On a dark and stormy night you are driving home from your evening college class, when suddenly a swarm of zombies appear out of nowhere. You slam on your brakes, only to discover they don’t work. You swerve out of the way, and then crash into a giant oak tree. Stunned, heart racing, you run through your options. Then you notice your engine has caught fire, and the zombies have surrounded your car. What do you do? Is this a scene out of a Halloween movie or a nightmare?
While this may sound highly implausible, the nightmarish feelings described are pretty common, especially among the 44 million American student loan borrowers who feel trapped by their debt. Unfortunately it isn’t a national holiday experienced one day a year like Halloween. With student debt at $1.53 trillion, and no end in sight, many Americans feel there is no escape. Even worse, it could take decades for this debt to be paid off or resolve itself. Symptoms of actual nightmares, according to Mayo Clinic, include:
Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? While you may not have a sleep disorder, you could be experiencing symptoms of stress because of your seemingly insurmountable student loan debt. Stress can cause real side-effects to your body, mood, and behavior. These symptoms vary from headache, upset stomach, anxiety, and restlessness to feeling overwhelmed and withdrawing from social situations. If your student debt is making you miserable, maybe you have options that could lead you out of the suffocating darkness.
You probably have heard more about what aren’t your options. For example, student debt has coincided with a decline in Millennials starting their own businesses. Meanwhile, Baby Boomers are the fastest growing category of student loan borrowers. Despite their generosity as cosigners, the default rate for them ballooned to 37 percent in recent years, which could lead to financial ruin.
So you can’t start a business if you’re young, and if you’re nearing retirement, you have almost no money to actually retire because you cosigned your grandchild’s dreams. Is this still the Halloween nightmare scenario? Can we wake up yet?
Well, according to one of the most brilliant psychologists alive, “We cannot change anything until we accept it” (Carl Jung). Accepting there is a problem and that life is unmanageable is often the first step in working toward a solution. Others use the phrase, “Accept life on life’s terms.” This means letting go of control and expectations. Experts on this topic suggest focusing on “cleaning your side of the street,” because this is truly all you have control over, then let go of everything else.
We understand. Even if you learn mindfulness, focused breathing, and other relaxation techniques to help with your stress, you still have a mountain of student loan debt to tackle. It’s like Groundhog Day but a nightmare version every day. Instead of living with regret about taking out student loans, you could learn what actions you can carry out to slay your debt and get back to your happy place. While there is no quick fix, there could be a solution out there that you haven’t thought of, and this may lead you to debt freedom.
Options are available to help
Most people do not realize that there are programs designed to help those who may be struggling with their student loan payments. Thousands of borrowers have trusted Ameritech Financial to be their advocate. Click here to find out what options are available. Our services could help you get back on track.Get Started Learn More