Friday, January 20, 2012

Overwhelmed with debt...

I am only 21 years old and I have an astronomical amount of debt going on already. Unlike most college students it's not from spending money frivolously or debt on a credit card. It's not from bills that I just forgot to pay, or from payments on things that I don't really need. I've actually taken very, very good care of my finances and unfortunately this debt is completely out of my control. That's whats so frustrating.
Nearly every college student has debt from student loans. I've been fortunate to have only needed to take out of the subsidized loans so I don't have to pay anything while in school, and I have a 6 month grace period from when I stop going to school. I can also apply for medical deferment since I have a lot of medical issues and medical related debt to pay. Yes - I'm thankful for that. But I already have $24,000 in loans that I've used to help get me through school and life. That's a super big number for me! So far we're up to $24,000 in debt (longer term, since it can wait)

I had to withdraw from classes last semester because of Spencer declining so quickly. There was just NO way I could have ever kept up with my classes. But because I withdrew, I still have to pay for the classes - and financial aid (ie my grants) got withdrawn because I was no longer full time. So therefore I owe the university over $4,000 for my classes last semester. I wanted to move back to Utah and go back to school in the fall but I can't attend classes again until I pay back what I owe. So it's looking like sure I can move back, but I will have to work full time until I get enough money to completely pay off what I owe.
Of course I could save up money right now while I am living with my parents and have a part time job. For what I am doing and around here - it's good pay... but it's really not a lot when I start to consider everything that I have to pay for. I'll barely get $2,000 from this job in total before I move back to Utah. I have to use about $600 of that for food and about $500 for the phone bill. -sigh- So that doesn't leave me with much left. PLUS I really want to do something for ME. I need a break. I feel like I deserve it. And so I wanted to travel a little bit this summer... just to get away and set my mind free. to set ME free. But it's hard to actually allow myself to do this when I see all the debt I have building up.

Now for the 3rd thing I have to pay off... because of my Crohn's disease I am supposed to get colonoscopies once a year to make sure that I don't have inflammation or ulcerations, to make sure there are no polyps and if there are to remove them, to check for strictures, and to check for any cancer. They actually, are pretty important since I've had Crohn's over 8 years. Well I had a colonoscopy a couple of summers ago thinking that my student insurance would cover the majority of it. I also had some biopsies done and a bunch of blood work done. I knew I would be left with a little bit to pay, but didn't think it would be much. Long story short - at the last minute they backed out of paying for it so I have well over $2,000 in debt from a scope that I NEEDED. (and trust me I tired to fight all of this... It's all just crappy student health insurance that doesn't work when you are chronically ill...) I tried to pay what I could every month but they told me it wasn't enough and then sent me to collections. So I am getting dinged with a lot of interest on MY medical bill. It could very well be over $3,000 at this point =/

So that's a total of $7,000 that really needs to payed off. The school debt is the most important to me, though because I WANT TO GET MY DEGREE!!!!!

Now I am getting bills for Spencer's hospitalization in the ICU. Can you believe that it totaled just shy of $800,000. We were only lacking $400! Thank heavens he had really good insurance... I am stuck with $220.00 for this bill. Out of nearly $800,000. Honestly - I can accept that.. But I am just upset that it falls in my hands. I don't exactly what this is for - what insurance didn't cover - I need to call them... but even though it's JUST $220 - that adds up and it's hard to pay when you just really don't have much income. They want a minimum payment of $75 every month. I guess maybe I could do that - but it doesn't leave me with much left over for food and my cell phone bill (still having to pay for Spencer's too unless I want to pay over 200 dollars to cancel it. ugh).

Spencer has some debt on his line of credit at the bank as well. We were doing our best to pay it off while he was alive. We couldn't give much but we made the monthly payments we were supposed to. That was with his income. Now that he's gone I'm stuck with about $600.00 that I still need to pay off. And no this wasn't any kind of frivolous purchase either. It was a mistake that was made while Spencer was drugged up and really had no idea what he was doing..... Ugh LONG story.

Do you see where I'm getting. I'm COMPLETELY overwhelmed. I'm REALLY upset that I have all of this debt - and especially since over $2,000 of it is in collections. My credit score is probably absolutely terrible. I have done nothing to build it up - I've never had to pay for a credit card or rent or really anything good that reflects my credit. So it's already going down. I can't AFFORD the monthly payments they want me to pay. I don't know what to do.

How am I supposed to get anywhere in life with this burden. I just want to start fresh and build a life for myself. How am I supposed to get an apartment with no credit? And BAD credit at that.
I just don't know. I mean I know there are ways around things - but I just want to be INDEPENDENT! =(

I don't want all of this debt burdening me. I want to be free =/

I just really needed to vent. I'm frustrated.

EDIT: Getting this out made me feel a lot better... I know that I'm not completely stuck and things can turn around, yes. I was just REALLY frustrated and overwhelmed at the time. As I said - I'm feeling much better now...


  1. My brother works for a collection agency in the legal section. He told me about something called "charity." Almost all agencies have it, but they won't tell you about it. Call them up and ask them if you can fill out a charity application, and they basically waive the amount. I've used it for some of my outstanding bills, and they weren't nearly as large as yours.

  2. Also, is the $4000 owed to the school or to loans? If it's the school, perhaps they will be willing to forgive part or all of it for hardship.

    Good luck, not fun!!

  3. i know all about hospital debt, and it sucks. right when i get something paid off, i land in the hospital again. a one week stay was $92,000! if you have a paypal account set up, you could ask for donations. thats something i've been doing as of late, or i make things and sell them on facebook. debt is a big anxiety inducer, especially when you get that red envelope for something that was sent to collections. contact the school and see if they offer a work study program. or a student forgiveness type thing. if you need a high paying job, look into banking. tellers usually start around $10 an hour and they offer health insurance. good luck