Hello, my name is Brandon. In 1996 when I was 19 years old a man was accused of raping one of my sisters. I got into a fight with him and killed him. I spent 23 years in prison for this.
Three years ago, I got out and have been working hard to build a life for myself. I started out as a construction laborer, worked my my into a heavy equipment operator position running front end loaders and tracked excavators. I am now apprenticing to be a utility lineman.
Through all of this I have been driving one beater after another, spending all of my extra cash and a goodly amount of my time off work working on them so I could get to work the next week. When I got into my apprenticeship, I also got off parole around the same time. I figured I have been doing well, working hard, and I deserved a newer vehicle.
I financed a 2012 Ram 2500 diesel from a used car lot. It was beautiful, and I really liked it. Then it broke down. I had to take out another $10k in loans on top of the $28k loan for the truck to get it fixed. Essentially every component of the turbo and emissions system had failed. Of course, being a used vehicle, it was sold “as is”.
For fear that the truck would leave me stranded, and unable to make it to work, I was able to trade it straight across for a 2013 Ford F150 with only 93,000 miles on it. It is proving to be a reliable vehicle.
However, though I have been paying down my debt, it is still a massive weight upon my life. Every week I have to budget very tightly to insure I do not default on my loans. Some weeks I have to rely on friends and family for food to do this. It has become this massive thing that weighs on every aspect of my life and prevents me from being able to do anything but work. I’ve even been picking up side jobs on my days off to be able to throw money at my debt.
It hurts my pride to ask for help, but I am struggling to continue like this. I won’t give up, I won’t quit, I won’t default. But I crave some sort of relief from this relentless grinding existence.
If I can eliminate this debt, I can begin to save to buy my own home, I can be more focused on my apprenticeship. When I journey out, I will be making very good money, and any help I receive, I will be able to pay it forward and help someone else in their struggle.
Thank you for reading.