I see ads on Facebook talking about “student loan relief, and consolidation” with pictures of President Obama and a student in the picture. I do not 100% believe in these pictures at all. I consolidated my loans years ago but they still wants hundreds and hundreds of dollars. it is hard to figure out what the hell I did wrong. I could say I studied hard and went to college, but let’s be honest looking at my high school transcripts I didn’t study that hard but I got into college. Not going was not an option for me. And I worked a job throughout college, I paid for myself to go with scholarships, financial aid and loans from sallie mae. I knew that after school I was going to be paying back my student loans for several years I understood that. i did not know to what end I would have money stolen from my wallet for decades. I did make the choice to go to the college that was private and therefore not cheap. I value my education and would not have changed it for anything. And when I was in college I did not give myself a choice nor did my family to choose to do something else, college was the next step after high school. Fast Forward in life I have had a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice for 6 years and since I started to pay back my student loans there are times when I struggled to make the payment. Different factors in life have led to different jobs, etc and payment got to be too much. However there have been times that I paid the amount blindly without question.
Now over the last years, things have gone more on the negative side and I have changed jobs a few times. My income has reduced significantly but not my bills. I was fortunately able to get a have sallie mae not make me pay the previous large amount I was paying for years and have a reduced payment for a year due to financially difficultly. And I thought why hadn’t I don’t this previously? The year is almost over and I am not in a better position, I did just start a new job and therefore things are looking up for the future. I get an email today stating correspondence from my beloved sallie mae, I login to my loans to read the messages. And I’m paraphrasing but what I read was:
Dear Former College Student,
I see that you should be repaying us but we have not been charging you the full amount lately because you are poor and do not have a good job. Oh that is sad 🙁
Well, i’ve got some news for you, its been a year and its time for you to pay us a real, regular amount again. So we are going to send our goons to your house and they will proceed on lifting you up and turning you upside down holding onto you by your ankles and shake all the money you have in your pockets out of them. This is not because we enjoy taking even last cent you have. Not because we don’t want you to be able to pay your other bills, or to have money for food and gas to get to work to get ht money in the first place. You see we gave you money to sit around and party and occasionally go to glass a while back and those damn teachers expect a lot to put up with you. They are still telling us about how annoying you are so we added an annoying fee on your payment.
It was wonderful to talk to you and we can’t wait to get your new payment amount that is 12 times more then you have been paying this last year.
Thanks and its due on September 21, 2014.
So that is pretty much what they said. You can imagine my reaction to this correspondence was laughing out loud at them. I wish they called me to tell me this so I could tell them they were flipping crazy. And even if I had the nearly $1000 a month they wanted me to give them I wouldn’t. I just don’t understand how kids in college now will be able to find jobs that will give them the option to pay back these loans in 5 years. Not going to college is not the answer, and lowering interest rates etc is not the answer. Hope about stimulating the economy for REAL. Politicians always talk about the top 1% doing this by creating jobs. Is this actually happening. Because we certainly do not see it nor do we feel it. I am not asking to be able to have lots of money and go on shopping sprees, and have expensive name brand of everything. I am just trying to live my life from more than just pay check to pay check. I like to have more then 12 cents in my savings account. Maybe go out to dinner once a week and stimulate the economy in my area. Is it too much to ask for?
At the end of the day this is not only my struggle but what so many people are going through across America because we did not read the fine print on loan terms to be able to forecast what the future would hold for our financial obligations. Shame on us for that, but really shame on the system created the gives the majority of the middle class less options, more disappointment and worry, and not fostering positive income to debt ratios by developing programs that will help us. In retrospect of there events that have unfolded with my loans, and the fact that my diploma is sitting in a box, should I have even gone to college? If I were to choose a different career path would my life have been in a better place today? I try not to dwell on those questions because I do not want to discourage others and no matter the cost my education has shaped the my ideologies and convictions therefore my knowledge is priceless.