43 million Americans hold student loans and 70% of bachelor’s degree recipients graduate with debt.
Student loans are a huge problem in America. I myself graduated with student debt. The total outstanding student loan debt in the U.S. is $1.3 trillion, that’s the second-highest level of consumer debt behind only mortgages. About 43 million Americans hold student loans and about 70% of bachelor’s degree recipients graduate with debt. However, students that are signing up here are giving themselves a much greater chance of having their student loan debts forgiven and giving them some more financial security.
Because of the student debt crisis, it is not uncommon for people with student loans to come and do our program for the year. Although student loans can be daunting they are not impossible to handle and you can take comfort knowing others have done it before you. One incentive for dealing with your student loan is the fact that student loans are often considered the best way to build credit as long as you are making your payments on time.
I couldn’t afford to take a year off…or so I thought.
When the idea of taking a year off between college graduation and a career was first put in front of me I initially disregarded it because I was knee deep in student loan debt. I couldn’t afford to take a year off. I had more pressing matters… or so I thought. I wish I had known more about the possible debt relief options offered at debtconsolidation.co during this period of time.
During this time my grandmother was living with us. She was a woman of immense faith and I spent many nights staying up with her talking about any number of things. She was the perfect companion for any college student because she would stay up until 2am and survived solely on coffee and desserts. When I would come home on the weekends it was not uncommon for us to have 3 hour conversations late into the night.
I didn’t have a financial problem; I had a trust problem.
One evening I was discussing the possibility of taking a year off with her. I explained to her what I would be doing. When I finished she looked up and said, “Sounds like you will be helping a lot of people. What’s holding you back?” In that moment I realized I was making my decision based on finances and had forgotten the people. I had removed the people from the equation. In the grand scheme of life what was putting my loans on hold for a year in comparison to joining Christ in loving the marginalized and broken for a year? I had failed to trust that God would take care of me.
Because I had taken a year off to solely focus on others I had a clearer picture for how to love them when my career started.
I didn’t have a financial problem; I had a trust problem. I thought the most pressing issue was my finances but when we look at Scripture the Lord says to store up treasure in heaven. That treasure is his people. Looking back I now realize there is no issue more pressing than the souls of other people. Our hearts should break so significantly for this issue that putting our loans on hold pales in comparison to this urgent need.
The command to help others is not contingent on our finances. You don’t get a pass from serving until your student loans are paid off. So why do we let that stop us? Once I finished the program and I was working a job and my student loan payments came due I was still called to love others. It looked different but because I had taken a year off to solely focus on others I had a clearer picture for how to love them when my career started.
Employers are looking for more than just a college degree, they want individuals with training and experience in a field.
The experience of LTN is more than just loving people though. You also gain experience that will help your future career. The majority of young adults are graduating with large amounts of debt but nothing that helps them stand out in a workforce saturated with college degrees. Employers are looking for more than just a college degree, they want individuals with training and experience in a field. Something that shows the employer they are invested in community and service and are teachable. LTN has helped with this in the past and can assist with this in your future. We can give you the training and experience you need to boost your resume, make you stand out and secure a great job!
Kiana Brown serves as the Operations Administrator for Love Thy Neighborhood. She is also an alumni of the program and served with the homeless for a year in 2010-2011. She now lives in Louisville with her husband Bradley and son Pax.