Growing up Latina many of us are raised to believe that education is the foundation to succeeding in life. Many of our immigrant parents didn’t have the privilege of going to school and earning a degree because their focus was to provide for their families. This is why earning a degree within the Latinx community is so important, because aside from it being an accomplishment for ourselves, a diploma is a symbolic reward of our parents’ efforts and sacrifices.
It has been amazing to see the rise in Latinas obtaining a higher education and thanks to social media the exposure of Latina graduates has increased as well. We’ve also come to learn that unfortunately, Latinas are among the groups that are affected by student loan debt the most. There are many factors as to why this is and having dealt with student loans first-hand, we understand the frustration and toll it can take on our lives. Even after achieving a well-paying job, the cost of living makes it difficult to start making those student loan payments we had been dreading.
My personal experience with student loans has not been a fun one. After graduating from college, I started off paying a really high amount because I didn’t know that there were other options available to me such as income-driven repayment plans. Since then I honestly haven’t really made much of a dent in what I owe because I have had to ask for forbearance due to life emergencies, unexpected bills, last minute travel plans with the besties, etc. I wish I would have educated myself more on my options and asked for help from experts instead of pausing my loans because all I have done is accrue interest and now I owe more. That summer trip to Italy isn’t looking so cute now that I still have a ways to go with my student loans.
I am first generation, my parents immigrated from Mexico and barely speak English so student loans is one of the many things I’ve had to figure out on my own. My younger sister is receiving her Bachelor’s Degree next year so I try to help her as much as I can. I don’t want her to make some of the same irresponsible financial decisions I made and I also encourage her to educate herself on the ways she can beat student loan debt.
Luckily there are resources available that can help guide us all through this process and help alleviate that debt stress. We are really happy to have crossed paths with Chipper, a LATINA APPROVED student loan automation company that offers help with income-driven repayment plans and forgiveness programs! Chipper is committed to empowering and supporting Latinas because they understand how student loans affect WOC the most and want to guide us on a path toward being student loan debt free.