When I went back to college in my early twenties, I borrowed the money via student loans. I can’t remember the amount that I borrowed, but I do remember that I borrowed the absolute maximum I could. Like an idiot. Thankfully, it only took me a year and a half to graduate, so it wasn’t a huge amount of debt. It took me a while, but I paid it back. It wasn’t easy, because the interest rates are pretty high.
Years later, I did grad school, which took me a lot longer—four years. But I was smarter than before, and only borrowed what I had to. When I graduated, I owed a little north of $10,000. In spite of the fact that I had really good credit, the interest rate was really high, and even though I paid faithfully, I felt like I was swimming upstream.
Then one day a friend told me that the government had a program that could pay off my loan, if I met the qualifications. Actually, qualification, singular. Teach five years in a Title I school, and I could apply for partial or full loan forgiveness. As soon as I reached the five year mark, I applied. They said no. The reason was stupid: I failed to put the title of the district representative who signed the form. The form did not specify that I put that information down. Under the signature line, it put the title of the person: “superintendent of personnel,” or something. The man who signed off on my app had that title, so it seemed redundant to put that down again. But I re-applied, and was eventually approved for full loan forgiveness, which amounted to just under ten thousand dollars.
I was so grateful. And I didn’t feel like it was charity, because I had committed to stay at a Title I school, where a lot of people lit out for wealthier districts and private schools. So I get a little sick of all the whiners who are complaining about the government forgiving student loans. And I think I can say that, since I paid off one loan, and was the recipient of grace on another.
It isn’t clear to me why people are complaining. I guess they abhor welfare, or handouts. Or maybe they’re mad because they paid off their loans, and now others are getting theirs forgiven. Perhaps people are jealous because they didn’t go to college in the first place.
A couple things: first, the student loan program is jacked up. There needs to be a better way to make sure the loans are fair and equitable. Dave Ramsey pointed out that the same people who have been loaning money are still going to be loaning money. That makes no sense—if we are having to pay off loans because the system is messed up, shouldn’t we fix the problem? Second, how many of you whiners were the recipient of a free education? Most of you, I suspect. If you went to a public school, and you attended a vocational-technical school where you learned a trade, how can you complain? If you attended tech while in high school, it was free. How is that any different?
As the recipient of massive amounts of grace, I cannot complain that people are getting loans forgiven. I’ve been forgiven much, so therefore I should love much.