Friday, February 28, 2014

Should We Be Mad At Sallie Mae?

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Exactly six months after college graduation, Sallie Mae starts telling graduates to pay up. Just in case you haven't heard the name before, Sallie Mae is the largest student loan corporation out there. The minute you get to college, that is the financial aid offer people will waive in your face. Some people are lucky enough to have scholarships that take care of all costs, but others will go the route of getting that loan. Even if you choose to work while in school, you still see Sallie Mae as a way of helping you out. Of course, we all have to remember this money is meant to be paid back at some point.  However, at 18 years old your main thought process is making it through the year. Fast forward to six months after graduation.

You've made it through college and you may or may not have made it through the job search. No matter what situation you're in Sallie Mae is sending those notices. It is time to pay up. But what if you can't? I'll admit it's been four years since graduation and I still don't make enough to pay Sallie Mae back. Maybe if I still lived in my parents house and had no other bills, the money would be there. However, at 27 years old my parents don't want me there and I don't want to be living with them still. This fact doesn't stop the corporation from wanting it's money though. Should I be mad at Sallie Mae that I took out those loans to get through college, but can't pay them back now? 

I'll be as honest as possible with this answer. At 18 my dad walked me throughout the whole process of taking money to get through college. Money management is a part of his career, so it was only right to look up to him. On the other hand, when it was time to pay up and I didn't have the money, I felt attacked because I couldn't handle the responsibility. However, the loans weren't deferred. Sallie Mae started getting their money back, but it wasn't coming from my bank account. Part of me to this day is mad at Sallie Mae, but then another part of me is mad at the bigger picture. 

The thing about this corporation is there are financial risks like everything else. The longer we put off paying the higher the interest rates. The higher the interest rates, the longer it'll take the pay the loans off. Actually, even if they are getting paid, minimum payments still come with raised interest rates. There is no avoiding this when you just can't help it. Then there are the other problems. This is the biggest option tossed at an 18 year old and then years later jobs start you off with the minimum amount of money they feel like you are worth. You may get the job because of your college degree, but the job doesn't care about any of your bills; especially if that bill is for Sallie Mae. 

It is time we really think about the options for the future generations. I'm pretty sure my parents, aunts, uncles, etc. knew what would happen with the student loans. Sallie Mae currently owns $162.5 billion of student loan debt. Jobs do not pay us according to the cost of living. They pay us according to how much they think we deserve in that moment's time. We are living in a society where we are always taught that higher education is the answer. We are also teaching the younger generation that higher education is the answer. 

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