Student Loans: The Silent Killer
Being a young single mom I always knew I had to work harder than most to make the best future for myself and my daughter. When she was just 2 months old, and I 16, I started going to school full time. I graduated in 2003 with my Associates degree in General Arts. http://www.fldoe.org/news/2004/2004_02_13-2.asp Quickly after that I enrolled in a private university for my Bachelor’s in Electronics Engineering Technology. Being young and naïve I never really realized what all those numbers added up to when I made visits to financial aid. Right before my graduation in 2006, they sat down with me and introduced my 80,000 dollar loan that I had 6 months before I would have to start paying back. That’s the first time that it hit me; I will have to pay this back for the next 20 years! Not too long after graduation I got the break I had been waiting for, an awesome job. Everything was finally starting to look up.
Throughout my college career and even after that, I volunteered in many places and with many programs. Some of these include Junior Achievement, helping in local Nursing Homes, Tutoring at Elementary schools, being the head of computer recycling at work, being a local ‘spokes-teen’ for young, pregnant mothers in my area, contributing time to meals on wheels, along with many other helpful activities. I am a born leader and helper. I enjoy starting organizations that will help people and still be in effect when I am no longer there.
Two years ago I met the most perfect man! About a year later we were married. My daughter finally had a father who was also a positive role model in her life. After watching him struggle for work because of the economy we decided that the Army would be the best thing for us and our future and he enlisted February 2009. While it was really hard being apart for so many months, with basic training and AIT, financially we were doing great. With two paychecks coming in I was able to pay off most of our credit card debt and a little extra each month on student loans. In May of this part year I came across a program for military spouses, $6,000 to attend school. I was so ecstatic because I had always dreamed of getting my Master’s but knew I could never afford it, especially not while I had 70,000 dollars of debt left. Shortly after I started my classes we moved to Fort Polk, Louisiana so I had to give up my dream job. Out here, at Fort Polk, I cannot seem to find anything. I have been actively searching since July 2009 and nothing has come up.
In order to finish up my MBA I had to take out yet another loan for 3,000 dollars. Yuck! Nonetheless, I was able to finish school in November 2010 with my Master’s in Business Administration concentrated on Program Management. Ecstatic, I quickly began looking for work. And still, no such luck. In the next few months I will have to start paying back that tedious 70k loan along with my new 3k loan.
I never want to see anyone go through what I am going through and that is why I am here, to give advice. I know my advice can help, and if it helps just one person I will feel fulfilled.
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