(WFSB) – Two local teachers have tried everything, but their student loans are just too much to handle.
Now they have a unique life situation, but they’re making the most of it while saving to pay off those loans.
Adam Constantinos and his wife are both teachers.
Adam is in his fifth year of teaching elementary physical education, which he loves.
“It’s a great school, I love the kids, they love me,” Adam said.
An easy transfer from Springfield Technical Community College to Springfield College for undergraduate and master’s degrees, Adam knew being a physical education teacher was the job for him until the student loans started rolling in.
“It’s not easy figuring out how to pay these bills when it’s most of what I earn,” Adam said.
After school, the PE teacher brings his skills to the local climbing gym where he teaches three days a week.
But Adam didn’t follow the traditional path to college.
“I only went to college 10 years out of high school,” Adam said.
Right now he has to pay hundreds of dollars a month for private loans, and that’s not even including federal loans.
He said that was not what he expected when he applied for them.
“I didn’t think about it too much, I was just on this assumption that, you know, if they’re able to give it to me, I’ll be able to be fine when I’m done with it. Especially going up to my masters,” Adam said.
Loans became crippling, and the way his finances worked, basically his entire paycheck went to rent.
In May, Adam and his wife, who teaches special needs primary education, made the difficult decision to move.
“We moved to a campground,” Adam said.
It’s a place where they’ve spent a lot of time, and they figured that right now, although it’s not the most ideal situation, moving into their RV was really the only option they had. wanted to save money and repay their loans.
“It’s tight, it’s a 20ft long RV, we have a bed, he has his bunk, has our kitchen but we’re like together all the time,” Adam said.
Adam said he tried everything to get the loans, but it just wasn’t working.
Eyewitness News spoke to an economics professor who says there might still be things to try if you find yourself in a similar situation.
“If they teach at a low-income school, they can get some or all of the student debt forgiven,” said John Rosen, assistant professor of economics at the University of New Haven. “If any of them were hired into the civil service after college, they can get some or all of the loans forgiven.”
“There are debt counsellors, debt counseling companies that they can contact and those people help you get out of debt,” Rosen said.
Adam said they’re not poor by any means, but that’s what had to be done.
“We have the jobs we are supposed to have, the degrees we are supposed to have, but we are still in this situation. We’re not trying to say we don’t have money or we’re poor, it just doesn’t sit well with us and I don’t know what to do next,” Adam said.
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