Friday, November 29, 2013

Help me eliminate my crushing student loan debt - One bitcoin at a time

Let me begin by stating I have always considered myself a fiercely independent self-maintaining individual, however I have found myself in a predicament many adults face, attempting to switch career directions in my early 30s.  Due to severe financial constraints I cannot change directions.  Let me briefly explain.

Like many teenagers/young adults I entered studies in a University under the assumption that furthering my education was both in the interest of myself, and our country (it sounds stupid, but it is truly what I believed).  I worked my butt off during undergrad, always holding down a decent job to pay for almost all expenses, and was able to finish with under $10k in debt, a very manageable amount.

Like many fools that have come before me, I made the terrible mistake of pursuing a professional degree.  I found this educational environment to be poorly structured, uninspiring, and devoid of innovation.  As most are aware the cost of professional degrees has skyrocketed in the last 15-20 years.  I was naive and viewed obtaining such a degree as an altruistic move.  I had very little financial advice from family, and I am sure most of you know the discussions regarding student loan debt at Universities is laughable, at best.

I jumped down the rabbit hole, and despite many red flags stuck out the time in purgatory. Flash a few years forward, and I have found myself in a job field that I profoundly dislike, limited earning for a long time to come, oh yeah, and ~$300,000 in federal debt (this bad boy accumulates $20,000 interest/year) and ~ $20,000 of private student loan debt. OUCH.

The truth about student loans:  If anyone thinks those are there to level the playing field, they are dead wrong.  It has been repeatedly demonstrated that social/class mobility in the United States is decreasing (and has been for some time).  With many student loans reaching in the 6-8% interest range they are a safe investment for wealthy.  Why?  They are government backed and enforced. Why put your money in a fund which only yields a return near that of inflation?  Even worse, unless you are a gambler, why enter into high-risk investments? Solution: Buy a heaping helping of student loans, offering a return above inflation.  If that person stops paying on their debt you have a big man with a big gun on your side, with the ability to garnish that person's pay or even imprison them (all for an education...pure madness).

I have been attempting to pursue a new career (unrelated to my one), but am locked in my current situation .  My student loan payments are close to $800/month (for basically my entire life).  You can imagine that between living expenses and loan management I am trapped. I have to earn above $50,000 a year (before taxes) to even stay half-way afloat.  My actual take home is essentially unchanged from what I earned as a fresh faced 19 year old with zero debt. I find myself.  Begging on the internet to strangers, to help my climb this hurdle in my life.  A place I never thought to be.

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