Help me pay off my student loan debt

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Beneficiary: Amanda Patrick Organizer: Amanda Patrick

I am typically disgusted with anyone that begs for money, but sometimes it is necessary to put your pride aside and ask for assistance. It is also very important to warn others of what can happen to them if they make the wrong decisions.
 
Here is my story:

For much of my childhood I was raised by a single mother and she struggled to put a roof over our heads and food on the table. Because I came from a poor family, I was able to get grants and scholarships to pay for my undergraduate school. I loved undergrad and I graduated at the top of my class. I managed to get a bachelor’s degree at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with only about $5,000 in student loan debt. I should have stopped there, but I thought I would fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming an attorney, so I applied to various law schools. I was accepted to more than one law school. Due to my husband's work, we were moving to Texas, so I decided to attend South Texas College of Law in Houston, TX. I started my first semester of law school in August of 2011.

The first semester was extremely hard, but I survived and I managed to make very good grades. I then started my second semester of law school in January of 2012. This is when my entire life took a change for the worse. I experienced extreme depression, anxiety and even had thoughts of suicide. The professors were not compassionate and I didn't know where to turn or who to talk to. To make things worse, my husband and I were having problems. I felt financially unstable, I didn't know anyone in Texas, and I had nowhere to live, so I moved back to my parents’ home in Arkansas.

In February of 2012, while I was in the middle of moving back to Arkansas, I mailed a withdrawal form to the Law School registrar’s office. Until recently, I was unaware that the letter was never received or was misplaced by the school. Since I only attended a couple weeks of the second semester, a refund should have been sent to pay back a portion of the federal student loans that were not used to fund my education, but this refund was never sent. I did not receive the education for the amount of tuition that I paid. I have talked to the school and asked for them to do the right thing and refund the money, but no one cares. Attending those 6 months of law school was the biggest mistake of my life and I will be paying for it for the rest of my life.

When I first started repaying my student loans, I was having financial difficulties and was approved for the income based repayment plan. I recently thought my life had started to look great. My husband and I were doing well, we had decent jobs, we have nice vehicles and were even thinking we would be able to buy a house. Then I found out that I would have had to reapply for the income based plan this month, but I now do not qualify for the income based repayment plan. As of March 2014 my payments will be over $600 per month. This is more than my car payment. Now, our dreams of owning a home may only be a dream. I have to get a second job to be able to afford to buy a house. I may never be able to afford to have a family because of my debt. I will always have to work extremely hard and struggle every day to pay my bills. If it wasn’t for the student loan debt, I would be financial stable and happy, but South Texas College of Law ruined my life.

I would appreciate any help that anyone can give me to pay off this horrible mistake that I made, but this can also be a lesson to any young adults thinking of attending graduate school. Before you pay thousands of dollars to get a prestigious education, make sure that you are 100% sure that you know what you are getting yourself into. Once you sign the loan documents, you have signed your life away. Pick the right school and apply for every single scholarship you can. Find any way of getting the money for school besides federal and private student loans!

Without anyone's help, I will be in debt for the rest of my life, but with some assistance I hope I can pay off my student loan debt and be able to live a happy life. Thank you for your time and I appreciate any help you can give me.

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