Six years ago, when I was first stepping foot into College, I knew that when I graduated I would be struggling with debt. What I didn’t know is that there would be no help for me when I would leave those school doors. Over a year ago (May, 2008 ) I graduated, and in the middle of the summer the bills started coming in. I expected a lot, it being a private school and all, but I never thought in my wildest dreams that while working full time I would not be able to make payments. All dreams of moving out of my parents house and starting a family are now washed away since I just defaulted on one of my seven private loans and, the other six are not looking too good either.
At the age of twenty five, I owe $100,000 in student loan debt in both private and Federal loans. I don’t even go to the doctors because I’m afraid if I do I won’t have that extra twenty that could put either gas in the tank of the car my parents let me drive, or get me twenty dollars closer to pulling myself out of debt. I feel hurt, hurt that there is nothing in place to help us the ones who are trying to better themselves and contribute to society. I support student loan forgiveness, because this is a problem that is preventing many from starting their own families and in some cases buying necessary things such as clothing or shoes, and I’m not talking about a pair of jeans that costs $100.00, I’m talking about a pair of $15.00 bought at your local Walmart.
Now the question I always hear is, ‘you can find a better job can’t you?’ And here’s the simple truth, it’s a lot harder than it sounds. From my own experience, I’ve been trying to get something better since graduation and have gotten one interview for a part time position at a FYE, and I didn’t get the job. Maybe it’s my area of the country, but at the moment companies can afford to be choosey because so many need and want jobs. Unfortunately, there are only so many out there.
Bankruptcy isn’t an option either. A student who has defaulted on their loans due to their overwhelming debt is treated the same as people who tax evade, owe child support, and other criminal fines. You could try to go bankrupt, however you’d have to prove that: your situation is going to change; you tried to make good faith payments, and that the quality of your life is in jeopardy, which is all the judge’s discretion and the guide lines are vague at best to what that really means. While doing research on this topic, I found one article that said a guy who had lost the ability to walk wasn’t able to discharge his student loans because he could still do desk work. It kind of makes me sick in honesty.
That brings us back to the topic at hand. If these reasons are not enough to convince you, then maybe you’re in a better place then I. Today alone I woke up with a stress related head ache and a stomach that still isn’t settled, received four phone calls about my loans that defaulted or are delinquent, got home, spent two hours talking in circles trying to get answers so that I could make some payment on the defaulted loan, and while writing this I still have a head ache. I want to move out of my parents house and into an cheap apartment with my boyfriend, whom I wish I could marry and have children with, but can’t, I wish I could pay these loans, I’ve had no luck at that and most importantly I wish I had help. If the Government can bail out banks, why can’t the bail us out too?