Thursday, June 2, 2011

Loans

One of the reasons I waited a long time before starting my BA was because I had heard so many nasty rumors about college kids graduating with student loan debt up to their eyeballs.  Graduates were struggling, I read.  Struggling to make headway on their loans, working 3 or 4 jobs just to keep their head above water.  I even read one article about a young woman who had hanged herself, and found all around her, in her apartment, were student loan statements.  A college education didn't seem worth that financial stress, I thought at the time.  Better to just work some shitty minimum wage job for the rest of my life, because at least that way I'd break even and stay out of debt.  I didn't owe anyone anything and I wanted to keep it that way.

When I decided I wanted to be educated, it took me a while to accept the fact that doing so would require taking out some student loans.  Still, I didn't want to be one of those people who, once they accrue some debt, become hopeless and start spending with reckless abandon.  "Just add it to my already-huge list of loans!" they laugh sardonically.

No, I didn't want to be one of those people.  Instead, I worked throughout my four years of college.  I applied for every grant and scholarship in sight.  I made budgets, kept track of my spending, lived within my means, and kept careful records of all my loans--how much they were for, who they were from, the interest rate, etc.  And while I was still in school, I sent in a payment to completely cover the principal plus the accrued interest on my oldest loan with the highest interest rate. 

Well.

It turns out that instead of applying the money to that particular loan like I had indicated, the "servicer" split it up into bits and pieces and applied those pieces willy-nilly to all the loans within my account.  That means they put the money towards the newer loans with low interest rates, and that the older loan with the high interest rate didn't get paid off and instead kept accruing interest.

Fan. Fucking. Tastic.

Before I found out about this, the "servicer" closed up shop (like, went out of existence) and sold my loans to another "servicer."  The new "servicer" has no record of this huge payment I made, insists it can't do anything to address this issue, and says that I should contact the original "servicer" to work out any problems or errors with my account. 

Yeah, the one that doesn't fucking exist anymore.  Gee, let me call them right up.  As soon as I find their ghost phone number.

What the fuck.  I mean, seriously.  I really mean that as a serious question. 

I can't believe people take out loans for stupid shit like cars and boats, or even houses.  Why would anyone deal with these god-forsaken bureaucracies when they don't have to? 

My ex-husband would say that you should take out lots of loans and credit cards so that you can build up "good credit" so that in the future, you'll be qualified to get bigger and bigger loans so that you can...go into deeper and deeper debt.  Or as he repeatedly called it, "dept."

Not the brightest, that one.

Anyway. 

All I can say now is that I'm glad I won't have to take out anymore loans for grad school because of my awesome funding package.  I never want to borrow any money from anyone else as long as I live.