Free Money

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I graduated from high school and went to college. I did actually choose my school (which I ended up hating) based on cost. It was by far the cheapest college around, even though it was a private school. However, I’m sure I could’ve gone to a different school for cheaper if I had even for a second, thought about applying for any scholarships… Sounded like a lot of work though.

I remember sitting in the student loan office with my mother that first year, signing our lives away. I also remember how cool it was when I got extra checks from the loan company. “Whoa they already paid for my loan and there’s money left over that they’re just GIVING me!! This is so cool! I can buy my books and then have money to go out with for the semester.”

Oh my word, just remembering that thought process is making me cringe. I was SO. PUMPED. Free money! With an interest rate.

I did this 3 more times. How amazing that these kind people at the loan office really wanted to make sure that I was in a good spot in college so they gave me those extra funds over and over again!!

I will never forget the day in November of 2008 when I got my first bill from AES.

You owe $260 per month until 2023.

Oh. My. Gosh. What have I done?

But then suddenly this payment became normal. Just a part of life.

So I did what any person would do – went back to school. I started grad school in 2012 and while my loans were through a different company, they were just as nice as my undergrad people! They gave me free money too! This time at a higher interest rate, but it’s still so awesome! I don’t have to worry about that until the bill comes in!

So basically what I’m saying is that I’m not a quick learner.

The $20,000 for the program quickly turned into well over $30,000.

[I would like to make it known that it has been 5 years and I’m currently still above the amount I was told the program would cost when I first inquired. Oh, that makes my stomach hurt. The good news is that it is the last loan we’ve got and it will be paid off shortly.]

The funny thing is that I desperately want to go back to school. However, I have learned my lesson. I will do no such thing until I can do it without taking out any kind of loan. I don’t need that additional stress in my life.

Who else has fallen into this trap?

Never again.