There is one that still bugs me. Backtracking, I had student loans throughout undergrad and grad school. Most of my senior year and grad school were covered by loans. My mom helped repay the senior year later when she was making more; at the time we had her teacher's salary and 3 people in college. In the 12 years since I graduated a lot of that was paid off. My final private loan was down to $300 when I learned I wasn't going to be working anymore. However, that left the ominous BIG LOAN. That was grad school mostly. It was a huge amount initially (I don't remember) and seemed to never go down. Partly this was because I had to put it on forbearance whenever I was on disability. This resulted in the payments increasing from about $350 to $475 over the years. In theory it would have been fine. I took out the loans knowing that I would be making a good income. And during the time before I was most ill I really did make a lot of progress. I paid all of my loans at double the minimum for 2 years until my medical costs became prohibitive. And then as the smaller loans were paid off and the big one loomed suddenly I wasn't working and wasn't likely to work for many years if ever. So I went through a process called discharge. It released me from the loan although there are a bunch of rules to follow and if I am well enough to have work within some time frame I'll resume payments. I don't remember the details.
I know that I didn't default on the loan. I know that getting a discharge is quite difficult, especially for mental health issues and that getting one means that they truly believe I am "that sick". Dr. Brain filled out a good bit of paperwork for them and like all paperwork in this thing she was probably blunt and descriptive of "Jen I met" versus "Jen today" and how hard I fought to work but lost. But I keep reading about how many people can't pay those loans and I feel bad because I had a way out. Granted it was a way out that came at enormous cost to me. It was a way out I didn't want; I'd much rather be making those payments and working. I think that application was the only one I did that was covered in tears. I had no way of knowing that this would happen when i took out the loans. I did know it was my only way to higher education and like I said, payments shouldn't have been a problem. Had I never had to pay for $400 or more out of pocket every month for meds, `had I not had multiple forbearances that increased the payments, had I not become unable to work for the foreseeable future, those loans would have been paid off. I paid 1/3rd of them, plus a bit. I tried. But reading that 11% of people with federal loans are significantly behind makes me sad because my discharge (not default like I keep wanting to say) at least would have been some money into the messed-up system.
Oh well. Disability was what I was supposed to do at this point and the humbling that goes with that may last a long, long time.