I attended Rochester Institute of Technology from 2012 – 2016 and received a bachelor's degree in New Media Design, graduating with honors. Over the course of my four years there, I met amazing people, helped with student organizations like Art House and Thought @ Work (a student run design convention), and learned from some of the most amazing professors.
However, that all comes with a price. Due to my financial background, I wasn't able to receive enough federal loans or government grants and was forced to look to private lenders to fill in the gaps. I have accrued $120,000 in student loan debt with SoFi. My monthly payments are $950.20 over a 20 year term. I have a high interest rate, no more forbearance or deferment options, and have been told their hands are tied with helping me lower my monthly payments.
Last year, I was laid off from work at a company in New York City. I moved back home to Rochester, NY and struggled to find more work while working freelance. On top of this, I struggle with extreme bouts of depression and mental illnesses. All of this stress, anxiety, and depressive episodes stem from my financial instability with my student loans.
Currently, I've managed to find part-time work and moved in with some close friends in Lenexa, Kansas. But my part-time job is only enough to cover my basic cost-of-living expenses; rent, food, basic bills, and some credit debt. I am doing everything I can to find more substantial work.
I need my life back. This debt is so crushing and prevents me from doing anything with my life other than work and worry myself into poorer and poorer health.
If you can give something, anything, I would be extremely grateful. I want this debt gone so I can focus on my mental health, getting better, and giving back to the community in some way. Even helping others in my situation.
My last month of forbearance is April, and payments need to start back up on May 3rd. I can do very little on my own right now, but I may be in default in as little as 120 days if something doesn't change.
I will keep working to find more money myself, but in the meantime, please help me if you find it in your heart.
- Ian Gilbert
- Nancy Hicks
- jeff weis
- Sarah Federman
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