My life has been ruined by student loans I accrued in obtaining a college education. My parents told me they were proud of me for wanting to go to college, but that it would be on my own financially. I wish I had listened to them and gone to a community college, or even a public college, or rather not have gone to college at all, but I did not. I wanted to follow the advice I had received from teachers and mentors and go to a private college.
I started my college career off at Otterbein, stayed for one quarter, then took a year at The Ohio University Lancaster Branch while I considered my career options. I then finished my college career with three and half years at Muskingum University, where I obtained my BA in business. To offset costs, I was a resident assistant throughout my college career at Muskingum, and I worked every summer so that I could afford books and other living expenses throughout the school year. When I graduated, I did so with over $100,00 in student loan debt.
I remember going into my second full year at Muskingum and walking into the Financial Aid office and asking, how am I going to pay for this next year, and they handed me a Citibank Citiassist Student Loan Application Form. The same form I had used to pay for everything the federal loans did not cover in every year previous. I signed away my entire young life on that form.
I was a gifted singer and actor, and this was my true passion and what I followed extracurricularly throughout high school and college. In 2004 I won the Search for a Star award from Vaud-Villities and Channel 10 of Columbus. My summer after college I was the star at a professional playhouse, and following that I got a job waiting tables and I substitute taught as well. One year after college I was offered and accepted an acting/singing contract with the Disney company, and was relocated to Orlando, FL for the three best years of my life, and decent wages that allowed me to make my student loan payments which were just coming out of deferment. I did not have the money to do much, but I was making my bills.
After three years of this my contract ended, and the original plan to go to New York's Broadway was an impossibility. I could not afford the living expenses in addition to my student loan payments, especially in a failing economy. So, I moved back to Ohio and the only job that allows me to make the monthly income I require is waiting tables. I cant afford to falter for even one week. I can't afford the pay decrease that would come with accepting an entry-level position with any of the businesses around the area. I had to turn down a management position with a wonderful company back down in Orlando because the pay for the first year would only have been $32,000 and there is simply no way for me to live on that.
Some people say a college degree is your ticket to life. Mine is not this way. If I had it to do all over again, I would certainly not go to college at all. I work 80 hours a week and do everything I can to keep up with these student loans. I'm 30 years old, and after another 17 years, my payments will be done, and maybe then I can think about a relationship and having children.
Have you ever tried anything like?
I have a friend who had luck with this.
It's a sad story, but all too common. Please share you story over at occupystudentdebt.com and click the red box on the left of the screen to sign the petition to support H.R.4170, which proposes a repayment plan of 10 years at 10% of a borrower's discretionary income...private loans will have the option to be federally consolidated to be included under this repayment plan. Sign the petition and share it everywhere...it's nearing the 1 million mark! Also, click the light blue Take Action NOW! box to see more ways you can get involved in spreading the word about H.R.4170...it's what too many of us NEED!