COMMENTARY | At 38, as I write for a living in a small town called Knox, Ind., and work to wrap up the tail end of my bachelor degree in education and special education, I find myself asking if all this effort is worth it. I went to college to get a degree that meant I could serve the population I enjoy most: children in need. I was already debating my choice in degrees as soon as laws began to make teaching look more like a lifelong profession of never ending education with the only reward being intrinsic. Now, with the interest rates on student loans about to double, it's beginning to feel more like I worked myself into a bad situation than a solid career plan.
As a single parent, I've relied heavily on student loans to see me through my education. I didn't seek out student loans until the third semester at Ivy Tech, but since student loans saw me through my associate's degree and are currently seeing me through my bachelor's at WGU Indiana, I find them invaluable. However, my current student loan debt of $56,250 isn't going to serve me so well if I have to pay double the interest rate after graduation.
I compare the numbers to current mortgage interest rates. As of today, Wells Fargo offers interest rates as low as two and a quarter percent, which is already lower than my current student loan rate of almost three and a half percent. While other countries are providing free education, those that can't even afford a mortgage will be paying more for their education that they would a home in America!
President Obama has shown an interest in the decline of the middle and lower class. He tried to push through the Buffett Rule and now he's trying to prevent the further decline of the classes by calling upon Congress to leave student loan rates as they are. He might even give a strong push for student loan forgiveness, which I find to be ludicrous. His efforts to restore the existence of the middle class are admirable. Of course, I have to wonder, why sell education if you're going to forgive the loans that pay for it?
However, I remember that as a child I always behaved my best when I wanted something from my guardians. There is no part of me that doesn't see that same tactic being used by Obama. I am hopeful that the student loan rates stay where they are, but I won't be thanking the current president by giving him my vote based solely on the student loan rates.
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