Though I graduated with my PhD in Psychology in 1997, I am still paying off my student loans except during the COVID pause. The loans I took out now decades ago (I started in 1992) doubled in size even as I have been paying on the income contingent payment plan that will go 25 years. So I’m close! The COVID pause has given me an opportunity to know what it is like to have “extra” money I earn be just my money! What a relief! I have survived paying back my loans, and will persevere, but there is so much I could have done personally and professionally if my income had been 100% my own. Instead, I have paid every month for 260 months, and have had to delay opening my private practice, delay buying a house, always had this debt giving me nightmares. I took it on faith that I would make enough money to pay the loans off. I do, but it has been very tight along the way, and I have a PhD.
What about the students who couldn’t afford to complete their degree? I have had clients that did that in college, with $60K in debt and no degree! And these days, a BA or BS doesn’t command enough money to pay off those loans! Billionaires got their taxes cut drastically under the Republican administration of the former guy. What did they do to deserve that? Increase profits and pay lower wages and no health insurance. Students did as their parents and schools taught them: get good grades, go to college and get that degree. Then, you won’t have to work for minimum wage. Didn’t happen that way for way too many hopeful college and grad school students. Cancelling student debt would give a huge boost to the economy, allowing grads to get on with starting an adult life: marry, have kids, buy a house, furnish that house, buy a new car… etc. One of the successes of the COVID pause is that students have avoided homelessness.
As a society we need to affirm that education is a positive and can lead to a well paying career, and that students are at LEAST as important as billionaires. So, lets do it! Contact your congressional reps, call the President and demand that students be relieved from the debt that prevents them from fully participating in the economy!
Christine C. Cantrell, Ph.D.
Prism of Possibilities Psychotherapy
1026 W. Eleven Mile Road, Suite C
Royal Oak, Michigan 48067