I am an American Copt who is seriously considering becoming a monk. Unfotunately, because of radical changes in the American economy while I was in college, my student loans ended up being a lot bigger than I was expecting and it looks like it will take a very long time to pay them back. At which point, I may be too old to qualify for admission to many communities.
So my question is: Does having student loans preclude a person from becoming a monk?
Please understand: I am not trying to become a monk to escape debt. I have a successful career and can pay it back if I want to, but it will take a long while. I wanted to be a monk since before college but I wanted to keep options open and didn't expect to come out with so much debt.
Also, the loans are all with US govt and there are some laws/programs which exempt a person from paying it back if he does not make enough money. Does that make a difference?
I am hoping to become a monk outside of USA (probably Egypt or Israel). Does that make a difference?