This is probably too much for me to tackle at this time of night, when I had such a bad day, but I'm going to try and start it. Please forgive grammatical or spelling errors.
Let me begin by stating that I firmly believe in and support this great country of ours. I am a first generation American whose parents and grandparents struggled to ensure that I would be given opportunities that they were not afforded in their native homelands. Opportunity unfortunately has come at a great cost. I was given the opportunity to attend undergraduate school and I earned a BS as well as going on to become a chiropractor. The great cost I speak of is the staggering debt my education has put me in. My loan balance is approximately $180,000.00 which $26,000.00 is interest. My current monthly loan payment is $950.00. The aforementioned loans have been consolidated. I have another student loan that I received from the private sector which totals $18,000.00. Securing a position in my field of chiropractic has been difficult; to pay my bills I took a position as a NYPD officer. My NYPD take home is approximately $2000.00 a month.
I have been blessed to earn 2 degrees and cursed with student loan debt of 10 years of education. Our country is truly great; however, it is disheartening and shameful that this great country cannot find a remedy to secure the future of its greatest resource. That resource would be us. Every young person with the true desire to contribute positively to our community only to be struck down by a government who drops billions of dollars in to our war chest fighting wars that are not ours, pursuing and fighting phantoms and nuclear threats that are unfounded, who is in bed with the oil nations who will never have our interests (only our purse strings)... My solution is that the government pay for all undergraduate degrees as our allies on the other side of the pond do and also, forgive a percent of debt based on income and or previous years W2 as well as paying off debt by doing certain approved community service, repayment of loans based on a sliding scale and lowering the interest. The American Dream is just that a dream. It is a dream my parents and grandparents believed in and now because of high student loan debt that dream is just something I'll keep in the furthest reaches of my mind because I know I'll never become debt free and our government unfortunately will not help or provide support or solutions.
It had always been my dream to go to film school, and I was ecstatic when I got accepted into my first-choice school. It was way beyond my ability to pay, and my parents didn't make enough money to give me much financial support. Despite roughly $15,000 in scholarships and grants from the school, I still needed to borrow about $20,000 a year. I had been religious about staying out of debt through college -- always paid off all credit card bills, etc, and was sure I could do the same for student loan bills.
I graduated in 2001... And was living in New York. When 9/11 happened, I lost all three jobs I had been working. I searched desperately for new work -- but businesses were shutting down, and no one was hiring. It was like the Great Depression had hit New York. No one who had a job would leave their jobs, and people with far more experience than I had also lost their jobs. I got a brief respite for six months, but interest was accruing. When I tried to explain the situation, I was told there was nothing they could do. I started being hounded about my student loans, and was given no cooperation or alternate repayment option when I explained my situation. If 9/11 doesn't qualify as unforeseen special circumstances, I don't know what does.
My loan has since doubled, from about $60,000 to over $100,000 (this, in just five years). No one is able to offer any protection, since Sallie Mae is so protected by the law... There is no reasoning with them, there are no lawyers who are willing to try to fight them, and there is no governmental help at all, to get even a second look at your case. They act as judge, jury and executioner.
The government needs to stop taking payouts from Sallie Mae and ignoring who they really work for -- the citizens of this country.
I am also a victim of student loan disaster. I filed bankruptcy because of illness and unable to maintain a job. Then I filed for disability later after several surgery, during which time I was not able to contact physicians due to death or geographic disaster and with new laws hospitals and/or doctors offices have a limitation on how long they have to retain medical information. Therefore, I have not been able to have my loans forgiven. So I am still fighting to find a way to pay student loans. I loved going to college (even though I couldn't finish}. I wanted my kids to go college, and they did, unfortunately, now they are battling to pay extreme amounts of money, because of interests and whatever else. Just like me no credit, mostly due to student loan reports. Unless we get lucky and win the lottery or create a successful business. I feel very sad for all of us. To try so hard to come from the bottom of the social system with pride and yet be destroyed mostly because you wanted more out of life. I don't wish that the rich fall, because their are some decent rich at the top, however, my dream is that our government would wake up and realize what this county is suppose to stand for and what made it great, starting with morality. And allow those that want to be apart of a great nation to do so and put forth a honest misson to sincerely help us. And stop underhanded greedy secret tactics to discredit and hinder the "trying to get up have-nots" out of fear of who might get up and how many. Either because they want to have and be in control of everything and everyone and their ability to do, be or live in freedom and have the ability to share the power to make positive changes for the less fortunate that want to do all they can to make the world a better place, especially, here, at home in our land of the free and home of the brave.