What I like best about Blogging is the educational aspect. I read to learn, become informed, discover something new, or understand an issue from another person's point of view. Today I read a post written by Kathy Streib:
Kathy constantly writes good content and is supportive of others. But when someone isn't playing nice in the sandbox, she's quick to point it out. Respectfully, I love people like Kathy. In her post, Why Do I have to Stage My Home if Homes Are Selling, there were two main points that resonated with me. One more strongly than the other. Therefore, the topic for this post is on Student Loans.
There are many major life events that change people's lives and cause people to go back to school, or pay for student loans for a family member to help get them out of debt. Both of these happened to me and changed my financial world drastically. Going to school is the easy part. Passing the grade takes an excessive amount of stress, many sleepless hours, and sacrifices along the way, both financially and time with family/friends.
I was one of those --- stay-at-home moms. Not because I had the luxury of staying home. My husband wouldn't let me. He felt strongly that a child learns best from their mother and the cost for child care didn't help us to gain more in life but rather less. I wasn't the only one who made the sacrifice, he ended up working 2 - 3 jobs at a time to make up for my lost salary. We faced the hardest and the best times.
But then something happened. In our 30's, he developed brain cancer and was scheduled to die at any time. Doctors said, 24 hours or less. He passed away and we had no life insurance. Before he died, he had debt because he went to school to become a Paramedic. After he passed away, I had to go to College and become educated, graduate and hope for a job that could pay the bills. In the meantime, I had two children; therefore, I would be faced with their education, as well. Financially, we were entitled to nothing, except Social Security Benefits, which went towards paying for Cobra for medical insurance, at that time.
During the past decade, there has been a lot of talk about people going back to school. I cringe when I think about those who will face the music to pay back student loans. It was worse than root canals, broken bones, surgery, car repairs and accidents, paying for utilities in the coldest Chicago winters in history, and a hundred or more painful life experiences. It took me 20 years to pay off student loans and even more to pay off medical bills. Just when I thought life is going to be good, my employer had a massive company lay-off and I was jobless (not homeless) just jobless and that sunk me into more debt.
Debt changes people. Major life changes can happen to anyone. As I write this story, I look up at the wall in front of me and see 10 Diplomas & Certificates. They are just pieces of paper. Those diplomas don't pay bills. There is no Student Loan guarantee for financial success. Education comes from life experiences and debt is the result of consequences.
©Patricia Feager, 9/27/2016