Got Student Debt?

Read on if you feel __________

Conquer.

Nov 19, 2014

This is one breakup you can look forward to.

11-19-14

We don’t usually look forward to breakups. But if you’re in a dysfunctional relationship with student debt, then this is one breakup to look forward to.

the point: If you’re in a relationship with student debt that poisonous then it’s time to break up.

the scenario:

You’re eating a meal. Thinking about your student debt.
You’re in the grocery store. Thinking about your student debt.
You’re sitting at work. Thinking about our student debt.
In friendships and relationships, you’re having a simple discussion about what you could do for fun that night. Because you are thinking about our student debt.
You’re trying to fall asleep at night, and student debt is loudly playing around in the corners of your brains.

How do you know that you’re in an unhealthy relationship with student debt? When student debt becomes the pivot that you center your entire life around.

Is regret keeping you stuck?

“But Krystle,” you say, “My student debt is a tremendous burden in my life. If I don’t think about it, who will?”

I completely understand how you feel. If all of the hours I’ve spent thinking about student debt and allowing myself to wallow in regret about student debt were summed up, I’m pretty sure it would amount to a whole lot more time than I care to admit to anyone. So let’s start with one of the real reasons people get into unhealthy relationships with student debt: Regret. I suppose the real question is,

Is regret about taking out student loan debt a good enough reason to allow yourself to stay stuck in an unhealthy relationship with student debt?

To that I ask, who owns you? Do you belong to the institution that educated you? Do you belong to the owner of your student loan debt? Do you belong to that really irritating collections agency that keeps calling?

You own the decisions you love. You own the decisions you hate. You can pretend that you don’t own the decisions that compose the life you’re living, but that’s a sure recipe for staying stuck in self-pity and helplessness.

The good news is that you own your education. It’s yours. There’s no law that says you are limited in the activities you can pursue simply because you got an education in a particular area. It’s completely up to you how you use the education you’ve invested in, but regardless of how you choose to do that, that education now, and forever, will belong to you.

Process your feelings. Refuse to sink in them.

Feel what you feel about your student loan debt. But process those feelings, and please don’t let regret become the sledgehammer you take to your own existence and aspirations because you’re unwilling to treat student debt like a fact and yourself like the valuable human being you are.

Are you beating yourself up because you have student debt? Are you putting off major decisions because you’re afraid of what your life with student debt will look like? Are you running away from dealing with issues because you’re stressed about student debt?

If so, then it’s time to break up with student debt.

This is one breakup to look forward to.

Portions excerpted from Student Loan Debt Made Simple. Ebook editing credit to Ana Ottman, formatting credit to Kim Lawler.

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Aug 25, 2014

Can I move across the country if I’m still paying off my student debt?

The Point: Choose to be courageous and flexible so that you’re free to pursue the best opportunity for you.

Dealing with student debt is no excuse for staying trapped in a job situation that isn’t what’s best for you long-term.

To move or not move - 8-25-14

The Scenario

You’ve gotten pretty comfortable in the city you’re in, but you’re having a tough time finding new professional opportunities in your region. You’ve got great friends, you know where the good food is, and you’ve finally found the apartment that’s just the right fit for your lifestyle. The only thing you’re missing is job opportunities that fit with your long-term goals. Continue reading »

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May 30, 2014 Graduated Repayment Plan

Looking at the Graduated Repayment Plan

Boy, the things I didn’t know

I’m telling you. The volume of information I didn’t know about student loan repayment while I was still in school is astonishes me now. Seriously! I mean, my thoughts went somewhere along these lines: I know that I need to make monthly payments to get rid of my loans ASAP. So I guess I’ll pay whatever that happens to be. Pay as much as possible as quickly as possible to get these loans off my back as soon as possible. (Now that I look back, that last sentence was my motto.) I think I’d heard something about repaying my loans based on my salary, and I was pretty sure I could qualify for some pretty good repayment deals if I worked for the government or became a teacher. Other than that, I guess I figured I was pretty much on my own.

Continue reading »

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May 23, 2014 Get up close

Scared of student loans

Fear just isn’t my thing

Feeling afraid is a very disturbing thing. There’s something about fear that just tends to creep up and seep in deep. Before I know it, it’s almost as though my personality is disappearing, and all that’s left in its wake is fear. Then the fear begins to multiply. Fear of being afraid. Fear of what will happen if I remain afraid. Fear of what people will think if they knew how scared I was. Suffice it to say that letting fear in is like hopping into the washing machine when it’s stuck on an endless spin cycle.

Continue reading »

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May 22, 2014 Open your eyes

Federal Repayment Plans

Is it really that serious?

There are so many federal repayment plans that honestly, I often have no idea where to begin. Sometimes, when I think about choosing a repayment plan, I feel like Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade; should I choose the wrong cup I’ll immediately disintegrate and turn into a pile of dust. Seriously, it feels that serious. I’m not sure why that is. Perhaps it’s because when I look back on how I felt when I was making the decision to take out student loans I recognize how dramatically underinformed I was. When I think about how I felt when I decided to take out student loans to pay for my education a mixture of fear, anxiety, dread, and hope (that something good might come out of this borrowing) come bubbling to the surface. Frankly, I felt so blindsided when the realities of repayment hit me after graduation that I’m seriously inclined to default to paralysis and terror whenever decisions about student loan repayment come up. Hey, the truth isn’t always pretty.

Continue reading »

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