Student Loans: The Other Devil

Yahoo Contributor Network
Student Loans: The Other Devil

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Sheymirra Tyree-spivey

As American students now cumulatively owe about $1 trillion in student loan debt, Yahoo is publishing first-person accounts from those who are still paying and those who have lessons to share. Here's one story.

FIRST PERSON | Student loans might not be the devil, but they are probably the closest thing to it.

Who on Earth decided it would be OK to charge thousands of dollars to earn a degree in a field that you can't work in? Yes, I am one of the hundreds of thousands of college graduates who worked my butt off to reach the American dream, only to have numerous prospective employers turn me away.

As a divorced mom of two, it took me nearly 10 years to earn my bachelor's degree in psychology from St. Leo University, and this was only after I had earned a diploma in medical assisting from Kee Business College. Funny enough, neither my diploma nor my degree have proven useful.

I had to step outside my field into the world of finance just to get a decent paying job and, at 33, I'm still living paycheck to paycheck. Don't get me wrong, student loans can be very helpful as long as they come with a guaranteed job when you maintain a 3.0 GPA or better. Otherwise, it seems pointless to tempt fate by accepting a student loan. It seems to me, that student loans have become another way for the government to make money off the poor. I accepted my student loans because I believed that my hard work would pay off. I believed I wouldn't have to worry about paying back the loans because I would have my dream job, right? Wrong!

I live in Hoover, Ala., and although I am grateful to have a degree, I don't believe the price tag was worth it. In 10 years, my son will be looking at colleges, and I can't imagine having my debt of approximately $25,000 in student loans paid in full in that short amount of time. It seems like the only way to avoid the ever-looming cloud of debt is to stay in school. But how can I do that and help my children achieve their dreams at the same time? I'm not saying I expect anyone else to pay my debt for me, but I do feel that more should be done to assist graduating students with achieving the means to pay off the loans.

Six years after graduating from college, I have only been able to pay back around $900 in interest on my student loans. I want to pay off my student loans, but I simply don't know how that will ever be possible. Personally, I think it would have been a better idea for me to become a hairstylist.

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