Death and student loans

Ok. They really need to stop putting “death” right there on the options of ways to “cancel or discharge your student loans.”

I mean, the least they could do would be to include some type of warning, like “please do not attempt to do yourself” or you know, SOMETHING.

But no, it’s just listed there. Right under, “School owes you a refund” and above, “public service employee loan forgiveness.”

I’m just saying, $51,000 is a desperate amount of debt at 26 years old, and people might take the “death” advice the wrong way.

Not me. But other people.

Me – I’ve just decided to live on whatever is cheaper than ramen noodles, thank you very much.

Here’s the thing, I haven’t um, well, I haven’t really been paying off my loans, mostly due to the fact that I enjoy eating. Daily.

Don’t get me wrong, I tried to work with these people, but they’d be all “we need $600 a month” and then I’d be all “I can’t afford that. How’s $50 sound?” and they’d be all “No. We need $600.” So I would pretend like I was all on board and that I could magically get the money.

But I couldn’t.

I’m a journalist. We don’t even make money. We just get free pens and stacks of post-its for our work.

So I wouldn’t pay them anything, and then well, that was kind of like two years ago.

My one friend who knows all this, has been telling me that I need to deal with it. And I knew he was right. I knew the loans were just sitting there like bad Mexican food in my stomach waiting to be vomited up.

But I didn’t know what to do.

Then, I grew up, and talked to my loan company. Which is actually my “whatever the name of the company that takes over for the loan company when your loans are in default” company. And by “grew up and talked to my loan company” I mean, they called me at work and I can’t be having that, so FINE I WILL TRY TO WORK WITH YOU.

I was all on board when the woman was explaining that all I had to do was make nine monthly payments on time and Viola! The loan would come out of default and it would be like it never even happened on my credit report.

But then she told me the payment amount.

“We just need $1,000 today and then a monthly payment of $728.”

My jaw disconnected from my skull and dropped right onto the tile floor.

“Umm, I just explained to you that I have $170 in my checking account.”

“Well that’s what we need.”

“That’s not going to happen.”

“Well, why don’t you just call us back on Tuesday and let me know if your finances have changed.”

Seeing as how my scratch ticket was total crap, and that I didn’t manage to marry a wealthy anything on Saturday – they didn’t.

Actually, I take that back. They did change. I spent about $80 on gas and food. Leaving me a solid $90 in the account.

I called back to tell them the news.

“Oh. Yes, well I do realize that $728 was a little high.”

You think?

“How about if I ask if you can do our affordable and reasonable plan?”

I like those words.

“That would be just $364 a month.”

Wait, what do affordable and reasonable mean to you?


And then she’s all, “OK. Now I just need the first payment and we can get things rolling.”

So I start post-dating my debit transaction over the phone with this woman and whatnot and she’s all “OK, so we’ll charge $728 to your account on Monday then.”

And I’m all “Can’t breathe. Need air. Help.”

“Ya. That’s not going to happen. My take-home pay is about $890 every two weeks, and I have a car payment and a car insurance payment, and a medical bills payment, on this check.”

Five more minutes of her supposedly negotiating with her supervisor go by, and finally I’m told that, LUCKY ME, I can split the first payment in half over a month’s time.


I guess.

So that’s my plan right now.

My, “life sucks, and I’ll never have any money ever, and holy cow $51,000 was a lot of money for a couple stupid diplomas that I could have made myself on Photoshop,” plan.

Pretending that – seeing as I how I have no savings at all – I can somehow, after making each of the first two payments, live on $145 for the first two weeks (do-able. ish.) and then, umm, $16 for the next two weeks (less doable), let’s break down how this payment plan will affect my monthly finances once I’m JUST paying the $368 – shall we?

I make $1,820.50 in take-home pay a month.

Subtract: Rent, car payment, car insurance, $17 for Jazzercise (it’s actually $37, but my company pays $20), $100 a month for medical bills and $10 a month for a prescription I take and you’re left with:


Then take away $368 a month for this loan payment.


Then take away $50, fine, $40 a week for gas.

We’re down to: $398.50

Divide that by four, and I’m left with $99.62 a week for food, and um, everything else. Clothes, car repairs, random medical things, tithing, spending money on church activities, buying toilet paper.


Maybe I should be embarrassed that I apparently can’t get my crap together enough to either a. somehow get enough money for pay for this or b. live on $99.62 a week. And, maybe I shouldn’t go around broadcasting this for all the Internet world to read.

But it’s there. It’s sitting on my brain all the time as I drive around, or look at Facebook, or pee.

It’s there like a big shining spotlight that reaches every section of my life.

So now it’s here too. Feel free to judge away if it makes you feel better.

As for me, I’m looking into my options, praying every three seconds and hoping the money fairy would just get here already.

Here’s to ramen noodles. And college.

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needles coming out my middle section / paying hospital bills sucks

remember when i had my gall bladder out?

it’s wasn’t exactly an optional surgery. the stupid organ i didn’t even know i had was causing me to basically bleed through my eyeballs with pain all the freaking time and i kept ending up in the hospital because of it.

so i HAD to have to have it taken out. it was either that or feel the force of God and vomit in ER waiting rooms once a month until i die.

and i had health insurance.

and it covered most of it.

but im still stuck paying back about $1,000 to the hospital for the er visits and the surgery.

and don’t get me wrong. i was in so much pain during the whole thing that i gladly would have signed away all of my future earnings and my children’s future earnings to have it dealt with. (money is worth squat when it feels like needles are coming out your middle section).

but now.

dude, $1,000 is a lot of freaking money. and im just rich enough that the hospital isn’t going to write off the debt as a charity case.

so im trying to be all responsible. im trying to pay it back. i even have a nice little system set up where every pay day the hospital takes $50 out of my bank account.

except, the thing is, i really need that 50 bucks every two weeks.

like to eat and stuff.


im that broke.

and see, rich people just don’t understand. to them, $50 smackers a pay check is nothing.

except, two days ago, i had to get two new tires on my car. so that’s another $120.

then i paid $500 in rent.

then i spent $150 on gas and groceries, and $12 plus tax on a johnny depp bag.

and bam!, i’ve got nothing left for the next two weeks. just like magic.

im sure i’ll get by. i’m sure i’ll be fine. and per usual, disclaimer: im not looking for handouts.

but God forbid i need another tire. or worse, i need another organ taken out. because seriously guys, i just can’t afford it.

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a little of this. a little of that. / money, colds, site design.

well, obviously, i made it through the week with just $5.47. YAY. im still alive. phew. (thanks in no small part to the mini-“loan” from this super awesome girl i know, and the “gifts” from my mom). (thanks guys).

i also got sick. which seems to be the new norm for me. and you all haters out there can’t even go about blaming the vegan thing because i’ve been regularly eating cheese and eggs for a few weeks a month two months now.

so ha.


anyway, it started with a sore throat and has since taken over my sense of smell as well as my ability to breathe. im guessing it’s because I got super tired after swimming around in a water park all day wednesday. that’s how easy it is this day for my immune system to just give up and say “eh. these germs are pretty tough. all right. fine, come on in guys. it’s cool. crystal didn’t really have any plans for her day off anyway.”

im telling you, this is why i could never run for president.

if it wasn’t for my sleep addiction, i’d totally be fixing health care and dealing with racial issues in america with beer right now guys. seriously.

but no, as soon as i miss one night of slumber, im downing dayquil and slabbing on the vicks.

speaking of nothing, i redesinged my little plot of cyberspace.*

typically, i like more white space, but i decided to go with something different this time. other than the fact that i like the colors and the flowers and the paper clip, i think the notebook paper emphasizes that this is a personal blog. (sometimes people saw the url and the raspberries and assumed this was a food blog).(im looking at you GoDaddy help center man).

i also like the paragraph spacing a lot more and that people’s avatar’s show up in the comment section now. (note: if you do not have a WordPress avatar, a little monster will show up. fun times).

i did have to sacrifice my old twitter widget and go with a more mellow box, because i just couldn’t figure out how to squish the old one onto that side bar. Also, i still have to mess with the pictures at the very, very bottom on the site via Flicker, but other than that, im content.

and of course, as usual, if you hate it, please keep your comments to yourself for awhile. otherwise they will drive me nuts, keep me awake at night and make me rue the day i met you.

*yes im still using that word. and i bet if you read the only daily newspaper published in McHenry County early next week, you’ll see it in that professional publication at least once as well. just sayin.

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