In Pursuit Of More: $69,937.11 Paid, $15,370.96 Till Payoff

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. -Romans 8:28

I Tried To Take It Back…

So often I am tempted to get angry, sulk, and take revenge because of a wrong someone has done to me. I run from discomfort, but what if you and I were meant to endure hardships? Never in a thousand years would I have imagined saying the following in a conversation, “Debt repayment and budgeting is not about managing your money, it’s about managing your heart”.

WHAT? I wish I could take those words back, as my wife grinned from ear to ear in acknowledgment of what implications that truly had on our current way of life.  But it was too late.

I didn’t want to admit that despite my laser focus to repay my debt, at the end of the day, it was the process and not the details that carry eternal significance.

Previously, I’d fantasize about receiving checks in the mail that could completely wipe out my debt. Sadly, the check never came; and the truth that I was alone in my debt journey hit me like a ton of bricks.

Before going to college, I saved every penny I had. My relationship with money as a child was not a healthy one–as I didn’t grow up with much. I knew money was needed to purchase things, but I also felt that having too much of it was wrong.

My Thoughts On Money

I think that money is a tool, and it doesn’t have any more power over you than you allow it to have.

Money is NOT inherently evil. The LOVE of money is the root of all evil. -1 Timothy 6:10. Love can be defined as an intense feeling of deep affection.

The emotion of love can influence us to accomplish heroic feats such as this father saving his daughter from a shark attack.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/06/04/paramedic-dad-punched-shark-five-times-save-his-daughter-who-lost-leg-attack/?noredirect=on

This man literally gave a shark the One Punch Man knuckle sandwich lunch special for FREE-99 lol. That shark will think twice before going after anything else besides marine life.

Risking It All

Or this strong fondness of something can destroy your life’s work. Take Bernie Madoff and Jefferey Epstein for instance, both men have been disgraced due to their misuse of things they enjoyed out of context.

Taking things out of the context from which they were meant to be enjoyed is dangerous. For one man, having enough money was never enough; for the other, seeking inappropriate affection.

I would like to leave you with a line from a song from an artist called Bizzle and an update on my student loans below.

Partial Lyrics from song by Bizzle “God Over Money”

If that same resource was made free to you
It would literally destroy what cash means to you
So how you risk your life for a paper dollar?
When as long as you have life you can make a dollar?

Student Loan Update

Until next time everyone! Stay strong… fight on… and have no debt but love! Peace and Blessings.

In The News: Americans are staying silent on student loan debt—and it’s not helping

August 19, 2019

By Megan Leonhardt, CNBC

When it comes to uncomfortable conversations, Americans would rather talk about pretty much anything else — politics, health issues, religion — than discuss their finances.

Yet the money topic Americans voted as most thorny is one that’s constantly in the news: student loans. Over a third of Americans say they see student loan debt as the biggest financial taboo, according to a Harris Poll of over 1,000 U.S. adults commissioned by TD Ameritrade.

A similar survey conducted by the MIT AgeLab and sponsored by TIAA found that 40% of respondents reported they never talk to their family about their student loans. In fact, over half said their families know “nothing” or “very little” about their debt.

Yet you’re far from unique if you’re swimming in student loan debt. Americans have amassed $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, with one in four Americans carrying a balance. And both the prevalence and the effect of student loans is widely studied: the Fed found that 20% of the homeownership decline among millennials (ages 24 to 32) can be attributed to this debt. Other surveys have found that student loan debt is forcing millennials to put off other major life milestones, such as getting married and starting families.

Democratic 2020 presidential candidates are even making student loan debt solutions a core component of their campaigns — promising everything from better refinancing options to introducing more debt forgiveness programs to wiping it out completely.

So why aren’t people talking about their student loans around the dinner table or with friends over drinks? It’s personal, experts say. “Student loan debt may be pervasive and a constant topic in the media and in the political arena, but it’s still debt,” Erin Lowry, author of Broke Millennial Takes On Investing, tells CNBC Make It. “People are fundamentally uncomfortable talking about debt because it’s easy to assume another person is going to pass judgement on your choices.”

And boy do they.

Click On Link Below To Read More:

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/07/student-loans-are-the-most-uncomfortable-conversation-topic-for-americans.html

 

In The News: Teacher To Betsy DeVos: ‘Why Didn’t You Forgive My Student Loans?’

August 5, 2019

By Zack Friedman, Forbes

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos

An educator thought she was on track to receive student loan forgiveness.

She made the payments. She thought she did everything right.

Then, she was told years later that she didn’t qualify.

Here’s what you need to know – and how you can avoid her fate.

New Lawsuit: Student Loan Forgiveness

As first reported by NPR, Debbie Baker, a Director Education at a non-profit organization in Tulsa, Oklahoma, expected that her $76,000 of student loan debt would be forgiven through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, a federal program through the U.S. Department of Education that forgives federal student loans for individuals who work in public service.

According to Baker, her student loan servicer – the company responsible for collecting and managing her student loan payments –  allegedly told her for nine years that she met all the requirements to receive public service loan forgiveness. As such, Baker thought she would have all her federal student loan forgiven after meeting the program’s requirements, which she believed she met. However, after making her usual monthly payments under an income-driven repayment program, the U.S. Department of Education said she did not qualify for student loan forgiveness. You can imagine Baker’s reaction.

Now, Baker is a plaintiff in a new lawsuit filed by the American Federation of Teachers, one of the nation’s largest teacher’s unions, against the U.S. Department of Education, which is led by Secretary Betsy DeVos. The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that:

  • the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is “grossly mismanaged” and
  • the program, as it’s currently administered, violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
  • the U.S. Department of Education is aware that student loan servicers make misrepresentations to borrowers, which results in borrowers getting rejected for student loan forgiveness and suffering financial and other harm.

Was Baker given the wrong information from her student loan servicer? Was it Baker’s responsibility to understand all the requirements of the program? Is the program administered properly? What is the proper role of student loan servicers – advisors or student loan payment collectors? Many of these issues may be addressed as a result of this lawsuit.

To Read More, Click Link Below:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2019/07/15/punlic-service-loan-forgiveness-lawsuit/#217b029c32ab

In The News: ‘I’m Drowning’: Those Hit Hardest By Student Loan Debt Never Finished College

August 1, 2019

By Elissa Nadworny, NPR

Most days, 25-year-old Chavonne can push her student loan debt to the back of her mind.

Between short-term office jobs in the Washington, D.C., area, she drives for Uber. But once in awhile, a debt collector will get hold of her cellphone number — the one she keeps changing to avoid them — and it all comes back fresh. “I’ll be like, ‘Oh no!’ ” she says. “It’s a sad reminder that I owe somebody money!”

In April, she got another reminder when the government seized her tax refund.

All this for a degree she never finished.

Back in high school, she recalls, her teachers and friends pushed her to go to college. And so, without too much thought, Chavonne enrolled at the University of Mississippi and borrowed about $20,000 to pay for it.

Far away from home and in a challenging environment, she struggled — and after three semesters, she’d had enough. Her college days are five years behind her, but the debt she took on is not.

Today, rent, car payments, gas and food are higher up on her list of priorities. And so she’s in default, not paying on her loans.

The one thing that could help Chavonne earn more money, of course, is earning a degree. But because she’s in default, she doesn’t have access to federal student aid that could help her go back and finish. It’s a vicious cycle for Chavonne and millions of other students who leave college with debt and without a degree.

From mid-2014 to mid-2016, 3.9 million undergraduates with federal student loan debt dropped out, according to an analysis of federal data by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit news organization.

The default rate among borrowers who didn’t complete their degree is three times as high as the rate for borrowers who did earn a diploma. When these students stop taking classes, they don’t get the wage bump that graduates get that could help them pay back their loans.

The perception is, work hard and pay what you owe, says Tiffany Jones, who leads higher education policy at the Education Trust, “but it’s not manageable even if you’re working.”

To Read More Click Link Below:

https://www.npr.org/2019/07/18/739451168/i-m-drowning-those-hit-hardest-by-student-loan-debt-never-finished-college

In The News: Feds find potential fraud in student loan repayment plans

July 26, 2019

By Collin Binkley, ABC News

Tens of thousands of federal student loan borrowers may be getting their monthly payments lowered by lying about their income and family size, yet the U.S. Education Department is doing little to catch them, according to a report released Thursday by a federal watchdog agency.

Among the most extreme cases reported by the Government Accountability Office are two separate borrowers who claimed to have 93 relatives in their households, along with 3,300 cases in which borrowers said they had no income even though federal data suggest they made $100,000 a year or more. All were approved for lower loan payments.

Investigators were reviewing the Education Department’s oversight of its popular income-driven repayment plans, which allow borrowers to pay lower monthly rates based on their incomes and family sizes. After 25 years of payments, all remaining debt is wiped clean.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said her agency will conduct comprehensive review of the repayment plans and will refer cases of fraud to the Justice Department for prosecution. She placed blame on previous administrations, saying the problems are proof that “many of the policy ideas previously pursued were poorly implemented.”

“Misrepresenting income or family size is wrong, and we must have a system in place to ensure that dishonest people do not get away with it,” DeVos said. “We didn’t create that problem, but rest assured we will fix it.”

The federal watchdog agency says it identified 95,100 cases in which borrowers were approved as having no income even though it appears they were earning money. Using wage data from the Department of Health and Human Services, investigators found that borrowers in a third of those cases may actually have been making $45,000 a year or more, including some who topped $100,000.

They concluded that the department “does not have procedures to verify borrower reports of zero income, nor, for the most part, procedures to verify borrower reports of family size.” Borrowers applying for the repayment plans can check a box indicating they have no income, and the department generally takes them at their word with no further documentation needed, the investigation found.

If approved, borrowers with no income typically are not required to make monthly payments.

Click Link Below to Read More:

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/feds-find-potential-fraud-student-loan-repayment-plans-64575667

In The News: More student loan borrowers carry six-figure balances

July 23, 2019

By Annie Nova

ONE TIME USE H/O: Elisha Bokman

Elisha Bokman has been out of school for eight years. Still, her student loan balance is half a million dollars.

Today, for her doctorate degree in naturopathic medicine and master’s in acupuncture from Bastyr University, she owes $499,322.69.

She and her husband struggled to buy a house because of her debt. Eventually, the financial stress led them to a divorce. “He felt like he couldn’t live his life or do the things he wanted to do,” Bokman, 38, said. She wanted to open her own medical practice, but she said her student debt prevents her from getting a business loan.

“It really effects the remainder of your life,” Bokman said. “There’s no out.”

Around 178,000 graduate students owed more than $100,000 in the 2015-2016 academic year, up from 51,000 in 2003-2004, according to Mark Kantrowitz, the publisher of SavingForCollege.com. In the first quarter of 2019, over 6% of all student loan borrowers owed more than $100,000, up from 5.4% in 2017.

Recently, Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have proposed forgiving student debt. Warren’s plan would reduce people’s tabs by up to $50,000, whereas Sanders’ would erase it all.

To Read More, Click Link Below:

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/12/she-owes-500000-in-student-loans-giant-balances-are-on-the-rise.html