When I graduated from college in 1994,
I owed just over $13,500 in guaranteed student loans. Loans were
my only means of supplementing my tuition. Originally I had one
loan from a college I attended in Ohio and one for the college I
graduated from in Georgia. Each loan charged 8% interest. The average
rate of interest at the time was 8% to 10%.
Upon my graduation I received a mailed solicitation which suggested
that instead of individually paying two sources, each charging 8%
interest, I could pay one source (Sallie Mae) still being charged
8% interest for the combined loan. I agreed to do this in order
to simplify my payments even though I would pay the same rate of
interest, as that rate of interest was then the "norm".
I have paid on my loan for over 12 years and still owe more than
I did when I graduated (now just over $14,000)! I even completed
a year of service in Americorps just to receive an "education
award" of $4,750 to apply to my loans, only this "award
was taxed and only compensated for the amount of interest I accrued
while my loan was in forebearance during my stint in the corps.
I now work 2 jobs, one professional full-time job and one retail
part-time job, just to pay my everyday expenses and my student loan
debt. Last year I was motivated to inquire about advertised
low interest rates offered as part of current student loan consolidation
plans. I sought a lower interest rate, not an extension in the amount
of time to repay my loan.
When I contacted Sallie Mae I was informed that my lumping two loans
together in 1994, even with the same interest rate, is considered
a "consolidation" and that, by law, individuals are only
permitted to consolidate a student loan one time.
In a nation that permits individuals to refinance their home and
auto loans, and transfer balances on credit cards, all to take advantage
of lower interest rates, it is extremely unfair and unproductive
to prohibit individuals from refinancing student loans. I would
like to see the law changed to allow previously consolidated student
loans to be refinanced at much lower rates.
I am not looking for a handout or for the ability not to have to
ever repay the loans, just for fair and feasible repayment policies.
How many of you have put your life on hold, not having relationships,
not getting married, not buying homes or not having children, because
of your student loan debt?
I voluntarily joined the military in
1979. U.S.Army's elite 82nd Airborne Div.Was involved in oversea
exercises in Egypt, reguarding the Iran/Irag war. We were shot at
by snipers and lives were at times in peril. Fortunatly, all was
good and I returned home safe and was honorably discharge in 1982.
At that time there was no more GI Bill to pay for college. The only
finanial help available then was VEAP (veteran educational assistance
program). For every dollar up to 150.00 a month would be doubled
if attending school. I was able to put away 50.00 a month, so for
the 3years I attended college, I recieved 150.00 a month for expenses.
I completed the ARMY's ROTC program, and was commissioned a 2nd
LT.,and served for a time with the Arkansas National Guard. However,
I did not grad.from school because, I couln't pay for the last year,
when the military money ran out. Long story short, I recieved loan
amts.,totaling $8750. to help off-set the cost during those 3 years.
Now 20 years later due to bad decisions with women, drugs,financial
hardships on my part, And the greed of the USA Group, and others
involved with student loan recovery that say I now owe 32 something
thousand and counting. As a struggling musician and warehouse/driver
type guy. I've never made more than 25 grand in a year in my life.
I'm hounded relentlessly, have been garnished, credit report sucks,
tax refunds taken, etc. My kids are suffering now, more victims,
doing without basic needs. If CEO's would only make alittle less,
be accountable for their actions. Stop the GREED, this place would
be better off for more of the little folks. I served my country
in good faith because I cared, now I feel my country doesn't care
and has left me and you without much faith in the education system.
It's broke, fix it!
thank you, for lettin' me vent.
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