A personal finance specialist who runs the YouTube channel Financial Audit, Caleb Hammer shared the story of Teryca Brooks-Long in a new video. It’s revealed Brooks-Long tirelessly works four jobs to pay back her $250,000 student debt, which was accumulating steep interest charges.
Brooks-Long is a model and actress but has had to work as an enrollment advisor for an online university, a virtual assistant for a realtor, and held a position at an advertising agency, all to earn enough and pay off the debt.
The San Antonio resident worked around half of the week, earning about $3,500 per month. She remarked she was constantly working. Nevertheless, her earnings were not enough to keep up with her student loan, which had grown from $176,000 to $250,000 due to accrued interest. Brooks-Long was losing $1,694 in monthly payments, across three loans.
In the clip, Hammer said to Brooks-Long concerning the debt: ‘So, where you’re heading, just with the statements that you’ve provided me, is bankruptcy.’
‘But you can’t clear this out with bankruptcy. You can’t clear out student loans.’ He added: ‘This is going to absolutely balloon, isn’t it? This is going to be half a million before you know it, and then a million.’ Brooks-Long, who undertook a degree in family and consumer sciences from Baylor University, responded, ‘Probably, within the next two years.’
Due to a disputed inheritance, the model could not obtain federal loans and was compelled to obtain an expensive private loan.
In addition, Brooks-Long was hit with 13 overdraft fees in a single month.Hammer recommended she boost her income by securing higher-paying jobs, cutting back on dining out and replacing her 2018 Nissan Sentra with a more economical vehicle. But it turned out, the graduate had also $13,500 for the car, costing her $300 each month, and had sunk her credit score from 720 to 549.
While the episode originally aired on June 15, it has resurfaced after Hammer revealed it was one of the most memorable among the 90 episodes he has produced.
‘It’s going to be a million dollars before she knows it,’ he told Insider in an interview this week. ‘She’s not making progress on it. She got into credit-card debt and car debt as well. So, I mean, that is just dire. That’s where it gets to the point where it feels like it’s impossible to get out of.’ Assuming that Brooks-Long’s loans have variable interest rates, her situation may have considerably deteriorated, given the repeated interest rate hikes by the Fed.
At the time of the recording, her three loans were subject to interest rates of 11.75 percent on two of them and 9 percent on the smallest one. Hammer said: ‘That really sticks with me. That was a scary one.’
However, Brooks-Long’s story comes as a 29-year-old woman and her husband from Washington gained attention after a video of them discussing their $1 million debt went viral. They had sought advice from Christian personal finance guru Dave Ramsey’s radio show. The discussion took place in 2018 but just as it resurfaced, it earned over 9 million views. In the clip, Ramsey lectured the couple, who both work in government, instructing them to cease all spending.