This is the story of life's financial struggles & victories through the eyes of a young woman up to her eyes in debt. Enjoy :)

Find me on Twitter! @OhStudentLoans

Friday, May 6, 2011

Up A Creek

While googling about student loans yesterday, I stumbled upon an article titled, "Tackling Private Student Loans." However, the author talks more about how to get out of Federal loan debt than she does Private debt. I saw the word, 'tackling' and thought I was about to embark on an aggressive repayment plan to later be told the more I read that "You'll just have to bite the bullet." Needless to say, the real gold is not in the article itself, but the comments below the article. It gets good. Or bad, I should say...

The one paragraph comments from readers below the article are like quick punches in the face. Or like experiencing a brief moment of water boarding, either one. I am not sure what either of those examples feel like, but you get the point. They tell you who they are in a nutshell,  how much they owe, then tell you they cannot do a thing about their debt no matter what they try. Almost every one of the comments end on a depressing FACT. The fact being there is NOTHING any of us can do about it.

Maybe the author was right, you just have to bite the bullet; but I believe we should bite the bullet while still putting up a fight. Anyway, read the comments. They might give you a sense of community like they did me. It's good every now and again to read about someone else to know you aren't the only one without paddles.

Click here to view the article.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Oh so sorry I have not been blogging.

There really is no excuse for not keeping up with this, other than merely not wanting to talk about it so that maybe it would disappear ;) It is around 3 months shy of a year since I last wrote on this page and not a lot has changed. In fact, I had Ramen noodles and Kroger brand Doritos for dinner just the other night (I swear I remember graduating college 2 years ago.) Anyway, as of February, I moved out of the townhouse my college roommate and I rented right after graduating. I now live in an older house with 2 girls from my work. Adding a roommate and subtracting about a decade worth of visual appeal lowered my rent by $200 a month, so I guess operating outdated appliances and hearing every move either of us ever make is worth it. Now that we are all caught up, here is what I have been doing in regards to my private student loans....

Back in September I received the news that Sallie Mae was taking applications for their consolidation program. I jumped to the phone immediately. After finally getting through to an operator whose accent I could understand, my application process began. I told the man my annual income, how long I had been living in my townhouse, how much I paid for rent, and all of my basic information. He then pulled my credit score which told him how much I owed on my car, credit card and student loans. He commended me on a good credit score, but told me that my debt-to-income ratio was rather high. Thank you, Captain Obvious. He asked for me to be placed on hold while 'they' entered all of my information into their consolidation formula. He later came back on the line to tell me I was denied and he could not approve my loans for consolidation due to my insufficient annual income.

After Sallie Mae's consolidation attempt failed, I went on to apply for consolidation through Chase and Wells Fargo. Both came back denied due to my debt-to-income ratio.

This is the point in your student loan journey where you begin to feel truly lost. You know there are others out there like you, but you feel as if you are the only one. It is so hard not to be a complete mental disaster and feel pure bitterness in your heart towards the world. I understand you have to pay for your education and there are other ways to go about it rather than taking out private loans, but who would have ever thought the repayment system would be this unjust?

Even being a 23 year old, I know I am up a creek. I am aware of the amount I owe as well as the amount my monthly payments will skyrocket to. Yesterday, after talking with some friends who are somewhat in the same position as I am, I began to dwell on my debt well into the night. It was absolutely all I could think about. For once food, television, nor the radio helped calm my brain. I felt severe guilt and intense regret about having private student loans. The only word I think can describe the mood that night is, anxious. Even though I am aware of what it means, I looked up the actual definition in order to get some descriptive words relating to it. Oh, and the word that is in bold, underlined, and has '*' on both sides of it, would be the word I feel sums up my entire relationship with the definition. Here it goes:
Anxiety: Distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune. The root meaning of the word anxiety is to 'trouble'; in either the absence or presence of psychological stress, anxiety can create feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness and dread. Anxiety is a generalized mood condition that can often occur without an identifiable triggering stimulus. As such, it is distinguished from fear, which is an emotional response to a perceived threat. Additionally, fear is related to the specific behaviors of escape and avoidance, whereas anxiety is related to situations perceived as *uncontrollable* or unavoidable. Anxiety is considered a normal reaction to stress. 

I assure you I am not some fearful girl cooped up in her room on a bunch of different medications from all of the stress of everyday living. I am quite the opposite. I take zero medication, I am social,  I have a lot of great friends, I stay active, and I love living life. I just for once know now how anxiety feels and I know my private student loan debt is what opens the flood gates to the uncontrollable thoughts that zap in and out like lightening. It really puts a whole new meaning to the phrase brain storming. Ha sorry, I'm aware that was cheesy.

In conclusion, private loan repayment sucks. Hopefully what you have gathered from this blog entry (If you have even read this far-sorry so long) is I am merely seeking direction on what I can do now, while I am young, in order to prevent a nightmarish adulthood.