Honestly, this post could be about so many things… this one happens to be about Bill collectors. Specifically, the hounds that the Dept of Ed sic on you not too long after you get your diploma (and some of us don’t even have the paper copy because we got a balance at school).
Let’s all say it as a collective chorus: FCUK you!!!!
I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I don’t know how many Facebook statuses, phone conversations, or tweets I have seen about Sallie Mae, Direct Loans, AES, ACS…the list could go on (because I didn’t even get STARTED on private lenders). For the most part, the common sentiment is that we got swindled into taking out loan money that there was never a guarantee we could pay back.
I’m going to explain myself and use myself for an example. I always felt pressure to succeed academically. Looking back on it, probably more than half of that pressure was rooted in the fact that my parents weren’t saving money for us to go to college. While I had no doubt I was going (because that’s what I was told) I never gave thought about how I would get there. My parents must have thought I was going to school on scholarships (and they probably thought I would have went to a state school where tuition wasn’t an arm and a leg). Nope. I picked an out-of-state private school.
After all the paperwork was signed and I was officially college bound, I found out I was going to be the one footing the bill for the college dreams my parents had dreamed for me. My parents didn’t have credit, their parents didn’t have credit, and I for damn sure didn’t! Still, I was going to have to get loans in my name if I wanted to go. So I did. I’ll be damned it student loans aren’t like Pringles (ol NASTY ass chips). Once I started, I didn’t feel like I had the option to stop. Grants and scholarships aside, student loans payed the bulk of my tuition, and damn near all of my room and board. Didn’t matter how many scholarships I applied for, how many times I went to ask my financial aid office if there wasn’t anyway I could get MORE money that wasn’t loans. Half of a a degree from a four year college didn’t mean SHIT, so I finished. Had to go get another because I didn’t go to school 4 years to be a secretary (NO offense to anyone who took that route. My mom was a secretary and she DIDN’T have a 4 year degree, but I paid TOO MUCH DAMN MONEY to have a job I could have had if I went to work straight from High School).
Two degrees later, they want me to pay them what I owe. It’s understandable, but not as feasible as I thought it would be. When I went to college, I thought I was doing it to make myself better, make sure I wasn’t living check to check. Fast forward to today and I’ll be DAMNED if I’m not!!! I wasn’t one of the people in the know who knew about this coming recession, but just like everyone else I have felt the effects. I’m guilty of creative funds management, mostly because I didn’t have any choice BUT to be. With no income coming in, I still needed to be able to eat and get around to LOOK for a job. Needless to say, God blessed me with a job (and relocation, PRAISE HIM!), but now I’m paying for all that creativity.
Now add to that every loan company in America trying to get what I borrowed not now but RIGHT NOW. I feel like I got hosed. A degree that I paid thousands of dollars for is just NOW starting to make a return on my investment. While I didn’t wait for the Dept of Ed goons to call me, I still feel like they treat me like I took the money out of their own pocket. I tell them my situation and they don’t seem to GOF. They want to know TODAY how I’m going to be able to pay this bill, even after I told them I ain’t got it.
On one hand, I get it. There wasn’t ever anything in the MPN that said (and if you can’t get a job, or if you fall behind on your bills we’ll work with you). Sure, deference and forbearance are there, but you only get a few months (compared to the several years) that you are expected to pay back the loan. They SAY they don’t want you to have undue hardship, but what you are EXPECTED to be might be more than what you make a month…which can lead back the creative financing deal. I don’t want to suggest they won’t work with you (they will to a degree), but at the end of the day, you need pay, even if that means you gotta pinch every damn penny.
You don’t want to cause me undue hardship, but after I pay rent and pay you, I barely have enough to make sure I eat. So basically, as long as I pay you fuck renter’s insurance, gas, electric, cable, internet, phone, and fun. I’m going to call that undue hardship. So, I still say FCUK you…but we gone work something out. Don’t wanna go into default and you take yours out my check before it hits my account…
*Dolla and a Dream II, – J. Cole pretty much tells the story.