My great-grandfather was an educational leader in his time. My grandmother went on to become a teacher as well. My mom, though didn’t follow the education path, was a brilliant woman. Education was very important in my family. I did well in school and had plans to pursue post secondary education. A plan that involved some scholarships and money set aside from my great-grandfather and grandparents as (unfortunately) part of their estates. I never had to worry about where money for my education was going to come from, it was all there.
Except it wasn’t.
The estate wasn’t executed properly and we never saw the money. I was getting ready to graduate and had no money to pay for the degree I was already enrolled in.
I had some scholarships but the last-minute scramble meant student lines of credit since, at the time, I didn’t qualify for government-issued student loans because my mom made too much money. I didn’t really care at the time since I assumed I’d be through school and paying the debt off quickly. Plans again changed and I ended up completing a degree I had no intention of ‘using’ (I don’t think any education is wasted though). I decided to pursue another degree in dental hygiene (with zero regrets) but had, you guessed it, no way to pay for it.
This time I did qualify for government issued loans which helped a little but only about half. I did what any logical person would do and charged the rest of my tuition on credit cards.
This was a pretty dumb thing to do but I was in a pinch and needed to do something or else I wouldn’t be able to complete my degree.
The credit cards I had access to didn’t even offer any crazy rewards I could really benefit from. In charging all that money to them I think I got something like $200 worth of points to a large department store which we did use when it came time to get our first apartment together. It would have even been better to get a loan from somewhere like Aspire Money.
Related: How to Choose a Credit Card
This was a huge lesson for me to learn about credit cards, and how volatile the interest rate can be. I ended up consolidating them a year after graduation since paying of almost 20k worth of credit card debt with an average interest rate of 15% was difficult. This debt on top of the debt acquired in my first degree and student loans to accompany the credit card debt has been quite the challenge but my husband and I are slowly working at getting it paid off.
I could say I regretted the decision but I have learned more from my mistakes then I think I could have learned if I didn’t make them. When my daughter was just five weeks old we opened a registered post secondary savings for her in hopes of preventing the same sort of scenario for her. We also have a lot of hard-earned lessons to teach her.
Whats the craziest thing you have acquired debt for?