Editor’s note: This article was first written three months ago when Angela was in a very dark place. She currently does have a job, does not actually want a relative to “croak” as outlined below, and does not regret the four years spent at Westfield State College. She also still owes a shit load of money to Sallie Mae.
Remember when George McFly told us, “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything?” Well, he was lying.
Hey, youth of America, a word of advice: if you want to succeed, don’t go to college.
Why you ask? Well, apparently Sallie Mae wants to start charging me $600 a month for my student loans, and after a long, confusing and extremely unhelpful phone call with a woman who ultimately “transferred me to another department” but actually just hung up on me, I cannot defer it. Really? Even if I don’t have a job? Because I like, don’t have a job. Isn’t there some rule that if you are collecting unemployment you shouldn’t have to pay student loans, because in a way the system kind of failed you?
This is just one of the million Sallie Mae sob stories that I’ve heard from my generation. So many of my friends went to school, took out loans, and now are stuck trying to pay off massive debts in a shitty economy with hardly any jobs. How are we supposed to pay these things off?! This is just another reason why there is no “middle class” left in America. The population is now divided into “people that don’t have student loan debt” and “people that have student loan debt.” The country tells us that if we put in the work, get a college degree, we can get a job that will ultimately allow us to pay said debts off and will have made the experience worth it. But the country didn’t hold up its end of the bargain, and instead of graduating and working toward a real career that you care about, my generation is forced to work to pay loans. Right out of the graduation gate we are at a disadvantage, which just allows those who have no debts to flourish, creating an even wider gap in our class system.
I did everything right: I went to school, didn’t get arrested, got a college degree, pay my rent. I even moved from Manhattan to Queens! I fulfilled my end of the bargain, and now the country is supposed to fulfill theirs. But instead, I’m stuck with thousands of overwhelming dollars of debt, no job, and am forced to torrent episodes of Mad Men because I can’t even afford cable.
The folks working the customer service line at Sallie Mae are consistently rude and unhelpful. That is, if you can understand them. Half of the time their accents are so thick I have no clue what they’re saying, and they don’t seem to have a clue what I’m saying. And before you get all “DAS RACIST!” on me, I could care less if somebody has a thick Middle-Eastern accent, but only when they aren’t making massive decisions about my financial future. Nothing personal, “Joe Brown” (something tells me that’s not your birth name), but I have no idea what you are talking about. Of course, even if somebody doesn’t have an accent that still doesn’t mean I have a clue what they’re saying. When I called yesterday the woman was using terms I didn’t understand, had no clue. Was there a glossary or manual that I missed when filling out these loans? Was there required reading? Of course, my confusion only leads to frustration, and instead of gently explaining it to me on the phone as a good customer service agent would do, the lady gets equally frustrated and bitchy.
So what is one to do when they literally cannot pay their student loans? Well, I turned to the Sallie Mae FAQ section to find out:
You’d think they’d want to make it easy to set up a low monthly payment plan, because like the bloodsucking credit card companies they want to collect interest off you for life. But instead, due to some “terms” aka what-the-fuck-are-you-talking-about-lady, they force you to pay each loan off in massive, insurmountable chunks.
So as it stands right now I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t have the money to pay $600 a month in student loans, and even if I did it would still take *looks down at watch* 500 years for me to pay them off. And as much as my parents wish they could, they can’t either. Maybe a relative will croak this year but even then I suspect that in my uncle’s will he’s donated all of his liquid assets to the German Shepard Foundation. My only hope is to keep buying these dollar scratch tickets, cashing them in with my dollar winnings, and eventually I will hit it big.
In summation: Fuck you Sallie Mae, fuck your rude and consistently unhelpful customer service team, and fuck this loan. I’m not paying this bill. Fuck you.