life in debt


So I just got a letter sent to me from my daughter.  It’s from my PLUS loan that I took out to help my son get through school.  It says I’m about to default.  WHAT? I’ve been faithfully paying on-line this entire time!  Every month!  This is terrible.  I can’t even possibly go back to school if I’ve defaulted with the Federal Education lenders. I go on-line and it says I am current.  What the hell is happening?

And then it dawns on me.  Their left hand doesn’t know what their right hand is doing.  I have two PLUS loans with them, and all this time I thought I was paying both together, I was only paying for one of them.  After signing up to pay on-line, why does the other loan not show up?  Why did they not send me notices prior to being several thousand behind?  As far as I knew, I’d made arrangements to pay PLUS on-line, and that’s what I was doing.  I mean, you’d think if you have an account with a lender and you go to look up your statement, it would all show, right?  Obviously I am an idiot, not knowing how many bills I have, but why would I faithfully pay one and let the other lapse?  I feel like a horse kicked me in the stomach.

This after several days of looking at every possible scenario to get me to art school is falling flat.  Post-bac. programs do not teach any foundation courses and the Grad school  maximum Stafford loan doesn’t even cover the tuition.  Private lenders won’t touch me (we’ve tried with my son – I don’t have the income or assets)  One good thing is I still have enough remaining on my Undergrad maximum Stafford to fund three years of school at a state school, but for tuition only.

I’m okay with going to school knowing I might not be able to complete a BFA, since the degree is less important than the skills.  But I still gotta eat and still gotta sleep somewhere and have enough time to practice those skills.

What was I thinking – I’ve spent my whole life in debt and I can barely live now and I’m soon to have one more loan and taxes due on top of that.  We’re at critical mass.  I need a second job, not more debt. I only wish all this debt was for something I’d wanted.  I only did what I had to do to make the best of things, and not for dreams.  Do we really only get one shot at these things?  I’ll keep trying to figure out how to make this work, but today I’m very sad.

I very well may be stuck here in Korea for several more years.  I just ordered 8 boxes of hair color.   I just want to be me.

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5 thoughts on “life in debt

  1. It’s because the loans could have possibly originated from different lenders or they are being serviced by different companies which means you would have had to log into a completely separate website. The debt also could have been bought by a different lender over the last couple of years. PLUS loans are pretty bad, the interest rates are BAD, which is why I never asked my mother to take one. I’m sorry that this happened to you. I wish I could help in some way. You should look for Teach English jobs maybe in Korea? You could tutor privately, too. You might be able to appeal to one of the guesthouses in Korea that serve adoptees to stay for a reduced rate, though their rates are already extremely low. I’m sorry that it seems like it’s all for nothing but your son is probably appreciative and feels bad about the situation. His education was something that you wanted for him, so don’t beat yourself up for trying to make that happen. I don’t know about your debt history but I’m sure you made the best possible choices you could, even though it’s ended up this way. You made a mistake but you’ll be able to recover. (This is me being encouraging but not knowing the full situation or you as a person, so take it with a grain of salt.)

  2. Aww, thanks…

    It’s the SAME lender. It’s my fault for being so distracted and not careful.

    I make my living here in Korea teaching English for the public schools, and there’s really no one in the country that wants or can afford privates, not to mention that it’s now illegal unless you get permission from your employer, and you have to get a business license and not charge more than about $9 an hour.

    I send about 2/3’s of my income to my U.S. account every month to pay my loans and will now have to send about 3/4’s of it. The plan is my son will get a fabulous job and start paying me the PLUS payments on top of his own loans. But that’s a ways down the pike, and it doesn’t help me from looking insolvent to private education lenders.

    Also, I wanted to add that we had no choice but to do the PLUS loans the way we are. And I’m happy to help out, ’cause my son deserves his shot too! He does his own share of sacrificing, that’s for sure.

    I should be grateful I have a job at all.

    I regret entertaining fulfillment, and need to man up and brace myself for staying here longer.

  3. I WILL! As soon as the weekend is over. So that means two more days…

    Since I’m a year and a half away from the enrolling in a program and this is the time of year schools are swamped fielding calls from applying students, I am going to wait about two months so they’re not harried and have a good long phone interview with a financial aid officer and admissions counselor…

    I also need to be less frantic and more patient. I mean, what’s a few years when you’re my age? (well, the eyesight I guess is a factor…) The thing that makes it feel urgent is just because I’m not enjoying my stay here.

  4. I know what you mean about eyesight. I have decided to enroll at a local jc and study accounting and I have notice that my eyesight is the problem. I guess at age 50 this is normal but very fustrating. :(

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