Nick Crocker has found a solution to soaring rent costs: switching to school buses. But his $108,100 student loan balance is continuing to hold him back.
When Crocker, 37, started studying at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, he didn’t anticipate the economy.
he graduated in 2008. He couldn’t find a job with his bachelor’s degree, and shortly after graduating from college, he moved to Pennsylvania and started two jobs – one at Jimmy John and the other at Olive Garden.
During that time, he was able to pay off his $540 monthly student debt in full. When it doubled to $1,089 a month after his graduate repayment plan ended, the only option available to Crocker to reduce his monthly payment was to extend the time to pay it off. out of balance. Crocker knows something to give.
“I’m tired of giving away half of my income on rent and not being able to save a dime in the process,” Crocker told Insider. “So I decided to build a school bus.”
Since October 2018, Crocker and his fiancée have lived in a 120 square meter school bus that he spent $25,000 renovating. He pays about $550 a month to rent a backyard parking lot in Portland, Oregon. Even with additional savings from paying rent, Crocker defaulted on some of his student loans because he didn’t generate enough income to cover his necessities besides groceries. your student loan application. He just continued to pay off the loan his father signed to make sure that his dad wouldn’t be affected by a potential debt.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is in the process of deciding whether millions of federal student loans will receive relief. Recent reports suggestions he is considering a $10,000 bailout for borrowers earning less than $150,000 a year – an announcement the administration is likely to make July or Augustclose to the time of the pandemic pause on student loan payments is set to expired after August 31.
With the majority of Crocker’s debt being private loans, Biden’s bailout won’t make a significant impact on him and about 3 million other borrowers with private loans. He says he wishes he’d known about the high, life-long cost of higher education when he was in high school. It may have prevented him from being in his current state.
“While college was a great way for me to figure out some things, it was a really expensive way for me to do it,” says Crocker. “I won’t do that again. I went into business. Student loan debt is by far my biggest regret – too much money to lend to someone at 18.”
‘We don’t get out of here’
The reason most of Crocker’s student debt is kept private is because when he applied for federal financial aid in high school, his parents’ income was high enough that they were only eligible to receive limited support. However, he still needed the money because he was responsible for some expenses and private student loans were readily available, so Crocker turned to those loans – but then found that interest High interest rates on private loans make it difficult to tap into the original balance borrowed.
“I didn’t find a way out of this problem,” says Crocker. “$540 a month includes interest only, so at some point we’re not going to get away with this.”
Before Crocker started falling behind in his monthly payments, he said he had a
. After his loan company increased his monthly payments in 2015, his grocery store paycheck took a cut, so he went into carpentry and other jobs to keep up.
Now, as a $25-an-hour venture van builder in Portland, he says he knows his current living situation isn’t sustainable in the long run. He will eventually face high rents and six-figure student debt.
Like the previous Insider report, the median rent in the US rose to $1,722 a month, more than 30% of the national median income, taxed. While mortgage debt is the largest form of consumer debt in the US, student debt ranks right behind, now totaling $1.7 trillion for more than 40 million Americans. But while the Department of Education oversees federal loans, private student loans can fly in the spotlight, which is why the Department has taken actions to ensure lenders Private institutions do not push students into unpaid debt.
Federal Student Aid Office in March detailed request for universities to better inform students about the risks of private student loan options that can bring expensive fees, writing in a blog post that “the deposit cannot be high more” for students as they seek to pay for college.
Crocker said he is “planning to save now” by living on the bus, but would rather have him attend trade school than take out student loans for a degree he can’t use.
“I would love to be able to afford a home, but right now this is not the best market to buy a home,” says Crocker. “So we’re living in a 120-square-foot school bus, and while it’s a great way for us to save money, it’s cramped. And we wanted more. “