Julie, 31

I graduated with $62,000 in student loans. My parents have struggled and couldn't help, and I have a learning disability which meant I reduced my course load during the year and attended summer to stay on track and still do well. I'm lucky, I found a job in my field. But, it only pays $39,000 and required me to live in Vancouver where rent is $1,000+/mnth. I still share a house meaning I live like a student at over 30 and can barely scrape together saving for an emergency fund. I can't imagine ever owning a home. I can't imagine affording a child. I can't even think about retirement funds. I can't travel or buy things (which would stimulate the economy). Every month is a balancing act where I forgo even a movie night so I can save a tiny bit. I feel like Im constantly at risk if one thing goes wrong, and I dont have anyone who can help me. Its stressful. I'd end up relaying on social support. Thats what happens.. we cant get ahead and end up leaning more on these services than if we could save and create our own safety nets or equity. Loans are doing harm to our entire society - not just those carrying them.

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