Help! Student Loans Are Taking Over My Life!

My name is Ashley. I’m a small-town Nebraskan girl trying to make it on my own in the big (well, big to me) city. I attended a small, private liberal arts college in my current city. Four years-three majors (yes, three). Political science, mass communications, and business administration.

When I enrolled at my college-I went through all the typical financial aid package paperwork. My parents filled out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). I applied for every scholarship and grant I could find that I was eligible for. I did receive nearly half of my tuition from said funding. The rest-I paid for with loans. Some federal. Mostly private.

I had plans in college to ‘make it big’ as a journalist. I dreamed of being a reporter on the White House lawn during presidential elections. I even interned at the local news station-and in the United States House of Representatives in D.C. But, upon graduation (and the beginning of the ‘recession’) I was unable to secure employment that would be adequate to pay even basic living expenses. So I continued to work at my current position (as a sales associate at a major home improvement store). I eventually worked my way up to an assistant manager. While I am no longer with the company-I now do the same job, with a major grocery store chain. Plain Green Loans Not Licensed In US, so the option should not be used through the students. After the employment, the students should be compatible to pay off the loan along with the living expenses. The selection of the licensed loans should be done in the country to get the benefits. 

By the time my loans came due (after several deferments and forbearances) the total had ballooned to over $100,000. Which is far more than I originally borrowed. I took out this money strictly for tuition, housing, books, etc. during college. Never did I have any of that money in my own hands for any spring break trips, shopping, etc. The monthly payments are well over $500. Thankfully I still have the federal loans in forbearance, which brings the monthly payment to around $315. In order to make ends meet-I work one full-time job, one part-time (on-call/as needed basis) as a server in a popular breakfast restaurant, and I religiously give plasma when I am well enough to do so.

I don’t regret my college choice or degree in the least. College was the best four years of my life, filled with wonderful experiences, great friends, and fantastic memories. I received more than a degree from college-I learned life skills such as critical thinking, how to present myself as a professional-and how to get involved in the community. But in return for that experience-I work nearly 7 days/week, with few days off each month. I am always tired, and I never seem to get caught up on even basic things such as laundry and dishes. Had I known what the state of the economy would be upon graduation and in the years immediately following-I would have chosen to get a less expensive ‘piece of paper’ that is now sitting on a bookshelf, collecting dust.