I sold my eggs to pay off my student debt because I had no other choice

She puts all her eggs in one basket and pays off her loans.

New Yorker Kassandra Jones sold her frozen eggs for $50,000, so she could invest the money in her mountain of student debt of $167,000. The 28-year-old told the Post she had undergone five rounds of egg donation in a last-ditch effort to repay her loans.

Although she worked three jobs while earning her undergraduate degree — and lived rent-free with her parents — she still had $25,000 in the hole after four years. Then when she decided to gain mastery in public health, she added an additional $40,000 for each additional year of study at New York University.

But with “really no other options” – she only had a month to come up with a financial plan.

“I saw it as one of the only ways I could have any kind of money,” Jones told the Post. “I did everything I could, including donating my eggs, and I was successful and I found the resilience to keep going and try to achieve, and I realized, what society has always told me told me what I had to do to succeed.”

She exhausted all other avenues, she said, including commuting from her home in California during undergrad, taking out the maximum student loans allowed, selling her car, going to community college and she was even in an early college program in high school.

She ended up with $167,000 in loans to repay.

“I wish it wasn’t just for my tuition,” Jones told Jam Press. “I would like this money to be for a down payment for a house or to start my own business.”

Meanwhile, with her mounting debts keeping her awake at night, a friend first suggested donating her eggs for cash. Another friend said she had earned four months’ salary in just a few weeks from egg donation, convincing Jones, then 23, to take the plunge.

After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, she began pursuing her master’s degree, and Jones realized that her mounting debt was too much to pay off through work alone.
Press Jam/Kassandra Jones

She made her first round of donations at her home in California for $8,000 before moving to New York, where she donated the rest of her eggs to NYU Langone Fertility Center for $10,000 each time.

After five rounds of egg donation, she has barely reduced her overall debt. “The scheduled repayments [for the school loans] are $2,000 a month for the next 10 years minimum of my life,” Jones said.

“Hearing that number out loud every time almost makes me catch my breath,” she continued. “When you’re desperate to figure things out as a young adult and you have this crushing debt from the education system, it puts you between a rock and a hard place.”

Frozen eggs can rake anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 for a donor. However, the cost of their purchase, as well as medical treatment, can range from $10,000 to over $40,000.

But donating eggs is not as easy as it seems. Jones learned how to inject himself with hormones, calling the process “labour intensive”. (Some studies have shown an increased risk of developing breast cancer in young donors undergoing ovarian stimulation).

In fact, the first time she donated, she woke up in “pretty excruciating pain,” despite having to start school right away.

“I actually showed up for NYU’s painkiller orientation two days after donating,” Jones told the Post. “Even if they say you can get back to normal activity – not strenuous activity but normal – in a day or two, I don’t believe it.”

Kassandra Jones
Jones, who started donating her eggs at 23, found the process difficult for her body after a few rounds.
Press Jam/Kassandra Jones

“There was a ton of pressure and swelling in my lower abdomen, cramping pain that made it difficult to walk, stand, sit or laugh,” she continued. .

The sensation, which she described as “malaise”, worsened by eating or drinking too much, and caused her food cravings, tender breasts, dehydration and changes in libido.

After two times, subsequent donations began to have longer lasting side effects.

“I felt like my body wasn’t able to recover in the same way,” she said, even noting that she was convinced she suffered from long-term hormonal and tissue imbalances. scarring, even though she had not yet consulted a specialist.

“I struggle with sleep now, digestive issues, weight loss [and] gain, mood,” she said. “Just things that weren’t very obvious before I started doing this now, I feel like it’s become a bit of an issue.”

Jones’ unconventional solution to her crippling debt raised some eyebrows, but she said people her age “get it.”

“The biggest misconception about debt is that we’ve made this decision, and so we kind of have to live with it, but what choices have we really been given to secure our future?” she says. “People my age understand. They completely understand the situation and are equally pissed off at how our education system and government have let us down.

Kassandra Jones in hat and dress
Of her $167,000 loan debt, Jones managed to repay $50,000 with egg donations.
Press Jam/Kassandra Jones

Even with a master’s degree, Jones was only able to secure a part-time paid internship after graduation when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“They took six to seven months to get me to work full time during a pandemic, so I was denied health insurance,” she said, which made it harder to repay her accumulated loans. .

“The money I was making from the part-time job and internship, or just not finding work with a master’s degree for eight months, was barely enough to pay my bills,” she said. declared. “So I knew another form of repayment had to be created, had to be made, in order to even try to put a dent in those loans.”

Jones isn’t the only one struggling with student debt. The average student debt in the US rings in at $57,520, according to NerdWalletwith a grand total of $1.75 trillion.

“Older generations have no idea what it’s like with the new circumstances we have to endure,” she said. “In the 1970s and 80s, tuition and room and board at a four-year college was $1,400. Now that’s an average of $22,000, which is still considered low for most students.

The minimum wage, she continued, “increased only $1.50 to $7.25, or 350%,” while higher education costs saw a “1,400 increase %”.

“To even have a chance of paying tuition without debt while in school, we’d have to work 40-50 hours a week on whatever salary you can get without a degree, and then manage to be a full-time student and find time to, I suppose, sleep? she says. “Generations that are also currently in top positions and have worked their way up don’t have the same qualifying entry points either.”

Jones said people over 40 were ‘dismissive and aggressive’ towards her generation – but she argued that bachelor’s degrees simply weren’t enough to land better-paying roles.

“We actually work even harder than them with very little to no reward for talking about it, and I think that’s why our accommodations and priorities have shifted accordingly,” she said.

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John A. Bogar