My name is Stephanie Pyke, and there are things I will never do in life. At the tender age of thirty, which is supposed to be the new twenty, but employers regard as the new sixty, I find myself the recipient of three degrees, unemployed, close to $100,000 in school debt, married, childless and without insurance other than what is demanded by law.
My household is tight. at this moment, my husband makes just enough over the poverty line that we do not qualify for government aid. that still means that after expenses, we only have $50 in the account, which leaves no room for my student loans yet. I graduated into the mess that is 2009. My loan amounts to over $1000 per month if they are not deferred. Student loans don't qualify for the sort of help you can get from a credit councillor, leaving me to run the red tape of begging for some sort of help until the right job presents itself.
You might thinkthat I should just give up and go work just anywhere, but I can't do that. If I get a full time job, those creditors are going to come calling again even if I am deffered. I feel like every single freedom i have is just taken away along with whatever money I can scrape for myself.
There are things I will probably never do in life as long as this continues. Unfortunately, unless I can land something like 50,000 per year and hold it I can kiss the AMerican dream goodbye.
1. I will probably never own my own home. And why should I? Even if I get a job, I still have to pay my school loans which will probably take upwards of 30 years to do. On to of that with job mobility, it desn't make sense to buy a home when I will probably be moving from it in 5 years or less. The tax rebates and equity you get from owning are not enough to compensate for the worry free maintenence, groundskeeping, and ease of transience from a rental property. Equity on a house is all burned up in the maintenence anyway. There's really no point to owning with as mobile as someone has to be in this economy.
2. I will never own a new car. the prices of new cars are still outrageous and getting worse every year. In one month, both of our cars died, and we had to sell both to get a single car that works. it's a 1996. It's got 136,000 miles. and it's mine. No loans, payed for outright. The problem is that I need a second car if I am going to be employed gainfully. So. I am already screwed.
3. I will probably never travel for amusement. yep that's right. I get a job, the margins are tight. Let the dying baby boomers live it up. I will be working in some cubicle, a slave to my desk and my debt to things that are intangible. Like education. For me the american dream is dead. I will never be able to travel.
4. I might not ever have insurance. Oh yeah you heard that. it's unaffordable to have, with benefits that almost never cover what you need. I watched my mom get an illness and hit her lifetime limits in under 18 months. That's no time at all. Since it's also unaffordable NOT to have, there is every possibility that I will live a very short life and die in absolute agony because I can''t pay for treatment on some future unknown serious illness or injury. Thanks alot to the insurance companies and pharma services that made this possible.
5. I will never have children. Even if Iwanted a family, (and i did actually want at least two) I am not going to bring a kid into the world with no insurance and limited income. Sorry. the $300,000 per child from 0-18 price tag is a little too rich for me.
6. I will never live the American dream. That's right. no home, no white picket fence, no 1.8 children, no stable job. I will be in debt for the rest of my life.
7. I will never retire. right now we live hand to mouth. I have no savings. it's kind of hard to have one when expenses wipe out 90% of the income every month. That means even if I start a job with a 401K I will still not have enough money to retire on.
So tell me where is the silver lining in all of this? Oh yeah, I forgot. I have an education. An education that does not guarantee me employment but has guaranteed that I will be a debt slave for the rest of my life, trying to work off a degree that will be obsolete in 2 years from graduation.
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