I am already struggling with my resolution not to keep letting my financial situation get me down. I see no way out of debt. I see no way to turn this American Nightmare into the American Dream. I am depressed and bitter. I have an acquaintance who just bought a home and another who is remodeling hers. I get angry when I hear them talk about it. I was annoyed when co-workers were discussing the tablets they bought their kids for Christmas. It is a feeling that is totally foreign to me and I hate it.
God bless my parents. All my life they pushed me and my sister to pursue higher education. Although my mom eventually got her degree, neither of them had gone to college when we were growing up. Just like other thirtysomethings (and twentysomethings) I was fed the belief that a college education was a) the most sound investment one could make and b) the key to a comfy cozy middle-class existence, complete with a three-bedroom, two-bath home with a two-car garage.
It was a colossal load of garbage.
I am not blaming my parents. They meant well. How could they have known how bad the economy would suck? How could they have foreseen tuitions rising by over 400% in only a couple decades? Would they have encouraged me to go to school if they knew unscrupulous companies such as Sallie Mae would default my loans because I could only pay $50 instead of the $1225 a month they initially demanded?
To the Boomers who laugh at our complaints about our debt I pose a few statements and questions:
1. Our debt-ridden generation is holding off on marriage. People like me do not make large purchases, have no money saved, and may never be able to buy a home. Thus, this trillion dollar student loan debt has strong economic implications. Can you picture an economy in which the middle generation that is supporting both the older generation (that would be you, Boomers) and our kids had no buying power?
2. Most people, like me, are NOT trying to deny the debt-we are asking for an investigation into the atmospheric costs of tuition, fair repayment terms, and reasonable interest rates. I would personally like to see private lenders like Sallie Mae done away with altogether, but if they are allowed to continue, it would be nice to see the Dept. Of Education actually taking oversight of Sallie Mae’s operations. I was aghast at the number of message boards I found with complaints about this company and positively FLOORED that there are basically no protections against them. There are political ramifications here-I know I will not vote for a single state Congressional representative or presidential candidate who does not support higher education and student loan reform.
4. Again, minorities are getting the short end of the stick. Sallie Mae has been investigated for its practices involving minorities.
So, people don’t want others to be able to see the doctor when they are sick, and education should only be an option for the wealthy. Way to take care of your own, America! Now that’s what I call progressing in the right direction.
I feel bad, knowing that my debt is a huge burden on my family and may be what prevents my kids from having a backyard to run around in as opposed to a cluttered 600-square-foot dwelling, with neighbors who smell up the hallway with their cigarette and marijuana smoke (who cares if my son has asthma and the odor wafts into our apartment?). I was so proud the day I received that Master of Health Administration… now it is just another useless piece of paper. Now I wish I had considered that management position at Target-Id be debt-free and making good money by now.
I do not ever say I hate something, but it is undeniable. I hate you, Sallie Mae, for ruining my financial future, taking from my kids, and stealing my sense of educational achievement. You must be a special type of jerk to tell someone who is already struggling to pay you more. You have to be of the devil to tell someone to pay you over 100% of their income, and you have to downright be a monster to disrespect someone’s retired mom who thought she was helping her daughter get a good start on life by cosigning for her student loan. If I ever see someone who works for Sallie Mae I am going to spit in their face on sight. And yes, that is the flesh speaking. I still war with myself internally. I am not going to lie on this blog and say I pray for Sallie Mae employees.
Although I need to work on that, I have been praying to God for help and I am waiting impatiently for His answer. Each day I find myself wondering what have I done, or what am I currently doing, that you will not answer me? You say you will give me the desires of my heart, so am I wrong to ask for financial help when there are others out there doing so much worse? Father don’t you see my tears? Don’t you see how bad I feel?