Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Student loans: Interest rates keep borrowers in the hole


A year ago last week, I officially started paying back my student loans. Although I finished my undergraduate degree in December 2010, a unique set of circumstances allowed me (or forced me) to put off my payback for a number of years. Upon graduation, I immediately enrolled in grad school, and with the help of a scholarship was able to pay for that tuition out of pocket. Because I was still a student, I did not have to make payments on my undergraduate debt during that two-year endeavor — not that I could have afforded to.

Immediately after grad school, I took a teaching job in Mexico, and while it paid plenty to enjoy a comfortable standard of living down there, it certainly did not leave me with enough pesos to pay back my growing debt up here. When converted into dollars, my salary qualified me for what the banks called “financial hardship,” allowing me a yearlong grace period to get it together, financially speaking.


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