Whoa. I interviewed a Student Loan Expert.

written by Bari Tessler July 10, 2013

Dear Community, 

I discovered Heather Jarvis in response to requests from my Art of Money community for student loan support. Even though this topic wasn’t originally part of the curriculum, it quickly surfaced as a need for my community and I set out to find an expert (as I am certainly not!) to support them.

As soon as I landed on Heather’s site, I exhaled in relief. She exists!

Heather graciously joined me for an interview to support my AOM community . . . and I’ve decided to share the whole thing with you, my larger community, as well!

Before we get this jam-packed 60-minute interview full of nuts and bolts and solid advice . . . I need to name a few deeper dynamics that are swirling around this topic for me.

This was not an easy or comfortable interview for me.

I was holding a lot of heaviness around this topic — so many feelings, and a sense of burden, and at moments, a fleeting hint of hopelessness. This was strange for me! All of the topics I cover with my community can be very charged —(credit card debt, bookkeeping systems, money shame, money healing rituals and more)— and yet I generally sit comfortably in my teacher seat, holding and supporting my community with trust and clarity. This topic was different. Lots more deep breaths required. Yep, there is obviously more work for me to attend to on this topic.

There are so many layers to deal with here. Ultimately, I feel that a collective healing needs to happen in this arena.

For now, I’d like to name and honor a few of the “elephants in the room” whenever the student loan topic comes up (at least for me).

1. Our educational system obviously needs an overhaul.

2. Do we even need college, or is un-college and entrepreneurship a better way?

If I look back, my undergrad was just not educationally rich. I learned how to party. I vote to skip that next time. I was so clueless about what I really wanted to do.  However, my graduate school was almost priceless and has shaped my life and work and parenting tremendously. So, when is traditional schooling still really appropriate and a great option (for certain professions) and when is it clearly not?

3. The Student Loan options are really complex and challenging. Oh my. I felt myself wishing for different answers — I wish this were easier, more flexible, and simpler territory.

4. There is important policy work that needs to happen regarding all of this.

5. And, amidst all of this, how do we honor the choices that we make along our life path? Whether we took out student loans, whether we were gifted a college education, whether we choose not to pursue higher education, whether we are applying our education . . .  How can we make our story right, in this and all areas of our life?

I don’t have answers to all of these questions. But I believe that asking them is a good and important start.

Alongside these big questions, there are practical steps to attend to when we’re dealing with student loans. Enter Heather Jarvis.

I hope you enjoy our conversation, and that it gives you solid footing for moving forward.

Although we can’t untangle everything here in this blog post, my hope is that this resource will open important conversations, and help you seek out the next step in your journey with student loans.

For further information and advice, I highly suggest you connect with Heather Jarvis on her online forum.


P.S. The night before this post was queued up, I came across this article

“Oregon may be the first state to let students go to college without paying up front. They’d pay for their education out of their income after they become employed.” 

So, while I know that many of you will be listening to this interview for immediate student loan support NOW.  

The timing of this felt like a LIGHT on the horizon for change that needs to happen…that IS happening. 



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