I don’t know about you, but I have debt.
Car loan debt, credit card debt, and school loan debt.
The car is almost paid off and I’m two years into a four year plan of paying off my credit card debt.
My school loan debt, on the other hand, has a few years to go. I’m one of the lucky ones though. I have roughly $10,000 left to pay on my school loan. The average college graduate owes $24,000. I know people who owe $40,000, $60,000, $80,000 and up and can’t find work OR or are stuck in a job they don’t like but can’t afford to leave.
One of my favorite reads is Huffington Post’s ongoing “Majoring in College Debt” series where they encourage readers to discuss how much college debt they’re in. Some of the stories are downright frightening- students owing over $200,000, making coffee shop wages, or being harassed by their lenders. One man shared his story of owing over $250,00 for medical school and the great lengths his lender went to try and f*ck him over. While he was working his residency his lender labeled his as a graduate and demanded he start paying back his loan. He tried to explain that they were wrong, but no one would listen. They threatened him with everything they could. It wasn’t until he went to the media that the lender finally listened.
Stories like these scare me. How do they expect people to afford school? How do they expect people to want to go to school knowing that they will have a dark money cloud constantly hanging above them? I’ve thought about going back to school myself, but the idea of taking out more loans is not appealing to me. I make just enough to pay my bills now, why would I want to add to that? Have you gone back to school as an adult while working full-time? How did it work for you? Was it worth it?
Student loan debt is a burden that many of us have and we are often prisoner to it. If I didn’t have my college loan debt and all it’s interest to pay each month I would be ten times more likely not to be a tight wad.
Currently a petition created by MoveOn’s Robert Applebaum is going around calling for Congress to forgive college debt. It explains that by forgiving college debt, consumer spending would go up and we all know how scared everyone is to spend right now- me included. Maybe this is just the shot in the arm we need to get out of this terrible recession. The petition currently has 423,492 and his growing. Democratic Michigan Rep. Hansen Clark has decided to take this action on. Who knows how far this will get, but it never hurts to try, right?
Do you think forgiving student loan debt will help the economy?