Student Loans Can Be Really Scary
It was six months after graduation when the calls started. I would see those dastardly 800 numbers calling, and my sweet naive mom was always telling me to answer because it might be a call for a job interview, but I knew better. I knew who exactly who it was calling. It was that evil bitch goddess Sallie Mae. Like a siren she lured me with her temptation of spring breaks in Cancun, living off campus, and really good weed. Now that vile whore had come to collect. She wanted her money, and she was going to get it anyway she could. I knew that needed to something to keep that viper at bay.
Biggest Student Loan Mistake I Made
I tried ignoring the phone calls for a litter over a year in hopes that they would just stop bothering me and eventually send me a letter that says, “Don’t worry about it.” Then one day in August of 2007 it happened. I’ll be honest. It came as a shock to me. It came as a shock to everyone. Never did I think that would happen to me. I always thought that sort of stuff only happened to Philosophy majors.
I had defaulted on my student loans. With one foul swoop my American dream was dead, the house, the white picket fence, the Golden Retriever, vacations in Disney, a man cave, good bourbon, high speed internet, the Sports Package on Dish, expensive cigars. It was all robbed from me on that day, because you need good credit to buy all that stuff. It looked as if I would be living with my parents forever.
Remember Student Loan Debt is Not Your Fault
Student loan lenders will always try to trick you into thinking it is your fault for defaulting. Trust me it is not. They tried to blame me too. Look, if they were stupid enough to lend forty thousand dollars to an unemployed, seventeen year old pot head with no job, money, or established credit, well shame on them! I don’t know why they had their panties all up in a bunch because I wasn’t paying back my measly 45,000 student loan. Not paying back debt was what this country was built on for Christ sake.
How I Learned To Manage My Student Loans
I hate the word default. Saying you’re in default just sounds so embarrassing. Telling someone you are in default is almost like telling them you have Herpes. People are always going to judge you and treat you different. I knew that my life would be ruined if I didn’t do something, so I called them and asked them what I could do to fix it. At first they told me that I could pay my past due balance, which was like two thousand dollars or some ridiculous number. I immediately scoffed at such a ludicrous suggestion. Then the lady told me about another more realistic option. She told me that I could consolidate my loans, and then I could put them in this thing called economic hardship forbearance where I didn’t have to pay any of it for one full year. Now she was talking my language.
If you have never heard of an economic hardship forbearance and you have student loans, you don’t know what you are missing. I have used a bunch of these over the years, and they come in real handy when you don’t feel like wasting all your hard earned money on something as boring as paying back a loan. That way you can spend your money on something a little more exciting. Maybe you want a new car. Maybe you want to take that dream vacation of a lifetime. Maybe you simply like to gamble or have a drug addiction. I know those kinds of hobbies can get to be pretty gosh darn expensive. My point is that it is your hard earned money and it’s yours to spend however you like. You shouldn’t have to pay back a loan if you don’t want to. This is America for Christ’s sake.
What is a Forbearance?
Here is how the forbearance works. It is actually really easy. You just call them and tell them you don’t want to pay back your loan anymore. They will warn you that it will continue to accrue interest, and try to convince you to try and pay it back. Don’t listen to them. This is just standard negotiation tactics. It is probably federal law or something. Don’t give in to them when they try to bully you into paying a past due balance or anything like that. It is your constitutional right as an American citizen to not pay back a student loan if you don’t want to. Simply tell them no thank you, I cannot afford to pay my student loan at this time and they will give you the forbearance, and the harassing letters and phone calls will cease for one full year. Those were some of the best years of my life.
Now don’t get me wrong, forbearances are not all sunshine and rainbows. Everything leading up to the forbearance can be a very stressful, as any debt it. Debt is a terrible, terrible thing, and I am not advocating for people to go into debt. I am simply recommending that if you do, you shouldn’t have to pay it back if you don’t want to. That is what we need to be clear on here.
With one brief phone call my student loan was officially in forbearance. It was by far the best day of my life. I have been in love before, and I have seen the birth of my children. I had have even peed after a really long car ride and gotten a massage once. But I have to say, there is no better feeling in the world then getting forbearance on a student loan.
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