Pity, Party of One

Today has been a day folks.

Nothing particularly bad has happened, but there are just a few things converging that are causing me to be pretty down in the dumps.

First of all, it’s that lovely time of year when it’s time to renew my IDR payment plan for my student loan company. Long story short, I have a lot of loans. A lot. But most importantly to remember is that 40% of what I owe is interest. Fucking interest, thanks to our country’s ridiculous interest rates and predatory loan practices. I realize that I signed the papers agreeing to this nonsense, but I was also 18 and told by the loan advisors that student loan debt was “good debt” and that the government was supportive and committed to helping people with their loans.

And what I have learned is that by “supportive and committed” they really mean “cruel and ridiculous.” They want $900 a month from us based on my husband and I’s income combined, so we have to file our taxes separately. My husband is a civil servant. We are paycheck to paycheck kind of people. And they want $900 a month. When we file our income separately, they want $0.00 a month. There’s just something not right about that.

So anyway, our tax guy is all over Chief about are we SURE we want to file separately? Because we lose $1000 right off the bat that way. Well yeah, we know. And yes it really sucks, but it’s either lose $1000 or lose $10,000 a year. It’s a no brainer.

I want to pay back what I owe. I never intended to skirt that responsibility, but they’ve made it a real challenge, and whenever this comes around I just feel really shitty. I feel like I shouldn’t have gotten my graduate degree. I feel like I’m dragging my husband down with me. This is going to be hanging over me for a really, really long time and today it just got really overwhelming, especially when I went online and looked at the total I owe now. I felt okay with what I owed when I got out of school. It wasn’t nothing-but it was also, well, what I expected, because it’s what I took out. I signed off on it, and I watched the numbers rise.

I never knew I would have to wait so long to get a full time job. I never knew that I would apply for job after job that required my masters degree and not get one of them. And I realize it’s easy to complain about all of this while I’m not working, but I will work again in a few years and these problems will still exist for me. And honestly if I had know they would I probably would have skipped out on the hard work that grad school was. Because what the hell is it doing for me?

And you know what really, really pisses me off? How hard I worked. I worked so hard in high school. I was never home after school-I was at band, or choir, or play practice, or WORK, because I WORKED in high school. And I still graduated in the top ten percent of my class, but because I couldn’t get a 29 on the ACT no matter how hard I tried (three attempts) I only got a partial scholarship. my sister skipped so much school she almost got kicked out, but she got a 32 on the ACT so she got a full ride.

And then I graduated Magna Cum Laude in 3.5 years, and I mean why? Why didn’t I have fun in college and party? I went straight into graduate school and paid full price for the whole damn thing.

And just to put a cherry on top of that cake, Dora is leaving in the morning around 10:00 am. I’m just in pieces about it and I ended up crying at the law firm today. Luckily no one saw but my mom. So this is a pity party post. I’m real sorry you read it.

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28 thoughts on “Pity, Party of One

  1. Minus the cat…you just described my life. Sorry dear. It royally sucks.

    We’ve learned that no debt is good and even our mortgage is “bad”. We’re working through Dave Ramsey’s plan.

    Good luck.

  2. I’m sorry, I know how much this sucks. The ONLY reason I don’t have any student loans left is because we paid them off when B’s dad died…completely sad. I just don’t understand how this country is so behind with things like people paying for college and maternity leave. You’d THINK they’d get it together by now!!!

  3. Have you looked into any student loan forgiveness or consolidation programs? I didn’t qualify for either but it might be worth looking into for you (the first option may not work since you aren’t currently working but consolidation might at least save you on interest depending on the rate you get).

      • Yeah, I have one loan that is around 6% interest rate and another that has only a 2% interest rate so consolidating actually doesn’t help me when you calculate the interest individually so I am just paying the higher one down as fast as I can. My husband’s car is actually going to be paid off next month and I’ve considered, once that happens, using it to finance another loan to pay off my higher interest student loan. We thankfully have good credit so if I did that my total debt wouldn’t change but my interest rate would go down about 4%…Isn’t it great we were told to take student loans bc we’d be able to get a good job with our degree and pay it off and that turned out not to be the case??

      • I will never ever pay mine off, and at the rate they’re collecting interest they will forgive a humongous amount. I think that if I do it under PSLF it doesn’t count against me as income when it’s forgiven. If it did I would have to flee the country.

      • The upsetting thing for me is that really I don’t want to work public service forever. My masters degree is in special collections, a lot of which is in the private sector. I feel like by the time I do ten years in public service I’ll be irrelevant anywhere else. A selfish thing to be worried about, but there it is.

      • No, I can completely see that point. Before you even said it I was thinking, if I had gone to grad school like I originally planned and had more loans I probably would’ve been forced to work in a public service job just to qualify for student loan forgiveness and that would’ve been 10 years spent in a job I didn’t want and that is depressing…

  4. Ugh. I SO HEAR THIS. It’s completely ridiculous and it’s only in hindsight that I often feel the way you have described about graduate school… Like why did I even bother? Why did I put myself through that?! It was SO HARD. I was SO MISERABLE. And for what… To not ever be able to get a decent job anyway?! The only thing that makes me feel better is that I did go to undergrad and grad school under full rides, but we’re still drowning in student loan debt… About $15k for me (student housing at a private undergrad where I got the “full” ride) and once Kevin finishes his MSW in a few weeks… Jeeze… Probably creeping up on $80k if not more?! I shudder to think how much they are going to want from us each month for his. And we can’t do it. Period. So we will have to figure something out too, as you have… And we will feel stupid and shitty for it, as you do… And we will shake our fists at the stupid American government as I do so many times each day… SIGH. It’s hard not to get depressed thinking about how awful this shit is!!

    • 80K combined? I have a bit more of that on my own. Jason has about 25K, but at least the military will pay 15% of it for him each year. and lets be honest, the payments on 25K at the current interest rates which are way better than what I took out will be much more reasonable. It’s still horrifying.

      • Kevin and I don’t actually know what we are really up against with his loans because we are ostrich-ing like crazy until it’s over and done with. It’s the only way we could survive signing off every year to get him through because him getting his MSW was absolutely non-negotiable. He needs licensure to keep his job, let alone to ever have a chance of moving up any more.

      • Definitely. I know Kevin has been considering doing one of those forgiveness programs, but maybe that wouldn’t be the best route. We shall chat.

      • No, Kevin alone will have probably over $80k between undergrad and grad school and that’s probably a pretty conservative estimate… He had no scholarships either time. It’s so frustrating to me that an academic scholarship doesn’t cover housing because lord knows athletic scholarships do!! So we walked away with $15-20k in debt just to be able to take advantage of the scholarship we got. It’s LAUGHABLE!!!!!

        Except that it’s not actually funny. At all.

        My master’s is in English Lit and Gender Studies. Which more or less explains why I don’t have a decent job, I realize.

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