My student loan story is a lot more pathetic that my wife’s adventures with student loans. When I left high school I went right into college but I didn’t take things seriously. After two semesters of college as a 17 and 18-year-old, I managed to accumulate a 1.2 GPA and five total credits. Of course this means that I failed most of the classes that I took, and for many where I didn’t get an F I still got a D which meant that I simply failed with a little more dignity.
What this meant for me is that once I left school after the first year, I had to take on a series of dead-end jobs – I estimate that I worked at least 15 jobs between the time that I graduated from high school and the time that I decided to go back to school. I talked a little about my financial situation before going back to school – I had accumulated over $25,000 worth of debt through a car accident while uninsured (this was somewhat not my fault), legal troubles, and the fact that I was bouncing from one low-paying job to the next.
Once I decided to go back to school I was still in debt, I was working a full time and a part-time job, and I was living on my own with a car loan and other financial responsibilities.
Getting Into Serious Debt With Student Loans
I knew that the only way I would be able to pay my tuition would be through whatever type of financial aid I was eligible for (including student loans). Unfortunately, I was not eligible to have financial aid cover the majority of my tuition, so I had to take out student loans.
Fortunately, I was able to take a lot of credits each semester (first I had to bring up my GPA to university standards by retaking the classes that I failed during my first college career) and I even took up to 15 credits each summer! Because of that I was able to complete a Bachelors and Masters degree in three years. So even though I accumulated a lot of student loan debt, had I gone the traditional route or just taken things a little slower I would definitely have more than double the amount of my student loans repayment obligation than I have now.
My Biggest Mistake Concerning My Education
The reason I stated that my case was more pathetic than my wife’s is because when I got out of high school our financial situation was such that I had 100 percent of my tuition and fees covered by financial aid and grants. So this means I could’ve earned my bachelors degree for free, and had I done nearly as well academically as I did when I went back, I would’ve had a free ride in graduate school as well.
I know that God used my mistakes and failures to steer me in a different direction and also to build my character, so I am not complaining. However, I can definitely say that 100% of my student loan debt is due to my own foolishness and inability to take advantage of the perfect opportunity when I was younger.
So there you have it, I accumulated the bulk of my debt while pursuing an education, but it was completely avoidable.
Read more about how we got into debt!
- Did you have to rely on student loans in order to fund your college education?
- If so, do you think it was worth it?
- How many people do you know who decided to go back to school later in life? What struggles did they have to deal with?
© 2013, Khaleef “Fat Guy” Crumbley. All rights reserved.