible of a borrower you are.

Student Loan Tax Bomb: After you have paid for 10 - 25 years on your federal loans, you are forgiven the rest. That is considered income by the IRS. You then add this “income” to your regular income for the year and pay the tax. It can be over $10,000. Insolvency: When you are unable to pay your debts. This works well for defusing the student loan tax bomb. Public Service Loan Forgiveness: If you work for 10 years at a government job, you can get your entire federal student loan balance forgiven. In 2019, the feds are making it near impossible to collect. This could change. A note on cosigners before we begin: Look, your cosigner is probably going to be very mad at you. Prepare for your relationship to be strained. You need to try and get them on the same page as you, and I do offer a tactic here to at least shift all of the financial burden off of your cosigner below. If you decide to do any of these tactics without getting your cosigner off the hook, there could be more risk involved if you or your cosigners have a lot of assets. Strategy Student loan default is a strategy. And to have a good strategy, one must plan as much as possible. You have to know all of your options. While strategy is your overall game plan, tactics are the individual options you have to get your strategy accomplished. Below are the tactics that you can employ to beat the student loan companies. Tactics Paying Your Loans: [low risk] In the rare chance you have anywhere between$1,000 to $20,000 in federal student loans and you have completed your bachelor’s degree, you should probably just pay the damn loans. All you have to do is set up an auto debit and forget about it. It will be about 15% of your income. You really want to try and avoid consolidating if you can, because it will count against some of your IBR payments. You would also lose your grace period if you did this. At the end of 10 to 25 years, you will be forgiven all of the loan amount you did not pay. That forgiven amount is considered income by the IRS, so you will be put into a higher tax bracket. I would get an accountant when this comes. In your case, your tax bomb will be low enough where you could probably just pay it. If you want to really shake things up though, you are welcome to try either the Asset Creation Tactic or the Madlad Method below. Here is more information on Income Based Repayment: https://www.studentdebtrelief.us/repayment-plans/income-based-repayment-plan/ Default Private IBR Federal (Staying Put): [low risk] The standard strategy here on studentloandefaulters. As mentioned above, for the federal loans, it’s best to just IBR and automatically debit your bank account each month and forget about it. For the private loans, this is where the game begins. Your overall plan here is to default, wait out the statute of limitations in your home state, and either settle the debt for less than 30% or just hope they leave you alone and you don’t pay at all. From this moment on, whatever you would have paid for your private monthly bill, sock that money away. Once you go past 120 days of no payments, you are in default. This is where the phone calls come in. They will start to harass you. They will call your work, your cell phone, your cosigner, etc relentlessly. Most likely, they’ll start doing this before you get to default. As they call you, you can either just give them the cold shoulder or start immediately acting like you do not own the debt. Never admit that you own the debt. Tell them you think they are crazy and have the wrong person. Inform your cosigner to do the same. Once your loans are sold to a collection agency, wait until they call you and ask for verification of the debt. If they do not provide it, you won. Chances are, they will be able to verify it, so just make sure you never admit to the debt on the phone or make a payment. If you make a payment, you’ll reset the statute of limitations. Do not give them five dollars, two dollars, a penny. If they do sue you, show up for court. Get a lawyer if you can afford it. You have to show up to court, or they win automatically. Even if you don’t have a lawyer in court, you need to make them verify the debt. You could still lose here. If you do lose in court, go to my tactic of “The Cat and Mouse Game.” They are playing a numbers game, and if you are harder to sue than John Smith down the street, they may prey on him or her instead of you. Now, there are four states in the United States that do not have wage garnishment: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. You could move there, and if you have barely any assets, you are considered judgement proof. This means you’re not worth the time to be sued, because you have nothing to take and cannot be garnished. Moving is hard, though, so that’s a personal decision. Also, from what I understand, if you do move to these states, you can switch your statute of limitations over to their states which may be less time until you cannot be sued anymore. If you do lose and just want to stop here, you could get your bank levied and you could be slapped with up to a 25% wage garnishment until paid in full Clarification: a lot of people do not ever get garnished, and bank levies are rare (they are non-existent on federal loans). Do not let this freak you out!. I repeat this is super rare and not likely to happen. Anyways, you have options at this point. If it does happen, try another tactic like leave the country or cat and mouse below. Default Private Default Federal: [medium risk] Some of the wilder people have attempted to default on both federal and private loans in order to do a cash settlement. The same strategy above in Default Private IBR Federal applies, but realize that the US government could just step in and do an administrative garnish on you eventually. If you were living some sort of cash existence, you could potentially avoid them and then write them a money order and settle for 30% or something. This way, you avoid the tax bomb and would probably pay a lot less interest overall. If you do this and it works, I would love to hear about it. Cat and Mouse: [medium risk] So, you want to avoid getting sued or you lost a judgement? You don’t have to sit back and take it. u/nowaysalliemae has successfully avoided being sued by essentially going on the run. You see, to be sued successfully, they need to know where you work. If you get sued, move to another state, and switch jobs, they have to do the entire process over again! This means find you, verify the debt, sue you, etc. You can essentially do this until your statute of limitations runs out. And then, you dispute the debt on your credit score. They take it off at that point, and you just saved a lot of money. I decided to put this as medium risk, because moving around a lot would require some luck. Especially since you would need to work wherever you go, there are a lot of moving parts here. I think it is totally doable, and if you are an adventurous personality type, it could be a lot of fun. This only works for the private student loan side, because the US government has a lot more power. You would still IBR your federal loans on this tactic. For more information, go through nowaysalliemae's post history. Leave the Country: [medium risk] What if you want to avoid all of this altogether? Do you want a reset button on your life? You can just leave the country and start over. Seriously. Your credit score does not follow you across countries. The federal government cannot garnish your paycheck if you work internationally. You are not a criminal doing this. Furthermore, there is something called the Foreign Earned Income Tax Exclusion. Since you will still IBR your federal loans on this plan, as long as you make less than$100,000 in another country, your US income is zero. This means you just got a free education while you make money in another country. Once you pay zero for 25 years, you will have to defuse your student tax bomb. Tactic Below. Private companies do not stand a chance here. There are countries in the commonwealth such as Australia and Canada that are more willing to take you in if you meet certain requirements. You could teach English at a bunch of places. You could apply for residency at these places or be a perpetual tourist. A perpetual tourist is someone who essentially moves to a new country, goes to a neighboring country for a weekend, and then goes back to that new country they are trying to start a new life in*. This in no means you have to go back to the U.S. Ever. For example, you want to live in Panama forever, every 90 days, you take a weekend trip to Nicaragua. You come back to Panama after the weekend is over and get another 90 day pass. Rinse and repeat. This gives you another 90 days in your country of choice. If you make money on the internet, this strategy would work pretty well. You can just be a perpetual tourist or marry someone in another country and start a new life. This will not be a good fit for everyone, but there’s something exciting about this. If you are young, single, and restless, this could be the adventure of a lifetime. Here's more info on being a perpetual traveler and the FEIE: https://www.escapeartist.com/blog/perpetual-traveler-us-tax-code/

Suspend Payment Without More Debt: [low risk] So recently, it has been brought to my attention that there is a community college, Luna Community College (in Las Vegas, NM), that has tuition so low you could go half time all year for about 684 dollars. They have a small amount of associate's degrees. If you just want to stop paying without taking any more loans, this would be the way to do it. You could do this for many years. Luna Community College's tuition matrix: https://luna.edu/tuition_matrix

Convert Federal Loans to Private: [medium risk] So, what if you wanted to go the opposite way? Maybe you want to convert all of your federal loans to private ones, default, and then leave the country? Hey, maybe there are reasons you want to hurry up the settlement process. You could essentially do the same strategy as above, but instead just borrow from Sallie Mae, Wells Fargo, etc until all of your federal loans are paid off. Then, either cat and mouse or leave the country. I don’t think a lot of people would find a use for this, but hey who knows?

Final Thoughts: Defaulting on student loans is not immoral or a sin. It is a business decision. Everyone else gets bailouts, why should student borrowers be any different? You’re going to have to ignore the people who tell you why they think you should be a good little slave and pay your loans. Those people are not your friends. Those people are not on your side. Some of the best advice I ever received in life was you have to do what’s best for you. Also, if you have anything you would like to add to this or would like to challenge, please let me know. I want this to be as accurate as possible. I will be looking at this perpetually to make sure there are no errors. Take care. Good luck. You can do this.

A comparison of 7 visual story apps: Choices, Arcana, Lovestruck, Chapters, Romance Club, Journeys, and Storyscape!

This is an update to my previous post comparing visual story apps, but comparing three more apps! Romance Club, Journeys, and of course Storyscape.
These seven games are:
Since all of these apps have different names for the same things, I tried to standardize the terminology...
• Series: A unique story setting and characters.
• Book: A part of the story set in the series (also known as "routes" for Arcana and Lovestruck).
• Chapter: A part of a book that needs a "pass" to play.
• Passes: The in-game currency that allows you to play a new chapter.
• Gems: The in-game currency that allows you to make "premium" choices in chapters.
• CG: An in-game image featuring characters from the game.
Choices: Stories You Play The Arcana: A Mystic Romance Lovestruck: Choose Your Romance Chapters: Interactive Stories Romance Club: Stories I Play Journeys: Interactive Series Storyscape
Release Date (App Store) 8/17/2016 10/22/2016 3/1/2017 10/27/2017 3/7/2018 8/22/2019 10/22/2019
App Store Age Rating 12+ 12+ 17+ 17+ 12+ 17+ 17+
Passes are Called Keys Keys Tickets Tickets Tea Tickets Tickets
Maximum Number of Passes 2 3 2 2 2 2 2
Pass Regeneration Rate 3 hours 4 hours 2.5 hours 2 hours 2 hours 2 hours 2.5 hours
Gems are Called Diamonds Coins Hearts Diamonds Diamonds Diamonds Diamonds
MC Visual Customization? Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
MC Gender Majority female (several stories have male options) Male/Female/Non-binary Female-only Almost all female (1 male-only story) Female-only Female-only Almost all female
LI Gender Majority male (all but 1 story have at least 1 female LI) 3 Male, 2 female, 1 non-binary Male/Female (new releases are 50/50, 2 non-binary) Almost all male (2 female LI stories) Male/Female Male/Female Male/Female
Character Animations? No No No No No Yes Yes
Watch Ads to Earn Gems? Yes Yes (beta) No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Play Games to Earn Gems? No Yes No No No No No
Check-in Daily to Earn Gems? Yes Yes Yes* (daily puzzle piece) Yes Yes No No
Play Chapters to Earn Gems? Yes No Yes* (Romantic Quests) No Yes Yes Yes
Rate Chapters to Earn Gems? No No No No No Yes Yes
Number of Unique Series 35+ 1 (6 books) 14+ 100+ 7 12+ 4+
Series Types Both continuing series and stand-alones 1 continuing series Almost all continuing series (several stand-alones) Almost all stand-alones (two continuing series) Both continuing series and stand-alones Both continuing series and stand-alones Both continuing series and stand-alones
Average Chapters in Book ~15-18 22 (full) 12 (19 for earlier books) ~18-20 10 ~15 ~10-17
Average Choices per Book ~10-15 ~7-15 ~3-6 ~7-15 ~15-19 ~4-7 ~10-15
Can You Collect CGs? No* (they exist, but you can't collect them in one place) Yes Yes Yes (character cards) No No No* (they exist, but you can't collect them in one place)
Do Choices Affect the Story? Yes Yes (upright/reversed endings) No* (some older books have thrilling/passionate endings) No Yes Yes Yes
Are Series in Same Universe? Yes Yes Yes No No No No
Parent Company in: Korea (US Subsidiary) USA Japan (US Subsidiary) China (US Subsidiary) Moldova Argentina (?) USA

MC Customization

• Choices and Romance Club are really the main ones here that allows you to change your MC's look, since you can choose the MC's face, hair, etc. They have a lot of options.
• Most Chapters, Journeys and Storyscape MC looks are just different skin tones or hairstyles.
• The MCs in Lovestruck are set in appearance and have their own backstory.
• There are no MC visuals in the Arcana at all, and none in some of the older Lovestruck books.
• I think it's no secret that the core demographic here for visual story apps are women. All the apps allow you to play as a female MC in every book.
• If you want to play as a male MC Choices is probably still the best option here despite all the gender-locking complaints people have. Choices still has the most stories with a male MC option.
• Storyscape's latest book allows you to select a male MC, and some of their books also alternate between male and female characters (think TC&TF in Choices)
• For non-binary players, the Arcana is currently the only game that lets your MC go by "they/them." But Storyscape's next book Ageless will have a non-binary MC option.
• Choices, Storyscapes, Romance Club, Journeys, and Chapters all have premium choices using gems to get better looks for your MC.
• Lovestruck has gem outfits for a couple of the older books like Speakeasy Tonight but they no longer do that for the new ones. Arcana has no MC visuals.

LI Choices

• All the games have male LIs (obv).
• For WLW players, Choices, Storyscape and Lovestruck are obvious winners here, but many Choices books only have a single female LI while all the new Lovestruck books have multiple female LIs with different personalities. Also since the MCs in Lovestruck are always bi females, the female LIs in the game have much more WLW-specific dialogue than Choices.
• Romance Club also has female LIs but their stories are not as comprehensive as the male LIs.
• For MLM players, Choices is kinda the only game in town here if you want visuals, I think. You can play as male in the Arcana with the three male LIs but there's no visual customization, just pronouns. Chapters has a single MLM story that was released a while ago and they have not made any new ones since. Not sure if Storyscape's new Edge of Extinction, which has a male MC option allows you to go for a male LI yet.
• Only two games have non-binary love interests: Lovestruck has two (Cyprin and JD) and Arcana has one (Asra, goes by he/him).

Earning Passes/Gems

• I still think the Arcana is probably the easiest one to earn in-game gems for, since there are so many ways to earn them. Heart Hunter, watch ads (if you have the beta feature), sell trinkets from the spin, win gems from the free spin. Chapters is pretty easy too since you can watch a ton of ads for gems and they don't really have that many limitations of how many you can watch.
• The hardest one to earn in-game gems for is probably Lovestruck. Their choices cost more (~20+) and you can only get gems by playing Romantic Quests, which give max five gems in an ten-hour period. The daily puzzle piece technically gives you gems too but it's so slow it might as well not count.
• Storyscape is decent primarily because it doesn't have that many gem choices per chapter, plus you can earn gems from rating chapters, which is nice.
• Choices is decent at giving you free gems but it's also the most gem-heavy by far, since there are multiple gem choices per chapter and there's a lot of "collect them all" stuff in books.
• Romance Club is pretty generous if you regularly check-in. Reading the first chapter of a new book gives you ten gems.
• Chapters regularly lets you read a random book without using up any passes, for 24 hours.
• Arcana recently also has had multiple weekends where no passes were needed to read books at all. You can also buy chapters outright and then you don't need to use passes or gems to play that chapter again and again!
• Both Arcana and Lovestruck actually allow you to earn passes through other means than waiting for the timer.
• Shoutout to Romance Club for having the most innovative name for passes - "Cups of Tea"!

Gameplay

• Two games here have character animations: Journeys and Storyscape. The rest of the games do not have characters animate but instead rely on sprites.
• Storyscape's 3D animations are insane for a mobile game - while yes, they can be creepy sometimes (uncanny valley), the models are very expressive and they actually add to the story in many ways. Nothing else here compares to it.
• Journeys's animations are more like Episode's and are simpler and 2D, and half the time you're just waiting for the animation to finish so you can go through the book faster.
• Both Choices and Lovestruck have animations for other parts of the story (like magical stuff), though Choices's are more complex.
• Arcana and Storyscape have the least typos (almost none, I feel), Choices and Lovestruck have a few occasionally, and Romance Club, Chapters, and Journeys's books often have a bunch. I might be a bit unfair to the last three since their developers are not from the US and are overseas.
• Chapters' regular gem choices are the worst because out of all of these games it's the one that most often makes you spend gems just to say something that isn't stupid or do something mind-numblingly idiotic, and it barely affects anything.
• The age rating really affects the romantic content of the books.
• Chapters is the most explicit (sometimes really badly so) in scenes. There are also some problematic books but that's a different story...
• Storyscape is pretty explicit too; it's definitely targeting an adult audience.
• Lovestruck can be pretty direct about things and themes
• Choices tends to rely on implied actions. (other than Bloodbound as does Arcana and Romance Club. No surprise that they have the lowest age rating in the App Store.
• Ironically despite the name of these games, they vary greatly about how much your own choices impact the story.
• Storyscape's choices are pretty consistently going to affect what happens later in the game. Just an example, Titanic ends really differently and has several different endings depending on what you did/ did not do.
• I know a lot of people complain that choices in Choices often don't change the story, but they still do in some (Endless Summer!).
• Arcana choices affect whether you get the upright/reversed endings for a LI, which are very different story endings!
• Romance Club's also put you on different paths that change the story line a bit.
• On the other hand, choices in Lovestruck basically never affect the main story line. Some of the older books have passionate/thrilling endings (like Astoria) that get unlocked with your choices, but the new ones never have these endings. Same with Chapters.
• None of these apps offer Telltale or Life is Strange-level choice effects though.
• Journeys offers translations of their stories into several European languages - German, Spanish, Portugues, Italian.

Interface

• Most of the games have something nice about their interface that I wish could make it into the other apps.
• Lovestruck allows you to fast forward, rewind, and see a log of speech in the chapter. No more tapping mindlessly and missing something important! That's probably why they don't give you gems for finishing chapters though...
• I really like the tarot check-in in Arcana. It's very on-theme and fun.
• Both Arcana and Lovestruck allow you to collect CGs from LI interactions and you can view them in a gallery later. Both of these games have a mixture of free and premium CGs that you have to use gems to get, but there are many more free ones on Lovestruck and I'd say it's an integral part of the game.
• Choices and Storyscape have what could be considered "CGs" but there's nowhere to view them outside of the chapter they appear. If you don't screenshot the moment you'll have to replay the chapter again to see it.
• Chapters has a "Card Cabinet" where you collect character cards, etc. It's kinda like Steam cards that you earn while playing, though some of the cards require premium choices to be made to unlock. They also have an easy way to view achievements.
• Journeys is the only one that's in landscape, and I actually like that because it feels like I'm watching a movie. They also tell you how much of the chapter you have left when you pause.
• Lovestruck and Chapters both have the ability to write and see in-game reviews of books. But the comments on Chapters are rarely about the book and are just people sharing their friend codes.
• Storyscape tells you who wrote and directed the chapter after you finish, I like that too.

History & Background

• All the apps have very different histories about how they came about.
• Lovestruck is technically the oldest here, since some of their stories were first released as stand-alone apps that later got merged into one app in 2017. Speakeasy Tonight was released all the way back in 2013, Astoria in 2015, etc. The company Voltage is based in Japan with an American subsidiary.
• Choices released in August 2016 but the PB team had published two other games (High School Story and Hollywood U) before it with a similar (short) episodic format, and also Surviving High School with EA even before that. They are now a subsidiary of Nexon, a Korean company.
• Arcana got its beginning through Kickstarter three years ago - unfortunately apparently some people still haven't gotten their rewards... Nix Hydra is still an independent game studio as far as I can tell.
• Chapters came out a year or so after Choices and they clearly in the beginning copied a lot of how that app works, right down to the wording of certain choices. The company is ChineseAll USA Corp, based in China, and the US subsidiary is based out of Sunnyvale. That being said, their app now has more unique features and mechanics to keep people playing.
• Romance Club seems to have a big community of readers especially in Eastern Europe, and they're based out of Moldova.
• Journeys is only a few months old but they seem to be very popular in Latin America.
• Storyscape is the newest game here but they were hotly anticipated by a lot of people, and for good reason IMO. Their studio was a game arm of 20th Century Fox so I guess technically they're owned by Disney now?

Demographics

Here's a chart by gendesexual orientation for which game gives you the most options / fits a particular demographic best in my opinion:
Gender x Male LIs x Female LIs x Non-binary LIs
Female All apps but esp. Chapters Lovestruck, Choices, Storyscape Lovestruck
Male Choices, Arcana Choices Arcana
Non-binary Arcana Arcana Arcana

Similarities

Here's how I would group the games according to similarity.
• The "new otome games": Lovestruck and The Arcana; they're the most similar to each other, with CGs as rewards, and "routes" with specific LIs. Obviously they differ from the classic otome formula in that they have a much greater variety of LIs than just guys!
• The "immersive fiction games": Choices, Romance Club both fit here. A library of their own books and customization of main characters. These two games are extremely similar (I suspect by intent...).
• The "paperback romance games": Chapters and Journeys. Reading these are kinda like reading those cheap paperback novels you buy at the airport, ya know? It's not highbrow fiction, but it scratches a certain itch. These two are also the most similar to Episode in a way.
• The "TV-show-as-book": Storyscape kinda exists as itself. For a while I wondered why they call their books "shows" but it kinda makes sense now because of the production quality. Of course, two of their books are actually from film/TV, but it makes sense because of their origins at Fox.
As a last word, it's kinda cool that for Choices, Storyscape, and Romance Club their developers have all been on and done stuff with their Reddit communities. Romance Club even has a link to the subreddit in the app! The other apps are slacking on this.
Agree, disagree? Tell me!

2019 /r/Peloton Pre-TDF Survey Results!

Here we are with some results from the Pre-TDF Survey!
Sorry for the delay, I realise that this is a bit too long of a wait and we could possibly have gone into more depth in places but rest day is the best day for this.
Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2018 Mar 2018 Aug 2019
Results 2013-06-12 2014-06-25 2015-08-07 2016-11-17 2018-03-06 2018-08-20 2019-07-22
Replies 351 598 1395 892 630 928 986
Slightly more respondents than last year, though dwarfed by 2015 again.

Top 15 Countries

Country 2015 2016 2018 Mar 2018 Aug 2019
USA 32% 28.3% 22.84% 25.32% 20.23%
UK 18.6% 17.6% 14.70% 20.13% 15.48%
Netherlands 6.4% 9.4% 11.50% 11.58% 10.01%
Germany 3.73% 3.4% 4.95% 6.39% 7.84%
Denmark 3.9% 3.6% 4.31% 3.79% 7.64%
Belgium 3.8% 2.7% 8.15% 3.57% 5.78%
France 2.01% 1.08% 2.88% 2.27% 5.26%
Canada 4.9% 7% 6.39% 4.22% 4.95%
Australia 5.2% 4.7% 3.83% 4.00% 4.33%
Norway 2.58% 1.8% 1.60% 1.95% 2.58%
Sweden 1.08% 1.09% 1.44% 1.41% 1.75%
Portugal 1.65% 1.8% 2.40% 1.52% 1.34%
Slovenia 0.73% 0.32% 1.30% 1.14%
Austria 0.18% 0.96% 0.65% 1.03%
Italy 1.45% 1.44% 0.65% 1.03%
No major surprises at the top of the list, with the USA & UK still dominating. But down almost 10% betwen them on last year, whilst the influence of Bora's German superstars helps them out, and Fuglsang's scintillating year lifts the number of Danes.
Worth noting that whilst some major European countries get a look in, Spanish representation is dreadful, with just six users or 0.62% claiming to be from the host nation of four WT races.

u17 17-19 20-25 26-30 31-35 36-40 41-50 51+ Total
2015 2.22% 12.04% 41.51% 24.66% 10.68% 4.87% 2.94% 1.08% 1395
2016 1.5% 8.9% 40.8% 24% 12% 5.4% 5.2% 2% 887
2018 Mar 1% 7.1% 33.5% 27.4% 16.2% 7% 5.7% 2.1% 617
2018 Aug 1.7% 9% 33.9% 26.4% 15.5% 7% 5% 1.5% 905
2019 1.5% 6.6% 33.2% 27.5% 16.4% 7.1% 5.8% 2% 972
Year on year it's as you'd expect for Reddit demographics as a whole, with slightly fewer teenagers around and a few more people over 30.

'13 '14 '15 '16 '18 (1) '18 (2) '19
Male 97.2% 97% 94.9% 93.4% 93.3% 93.6% 95.1%
Female 2.8% 2.7% 4.8% 5.3% 5.3% 5.4% 3.7%
Other - 0.33% 0.29% 0.78% 0.76% - -
Non-Binary - - - - 0.64% 0.99% 1.2%
More generic reddit samples, with a mostly male contingent and very few women in comparison.

How much of the season do you watch/follow?

Type March '18 (%) August '18 (%) 2019 (%)
Grand Tours 84.7 92.0 90.2
Monuments 79.1 74.9 79
WT Stage races 67.4 62.4 70.5
WT One day races 73.3 59.8 62.3
Non WT Stage races 32.6 16.7 17.4
Non WT One day races 34.8 13.7 17.4
Literally everything I can consume 35.9 18.1 21.1
The results for GTs & monuments are pretty stable no matter what part of the year we poll this, but after that it varies depending on spring and summer. Far more spring viewers are inclined to watch Le Samyn and other glorious 1.1 races than the ones who tune in in the summertime, though that number is ticking up, probably because race coverage is getting more and more accesible.

How long have you been watching Cycling?

Time (years) under a year 1 -2 2 - 3 3 - 4 4 - 5 5 - 6 6-7 7 -8 8 - 9 9 - 10 10 - 11 11 - 12 12 -13 13 - 14 14 - 15 15 - 20 20 - 25 25 +
'18 March (%) 4 10.5 12.6 9.6 8.1 8.9 - 6.9 4.8 - 6.2 2.2 1.8 0.8 4.5 10.7 4.9 3.5
'18 August (%) 4 10 13.2 9.9 7.7 8.3 5 4.6 2.7 5.4 3.2 2.2 1.8 1.9 1.8 9.5 5 3.8
'19 (%) 1.3 8.2 10.7 9.1 8.1 6.4 5.5 4.9 2.7 6 4.7 1.8 1.8 1.8 3.9 10.6 7 5.4
Time (years) 0-5 5-11 11-15 15 & more
'18 Mar 44.8% 26.8% 9.3% 19.1%
'18 Aug 44.8% 29.2% 7.7% 18.3%
'19 37.4% 30.2% 3.9% 23%
Lots of viewers have been watching for a while now, having switched into 15 years plus bucket, or post 2004.
These age brackets will change next quiz as suggested!

Section 2

Which teams do you like or not like?

14.5% of people don't really care for any team in particular. Of those that do, the results are:
AG2R Astana Bahrain Bora CCC DDD EF FDJ Ineos
Like 314 226 76 482 89 114 504 210 205
Meh 467 393 468 310 626 489 305 532 272
Dislike 24 198 256 28 73 188 29 54 371
Karma 290 28 -180 454 16 -74 475 156 -166
Katusha Lotto Soudal Movistar Mitchelton Quick Step Sunweb Trek Jumbo-Visma UAE
Like 66 229 215 394 490 360 189 415 56
Meh 507 526 448 381 283 407 549 374 449
Dislike 221 52 152 39 54 47 51 20 292
Karma -155 197 163 355 436 313 138 395 -236
So then, the most popular team from this year's survey is EF Education First, followed by Bora-hansgrohe & Quick-Step. Least popular are UAE and Bahrain, the two petrodollar fuelled teams.
Oh and no one cares about CCC. I've illustrate that with this particular graph, and it also shows Ineos are the most polarising team in the bunch. Who'd have guessed.
For a historical comparison, here are the normalised results of every time we've conducted this kind of question over time
What you'll notice is that the usual suspects are still negative: Ineos, Bahrain, Katusha & UAE. They've been joined by the woeful Dimension Data Team, and in stunning fashion Astana have finally escaped the negative karma ranks after years and pop up in the positives.
At the other end of the scale, EF Education First are up in popularity despite less US respondents, so it seems like they've picked up a worldwide audience. Otherwise most teams have slightly regressed towards the mean.

Do you ride a bike regularly?

For fun 61.5% 63.4% 59.9%
For fitness 59.3% 59.6% 54.8%
For commuting 46% 46% 45.6%
For racing 20.6% 20.6% 15.9%
No, I don't 14.2% 12.9% 14.8%
Fewer of us are bike riders, and less than one in six of us are racers.

2015 2016 2018Mar 2018Aug 2019
No 40.7% 34.7% 30.6% 39.7% 38.5%
Yes 59.3% 65.3% 69.4% 60.3% 61.5%
Usual themes of more casual fans in summer than spring.

What other sports do you follow?

Sport #
I don't follow other sports 7.27%
Association Football / Soccer 53.33%
Formula 1 26.82%
American Football 23.03%
Esports (yes, this includes DotA) 18.42%
Skiing 12.90%
Ice Hockey 12.59%
Track & Field 12.28%
Rugby 12.18%
Tennis 11.46%
Baseball 11.05%
Motorsports (Not including F1) 10.34%
Cricket 9.72%
Biathlon 7.88%
Chess 6.86%
Climbing 6.55%
Snooker 6.04%
Golf 5.94%
Triathlon 5.53%
Boxing 5.02%
Handball 5.02%
Many, many others <5%
Notably others include swimming, Speed Skating, Martial Arts, Darts & Ski Jumping that were all above 3%
As per usual, Soccer is top of the tree, with just over half of all respondents following it. Otherwise Formula 1 is next up, followed by American Football. Esports is in the top five, whilst lower down Ski Jumping has a small following and Jousting is just for the one person.
Other cycling disciplines
Type #
Cyclocross 19.96%
Track Cycling 13.20%
MTB 8.70%
BMX 1.23%
As for other cycling disciplines, /Cyclocross leads /Velodrome as usual.

Section 3

How often do you participate in a /Peloton Race Thread whilst watching a race?
2015 2016 2018Mar 2018Aug 2019
I always participate in Race Threads during races 2.8% 2% 2.2% 4% 2.5%
I often participate in Race Threads during races 16.8% 19% 16.5% 18.9% 15.2%
I rarely/never participate in Race Threads during races 38.7% 41.3% 43.1% 35% 39.8%
More or less the same numbers as usual, reverting to the norm after the very invested 2018 Summer crowd.

How do you watch races?

Method 2018Mar 2018Aug 2019
Pirate Streams 62% 46.5% 50.2%
Local TV 55.7% 64.5% 59.6%
Desperately scrabbling for Youtube highlights 37.9% 30.2% 28.2%
Paid Streaming services 32.3% 35.4% 38.3%
Pirate streams more or less level with last year, and paid streaming services now up to nearly 40% of the sub base, the main grower over time as it is easier and easier to get coverage. In most countries at least.

Type 2018Mar 2018Aug 2019
/Peloton race threads 86.2% 83.4% 80.2%
PCS Liveticker - - 30.2%
The Cyclingnews liveticker 26% 23.5% 21.5%
Sporza (site/ticker) 1.89% 9.5% 10.8%
Steephill 0.52% 13.5% 10.2%
Other cycling forums 15.1% 8.1% 7.6%
/Peloton discord 6.5% 5.4% 7.5%
NOS Liveblog - 6.8% 7%
feltet.dk - 2.2% 5.4%
BBC Ticker - 3.5% 2.1%
DirectVelo - 1.3% 1.6%
Non Cycling Forums - 1.3% 1.2%
/cyc/ - 1.3% 1%
/peloton IRC ~0 0.8% 0.4%
The new big kid on the block is the PCS live ticker which they introduced this year, and since its introduction it has become an exceptionally handy resource especially for following ITTs live.

Do you use /Peloton mostly in classic reddit or redesign when on the desktop?

Type 2018 Aug 2019
Classic 75.1% 67.2%
Redesign 24.9% 32.8%
Fear it. Run from it. Reddit is embracing redesign.

With what version of reddit do you browse the sub mostly?

Version %
Desktop Classic 37.8
3rd Party App 18.3
Official App 17.9
Desktop Redesign 13.7
Mobile Web 12.4
Most of us use the Classic browser, but next best is third party apps like Reddit is Fun, Relay and so on.

How did you find the sub?

How did you find the sub? %
Honestly it has been so long I don't remember 41.2
Reddit Search 29.7
My mate/friend/enemy told me 2.9
Short of memory issues, incredibly most people found the sub via reddit search of all things.
And at least two people really, really wanted to talk about their exercise bike. And one person from 4chan.

How much racing do you think the sub should automatically cover in terms of race & results threads (obviously can cover more if there's interest on the day in the race)? Bear in mind that next year the UCI will roll some (but not all) .HC & .1 events into a new "Pro Series" that exists below the WT.

Type of racing %
Just WT 9.1
WT & HC 14.7
WT, HC & important .1 39.4
All televised racing 34.9
I think it's fair to say that it's a toss up between everything and most of the important races of the season, .1 and up. By automatic the idea was to mean stuff we'll make race threads for, anyone is always welcome to make a race thread if the race deserves it in your opinion (if it's a UCI one anyway).
Next year the ProSeries will change the make up of racing anyway!

Section 4

This survey we picked up on feedback and decided to poll women's racing with a variety of questions!
First up:
Do you maintain an interest in women's professional road racing? %
Yes 49.8
No 50.2
Nice and split down the middle. Next up:
If (big if here) Women's World Tour racing received at least the level of broadcast time that you'd expect out of the men's WT, would you watch it? %
Yes 51.4
No 30.6
Unsure without viewing said productions 18
Women's cycling suffers from broadcasting issues, with many of the WWT races nor even televised, including the biggest one of the year, the Giro Rosa. Happily that will change next year with the new reforms being installed, but being able to actually watch the damn thing is part of the hurdle of following the women's calendar.

Do you think the UCI is doing the right thing for the women's side of the sport, in regards to steps taken regarding minimum wages and the creation of WorldTeams starting next year?

So next year the whole sport is getting rewritten by the UCI, and a good chunk of that is on the women's side. There will be minimum wages for the new WorldTeams, mandatory broadcasting for WT races, as well as employee rights like sick day, maternity leave, and a prize money going up. Our thoughts on the subject were:
Is the UCI doing the right thing? %
Yes 41.6
No 10.2
I don't follow UCI press releases 48.1
So yes, the UCI is doing better, but most people are not aware of what they are doing to make it better. Hopefully this survey made it more obvious what changes are afoot.
Lastly, we had more of a wide ranging question on how women's cycling is treated on the sub. Obviously since it was an open form answer, there's no specific feedback but most people seem to think we should keep it here, and that we generally do enough for the sport. It's just that user participation is somewhat lower than mens and it is fairly obvious. Also it seems that a lot of you have missed the Womens Reddit Fantasy League (WRFL) that is run for all WWT races, so rest assured the fantasy side does exist.
Having read every single bit of feedback there's some good ideas in there regarding a content filter for womens cycling and other things we will try to work on so thanks for that!
Over time with the reforms, televised races and so on the interest should likely trend upwards. We shall see!

Section 5

Do you think the reworking of the invite system in 2020 is a good thing or not?

So next year the UCI is redoing the very structure of professional cycling, by changing the classifications of races in a new hierarchy & redoing the invite system entirely. How it essentially works is that the top two PCT teams from the previous year get automatic invites to every single WT event, and sometimes the top three. The usual wildcard invite system is partially gone, that means for the GTs only two invites can be offered. Teams can deny these mandatory invitations of course but only then can the race organiser offer that slot to another team.
Is it a good thing? %
Yes 22.5
No 19.3
I'm not entirely sure who Gianni Savio is and why he is mad 58.2
Outside of the 58% of people who unacquainted with the man/legend hybrid who produces a stream of riders for big WT teams after grounding them at Androni, we're kind of split on the subject, and it's easy to see why. It does streamline the process by making it so that there is essentially a season long reward for PCT teams in terms of sought after GT invites or monument invites.
However, for a system that has forever relied on wildcard organiser invites it will restrict some teams from ever seeing these races again potentially. One of the classic Italian teams Nippo Vini Fantini has already announced it is folding next season, and you can see why the lower achieving teams might look worriedly at this reform.

Who will win the 2019 TDF?

Here's a good one. Two weeks into the race and what did we think beforehand?
And the winner is: %
Egan Bernal 28.4
Geraint Thomas 16.4
Jakob Fuglsang 12.2
Thibault Pinot 7.3
Romain Bardet 6.5
Nairo Quintana 5.3
Steven Kruijswijk 3.8
Rigoberto Uran 2.9
Vincenzo Nibali 2.2
Dan Martin 1.3
Alejandro Valverde 1.1
Mikel Landa 1
Emmanuel Buchmann 0.7
Bernal was the clear fan favourite, and not a single person mentioned Alaphilippe for the overall.
And that's it for multiple choice questions. There was a huge amount of feedback on the women's longform question which we covered earlier but it had over 300 responses from simply yes to longer answers so thank you for that.
There wasn't nearly as much feedback on the more general end of survey questions so we'll briefly cover a couple of responses here. Whoever the poster is that asked about content filters you will be happy to know they've been implemented in redesign & classic reddit using some changes to the flairing of threads and how automod works. Though redesign has a slightly fancier format currently, both options now live in the sidebar. Also to the user who asked about Velogames flairs, we have them! Just that one user continually hoards them (you know who you are). And to the person who wrote "Free Talk Friday?", we do have one, every Friday.
Also for the more technical question on thread collections, unfortunately it's a feature of new reddit, and whilst we were trialling it during the Tour de Suisse, the fact it takes up half the page is not ideal, and the size is not adjustable... which means that commenting is a pain. Still thing it's a good idea though.
Lastly it's very clear that HerHor is the loved one of this sub though unfortunately we do not have infinite money to give him infinite gold as one user suggested.

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