Do you ever think of suicide when it comes to your high student loan debt?
(Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline)
If you are wondering if you should end your life due to student loan debt, you are not alone. No, I have never thought about ending my life over student loan debt (there is no reason to with IBR and with the fact that lenders don't really care about student loan debt). Yet, many people focus on the number that they owe, a number that can oftentimes be quite high. They think that the life they see on television can not be attained as a result of their high student loan debt. And the result is that some people kill themselves because their student loan debt is so high.
There is no reason to end your life due to high student loan debt, however. The reality is that student loan debt is something that many people have. Even some very successful people carry student loan debt with them.
First, before you lament over your debt level, consider the fact that lenders oftentimes view student loan debt as 'good debt.' You may be thinking that there is no such thing as 'good debt' but you are wrong in this regard. Student loan debt that is constantly paid on time shows that you are a good credit risk. By showing that you are paying off your student loan debt and that you have college experience, you show lenders that you have the capacity to earn more than a person with no college experience and you are also showing lenders that you are a responsible borrower. If you have had trouble paying on your student loans in the past, do what you can do to become current again. There are some amazing programs like IBR out there (which means you can pay a very small percent of your monthly income towards your loans, and if you are making less than $30,000, the amount you will be paying is VERY small indeed).
Some people like to whine about IBR and create all sorts of conspiracy theories about how it may not be around, or how something else that is catastrophic may occur. Do not listen to such conspiracy theories. Negative thinking is what leads people to suicide. You must think positive and see the good that is in life. And there is plenty of good out there.
Life is not about money, prestige or being elite. If you think that then you will end up in a world of hurt. Life is about enjoying the time you have been given on Earth. It's about learning, discovering, and being a part of the human family. It's about being a steward to the Earth and asking certain questions that may not be able to be answered. It's about thinking and reflecting. It's about being thankful for the opportunity to live. How many people who end their lives are thankful? I strongly believe that those who are not thankful for the life that God gave them can never find happiness. That's why some people are so miserable in life.
The Media Often Lies
There are always a few people who will state that their debt has caused them to not be able to do the things that they want to do. However, many of these people never tell the whole story. News sources love to exaggerate and sensationalize the drama that debt causes in people's lives. Sadly, many young (and older) people listen to these sources and think that their lives will turn out in the same way. You are not the same as the person on television, however. You are a different person. News stories lie. People may not understand that, but much of what you see on television is NOT truth. Much of what you read in print is NOT the truth. Exaggerations sell. Reality is boring to many. Honest stories don't sell advertisements like lies do.
What do you want out of life?
If you are considering ending your life over student loan debt, instead, ask yourself is your life worth ending. Take a moment to think about what you are glad to have. Life is truly a precious thing, and negativity is never worth dwelling on. Student loan debt is a reality for many, but there are ways out. IBR is just one way to make debt payments manageable. Call your student loan debt servicer and ask about getting on a payment plan such as IBR or getting a deferment. Ask yourself if you can spend less to survive. Ask yourself if your house is too big (I know a person who has one child and a three bedroom house and complains of student loan debt constantly). Can you get a smaller place and save some money? Ask yourself what your goals are. Do you want to purchase land? If so, read my excellent article on purchasing land/a home with student loan debt.
Do you feel that student loan debt is making it so you can't get married?
Many people think that high student loan debt means that they can not get married or have a family. There is no reason why student loan debt should make it so you can not procreate or marry. Many people have happy marriages and service student loan debt. I have been married for twelve years and carry high student loan debt. My wife also has a good deal of student loan debt and will have much more when she is finished with school. Yet, we never fight or argue about it. Student loan debt is a fact of life in the modern world. It is something that people will have to adapt to if they want to go to college. People who think that they can not get married due to having student loan debt are much more likely to think of suicide.
Let me make myself abundantly clear right now:
YOU. CAN. GET. MARRIED. WITH. STUDENT. LOAN. DEBT.
If you think that you can not have a happy life with student loan debt, think again. If you think that you can not have children because you have student loan debt, THINK AGAIN.
Life is a precious gift, and you have to do what makes you happy in life. You have to get over this idea of prestige and being elite. These thoughts that the media has instilled in people is not based on reality. There is no such thing as a truly elite person. Everyone poops. Everyone gets sick. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone dies. Money is not all there is to life. Many so-called elite people spend their lives wanting more or wanting something else. Many so-called elite wish they had a happy relationship with a life partner or a good relationship with God.
Take some time to GET OFF THE INTERNET and spend time in the real world. Go meditate, do some yoga. Pray. Clear your mind of the fantasy world that exists online. Clear your mind from what others have told you that you can and can not do. I did what I wanted to do, and I am happy with my life. I owe HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of dollars, yet I will NEVER kill myself due to student loan debt. Life is far too precious to die over something like that. Millions of people have student loan debt, and hundreds more acquire it every day. It does not stop people from finding the life of their dreams. It does not stop people from getting married. It does not stop people from thriving. School has given you something, even if you don't see it. Ask yourself if you have grown since starting college. Ask yourself if you think about the world different. Perhaps you don't remember much of what you learned, but chances are you are a much different person as a result of college. You have hopefully grown, and you can still continue to grow. I feel that I got what I paid for with my debt, and it will take a while to get rid of. But I am glad I have it. Everything good in life has a price. My amazing education that has allowed me to see and understand places all over the world was worth the cost.