I need help. I graduated college in 2009 following the phantom American Dream. I left Truman State University with a whopping $100,000 in student loan debt through private lenders. Yes, it’s a soul-crushing amount, and no that’s not the complete amount, for there are also government loans. This amount is with the private loan organization known as Sallie Mae. The only way I was going to be able to go to college in the first place was by taking on student debt.
My family is very practical with money, and never have had success needed to finance much beyond basic amenities and getting me an my sister what we needed to do the best we could. I admit that I did not watch my money, or prepare well enough for the future costs, or was properly educated to handle financial realities. I thought that I would do the normal life pattern and graduate and find a well paying job with benefits in something I would be proud of. Lucky for me I remember talking with Sallie Mae a semester before graduation, and seeing the engineered stock market crash go down 800+ points.
Fast forward to today. I found an entry level position at Best Buy, a soul crushing organization of it’s own. I worked there for 2 and 1/2 years. All I have to show from it is a $5 gift card to Chik-Fil-A, stress weight form the lovely hours, and back problems which I cannot address since I’m not “fortunate” enough to have health insurance. I finally found some kind of reliable work at an insurance company.
I make a laudable 9800$ last year, and am on track for the same failure of an amount. I am a devoted worker who is always on time and picks up extra shifts to just make some kind of a survival. Even the spirit of wanting to work hard and make something of myself is not enough. What I need help with is some way to fight back against this mega-corporation that is not only harassing me constantly, but also is controlling nearly every aspect of my life. Sallie Mae gave me a very…gracious…6 months to somehow find a job where I would have around 2k a month as disposable/loan income immediately. They have called nearly every day for the past 2 years between 10-60 times a day from a multitude of different numbers. They will call to remind me of what a bad and stupid person I am for not getting a well paying job the moment I graduated. I was on the phone for 2 hours with a financial administrate named Audry trying to find some way to pay. She berated me for getting a new car, a car that I researched the city I live in and the surrounding counties for the best deal on.
She said that I should have bought something cheaper if my car was currently falling apart. Well I cannot since my credit is wrecked by you, Audry. She then made me feel worthless and interrogated me for not getting further education, or getting a better job. She told me that it was necessary to pay this loan back above “all other priorities” for taking out a loan “which is almost a mortgage”, then berated me more for not having a better job. They then insist on making me list every detail of my finances to them. Yes, I understand that it’s a needed step to determine costs and such for repaying the loan. But, when you call me and ask for this information, then take $150 from me to “forebear” this loan for 90 days, and then call me back within the hour asking for the same information and $ again… something is wrong. Oh, and they are not just having a clerical error.
They told me I could forebear and defer and whatnot as long as needed, then one day when I scraped together $150 to forebear again, guess what “you are out of forbearances”. They will call and harass me immediately after I pay them. I finally, to have some sanity took each and every one of their nearly 24 different numbers and blocked them on my phone. If they need something they can take the whole 20 seconds to leave a voice mail and a call back number. I will call them back as soon as possible so they can make me feel like a worthless human.
It has come to the point where the letters, calls, threats to my family’s future, threats to my grandmothers social security, threats on the house, have started to erode my family down. I try to call and set up a plan to pay them back, but they do NOT care what I say, or what plan I put into place. It will change the next week or 2 after I set something in place.
Now it has come to the 11th hour, where after agreeing to a set monthly amount they are going to continue on with defaulting my loans. Now after only 3 years, a $100,000 loan has turned into $180,000 from insane interest capitalized on a quarterly basis to the principle, AND the default will go to collections making the sum close to $200,000. My wages, what wages there are, will be garnished. My parents wages will be garnished.
My taxes will be taken. My credit rating is in the low 500 now, and will continue to plummet for the rest of my life. My insurance license, the ONLY means of making an income currently has the potential to be revoked for the default, or so I have been told. My families house has the potential to be foreclosed on, or have a lean placed against it. All for what? A piece of paper?
I am a good man. I have fought for good my whole life. I have done everything to make the lives of those around me better, or happier. I have saved 2 men’s lives by helping them while they tried to take their own lives through violent means, stopping them and getting help for them. I have brought a better life for my clients and people I meet.
I helped a complete stranger save $1,500 a month by finding a plan for medical insurance that was not even with my own company. I sidestepped a massive commission to help her, and her family. But, I am cursed now to forever be on a spiraling slide into pain, failure, and indentured servitude. Sallie Mae is completely out of control.
I believe in old-fashioned ideologies, where if I tell you I can do something, don’t berate me for that commitment and demand almost 10-20 times more from me. You CANNOT discharge student loan debt with both chapter bankruptcies. I know you all know the majority of what I am writing, and I’m sure your probably thinking that I am a terrible person too, but I have to try and FIGHT.
I want with all my heart to pay this off. It has been a constant in my life. The physical stress is killing me literally. I cannot move anywhere in my life because of this debt. I cannot get a good car on my own without having to ask family for more help, cannot meet the love of my life since all my money goes away the moment I receive it.
I cannot move into my own place from the lack of money. I live with my parents who love me, but I can see the fear and disappointment in their eyes every day. I will not be able to find a good job from having a bad credit score. I cannot buy a house. I cannot do anything social so I read books from the local library. I have not taken a vacation from constant work in years and years and years. I AM TRAPPED LIKE THIS FOREVER. It has made me even consider killing myself to remove this debt…but wait, I cannot even do that since the debt will just transfer to my parents.
In the past 10 years my mother has nearly died 2 times from a massive infection from Medically Resistant Staff, and later a routine disk surgery placed her in intensive care for almost a month and a half. Best Buy demanded I come to work before seeing her, which I did. My father’s health is also on the decline with multiple heart attacks in the past 2 years. They cannot physically take up second jobs to help pay. I work 60+ hours a week trying to build a business and find some income.
The medical bills alone for that are destroying the family, now my failures are what seems like a death blow. I am turning into a bitter and angry man, and I am not that person at all. I need help or someone to fight with me, beyond the shackled means I currently have. Stand up and Fight against this terrible organization. It is enslaving our generation for life and eroding the middle class. Student Loan debt is the next “housing bubble” waiting to happen. Please Please PLEASE HELP ME. I was just for trying to break into a better life for me and my family by going to college, now it seems I’m just taking everyone down with me. I am a slave with an ever growing invisible yoke around my neck.