I have really been dreading this decision. Namely, the decision of whether to continue on with school and add to the already ridiculously high dollar amount of student loans that I currently owe, or take a break to focus on paying down those loans and improve my financial position and then finish my degree.
I’m sure a lot of you would immediately say, “Oh J, you silly girl, of course you should continue going to school. Education is the great equalizer and you’ll never get anywhere without a college degree”. Don’t worry, that’s what I tried to convince myself of as well.
Forcing myself to add up my total amount of student loan debt was very eye-opening, though.
Are you ready for it?
In Federal student aid, I owe a total of $28,690. Oh, just you wait…there’s more…
Sallie Mae became my friend as well and loaned me a total of $16,992.18
A total of $45,682.18.
You may now heave, because I know I almost did.
Let me tell you what happened, because I know you’re thinking “J, you are clearly not an unintelligent individual. What were you thinking?”
I wasn’t. To be fair, the Sallie Mae loan did finance my nursing education and I am the proud holder of an Ohio Licensed Practical Nurse license. I have gainful employment because of that license, and I proved to myself that I could start something and stick to it.
The Federal money, however, was used to take a lot of classes between several major switches that now do not add up to a degree. I’ve never been able to definitively say what I wanted to be when I grew up, and according to my assigned academic advisor this is common for a lot of students. But while it’s helpful to know what behavior led to an outcome, the explanations are neither here nor there at this point.
It comes down to deciding whether to continue on digging my “debt ditch”, or to climb out of it and fill it in. I’m grabbing a shovel and going at it. I’ve never been afraid of hard work, and I’m not about to start now.
There are several ways to go about paying off student loan debt, what with debt consolidation loans and deferrments and forbearances and whatnot. The important thing is that the decision was made.
Check back soon for the meat and ‘taters of this student loan business!
I’d love to hear about your experiences with student loans. Did you finish your education? If you had the chance to do it all over again, what would you do?