🙏🏾And Forgive Us Our Debts…🙏🏾

We Know Not What We Do…

Student loan debt and forgiveness remains a controversial issue as U.S. President Joe Biden orders up to $20,000 in debt cancellation for Pell Grant recipients.  Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students based on financial need.  Unlike student loans, grants do not have to be repaid.  

I received the Pell Grant in college.  While the grant helped me tremendously, I still accumulated $85,308.17 in federal student loans.  Just like the Pell Grant money I received, the federal student loans were awarded me based on displayed financial need.  Something to note, prior to President Joe Biden’s announcement, federal student loans had to be paid in full or be forgiven after 25 years of repayment.

Citizens around the country are upset by this loan forgiveness and some are happy. I can understand both sides.  I’ve paid my student loan debt and will not have any debt cancellation.  But how did we get here in the first place?

Locked Up and Won’t Let Me Out…

Three years ago, countries around the globe shutdown due to Covid.  Not many people were able to work during this time unless an occupation was considered “essential”.  What a term to use to determine who earns a living and who doesn’t huh?

Millions of people lost their jobs as businesses either paused operations or shut down permanently.  The U.S. government introduced the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to assist small businesses and major corporations in keeping staff employed during the pandemic. 

Onward to Greener Pastures…

News reports soon swirled about growing discontentment with work conditions, compounded from stress of the global pandemic.  Workers nationwide grew tired in their frustration of incessant threats of job loss due to Covid.  This pent-up frustration led to The Great Resignation.   In response, employers have since offered hybrid and remote work options in attempt to attract/retain skilled workers. 

As heavy job losses mounted, the U.S. government sent stimulus checks to individuals as part of the American Rescue Plan.  Unless your occupation was considered “essential” (first responder: police officer, fireman, teacher, healthcare worker) you were out of work.  This was not an easy pill to swallow for recent college graduates as hiring freezes took effect.

So how do I feel about student loan forgiveness? 

I guess you’ll have to read between the lines.  Until next everyone… Stay Strong! 💪 Fight On! 🥊  And have No Debt But Love.

Peace and Blessings!

Life After Student Loan Debt: $85,308.07 Paid

Debt Freedom

It has been one year and eighteen days since I have been student loan debt free. I imagined my life being much happier not having to budget for payments to student loan servicers. But let’s visit the past… my life after graduating from college in 2010 started off awesome as I made the best decision of my life-I married my best friend. However, marital bliss did not last long as Nelnet, Fedloan, ACS, and University Accounting Services demanded much of my paycheck.

Im Free GIF - Im Free GIFs

My student loan payoff struggle lasted 8 years, 9 months, and 7 days. It was difficult working multiple jobs that didn’t pay much. My ego took a hit in knowing I did not earn enough to provide for my wife; making matters worse, my jobs involved working overnight. Somehow, someway the Lord in his mercy allowed me to keep my sanity.

The Struggle Was Real

So there I was, a recent college graduate and life was just not working out. Thankfully it’s been 11 years since the initial haymaker life dealt me. It’s hard to believe somedays I graduated 11 years ago and for a very long time I despised my education. I was embarrassed to ever mention my degrees as I had little to show for them except debt and minimum wage jobs. By the way, minimum wage in Texas is $7.25, a far cry for what is purported for earnings for degree holders.

Feast your eyes on a chart below provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics for the year of 2017. Supposedly, someone with master’s degree is to earn about $1,400 weekly. ***For the unemployment rate figures I have supplied the link (Source) to that information in the link below the chart.***

Source: https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2018/data-on-display/education-pays.htm

However, from 2011 to 2013, I earned just under $500 a month; and from 2013-2016, my monthly earnings were about $1,600 monthly. Don’t get me wrong, by no means is this post meant to be a gripe, moan, and groan session. The purpose of No Debt But Love is to inspire the next generation to avoid student loans at all costs and to encourage those with student loan debt to get rid of it as quickly as possible.

The purpose of this post is the reminder that although we have plans for a better life and future, life happens and things get ugly fast. Oh… have you forgotten? Let me remind you.

COVID-19 & Change of Heart

Let’s be real, I didn’t daydream about paying off my student loans and then witness friends and family need stimulus checks a month later. I remember a classmate not so long ago told me, “Don’t get upset if student loans are forgiven right after paying yours off.” I really didn’t think much of his statement because I figured, “If I can pay off my debt, then why can’t everyone else? I made sacrifices and paid it off, now you do the same!”

In my humble opinion, our apathy is what is causing the world so much pain. Although I have paid my student loan debt, I must remain concerned for others who are in this situation. The same is true for example, when showing support to someone who discloses their struggles with cancer. You wouldn’t dare respond to the news with, “I beat cancer, so you can too” this response would be outrageous.

Student loans threaten to derail and often destroy the financial lives of young people. Currently, the U.S. president is considering options to make student loan debt cancellation a reality. To be honest, I am happy student loan debt is discussed in the news more often now. I pray we all listen in a nonjudgmental manner during the next student loan debt story we hear. Until next time everyone!  Stay strong…💪 fight on…🥊💥🥊 and have no debt but love! Peace 🕊️ and Blessings🙏🏻.