Jan. 18th, 2009

edgarallenfrog: various pics of harvey milk (empty wallet)
Well, all hell broke loose yesterday.

I went to get the mail right before I left for work at 10:20 PM, and there was a letter from the student loan people. They informed me that my $60 a month payments weren't enough for them anymore, so they were taking action to contact my employer and have my wages garnished. I knew this was probably going to happen eventually, but with everything else going on, I was trying not to think about it because I was doing the best I could do. It's all in the 10 page letter they sent, which I did my best to comprehend on little sleep and not much food. They claim I haven't made any action to pay off my loan, which the lady from the collection agency told me they could do, since she said $60 doesn't even cover the interest on the loan (she ordered me to pay $198 a month, but I just can't do that with my budget, I'm barely scraping by as it is, so I told her I was going to pay what I could afford, which was $60 a month, and she went off that "that won't even cover the interest on the loans" and "you're not in a position to dictate repayment to these people, you owe them this amount and they have the right to get it from you no matter what you think you can pay" and "we will bleed you dry until we get it, we can take your tax returns and take everything you own and hold dear, do not attempt to ignore us" and a bunch of other lovely things). I already don't have enough money to buy food every month, and now with this, I don't know how I'll get by. I did the math in my head, and since my rent is going to be raised to about $160 a month, my electric is $115 a month, my phone bill is $50 a month, my gas is $65 a month (and that's with the budget plan on the gas and electric, which means it's less than I used to pay, and that it's the same flat rate all year, even during the summer when I don't use the gas) and now they'll be taking 15% of my income for the loan, that will be another $150 a month, which leaves me less than $30 a month for food, medicine, personal care products, laundry (I haven't done laundry in almost two months because I haven't had the extra $10 out of the paycheck to get a roll of quarters and do the laundry, I've been scrubbing things in the sink, and thus things are looking pretty grubby...) etc. I know that according to Jenn I should have $25 a month for insurance and I should always have $3 to take a cab, but it's just not looking that way. I'm really really afraid right now.

The letter says I have a chance to appeal, but no matter what people say, that isn't as easy as it looks or sounds, and of all the people I know who tried to appeal a decision like this, not one of them has ever won, even my mom, who was making $3000 a year at the time with two kids to support and was on both food and cash assistance, didn't win her appeal. It's the same thing with the SSI claim I filed that people told me "oh, they'll just deny you, but just appeal and blah blah blah." Not only did I lose my appeal, but my friend Michelle (not Aiden's mom) has a degenerative bone disease which makes one of her legs noticeably shorter than the other so she has to limp around everywhere, has documentation from doctors for all of this, had documentation from the SSI doctors themselves saying that yes indeed she was sick, and she lost her claim and her appeal as well. And she even had a lawyer. I'm going to file an appeal anyway and see if they will let me keep paying $60 a month on the grounds that $160 will be too much of an economic hardship for me. I have proof that I made the payments in the past, but that isn't the issue here, even if the court sees fit to acknowledge that I have been paying, they can still decide in favor of the student loan company and deduct the $160 a month from my "disposable income" (my pay after taxes...hey look, I have disposable income, just what I always wanted...wait, that's only "disposable" if I don't want to eat and take showers and do laundry and such) if they determine that $60 wasn't enough for me to pay.

I'm trying very hard. I'm writing again. I wrote 6 pages on one of my novels the other day and it's taking shape a lot better now, I'm working on the other book, I'm trying to get enough sleep, I'm praying and going to church no matter how hard it is for me, I'm trying to eat better (by which I mean actually eat real meals every day, not going three days without eating and then passing out at work because of it) and it may not look to anyone else like I'm trying, but I am. And now this.


edgarallenfrog: various pics of harvey milk (Default)

May 2009

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