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Depression and My Life

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ladycaet View Drop Down
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Joined: 10/November/2009
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    Posted: 11/November/2009 at 5:20pm
 As I mentioned in the RAP forum, I started community college in 2007. In the first few weeks, I lost 2 close family members unexpectedly, and my parents separatedly unexpectedly. The stress of those situations threw me into a minor depression, but the course I was taking (culinary) was also very stressful and I wound up in a severe depression. My mind was so off-course that I never did finish the first semester, and I had to quit my part-time job and just not work for a while. The school refunded the second semester to student loans, but my first semester is still owing. 
 Because I was off work due to mental illness, I had almost no income coming in. My rent/utility bills and such just climbed and climbed, until I had nothing left. I had to let go of my apartment and move in with my sister until I was significantly better and able to work.
 I returned to full-time employment in September 2008, as a Nanny, which was about all the stress I could handle. Nannies do not get paid much, and I was eligible for interest relief. In Jan 2009, I got hired as staff at a non-profit that I volunteered for, and I went to a credit counselling service to get all of those unpaid bills from the previous year sorted out. I am now on a debt management program, and they tell me that in 4 years I should be clear of all of that, without declaring bankruptcy. 
 I have come a long way since my serious round of depression, and my hope was to be able to go back to school and finish what I started. To do this, I needed to apply for another student loan. All of a sudden, I'm now in an amazingly stressful situation - apparently with my new job that I've been working at, my gross income is 2.50$ more/month than is allowed. I am not eligible for interest relief, and the appeal that I sent to interest relief in May forced my application into the RAP program. I found out 2 weeks ago on Oct 26 that I was approved for RAP, and owe 45$/mth on this program - but it has been backdated to August 2009.  I am already behind by 3 months, and I'm just finding out now because the decision was only made on Oct 26. 
 I cannot go back to school because I am behind on my payments. I cannot make the payments, because my net income isn't high enough to support that while I continue to pay the debt management program for the uninsured expenses relating to my illness in 2007. Every person I talk to at the call center tells me a different story with the same ending: you owe us money and I don't care that you were sick.  Every person at the call centre treats me like I'm a liar, and that I am "keeping" their money to buy luxury things like TVs (i don't even own one) and shoes (try groceries - at 10$/week, I can barely afford to keep myself fed). 
 I conquered depression once, but every single time I get a call/talk to someone at the CSL call centre/Tricura, I get off the phone feeling like a failure. I'm 24, and I'm realizing that because I was seriously ill for a year, I will likely always be in debt and unable to get a decent credit rating. 
 I can't even get a higher paying job, because once employers find out that I left school without my diploma due to a mental illness, they don't want to hire me.
 Life would be soooo much easier if:
1)  a money tree fell from the sky
2) I won the lottery
3) I could get the loan again to go back and finish my program and actually have the paper qualifications to do what I do now, so that I can get paid the fair rate for my position.
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lalala View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lalala Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15/November/2009 at 2:21pm
Originally posted by ladycaet ladycaet wrote:

 
3) I could get the loan again to go back and finish my program and actually have the paper qualifications to do what I do now, so that I can get paid the fair rate for my position.
 
What makes you think your current employer (or any employer) wants to pay you more just because you hold paper qualifications?  What if you are the most employable right now, and what if the credentials will just make you a less desirable hire.  The student always says 'but now I am more skilled ...isn't that better for the employer'?  Often the answer is no.  A successful restaurant depends on many factors ...if the place is packed and the owner can get by with paperless staff, then she or he will.  In many cases the slight improvement an educated employee brings doesn't justify the higher salary they will demand to be paid ...and needs to be paid to cover their education costs.
 
This happens a lot in my field of IT ...a great deal of IT work is being pushed onto general office staff because no one wants to pay for an IT professional.  Are they losing productivity because of this?  Yes, of course they are ...sometimes big time.  But they don't care ...the risk of possible loss from using people who are just 'good enough' often beats out over the guaranteed loss of the higher salary for the guy who does the job to perfection.  Perfection is usually unimportant to an employer if 'good enough' is good enough to keep the profits rolling in.
 
Many modern companies rotate out older, more experienced staff and replace them with lower paid, less experienced workers.  Does business suffer?  Maybe a little, but the cost savings are huge.  In today's world of short term profit where the balance sheet rules and the quality of a business only matters in the very long, long term ...being educated and highly experienced can actually work against you in todays market.
 
I know this is a controversial thing to say, but maybe you should rethink going back to school.  If you think your payments are difficult to meet now, wait until to spend 10, 20, or 30 thousand more dollars and have to start making payments on that.  Even if you do get a higher paying job, is it going to be enough to offset the student loan payments for the next 10 - 15 years?  My post school jobs paid higher wages than my pre school jobs ...but at the end of the month I actually made less money because of the student loans ...and it wasn't long before I imploded financially.
 
Schools selling bogus credentials that you don't even need and that won't even help you are another aspect of the student loan scandal that doesn't seem to get much mention.  What, no one thought to blame the school?  Sheesh, have you seen those commercials on TV ... "I was a loser, and now I own a yacht ...all thanks to joe blow tech."  These places are a moral hazard ...but they generate employment for instructors and create a small economy, so they are considered valid by those who might otherwise regulate some of the lies they tell inside of their intake offices.
 
I would just hate to see you graduate into an even worse situation, so please give it a lot of thought before you get yourself even deeper into debt.  $45 a month is sure better than $400 a month, or $800 a month, or $1200 a month ...so be very careful!  You could wind up with the same job for the same pay and a whopping big student loan to pay back.
 
I would advise you to get out while you still can ...run for your life!
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fwhite View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fwhite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18/May/2011 at 5:21pm
Some people lose it when they get too much loans than they could handle.  Life can really be simple if those three things would happen but that is not the way it goes. You have to work hard for it.  i would think that these are just a series of trials that are helping to shape you up to be a better character.

You would know when people are in dire need if they resort to buying lottery tickets but that would not ensure the solution to your problem. You still have to work for it in order to be able to pay off. That might sound a very hard struggle but let's face it, we got no other choice.
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