Hello, everyone. I am going to try to contain myself because the book is finally here. I’ve been able to lay my eyeballs on it and my mind has been spinning. And with me doing podcasting, the first thing I’m thinking for our friend attorney Christine, is that she’s going to be a part like deeper part of “This Needs to Be Said”, because this conversation needs to be had. I don’t know everything. I know people who know stuff, and she’s one of those people and I’ve been dying for this to come and it’s here. So taming, your student loan dragon is about to happen. So just about everybody, either you have a loan or, you know, someone with a loan, or you took out a loan for your child. This conversation touches everybody. And we all did this to make a better place for ourselves in life to give our kids what we didn’t have, whatever it was.
It got us into that debt that we’re now scratching our head over. What’s the arrangement to rearrange the payment to when do I stop paying this loan well we’re going to begin the conversation today to, to even tell you where the problem started, Christine. Hello. Thank you so much! My pleasure Katherine, always good to be with you and thank you so much for having me back on the launch of my book-How to Tame the Student Loan Dragon. Yay! Yes, yes and congratulations. Well, before we, before we jump into the book, because that’s just rude, like you’ve been in the kitchen cooking and I just come over and eat, right? I’ll ask you nothing about the process. How was your day I drink up your wine and eat your food, right? But what was this like for you cause it’s been a little while.
I don’t know how long you were working on it before you went. I talked it, I talked about it even happening, a couple of years ago, but what was this process like for you and what is it like now that we’re here Yeah, it’s been a long journey. I think the book started before 2018 or right around that time. So, this has been about a four year journey for me in writing the book. And before that was about 10 years in practice boots on the ground, in the trenches discharging student loans for my client at a time when I had 30 year veterans telling me that it couldn’t be done. I did it, I did it once and I’ve done it over and over again now to the point of, to the tune of about $3 million discharged for my clients.
And now this book is for all those people that I cannot serve all over the country because I’m only licensed in California. This is now my gift to the United States and getting that out to other people that just can’t hire me in California because they don’t live here. So, it’s, it’s a deep dive on all things, student loans, in, in all the different aspects, all the different types of loans, different strategies they can use. Now, if they’re in debt and if they’re not even ready to go to college yet, there’s some hope for them too, on how to plan, and learn what the terms are before they sign those contracts. So it covers all bases there.
Congratulations. Okay. If I had the clap feature, right, this second applause, insert applause, like a standing ovation, one is a personal accomplishment and you had to be patient in order to have your personal case studies to know that this stuff works and you understand what we’re going through with student loans. So for all of us who have said, and I guess this is my first question to you, because now we’re going to eat the meal. Look at me. I didn’t spend much time on you, but
The first question is, let’s go. Great! Good.
So is it good that you had a good day? Good! good. Okay. So our first thing is we want to do better for our children than our parents did for us. And maybe it was because our parents couldn’t do better. They couldn’t afford to do better. They didn’t have the knowledge to, to equip us whatever our background is, but somehow we want the next generation to be better than we are. And we insert this educational debt. And so we have a history of where this even began, when did this even become so important?
Yeah, it’s interesting because in the research for the book, I looked back like, how did this start Right. So, you know, back in the beginning of time we went, you know, I looked look up Wikipedia history of higher education in the United States. What’s interesting is it started out as a religious type means and it started way back in the colonial era, to educate spiritual advisers, and, and, and keep the, education for the elite. And by the elite, it used to be very, very exclusive, back in the beginning. And then I think it went into the military at some point because we had the higher education act from 1965. And I think that’s when the GI bill got created. And that, by the way, that was when I was born, I popped in on the scene about that year and a higher education, oh, you’re the troublemaker.
I started it actually. I was there from the very beginning. I just didn’t pay attention for the first 25 years. And, you know, it’s interesting cause it kind of, divulged from there and it went into, you know, see my theory is, you know, there’s this whole thing in the constitution that it says all men are created equal. And I think a lot of the constitutional arguments started cutting up. And so they had to level the playing field and they had to allow everyone in on education and listen. you know, Katherine, we cannot be a great United States, a great leader of the world, a great first world country and you know, good stewards of the entire planet without being educated. And that is one of the biggest problems that we have is that education for most people at this point, my opinion it’s overpriced and unattainable because you know, when the elite go to school, they pay cash and they don’t pay, you know, they might be paying 30, $40,000 a year for tuition at an Ivy league school. But if you and I did the same thing, we’re not just paying that same tuition, we’re borrowing money to go to school and we’re paying 10, 15, 17% sometimes on the interest rates for these notes. So now you’re borrowing two to three, $400,000 for the same education that that person might’ve paid 120 grand for.
It’s expensive being poor.
It is very expensive to be poor. Exactly! And we cannot afford debt. And that is one of the biggest problems in how we got to $1.7 trillion and tuition itself increased at such a rate that our standard of living hasn’t changed. Your income has not gone up and there’s, there’s not enough income to cover that debt. And I see so many people struggling with medical degrees, professional degrees lawyers, you know, not just the average garden variety bachelor’s degree problem. These are people that are striving for super achievement and they don’t make it to the goal. They can’t afford to do the internships or work for free or sit for the boards or something else goes wrong. Or a professor gets in the way. I mean, it’s just amazing.
As you’re talking, I have to, you know spill the beans and let them know that I was one of the first to read the book. But in the, in the book you share stories from, you know, client’s names have been changed and it’s not specific, so you won’t figure it out people. But the point is she has stories in here that let you know that there, you could be a single person. You could be a couple. You could be a single parent. There is any dynamics. You could be a couple that has, you know, gone through getting you, well, not just a couple, but you could have gone to school, gotten your degree. And one of your stories, the guy was successful for many years. And like maybe 10 years into his career, things went bad and you still have these loans. So like, yeah.
Yeah. So you, you, you know, you would know a fine, and it feels like you made the right decision on 10, 10 years later when you’re getting paid less for what you were getting paid more for before. So we, we can’t, you know, avoid like going through things. But what I believe you’re sharing with the entire United States at this point, is there options, I’m going to tell you something. I thought my mom was being cruel to me and maybe she thought she was being cruel to me because she was being mean many years ago. Do you want to go to school you’ll pay for it yourself and I’m thinking, you know, I’ve done good in school for free. So why wouldn’t you want to send me to school, you know, I’m thinking I’m a good investment, but she was like no money to put on me to go to school.
If I wanted to go bad enough, I’ll figure it out. And you know, it was like, there was an argument kind of thing. Like, wow, you won’t fill out my financial aid. And I did not know that this was a thing I just had to do it. And the people at the financial aid office made me feel like, you know, go back home and fresh your mom some more because making you an independent student, that’s not what we do. And I was like, yeah, you all do not understand my mother. She’s still alive. And I’m not being mean. If you ask her this, this stuff is factual. But in fact, my mom was helping me because I became an independent student. Any that I do have, it is on me. It doesn’t hinder her. And maybe that’s what she was looking at and protecting, because also in your book, there’s a kid who wasn’t really that interested in school and now his parents are in a pickle. So, you know, maybe that’s what she was thinking. And it felt cruel. But then talking with my friend, attorney, Christine, I realized sometimes there’s opportunity in that student being poor sometimes.
Yes, sometimes when you get that nose. Yeah. Sometimes when you get that, no it’s negative motivation. Right and my parents never funded my college education. As a matter of fact, Katherine, they were claiming me on their taxes for years after I moved out. What does that do When I go to the student loans, when I go to college and I want to borrow money for my student loves and they want my parents’ education, financial information to know whether I pour on paper and they’re going to deny me, do you know what my parents did They that the, the graduating semester, okay. I was graduated in 1989, you know, early, late 19 hundreds. And, my graduating semester, when I finally got $900 in free Grant money, $900 in free Grant money. And that was not the rest of it was his student loans.
Because when you cut your children off and stop claiming them, when they turn 18 parents, it’s the best gift you can give them so that they can get free money to go to college. When they look poor on paper period, and that’s what parents do, they don’t realize what they’re doing is sabotaging their children. But the other thing is, I agree with your mom. I’m I, you know, I hate to admit it, but with your mom, I think that was the best thing she did for you, honey. I think that was taught to you. Listen, how long nailed me.
Thank you, Christine because I carry that for years. I mean many degrees later, but I’m like, you know, this lady won’t even pay for me to get a certificate, you know, but talking with you, it made the best sense. And to be honest with you, well, there was an irony in it because when my child wanted to go to college, my mom, I think this child came back through my mom, honestly. And I was like, well, I’m going to give him the eye, the wisdom my mom gave me. You go with an independent student, guess whose mom called saying, you should fill out the paperwork for him to go to college my mom. So that was, that’s what made me think she was doing it to be, you know, be mean, but the honor, the thing is you don’t know from time to time, what will be the best route?
However, dead is never the best route. So you, you look at these things, you know, and, and it was powerful mind blowing and, and ironic at the same time. So thank you for letting me let my mom off the hook many hundreds of years later that she really wasn’t setting me up for failure. It really made me put me in a better position. And, and more than I know, because all of us are filling out that FASFA and we don’t know what we’re doing. We’re filling it out. And we’re, we’re trying to do the free stuff. And it may have backfired. You have to talk with an attorney. You have to talk with someone who can advise you and you have to pick up Christine’s book. I’m endorsing it. I am because you need something. That’s going to be a resource for you shameless this book, this, and then we’ve got to wrap up for this time because we’ve got to come back a whole bunch of times because of her book she’s and we didn’t even scratch the surface.
We just talked about the book being here so we’ve got to come right back but this book helps you because each one of my children chose a different path. Someone wants an associate degree. Someone wants a certificate and always weighing what’s going to be the best option. And yes, we got so many things out here, carrying them on your taxes for medical and, and for school, you have to really sit down and think about what’s the best strategy. And I’m speaking to my “This Needs to Be Said” audience specifically, because we’ve talked about wheels and planting in the state on this show. And many of us that we don’t have anything, that’s the problem. We don’t realize what we have. You have so much value in having knowledge of how to guide your children, to getting a better path for themselves. So we we’re gonna we’re to unpack this thing. You’re going to have the book. You’re going to be able to ask questions, connect with Christine. And we’re going to I’m to wrap up right here. And I’m going to ask you to tell them nothing else. Cause we got to come right back. Just tell them how to get in touch with you outside of this discussion.
Christine Kingston. I am at surf city lawyers here in Huntington Beach, California. Katherine, the website is www.surfcitylawyers.com. You can reach us by telephone at (714) 533-9210. We always provide complimentary consultations for all prospective clients in California. Thank you.