I really don’t want to write about debt. To say it is a sore point it is the understatement of the year. Debt is weight. I know that is a clichéd way of writing about debt, but it really is. It weight you down and for some there is no end in sight. I will likely be paying off debt for the rest of my natural born life. And that weight makes me feel absolutely crushed.
So why did I do it to myself? Well, in most cases I didn’t. The bulk of my 200k debt is from student loans. I come from a working-class family and I am a first-generation student. In order to earn my 4 degrees, I had to take out the maximum in student loans to survive. I never got any lessons in financial literacy. I didn’t know what I was doing but saw the loans as free money. I never, ever thought about the time when they would come due and I would have to pay the piper. One day towards the end of my grad school career, I was shocked at the paltry amount I received in my check. I went to the financial aid office and found out that I had maxed out. I hadn’t even thought there was a maximum amount you could take out. Now the interest grows exponentially and puts me in greater and greater debt. It is a vicious cycle and an unwinnable one for so many of us.
The system itself is not fair. It is a racket where they attempt to make money off of our misery. I believe that all student loans should be abolished as does Dr. Jill Stein. This was one of the reasons why I voted for her as she was the only one to espouse such a position.
Credit cards are my fault. And what’s worse is I went through this before, though with less debt that this time. I did not learn my lesson. It is hard for me to have compassion for myself in this area because it seems like such an obvious thing to avoid. They are now consolidated and I have to pay about $300/month for these debts. One of them is the evil Capital One, who is known for exploiting low-income people and punishing them for their class status. While I take responsibility for my purchases using credit cards, the amount of interest these cards charge is outrageous. They are among the biggest crooks going in the financial sector, although there are many others as well such as the banks themselves and the stock market.
The final debt is medical debt. This is complete and total bullshit. And I HAVE insurance. But the out-of-pocket co-pays are absolutely outreageous. I can’t pay them and they go into collection and they harass me through phone calls. Medical treatment is a basic human right. We should get the health care and the prescriptions we need and not be charged one red cent. As Bernie Sanders says, the fact that we are the only industrialized country without universal, single-payer health care is an embarrassment and a blight on our country. While I’m at, we also need to have a democratic socialist economy.
My debt scares me. I worry they will become more and more predatory. Capitalism does not care one iota about people, only the almighty dollar. While I am willing to take some responsibility for my debt, a lot of it is not my fault and is a vulture capitalist system trying to take advantage of economically- challenged people. We should all stand up and fight against this as this is the only way to create change in this fucked-up economic system that benefits the elite 1%.