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No More Back Up Plan

11 Apr

You may recall a short while ago I blogged about thinking about going back to University, specifically, going to Law School. I was torn between being a grown up, sucking it up, and just going already and following my dreams and staying with the acting. I had almost convinced myself that I would start studying for the LSATs and take the necessary steps to apply.  I would be a good lawyer, shrug, and I’m sure I would find it entertaining and challenging but it’s not acting. Nothing will ever be as good an option as acting. However, acting doesn’t pay very well unless you make it to the top and I’m sick and tired of being poor.

Turns out I don’t get to make the decision about going back to school, the government has chosen for me.

For those not in Canada let me explain how student loans work here. You apply, hopefully you get money, you go to school. Once you have been done school for a certain amount of time (6 months or a year, I can’t remember which) you are supposed to start paying back your student loans. However, if you are poor, which most recent graduates are, and not making a lot of money you can apply for Repayment Assistance. You send in a form, the people that manage the paying back of government student loans look at the form and decide if you are so poor you don’t have to make monthly payments.

I have always been that poor. 😦

When you qualify for Repayment Assistance the government pays the interest on your loan and you don’t have to make any payments, or you might have to make payments but small ones that are calculated based on what you earn.

Like I said, since graduation I have always been poor enough that I haven’t had to make monthly payments.

Well, the student loan people in all their “wisdom” have decided that I can now somehow magically afford to make monthly payments on my student loan. Uh, what?? I go a good 3 out of 4 weeks every month unable to buy groceries and only survive food wise because I work somewhere that has a kitchen and the chefs will feed me. I literally live paycheque to paycheque and now I have to find an extra $90 a month to give the student loan people??

student loans

Who does the math over there?? Do they not realize I live in a ridiculously expensive city? That I live on my own and therefore have to rely on my paycheque to pay for everything, no spouse/partner to help me out? That I have car payments? That I have other bills that I struggle to pay? Do they not realize that a person, no matter how little money they make, still needs to have enough left over every month so they can buy something fun otherwise they will go a little nuts?

The thing is, they know everything about me due to the nature of the organization. They have all kinds of info about me because of lending me money for school. They know what I earn, what my expenses are, where I live, the cost of living here, that I am human and sometimes need to buy something fun, they just don’t care.

They were more than willing to loan me money when I was younger, and stupider, and didn’t really grasp how hard life would be when I was done school, living on my own and trying to make ends meet and now that I am older, hopefully a bit wiser, and in the stage of life where I should be paying them back but can’t afford to, they don’t care.

They want their cut, just like everyone else and screw my need for groceries, rent, or anything else my money strains to pay for now.

As if that wasn’t mean enough the letter I got from them today telling me how much my monthly payments are also says:

“you are now restricted from future student financial assistance benefits, in the form of new student loans and grants should you decide to return to school in the future”

Huh.

So, even if I was the most gung-ho person ever with regards to going back to school it wouldn’t matter, cause I can’t afford it, they won’t give me money for it, and even if I somehow found a way to earn extra money I wouldn’t be allowed to save it up because they would increase how much I have to pay them every month.

While I can see the logic of not continuously loaning money out to people who can’t pay it back I can’t help but feel the system is flawed. I went to University, did well, decided to pursue an acting career, haven’t made money at it (yet!) and am now thinking about going to Law School. I’m pretty sure the argument can be made that lawyers will always be needed and it is a slightly more secure career path than acting, so you’d think they’d be ok with helping someone go to school so they can then earn a higher income which would enable them to not only be a more financially contributing member of society but also pay back their student loans.

But since the world isn’t run using my logic I must follow the rules they have set out, flawed as they are, which means no possibility of law school for me.

Good bye back up plan *waves somberly at UBC Law Department* guess I won’t be seeing you soon.

student loan meme

Sidenote: I am well aware not being able to pay back a student loan is a “first world problem” and I don’t mean to come off as a whiny, spoiled brat, I’m just frustrated with the student loan system. you can’t get a well paying job without a University education, you can’t get a University education without student loans, tuition keeps getting hiked up which means loan amounts keep getting hiked up but once you graduate the promised well paying jobs are not there and so you are shackled with a huge amount of debt, with a high interest rate, and a low paying job. All because you followed the rules that said going to University was the way to succeed. *rolls eyes*

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2 Responses to “No More Back Up Plan”

  1. carligreen April 11, 2014 at 3:40 am #

    God forbid when I get to the stage of having to pay back my student loans. These systems really need to buck up their ideas or actually start helping students instead of making them one of their top incomes. Ergh goverments… can’t live with them, can’t live without them!

    • shrinkingwmn April 13, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

      You’re lucky you aren’t at the paying back stage yet – wanna trade? 😉 lol

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