I’m pretty popular. On any given day, my phone rings at least 10 times. It rings so often that I’ve started to remember the numbers that call me. I probably should go ahead and save the contact in my cell phone directory but I’ve got those digits stamped in my brain. A lot of times I can’t pick up and chit chat though because they call when I’m trying to work. Or they call when I’m trying to get ready for work, or when I’m cooking dinner, taking a shit or driving. My phone rings off the hook. Like I said, I’m popular.
But I don’t have many friends that live in this new city I was forced to move to. So I think I’ve decided that I’ll create names for all of these numbers that continuously call me–I think I’ll turn these depressing private student loan debt collectors into friends. It’s Jack from Florida. Sarah from Ohio. Luke from Lincoln. Barb from Texas. Those are the few I can recall at this moment. Those four are my BFFs. They can’t go a few hours without trying to hear my voice. And they don’t understand why I get so angry when I’m finally able to answer and all they want is my money for a student loan payment–the money that I don’t have.
So these private student loan debt collectors are going to become my friends, my pals, my buddies.
Instead of getting annoyed when I’m asked to repeat my address for the fifteenth billion time, I’ll giggle and say, “Oh Jack, can’t you write it down this time so the next time you want to send me mail (bills) you don’t have to call and ask again?” And I’ll create small talk… lots of small talk. I mean, after all, the people on the other end of the line probably are barely paid above minimum wage, and most likely have upset people yelling at them or hanging up on them by the hour. I’ll change that. I’ll chit chat their hearts out. I’ll feed them so much kindness that they’ll forget to ask me to make a student loan payment with the money that I don’t have. I’ll take up twice as much time as they are take up of mine. And then we’ll both end the conversation with dignity regardless of whether or not they got the money that I don’t have.
Will the harassment ever stop? I can only hope. It’s a bad catch 22. I can potentially lose my job or be denied a job because of my poor credit. Yet I cannot make payments unless I obtain a high paying job. I’ll continue to barely scrape by, like debating on going to the doctor, while wincing at the $25 co-pay because I’d have to make yet another late student loan payment. This is not okay. Why don’t they realize that I don’t have the money? Why can’t Congress establish regulations requiring private student loans to adopt income based repayments? President Obama, do you hear me? Hello? Hellllo? Can I call you 10 times a day?
Private student loans make up at least $100 billion of the student loan debt accumulated in the United States. By the time I finish paying my private student loans, I will have paid at least more than double than what I borrowed. My only option is to attempt to consolidate with a credit union that will grant me a lower interest rate, however, my credit is so poor that I never am approved. And the last time I asked someone to cosign for me, well, they cosigned their life away to Chase private student loans and Sallie Mae private student loans, and there’s no way in hell that they will ever cosign on anything for anyone ever again.
Oh, and those cosigners, they’re friends with Jack, Sarah, Luke and Barb. They get those calls daily, too.
It’s a small world after all.