Nicole Haarsma

I completed a four year undergrad degree and then one year of teachers college. I think over the five years my student loan is upwards of $25,000.00. Unfortunately in the area I live there are not a lot of teaching opportunities available...

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I completed a four year undergrad degree and then one year of teachers college. I think over the five years my student loan is upwards of $25,000.00. Unfortunately in the area I live there are not a lot of teaching opportunities available and in order to better my resume I have had to spend a lot of time volunteering and working part time tutoring after school.

I graduated in 2011 and it took me 3 years to finally get a spot on the Thames Valley District School Board supply list. This of course is sporadic work with no benefits, and since getting on the list, I have begun starting a family. Taking maternity leaves, while very much appreciated, only delays my abilities to get full time work teaching. Since graduating in 2011, I am just continually applying for repayment assistance. With my husband starting his own business, having a child, and having a job as a supply teacher which is not full time and often has me driving to schools over an hour away from my home, I cannot afford to repay my monthly amount.  I honestly think that since I have had to begin repayment, I think there was only a 6 month period where I have not been on repayment assistance. I actually just finished a 6 month period of assistance, and once again applied for another 6 months of help.  Although the website indicated my application was received, it must not have been as today I found out my bank account was debited $350 which I was not prepared for. Because of this high unexpected expense I can now no longer afford to pay my property tax bill this month. I realize that in this instance it was my error for not confirming my application was received, however it is still upsetting to know that what the Student Loan Centre feels is a reasonable monthly payment, actually leaves me in the red at the end of the month. It is also unfortunate that I cannot just set up a payment amount that is manageable for me and my family and stick to it. Instead I have to apply for assistance every six months and then just accept whatever the loan centre "approves" me for, regardless of whether or not I can afford that payment, and then every now and then, a situation like the above occurs.

Everyone says the student loans are one of the "good kinds of debt" to have, but it's hard to feel good when you actually feel like you're drowning in it.

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  • responded with submitted 2016-11-07 17:27:19 -0500