Student loans

I can’t believe this is controversial. There are people who took out student loans to pay for college who didn’t make it rich. There are people who were taken advantage of by these loan companies and didn’t quite understand how it would affect them later. There are people who are in disadvantaged households who thought college would help them in the long run, but it didn’t pan out.

My family has never been wealthy by any means. I qualified for the Pell grant, but I still needed to borrow to pay living expenses and supplies. I didn’t see that I had a choice. This was not explained to me. I didn’t know I was eligible for scholarships or how to apply (this was before this was online). I borrowed thousands, hoping I would get a good job with the education and be able to pay them off.

Unfortunately, I had health problems almost immediately after I graduated. They persisted and persisted. Nothing helped, and my health actually deteriorated over the next several years. I couldn’t hold down a job. I still can’t. I miss too many days due to illness and get let go. There is no way I’ll ever be able to pay those loans back. I’ll never get better. I’ll never be rich.

It isn’t fair to saddle my family with debt (they don’t have any more money than I do), when college was a necessary risk. Other countries provide this for free, as they are concerned with the well-being of their citizens. I’m constantly puzzled why Americans don’t do the same. They blame the disadvantaged for their plight instead of helping them to rise above it. They praise “sucking it up” and other toxic behaviors that lead to inadequate coping strategies. They blame sick people for getting sick when our health care system is designed to help only the wealthy, cutting programs to help mental illness and low income households so that they have to declare bankruptcy to deal with the oppressive debt.

Why don’t Americans want to help others? It’s all about “me, me, me” when many of them claim to be Christian. They don’t want to provide charity of any sort, and they certainly don’t want their taxes to pay for services they don’t use themselves. This is the point of taxes. It’s like insurance. You pay because you never know. And it’s the right thing to do. If you’re lucky enough to never need help, that’s great. But you shouldn’t look down on others because they weren’t as fortunate. It’s just selfish.

2 thoughts on “Student loans

    1. I’m in an income based repayment plan currently, but it is stressful having that debt hanging over me. I agree that the system is flawed though. None of the consequences were explained to me, and I wasn’t offered alternatives to the loans either.

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