I received my Masters in 1999. My field of study was new. I passed the National Boards, then graduated and moved back to CA, where I am from, to begin a practice. The board exams there were much more difficult for me to write my paper.
. I never passed the CA board exam, after taking it four times. To study for it, takes a few months and it's not cheap to take. During those years I accepted less skilled work to make ends meet between exams. Nine years later, I had no choice, but to move out of state to be able to practice, where I had to start all over again.
That was 2008 and didn't realize what was happening in our economy before I moved. The financial crisis really hit especially hard in certain states. I was Oregon and there was so much competition for every job I applied for and the unemployment rate was one of the highest. My husband had to start a new business too, as a contractor. Working several part time jobs to barely pay rent, utilities and food, nothing was ever left. Coming from CA, where we could always find good work and never had a problem, it was a shock, so stressful and such a struggle for both of us to simply get by.
After taking 140 education units to qualify even though I hadn't even started practicing, I finally got my state license in 2013. Then my husband was diagnosed with cancer and I think it was partly due to the stress we were under financially. I barely worked. He died, then my mother, then my brother. I was spent emotionally. I did begin working in my field a year later part time, and I'm finally beginning my own practice now in 2016, which will take time to build. It has been 18 years. My student loans have more than doubled and I now owe more than $120,000.00. I was only able to pay during some of those years, then had to defer my loans, due to financial hardship, although they continued to grow interest. Now, I have few options and cannot declare bankruptcy like the rich and powerful. I will never be able to buy my own house at this rate. Even my credit has suffered and I will die with this loan.
If I had known the risks ahead of time, I would have worked part time and gone to school part time and avoided taking the loans altogether, But the school I went to and the lender took no pains to explain anything to me. I was excited to be embarking on a new career. But "Truth is stranger than fiction." And the reality, my nightmare.
Large financial corporations are making hand over fist on our backs. I would never want anyone to go through what I am still baring.
We deserve help and the shame belongs to the corporations and the educational institutions who set us up to fail and pay through the nose to support them.
In solidarity, keep up the "Good Fight"