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.
So....here 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.