I took a year off between high school and college. I wasn't sure where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do. All I knew what that I wanted to work with children.
I didn't get a lot of support in ways of advice given to me about the costs of college. I was accepted to a handful of schools, one being in Vermont. Autumn was always my favorite season, and Vermont was beautiful. Why not?
Financially, I had no idea what I was in for. All I knew was that my first year's financial aid package was promising. Especially given the high tuition costs. No problem, I can manage, I thought. Especially since I first thought I wanted to major in medicine, and become a pediatrician. Paying the loans back after graduating would be no big deal. I soon discovered that the science and medical fields were no really for me. I pondered teaching, but knew my social fears would on the one hand allow me to stand in front of a room of children, but never would allow me to stand in front of parents and other adults. Teaching would put me too much in the spot light.
I started to explore Human Development and Psychology, and discovered a passion for helping children on a different level. however, now I was starting my first semester of my third year of college, and quite frankly, I realized I didn't have the funds for college. In reality, I never really did.
Those first two years were difficult. I opened credit card accounts just to pay for my text books. I think I stayed so think just because I couldn't afford food to eat. I had the smallest meal plan possible, and I had to budget it very carefully. Some nights, dinner consisted of a bag of chips.
Before Christmas that third year in college, I realized I couldn't do it anymore. I took a break and re-evaluated my educational plans, and my finances. Eventually I went back to my home state and finished up at a university that I could commute to, and pay for out of pocket. I received my BA in Psychology in 2004, and am now working as a Social Worker to children in foster care.
Fast forward ten years, and I am still trying to pay off these school loans. I've got them done to a little less than $17000. Some have been paid off. Some are in repayment. And then there is the one that sent me here.
The one that I received notice on last week that will put a garnishment on my wages, and potentially take my tax refund. The one that, despite changing my addres with them, has been sending all correpsondence to an address I had five years ago. And the one that says that whomever is living at that address now has not returned the mail to sender, thus it is showing as received. And finally, the one that says, sorry, there is nothing we can do about it now. I was given the option to settle for $15000, or rehabilitate my loan, which means making additional payments on top of the wage garnishment. What does this mean for me financially? That I have to come up with an extra $400 a month for the next 8 months. That is $400 I don't have.
I opened and closed this page so many times over the last few days. I hate having to do this. I look at all the other "fundraiser" and I think, mine just doesn't seem worthy of submission.
But then, I look at my two young daughters, and this yes, it is worthy. It's worth it for them.
$400 a month takes away from preschool and daycare options for my oldest, the one who needs these social platforms the most. It takes away from summer camp options for her as well. It takes away ballet and little things they've grown accustomed to.
I do this for them. For my family.
Please, if you feel compelled to do so, make a donation to help me get closer to being outo f school loan debt. Thank you.