Youth and Credit Card Debt: How Can Small Loans Soar?
“My one job barely earns me enough to pay all of my other bills and I rely heavily on student loans to pay my rent, although my rent has run out for the semester. When I think about how much debt I owe I get very nervous because I know that if I have another big expense to do, there is no way [I’ll be] able to afford it, and my ability to buy food each month has also declined exponentially.
“Currently, my credit card debt has not affected my future plans, but it has significantly reduced my credit rating. “
Jenna Curcio, 23, Rochester, New York
Total debt: $ 5,000
“I found that despite having a part-time job, getting about $ 40 from my mom each week to help with groceries and the one-time rebate check I got from my school each semester, I was having trouble with basic expenses. I started paying for groceries and other essentials with my credit card because New York City was more expensive than I could have imagined. “
“I can make payments, but hardly. I have been making minimum payments or a little more, for the most part, for as long as I can remember. Looks like I’m throwing raindrops on a wildfire at this point as the overall amount doesn’t seem to decrease significantly. It’s incredibly overwhelming and I feel like I’m trapped. “
“I am currently living at home and cannot start my life. Once I find a job, the first priority will be to try to pay off as much of my credit card debt as possible. [It’s] preventing me from being able to buy a house or even [rent] a flat. I also have other bills to pay and currently only rely on self-employment for any type of income. I have been applying every day since the end of September and have only encountered temporary opportunities, nothing solid or full time. If our country really cared about its people and we could have [COVID-19 relief] payments of $ 2,000 a month, and pursuing them for the remainder of the pandemic, it would absolutely change my life and the lives of almost everyone I know. “
Talha Mojawalla, 23, upstate New York
Total debt: $ 13,000
Reimbursed: $ 7,000
“I’ve been looking for a job since November 2019. It’s actually pretty funny – I found a job and was due to start on March 14, 2020. The first day I was due to go, they called me like, ‘Yes , we’re going on lockdown, so we’re not going to let you in. ” And since then, obviously I haven’t had much luck. I was supposed to do a few shadow sessions in hospitals last summer, which certainly didn’t happen.
“My [debt] the build-up started with tuition and then I would say about a quarter of that was medical costs as well, which is not uncommon either. [Medical debt] is pretty common that I know for a lot of people, which it really shouldn’t be.
“I spoke with the loan collectors and some of them were much more reasonable and understanding than others. One of them asked me a few questions to find out if [my inability to make payments] was linked to COVID-19 and whether or not I was able to find a job. And they said, “Okay, we’ll get back to you in a few months to see if your situation has changed, but for now we’re just going to put it on hold.” Then there are a few others who have lowered the minimum required payment. But I still take care of it. I try not to focus too much on this just because of everything I’m trying to manage. I’ll have to get there at some point, but right now I’m just trying to live with it.