So I woke up on this glorious Monday to an email from my student loan company. “Alright,” I thought, “nothing unusual about that. I usually get one this time of the month, telling me how much money I owe them if a few weeks. Let’s just click this open and WAGAGABA!”
To make a long story short, I had the dubious honor of seeing my monthly minimum payment double.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t been paying much to my loans. Because I’m making so little working retail, I signed up for an income contingent plan that would calculate my monthly payment based on my meager paycheck. But I have at least been dutifully paying that minimum amount. But now it turns out that that minimum payment wasn’t enough.
True, I’ve been making more money than I was while in grad school, but that surplus has been going largely to paying bills, like my backup credit card that I use for things like car insurance and repairs. I figured that that one was more manageable, so I’d try to pay off that debt first, all the while (hopefully) chipping away at the mountain that is my student loan debt. You know, from that expensive architecture degree that’s been oh-so-useful to me since I received it.
As it turns out, my minimum loan payment wasn’t even covering the interest as I had hoped. I now owe more than I did when I started paying. How’s that for discouraging? I’m guessing what happened this month is that the interest I thought I had been covering finally got rolled into the principal balance, which means I’m now paying interest on the interest. Talk about discouraging.
Needless to say, I’m a bit upset. Sure, there’s probably more I could have done, things I could have researched to avoid the situation I’m in, but that just makes me feel even worse. I know I wasn’t paying much, but at least I felt like I was finally getting ahead. And now this happens, and I feel like any progress I’ve made has slipped from my grasp. It’s enough to make me wonder if I’m ever going to get ahead financially.
And what’s worse, is it’s not like I’m irresponsible with my money. My parents taught me well, I don’t spend more than I make, and I pay my bills on time. But somehow, I still ended up shackled by debt and stuck in a job I’m overqualified for. Hey Baby Boomers, are you listening? This is why my generation is so cynical about their future! The cards are stacked against us before we even start. We can do everything right, and still fail. IT SUCKS!