Finance

First Person: Consolidated Student Loan Regret! Why? Check this out

I have read stories in the past of outrageous student loan debt on how they get cash loans Auckland approval , for their further studies which laterally paid weekly on monthly, but I have yet to see in print someone as stupid as I when it comes to student loan debt consolidation. In 2001, I was married to who I thought was the man of my dreams, believing we would be together forever. I was working full-time and attending college full-time obtaining my BS in Sociology/Criminology. My Prince Charming was working full-time as well. We also were involved in a cross country legal battle for custody of his two children.

All extra income went to attorney fees and legal battles and we were up to our eye balls in debt, or should I say I was up to my eye balls, because I was the only one in the relationship that had decent credit to finance a car, get a credit card, or any type of personal loan. He made a lot more money, but I had the good credit. At this point, he had a brilliant idea… We would both attend college full-time and continue to work. We would get these very large student loans that would cover all of our living expenses while our other income went to the mounting legal fees.

Fast forward two years later, my hubby had dropped out of college, after all he was a master electrician and already made decent money. The custody battle was over and the results were too absurd to mention here. We racked up $45,000 in combined student loan debt. At this time, I must admit I had a complete brain malfunction and decided we could save a lot of interest if we consolidated our student loans together into one large loan with Sallie Mae. There was a consolidation program in the early 2000’s that allowed married couples to combine loans. It sounded great, but turned into my biggest mistake financially of my life.

What started as $25k in loans I truly used for my education turned into $45k in combined student loans that he has since walked away from after our divorce. There is no way to un-consolidate these loans and he has no intention of ever paying a dime towards his portion. The loan remains in both our names for the full $45k. I make payments month after month, hating how stupid I was to believe a man that never paid a single bill before we met, would suddenly pay after we parted.

The worst part of this, other than my complete stupidity, is the fact the man makes north of $100k per year and could care less about this debt. He knows I will not let the loan default. I make $35k a year working as a case manager for a local government agency. Luckily, these consolidation loans are no longer available so others wont be able to make this same mistake.

This was a very hard and costly lesson to learn and one I will be paying for until I am 65. I live with a reminder monthly to never mix finances with love, no matter how sure it will be forever. I may hate the payment every month but it is my obligation, my costly mistake and the life lessons I have learned, which along with my degree are priceless.

Paola

Paola Garcia lives in Jakarta Indonesia. She is an associate professor in University of Indonesia and also managing Scoopinion at the same time. She is also fond of watching theatrical plays.

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