Get Out of Debt Guy - Steve Rhode

I Got Out of the Military, Went to Wyotech, and Now Want to Kill Myself Over Student Loans. – Dustin


“Dear Steve,

I guess it all started after I got out of the military. I knew I needed to go to school in some capacity to hold a decent paying job. I decided life as an automotive technician would be great, I knew lots of relatives that had a modest life with such a career, which is all I wanted. I paid upfront a total of 38,000 Dollars for 9 months of schooling, at Wyotech. In the last 4ish years I have paid more than 22,000 dollars towards my loans (6 if I remember), about 19,000 is interest. Not a mark on my credit, and because of prior year income with the Army I was saddled with almost 28,000 of it being private loans, at an interest rate of 12.5 percent. The rest were between 6 and 8 percent.

I am not personally happy with my career choice, as I am faced with fraud and abuse on a daily basis. And because of that, I no longer work. I feel I have been stripped of the one hobby I really enjoyed. The abuse was broad and rapant. I worked for 6 different employers, giving one a second chance. The companies I have worked for frequently overcharge, pad labor and part charges, perform inadequate repair or fail to repair the vehicle at all, doubling up labor charges for similar tasks to increase pay, extorting customers out of vehicles with ridiculous estimates and then offering to buy for pennies on the dollar. The list really does go on and on. I understand that we as a whole are in this together, and it makes me sick seeing this on a daily basis, informing management, and then being punished or forced out of work as a result. I am left with poor references because I am not a “team player”. And the wages I need to make to stay solvent are long gone. I have to pay nearly 500 Dollars in student loans every month, plus rent/utilities, and my tool payments, running close to 300 Dollars a month as well. As such I can no longer and will no longer pay on my loans, as I feel I was overcharged, and left in a workforce that does nothing more than the same.

I do understand personal responsibility to repay, but the amount of debt I had to borrow to get into a decent line of work was more than I could bear at one time. I have no other credit, as credit is the prime reason for our problems as a nation. I am thoroughly tired of this situation, and contemplate why it even matters anymore. I tried to do the right thing by going to school, but all I have done in enslave myself to a new master. I am 26 and will be 46 years old before these are paid off, to the tune of 112,000+ including the interest.

Just to add, I am a 5 year technician, Honors graduate of Wyotech, ASE Master Technician, and Advanced Level Specialist.

I have student loan debt that is unbearable, in a career field that is equally unbearable. I cannot discharge this debt and even university law students say suicide is the only true solution. I feel like I made another very poor financial move and just want to start over in a career that wont cost me my entire future, as it already has. What can I do? Is suicide the best option?


Dear Dustin,

Many feel the same way you do. It is tragic that private student loans are like an educational IED.

Was any of this training conducted under your GI Bill benefits? If so then there may be some intervention assistance available from the VA.

Otherwise, the lender is going to say the choice of school was yours. The lender paid the school and the school provided you with the education.

Do your family members in the automotive repair business say those bad activities also go on where they work as well?

Would taking your skills and relocating offer you any better prospects for employment?

I don’t think you have any issue with the quality of your education but the lack of moral conduct you’ve experienced in the automotive repair business.

Just to be clear, what is the balance due on your remaining student loans? I’m not clear on the balance due and who is servicing your loan. Is it a total of $28,000?

For private student loans the place to start on any payment adjustments is with the lender or servicer. With government backed loans you could contact the Department of Education.

This trap of private student loans is terrible. This year I wrote Suicide Over Student Loans. Tragic But Understandable. People think they are doing the right thing, only to wind up in horrible debt. What’s even more surprising is that 75% of people with student loans, never graduated.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

Big Hug!
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