OCCUPY STUDENT DEBT

Student debtor stories submitted by the 99%

Over $900 a Month and Counting.

I was the first and only child in my family to attend college. Without any financial guidance whatsoever, I was told that it was the key to unlocking my dreams. For, nobody could get a job without going far. So, I signed up for an Associates Degree.

I needed books, so I took out a loan for books. The friendly financial aid clerk handed me some paper work, I filled it out. It seemed very straightforward. My check arrived an I got books and other living expenses paid. This was great. Accomplishing my dream.

Then I find out that I am accepted as a transfer student to a 4 year BA. Wow! The Big Time! I worked hard. Why not? I accepted. But, sir, you will need to come up with a few thousand dollars. Sign here, sign there. It wasn’t like a mortgage, just a few slips a paper. It was a very covert process. But, I noticed that each loan the university would receive hundreds of dollars totaling thousands of dollars over the years. 

All of this loan business started around 2000-2001. We are now in 2012 and I owe 140,000 dollars from education obtained from public schools. I couldn’t work a full time job, so I had to borrow money for living expenses too. I even received a few scholarships, but they were small. 

I have a BA and an MS. I support a spouse and my parents. I owe $140,000 dollars. My monthly payments are $900 dollars a month. I can’t afford a home—barley make rent, groceries and transportation. I would gladly bargain for half. There should be a cap on our monthly payments. $900 is reasonable if you’re making $150,000 a year. But $40,000 and 50,000 dollar salaries today aren’t what they were ten years ago. 

Rent has gone up, gas has gone up, food, utilities, everything—all the life essential resources have increased, but salary stays the same. I can’t afford it.