What a tease the federal government is. I'm like a dog who thinks the ball probably got thrown but knows deep down you just hid it behind your back. I can't help but want to trust, but they've broken me.
And then --
Could they really be considering it? Yeah, they really did bring my interest rates down to zero. How very kind.
That's not even all my loans. They're spread across multiple different loan servicers, one of which was dumped off to another servicer a couple of weeks ago, and I've gotta deal with that life interruption *checks watch* at some point within the next month. So yeah, functionally, that 0.000% does practically nothing. As of 2018, fewer than one-quarter of student loan debt-havers had been able to pay past the amount of accrued interest and into the principal. It's how you end up with stories like this.
So even though the interest rate is now zero, a whole bunch of people have got so much interest on their loans, even a few months' worth of payments (which we're still required to pay during this coronavirus crisis) won't let them tap into the principal. The math is just unreal. That $1200 stimulus definitely went towards student loan debt for a lot of people. In my case, a Federal Stafford Loan, the government just got their own money back.
Now, for this second round of stimuli, there was very serious talk that they were going to cancel $10,000 worth of student loan debt. That's a step in the right direction. But nope, they're backing off that, too -- apparently it "costs too much" to include. What a chickenshit move backed by bullshit logic. Are the Democrats stupid, malicious, oblivious, or all three?
It doesn't "cost too much," it's just the temporary lowering of a revenue stream. The government is profiting off us. Before I get accused of being some whiny millennial, I absolutely believe in paying one's debts, and I have been paying mine faithfully for almost five years now. I'm one of the rare people I know who's begun to hit their principal, and I got there by making sacrifices in my budget and getting creative. But the government is still raking in thousands in profit when I pay interest every year, and that's gotta be exponential when you think about the millions of other people in the same boat or worse.
A lot of the big talk when the Trump administration passed their big tax cut thingamajig was how it was going to "put money back in the pockets" of Americans, and given my tax bracket, that money back in my pocket looked negligible at best. You know what would really put money back in my pocket and "stimulate the economy"? Canceling my student loan debt, which in some months (because one of my loans is quarterly, gotta budget extra for that!) can be anywhere from three to six car payments. Now, these stimulus packages are leaving human beings and small businesses in the dust so that there can be even more goddamn tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations. All those tax breaks are doing is breaking my bank account's kneecaps.
On a personal level, what sucks is knowing that I did everything right, and I'm still scared to look at my bank account balance. I graduated on time, got a job in my field with the company I interned for in college, and I've still had to look for creative ways to juggle my budget to keep on top of this mountain of shit. I've been so fortunate to have been already working from home with Cracked for 8 years now, but I'm still spending 3-4 days a week working at Domino's in the middle of a global pandemic because, sure as a bear shits in the woods, the only advice anyone has for paying down student loan debt quickly is to "have a side hustle." But, at least my dean isn't dancing over my tuition woes.
I worked my tail off to get into a good college, and I've been pushing 60 hour work weeks for five years now so the government can finance tax breaks for the wealthy. Cancel student loan debt, you shitty cowards. A lot of us are holed up at home with a lot of time to learn how to build a guillotine.
Top Image: Tumisu/Pixabay