Just after I started a new job (one that was closer to home, and a better pay rate - not to mention better bennies), I received an email from Ben Elgin, a reporter for "BusinessWeek".
My story, along with several others, was sent to him by Alan Collinge (the founder of Student Loan Justice PAC), and he wanted to know if he could interview me. I agreed, and answered his questions, including what type of financial set-up I had prior to the loan, and whether I'd had any savings at that point. I've also agreed to send copies of my loan paperwork to him for him to look through, as he has stated that he wants a fuller idea of what happened.
When I thanked him for choosing to interview me and listen, he replied with this:
Thanks for your candor and for sharing your experiences. It helps me to really understand the human cost of these aggressive student loans. (BTW, I’m also a bit of a karaoke fan, having met my wife at a karaoke bar many years ago ;-))…
Thanks for gathering up your student loan paperwork, that would be a tremendous help. There’s no need for you to pay for any of these expenses. Whether it’s easier to fax them or mail them, just keep a receipt and we’ll happily reimburse you.
Your help is very much appreciated. I’ve reached out to about 20 people with life-changing, high-interest private student loans… but only 2 or 3 have been willing to share their stories in greater detail. So, I really know how difficult this is for many people to talk about… yet, it is so important for people to share their stories to help the rest of the country understand just what exactly is going on here… so, in short, thanks!
I used to be afraid of what others would think if I told everyone about how much trouble I'd gotten into, physical, mental, or financial. However, in a case such as this, because of the fact that my story might help many others, I am not hesitating to share - and I feel let down that others who had their stories sent are not willing to do the same.
I'm asking, for Alan's sake, for my sake, and most of all, for all those out there who are in the same position, or could soon be in the same position - share your story. You can ask to have your names changed in the interview - it won't make the story any less valid. This is the one chance that we have to voice what is going on, by utilizing a NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED MAGAZINE!!!
You can reach Ben Elgin at: Ben_Elgin@businessweek.com