I started college in 1993 as a non-traditionally aged student at 38 years old. I was a single parent,working full time,commuting over an hour each way to classes, and believing that a college degree was going to better my life. I wanted to be a good example to my four children by achieving my Fine Arts degree, even though I was well aware that it was going to be a struggle. I had no money so I had to use student loans along with grants and scholarships. After seven long years I graduated with my B.F.A. I had accumulated some debt but I had a plan. I was prepared to work two jobs for about five years to pay the debt down as much as possible,then when I hit 50 years old I would attach whatever ammount was left to my mortgage, hopefully not raising that beyond my means. What happened was a few months after graduation I found a lump in my breast and was diagnosed with cancer. I was shocked. I'd thought I was healthy, never smoked or drank in my entire life. But I had to take two back to back defferments on my student loans. When the time came to pay,the monthly amount was now $130 more than it had been the year before and I couldn't pay it. In 2002-2003 I worked two jobs and paid $400 a month,$399 of which went to the interest on the loan.My interest is 9 and 3/4%.I lost my primary job in 2003 and could no longer make the payments. I was offered a hardship defferment, and hoped my circumstances would change. As of 2014 I am now expected to make payments of over $700 a month until I am 90 years old. It is beyond therealm of reality to think I will ever be able to pay this debt off by traditional means. I will be 60 this coming fall. I do not want to go into default on this loan,nor shirk the responsibility of paying it back but the amount of interest is now closing in on triple what the initial debt was even though I paid back thousands already. I just want to draw and write and get my children's books out into the world. I believe I have something good to offer. And I want the opportunity to live peacefully and create my art for a few more years.I need a miracle. I am trying every single way I can think of to make this debt a thing of the past. I know the stress of it makes me sick. Please buy my books,World. I want to pay off this debt.
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