Michael S. Shares His Story with Financial Helpers:
Like so many other bright-eyed American teenagers, I graduated high school full of hopes and dreams for the future.
I was told the same story repeatedly. “Mike, if you want to be something, then you need to get a degree.” So, that’s what I did. I packed my bags, kissed my mom on the cheek, and headed off to architecture school.
I had a passion for art and felt I was doing myself a favor by channeling my modest skill into a lifelong career. I knew I wasn’t going to be the next Picasso, so architecture might be the next best thing. It pays well and housing market was booming!
Well, things change. I graduated from Lawrence Tech in the height of the housing crisis. No one was building, which meant no one was hiring fresh-faced architects right out of college who didn’t have a speck of work experience.
They tell you how easy it will be to get a job after your graduate, but they only do that to get you in the door. I must admit, I was growing increasingly frustrated and even downright angry.
I worked SO hard for my degree, putting in long hours and promising myself that life would be great once I graduated, but those promises didn’t line up with reality.
I tried to do it on my own, but had to ask my parents if I could move back in. I got a job at a local sub shop because they were the only place looking for help. It was incredibly disheartening.
Here I am, like so many other graduates, with a bachelor’s degree in architecture, working in a sub shop for minimum wage, and that’s not the worst part.
At that time, I had over $100,000 worth of student debt, which meant that most of my paycheck went towards that. There’s no way I could afford to live on my own and pay this debt, so home is where I stayed.
Eventually, things did get a little better. I had some work experience under my belt, was promoted to manager, which bumped my pay. I then moved on to a decent factory job. It wasn’t architecture, but I felt I was moving closer to reaching my goals.
Still, the debt was killer. It hung over me like a black cloud and kept me from being able to make important life decisions. Should I buy that new car? Can I afford to move out of my parent’s place? If I met a girl, would she understand my situation?
One day, I was browsing the net and came across Financial Helpers. I read an article about refinancing your student loans to get a lower overall payment.
I was floored! This is something the lenders won’t tell you about because they want you to pay the loan in full. The problem is, lenders don’t tend to trust kids with no job and no work experience, so they’ll pump up the rates to the maximum level.
When you graduate and are doing fairly well, that can change the equation. You suddenly become more trustworthy and can negotiate a better deal. That better deal means you’ll end up paying LESS interest and lower payments over the lifetime of your loan.
Not only did I reduce my monthly payment by $80/month, I was able to save $30,000 and pay off my loans much quicker. This is exactly what I needed to get on with my life, move out of my parent’s home, and let them retire in peace.
$30,000 is a lot of money. It’s nearly a full year’s salary. I can’t tell you how thankful I am to Financial Helpers and their ability to help me solve my student debt crisis.
I’m now married and I own a home, but I can’t help but feel bad for the current and future generations of kids who are going to be put through the same ordeal I went through, except for them, it will continue to get worse.
College is becoming increasingly expensive and student loan debt is skyrocketing. No one should have to graduate college with that huge burden on their shoulders.
My advice to students out there: Keep your head up and do your best. There is help out there. Sites like Financial Helpers are there to provide you with options you didn’t know you had and can be lifesavers to everyday people like me.