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This fundraiser ended on 11/01/12

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Financial Burden due to Private Student Loans and Medical Bills

Hello everyone. While I do not expect much, I do appreciate any donations. I brief background: I am a Criminologist and published author. I have my BS/MS in Criminal Justice with minors in Psychology and Counseling. I write crime prevention books and have 2 advice columns; I have chosen this path because over the last 10 years, I have been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), along with a few other related illnesses. Long story short, I have known two people during this time who committed suicide with guns and for that reason, I cannot work in Law Enforcement as it is too difficult to be associated with people who are associated with firearms. Instead, I wrote a 512 page book in 2009 that profiles sex offenders and offenders of hate crimes, and helps victims and survivors. I have been working on a 2nd book that is on the subject of school violence as it relates to school bullying and narcissism. I am also an activist for civil rights and gender rights and working on a book on hate crime awareness. Needless to say that it takes me about a year to write a book and about 6-18 months to go through the publication process and about 6 months before any royalties. Needless to say that my first book did not produce the royalties of someone like Steven King ... maybe some day.

Private Student Loan (AES)

When I was in undergrad (2003-2006), I made the mistake of borrowing private student loans. I borrowed about $65,000. Since 2007, I have paid over the years of about $250-300 a month while in grad school and after I graduated I was on an economic hardship payment schedule which ranged from about $300-500 a month. I did use some forbearance allowances but after 3 months at a time and after 12 months, I have no more suspended payments. As mentioned, I have other illnesses for which I am receiving disability monthly payments of less than $1,000 a month and between car payments, car insurance, phone, cable, internet, and growing medical bills, I have gone from bad to worst luck! That said, remember when I said I borrowed about $65,000 between 03-06; well from 2007-2012 interest has exceeded my principle and now I owe about $147,000!! When I did my takes last year, apparently, I paid my private student loan company about $5,000 and only $1.28 went towards my principle, so imagine similar over the last 5 years. Best yet, as explained when I borrowed the money, I have up to 20 years to pay back but if it has already doubled the initial amount inside of 4 years, one can only imagine that I may owe nearly a million in 10 let alone 20 years. Naturally, I had to use a cosigner, who is my grandmother and is in her mid-80s and the family is all worried that they will lose their inheritance when she dies. Not that I cannot blame them but still. When I was younger I figured I would grow up to be a police officer and with a master's degree no less, even back 5-7 years ago, I figured I would be making around $50,000 and have no problems paying back student loans. I mean, who plans to grow up and have their dreams shattered and end up on disability while being hounded by student loan sharks?? In the last 6 months, my monthly payments went from $250 to 400 to 500 and now as of last week they want $1,723 which is all interest! I tell them I cannot afford it and they simply remind me that they will go after my cosigner!

Not to mention that I went to the ER last month because there was a chance I had appendicitis (which turned out I did not) but the CT Scan with contrast alone was about $4,500. Needless to say that I have nearly $25,000 in medical bills too.

Anyway, I realize that I am only one of thousands who are in the same type of situation but any help would be greatly appreciated. Any extra funds will be redonated to others on here. Also, I am willing to send autograph copies of my book to anyone who donates even if less that cost of book which sells for $35 in stores (Authors get discounts through the publisher). While I do not expect to raise my goal amount, any funds that I can put towards the principle and medical bills would be a miracle in itself.
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