My Take On Student Loan Forgiveness

August 25, 2022

I , nor anyone in my family, had any idea what to do when I went to college. I was the first in my whole family (cousins too) who got a bachelors degree. My MBTA bus driving Italian dad said, “join the army” my mom said, “take out loans” when I asked for financial help.

I didn’t know about grants or scholarships and I was kind of a total fuck up in high school. I didn’t go to college until two years out of high school and I didn’t have any guidance counselor at 19 or any internet or resource to inquire.

I did have a step-father who was a self made doctor, who said, “you are nothing without an education. Go back to school”.

\ So, I simply walked into Bridgewater State College financial aid office and signed my life away. In hindsight I could’ve tried harder to find money to help but i was a kid and I knew that I didn’t want to work in a kitchen my whole life or join the army or be a bus driver.

\ During college I worked full time as a cook and that was enough to pay for my 83 Sentra, gas, food, living expenses. Now at 51 (and three hard earned degrees later and a good career thanks to that) I have deferred many times (for hardship or my masters degree) and the interest is about 30% of each monthly payment if I pay the monthly amount.What people who haven’t gone down this road understand (and apparently very easy to judge, judging by Facebook) is it is the compounding interest that keeps your payment stagnant. It’s not just a big loan like I bought a Tesla or something. It is designed to compound interest paid to the lender anytime you defer.

I was so frustrated I called AES (my student loan provider) and talked to someone as to why, after 16 years of finishing my MS degree I am still paying 30-40% interest each month and how could I fix it? Her reply “pay double”.

So yeah, this helps me and a lot of people like me in a big way. We aren’t “the elites” (these kids never had to take out loans), or “lazy” or “entitled”. Yes, if I had to do it over again I would’ve done so many things differently but here we are.

Getting a higher education was one of the best decisions I ever made in life. It made me a more critical thinker, a more independent person, and gave me a good career. I think we all want what is best for ourselves and our children and coming from that dead-end background, desperate for a good future and still believed in the American Dream, you jump at the chance when the opportunity arises to get an education and degree and a different life.

If you say otherwise you are lying to yourself.

Written by Corey Smaller Follow me on Instagram