America’s Student Loan Crisis

It’s been all over CNN, Huffington Post, and several other news outlets that there is a possibility that almost 800,000 alumni could have approximately $5 billion dollars in student loans wiped out. Here’s what happened…it appears that the National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts doesn’t have the proper paperwork for many of it’s loans to even prove that they are the owner.  This organization has a history of suing many students who have defaulted on their loans and in some cases the judge has found in the students favor because the NCSLT didn’t have the proper paperwork. The NCSLT is comprised of several other private lending companies, investors, and institutions who buy loans that may have originally originated through banks, those loans eventually get sold off as investments and in some cases finally end up with NCSLT.

I know many people who were able to manage to get through school without taking out a single penny. But I also know several people such as myself who worked three jobs and had lots of responsibility so I took loans to help with the extras! By extras I mean books, housing, tuition, and family. Minimum wage at the time was about $5.25/hr. Imagine paying for an apartment, car insurance, tuition, books, class fees, and family on top of that. Funny thing was I didn’t qualify for grants in most cases and my parents weren’t able to put me through school either. It was definitely possible to refrain from taking anything but it would have taken me an additional 2.5 – 3 years to finish school while working three jobs and paying out of my own pocket. I know one girl I went to school with who did this and it took her 7 years to finish her undergraduate degree. It took long but I bet despite those 7 years of suffering she is enjoying all of her wonderful salary as a Computer Engineer. In those same 7 years plus 1 I obtained two Masters so some would say I faired pretty well. I thought it would be more beneficial to take the loans and pay them back when I graduated after all they were only at a 2.7% interest rate. When I first graduated I didn’t worry I started paying and was later forced to consolidate at a 6.9% interest rate and it just got worse from there. I continued to pay, then life would happen and I had to defer and I would start paying again then I would need to defer and the cycle just continued and before you know it my loans continued to grow and the interest capitalized and I found that even though I was paying my balance was still increasing. In 2013 my fiancé at the time passed away and then my mother had a stroke three months later. We didn’t know if she would make it but I ended up dedicating the entire year to her, and her health care. Then just as things were getting better for her I lost my job so for three years with all the debt I incurred while she was in ICU and rehab I couldn’t pay on my loans and the balance jumped another almost $30k since then.

When so many students first started asking for student loan bailouts I was against it, even knowing I owe a six-figure income in student loans with a large portion of it being capitalized interest! My point was that well you borrowed it you should find a way to pay it. The more I look into how the loans were designed and the fact that I started college at 16! When I went through student loan counseling with the school counselors they always encouraged the full amount because I was living on my own and they would say “you don’t have to pay it back until you graduate so why struggle”. Knowing what I know now I wouldn’t have done it. Because it’s easy to say “You can pay it back later” when you don’t know what life will be like later. You don’t know what struggles you will face and this isn’t good because when life happens even though sweet ole’ Sallie Mae, now known as Navient decides to help you defer your loans while you are going through a crisis, she is helping you at a premium knowing that she is going to put a hold on you for the rest of your life that you will never break free from unless you achieve major success!

Recently, there has been a lot of chatter about a potential $5 billion dollar’s worth of student loan debt that could be completely wiped away for some 800,000 students. For those that benefit from this I am actually happy for them… you know why? Because back in 2009, Obama bailed out several auto industry companies for a much more significant amount than the entire US population owes in student loans. The presidential office basically said “Hey Ford Motor Company, Chrysler, and GM here is an $80 billion-dollar bailout for your fuck ups”. The Obama administration also gave out $8k in a first-time home buyer credit in which they gave it to everyone who bought a home in 2007 and extended it through 2009 I believe. I bought my first home and I closed on December 28, 2008. The Obama administration finalized the bill to allow everyone who got the credit from 2009 forward would receive a $10k credit and didn’t have to pay it back but for those who received the credit prior to that they would have to pay back the full amount at $500 per year for 16 years lol. Isn’t life funny, had I only closed todays later {insert eye-roll here}. Just my luck I guess…so it shouldn’t come as a surprised that after all these handouts and bailouts I am absolutely rooting for anyone who get’s their loans completely wiped by this new finding. My luck is funny like that because none of my loans are private so I guess I’ll keep chugging along with those payments to Navient.

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