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Real Student Debt Stories

A two year associate's degree at a community college should not come with an $18,000 burden. Hard working individuals like myself should not have to put their goals on hold just because they want an education that most well-paying jobs require. Deserving an education and a successful life should not be dependent on affordability alone.

Jessica Wardlaw    August 14, 2017    Saint Paul   

I went back to school in my 30's. I worked hard to get my degree. I now have a job that nets about $23,000. a year. I need the Public Loan Forgiveness Program or I will have no hope of being able to repay my loans. Please do not eliminate this program. To people like me it will make the difference between being able to think about retirement in my 60's or being homeless.

Kelli Martin    August 14, 2017    Carbon   

Working in an office in a college campus I see sooo many students who cannot make ends meet, and who through themselves into such debt because they believe in getting an education.
A government that does not support its youth for the future of the country, but rather uses them for financial gain is abominable! Spending outrages amounts of money on our military instead is so short-sighted. I have no words...

Pamela Raditsch    August 14, 2017    Aptos   

I applied for and received a parent plus loan for my son.
He completed 2 years of college. He was diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenia and unable to finish college. I have asked for help to be forgiven the loan but they told me he can be forgiven but I cant because I'm not suffering from mental illness. It has become such a burden trying to payback the loan that he is unable to benefit from. I do not understand this system. I need help or advice.

Yolanda Taylor    August 14, 2017    philadelphia   

Since I was six years old, before I even knew what it was called, I had wanted to be a veterinarian. My parents made enough money for us to be comfortable, but we didn't have any money set aside for college or graduate school. So when I decided to become a veterinarian, I knew I would be taking out loans. I went to a state school in Pennsylvania, where my mother had taken a job as a secretary, so I could graduate from college with no student debt. It wasn't a strong choice for pre-veterinary, but I knew it would help save money.
I was accepted into my in-state school, University of Pennsylvania. After four grueling years of training, I declined to pursue an internship or residency in favor of getting a job and starting to pay back my loans instead of deferring them. It turned out that, even though I was being paid higher than the average salary for a veterinarian, I wasn't able to afford the payments on my loans.
I enrolled in Income Based Repayment, which was confusing at first. I've spent hours trying to figure out if I should overlay the loans just to make a dent in the interest or what to put aside when it's "forgiven" and seen as income that tax year. It has been a large source of stress in my life since signing that first promissory note.
Donald Trump's budget cuts will increase the percentage of income that will make up my IBR and, more importantly, will extend the number of years I will be paying off my loans before they are forgiven. It will be impossible for me to save that kind of money with the amount of accrued interest that is growing every year.
We can't let this predatory behavior continue. It will affect my ability to save for my children. It may affect my ability to get a mortgage.
Please don'tet this happen to millions of hard-working Americans .

Haley Andersen    August 14, 2017    Havertown   

Your Story*How can young people get a start on life with they are hundreds of thousands in debt. The loan forgiveness program gives them an opportunity to work and use their education. They earn the tax credit. It is not given.
Also, the young will lead this country. Don't you think we should ensure a good education for all.

Diane McMahon    August 14, 2017    Pittsburgh   

two degrees with $54000 in student loans. 7 years later at 53 years old I cannot find a job that pays enough to pay mortgage and $1300 a month on what is now $130,000 student debt thanks to exorbitant interest. I am current on all loans thanks to IBR but interest is killing me; I will die with student loan debt. The Devos/Trump budget is not tenable in any way.

Ted T.    August 14, 2017    Tampa   

America is headed towards a public health disaster due to a shortage of nurses. The retirement tsunami discussed in nursing journals is coming. This is due to a wave of retirements by f both nurses and the education who teach them.
We need funding to pay for nurses and nurse educators to deal with this problem. Cutting funding to the HRSA programs and other public service loan repayment and low income funding just won't help solve this problem and will make things worse.

Daphne Chakurian    August 13, 2017    Roseville   

As a teacher, I needed to get my masters. As an artist, I'd always dreamed of getting my MFA (masters in fine art). I decided (with the support of my husband -after I was told I'd likely never conceive a child), to take on my dream and go to New York and get my MFA in documentary film (you know, to change the world by making films on world hunger). I attended Hofstra University, took out loans to the tune of 120k and finished my MFA in 3 years full time. I worked hard, maintained my GPA and got grants to travel to Africa to make a films about charity work and wildlife conservation efforts. Once I was done, I came back and returned to public school teaching (my certification is in art), thinking I'd keep teaching until my films could show and I could get some college teaching under my belt. And then I got pregnant by some miracle. Shocked, and beyond happy, I didn't expect my family to grow. I am still teaching and we have a small house we bought that needs work. When I finished my degree, I found out I was pregnant all about the same time and was under stress. I was contacted shortly after by a company called the Student Loan Project who promised to get me into a loan forgiveness program and consolidate my loans and lower my payments (from $834 a month) for a fee of $550 up front and a monthly $49 fee there after. Pregnant and emotional I figured it was worth it (not thinking much about it. I signed up. They did consolidate my loans, submitted paperwork on my behalf and I did get a letter stating my new payments were $0 a month (from FedLoan). I was happy as could be. the following year, I had to re-certify my info (resubmit my IBR paperwork, taxes etc.) so the company called for my updated tax info etc. I supplied it and let them do the work, not thinking much about it. In about November (several months after re-certification) I decided I didn't want to continue to pay the $49/month for paperwork I could probably figure out myself every year if I did my own research so I called to cancel my "subscription." Everything was fine.

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Jackie    August 13, 2017    Cheshire   
Jackie    August 13, 2017    Cheshire   

As a teacher, I needed to get my masters. As an artist, I'd always dreamed of getting my MFA (masters in fine art). I decided (with the support of my husband -after I was told I'd likely never conceive a child), to take on my dream and go to New York and get my MFA in documentary film (you know, to change the world by making films on world hunger). I attended Hofstra University, took out loans to the tune of 120k and finished my MFA in 3 years full time. I worked hard, maintained my GPA and got grants to travel to Africa to make a films about charity work and wildlife conservation efforts. Once I was done, I came back and returned to public school teaching (my certification is in art), thinking I'd keep teaching until my films could show and I could get some college teaching under my belt. And then I got pregnant by some miracle. Shocked, and beyond happy, I didn't expect my family to grow. I am still teaching and we have a small house we bought that needs work. When I finished my degree, I found out I was pregnant all about the same time and was under stress. I was contacted shortly after by a company called the Student Loan Project who promised to get me into a loan forgiveness program and consolidate my loans and lower my payments (from $834 a month) for a fee of $550 up front and a monthly $49 fee there after. Pregnant and emotional I figured it was worth it (not thinking much about it. I signed up. They did consolidate my loans, submitted paperwork on my behalf and I did get a letter stating my new payments were $0 a month (from FedLoan). I was happy as could be. the following year, I had to re-certify my info (resubmit my IBR paperwork, taxes etc.) so the company called for my updated tax info etc. I supplied it and let them do the work, not thinking much about it. In about November (several months after re-certification) I decided I didn't want to continue to pay the $49/month for paperwork I could probably figure out myself every year if I did my own research so I called to cancel my "subscription." Everything was fine. Fast forward to now... I re-certified and resubmitted my forms for IBR to get my adjusted loan payments, expecting things to not drastically change since nothing has really changed, and instead got the shock of my life when I got my adjusted payment notice. For the last two years, I got my notice of $0 qualifying payment, and this year I got my adjusted $815 / month payment on IBR. I almost threw up. I immediately logged in and pulled the forms that this old student loan project had submitted and realized they lied on my forms -stating I had 4 dependents, my name was my nick name, my wrong email address and my taxes were filed separately instead of jointly. I cant believe I've let this happen. As soon as I realized my payment was so high, I called and just asked why it was changed, and they said it was because I no longer had a family of 6 and my income was not longer so small... I don't even know what is going to happen, but I'm really sick to my stomach. I don't know if I'll be pulled from the loan forgiveness program, if my last two years will qualify anymore, if my years of service will count, if anything will even be resolved or if I'll be penalized for the thing that isn't my fault in reality even though it is for trusting this scam company to help. I feel like my degree was never worth this. I'm worried I'll be homeless and I've done the worst thing I could have done for my family.

Education is the pathway to a strong economy and better lives for all.

Tanya Akel    August 13, 2017    Los Angeles   

This debt of mine from college back in 00-03 paying off is so hard...I was great at it for 2 yrs then life happens and I fell so behind that the great day of tax return has not existed for me in many years. A miracle needs to happen for me to get out. My child's future depends on me getting my finances under control....this hurts my credit so bad...very sad over it...

Stephanie    August 13, 2017    Warwick   

I would not had been able to complete my higher education if it was not for student loans. I was able to defer some of my payments because of my work. I think the loan program should be continued, but it must be carefully managed. For instance, if an individual is failing their courses, the loan program must be stopped immediately (i.e. not at the end of the school year, etc).

Andy    August 13, 2017    Alexandria   

Trump and DeVos proposed ending the federal student loan forgiveness program for public sector and nonprofit workers, and lengthen the amount of time Americans will have to spend repaying their debts on income-based plans if they borrowed to get an advanced degree.

I am a social worker working for a lesser wage in public service who borrowed for graduate school and I am essentially relying on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program to retire this debt. In general, Americans pay social workers pretty terribly, especially considering the educational investment necessary for the job we do. I don't think I need to go into detail here about the important services we provide to clients. Giving us a break on our student debt is one way to make these lines of work accessible to people who aren't independently wealthy, or at least somewhat appealing to people who could otherwise go into more lucrative private work.

With all of that said, Trump's plan to eliminate this program is a sick joke. A billionaire president and billionaire education secretary, neither of whom spent a single day of their lives in public service before stumbling their way into positions of immense power, are targeting a program that's basically meant to make life in underpaid government work a little more tenable. And don't talk to me about budget savings when this same administration is currently planning a historic tax cut for the rich. If you're even going to talk about fixing the budget, maybe try balancing it on the back of hedge funders first before financially destroying public servants. Basically, I am on the Income Driven Repayment plan working to pay off my loan and if this is abolished, I am certain I will not be able to make the payments.

Kelley Breidigan    August 12, 2017    Newark   

I am a teacher in Seattle who can't afford to live in my school's neighborhood. One of the reasons is my $400+ a month payment I'm making on my student loans, degrees that I needed in order to be hired for my job. When I was hired in Seattle it was very competitive and a master's degree was crucial in getting hired. Now I am living paycheck to paycheck, currently in debt from the amount of school supplies I just purchased for the upcoming school year. I have been paying $400 a month for 5 years and my principal amount has not changed. I won't be able to afford buying a home, providing for my own child who I hope to one day have, and will continue to struggle month to month. It is unjust to take away a program that puts the quality of our lives in jeopardy.

Melissa    August 12, 2017    Seattle   

Your Story: I would have never made through medical school which enabled me to serve the public without reasonable cost student loans. If I even saved one life, my education was valuable and I was blessed to save several hundred during the (unfortunately) brief time before I became disabled and had to retire. Then the Federal Loan forgiveness program for the permanently disabled kept us from being permanently saddled with huge debt on a much lower income (social security versus the salary of a practicing physician. I did not default on my private loans but it took me over 15 years to finally pay those off.

Lisa Krauss    August 12, 2017    Las Vegas, NV   

My husband and I are public employees. We are on the income-based repayment and Public Service Forgiveness program paying a loan that was consolidated with his former wife's before he and knew each other. Even the IBR is a significant monthly payment. Without it, our loan payment would require nearly 50% of my husband's monthly paycheck.We are making good on another persons loan and paying faithfully each month. We are very concerned about the prospect of Public Service Forgiveness elimination, not only for ourselves and our child who is entering college this year in hopes of serving her country rather than her wallet, but many other individuals who seek a higher purpose in their working lives by entering public service.

Deevy    August 12, 2017   

I am 68 years old and am unable to retire because of my student loans. My Social Security is not enough to cover my expenses and I have no retirement benefits. Student loans should not be a noose that is worn for the rest of your life.

Rachel Hendrickson    August 12, 2017    Fremont   

I myself am in this same predicament. I graduated 7 years ago and have a degree but needed 2 certifications to get a job in the field I was studying. Well 7 years later now not a job remotely close to what I went to college for and only left with a part time job at Turkey Hill and at the DMV. Very disappointed and now left with over 32000.00 in the hole.

James Guldin Jr    August 12, 2017    Pine Grove   

I took out loans when I was 18 and at the time, I didn't even understand how the interest rate would impact my loan. I borrowed $7000.00. When I graduated I didn't make enough money to pay my rent and buy food, so I went into deferment. I know owe $72,000.00 in student loan debt.

Mindy Peterson    August 12, 2017    Portland   

I came from a poor family and was able to work and pay my way through college with Social Security and VA benefits, since my father had died. It enriched my life in many ways. My husband worked and went to college part time. We helped our daughter and her savings got her through two years, then, she had to take out loans. Since she is not employed in her field of study full time, she is not able to repay her loans. Why are other "developed" nations able to pay for healthcare AND education and we strap our young people with unsubsidized costs and unfair loans? Stop the immoral punishment of people just trying to be able to find meaningful and well paying work.

Joy Schroeder    August 12, 2017    West Bend   

After being laid off during the economic downturn, I returned to college in 2010 at the age of 33. Married with two small girls to support, everywhere I turned people where heading back to school, and I was told to do the same thing. Even collecting Unemployment the entire time. After finishing my time at community college, I moved on to our local University taking courses towards a degree that was very vague and only useful if combined with a BSN or followed up by a Master's degree. Needless to say, nowhere along the lines did anyone explain to me, nor was I warned in all the FAFSA reading I did- that I would run out of money even before completing my first bachelors degree. So, with NO loan money left, 6 classes left to complete (less then 2 full-time terms), and a family to support...I did the only thing I could do- TRY to take once class at a time while working full time and paying for it out of pocket. Problem is that one cannot make enough these days to both support their families AND pay outrageous tuition!

I am furious as my all my years of hard work and dedication are about to go down the drain as I have now had to quit school altogether until I catch up and pay off my balance. Thank god I was JUST able to pay the last $150.00 of it off last week but now am at a loss as to what to do? I am frantically trying to find something to help me get through the remainder of my coursework. I have a great GPA and have take all but 2 of the hard core classes for my degree. The school says there are funds that they can use to help with situations like this but they have yet to come up with any money. I have an appointment on 8/23 so we will see what they say but I am not holding my breath!

If anyone else has been in the same position or has any ideas please contact me as I would be so grateful for any help!!

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Wendie Smith    August 12, 2017    Beaverton   
Wendie Smith    August 12, 2017    Beaverton   

After being laid off during the economic downturn, I returned to college in 2010 at the age of 33. Married with two small girls to support, everywhere I turned people where heading back to school, and I was told to do the same thing. Even collecting Unemployment the entire time. After finishing my time at community college, I moved on to our local University taking courses towards a degree that was very vague and only useful if combined with a BSN or followed up by a Master's degree. Needless to say, nowhere along the lines did anyone explain to me, nor was I warned in all the FAFSA reading I did- that I would run out of money even before completing my first bachelors degree. So, with NO loan money left, 6 classes left to complete (less then 2 full-time terms), and a family to support...I did the only thing I could do- TRY to take once class at a time while working full time and paying for it out of pocket. Problem is that one cannot make enough these days to both support their families AND pay outrageous tuition!

I am furious as my all my years of hard work and dedication are about to go down the drain as I have now had to quit school altogether until I catch up and pay off my balance. Thank god I was JUST able to pay the last $150.00 of it off last week but now am at a loss as to what to do? I am frantically trying to find something to help me get through the remainder of my coursework. I have a great GPA and have take all but 2 of the hard core classes for my degree. The school says there are funds that they can use to help with situations like this but they have yet to come up with any money. I have an appointment on 8/23 so we will see what they say but I am not holding my breath!

If anyone else has been in the same position or has any ideas please contact me as I would be so grateful for any help!!

I was lucky to get a good job after college however paying 440 a month to pay back my loans. in five years I could help kick start the economy and upgrade to better housing situation. do not end student loan forgiveness Mr Trump bad mistake. if you do will make it my mission that you are not reelected President.

Reginald Tucker    August 12, 2017    little rock   

I am the first in my family to earn a college degree thanks to programs such as the Pell Grant. I am currently working in a Title I school system with the income driven payment plan and public service foregiveness plan. Our teachers cannot afford anymore cuts as they struggle now to survive! Don't pass these cuts, please!

Shannon Manigault    August 11, 2017    Bunnell   

I went to college and graduated in 1992. My debt was $30,000 once graduated. My payments have always been income based and I've never defaulted. My loans were sold 4 or 5 times, each time at a different interest rate which kept accruing. I have been paying on a $30,000 loan now for 25 years and now has an impossible $280,000 balance. How is this even possible? I've asked for a paper trail but nobody I've spoke with can provide one.
So I continue to work at a low paying 501c non profit to stay in the Student Loan Forgiveness program. I have 4 years left. If this program is cut I will have no choice but to leave the country. Canada is looking pretty good right about now. The depression I feel is devastating over this. This is legal loan sharking.

Suzanne DeMarinis    August 11, 2017    Missoula   

I have five grandchildren with college loan debt. The interest is too high and it's tough for them to get by. All work hard at jobs or finishing school. It's not fair that they have to struggle so much.

Karen Beshears    August 11, 2017    Sherrard   

I am a retired 61 year old father trying to help my daughter with her student loan. She was at an out of state art college for one year, and because of her health problem she was unable to return to school the following year. Now she is strapped with a $33,000(+-) loan that we have been paying on for almost ten years with very little to show as far as the balance decreasing. And to top it off, they keep increasing the interest rate to where it is over 10%, and she is paying almost $400 a month. She is unable to be on her own because of these payments, that also keeps her bately able to provide for her necessities. Our loan is through NAVIENT, and was wondering if there is something we are missing that can relieve us from them literally robbing us from any quality of life and preventing my daughter from growing and progressing and with little chance of any future. I'm sure that we can't be the only ones, and there has to be some way to help get away from this, it has to be illegal what NAVIENT is doing.

Michael    August 11, 2017    Charleston   

I was fortunate in that when I attended college it was affordable. Neither I nor my family had to go into debt. My spouse and I could do the same for our children. It breaks my heart that my Granddaughter is going to be deeply in debt by the time she finishes. I am embarrassed that our country, the richest in the world, does not offer free college to all who desire it. Education should be a right, not a privilege for for the few and the wealthy. To me this is a moral issue.

Sharri    August 11, 2017    Vancouver   

I went to a culinary trade school which cost $42,000.00 for a 14-month program. Because of my age, I could not find a job in the restaurant industry while going to school, and because of my age, I could not find a job after graduating. My loan debt upon graduating was beyond my ability to pay. I became homeless and finally found a job in a grocery deli working part time, and took my Social Security to supplement my employment. It did not cover my living expenses, but I was able to rent a room. I am on the Income Driven Repayment plan and if this is altered, I fear I will not be able to make the payments.

Katherine Howard    August 11, 2017    Newport   

Since the age of 18 I've been on my own. I went to school, worked full time, volunteered, and eventually even bought a house in California at the bottom of the market during the housing crisis. I've done it all on my own. I pay my bills on time and in full and I try to keep debt to a minimum but it isn't easy. Now the housing market has bounced back and I'm ready to sell my home and change my pace of life, but recently, because of a mailing address SNAFU, my student loan holder, Navient, reported me 90 days delinquent on my loans. And here's the kicker, they never sent me those bills, they sent them to an old address I haven't been at for nearly a decade. My loan was in deferment but I made a payment in January because they sent me a bill and I like to pay the interest if I can so it doesn't capitalize. After that, I received nothing. No bills, no phone calls, no emails. When I received a notification that my credit score had suddenly dropped significantly. I had to do some investigating to see that it was because of Navient. I contacted them to straighten out the issue and contacted the credit reporting agency to let them know of the error, but a month after believing the error would be fixed, my credit score is still in the low 500's when it was in the mid 700's before. Now my plans to sell my home and get a new one at a decent interest rate, if at all, are in jeopardy. I've done everything I'm supposed to, and I'm still getting screwed. It makes me hesitate to ever pursue higher education again. This, along with other horror stories, will happen to countless others if education only becomes harder to obtain.

Logan De La Noche    August 11, 2017    San Leandro   

My son and daughter both went to college and they made super grades. I was a single mom and it was hard. I believe that student loans are way to high for kids to get out of school and find employment. Please help with this debt crisis. With '45' I am sure all of this is not going to do anything except get us into a Nuke War!

Evelyn Mallery    August 11, 2017    West Sacramento, CA   

I am a single mom of a college-age son. We borrowed $13,000 last year, his freshman year. Loan repayment began almost immediately at $128 per month. This year we had to borrow $26,000 with deferred payments. With interest compounded, the payback amount will be $53,000. This is just ridiculous. We still have 2 more years to go. It's almost not worth getting a college education. A huge chunk of his future earnings will go to paying back loans. How will he pay a mortgage or rent; or support a family of his own? What are we doing to our children?

Karin Molnar    August 11, 2017    Bordentown   

To see the young starting their adult life with a chain around their necks. Never in our past history that has been the case. How is it possible that instead of making it easier we are making it more difficult for them to succeed?

Mario Parra Sr.    August 11, 2017    Lutz   

I have worked for the state since 1982. I am a 56 y.o. single white female and as you know government workers are some of the lowest paid in the nation. I was promised while working at Department of Family and Children Services that if I received my Master's Degree that my loan would be reimbursed/paid for. This was revoked as I graduated owing over $65,000 in student debt. When you make only $38,000 after working 30 years with the state, it is hard to repay these type loans that should have been forgiven. My clients were eligible for PELL and went to school for free, the rich and famous can afford to go to school, only the middle income state employees have to pay for college. Please continue the forgiveness program for them.

Jamye McDonald    August 11, 2017    summerville   

The best investment any government can make is in its people's education and that's what we are going to do.

Johnny Satterwhite    August 11, 2017    Converse   

Please ensure the student loan forgiveness program is not ended by the current administration. I've worked hard to obtain my degree in City Planning, I was a single mother on federal assistance and feel I've been a great example to my daughter. I promised to work as a public servant in return for the HUD grant for my degree. I left Iowa after I couldn't get a job and was hired to work for the County of Napa. I live in a town amongst a county filled with wealthy winery and vineyard owners. I will never be as rich as them and that's ok. I've been living a fulfilling life helping the public. The payments on my student loan prevent me from owning a fancy new car and it limits my life in a variety of other ways. I've been working for the County for a little over ten years and other than a one year break in payments (due to my treatment for breast cancer) I've mad enough payments and hope to be forgiven soon.
This is one promise to the people of this country that should not be taken back. Please, please work hard to keep the program in place. I'm 57 and hope to retire soon. I can't do that with this debt over my head.

Linda St Claire    August 11, 2017    Napa   

I needed to take student loans in order to receive a world class education in both the United States and abroad. I noticed that while I was abroad the students from developed countries such as Switzerland, Russia, the UK, and others did not have to take on massive debt in order to graduate in a degree for their careers. Their countries taxed the wealthy corporations in such a way to afford secondary education programs as well as tuition free college. I not have to worry about $28,000 in debt for a bachelor's degree with no guarantee of getting a better job but I know that without this degree I would not be able to compete in the current economy. We must change the way we charge for education and work to relieve those of us in debt because of school and making it free for the next generation.

Ebony Yarger    August 11, 2017    Twin Falls   

My daughter is in debt for $130,000.00, and I am her Mom
I am American Indian and I could not get even a penny off her loans. I co-signed on her loans so she could get a lower interest rate.I don't want the rates to go up, and I want to see her debt erased.

Dolores Klasek    August 11, 2017    Westchester   

As a son of a single Mom who had no knowledge regarding college and student loans I depended on the loan officers and college to Inform me about the loans they so willingly gave me.
I've have problems moving on and making.
a decent living after all the education I've had. I feel overwhelmed. The worst of it is the compounded interest building. If the banks were helped out during the banking crises and had a very low interest 1-2%. why not students who are in crises?
I feel like I'm carrying a 400 lb weight on my back. I don't know what to do.

laura Scotti    August 4, 2017    Boston   

The debt story of my wife and I are nothing like a lot of these stories. We both are from California and grew up under the poverty line. I had a child at 17 in High School. My wife was a 4.2GPA student and went to Berkeley. We both worked while in school and both received a tremendous amount of aid because we were poor and I was a teenage parent. Also, it didn't hurt that I was in foster care as a kid. Even with all the aid and work we graduated with a combined 40K in student loans. We also were lucky in the sense that we were about to live with my wife's dad for 6 years. In that time we saved and paid off a good chunk of our loan. We also worked our way up and now have very good paying jobs. We still owe about 15K 6 years later but it is very manageable. I wanted to write this because we are where we are because of not just hard work but because of a lot of LUCK and our situation can change at any moment. We have savings and we don't buy anything expensive because we could get laid off at any moment. I feel our generation (millennials) are living in a constant state of economic fear and the country will suffer from this. If it wasn't for my wife's father our lives will not be as well as they are now and I understand everyone does not have that luxury. Our student loans because of her father weren't prohibitive but they definitely slowed my wife's and I economic progress. We don't take risk, we don't purchase cars, we don't spend in a spending economy. Now one can argue that this is a good thing and it is about time American's stop spending and start saving but I will save that conversation for another time.

Jorge Cardenas    July 28, 2017    Irvine   

By all measures I had success with my student loans. I graduated grad school in 1997 owing about $92,000. I deferred the loans for a couple years, then went into repayment mode after consolidating them into a 30 year $650/mo payment schedule. This was about 1999 and I was about 30 years old. My student loan was higher than my rent. Early on, there were times I had to use payday loan services to buy food and pawn shops for the same.

I paid off those students loans last year, about 13 years early, which may sound like a success except the way I did was by throwing every extra penny I got into those loans instead of the economy. I bought my last new car in 1995. I bought my first house at the age of 45. Throughout all of those years, money I would have spent in the local economy on durable consumer goods/house supporting ALL the jobs those industries create, got nothing from me because Sallie Mae took it all.

There is a ripple effect that comes from crippling student loan debt -- even if a person is able to personally overcome the loans, it means he or she is not spending money in a way the generates work for other people -- the debtor is just making the banking class richer as they leach wealth and income out of the economy.

Even though I won't directly personally benefit from solving the student debt crisis, I wholeheartedly support any means to fix the problem. Our entire labor market depends on people being able to afford certain high value items (cars, homes, appliances, computers, etc.) and the student loan crisis poses a salient threat to that labor market by siphoning off any semblance of disposable income into the pockets of organizations that generate nothing of any utilitarian value -- just useless profit for the 0.01%.

PBW    July 21, 2017   

Dear Legislator,
I have been a special education and public school teacher for six years. I understand that as a teacher, I will probably never make more than $70k, if I am lucky enough to make that. I am not looking to get rich. In Massachusetts and Virginia, the two states where I have taught, teachers need a master's degree--so I have a good deal of debt, but I am contributing to society, and paying my bills, including my consolidated loan. I went into teaching because I knew that there would be debt relief for my master's degree--the PSLF Program.

Now I--and so many other public servants--feel my dreams are going to come crashing down. Why oh why do Trump and DeVos want to destroy public schools; grants for deserving students; and relief for hard-working teachers? It feels like the world has gone mad--these people know nothing about public education, teaching, or poverty--truly nothing.

Please tell me that you will not let all of us down. Do not let this happen to us.

Elizabeth Mullin    July 20, 2017    Sterling   

I have several issues with the Department of Education. First, I'm on Income Contingent repayment, which when I calculate my payment on their website based on my income, $106,756.17, which has not changed in several years, I get a significantly smaller payment out of that equation. I've attached the snapshot of their website payment estimator. Sure, it wouldn't be exactly the same, but we are talking $400. a month difference. I'm on public service loan forgiveness program. The agency continually interrupts my payments, which are on auto pay, without notifying me and without my permission. Apparently, there is a law that allows them to automatically place my loan on deferment if I'm a half time student, without contacting me. Secondly, they interrupt my payments completely out of the blue. For example, they did not take payments out of my auto pay on February and March 2017, then they took a payment in April, and then put my loans in deferment in May. I contacted them in June and they said I had to file documentation in order to have my loans taken out of a deferment that I didn't ask for. I submitted that documentation in June and I'm still waiting for them to reinstate my payments. They don't even have the form for this on their website readily available and there is no place to upload it, seems pretty convenient don't you think. You have to get the form from them or they tell you where the secret link is, then send it in and hope they don't conveniently lose it. It looks to me and I'm just an old Soldier, but it seems that their goal is to make me pay the highest payment they can get away with, skip payments so that several months maybe years at this rate, will not count towards my public service loan forgiveness. I want my automatic payments that I set up to be taken out of my account reinstated, backdated, accepted and this predatory practice on service members stopped. By the way, as you know service members like myself are often on extended duty,

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Author Kathryn Simms    July 16, 2017   
Author Kathryn Simms    July 16, 2017   

I have several issues with the Department of Education. First, I'm on Income Contingent repayment, which when I calculate my payment on their website based on my income, $106,756.17, which has not changed in several years, I get a significantly smaller payment out of that equation. I've attached the snapshot of their website payment estimator. Sure, it wouldn't be exactly the same, but we are talking $400. a month difference. I'm on public service loan forgiveness program. The agency continually interrupts my payments, which are on auto pay, without notifying me and without my permission. Apparently, there is a law that allows them to automatically place my loan on deferment if I'm a half time student, without contacting me. Secondly, they interrupt my payments completely out of the blue. For example, they did not take payments out of my auto pay on February and March 2017, then they took a payment in April, and then put my loans in deferment in May. I contacted them in June and they said I had to file documentation in order to have my loans taken out of a deferment that I didn't ask for. I submitted that documentation in June and I'm still waiting for them to reinstate my payments. They don't even have the form for this on their website readily available and there is no place to upload it, seems pretty convenient don't you think. You have to get the form from them or they tell you where the secret link is, then send it in and hope they don't conveniently lose it. It looks to me and I'm just an old Soldier, but it seems that their goal is to make me pay the highest payment they can get away with, skip payments so that several months maybe years at this rate, will not count towards my public service loan forgiveness. I want my automatic payments that I set up to be taken out of my account reinstated, backdated, accepted and this predatory practice on service members stopped. By the way, as you know service members like myself are often on extended duty, without access to computers, meanwhile this agency continues these actions often without the knowledge of the Soldier, until it’s too late. To date, I've missed at least 8 months of payments, because the agency said they were recalculating my payments, they were transferring my loan, they put my loan in deferment for half time school attendance, and who knows why they didn't take payments in February and March????? I've come to the conclusion that the Department of Education goal is go hike my payments up and interrupt as many automatic payments as possible, in order to prevent me from getting anything forgiven on my loans. Its a racket.

I started schooling in March of 2010 with Everest from Orlando Florida online classes and I was approved a Pell Grant from the government for $3,500 plus a student loan from Sallie Mae. I was told I would not need to pay back the Pell Grant but I would Sallie Mae after getting a job. My computer went down 3 months into it and I had to withdrawal from the college. There are trying to charge me a ton of money that I did not use. The Pell Grant alone should have covered three months of schooling instead of returning the rest of the loan to Sallie Mae, Everest University kept it and are trying to make me pay Sallie Mae that I don't owe, they do meaning Everest. Terrible school and very misleading, ripoff artist. I barely get by now let alone having to pay back money that I did not use and they have yet to make it right.

Julie Richards    July 14, 2017    Lancaster   

Studied through Everest for Medical Billing and Coding for 2 and half years. I now have $36,000 in student loans and I work a bus aid. Thanks Everest you really did change the future for me and my kids, debt forever and no sign of relief.

H. King    July 1, 2017    Syracuse   

My mother and father are drug addicts and I was legally emancipated from them both at 15. I made straight A's, if not 100's through high school, graduated with AB honor roll and a 4.4 GPA, and still don't receive assistant. I've been working 60+ hours a week while going to school full time since I was 15 and I still can't progress. America is supposed to be the land of opportunity, but greedy millionaires are taking programs that help kids in my situation have ANY opportunity at all. I am working to become a teacher and was looking forward to loan forgiveness programs for those who work in at-need schools, because I won't be able to afford a home until I'm over 40 years old unless I find a way to pay off my loans before them. I am not a one in a thousand. I grew up with kids who's parents owned Fortune 500 companies and I also grew up with kids who's parents beat, neglected them, and didn't provide them with ANY content that would help them as adults. We are the real Americans, and the only ones who know what the American dream and struggle really means and if these programs are cut, we will all melt into poverty and be much worse off. You want to keep crime rates low and people off the streets? Keep them in school.

Aubrianna Abbema    June 27, 2017    Corpus Christi   

I borrowed 17k in 1992-1994.
The school told us we would make 60 k upon graduation.
I started at 27k.
Due to years of injuries and just plain bad luck, I have not been able to pay down this debt. It is now over 100k. It was doubled at some point for an eronious chapter 7 entry by city bank.
I had to file chapter 7 this year among surgeries and job changes.

I work as a contractor and I will have to throw in the towel. It will cause me to be a scofflaw and in breach of the contract so I will be black listed by OPM and stop supporting the Armed forces after 8 years of commitment.
AND 20 years of volunteer work with the New York Guard, Army division.
I lived to support the troops. I am now under treatment for depression partly because I cannot see a way forward. There is no way out even after 20 years the government will not let go and take some of my retirement. I suppose.

Thank you for your time.

johnburgos    June 22, 2017    Manassas   

Currently, I owe just over fifty thousand dollars. I do not have a degree.

At first, I was encouraged to join a For Pay college "Ashford," you may have heard about the large amounts of lawsuits they have faced. I don't have any way of getting my money back. I was pushed to join this college even though I had my misgivings. I was right to question the validity of the organization. Ten thousands dollars later, three classes down, and I still did not feel like I was learning anything.

I decided to call it quits and started at a real community college. I loved it and I felt like I was actually learning something. The books at Ashford seemed fishy because all of the authors were current "professors," who worked there. The homework was silly and mostly made up of opinions and go to this website busy work.

Sure, it was much harder at the community college but it was good. Until I discovered that I couldn't pass a math test to save my life. I'd have six degrees if I could pass your regular generic Algebra class. And if I used the money I used on Ashford I could attend a Math class again. However, I'm at my limit. I may not even have enough to attend a four year college. If I want a degree from my community college I need to pay for it out of pocket. Including the developmental classes if I cannot pass the TSI.

It's been three years since I have been in college and I don't do something soon those credits will not mean anything. I discovered that I do have a few developmental and learning disabilities. However, if I can find the means to get back to college mine will assist me with that... But, I can't afford it. So, there you go...

NA    June 16, 2017    NA   

In February 2016 I shared this story:

I currently have over $250,000 worth of student loan debt (both private and federal). Most of this debt was taken out by my parents who at the time thought they would be able to pay it back. Unfortunately, the economic recession made this impossible. Despite the best intentions of my parents, I am left with crippling debt that cannot possibly be paid back since I am a high school teacher.

Although I am a public employee, I feel that the government has severely let my generation down. At 29 years old, I cannot buy a home or start a family and I constantly have to worry about being able to pay my bills each month. It pains me to think about how my generation could be contributing to society and the economy if it weren't for this horrible burden.

Now in 2017, I fear the future of public education. As an AP government teacher, I can't help but feel disillusioned by the system. I am proud of the education I received and know that it has benefitted my students. Yet, instead of law, I chose education because of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. If this program is not honored under the Trump administration, I fear I will never be able to be self-sufficient and start a family in the competitive economic environment of New York.

Carolyn    June 8, 2017    MASSAPEQUA   

I got out of high school determined to never go to school again. Worked as a carpenter for five years and became a supervisor. Still, i was only making $30k per year. Everybody I discussed my future with suggested that if I had a degree I could get a better job, so I went to college. Two years of community college got me job offers of $22k per year, needless to say, I went back to being a carpenter. Two years later, after talking to lots more people, I went to a well respected college and got a bachelors degree in economics, still no meaningful difference in pay between my carpenters wage and any job prospects. Both times I was assured by college staff that my sacrifice and investment would generate a lifelong return in higher paying career opportunities. THAT IS A LIE!
I drank the Kool Ade the college administrators were selling, got a masters degree, started working on my PhD and two years into the PhD I got a letter telling me I had met the lifetime maximum for student loans. No PhD for me.
I am still a carpenter. Before the depression I made an excellent salary and paid upwards of $700 per month on my student loans religiously for several years. Mind you, this was a trade that had nothing to do with any of my degrees, and I was making a six figure income.
When the crash impacted my job I put my loans in forbearance where they have been for the last seven years. in that time the debt has snowballed, and there is no way I can repay it, it is now double the amount I had originally borrowed for my worthless degrees, and it bothers me every day. If I could pay it back without hardship I would, and would have if the magical job opportunities that were promised would have come with the degrees. College and student loans are one of the biggest scams in the US.

Jeffrey Britton    June 5, 2017    Waikoloa   

I was a single mother living way below poverty level when I returned to school. I went back to school so I would not be forced to live on welfare or food stamps. I ended college with a graduate degree and $70,000 in student loans. I was told that employers would not even consider me without a graduate degree. It took me a long time to finish my degrees because I worked full time in a low paying job and was a parent. My balance is now $89,000 because of all the interest. I got married but I have to keep life insurance on myself to pay the student loan tax bill in case I die before they are forgiven. I am 5 years into payments with 20 years left. I voted for Trump because of the plan of reducing repayment time down to 15 years. This would mean my balance would be lower at the time of forgiveness and less taxes I would have to be paid on the forgiven amount. Plus I would have my student loans forgiven before we go on Social Security as our primary source of income. But now I find trump is proposing 30 years for repayment. That is not 5 more years of repayment, but 5 years of nothing but interest accrual to increase my tax bill at the end. That is 5 years in which we won't be working. If Trump is not going to keep his campaign promise then just leave me alone on my REPAYE plan. We will have to start voting Democrat until these student loans are gone.

Sandra M Geiger    June 4, 2017    Brookings   

My story is a short one. I was a divorced single mom in '79 in need of an education, a temp job, an apartment, a stove, a refrigerator and eventually a babysitter. Sometimes you gotta do it all at once. You take it all in, kinda freak out for a bit. Then just start ... anywhere. Whatever comes to mind that you can do, do it. I took many deep breathes and got it done one step at a time. All I know is I got a Pell grant, a Perkins and my education was paid for, with no student debt. I used State welfare while in school so I could spend time with my daughter, be there for her and not miss out on her childhood. I had to pay some of that back. I used the benefits available to me the way they were intended to be used and I'm forever thankful for them. I joined this group purely to support America's youth aka...America's future. I'll sign every petition in your best interest. Jill Stein would have done a lot better by you! Good Luck to each and everyone of you. Stay strong and fight for what is right! You deserve a promising and fulfilling future.

Betty K    June 2, 2017    Bristol   

I borrowed $63,000 in federal loans to get through graduate school. I have paid back about $60,000 and still owe almost $94,000. And that just keeps going up because my payment does not even cover my interest amount while I am on income based repayment.

I work a public interest job, but had the poor timing to graduate before the loan forgiveness program existed. When the program was created, i called my lender at the time (Sallie Mae) and asked if I qualified for public service loan forgiveness. I was told I did. A few years later I asked again and was again told that I did. I found out just over a year ago through a for profit company that was trying to get me to pay to consolidate my loan with the Dept of Ed that I could only qualify if I consolidated with Fed Loan Servicing. I called the Dept of Education and found out that what I had been told was correct- none of my years of public service counted because I did not have the right kind of loan and could only get that kind of loan through consolidation. I see others on this page have had similar experiences.

As for public interest work: I live in a rural county and have been at my job for 13 years. In that time I have had to put my loan in forbearance because of a surgery, car issues, and a divorce. I do not make enough to pay my loans and any unexpected debts that arise. So I either have to put my loans in forbearance or go into credit card debt when things happen. Being eclectic, I have done both.

As for my employer, a few years ago they hired someone with no experience at twice my salary, and someone who had been out of the field for about a decade at 40% more than my salary (I had been there 10 years at the time). I could go on about how hard the job is, but a lot of you already get it.

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Michelle K    May 31, 2017    Arcata   
Michelle K    May 31, 2017    Arcata   

I borrowed $63,000 in federal loans to get through graduate school. I have paid back about $60,000 and still owe almost $94,000. And that just keeps going up because my payment does not even cover my interest amount while I am on income based repayment.

I work a public interest job, but had the poor timing to graduate before the loan forgiveness program existed. When the program was created, i called my lender at the time (Sallie Mae) and asked if I qualified for public service loan forgiveness. I was told I did. A few years later I asked again and was again told that I did. I found out just over a year ago through a for profit company that was trying to get me to pay to consolidate my loan with the Dept of Ed that I could only qualify if I consolidated with Fed Loan Servicing. I called the Dept of Education and found out that what I had been told was correct- none of my years of public service counted because I did not have the right kind of loan and could only get that kind of loan through consolidation. I see others on this page have had similar experiences.

As for public interest work: I live in a rural county and have been at my job for 13 years. In that time I have had to put my loan in forbearance because of a surgery, car issues, and a divorce. I do not make enough to pay my loans and any unexpected debts that arise. So I either have to put my loans in forbearance or go into credit card debt when things happen. Being eclectic, I have done both.

As for my employer, a few years ago they hired someone with no experience at twice my salary, and someone who had been out of the field for about a decade at 40% more than my salary (I had been there 10 years at the time). I could go on about how hard the job is, but a lot of you already get it. Just the foibles of public service work. Poor pay, poor admin decisions, endless debt.

I do not understand why anyone should work for so little pay in high stress jobs for 10 years before obtaining debt relief. Give me partial relief for each year I am employed. If I don't make it 10 years, I don't get complete forgiveness. But give me some relief while I am slogging away at an emotionally draining job for low pay.

Today while at work I got contacted by someone claiming to be calling from the dept of education. I asked directly two times if he worked for the dept of ed and was told yes both times. He told me I could get partial loan forgiveness and my payment cut in half. I asked how this could be when i had spoken to the dept of ed about my situation and written my congress reps and been told that nothing more could be done for me. He assured me there was hope and transferred me to his client rep supervisor (or some such name) who disclosed that he worked for Debt Center of America. When I pointed out the prior agent had said he worked for the Dept of Education I was told there must have been a miscommunication. He also said it would be $499, while the first person said it was free. I said to both men several times that what they were saying sounded to good to be true and expressed doubt about the truth of what they were saying. Why didn't I just hang up? The possibility of debt relief is so compelling that I kept listening in hopes it would turn out to be true. It didn't. I didn't give them my social security number when they asked, or $499. And, so it goes. False hope is the only hope I come across with this debt.

Best of luck to everyone else posting on this site. I feel your pain. Here's hoping for some relief for all of us.

The news about the education budget is terrifying me. Are there any current movements or what can we do to stop this? We need something similar to ACA protests...and more. I can't imagine this passing. It would be a disaster and a crisis for so many students. I am currently on Income-Driven repayment plan and Public Loan Forgiveness program. Thank you.

Anna Obek    May 30, 2017    Austin   

I have been accepted into the PSLF program and began to make what I believed were qualifying payments in 2010. I received a letter saying that I've been accepted into the program and that I would be able to make a hundred and twenty (120) qualifying payments in order to be forgiven the rest of my student loans.

I work at a very modest paying job in a small regional state university in Louisiana. I make under $40,000 a year. Like many people, I have a house note, a car note, plus $23,000 of student loan debt. Unlike many people, I also owe little bit more than that to the Small Business Administration because after Hurricane Katrina, I lost everything. So, needless to say, at the end of the month, I generally have nothing in my bank account.

I have never missed a payment. I have paid more than I actually owed according to the terms of my Public Service Forgiveness Loan servicers' bills. That would be Fed Loans who collects on the debt. After 7 years of being in the program, I have only been granted 25 qualifying payments. I repeat, I have never been late and I have often paid more than what I owed in a year.

Whatever becomes of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, I don't believe the government administers it in good faith or wishes to continue it given my experience dealing with Fed Loans in the Department of Education. After countless hours of my life spent trying to do the program properly, it seems like the bitter reality may be that I may never even benefit from having tried so hard to work within the parameters of the Department of Education and Fed Loans rules. I would love to tell you more about this. I have contacted all of my Congress people to try to get some clarity regarding how the Public service loan forgiveness program is not transparent or run in such a way that people who play by the rules can actually take advantage of what the program promises.

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Robin White    May 30, 2017    New Orleans   
Robin White    May 30, 2017    New Orleans   

I have been accepted into the PSLF program and began to make what I believed were qualifying payments in 2010. I received a letter saying that I've been accepted into the program and that I would be able to make a hundred and twenty (120) qualifying payments in order to be forgiven the rest of my student loans.

I work at a very modest paying job in a small regional state university in Louisiana. I make under $40,000 a year. Like many people, I have a house note, a car note, plus $23,000 of student loan debt. Unlike many people, I also owe little bit more than that to the Small Business Administration because after Hurricane Katrina, I lost everything. So, needless to say, at the end of the month, I generally have nothing in my bank account.

I have never missed a payment. I have paid more than I actually owed according to the terms of my Public Service Forgiveness Loan servicers' bills. That would be Fed Loans who collects on the debt. After 7 years of being in the program, I have only been granted 25 qualifying payments. I repeat, I have never been late and I have often paid more than what I owed in a year.

Whatever becomes of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, I don't believe the government administers it in good faith or wishes to continue it given my experience dealing with Fed Loans in the Department of Education. After countless hours of my life spent trying to do the program properly, it seems like the bitter reality may be that I may never even benefit from having tried so hard to work within the parameters of the Department of Education and Fed Loans rules. I would love to tell you more about this. I have contacted all of my Congress people to try to get some clarity regarding how the Public service loan forgiveness program is not transparent or run in such a way that people who play by the rules can actually take advantage of what the program promises.

I have been jerked around for more than 6 years now being put in different payment plans and the debt keeps growing. My kids will never go to college unless they pay for themselves. From Direct Loans to Ed Financial to Navient...now Fed Loans. It's a corrupt system.

Amanda    May 29, 2017    Schenectady   

That's not hyperbole, it's not going to be possible to pay off all my student loan debt in my lifetime. When my first student loan was certified 24 years ago, I signed off on all the disclosures - "this is a debt that MUST be repaid" - with as much earnestness and wisdom possible for an 18 year old first-generation baccalaureate student. At 18, I was downright stupid with taking out loans - lack of meaningful consumer education is part of the problem. But my loan balance began to increase at an alarming rate, even after I graduated and wasn't adding to the principle. It was truly like a snowball, and after the days of 1.9% interest my balance increased despite making monthly payments for about a decade! At the point I decided to try for a Master's degree hoping I would make more money, I already had 3 children and just couldn't complete the program - and I did this twice. I have one BA, enough graduate credits from 3 schools to make about two-thirds of a Master's degree, and well over 100k in student loan debt. I didn't start making enough money to really start to dig into the debt until 10 years after I graduated, which was 5 years ago. Now my oldest is in college and I'm paying for her education with PLUS loans because over my dead body will I strap any of them with the debt I have. My oldest is a straight A member of the National Honor Society and was eligible for ZERO aid to attend Ohio State. I'll end up taking on the debt for all 3 of my kids, piling it on to the 100k I already had and it will literally will go to my grave with me. Some things consider when thinking about reform: the unique impact of student loan crisis on people with "hidden" disabilities like ADHD; existing loan commitments not factoring into FAFSA calculations; and if a student with the academic resume that my daughter has can't get any aid because the government says her mom makes too much money,

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Jenny Jones    May 28, 2017    Cincinnati   
Jenny Jones    May 28, 2017    Cincinnati   

That's not hyperbole, it's not going to be possible to pay off all my student loan debt in my lifetime. When my first student loan was certified 24 years ago, I signed off on all the disclosures - "this is a debt that MUST be repaid" - with as much earnestness and wisdom possible for an 18 year old first-generation baccalaureate student. At 18, I was downright stupid with taking out loans - lack of meaningful consumer education is part of the problem. But my loan balance began to increase at an alarming rate, even after I graduated and wasn't adding to the principle. It was truly like a snowball, and after the days of 1.9% interest my balance increased despite making monthly payments for about a decade! At the point I decided to try for a Master's degree hoping I would make more money, I already had 3 children and just couldn't complete the program - and I did this twice. I have one BA, enough graduate credits from 3 schools to make about two-thirds of a Master's degree, and well over 100k in student loan debt. I didn't start making enough money to really start to dig into the debt until 10 years after I graduated, which was 5 years ago. Now my oldest is in college and I'm paying for her education with PLUS loans because over my dead body will I strap any of them with the debt I have. My oldest is a straight A member of the National Honor Society and was eligible for ZERO aid to attend Ohio State. I'll end up taking on the debt for all 3 of my kids, piling it on to the 100k I already had and it will literally will go to my grave with me. Some things consider when thinking about reform: the unique impact of student loan crisis on people with "hidden" disabilities like ADHD; existing loan commitments not factoring into FAFSA calculations; and if a student with the academic resume that my daughter has can't get any aid because the government says her mom makes too much money, then what exactly does it take for student success and merit to really matter?

I graduated veterinary school in 2014. My husband and I pay about double what IBR requires each month. If we'll continue to pay this'll amount each month... It would take us 100 years to pay off my debt. It's time for our government to pay attention and make a change!

Amanda Blalock    May 26, 2017    Washington   

I am a fourth year PhD student working to become a university professor. When I first considered graduate school nearly seven years ago, I was excited by the promise of the Student Loan Forgiveness Program and what it had to offer. As I am finishing up graduate school, I am now gearing for what my financial future will look like. I have roughly 70K in debt and was looking forward to even a little assistance. However, I'm now concerned about what this will look like, as my loans would be forgiven after 30 years under the new budget, as opposed to 10 under SLFP. A part of me is greatly regretting pursuing this path for my career.

Scott Chappuis    May 26, 2017    Bowling Green   

I'm a student at the University of Texas School of Social Work, focusing on geriatric social work. Despite generous scholarships and working consistently through school and budgeting carefully, I am leaving school with a significant student loan burden. I fear for all social service professionals who won't be able to sustain a career under the burden of student loans, and frankly, for myself when I age and these services aren't available to me because of a lack of well trained professionals. Please be sensible.

Amelia Frank    May 25, 2017    Austin   

I've been paying on my student loan for 8 years now (graduated 2009) with a Bachelor degree (which has not really helped me at all with find a good paying job at all...) and realized that 8 years later, I still owe the same amount I've borrowed. Started around $17,400 and 8 years later, my balance is about $17,200. I've paid over at least $11,400 so far, & still owe basically the balance I borrowed. Meaning in total so FAR I'll be paying about $28,800 for a $17,400 loan. If this is not the most appalling, disturbing, & atrocious scam out there taking advantage of kids who want to better themselves to get an education knowing they have no other options, then I don't know what is. I would rather have not got a degree than have to probably twice as much back as I borrowed. I can't believe there is nothing to regulate & protect students. The worst part is if you have a Co-Parent loan, or Non-federal loan, you do not qualify for ANY assistance or help at all, and mine is both........So I have no chance of help. I probably would have stopped paying years ago if my parent wasn't on there. I really hope some day soon there will be some kind of help for me. I don't mind repaying my loan & maybe some interest like $500 or $1,000, but paying $10,000 - $15,000+ in interest is literally the most legal robbery I've ever heard of.

Brandon    May 25, 2017    Blue Springs   

I am a single parent who put my son through college by taking out PLUS loans despite the high cost of living in Hawaii it was never factored into qualifying for financial aid.
Now that he has graduated I am paying off a $100K student loan debt that I nor my son can barely afford now much less if these programs especially the Income-Driven Repayment programs are taken away. It's bad enough that my son starts his post college life with this much debt, and myself close to retirement would be bankrupt because of the demise of these programs.

Kathleen Kaiser    May 24, 2017    Waipahu   

I attended a private college and received an MSW, I am now a practicing fully licenses social worker. Without PAYE my monthly payments would be over $2000, which would be an impossibility. My husband is a full time student, he is not currently employed and cares for our infant daughter while finishing school. We are taking out loans to pay for his education as our family relies on my income alone and paying for his education out of pocket is not feasible. We are being responsible and taking out only what we need, after he graduates we are confident that we will be able to pay them off promptly, however, if Trump's administration were to eliminate PAYE or Public Services Loan Forgiveness my entire family would suffer incredible hardship from my student loan debt. It would impact not only our current situation, but my daughter's future. I work in a career that I love but that pays little, the amount of money that it costs to receive a Master's degree to pursue this line of work far out weighs any financial return after graduating. PSLF was a beacon of light. To hear Trump is threatening that for me and the many others who are relying on it is devastating. Please keep fighting for us and providing a forum for our stories, our voices need to be heard to make a difference

Sarah Dionne    May 24, 2017    Middleboro   

So i just got back from trying to refinance my house an was denied due to my debt to income ratio because of my Over $500 student loan payment an $55,000 student debt I have. My credit is great an i make all my student loan payments as hard as it is because i need my credit, but I keep getting turned down everywhere now. I called Sallie Mae to help me an lower my interest which is at 9% an they said they can only put my loans in forbearance which I don't want!!. Im paying my loans but I need HELP! The payment is too high an the interest is too high, I have tried to refinance with other banks an keep getting denied!!...WTF...Im here paying my loans on time an still can't get any help. The system is messed up!!! Reading all these stories makes me so mad. We all try to better ourselves an then get f@#KED! Yes i do take responsibility for my part in this but it does not mean we should not be able to get some kind of help!

Marc    May 23, 2017    Albuquerque   

Government needs to do better not worse the high interest rates on some of my daughters student loans for Nursing School are 8% That's stealing from students . They can't get above water or pay for an apartments or a house ! We have a parent plus loan at 7.9% ! I'm almost ready to retire and I can't due to 10 year payment plan! It's a thorn in our side! The high interest rate and rising tuition did not allow the American Dream to fulfill ! It's now th American Middle a Class Nightmare !

Debbie    May 23, 2017    Norton   

I'm 41, I hold a masters degree and I am a part-time adjunct faculty at a private college (Irony) and I currently sleep on a couch at my parents house. I try to do the right thing and pay my debts, but every time I pull myself out of default I am then asked to make a payment far beyond my budget and fall behind again. I owe so much money to student loans that I am afraid to look, the last time I checked it was $120,000 I try to do the right thing, but it's very depressing.

Christopher Mathews    May 22, 2017    Rancho Cucamonga   

I first got my loans through the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan program back in 1981. When I had applied for the loans they had me fill out an estimated graduation date which of corse I calculated to be four years latter but during my time in school I ended up taking extra classes which meant I would graduate a year latter than expected. During my final year I received another loan without any problems and a couple of months into the year I got a notice that the loan had been sold to another company and that's when my problems began. I soon received a letter from the new company outlining my repayment which would soon begin. When I called them they told me my repayment schedule was based on my original estimated graduation date. I then informed them that I was still enrolled in school and had received another loan for the current year. They told me I would receive papaers to fill out and for the school to fill out. A week or so latter the papers arrived I filled them out and had the school fill in their section and mailed them off. A few weeks latter I got a late payment notice. When I called and explained everything they told me to ignore the letter and was assured everything was fine. Well to make a long story short, things weren't fine. I kept getting late notices delinquent notices and finally the loan defaulted while I was still attending school. Fast forward to 2017 they have been garnishing my wadges since 1993 and have paid more than 40 thousand dollars on a 24 thousand dollar loan and was just told that I still owe them 36 thousand dollars. There is something definitely wrong with this picture.

william Martin    May 21, 2017    San Antonio   

I have a ridiculously large amount of student debt and a relatively low paying job as a teacher at a Title 1 elementary school. My entire financial future has seemed to revolve around managing this beast of debt. The Public Service Forgiveness Act as been the light at the end of the tunnel. A fresh start from student debt and a thank you for my public service. Now there is no light. Just darkness as I think of Trump and DeVos turning their back on a promise made to me and so many others. I'm losing hope and need your organization to continue to fight for us as I fight to shape a brighter future in my classroom everyday.

Nicole    May 20, 2017    Kailua   

I've given up on the American dream of owning a house, saving money, or retiring. I've accepted that I will never retire and live paycheck to paycheck for the rest of my life because of my student loans. I was told for my entire life that going to college would lead me to achieve the American dream my parents had and it's sad to admit I've completely given up on achieving that. I'm 24.

Mike    May 19, 2017    Derry   

When I began college in 1959, tuition at U. Of Washington was $75 per quarter. I was able to work part time, get good grades, and be attending a first class school. I had parental help, but I still graduated on time and had an excellent education that prepared me for a career in college teaching.
I had no debt. I earned scholarships and a PhD. I was lucky. Kids who have to pay the ridiculously high costs (my first room cost only $25 a month!)
There is no way that I could have that opportunity now. And that is my point: kids from normal backgrounds can't afford to take a chance on making it through. So college, the great leveler of class in America, is now being made available only to those from wealthy families. College is no longer the system that educates and thus creates a rising middle class. It will be given only to those who have already arrived. And this likely is Trump and Devos's plan: "Let's keep those pesky rabble-rousing folks out of college."

Marc Arnold    May 19, 2017    Tacoma   

Our daughter is just about to complete 17 straight years of college and professional training to become a pediatric rheumatologist, one of the lowest paid (if not the lowest) field of medicine. She cares for children with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and other devastating autoimmune diseases. She first graduated from pharmacy school, then medical school, then completed residency in pediatrics and now about to finish 3 year fellowship in pediatric rheumatology. This combination of training makes her uniquely qualified to help these kids. There aren't many like her. I won't share the total debt this has required because it's hard to believe. All along we knew that she was not going to make a great deal of money but the loan forgiveness program made it far more palatable and provided a light at the end of the debt tunnel. It's hard to imagine that Mr. Trump and Ms. DeVos would renege on this long standing promise and turn the life of my daughter upside down along with so many others who will serve America in unique ways. These kids are among our best and brightest. We are all astonished at the heartlessness of these people. How do they sleep?

Author *Harry Cooper    May 18, 2017    Columbia   

What can I say? I'll NEVER pay my student loans back. This isn't a choice, it is my reality. Beyond the high cost of graduate education - a choice I am willing to take responsibility for to some extent - the issue is the interest. Why should borrowers pay the rates they do when banks are charged a fraction of these percentages? It's unethical and downright ugly/cruel. The point here is that I ended up with 240K in debt. Just a few years later it is 275k. Even if we were charged 2% interest, people would make money. Who cares? Only those of us that are being strangled by this debt.

Author *Kristen    May 18, 2017   

I married and moved abroad. I thought my loans were paid up, but when I returned they ballooned. I went from $12.000 in debt to $50,000 with interest. I contacted Navient and was told that my interest is $200 per month. I could not find a full time job. Have part-time now, taking care of two disabled siblings, and trying to manage loans. It is a nightmare.

Sheila    May 16, 2017    St. Louis   

Your Story* I'm a 59 year old man I was laid off work July 1st 2016 and I suffered a 2nd stroke on Sept 7th 2016 which made me disabled. I contacted Nelnet the people that I was paying for my student loan to inform them of my situation. I was told I would need some certain documents from Social Security so they could dismiss my payment. So I requested the documents and fax them to Nelnet as they requested. They sent me letter say I qualified for forgiveness, which I looked as being good. I owed $6895.00. Now they sent me a letter May 11 2017 saying that I have to be looked at for 3 years and if I show signs of improvement and can work some I would still have to pay the money. So technically you haven't forgave nothing. What a big lie.

Marvin Arts    May 13, 2017    Little Elm, Texas 75068   

I work at starbucks, the Air Force National Guard and take two classes a semester. I am now looking for a third job just to pay my student loans. There aren't enough hours in a day for me to put my loans into deferment.

Sam    May 11, 2017    Cranbury   

I used loans to pay for a certificate program in 1991. I worked for less than 2 years when life circumstances changed affecting my employability. Due to loss of income, I also went into default for several years. When my situation improved to the point where I could afford resuming repayment, I contacted my lender and began repayment. The interest that had accrued in the meantime had tripled my debt. I now am on a payment plan with $376 monthly payment and will make my last payment at age 65. I'm trapped with this enormous payment until I retire!

Angela Mateman    May 9, 2017    Scottsdale   

I started taking loans in undergrad to help support myself, my wife, and 2 kids while working 2 jobs and in collegiate athletics. Unfortunately, I still racked up $40k. With little job opportunity, I decided to continue on for an MBA. Little did I know the market wouldn't have jobs for me upon completions. With an additional $100k in loans, my balance skyrocketed. 3 years later after deferments I'm astonished to see a balance of $250k.

I can't qualify for a mortgage loan or auto loans due to this anchor. How am I to dig out of this hole when I have a debt at nearly 7% interest?! My $1,000 payments are still not enough to keep interest from negative capitalization, so my balance continues to grow.

Something has to be done to relieve borrowers that are being taken advantage of by the government. Why is it that auto loans and home loans are 3-4%, but school loans are 7%, with some of my private loans nearing closer to 13%!?

I have no money for extra spending. I wish some research would be done because I guarantee the retail bubble that is popping is directly related to millions of people not shopping as much because of being straddled by student debt. What will be next? You can't cripple millions and not expect a domino effect to wipe out the rest of the economy.

The big banks were bailed out by Obama when the had reckless spending.... why is it so much to ask for similar treatment to help millions who have been fed a disillusioned dream.....

Kyle    May 5, 2017    Derby   

Obtained student loans for an education after a job loss in the downturn at age 33. The Government hope for homeowners program was a burden (not a savior) as it failed to modify my home and that home became lost even though it was not interest only or an arm. I lost my 50 000 dollar down payment when It's value plunged to be worth half of what I paid for it and it was sold short. I have lived in 6 different rentals in the last 9 years basically moving each year and we are a family of 5. My student loans have ballooned as I went to school as an out of state resident to a college where I could go in the evenings while employed. I now have a Bachelors degree and even a masters but my salary has not changed that much. I support a family of five on one income and my student loans are almost as much as my rent and they are such a high interest (something like 8% interest) they make it really scary each month. I am over 43 now and in 25 years if I retire at 68 they will be paid off. I have no hope of ever owning a home again as all my income goes to pay the student loans, rent, and utilities then what is left covers food. If this were the game of Monopoly I lost.

Mike    May 3, 2017    lenoir city   

Having a student loan has been literally the worst monkey on my back, worse than getting my eyeballs scratched out by a rabid wilder-beast.

I graduated years ago from a good university in San Francisco with a BA in Art and Communication. Not alike to some of my peers who majored in Accounting or Engineering, a creative path is always more challenging than a 1, 2, 3 career in X, Y, Z.

I currently have a killer resume after bouncing everywhere as a contractor with some full time jobs sprinkled in the mix. I was able to make good money, but not enough to pay for independent living in big cities all over the country AND pay back my loan. These days I’m able to do so with a job I can’t stand, but it is what it is.

I am extremely sensitive to the plight of many here, esp. the doctors, the parents of students that are suffering later in life, etc. Thing is, do the math people. My loan was only @ 25K, and then became 45K years, years later. Interest… it accrues. You NEED to pay off debt every week. I got advice from a stupid customer service rep from Sallie Mae years ago to consolidate my loans. Did these people know jack about index rates, anything? NO financial education on their part. I consolidated right before everything dropped considerably. I currently have an interest rate of 6.875%.

Slow but sure the debt is going down… should I repeat, I HATE MY JOB!!!! It’s a necessary evil I must bear.

The banks got bailed out but we suffer. Owing 45K isn’t that much but to me, it sure is. The debt stalled many things in life for me and I don’t want to feel like I’m nailed to the cross for it. I just want it off my back. Now below 44K, I’m starting to see ‘some’ progress. You can never take away an education which I’m ultimately grateful for, but damn you monkey on my back.

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Julie    April 26, 2017    Fairfield   
Julie    April 26, 2017    Fairfield   

Having a student loan has been literally the worst monkey on my back, worse than getting my eyeballs scratched out by a rabid wilder-beast.

I graduated years ago from a good university in San Francisco with a BA in Art and Communication. Not alike to some of my peers who majored in Accounting or Engineering, a creative path is always more challenging than a 1, 2, 3 career in X, Y, Z.

I currently have a killer resume after bouncing everywhere as a contractor with some full time jobs sprinkled in the mix. I was able to make good money, but not enough to pay for independent living in big cities all over the country AND pay back my loan. These days I’m able to do so with a job I can’t stand, but it is what it is.

I am extremely sensitive to the plight of many here, esp. the doctors, the parents of students that are suffering later in life, etc. Thing is, do the math people. My loan was only @ 25K, and then became 45K years, years later. Interest… it accrues. You NEED to pay off debt every week. I got advice from a stupid customer service rep from Sallie Mae years ago to consolidate my loans. Did these people know jack about index rates, anything? NO financial education on their part. I consolidated right before everything dropped considerably. I currently have an interest rate of 6.875%.

Slow but sure the debt is going down… should I repeat, I HATE MY JOB!!!! It’s a necessary evil I must bear.

The banks got bailed out but we suffer. Owing 45K isn’t that much but to me, it sure is. The debt stalled many things in life for me and I don’t want to feel like I’m nailed to the cross for it. I just want it off my back. Now below 44K, I’m starting to see ‘some’ progress. You can never take away an education which I’m ultimately grateful for, but damn you monkey on my back.

I am a single teacher with a masters degree (I couldn't find a job without one) who makes $37,000 a year. I have over $60,000 in student debt mixed between federal loans, private, and parent plus. The amount of money I pay every month is over $800.00 and goes up every year. I will never be able to afford a house (or renting anything nicer than a grungy apartment), a car newer than 10 years old, or something as extravagant as traveling. I spend my summers working a second job and am considering leaving teaching because I cannot afford to live like this... but I LOVE teaching.
I did everything "right" growing up. I stayed out of trouble, I earned good grades, I went to college, I didn't get pregnant, and I went into a career that is considered public service. Yet I feel constantly beaten down and punished. I now tell my students to not attend college unless it's being paid for by something other than loans. I also tell them that earning a degree does not help acquire a better paying job.
Something needs to be done to help past, present, and future students. I need help and know many others that need help paying off their students loans. Where is my bail out? Where is my welfare program? Where is my aid? I cannot afford to pay/wait for 120 loan payments for teacher loan forgiveness, especially since it doesn't apply to my private (navient) or parent plus loans.

Author *Brittany    April 26, 2017   

My son graduated with honors. First deaf student to be on the National Honor Society at Kent State University. He worked hard, wanted to show other deaf friends it is possible to go to college. Now, student loans are haunting us. He hasn't been able to get a job because it always comes down to safety issues. He walks into a place and they see only a deaf person, not his qualifications. Not a fair world! If anyone knows how I can get some help let me know. Thank you.

Connie    April 26, 2017    Cuyahoga falls   

I was not fully aware of the process when I set out to try to further my life. I like most got caught by the overwhelming majority of commercials and promises of a future through Everest. I went in took a look and was told all sorts of promises and information that was not true in the end. I signed up for the medical insurance billing and coding program. I was promised that all though I didn't have a GED or hs diploma that upon completion I would absolutely be ready for the work force. I took out 2 loans through FFEL program thinking I was going to be able to further my life. The program was designed to be completed in less than a year. I went through, as a part of my externship I was sent to an abortion clinic to attempt to put my skills to use in an active workplace. Abortion is a for cash business. There was absolutely no way I was going to use my skills there. In fact I was scared for life. Seeing things no person should really have to see. Upon graduation I was unable to find a place to work as the shady educational background that surrounded Corinthian colleges was slowly starting to come into focus, it wasn't until I got into the work force did I realize that you must have a license through the state to really be considered accomplished in the field. However I didn't have a hs diploma or a GED and that meant there was no way of me being able to sit down for the test much less attempt to take it. Being a mother of 2 at the time it was beyond imperative that I find and obtain stable employment so it meant getting out there and finding anything I could to support my family. Flash forward almost a decade in 2017 I like many got caught up with the tax collection that is the federal offset. I applied twice for a discharge feeling that I was in fact deceived after learning what is now common knowledge about the colleges and its ultimate bailout by tge federal government.

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Erica De Leon    April 25, 2017    Dallas   
Erica De Leon    April 25, 2017    Dallas   

I was not fully aware of the process when I set out to try to further my life. I like most got caught by the overwhelming majority of commercials and promises of a future through Everest. I went in took a look and was told all sorts of promises and information that was not true in the end. I signed up for the medical insurance billing and coding program. I was promised that all though I didn't have a GED or hs diploma that upon completion I would absolutely be ready for the work force. I took out 2 loans through FFEL program thinking I was going to be able to further my life. The program was designed to be completed in less than a year. I went through, as a part of my externship I was sent to an abortion clinic to attempt to put my skills to use in an active workplace. Abortion is a for cash business. There was absolutely no way I was going to use my skills there. In fact I was scared for life. Seeing things no person should really have to see. Upon graduation I was unable to find a place to work as the shady educational background that surrounded Corinthian colleges was slowly starting to come into focus, it wasn't until I got into the work force did I realize that you must have a license through the state to really be considered accomplished in the field. However I didn't have a hs diploma or a GED and that meant there was no way of me being able to sit down for the test much less attempt to take it. Being a mother of 2 at the time it was beyond imperative that I find and obtain stable employment so it meant getting out there and finding anything I could to support my family. Flash forward almost a decade in 2017 I like many got caught up with the tax collection that is the federal offset. I applied twice for a discharge feeling that I was in fact deceived after learning what is now common knowledge about the colleges and its ultimate bailout by tge federal government. After my first denial I researched the background to their denial and resubmitted my application with not 1 but 2 separate reasons for the discharge, pulled federal sanctions and statutes to help support my case. Again just yesterday I received a denial letter. It was my understanding that they were to look at all things considered and help me get out from this not just as a financial hardship but as I was not told everything. They cited what they consider to be a response saying guidelines were met and were not in question, just based on information at the time. I feel cheated by the federal government, I feel like no one stood up for me and when it was time I was again let down by a system put in place to protect me. And wheni questioned their investigation and inquired who I could file a complaint with.... they said I had no option but to do it internally. Again giving me little to no options. It too, was a lie. Let's hope I can figure out the federal district court lawsuit process, I apparently need to help myself.

My son after taking a year off after high school and now 18 decided he wanted to attend Heald College in Milpitas ,CA taking
IT Tech. courses.

He handled everything initially at first but when it came to financing he needed information from me on my income etc even though 18 but he was living at home with me. We attended a meeting with their financing people the woman sat us down told us due to "my" income which at the time was around $40,000-43,000 a year she informed us he didnt qualify for much except I think it was a Pell Grant which basically was just enough to cover books.
Since the semester was due to start soon she asked me to sign a paper for her to keep searching for grants.
I eventually was notified that he was enrolled due to qualifying for a "parents plus" loan which was explained to me that I was the co-signer and once the 18 month course was completed the loan would then be owed. Only if he defaulted would I be responsible.

To my surprize at the end of the 3month first semester I received a bill for $7700 and due I called Heald told them about the bill how it was explained to me the response I received from Heald was "Sorry that's why that person is no longer with us" . I am a single Mom who has been through up/downs financially so loan went into default eventually . I now owe 28,000 for a school I didn't attend my only savings I counted on at end of year IRS refunds get taken but it is getting paid thru garnishment of payroll check. I'm very upset about how it was handled and cant now help my younger son out. I will never pay it off Im 58 now barely surviving I can only imagine at retirment which I hear will be garnished also for the loan will make my older years miserable.

Donna Alanis    April 23, 2017    San Jose   

Your Story*I was never able to qualify for federal student loans. I borrowed between $25,000 and $30,000 for school. I have paid back about $23,000 I now owe $73,000. Was told there is a program to have loans forgiven if you work for a governemt agency. I think the time frame was 10 years. I have worked for the city of Madison for 17 years. Have been told my loans don't qualify. Why should/does it make a difference what type of loan it is? A loan should be a loan and a government agency should be a government agency. I tried to make arrangements to continue paying $100.00 a month. They would not accept that. I had to pay the full monthly payment of $400- $650 a month or nothing at all. They are getting nothing at all. I am 63 years old with multiple health issues. I'll be dead before this is paid off. Should be saving for retirement not worring if I will end up homeless.

Sharon Bottoms    April 21, 2017    Madison   

I work at a place for 4 years. they took out money from my check, for the loans. I have my check stubs, that tells that. For a lot of years they say i did not pay it. I do not no who got my money but it was taken out of my checks. Thank God I keep my checks stubs. What can I do?

cindy conn Reece    April 21, 2017    centerville   

I am a mother of 6 children. In 1995 I borrowed approximately $6000 - $10,000 for 2 daughters college tuition.
Today with 8.25% interest..my debt is now $72,000.
I have been making payments of $50 - 100 dollars a month for almost 20 years.
Never enough!
My husband is disabled..but his name id not on the loan.
They want to include his income since we file jointly.
My income is $200 per month pension & $700 social security.
What can we do?

Roseann King    April 15, 2017    Chicago   

We took out a parent plus loan from Great Lakes 7.9% .!! It's increased to 33,000 . I pay 405. 00 a month started out as 10,000 .I need a new car can't afford that . They told me I could lower payments of course so instead of 10 years we'll pay for 25 years. I deferred payments for a year due to financial health reasons ended up paying double. This is so obscene !!!! I'm 60 and stressed I How will I ever retire ? My daughter is a nurse her payments are over 900 a month that could be used to save for a condo or house . She moved back home due to her loans. This is not right. I paid every month but late and Department of Education added 400 for not paying on time ! Thanks! Just a Thanks 🙏🏻 The banks get richer off of students and parents!

Debbie    April 14, 2017    CityNorton   

I am a 65-year-old, 31-year veteran of public service, who has been repaying Federal Student Loans for over 20 years. I began my public service career in the United States Peace Corps, where I completed an extended tour of duty in Korea, from 1975 to 1978. In March 1989, I came to work at the New Hampshire Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS), and I have remained with the Department for 28 years.
I am being unfairly excluded from participation in the “Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF).”
I went back to school in the 1990s. I financed my education with FFEL loans, making payments in-full and on-time until February 2006, at which time I was offered a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan by the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. I applied and was approved on March 27, 2006. I made initial payments.
Shortly thereafter, Deutsche Bank Elt Academic Loan Group offered me a slightly lower interest rate. Absent any information from Direct Loans of any advantage of retaining their loan, and struggling as I was to make payments on my student loan and support my three children on an annual salary of $48,867.00, I authorized Academic Loan Group to request payoff verification from Direct Loans. DoE disbursed my loan to Academic Loan Group, who then took over as the new lender. On June 7, 2006, I received a letter from the new servicer – Great Lakes Educational Loan Services – informing me that DoE had been credited the $62,819.09 balance.
Less than 1 year later, in 2007, The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program instituted PSLF for Federal Direct Student Loans, including Federal Direct Consolidation Loans.
DoE NEVER RECONTACTED ME TO LET ME KNOW ABOUT PSLF?!
The Federal Direct Loan Program, the Federal Student Aid Office, and DoE had exhaustive data on me. In order to apply for the Direct Consolidation loan, I provided complete information about my NH State Government employer and my salary. But I never received as much as a post card. And for 11 more years,

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William H. Brehm    April 13, 2017    Concord   
William H. Brehm    April 13, 2017    Concord   

I am a 65-year-old, 31-year veteran of public service, who has been repaying Federal Student Loans for over 20 years. I began my public service career in the United States Peace Corps, where I completed an extended tour of duty in Korea, from 1975 to 1978. In March 1989, I came to work at the New Hampshire Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS), and I have remained with the Department for 28 years.
I am being unfairly excluded from participation in the “Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF).”
I went back to school in the 1990s. I financed my education with FFEL loans, making payments in-full and on-time until February 2006, at which time I was offered a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan by the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. I applied and was approved on March 27, 2006. I made initial payments.
Shortly thereafter, Deutsche Bank Elt Academic Loan Group offered me a slightly lower interest rate. Absent any information from Direct Loans of any advantage of retaining their loan, and struggling as I was to make payments on my student loan and support my three children on an annual salary of $48,867.00, I authorized Academic Loan Group to request payoff verification from Direct Loans. DoE disbursed my loan to Academic Loan Group, who then took over as the new lender. On June 7, 2006, I received a letter from the new servicer – Great Lakes Educational Loan Services – informing me that DoE had been credited the $62,819.09 balance.
Less than 1 year later, in 2007, The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program instituted PSLF for Federal Direct Student Loans, including Federal Direct Consolidation Loans.
DoE NEVER RECONTACTED ME TO LET ME KNOW ABOUT PSLF?!
The Federal Direct Loan Program, the Federal Student Aid Office, and DoE had exhaustive data on me. In order to apply for the Direct Consolidation loan, I provided complete information about my NH State Government employer and my salary. But I never received as much as a post card. And for 11 more years, my monthly payments of $397.07 have continued, without failure or interruption.
In early February 2017, I inquired at the Federal Student Aid Information Office, regarding eligibility for forgiveness under PSLF. The response was negative.
On 2/22/2017, I wrote to MY U.S. Senator. The Senator’s Office contacted DoE, and received a 2/28/2017 reply from a Director of Applicant Products and Customer Service Division, Federal Student Aid. That response took the inflexible position that I am not eligible for PSLF because my Federal Student Loan is not a Direct Loan. Her response advised me to reconsolidate now under the Direct Loan program. And go on paying. For 10 more years. Until 2027. By which time I will be 75 years old. With 41 years of dedicated public service!

• There is NO question as to whether I have been making consistent loan payments, while working full-time for 10 years at a "qualifying public service organization.”
• There is NO question as to whether my job is "lower-paying.”
• There is NO question as to whether my job is "vitally important." It is mandated by law.
• The one and only question here is whether my loan payments have been made under a "qualifying repayment plan." In 2006, less than 1 year before PSLF started, I HAD a Direct Loan!! The Direct Loan Program was credited the entire balance of $62,819.09, and has had that money for 11 years.
When the Direct Loan Program wanted to assume control of my federal student loans, they had no trouble locating me and contacting me. They had no difficulty sending and receiving application forms and other correspondences in the postal mail, while managing my loan and receiving payment. (I still have a stack of their envelopes.) So...why didn't anybody contact me less than 1 year later, to let me know about PSLF? I still had the same job, at the same government agency! DoE, in fairness to me, should have mailed me a post card, informing me about PSLF, so I could reconsolidate back under a Direct Consolidation Loan.
The Direct Loan Program’s neglect is disgraceful.
The Direct Loan Program should reconsolidate my loan immediately, subsequent to which I will make monthly payments until October 2017.
And in October 2017, my student loan balance should be forgiven under PSLF.

I didn't have a good life growing up. I was usually hungry, we lived in a condemned trailer, and my parents were drug addicts. It was so bad that as a kid I thought I'd be a drugged up crack whore with 5 kids. Let that sink in for a moment. My 8 year old self thought the person I would be today would just be exactly like my parents.

Fast forwarding a little I did spend some time at the children's shelter and briefly at foster homes. In High school my counselors were always telling me that I needed to go to college otherwise I wouldn't get a good job. I didn't have parents to tell me otherwise nor did anyone in my immediate family really go to college for any length of time let alone finish a degree. I eventually decided to pursue an art degree in computer animation, probably one of my first mistakes starting out in life. I should have taken up a Graphic Design Degree at a community college.

I managed to finish my first couple of years of college being carried on scholarships and government funding but naturally that dried up... Then came my first student loan in the form of a private loan. I was very reluctant to do so but once again I was told that if I didn't get a good degree and spend a little money I wouldn't get anywhere in life and all the money I already spent would be wasted. So once again I took the advice of my "Counceler" and got a private loan with my half brother to cosign for me. 2 years later I failed a thesis because even though it was approved the teacher just "didn't like it" so I ended my animation degree with 1 class left since I didn't want to give the school another 10k for another class that the teacher would just fail me in again.

Not ready to give up (and at this point only 25k in debt) I decided that I would instead pursue a graphic design degree with a different school as there were more job options available where I lived and it wouldn't take a move to another state to get a job.

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Valerie    April 13, 2017    Deerfield Beach   
Valerie    April 13, 2017    Deerfield Beach   

I didn't have a good life growing up. I was usually hungry, we lived in a condemned trailer, and my parents were drug addicts. It was so bad that as a kid I thought I'd be a drugged up crack whore with 5 kids. Let that sink in for a moment. My 8 year old self thought the person I would be today would just be exactly like my parents.

Fast forwarding a little I did spend some time at the children's shelter and briefly at foster homes. In High school my counselors were always telling me that I needed to go to college otherwise I wouldn't get a good job. I didn't have parents to tell me otherwise nor did anyone in my immediate family really go to college for any length of time let alone finish a degree. I eventually decided to pursue an art degree in computer animation, probably one of my first mistakes starting out in life. I should have taken up a Graphic Design Degree at a community college.

I managed to finish my first couple of years of college being carried on scholarships and government funding but naturally that dried up... Then came my first student loan in the form of a private loan. I was very reluctant to do so but once again I was told that if I didn't get a good degree and spend a little money I wouldn't get anywhere in life and all the money I already spent would be wasted. So once again I took the advice of my "Counceler" and got a private loan with my half brother to cosign for me. 2 years later I failed a thesis because even though it was approved the teacher just "didn't like it" so I ended my animation degree with 1 class left since I didn't want to give the school another 10k for another class that the teacher would just fail me in again.

Not ready to give up (and at this point only 25k in debt) I decided that I would instead pursue a graphic design degree with a different school as there were more job options available where I lived and it wouldn't take a move to another state to get a job. Now by this time ALL My federal funding was used up except for the yearly 2-3k they give you. However at this point I REALLY wanted my degree and I wanted a good job with a good salary. So having a "YOLO" attitude I took out another 50k in federal loans. I eventually fell short of a batchelors degree and only graduated with an associates. The school was supposed to help me find a graphic design job in 2 weeks or so but that never happened either. After about 2 weeks they gave up. I spent 2 years at a horrible job at a call center where I was litterally yelled at on a daily basis which was not fun. Surprisingly though the depression of being locked in 70k loans and having litterally 0 help from anyone I never gave up. I continued to apply to jobs, do interviews dispite my lack of experience and having to battle anxiety/panic attacks. I eventually found a job that would take my lack of experience. A year and a half there I decided to look for another job and somehow managed to land a better paying one that same week! Now I'm happily employed by a GREAT company that actually cares about their customers and employees. However my regret is ever getting the loans in the first place. Even though my job pays way above the minimum wage I still find myself playing a balancing act with my fianances to afford things every month because of my $200 dollar stundent loan payments (Thats after Pay as You Earn - I can't get a better loan payment plan with my private loan which is the bulk of the payments atm). And I'm not spending any of my money on anything but bills. I live in a 1/1, I eat a lot of rice/pasta because its cheap, I do have a car payment but I didn't buy anything expensive only a 16k 2012 fiesta. I wish I could buy a house and be able to travel out of the country but with my student loan debt even making 32k a year isn't putting a dent in it and I"m afraid I messed up my chances for the 20 year forgiveness of the pay by income so I'll have to pay it even longer as I dont think I'd ever get paid enough to afford the $500+ that they want per month just for the federal loans. The only thing I have to look forward to is my death when I wont have to worry about keeping my pay by income payments or food.

I Graduated undergrad with about 11k in student loans. Got accepted to NYU College of dentistry and ended up with another 500K in debt. Fast forward a few years, being under IBR, I am now over 700K in debt. Pretty much give up and going to stick to minimum payments.

Tim    April 11, 2017    Mansfield   

I am 63 years old single parents of three grown adults all educated and with student loans. I myself have my own student loans When including a student plus loan that was start s with the Bush era. When negotiating for loans was told " don't worry you will be dead before you pay them off". Well am. It dead and am underwater with student loans. It is such a burden and my hard earned money and the willingness to pay what I can while keeping a roof over my head is totally stressful and like throwing my money away because it does nothing towards the principal please fix this for all of us young and aging

sharon    April 10, 2017    New York   

I graduated medical school in 2010 with 240k in debt most of which was medical college debt. The president of our college stole money from our medical school and used it personally, she was later charged, committed suicide and the tuition was lowered (Karen Pletz KCUMB medical college). We were one of the highest tuitions in the country however with medical school if you get into a school you jump on the chance because it's so hard to get into. I was severely burned and in the burn unit during my summer before medical school. Because obamacare was not around yet, and my medical college did not supply any options for health insurance. I had a plan that was not very good that I was paying for using my student loan money. When I got burned I ended up having to pay a large amount for health care costs. During most of my residency I had to pay monthly to these health care costs making it impossible to make a income based payment. I asked my lender if i could pay atleast $150 a month instead of the $350 a month they insisted I could afford (which i couldn't) and they refused and said I had to not pay at all or pay the $350/month. So I didn't pay on my loans. Since the government repealed residents ability to defer interest. My loans when I graduated residency were now $400,000.
When I originally took out my loans for the 240k, I was told I wouldn't pay interest until I was out practicing as a physician, however while I was in residency the government reverse all this, if I had known I don't know if I would have gone to medical school. I had to finance my education by myself without any help. I now pay over 3,000 a month for my loans, which makes daily living difficult. Many people think doctors are "rich. " I have many friends who are pinching pennies to even make it as physicians right now. Their loans are even higher than mine and some are paying up to 4000 a month.

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sarah mccormick    April 7, 2017    palatine   
sarah mccormick    April 7, 2017    palatine   

I graduated medical school in 2010 with 240k in debt most of which was medical college debt. The president of our college stole money from our medical school and used it personally, she was later charged, committed suicide and the tuition was lowered (Karen Pletz KCUMB medical college). We were one of the highest tuitions in the country however with medical school if you get into a school you jump on the chance because it's so hard to get into. I was severely burned and in the burn unit during my summer before medical school. Because obamacare was not around yet, and my medical college did not supply any options for health insurance. I had a plan that was not very good that I was paying for using my student loan money. When I got burned I ended up having to pay a large amount for health care costs. During most of my residency I had to pay monthly to these health care costs making it impossible to make a income based payment. I asked my lender if i could pay atleast $150 a month instead of the $350 a month they insisted I could afford (which i couldn't) and they refused and said I had to not pay at all or pay the $350/month. So I didn't pay on my loans. Since the government repealed residents ability to defer interest. My loans when I graduated residency were now $400,000.
When I originally took out my loans for the 240k, I was told I wouldn't pay interest until I was out practicing as a physician, however while I was in residency the government reverse all this, if I had known I don't know if I would have gone to medical school. I had to finance my education by myself without any help. I now pay over 3,000 a month for my loans, which makes daily living difficult. Many people think doctors are "rich. " I have many friends who are pinching pennies to even make it as physicians right now. Their loans are even higher than mine and some are paying up to 4000 a month.
I feel cheated that the government almost doubled my loans on me while I was in residency. We were never made aware that this was going to happen to us. The government also had our interest rate set at 7.7% which is ridiculously high.

Why does are country want to punish doctors who have spent so much time in school, dedicated their entire lives to helping others. Our country will have no doctors left in a few years. Likewise, only the wealthy will be able to become doctors.

I graduated with an MBA in 1998, and since I was paying my own way through school I had loans all through my graduate program. I graduated with about $22K in student loans, piece of cake right? I moved to Atlanta to find a "good corporate job", but I ended up 5 years later a single mother with two kids under 4 smashed up against the glass ceiling. I was in forebearance for over ten years trying to support my family, and never made more than $40K a year. You don't even want to know how much daycare cost for two kids per week even back then. I'm now remarried and trying to pay off my loans but the years in forebearance have made them now over $69K. Somehow, the "counselor" when I did my first consolidation managed to kill off my subsidized loans, so I've been accumulating interest on those all these years as well. Nice. I called numerous times during the worst years to try to get some advice and help and got nothing. I have fantasized offering them a cash payoff if they'll eat the ridiculous years' worth of interest. What a lovely fantasy. My kids are now in 11th and 8th grades, and I will be still paying mine off and trying to pay for their school at the same time, but I'll be double damned if I let them take out any loans. I wish there had been guidance when I graduated other than "you have to pay it back and you can't claim it in a bankruptcy"--really, how helpful is that?? Who would have thought that a woman couldn't make a decent living in one of the biggest cities in the country, just because she had a family to take care of. I wouldn't have gone past my bachelor's if I had known then what lay ahead. I'm doing no better than if I had.

Christine Scott    April 5, 2017   

I just read the article in the New York Times about the Student Loan Forgiveness Program. I have been enrolled in the program since 2009. However, my first 2 years of repayments do not count since I selected the wrong repayment plan. I did not realize this until I called to check on the status of my repayments. I was so upset to learn that I had made this error. However, it did not make any sense why I would bother to fill out the application only to select the wrong repayment plan. It was so confusing and I have called several times to try to get the first 2 years to count. One woman I spoke with told me it would take an act of Congress. She also told me others experienced the same problem. It feels unfair.

When I saw Natalia Abrams from your organization was involved in this fight, I found hope. I have worked at non-profit organizations for almost my entire career. I earned my MPA in 2005 and I just have a lot of student loan debt. Anything we can do to make sure this program lives up to its promise when I finally get to the end of the 10 years would be wonderful. This article scared me! Thanks so much for all that you do.

Danielle Sparks    April 5, 2017    East Thetford   

I had my loan serviced by Nelnet for years. Every year, I was asked to provide income details to determine my new payment. In 2015, Nelnet suggested to adjust my loan. I believe they called it a graduate loan or something like that. In November 2016, I reached out to the Dept. of Education to find out whether the agency offered a plan to payoff my loan at a discounted rate, etc. I received a letter indicating there is no such thing, but the agency had in place a 10-year plan for qualifying people to get the loan discharged after 120 qualifying payments. I had never heard of the plan. Thus, I proceeded to call Nelnet. Indeed, they explained to me the law that had been passed effective October 2007. I asked a representative to help me understand the law and to help me verify whether I would qualify, particularly since I had been gainfully employed in the public sector since 8/2001 (Cities of Tamarac, Coconut Creek, Parkland and Pompano Beach, all in Florida). According to Nelnet, I not only qualified, but all my payments qualified. They recommended I contact FedLoan to confirm and have my loan service be moved to FedLoan immediately. I contacted FedLoan and staff confirmed my eligibility, both regarding service and payments. They too recommended for me to start the process to move my loan to them. They provided forms to be filled out by each of my public employers and initiated the process to take over from Nelnet. A couple of months elapsed and I did not hear from FedLoan. I wanted to make sure everything was on track. I called and was informed the transfer was in progress and my service time was approved. They recommended to contact them in late February or early March to determine how many more payments I had left. Per my calculations, I would have to continue making payments until January or February 2019, which they confirmed. Since I did not receive anything in February, I called FedLoan. This time the story changed. Now, they claimed none of my payments were eligible!!!

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Horacio Danovich    April 4, 2017    Fort Pierce   
Horacio Danovich    April 4, 2017    Fort Pierce   

I had my loan serviced by Nelnet for years. Every year, I was asked to provide income details to determine my new payment. In 2015, Nelnet suggested to adjust my loan. I believe they called it a graduate loan or something like that. In November 2016, I reached out to the Dept. of Education to find out whether the agency offered a plan to payoff my loan at a discounted rate, etc. I received a letter indicating there is no such thing, but the agency had in place a 10-year plan for qualifying people to get the loan discharged after 120 qualifying payments. I had never heard of the plan. Thus, I proceeded to call Nelnet. Indeed, they explained to me the law that had been passed effective October 2007. I asked a representative to help me understand the law and to help me verify whether I would qualify, particularly since I had been gainfully employed in the public sector since 8/2001 (Cities of Tamarac, Coconut Creek, Parkland and Pompano Beach, all in Florida). According to Nelnet, I not only qualified, but all my payments qualified. They recommended I contact FedLoan to confirm and have my loan service be moved to FedLoan immediately. I contacted FedLoan and staff confirmed my eligibility, both regarding service and payments. They too recommended for me to start the process to move my loan to them. They provided forms to be filled out by each of my public employers and initiated the process to take over from Nelnet. A couple of months elapsed and I did not hear from FedLoan. I wanted to make sure everything was on track. I called and was informed the transfer was in progress and my service time was approved. They recommended to contact them in late February or early March to determine how many more payments I had left. Per my calculations, I would have to continue making payments until January or February 2019, which they confirmed. Since I did not receive anything in February, I called FedLoan. This time the story changed. Now, they claimed none of my payments were eligible!!! I had to reapply to have my loan moved to a "REPAYE" plan and that all my previous payments did not qualify under what Nelnet had labeled a "REPAYE" plan "of their own" (I guess...). In essence, all the money I paid went down the drain. All the information provided to me was nothing but lies. At every turn, everything I was told that led to moving my loan ended up as a total waste. Now, FedLoan expects me to pay another 120 more payments and re-demonstrate another 10 years of Public service. I will be dead by then! FedLoan Staff recognized they misinformed me and told me to contact the Office of the Ombudsman claiming said office was created to resolve issues like this, but warned me the office's decision was final. FedLoan gave the number to call. I proceeded to call and spoke with a representative. This person indicated the Office does not do such thing, meaning they do not resolve any problems, but their responsibility is to direct people to talk to other departments that can assist. Again, more lies and more misleading information. I do not know if you can help me, but I not only feel betrayed, I cannot understand what in the world is going on. How come the Department of Education never sent me any notifications regarding the law? FedLoan Staff had the audacity to say I should have watched the Obama Administration's telecast! It is as though I had a "magic ball" that could predict the Obama Administration show, time, and date! How could I have known? And, should I have known, would FedLoan treat my case differently? Please help if you can!

I first attended ITT Tech back in November of 2005, when I was 19 years old. I thought I was doing something great & honorable by attending college. I did not think too much about any potential or future repercussions. I was just, in that type of mindset, "LOCKED & READY TO GO". Also, I did not think about any potential, financial harm, that would stand in my way, since 2008 of June via student loans, borrowed from Sallie Mae, NOW Navient & the U.S. Department of Education. As a matter of fact, I did not know about the dangers of attending this school. All I cared & focused on, was getting into a college that had an IT or Multimedia based program, keep my grades up, stay away from any kind of trouble or distractions out there & graduate with a full- accredited degree. The IT- based classes I took at ITT Technical Institute was okay, but the overall educational experience felt undermined for me. The Career Services Center, a section of ITT Technical Institute, has not, in my opinion, done a good job in assisting me to find a job in my college field of study. Even though my federal student loans are covered under the ICR (Income Contingent Repayment Plan), my total balance is over $30,000+, along with the harassing loans from Sallie Mae/Navient, being over $9,000. I was recruited at an ITT Technical Institute orientation event in Summer of 2005, Frank Gomez, was my recruiter at the moment. So far, I have applied to hundreds of jobs in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area, and I have not really got any leads. What do I do? I still make payments on my student loans every month, but it seems that the student loan companies, ideally Navient/Sallie Mae, keep on harassing me for their student loan payment. I currently work at Hardees making $7.40/hour and I can't hardly keep up with the student loan payments. I would like to one day own my own house, or business, instead of me consistently going through this post-education struggle and nightmare.

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Michael Murray    April 4, 2017    Norfolk   
Michael Murray    April 4, 2017    Norfolk   

I first attended ITT Tech back in November of 2005, when I was 19 years old. I thought I was doing something great & honorable by attending college. I did not think too much about any potential or future repercussions. I was just, in that type of mindset, "LOCKED & READY TO GO". Also, I did not think about any potential, financial harm, that would stand in my way, since 2008 of June via student loans, borrowed from Sallie Mae, NOW Navient & the U.S. Department of Education. As a matter of fact, I did not know about the dangers of attending this school. All I cared & focused on, was getting into a college that had an IT or Multimedia based program, keep my grades up, stay away from any kind of trouble or distractions out there & graduate with a full- accredited degree. The IT- based classes I took at ITT Technical Institute was okay, but the overall educational experience felt undermined for me. The Career Services Center, a section of ITT Technical Institute, has not, in my opinion, done a good job in assisting me to find a job in my college field of study. Even though my federal student loans are covered under the ICR (Income Contingent Repayment Plan), my total balance is over $30,000+, along with the harassing loans from Sallie Mae/Navient, being over $9,000. I was recruited at an ITT Technical Institute orientation event in Summer of 2005, Frank Gomez, was my recruiter at the moment. So far, I have applied to hundreds of jobs in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area, and I have not really got any leads. What do I do? I still make payments on my student loans every month, but it seems that the student loan companies, ideally Navient/Sallie Mae, keep on harassing me for their student loan payment. I currently work at Hardees making $7.40/hour and I can't hardly keep up with the student loan payments. I would like to one day own my own house, or business, instead of me consistently going through this post-education struggle and nightmare. I wish the ITT Academic Staff could do a MUCH BETTER job in warning first-time students the dangers of going to the school, instead of looking at each of us as dollar, profit signs for their pockets, and rush, rush, rush us into school. Now I'm 30 years old, still hanging in there.

P.S. I did graduate with a 3.38 GPA, and with an Associates of Applied Science in Information Technology/ Multimedia.

I am a single woman, age 45. Graduated December 2017 and found out I have been given less than six minutes months to start paying a student loan when I'm only working part time and trying to get a full time job. On top of that the loan company decided to send me mail vouchers for each payment after telling me my first one wandue last month and I'm late on the payment. I never received a letter from them and the last 2 days received 3.

Laura    April 4, 2017    albuquerqur   

Hello. I am someone with a tremendous amount of student loan debt (close to $200,000). I am a government employee, and am hoping to have my loans forgiven after 10 years. I have been paying on my direct consolidated loans for 5 years now.

My problem is, several years ago I was paying my loans under the consolidated Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program.

At the time I didn't realize that all of those payments I made under FFEL would not go toward the Public Service Debt Forgiveness program. I was heartbroken to later learn that I lost several years of payments under the wrong program.

Do you happen to know if there is any plan to help people like me; maybe an effort to get payments made under the FFEL program to qualify for Public Service Debt Forgiveness?

It would be a tremendous help if that change could be implemented.

Christopher Amos    April 3, 2017    New Haven   

I am finishing my ninth year as a middle and high school English teacher this spring. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program forgives federal loans after 10 years of payment. I currently owe $44,000 in loans eligible for PSLF. I have not missed payments. However, at the end of this school year the PSLF program will only recognize 2 years worth of payments, meaning that I will still be another 8 years away from having my loans forgiven. I went to a state school, SUNY Potsdam, for both my undergraduate and master's degrees. I have worked for two low income public schools in the North Country. I currently teach at one of the poorest districts in the poorest county in New York State.

I am aware of the requirements for PSLF. However, due to many factors, I am still only considered to have made 2 years' worth of payments. When companies have bought and sold my debt throughout the years, I was automatically re-entered into a standard repayment plan without being informed of the change. Those payments, though higher than what is required for PSLF, are not eligible for this forgiveness program. There have been instances where this change in my requested payment plan went unnoticed by me for many months. I was under the impression that, when a new company took over my debt, nothing about my payment plan was to change. Unfortunately, the companies that have held my debt did not uphold that, and I have been punished for it. Furthermore, the current company that holds my debt, FedLoan Servicing, has told me they cannot track my debt to previous owners. In other words, all of the qualifying payments I did make to other loan holders are not being counted for me. I have read and checked and educated myself about PSLF for years. I check back to the government publications about it regularly to make sure I am on track. It was not until a few weeks ago, again, 9 years into my loan payments, that I discovered any payment made when a payment is not 'due' does not count.

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Kayla    April 3, 2017    Potsdam   
Kayla    April 3, 2017    Potsdam   

I am finishing my ninth year as a middle and high school English teacher this spring. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program forgives federal loans after 10 years of payment. I currently owe $44,000 in loans eligible for PSLF. I have not missed payments. However, at the end of this school year the PSLF program will only recognize 2 years worth of payments, meaning that I will still be another 8 years away from having my loans forgiven. I went to a state school, SUNY Potsdam, for both my undergraduate and master's degrees. I have worked for two low income public schools in the North Country. I currently teach at one of the poorest districts in the poorest county in New York State.

I am aware of the requirements for PSLF. However, due to many factors, I am still only considered to have made 2 years' worth of payments. When companies have bought and sold my debt throughout the years, I was automatically re-entered into a standard repayment plan without being informed of the change. Those payments, though higher than what is required for PSLF, are not eligible for this forgiveness program. There have been instances where this change in my requested payment plan went unnoticed by me for many months. I was under the impression that, when a new company took over my debt, nothing about my payment plan was to change. Unfortunately, the companies that have held my debt did not uphold that, and I have been punished for it. Furthermore, the current company that holds my debt, FedLoan Servicing, has told me they cannot track my debt to previous owners. In other words, all of the qualifying payments I did make to other loan holders are not being counted for me. I have read and checked and educated myself about PSLF for years. I check back to the government publications about it regularly to make sure I am on track. It was not until a few weeks ago, again, 9 years into my loan payments, that I discovered any payment made when a payment is not 'due' does not count. In other words, if I pay more than the minimum amount due at the time of payment enough times to get to a point where there is no balance due for a month, but I make a payment any way, that payment does not count toward PSLF. Since I am responsible and conscientious about my debts (and honestly, terrified that PSLF will not work for me, and leave me paying on my debts until long after my death), I have paid above the minimum on most of my bills. Therefore, I have found myself, again, paying more than is required of me, and not having those payments count in my favor.

Because of all of this, I contacted the financial aid office at SUNY Potsdam to see if I could speak with an officer and get some advice. They told me they could not help me because they are only there to get students money, and they don't know anything about the repayment of that money. This feels irresponsible to me considering the current state of student debt in our country. Through all of this, no one has been able to be of assistance.

I have currently paid more money on my loans than I would have paid had I been better informed of the program's guidelines, and if loan companies were upholding their end of the bargain. As a young family with a toddler, this debt is a significant burden for us. When speaking with a representative from the PSLF program I was told that our case is not at all unique. That same representative told me there is no appeal process, no one else to talk to. The end result was "I'm sorry, there is no one who can help you or even hear you." If this loan is forgiven I hope to be able to spend that money on fixing up our old house. We would contribute to our child's education. We might even purchase a new car, go out to dinner once in a while, take a trip, see a movie. However, if we and our peers are perpetually burdened with debt, then we will be forced to send all of our money to banks and we will not be able to contribute to the economy in any way that matters. If the government is interested in an economic boom, then helping the young adults in this country with student debt is a large part of the answer. At a 5.25% interest rate my loan will not go away on my meager North Country New York teacher salary (of $50K in my 9th year).

I am finishing my ninth year as a middle and high school English teacher this spring. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program forgives federal loans after 10 years of payment. I currently owe $44,000 in loans eligible for PSLF. I have not missed payments. However, at the end of this school year the PSLF program will only recognize 2 years worth of payments, meaning that I will still be another 8 years away from having my loans forgiven. I went to a state school, SUNY Potsdam, for both my undergraduate and master's degrees. I have worked for two low income public schools in the North Country. I currently teach at one of the poorest districts in the poorest county in New York State.

I am aware of the requirements for PSLF. However, due to many factors, I am still only considered to have made 2 years' worth of payments. When companies have bought and sold my debt throughout the years, I was automatically re-entered into a standard repayment plan without being informed of the change. Those payments, though higher than what is required for PSLF, are not eligible for this forgiveness program. There have been instances where this change in my requested payment plan went unnoticed by me for many months. I was under the impression that, when a new company took over my debt, nothing about my payment plan was to change. Unfortunately, the companies that have held my debt did not uphold that, and I have been punished for it. Furthermore, the current company that holds my debt, FedLoan Servicing, has told me they cannot track my debt to previous owners. In other words, all of the qualifying payments I did make to other loan holders are not being counted for me. I have read and checked and educated myself about PSLF for years. I check back to the government publications about it regularly to make sure I am on track. It was not until a few weeks ago, again, 9 years into my loan payments, that I discovered any payment made when a payment is not 'due' does not count.

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Author *Kayla    April 3, 2017    Potsdam   
Author *Kayla    April 3, 2017    Potsdam   

I am finishing my ninth year as a middle and high school English teacher this spring. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program forgives federal loans after 10 years of payment. I currently owe $44,000 in loans eligible for PSLF. I have not missed payments. However, at the end of this school year the PSLF program will only recognize 2 years worth of payments, meaning that I will still be another 8 years away from having my loans forgiven. I went to a state school, SUNY Potsdam, for both my undergraduate and master's degrees. I have worked for two low income public schools in the North Country. I currently teach at one of the poorest districts in the poorest county in New York State.

I am aware of the requirements for PSLF. However, due to many factors, I am still only considered to have made 2 years' worth of payments. When companies have bought and sold my debt throughout the years, I was automatically re-entered into a standard repayment plan without being informed of the change. Those payments, though higher than what is required for PSLF, are not eligible for this forgiveness program. There have been instances where this change in my requested payment plan went unnoticed by me for many months. I was under the impression that, when a new company took over my debt, nothing about my payment plan was to change. Unfortunately, the companies that have held my debt did not uphold that, and I have been punished for it. Furthermore, the current company that holds my debt, FedLoan Servicing, has told me they cannot track my debt to previous owners. In other words, all of the qualifying payments I did make to other loan holders are not being counted for me. I have read and checked and educated myself about PSLF for years. I check back to the government publications about it regularly to make sure I am on track. It was not until a few weeks ago, again, 9 years into my loan payments, that I discovered any payment made when a payment is not 'due' does not count. In other words, if I pay more than the minimum amount due at the time of payment enough times to get to a point where there is no balance due for a month, but I make a payment any way, that payment does not count toward PSLF. Since I am responsible and conscientious about my debts (and honestly, terrified that PSLF will not work for me, and leave me paying on my debts until long after my death), I have paid above the minimum on most of my bills. Therefore, I have found myself, again, paying more than is required of me, and not having those payments count in my favor.

Because of all of this, I contacted the financial aid office at SUNY Potsdam to see if I could speak with an officer and get some advice. They told me they could not help me because they are only there to get students money, and they don't know anything about the repayment of that money. This feels irresponsible to me considering the current state of student debt in our country. Through all of this, no one has been able to be of assistance.

I have currently paid more money on my loans than I would have paid had I been better informed of the program's guidelines, and if loan companies were upholding their end of the bargain. As a young family with a toddler, this debt is a significant burden for us. When speaking with a representative from the PSLF program I was told that our case is not at all unique. That same representative told me there is no appeal process, no one else to talk to. The end result was "I'm sorry, there is no one who can help you or even hear you." If this loan is forgiven I hope to be able to spend that money on fixing up our old house. We would contribute to our child's education. We might even purchase a new car, go out to dinner once in a while, take a trip, see a movie. However, if we and our peers are perpetually burdened with debt, then we will be forced to send all of our money to banks and we will not be able to contribute to the economy in any way that matters. If the government is interested in an economic boom, then helping the young adults in this country with student debt is a large part of the answer. At a 5.25% interest rate my loan will not go away on my meager North Country New York teacher salary (of $50K in my 9th year).

After spending 10 years paying on a $33,000 loan that never decreased, I decided to get a Doctorate to get a cheaper interest rate. Big mistake - I teach elementary school. I guess I will jus pay until I die.

Meryene Nolan    April 2, 2017    Sunrise   

I have consolidated my loans so many times, ,to find out six months down the line I still have separate accounts. When I was thinking I was about to pay for all my loans, I am told NO, separate loans. I do not have $400-$500 dollars to pay. First of all I am not working in the field of my degree, I don't have that kind of money and try to live and take care of my family. I have asked why use my husband money for loans he did not recreate, you get attitudes from the representatives. 10 YEARS is a long time, to only find out Fed-Loan can change their agreements. The interest is outrageous, I am 50 years old, I have consolidated, did forbearance, paid a private company over $600 thinking they were FED-LAON, that's what the loan document stated and the person Ann I spoke to. If the previous President loan forgiveness id better, I need to know how to apply and have something set up do I can survive as an American Citizen. work for the school system, the pay is low. I need some relief.. Remove ALL the interest, late charges and the hidden fees. I NEED HELP AND ANSWERS or a wealthy person to BLESS me in paying my debt.

Anonymous    April 1, 2017    CityColumbus   

As single parent my daycare is the most important bill in my budget. I've been living with my parents for the last five years. I can't afford rent and childcare in the same month or paycheck.

I had my daughter the summer before my last semester of college. I wanted to drop out, but everyone said finish school! You will be so much better off and able to provide.

Being able to provide is relative.

I first took a job with a state government but 26k a year and was planning to take advantage of the PSLF program. Except at 26k I found myself still relying on public assistance for basic needs, and my income was so low I went into forbearance for those two years I worked for the state.

I got fed up with being so poor and took a position in private industry, with a significant pay raise that actually allows us to live.

Due to the two years my loans were in forgiveness the following happened:

My initial loan amounts for my bachelors and masters were 89k and to this date due to forebarance I owe 110k.

My loan payment without the IBR is 1200+ and I don't even bring that home take home after taxes. Based on my current income my monthly payment is about 60. The monthly interest is over 550 dollars.

I'm never going to be able to pay them off. I now owe more than I borrowed. I wish there would have been more advisement when I first started college of what the loans actually were. At 18 I can tell you I had no idea what the loan actually meant.

It's estimated that in 20-25 years the government is expected to forgive 140k of my student loans. Which means that year I will receive a huge tax bill from IRS as that will count as the forgiven amount will count as taxable income.

I've never felt so lost and upside down.

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Tracey    April 1, 2017    Tampa, FL   
Tracey    April 1, 2017    Tampa, FL   

As single parent my daycare is the most important bill in my budget. I've been living with my parents for the last five years. I can't afford rent and childcare in the same month or paycheck.

I had my daughter the summer before my last semester of college. I wanted to drop out, but everyone said finish school! You will be so much better off and able to provide.

Being able to provide is relative.

I first took a job with a state government but 26k a year and was planning to take advantage of the PSLF program. Except at 26k I found myself still relying on public assistance for basic needs, and my income was so low I went into forbearance for those two years I worked for the state.

I got fed up with being so poor and took a position in private industry, with a significant pay raise that actually allows us to live.

Due to the two years my loans were in forgiveness the following happened:

My initial loan amounts for my bachelors and masters were 89k and to this date due to forebarance I owe 110k.

My loan payment without the IBR is 1200+ and I don't even bring that home take home after taxes. Based on my current income my monthly payment is about 60. The monthly interest is over 550 dollars.

I'm never going to be able to pay them off. I now owe more than I borrowed. I wish there would have been more advisement when I first started college of what the loans actually were. At 18 I can tell you I had no idea what the loan actually meant.

It's estimated that in 20-25 years the government is expected to forgive 140k of my student loans. Which means that year I will receive a huge tax bill from IRS as that will count as the forgiven amount will count as taxable income.

I've never felt so lost and upside down. There are some ways I feel that student loans are a loan shark. Why should the government be profiting off the backs of students? Payday loan companies are known for insane interest rates and I considering student loans in the same spot light.

The only two things I can be sure of is that when my daughter is old enough to go off to college:

1. I will still be paying on my student loans.
2. I will be doing everything in my power to ensure that my daughter doesn't take out a single student loan.

When I graduated in 2011, I immediately knew that I would utilize the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) and I repeatedly called FedLoan Servicing to make sure I had everything correct in my account to qualify for the plan. I was always told everything correct and there was no issue.

In December of 2014, I received an email from FedLoan Servicing notifying me that my loans may be eligible for Public Service Forgiveness. Since I already believed my loans qualified for forgiveness, I called to inquire. It turned out over half of my loans didn't qualify for the Public Service Forgiveness Program as they weren't the correct type of loan. They informed me that I needed to consolidate the loans that weren't Direct Loans and after the consolidation the monthly payments would count towards PSLF.

I submitted an application for consolidation and it was my understanding that I was submitting an application to only consolidate loans that did not already qualify for PSLF. I even had my father call the agency to make sure I was understanding everything I needed to do correctly. Unfortunately, I inadvertently included 5 Direct Loans to consolidate that already had 32 qualifying payments made towards them. FedLoan Servicing sent me a letter asking me if I really meant to include the qualifying Direct Loans in my application. In the letter, it informed me that I had only made 1 qualifying payment towards these loans and I still had 119 remaining payments. When I read that I had only made 1 qualifying payment towards these loans, I believed it would be in my best interest to consolidate them because it would simplify my account to only have 1 loan instead of several. I understood that I would lose a month of qualifying payments on these Direct Loans, but I was that was something I was willing to accept for a simplified loan. I did not call to remove the Direct Loans. In 2015 I received a letter indicating my consolidation request was almost complete. It stated the amount of each loan to be consolidated and the amount of each loan that would not be consolidated.

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Haylee    March 31, 2017    Arlington   
Haylee    March 31, 2017    Arlington   

When I graduated in 2011, I immediately knew that I would utilize the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) and I repeatedly called FedLoan Servicing to make sure I had everything correct in my account to qualify for the plan. I was always told everything correct and there was no issue.

In December of 2014, I received an email from FedLoan Servicing notifying me that my loans may be eligible for Public Service Forgiveness. Since I already believed my loans qualified for forgiveness, I called to inquire. It turned out over half of my loans didn't qualify for the Public Service Forgiveness Program as they weren't the correct type of loan. They informed me that I needed to consolidate the loans that weren't Direct Loans and after the consolidation the monthly payments would count towards PSLF.

I submitted an application for consolidation and it was my understanding that I was submitting an application to only consolidate loans that did not already qualify for PSLF. I even had my father call the agency to make sure I was understanding everything I needed to do correctly. Unfortunately, I inadvertently included 5 Direct Loans to consolidate that already had 32 qualifying payments made towards them. FedLoan Servicing sent me a letter asking me if I really meant to include the qualifying Direct Loans in my application. In the letter, it informed me that I had only made 1 qualifying payment towards these loans and I still had 119 remaining payments. When I read that I had only made 1 qualifying payment towards these loans, I believed it would be in my best interest to consolidate them because it would simplify my account to only have 1 loan instead of several. I understood that I would lose a month of qualifying payments on these Direct Loans, but I was that was something I was willing to accept for a simplified loan. I did not call to remove the Direct Loans. In 2015 I received a letter indicating my consolidation request was almost complete. It stated the amount of each loan to be consolidated and the amount of each loan that would not be consolidated. Nowhere in the letter did it state the specific name of any loans (Direct, etc.), only whether the loan was subsidized or unsubsidized.

In 2016, I noticed the Direct Loans that have been consolidated actually had 32 qualifying payments made towards them and not just 1 payment as the letter had previously stated. I called to inquire about this discrepancy with FedLoan Servicing and was told that because I didn’t call within 10 days of being sent the letter, I am out of luck getting those qualifying payments back. I was also told that I should have investigated my account further when I received the letter. I’m not entirely sure how I’m supposed to investigate my account further when the information I’m being given comes directly from my lender. I also informed the agent that I didn’t investigate further because FedLoan Servicing had just informed me that several of my other loans didn’t qualify for PSLF so why would I think these would be any different? I then asked if I could have a record of my interactions with agents because I believe I had multiple conversations with people about only including non-qualifying loans. I was told that I could not have this information. I then asked where I could make a complaint and the agent told me there was nowhere for me to complain, but I could complain to him.

Borrowers expect their lender to guide them through getting their account where it needs to be to qualify for the programs they offer. FedLoan Servicing knew my intentions were to consolidate only loans that did not already qualify for PSLF and provided false information regarding the Direct Loans I held at the time. Had the letter stated that I had made 32 qualifying payments, I would have contacted them straight away.

I don’t understand how borrowers are supposed to make educated decisions regarding their account when the lender provides false information and does not help ensure borrowers are doing everything correctly to enroll in programs they offer.

I have nearly 85k worth of debt and I honestly never see myself being able to buy a home. I have delayed marriage and children, and there is absolutely no possible way I can afford to live on my own. I am trying my best and did everything I could to make sure I was doing things right and yet FedLoan Servicing refuses to give me credit where credit is due or even give me correct information. I had to send in my Employer Certification Form 3 times in 2016 before they credited my account with qualified payments. It's absolutely infuriating how convoluted they make this process.

I went to undergrad and grad school. My loans totaled around $35,000. Everytime I called the student loan company for help because I couldn't make a payment, I was put on some kind of program that essentially added more interest to my loan. I never realized this. Now 18 years later I owe $75,000. My daughter wants to go to school but she would need me to borrow money to cover her tuition. How can that be possible when I owe so much? Why don't they take that into consideration when she is applying for aid?

Natalie    March 31, 2017    New Lenox   

I graduated from Sul Ross University in Alpine Texas in 1999 with my M.S. (and B.S) of Science. I accrued $24,565.41 during grad school in Sallie Mae Federal Student Loans that were later consolidated in the late 90’s at a 7.75% interest rate. I made payments from 2/9/2000 through 08/20/2016 when I began at another university working on an ethics degree.

As of 8/20/2016 I have paid a total of $39,760.2 in repayments, ($26,569.69 - interest and $12,362.45-prinicpal). After 16 years of paying on my relatively low college loan, I still owe $24,884.63 according to Navient.

That is, I have only managed to pay off $319.22 from my original loan after 16 years and paying $39,760.20.

To top it off, it is the wrong kind of student loan to forgive as it was deemed ineligible for forgiveness late last fall for those that work in public service according to the program that claims to decide that.

It should be noted that during my years at Sul Ross I was a single mom who also worked full time as a paramedic with Presidio EMS, a non-profit that provided emergency services to an impoverished medically underserved community-this of course was meaningless in financing my higher education. Nonetheless upon graduation I found a fulltime employment as a Research Specialist for a university agricultural research center and later began working in Federal Government where I am now. The payments were stopped for a couple of years as I recovered from a traumatic back injury which necessitated major surgery and it took over 18 months to get back to work.

So essentially, I have worked in Public service since I was 18, took out a minimal amount to get through school (and break the cycle of poverty in my family), and have worked to pay this off for years and have now paid a grand total of 312$ on the original loan after 16 years and paying $39,760.20 in interest.

My daughter refuses to go to school on loans after seeing the struggle I have been through.

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Raina Dodson    March 31, 2017    Fayetteville   
Raina Dodson    March 31, 2017    Fayetteville   

I graduated from Sul Ross University in Alpine Texas in 1999 with my M.S. (and B.S) of Science. I accrued $24,565.41 during grad school in Sallie Mae Federal Student Loans that were later consolidated in the late 90’s at a 7.75% interest rate. I made payments from 2/9/2000 through 08/20/2016 when I began at another university working on an ethics degree.

As of 8/20/2016 I have paid a total of $39,760.2 in repayments, ($26,569.69 - interest and $12,362.45-prinicpal). After 16 years of paying on my relatively low college loan, I still owe $24,884.63 according to Navient.

That is, I have only managed to pay off $319.22 from my original loan after 16 years and paying $39,760.20.

To top it off, it is the wrong kind of student loan to forgive as it was deemed ineligible for forgiveness late last fall for those that work in public service according to the program that claims to decide that.

It should be noted that during my years at Sul Ross I was a single mom who also worked full time as a paramedic with Presidio EMS, a non-profit that provided emergency services to an impoverished medically underserved community-this of course was meaningless in financing my higher education. Nonetheless upon graduation I found a fulltime employment as a Research Specialist for a university agricultural research center and later began working in Federal Government where I am now. The payments were stopped for a couple of years as I recovered from a traumatic back injury which necessitated major surgery and it took over 18 months to get back to work.

So essentially, I have worked in Public service since I was 18, took out a minimal amount to get through school (and break the cycle of poverty in my family), and have worked to pay this off for years and have now paid a grand total of 312$ on the original loan after 16 years and paying $39,760.20 in interest.

My daughter refuses to go to school on loans after seeing the struggle I have been through. I have resolved to probably working past retirement age to pay this off. I elected to go back to school for an ethics degree because I feel like it should be a mandate for anyone working for the government to have a course in ethics. Its not a bad idea for anyone in middle age to do it. I paid tuition out of pocket for the semester and frankly I loved the courses. I will live my life on my terms.

How are those with less debt and less paying jobs ever supposed to survive? How has the US allowed this level of rampant greed to infect its systems on every level? The decks are stacked against anyone trying to actually climb up by their own bootstraps.

I have worked over 20 years in public service. I consolidated my student loan debt within 6 months of getting my master's degree, and was put on FedLoan's "regular repayment plan." Two years ago, I sent inquiries about whether my repayment plan qualified, and got the run around. Last year, I got my approval letter that my employment qualified, but was told that I was not on a qualified repayment plan. So now, none of my public service employment counts and I would have to work another 10 years. The program is a joke: they never intended anyone to get forgiveness. They set it up where you have to make 120 qualifying payments, but that means you pay off completely before you are eligible for forgiveness. Our generation is struggling to buy homes, have children, and live independently because we are drowning in debt. No breaks on the interest rates and no flexibility on the forgiveness plans.

Amanda Wood    March 31, 2017    Paducah   

My son has been to college for a about three years now at this time it was it was mesa state college and now it is Colorado mesa university every thing is got very expensive and then to top it off he worked part-time for Cabelas sporting goods and then Cabelas sold out to Bass pro and the few days be for christmas hoilday there layed off all there part-time Help in 2016 that very hard on my son and my family to it is very hard to fined a job in colorado at this time for him and me to.

darrell mcneer    March 31, 2017    Montrose   

I recently obtained my degree in social work. I chose to go to a private school as I was told it would better my chances to find work after graduation. I also remember sitting in the schools financial aid office before applying and they assured me private school would cost the same as a university but have more benefits. I was the first in my family to go to school so we didn't know any better. Now I am at the mercy of student loans totally $125,000. Its a 30 year loan with monthly payments that match my mortgage. If I wasn't married, there is no way I could afford to be living on my own. I've decided to go back for my masters degree now to get some relief from a deferment period. I was also told by a financial aid adviser to take out the maximum I was granted for federal funding. Any left over funds I could use to pay on my private loans and then hopefully I would qualify for the loan forgiveness program in ten years for my federal loans. Then, this morning, I read that FedLoan isn't guaranteeing payment after 10 years of working for a government agency. There is just no winning and the thought of being trapped by these student loans for the next 30 years is terrifying.

Stephanie Karl    March 31, 2017    Litchfield   

When my loan was transferred to VSAC my previous loan servicing agency I was under a IB plan where I had to submit my tax forms. I did not change my repayment plan. I still have not gotten verification from them (VSAC) or the other agency it was transferred to Nelnet, why my loan repayment plan was changed when it transferred from Ford loan servicing to VSAC. I was under a IB plan when I originally consolidated with Ford loan servicing, before it was transferred to VSAC then to Nelnet. I sent emails to their (VSAC) servicing to provide me with the type of repayment plan I was under with them. I was told I had to contact Nelnet, because Dept of Ed transferred my loan servicing and they do not have any records. I contacted Nelnet, I was told they do not have any accounts for me. That's why I decided to contact this agency. I do not feel that all that has taken place was within my control because I'm have not gotten any concrete answers from VSAC and as it seems I never will nor did I know to whom I should contact to look into these inconsistences.

I feel I was not given adequate information or service from VSAC when I was with them. I was never given any follow up correspondence from them about my loan questions.

I do not feel it is fair to me because I did what I was suppose to do in trying to be within the guidelines for the PSLF program. I feel I was not given the necessary information from VSAC for the 7 or so years with them.
I did not receive any information letting my know I would 'erase' any payment made from the 2009-2015 payments and that they would be canceled. if I had, I would not have submitted a new consolidation. I have worked for a place that qualifies me for the PSLF since before this program started in 2007).

ghines-kent    March 31, 2017   

I work as a clinical social worker in a state prison system. I have been here for almost 5 years and I have another 5 to go in order to qualify for loan forgiveness. This has always been a plan of action from the time I started college in order to get the degrees and license that I have. I started this process late in life. I am 58. I owe almost 130k in debt to student loans. I make my payment every month, but certainly look towards that forgiveness in time for retirement. Now there are stories that the letters of qualification for that forgiveness is not a guarantee that it will be there. That will be a horrible reality and is very troubling. To be able to do the work I do, there was no choice about the education I needed to have. Social workers do not make huge salaries. The burden of the education was well known, but I certainly an lacking faith in the system. Discharge of these debts for those that are actively serving the public good should be considered.

Mark Herbert    March 31, 2017    Sault Ste. Marie   

I paid approximately 600 per month for 13 years to sallie mae.
the principal never went down.
in 2009, I switched to Direct Loan Servicing, and I told them every time I spoke with them, that I was interested in Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
in 2013, I was instructed to fill out an employer certification form, and I did.
several months later I was informed (happened to see a file in my junk folder) that I was not making payments on an approved plan.
I asked for everything in writing (requested no digital) because sallie mae had so screwed things up in the past and was trying to do everything right.
when I spoke with someone at direct loan servicing, was told that everything was good and on track for loan forgiveness.
they either lied to me or didn't know what they were doing
either way it cost me a lot of time and money
appealed through the ombudsman system of department of education.
in the beginning, she assured me that there were "lots" of people that were in the same boat as me.
in the end, appeal denied
they stated that the instructions were clear and I hadn't followed the instructions.
again, I think the people that work there were incompetent or actively deceiving people.
tried to petition the secretary of education , but could not find one person in all the people that I talked to that could give me the secretary of education's name or contact information.
sent a petition to the president of the united states.
they sent it to the department of education.
again, no help whatsoever.
so 13 yrs at 600 per month
3.5 years at 450 per month
and 4 years at 700+ per month
result still owe 49,000 on a 50,000 loan
HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE????????????

Robert Smith    March 31, 2017    Bells   

My wife and I are both doctors nearing 50. we graduated from Medical school about 20 years ago. we still have 80k in debt as our children enter college. I work with young medical students who leave school with 350-400k in debt on average. I shudder to think of their future

Mike    March 31, 2017    great neck   

100k in student loan debt. My fully amortized payments would be over $1,200/month. That goes up if the Fed raises interest rates. I pay what I can, and live with my parents out of complete necessity - at age 32. I have no romantic prospects. Rent & food are covered, so I literally have no living expenses, and yet 100% of my income goes to student loans. The only work I've found is a part-time job hand-digging holes for land surveys. I couldn't go back to school if I wanted to because that requires more debt, and lenders would be unwilling to give me more money without a cosigner...and no one is willing to be a cosigner anymore.

So what did I study that got me into this mess? Physics, math, and economics. The much-lauded STEM. But what they don't tell you is that some majors, even in STEM, are USELESS unless you take them to the PhD level, and even then professoral jobs are becoming scarce. What I should have studied was engineering and accounting. My potential is being completely wasted. My youth is being completely wasted. My money is being completely wasted. Even my time is being completely wasted, because I have to spend so many hours each month negotiating with creditors. And the talking heads wonder why millenials and young-ish people are just checking out of life in droves.

Going to college is my single greatest regret in life. Student loans are NOT dischargeable in bankruptcy. TAKING ON STUDENT LOAN DEBT IS A CHOICE THAT CANNOT BE UNDONE.

Michael    March 30, 2017   

Hi my name is Marshon Singh and the school I recently attented Heald College closed unannounced very shortly after I graduated in 2014. While in the middle of job search on their Stockton Campus, I was left unable to do job search and was informed that the schools credentials are no accepted for employment the school because the school closed permently in April 2015 . I would like to have my school fedloas discharged because of these issues. I would like to request help to discharge these school loans . I filed for chapter Bankrupcy in 2015 and mailed attestation forms to fed lian servicing. But have had no success.

Marshon    March 23, 2017    Stockton   

I went to college for 2 years and borrowed 23,000 due in 2011 now five years later (actually debt amount came after two years) is 78,000 that is impossible .I am on SSI/Disability and SSI is garnisheed 212.00 a month .I truly believe and has to be several different collections agencies for Dept of Ed are all collecting on same loans

RICKANTHONY621    March 22, 2017    grand rapids   

Having completed undergraduate without any student loan debt , I graduated from law school in 1999 with close to $80k in Fedloan and $15k in private student loans. My first four years in practice I worked as a corporate lawyer and paid my private loans off and made regular payments to my Fedloan. In 2003 I began my own practice while my wife stayed home with our children. I continued to make Fedloan payments but not regularly. In 2007 I became employed as a state public defender and eventually deferred my student loan. When my deferral ran out I got on income contingent loan forgiveness. My payments are nearly $1000 a month. My balance is higher today than the day I left law school and if I make it to the end of the forgiveness period (I'm 4 years in) they will only have "forgiven" interest. I have an idea and I want to launch a social media platform to see if there is substantial interest. It seems to me if all student loan debtors formed a group and collectively bargained with Fedloans to renegotiate loan terms the lender would be forced to participate. However I am not seeking to default. I have a plan where everyone would do well. It involves first determining an individual's "base debt amount" by subtracting all payments from the principal as it existed prior to any interest. For the sake of easy math let's say that number is $100k. Then negotiate a lump sum payoff percentage with the lender, for example 20% or $20k. Next have a window of time that allows debtors to clear their entire debt with that one time payment. Potentially everyone would benefit because debtors would turn to private lenders (banks, credit cards, home equity lines) to jump on the one time payoff option, thereby stimulating that lending market. The debtors would be good risks for the lenders because they would be trading a much higher student loan debt amount and monthly payment for a lesser amount. The lender (fed government) would win because a large influx of cash would come into their coffers in a short amount of time (one in the hand is worth 2 in the bush).

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Arnie A. Beckman    March 20, 2017    Denver   
Arnie A. Beckman    March 20, 2017    Denver   

Having completed undergraduate without any student loan debt , I graduated from law school in 1999 with close to $80k in Fedloan and $15k in private student loans. My first four years in practice I worked as a corporate lawyer and paid my private loans off and made regular payments to my Fedloan. In 2003 I began my own practice while my wife stayed home with our children. I continued to make Fedloan payments but not regularly. In 2007 I became employed as a state public defender and eventually deferred my student loan. When my deferral ran out I got on income contingent loan forgiveness. My payments are nearly $1000 a month. My balance is higher today than the day I left law school and if I make it to the end of the forgiveness period (I'm 4 years in) they will only have "forgiven" interest. I have an idea and I want to launch a social media platform to see if there is substantial interest. It seems to me if all student loan debtors formed a group and collectively bargained with Fedloans to renegotiate loan terms the lender would be forced to participate. However I am not seeking to default. I have a plan where everyone would do well. It involves first determining an individual's "base debt amount" by subtracting all payments from the principal as it existed prior to any interest. For the sake of easy math let's say that number is $100k. Then negotiate a lump sum payoff percentage with the lender, for example 20% or $20k. Next have a window of time that allows debtors to clear their entire debt with that one time payment. Potentially everyone would benefit because debtors would turn to private lenders (banks, credit cards, home equity lines) to jump on the one time payoff option, thereby stimulating that lending market. The debtors would be good risks for the lenders because they would be trading a much higher student loan debt amount and monthly payment for a lesser amount. The lender (fed government) would win because a large influx of cash would come into their coffers in a short amount of time (one in the hand is worth 2 in the bush). It would also reduce the massive administrative costs of maintaining, managing and tracking all the debt. The percentage amount is crucial because it must be low enough to induce a high number of debtors into action but high enough to induce the lender to want to participate. The fact of the matter is I have been a lawyer for 17 years. My kids are older now and approaching college age themselves and I have saved nothing for their education. We have never bought a new car, and only spend money on big ticket durable goods when necessary. If and I other debtors were relieved of their student loan debt in the manner I am proposing they would have disposable income to start purchasing these items. The good economies of the 1950s and 1960s were driven by middle class earners buying durable goods (washing machines, dishwashers, cars) all which contribute to GNP. Therefore, the long term economic effect would be potentially tremendous as the professional middle class became unburdened with student loan debt and had more disposable cash every month.

I was 19 when I got married I had one year of tech school so I worked as a certified medical assistant 120 hours per week and put my ex through school. He became a Board Certified Radiologist who left me for the secretary and left me with debt and two children to finish raising. I had worked my tail end off to get him through school he hid all the cash and made off like he had nothing the court declared him the divorce. Now round two, I got my daughter a scholarship but I also added 50k to that for extras putting her through school and she is now a lawyer. She runs off to Daddy when he offers to pay for her wedding . So I have now worked myself into the ground have COPD, Arthritis, and immune difificency and I'm 55 years old and I have nothing for all of the hours I have worked. I can't get disability apparently I haven't worked the right type of jobs over they years or worked the right credits or something. I need an education and a home to live in. I have now given two people bachelor and professional degrees and I have zero!

Janet Horn    March 15, 2017    Potomac   

I graduated from high school in 2003. Afterwards I went to a community college, thinking it would save me money and would then only have two years at a university instead of 4. I graduated and got my AS in biology with out any debt, so I thought it was time to try to get my bachelor's so I could get my dream job. I transferred to Southern Illinois University that fall in their zoology program. But hardly any of my classes from community college transfered of course, so I would be there for 4 years. I didn't get financial aide at all so I had to do it with private loans. I was doing great at school, I was making new friends and loved every class I was in, for two years. Then I moved off campus into a house with my friend and his roommates. Then I kept getting robbed, people would break into my house 3 times in 4 months and always seemed to steal my stuff. I had severe depression after this and my GPA took a hit because on semester I kind of went to class and kind of didn't, the next o just left one day and didn't withdrawal so failed that totally. I worked part time Jobs for a couple years after and paid what I could on my loans, but I really wanted my degree. I went back at 25 so I could get some financial aid. I did graduate, but my once decent 3.3 GPA is now a miserable 2.5. I have had little success with my degree, always working for about $10-$15 an hour if I can find work. I also thought I owed $50000 in student loans, until last year when I got a letter telling me I owe $30000 more than I thought. I was able to pay down about $20000 over the past 6 years, but I still owe
$80000 somehow. It kills me to think about it. School did nothing for me but ruin my life. I am planning on paying almost every cent I can to these in the very near future,

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Author *Adam    March 13, 2017    Jerseyville   
Author *Adam    March 13, 2017    Jerseyville   

I graduated from high school in 2003. Afterwards I went to a community college, thinking it would save me money and would then only have two years at a university instead of 4. I graduated and got my AS in biology with out any debt, so I thought it was time to try to get my bachelor's so I could get my dream job. I transferred to Southern Illinois University that fall in their zoology program. But hardly any of my classes from community college transfered of course, so I would be there for 4 years. I didn't get financial aide at all so I had to do it with private loans. I was doing great at school, I was making new friends and loved every class I was in, for two years. Then I moved off campus into a house with my friend and his roommates. Then I kept getting robbed, people would break into my house 3 times in 4 months and always seemed to steal my stuff. I had severe depression after this and my GPA took a hit because on semester I kind of went to class and kind of didn't, the next o just left one day and didn't withdrawal so failed that totally. I worked part time Jobs for a couple years after and paid what I could on my loans, but I really wanted my degree. I went back at 25 so I could get some financial aid. I did graduate, but my once decent 3.3 GPA is now a miserable 2.5. I have had little success with my degree, always working for about $10-$15 an hour if I can find work. I also thought I owed $50000 in student loans, until last year when I got a letter telling me I owe $30000 more than I thought. I was able to pay down about $20000 over the past 6 years, but I still owe
$80000 somehow. It kills me to think about it. School did nothing for me but ruin my life. I am planning on paying almost every cent I can to these in the very near future, and I live with my parents so at least I don't have to pay rent. I assume if I pay my entire check weekly for the next 4 years I can do it, maybe. I guess if you're poor, don't go to college. It's now exclusively for rich people. Our education system is a joke. And every job I feel like I am more than qualified for needs experience. How do you get experience without the job??? Catch 22

I am a first generation American citizen. I put myself through undergrad and after applying to dental school and being accepted to NYU, took on student loans. Upon graduation I was required to complete a 1 year residency at which time the student loan interest began accruing.

I currently owe more than 400k in student loans. My monthly payments are 3500/month, or 50% of my take home income. Because I make more than 115k a year, I am not allowed to deduct any of the 28k in student loan interest I pay each year.

I was thrilled to learn of your efforts and will gladly support if there is anything I can do

Magdalena Carolan    March 12, 2017    Kenosha   

My parents immigrated to the US from the Philippines. They struggled to send us to school and took out loans for me to attend college. My graduate school fellowship and stipend was barely enough to cover my living expenses so I took out loans. Because graduate school put me on a track to teach, I fell into the Adjunct teaching hole for 7 years until I realized that this was no longer sustainable. I am now hoping to get into social work to be able to do social justice work as a professional. It only feels more urgeng to get involved in student debt movements in an intersections way becausw the larger problem of higher education is all tightly woven. After 10 years of public service as a social worker and 120 income adjusted payments to my student loans (working a minimum of 30 hours per week), my debts can be fully "forgiven". I am not sorry for taking out loans to get an education that any sane government make free. We do not need forgiveness. We need a new system and with that comes radically new legislation. In solidarity with all.

Feliz Molina    March 11, 2017    Chicago   

I took probably $30,000 in loans while I was in school now with interest, penalties, fines and all the other BS they added on its close to $150,000.I would have to pay them $17,000 a year just to keep what I owe at $150,000 because all the interest and add ons is $17,000 a year. So I was making about $40,000 a year and what I did was I got a promotion and now its about $45,000 a year so when they start garnishing 15% I will just be getting the same $40,000 a year I used to make. Beyond that they can go straight to hell. They wont get another penny beyond that 15%. I have heard people here say they consider suicide. Dont. Just figure out a way to make 15% more, let them take that 15% and forget it. I dont care what the balance is. 15% is all they get. Just think - pretty soon they are going to be pushing the retirement ages back -- AGAIN. Things change so they have to adjust the rules. DIRTY HYPOCRITES.

Danny    March 10, 2017    Tacoma   

I graduated in 2009, the worst the worst year to get out of school. In 2009 after finishing school at a private University in Michigan, I could not find any jobs, all the entry level job were taken and if you were a recent grad the chance of finding a job was slight. The economic crises screw everything, it took me years to finally find an ok job and I spent so long not working that affected me in all aspects of my life. I couldn't pay my student loans and got all these interest, till now I can't afford to pay my student because I'm barely making it. But still the interest never stop coming when people's paycheck become less and less. You always going to be buried in debt. My loans are over 100k which is ridiculous to me, a lot of is interest. I honestly wish I went to a trade school. I'm not sure school should be so expensive that you ended up buried in deep debt. I wish someone could help me because it's so depressing thinking of my loans. And my school was such a scam. Andrews University.

June    March 7, 2017    Edgewater   

I want to buy a home, but my loan payments are 500 dollars a month. I make less than 2,000 a month. How can I pay 500 for loans, 500 for a mortgage, plus all the bills, food, and the normal costs of life? I want to pay my loans, but 500 is outrageous.

Angela    March 3, 2017    Perrysburg   

I graduated in 2012 from Heald College. At the the time I had only 1 of my treasures (child of God) this year I have 4 Treasures the youngest turning 6 months this coming Saturday. I don't mind paying my student loans but as of now it's so not hard (So Speaking Life) because of the economy. Living in Hawaii doesn't help, but I should have studied more in high school or done more research for scholarships. The reason why I choose Heald College was because of the refresher courses promised after graduation. Now that heald has closed its doors in no longer have that option and I believe its not fair to us especially when we are applying for a job in our graduating field and want to refresh our minds before entering the field 😣 i don't mind paying some of my loans off BUT not the whole thing is what was promised is no longer available to me. Can any one help. This year they took our whole Fed tax for my student loans 6k+ of it and my debt is 46k+.

Mrs.Rivera    February 28, 2017    Waianae   

In the 90's I felt that I did not need to get an education to prove to anyone I knew what I was doing. I was sadly mistaken, In 2004 I found myself unemployed from any of the dead end factory jobs I was working at. I walked into a local Job center here in WI. and asked about employment. They inquired what my skills and abilities were. I was just getting into computers and helping people with tech problems. I transformed into a geek. The people at the Job center informed me that I could go to school to get a solid education in IT / Help Desk... So I enrolled in college. I was not able to ask my parents for help financially. My father passed away in '04 and my mother was low income status. I had nowhere else to turn to help pay for school besides federal stafford loans. I felt in my heart it was the right thing to do, so I signed my life away. In 2008 I completed my Help Desk diploma and decided to further my studies into an Associates degree. In 2010 I finished my IT - Computer Systems Administration 2 yr degree. I then sought work in the IT field only to discover that the IT jobs were all asking for nothing less than a BS degree in a related field, and more Microsoft certifications which were expensive even if you fail the tests.
I then sought out a school I could transfer all my credits to in order to obtain a Bachelor's degree. I enrolled in a local accredited school and began attending IT classes which were extremely difficult for me to keep up with and stay on top of the work at hand. I switched my major in 2011 into a BS in Graphic Design because there seemed to be a vast amount of employers seeking people with Graphic Design skills.
I had previous screen printing and web press printing knowledge from some of the previous factories I worked at.
In 2013 I finished my BS in Graphic Design - Cum Laude status.

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PJ    February 23, 2017    Beloit   
PJ    February 23, 2017    Beloit   

In the 90's I felt that I did not need to get an education to prove to anyone I knew what I was doing. I was sadly mistaken, In 2004 I found myself unemployed from any of the dead end factory jobs I was working at. I walked into a local Job center here in WI. and asked about employment. They inquired what my skills and abilities were. I was just getting into computers and helping people with tech problems. I transformed into a geek. The people at the Job center informed me that I could go to school to get a solid education in IT / Help Desk... So I enrolled in college. I was not able to ask my parents for help financially. My father passed away in '04 and my mother was low income status. I had nowhere else to turn to help pay for school besides federal stafford loans. I felt in my heart it was the right thing to do, so I signed my life away. In 2008 I completed my Help Desk diploma and decided to further my studies into an Associates degree. In 2010 I finished my IT - Computer Systems Administration 2 yr degree. I then sought work in the IT field only to discover that the IT jobs were all asking for nothing less than a BS degree in a related field, and more Microsoft certifications which were expensive even if you fail the tests.
I then sought out a school I could transfer all my credits to in order to obtain a Bachelor's degree. I enrolled in a local accredited school and began attending IT classes which were extremely difficult for me to keep up with and stay on top of the work at hand. I switched my major in 2011 into a BS in Graphic Design because there seemed to be a vast amount of employers seeking people with Graphic Design skills.
I had previous screen printing and web press printing knowledge from some of the previous factories I worked at.
In 2013 I finished my BS in Graphic Design - Cum Laude status. Ever since then here in Wisconsin, I have applied at over 250+ entry level positions that I find listed on various job boards. I have even applied at companies where I know people that work at, I have had a few really bizzar interviews and low unsustainable offers and even one offer that was renegotiated and subsequently I was denied the position.
This is insanity!!
My loans were around $50,000 when I finished my BS degree, and now 3+ years later they are topping over $60,000 with 6.8% interest.
I am in my mid 40's now, I will never, ever be able to pay these loans off in my lifetime. Thank goodness I do not have dependents or a spouse. So I can die laughing when no one gets a dime!

I am over 60 with over $100K in student debt for two kids with dreams of graduating college and getting a good start in their lives. They each have $20K of debt. I will use half of my retirement to avoid getting sunk by these predatory lenders tricks but my daughters will be saddled with monthly payments from graduation day for the next 10 years. This is what happens when capitalism fails and the capitalist begin eating their own.

Paul    February 22, 2017    Seattle   

I'm 62 my husband 70. We wanted our kids to have a future. They got their Bachelors degrees thankfully, but the $100,000+ in student loan debt is crushing our dreams. And we have masters degrees. Our kids are riddled with student loan debt. Unable to buy a home of their own. Daughter lives at home, looking for work. We cate for 85 year old mother with Dementia. Been wondering if we could file for bankruptcy.

blanca    February 21, 2017    San diego   

I am a mother of 2 little boys. My husband and I have always struggled. We have been together since we were 16 and 17 years old. We both went to a good University. His mother worked for the college so he had f tee tuition (thankfully). I graduated 12 years ago and i still owe $10,000. I have a good job but have taken on multiple side jobs to try and make ends meet. We have had to move in with my mother in law because bills jeep piling up. I pay my bill faithfully but it seems like it is never going to go away.

Courtney    February 14, 2017    Levittown   

I'm a mother a 3 year old and a 2 month old child. Due to my 2 month old being a premature at birth I have to stay home and care for him. School will be a bit difficult to even end this debt I have. And my plan is to remain a house wife till my boys both go to school than finish off what I started at training school, doing online courses screwed me over. If only the debt were at least payed off half way or forgiven since it was the 1st time I borrowed a student loan but didn't seem to understand the results of it not until I decided not to continue doing online courses.

Margaret    February 14, 2017   

My twins were 2 years old when I signed up for a nine month class. I worked hard and followed their rules. The school did not help me when another student harrassed me and when I finished the school found ONE placement. The school threatened I had to accept this job ( eventhough I had bad feeling and it turned out I was right) or I would not receive my certificate. The office was poorly run and closed within 6 months. I am so sorry that I am still paying money for this program and my daughters are now 13 years! I am 50 years old and feel that I will be using my social security!

Wendy    February 11, 2017    Quincy, MA   

I enrolled to take extension classes through a major university in CA. These were super accelerated courses, that I attended for about 2 years. I was not able to complete the B.A. once I realized that my bill was up to $25K, and cramming subjects in such a short period of time was not beneficial nor instructive but a way for the university to fulfill a requirement in order to get paid an obscene amount per class. In 2008 I lost my job in a mortgage company due to the real estate bust, and was unable to acquire full time employment. I signed up for food stamps for the first time ever in order to feed my children, lost my job, and became homeless. Eventually, I defaulted and the student loan servicer would not work with me instead they sent me a notice that I owed over 80k, and they were requesting full payment even after I had explained my situation in a letter. I am currently working, and I would like to start making some payments towards my loan, but not before they re-evaluate my debt. Now they say I owe over 100k, that is more then if i had attended medical school, and in my case I don't even have a B.A. I have heard stories about their abusive tactics, and I have been desperately seeking for someone that will help me renegotiate, or make the legal guidelines clearer. There has to be a point when these loans are capped, and to have accredited universities charge fairly, especially in their extension classes. This is not the same as attending the universities full time, not only are they lacking in their curriculum, but a degree from these programs, are not looked at favorably in the real world, even when they are from a well known university. We need caring advocates to help us navigate through this bureaucracy.

Nancy    January 28, 2017    Lemon Grove   

I went to college later in life after I became a single parent to 3 children. As I finished college my oldest child started college and I took out more loans to give him some assistance. My oldest graduated with only $25,000 in debt due to my assistance. My youngest is currently in college and already has over $50,000 in loans at 11%. He still has another year of school left, so will most likely reach $65,000 in loans.

I have been unable to help my other children with college costs because at the age of 58 I still have over $20,000 in student loan debt. I will be retiring in 10 years with student loan debt, to finish paying off on a fixed income.

My other child went to school for one year and hated the debt he had accumlated so dropped out. Very sad considering his ACT score was 31. Such a waste of talent. How many other of our brightest, talented youth are foregoing college to avoid student loans? Something needs to be done! Why is my 22 year old accumulating 11% insterest on part of his loan WHILE in school? This is unaceptable.

Louise Renas    January 27, 2017    Minneapolis   

I am 62. I'm the first person in my family to graduate from college. At the time I was in college, our society did not acknowledge how difficult it is to be the first member of a family to go through college and there was no help available except student loans. I made too much money as a part-time soldier in the National Guard (?) to be eligible for work study. Although my parents valued a college education for me, but they were not able to help pay for my college. I relied on student loans. I paid off my student loans when I was 45 and my wife paid her students loans off when she was in her late 40's. Because of our student loan debts, we were not able to save enough money to pay for our children's college education. Consequently, our daughter also relied heavily on student loans. Now, she is caught in the same predicament my wife and I faced. She rents a room in the basement of a townhouse and works two jobs to make ends meet. Sallie Mae does not consolidate loans thereby denying her the opportunity to create a reasonable payment schedule. The interest rates on her loans are ridiculously high. Small wonder so many people default on their student loans which makes the student loan market a risky venture for investors which forces high interest rates. We need to put an end to this vicious cycle.

Scott    January 24, 2017    State College   

I am 57 years old, still paying my student loans from 1983, and paying student loans for my two daughters. I joke it will be on my cemetery headstone, "still paying student loans".

Annette Loos    January 24, 2017    Kansas City   

I have a student loan of $9,000
which is now $ 87,000 Never
went back to finish degree & can't register with outstanding
loan. So for $9,000 I've had a
lifetime unable to finish degree
Now I'm 74. Still can't take a course to better myself

Author *Linda    January 23, 2017    Garnet Valley   

I'm $94,943 in debt and counting. The interest is not going down, although I'm slowly* paying off my loans. I'm blessed that I work a full-time job, which I was offered just 4 months after I graduated with my Master's degree. I have a supportive family who helps me out financially as much as they can. But they can do so much. I can only pay off so much each month. I have a young brother who also have student loans, and my parents had to take out loans for the 2 of us. It's heartbreaking, it's a struggle, it's a situation I don't wish upon anyone.

Donna Castelblanco    January 22, 2017    Edison   

My daughter and I took the Federal Parents Plus Student loan for her in good faith, to get her degree at Art Institute. They said she would graduate in 10 month program, but once she was in deep, they extended her graduation requirements, adding an extra 8 months! She was to graduate December 2013, she graduated August 2014, extending the loan beyond our expectations. She has gotten several project based jobs that end when it's done. Shortly after graduating, she got scammed by what looked like a legitimate Dept. Of Education entity in the name of Barack Obama student loan program to reduce student debt, so many more months went by in which we thought they were paid down, we would be making payments on reduced amount. The interest has accrued and the amount is beyond my hope of ever getting it paid. I'm a single working woman with my daughter's student loan that has devastated my credit and become my nightmare. It is so wrong for the government to charge 7.9% on student loan and accrue interest on our hardships, I'm begging for help

Keri Wyckoff    January 20, 2017    Walla walla   

Too long for this little box, but now that I am nearing 70 years old, after working many years and falling prey to a state college recruitment program in 1988, I find myself with a $66,000 student loan balance, being pushed into default by my servicer who changed my plan without my consent, and my credit and safety threatened. I thought I was alone in this unti recently when I see that there are millions of us. I hope someone can offer hope.

Katherine Plamondon    January 17, 2017    Vancouver   

I was like any senior in high school. Anxious to choose my college and not a clue of where to go and what to study. My decision landed me at Lehigh University because I really admired the value of their engineering programs. However. I failed to anticipate or plan very well for the cost of tuition and living expenses. I didn't have a scholarship so I ultimately decided to take a out the entirely of the tuition in private student loans. My parents had said at the time that they would eventually help me repay some of the loans and I would be responsible for the rest.

Fast forward to graduation (2008) when the financial crisis hit and I was sitting with nearly a quarter of a million dollars in debt, my mother had lost her long time job with a large pharmaceutical company, and my father became too sick to work. I struggled like many others. My monthly cost was close to $2000 when the loans came out of the grace period. However, I was able to get a good job eventually and started to begin the long, painful process of repaying my student mortgage. I felt sad, depressed, anxious, you name it. I've blamed many people, including myself, over the time. But I knew that it didn't matter how I got to this point. Only that I was where I was. Over the years since I graduated I worked hard to earn more, began to financially educate myself on how to invest wisely in different financial vehicles, and began to plan how to best pay my loans back. To date, I've paid back back over 30% of the principle and I've saved vigorously in my 401K, Roth, personal brokerages and lending club account. I continuously research stocks, financial markets, and ways to increase my return rates. I've managed to have much success with such an approach.

The best advice I can give to someone with a large amount of student debt is that don't let it define you. Find ways to save, invest, and get out of debt sooner than later.

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Matt    January 14, 2017    Warminster   
Matt    January 14, 2017    Warminster   

I was like any senior in high school. Anxious to choose my college and not a clue of where to go and what to study. My decision landed me at Lehigh University because I really admired the value of their engineering programs. However. I failed to anticipate or plan very well for the cost of tuition and living expenses. I didn't have a scholarship so I ultimately decided to take a out the entirely of the tuition in private student loans. My parents had said at the time that they would eventually help me repay some of the loans and I would be responsible for the rest.

Fast forward to graduation (2008) when the financial crisis hit and I was sitting with nearly a quarter of a million dollars in debt, my mother had lost her long time job with a large pharmaceutical company, and my father became too sick to work. I struggled like many others. My monthly cost was close to $2000 when the loans came out of the grace period. However, I was able to get a good job eventually and started to begin the long, painful process of repaying my student mortgage. I felt sad, depressed, anxious, you name it. I've blamed many people, including myself, over the time. But I knew that it didn't matter how I got to this point. Only that I was where I was. Over the years since I graduated I worked hard to earn more, began to financially educate myself on how to invest wisely in different financial vehicles, and began to plan how to best pay my loans back. To date, I've paid back back over 30% of the principle and I've saved vigorously in my 401K, Roth, personal brokerages and lending club account. I continuously research stocks, financial markets, and ways to increase my return rates. I've managed to have much success with such an approach.

The best advice I can give to someone with a large amount of student debt is that don't let it define you. Find ways to save, invest, and get out of debt sooner than later. Each situation is different and has its own solutions and ways to help yourself. Consider consolidation if your rate is high (lendedu.com) and build savings for emergencies (always pay yourself first to do this). Invest as much into your company 401k (if you have one) or an IRA to reduce your tax burden and build wealth, invest in personal brokerages to increase your personal returns (Robinhood is great for individual stocks, Vanguard for more passive ETF investing), invest in lending club for personal loan investment, or invest in HomeUnion for those looking for income streams from housing. And of course don't forget to budget your expenses to make sure you aren't taking on additional debt. I wish everyone the best of luck with their individual situation. Stay positive and keep financially fit.

I was also pressured by my family to go to college; they had no intentions of helping me pay for it though. I had to move out into my own apt at 18. I graduated but have been stuck in the same retail job i was 10 years ago because no one would hire me "without experience" even though i went to school for 5 years and have $73,000 worth in federal debt on top of another $12,000 in a private loan. I applied for hundreds of jobs "in my field" for 2 years after graduation, civil service tests and everything. There was nothing i was offered that wouldve even came close to helping me pay off my loans let alone survive; 11.50 to work at kidspeace, $12 for TSS position that offered no benefits, health insurance and couldnt guarantee full time hrs. I decided to go back for a trade school this time in the service industry and I do OK with that now but its still not enough. my original loans have over $10,000 in interest alone. I dont have cable, i discontinued my hulu, netflix, even cancelled my life insurance policy, Im going to be cutting my internet soon and just going to the library... i dont know what else to do... im lucky if i make $20,000 a year. There needs to be policies in place for those of us in these situations. I dont want to kill myself really but i also dont want to struggle my entire life and it be a complete waste, working til im dead... we have to do something about this.

alaina    January 12, 2017    Palmerton   

I started the EdD Program at Walden University in 2008. In 2015, I still didn't have my degree. After two chairpersons, submitted sections of dissertation proposal, and several semesters in the same doctoral class. (Yes, I completed all coursework) , I maxed out on financial aid. I have a copy of all five sections of the dissertation proposal that I have worked on. My account was sent to Allied Collection thus placing a negative mark on my credit score. I can not get a transcript, and I can no enroll in another university. I have a daughter in college, and I am now working two jobs to make ends meet. I have read many other horror stories from other students about Walden University and there are several class action lawsuits against this university. I pray that someone will help us!

Chevonda    January 9, 2017    Jonesboro   

I really don't know where to start . I'm in debt up to my neck because of student loans and living in pretty terrible conditions. I sleep on the floor at my current place of resident. Imagine me, - college graduate with a full time job and I sleep on the Floor in a room with my sister and my mother. They lost there house so I lost my roof and so we moved in with other family and jobs have been scarce. For three years I have been living like this . I can't move out because I can't even afford to save . My loans keep me busy. They make sure I pay or threaten to burden my grandparents who are struggling with medical bills .i have never had a space to really call my own because I thought that I would be able to get out of college and get work that paid, but after it was a lot bleaker then I thought . I have two private loans a third that defaulted and so my grandparents paid it off with there advance cash and so I pay them money and I have a federal that I can't even think about because the truth is , I can't pay it . The interest on my private loans are so high I can't even imagine getting out of my situation any time soon. Thanks America.

melanie    January 4, 2017    NEW York   

Make good grades, get a scholarship, go to college, get a degree, make better money. I got the good grades, didn't get any scholarships from my hard work. Finished top in college class. No one would hire me in my field had to work at very underpaid job to where I have to choose to eat or pay student loans. They default of coarse, I finally get them out of default only for them to possibly get ready to return to default because I can't pay them.

I don't go partying or even waste time trying to have a family because for one I can't afford to live as it is. Everyday is just another day where I ask myself is this the day I finally down the bottle of bleach. College is literally a trap for anyone, unless you are a doctor maybe everything else requires you have have a full degree with 8 years of experience.

Author *Brandon Palmer    December 31, 2016    mobile   

I am 4 years into my career after obtaining a masters degree. I borrowed about $85k through government loans, and was sitting at $103k by the time I finished my degree. I have paid $24,333.14 over the four and a half years since finishing (as of 12/31/16). I am now at $107k in total student loan debt.

I have been fortunate to get a good job out of school and have grown in my career since. I want nothing more than to pay back what I borrowed. But interest is locked in the high 7% range for my biggest loans (PLUS) and the high 6% range for the rest.

It is so demoralizing and usurious to see so much money paid only to be in MORE debt. That is money I could put toward a house. Or to start a business. Or, most painfully, money that could actually bring down the principle of the loan.

It is crushing.

anthony w    December 31, 2016    Brooklyn   

I went to college for Nursing originally. Flunked Med-Surg lecture by .05%. Went onto another university & was still dealing with PTSD. I took on loans, but did not realize that eventually I would owe $60k, instead of what I thought was $30k after 3 years between state of Alaska & Wells Fargo. I later got pregnant & do not get child support. I am also taking care of my 80 y.o. mom. I was put into default, even though I was paying something...just what I could afford monthly. Now, why bother? I'm broke & there's nothing I can do about it. America sucks. If American politicians gave one iota about the ppl who work their tails off for pennies a day & then have to feed catfood to their family versus lining their own greedy, Plutocratic pockets with gold from the 2%, then maybe we might actually go somewhere, other than down, as a country.

Sulwen    December 30, 2016    Cityboone   

I too was told while growing up that a college degree was the path forward. It seemed like the next logical step after finishing high school. I wasn't a great student but I did really well on standardized tests. Scored a 1290 on the SAT and a 32 on the ACT. I figured that alone was enough to get me into most schools or at least net me a scholarship or two. Boy was I wrong.

My home life after high school was abysmal. My crazy mother enrolled me into a program I wanted nothing to do with. I worked at a fast food joint in order to pay for lunches and gas money. One day I heard a classmate talking about the Army. He was telling me about the GI Bill and all the places he had been. I thought, maybe this is the way out of my crazy mother's house. I did some research on the fledgling internet (this was back in 1997). I determined that the Air Force was my best bet. I took the ASVAB, scored pretty high (90). I enlisted in the Air Force in July of 1997. I paid into the GI Bill.

In 2001, I separated from the Air Force and was honorably discharged after completing my 4 year enlistment. I figured, hey, the world is my oyster now. I have $36,000 in my pocket to go to college. I can be anything I want. Me, being the idiot that I am, chose a small college in South Carolina, USCA. They had a good business program and I figured I could do basically anything with a business degree. When asked if a business degree was really worth the trouble the advisers at USCA told me, "Heck yeah! You can get a job making $50-60K a year if you really want it."

Tuition was relatively cheap my first semester at about $2200. That quickly changed. I enrolled in 2002 and after taking a few semesters off here and there I graduated in 2007 with a BS in Management.

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James C    December 29, 2016   
James C    December 29, 2016   

I too was told while growing up that a college degree was the path forward. It seemed like the next logical step after finishing high school. I wasn't a great student but I did really well on standardized tests. Scored a 1290 on the SAT and a 32 on the ACT. I figured that alone was enough to get me into most schools or at least net me a scholarship or two. Boy was I wrong.

My home life after high school was abysmal. My crazy mother enrolled me into a program I wanted nothing to do with. I worked at a fast food joint in order to pay for lunches and gas money. One day I heard a classmate talking about the Army. He was telling me about the GI Bill and all the places he had been. I thought, maybe this is the way out of my crazy mother's house. I did some research on the fledgling internet (this was back in 1997). I determined that the Air Force was my best bet. I took the ASVAB, scored pretty high (90). I enlisted in the Air Force in July of 1997. I paid into the GI Bill.

In 2001, I separated from the Air Force and was honorably discharged after completing my 4 year enlistment. I figured, hey, the world is my oyster now. I have $36,000 in my pocket to go to college. I can be anything I want. Me, being the idiot that I am, chose a small college in South Carolina, USCA. They had a good business program and I figured I could do basically anything with a business degree. When asked if a business degree was really worth the trouble the advisers at USCA told me, "Heck yeah! You can get a job making $50-60K a year if you really want it."

Tuition was relatively cheap my first semester at about $2200. That quickly changed. I enrolled in 2002 and after taking a few semesters off here and there I graduated in 2007 with a BS in Management. First person in my family to graduate college I might add. By the time a graduated, my tuition was over $4500 per semester. The GI Bill wasn't enough to cover the ballooning cost of college. I wasn't eligible for any tuition assistance because "I had a GI Bill" according to the Financial Aid office. So I took a small loan of about $15K.

The recession hit in 2008. I wasn't able to find many jobs that paid very well. I did a few stints doing public service jobs. That didn't last very long and I was laid off. I was unemployed for over a year and had to stop paying on the loan. I couldn't find a job so it was either eat and have a roof over my head or let those student loans go. My payment was about $300 a month.

I found another job, got laid off again. Again, I had to let the student loan debt pile up. Here I am, almost 10 years after I graduated... My student loan debt sits at over $60,000 due to penalties, interest, and fees. I've tried working with them. The loan companies just want their money. I am working again making about $15 an hour. I have other bills that are more important. I can't buy a house, or start a family. My credit is ruined. I get calls all hours of the night and day asking for the loan money. All the dreams I had as a kid... I won't ever have. I thought I did everything right. I served my country in several different ways, I haven't been in trouble, I did what I was told to do. Here I sit seeing all the people who didn't "try" as hard as I did to make it. They're driving new cars, buying homes, have kids, basically the things I wanted out of life. So... Here I am at 38, stuck renting an apartment, driving an 11 year old car, no decent prospects of starting a family or getting anything out of life that I wanted. Where did I go wrong? Honestly sometimes I just want to eat a bullet and just be done with this life.

If anyone is reading this, please do not make the same mistake I did. Stay away from 4 year degrees. They aren't worth it.

I was another sucker that believed those commercials about making more money by going to college. I even discussed it with the college if it was in my best interest to go and they said yes, I would make a lot more money and would have more than enough to pay off their loans. One of the last courses I took evaluated the average salary I should be making right out the door, but I've never had a job that pays even close to that. I tried lowering my student loans payments to a reasonable amount, but their site never updated it so I decided to just pay the lower amount as I requested on their site. About a year later, they shut down my account and sent me to collections. Now I am constantly being harassed by their collection agency even through contacting close family members and disturbing me at work. They want a lump sum of $30K from me which I am unable to pay. This student loan debt is going to destroy my family. We can't even pay the bills now, so how can we survive if they garnish my wages and take our tax return? Those jobs that they promised me are gone and there are only temp jobs that pay half of what I should get.. We are drowning here..

Crysemp    December 29, 2016   

I am living in indentured servitude. In order to gain a college education, I had to take out student loans. The price of gaining that education was signing onto a life of debt. Ten years ago, I refinanced my loans and owed $76,000. After ten years of on time payments, I now owe over $159,000 on that loan. I will never pay my way out of student loan debt. It is modern debt slavery. I work in the mental health field. I love and believe in what I do. I help people but will never pay my way out of debt because of this choice.

Matt    December 28, 2016    pittsburgh   

I graduated from a private college in 2008. 8.5 years later, I have a $510/mo payment for it, and they refuse to lower it. I have called, emailed, filed a CFPB complaint TWICE, and they will not budge. Before going into college, my school endorsed them. Key said "they will work with those if financial hardships arise." I have called them out on it in complaints, and they do not care. My parents help, but they shouldn't have to. Because my parents "made too much", we were limited on federal funding. My federal loan is on an IBR plan, and they have been fairly easy to work with. I also need prescriptions, and I have gone into more debt because of one loan. I have bent over backwards to make things work, but it is never enough.

Katie K    December 27, 2016    De Pere   

I grew up through the foster care system and was told in the last couple of years in high school that I could go to college anywhere due to the fact that I had good grades and didn't have any money. Although I could physically attend any school I had been accepted, I still had to figure out a way to pay. The federal aid was not substantial enough for the schools I wanted to attend and I worked my butt off to get any possible scholarship or grant. I also went to graduate school and had scholarships as well, but any remaining tuition that I couldn't cover, even with employment, did not allow me to overlook the fact that taking out loans to cover tuition was a necessary expense. Now, I struggle to find jobs to allow me to just pay for normal bills as an adult and my mortgage sized student loan payments.

Marie    December 24, 2016    Seattle   

I am a 60 year old woman with increasing health issues and medical expenses and with more than 72 thousand dollars of student loan debt. I pay more than 400 dollars monthly based on my income and my balance increases each and every month. I need to have my loans forgiven so that I can survive. I am forced to work 2-jobs just to maintain my home and everyday living expenses. There are some weeks that I can't even buy groceries. I can't make regular visits to my doctors because I cannot afford my copays. My income increased by about 3000 dollars last year and my monthly student loan payment nearly tripled.....If I could file bankruptcy on just my student loans I would at least be able to eat and visit my doctors on the schedules they insist I need......I am drowning and sinking fast---I need help

Author Anne    December 23, 2016    Hammond   

I'm 23 years old and have $200,000.00 in student loan debt. Each semester taking out a loan was as easy as clicking a "renew" button in an email sent by the lender. How is a 19 year old supposed to know that going to college would ruin his life forever? I'm now working 2 jobs, 7 days a week plus registered on "arrangement" sites and youtubeing how to live in my car. Which I've decided I'm going to do once my lease on my apartment is done. I want to see a change, but paying what I can monthly barley covers the interest. I've thought about suicide many times.

Ray    December 22, 2016    North Hollywood   

I went to school as and adult and found myself having to take loans. Because of extenuating circumstances such as bankruptcy and loss of job, I was not able to repay easily. Now I turn 60 and even my Income Based loan payment is so high that I cannot save for retirement. People who have suffered bankruptcy should be able to get their loans forgiven. Bankruptcy filing is a hard choice and takes an emotional toll on a person. I have no idea what my retirement will look like since the social security I've been earning since age 16 will take the loan payment automatically. This does not seem fair.

Author *irene bermudez    December 21, 2016    Chicago   

29 years ago I got a student loan for $5,000, it has been in good standing for 20 years. Today I owe over 26,000. That is just crazy.

Kimberly    December 16, 2016    Modesto   

My son has over $98,000.00 in student debt from multiple unsubsidized under grad and graduate school loans. He just graduated and is working for a private company trying to figur out how to consolidate these loans and know how to manage the payments to have a realistic knowable plan that does not balloon out of control. He needs to know about reputable ways and possibly companies that can guide him though this process.

M. l. Jackson    December 16, 2016    Chicago   

I'm 24. I have been out of school 2 years, and I'm working in retail because I can't find a job in my field that doesn't require over 1 year experience. I want to go for my master's in hopes for motr opportunity but I can't afford to go into debt another 30,000 ontop my 25,000. My bf and I have already had the discussion that we will not get legally married because if I do go back, I don't want him stuck with my debt, because I don't think I'll ever pay it off and death will come first.

Mariah    December 13, 2016    Buckhannon   

I was the first in my family to graduate from college. I decided my only option was to borrow for undergrad and decided to attend grad school. I left grad school with MS degree in 1998 with $60K in debt. At $900 a month payments with wife and two kids I couldn't afford repayments making only $38K a year. After making lower payments after a couple of deferments and forbearances $30K was added to my principle. After 15 years penalties and interest I entered loan rehabilitation for $170K of student loan debt. After a year of regular payments I am out of default and debt is back to $90K. Just got a bill from US Dept of Ed my payments are over $1000 a month and by the time I am 85 I will have paid $364K for my education. Considered suicide. Lifetime of debt. Applying for passport.

Author *michael Kirkpatrick    December 11, 2016    Columbus   

I fell victim to a federal secretive cut back for defunding educational loans and 60,000 dollar education. I qualify to be from a teacher, computer tech, translator, to business operator, and my education secured me to be in a 50,000 dollar job. I looked everrywhere to start and had some neat opportunities and would have replaced to educate way more. One day I was registering my summer classes and usually my awards would come through as a piece of cake back then, yet I noticed my loans were struggling with new restrictions my last summer of college. Understood since it is an educational loan to apply with guidelines of the federal loans. Yet I did not know I would struggle with the error of a rejection until the end of the summer. Have lost the opportunity of my bachelor's degree, job opportunities, Tesol certificate, CDL certificate, career opportunities, traveling options, and loans with other things. I cannot even get a house to live, and now I literally have to start a business without any money to just get a house which could make me homeless at any moment to live. I decided to cut back. To refund everything and have a 5 year plan. Even have my own job now yet I am paying so many things I got behind, just because of one cause, one error. I enjoy more of my life, but I am exhausted at paying over and over things beyond the expectation. I decided I will be filing for state and federal lawsuits for economic hardship and evidence of the error. Even the state and college always mailed to the wrong place. May not have statues of limitations but if the educational system and the government does not change, I will fight until the end to save others from education and ending the government with its fake advertisements. Even, the government and colleges today still use the same advertisements. I used to have faith in our government yet I no longer do at all. Yes, some of these things I should have recognized better, nevertheless, I was just applying normally.

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Richard Baker    December 11, 2016    Hudson, co   
Richard Baker    December 11, 2016    Hudson, co   

I fell victim to a federal secretive cut back for defunding educational loans and 60,000 dollar education. I qualify to be from a teacher, computer tech, translator, to business operator, and my education secured me to be in a 50,000 dollar job. I looked everrywhere to start and had some neat opportunities and would have replaced to educate way more. One day I was registering my summer classes and usually my awards would come through as a piece of cake back then, yet I noticed my loans were struggling with new restrictions my last summer of college. Understood since it is an educational loan to apply with guidelines of the federal loans. Yet I did not know I would struggle with the error of a rejection until the end of the summer. Have lost the opportunity of my bachelor's degree, job opportunities, Tesol certificate, CDL certificate, career opportunities, traveling options, and loans with other things. I cannot even get a house to live, and now I literally have to start a business without any money to just get a house which could make me homeless at any moment to live. I decided to cut back. To refund everything and have a 5 year plan. Even have my own job now yet I am paying so many things I got behind, just because of one cause, one error. I enjoy more of my life, but I am exhausted at paying over and over things beyond the expectation. I decided I will be filing for state and federal lawsuits for economic hardship and evidence of the error. Even the state and college always mailed to the wrong place. May not have statues of limitations but if the educational system and the government does not change, I will fight until the end to save others from education and ending the government with its fake advertisements. Even, the government and colleges today still use the same advertisements. I used to have faith in our government yet I no longer do at all. Yes, some of these things I should have recognized better, nevertheless, I was just applying normally. Save yourself from college and just self educate!

When we were in elementary, middle and high school our teachers and families always told us to go to college whether it was a university, trade or technical college it didn't matter as long as we got our education and degrees in what we wanted to work in. But they never told us that we would have to be in debt for a certain amount of years. I have a degree in business management and I owe $15,000 In student loans. I have no idea how long it will take to pay it off but I do hope we can all be debt free from student loans. It changes a whole lot.

Author *Kimberly    December 11, 2016    City El paso   

I grew up very poor so had to secure student loans to go to college. I completed both my undergrad and graduate degrees in 2005. I have been paying on my student loans since graduating 11 years ago. I pay $500 a month. According to the records I have about 10 years to go and my repayment for the approximately $60,000 I borrowed will be about $130,000 when I am all done.

Author *Ronnie Proudfoot    December 10, 2016    Portland   

First I ruined my life with student loans. Next, I should have dissuaded my son from going to college and incurring loans. He is about to graduate and I cannot believe I let him take those loans. I am desperate to help him. I also took parents plus loans for him. So I am doubly screwed. I cannot believe how incredibly stupid I was to fall for this scam twice. I worked hard for years as a teacher. Finally I could stand it no longer due to stress and exhaustion. I am currently unemployed and do not have a home and wonder if it is best way to stay unemployed because if I start to work again it will all go to student loans. I am getting older so I could just carry on this way until I die. But my son is young and just starting out... It is intentional enslavement.

DS    December 8, 2016    CityLemont   

I am a parent that has Federal Parent Plus Loans for my daughter and a lot of payoff options are not available for us. I am 57, my daughter is 37, during my day I worked full time and went to school part-time practically free. I paid a one time application fee of $20 for my associates degree from Thomas Jefferson University. For my Bachelors degree it cost me $700 for Rosemont College (I believe this fee covered graduation fees). I say all this to say Young Adults please find a job to pay for your college education, even if you have to go in as an environmental worker, security officer, food server. Don't go into this debt, it is a racket. Now how am I suppose to payoff $40,000 worth of debt from my daughters schooling. She is laid off from Johnson and Johnson right now. How am I suppose to pay off $40,000 in 5 years. I will be 62 then, wanted to retire to get my social security and another 3 years from that my medicare. Now I am being told that I won't be able to collect either. DON'T GO INTO DEBT AND DON'T ALLOW YOUR PARENTS TO GO INTO DEBT FOR YOU.

Renee    December 8, 2016   

I was a divorced single mother of 2 teenage children when I decided to go back to school to complete my bachelors in the fall of 2010. I was working full time making 47K, paying a mortgage and in a relationship of 7 years, but not married. My employer paid 5K tuition reimbursement a year towards schooling. I was laid off due to relocation of my employer and took advantage of having the opportunity to finish up the last year until my degree. In the meantime I married and my oldest son started college.

Fast forward 2 years. Found a job that was temp to perm and am now making 45K/year, less than what I was making. I now have 2 children in college and owe 85K in loans. I deferred while I was looking for a job, which added 9K in interest. Since I am now married I am socked with the monthly payment of $712/month!!

It is crazy that I should not have married my soulmate just for the sole reason that I would never see any relief. Even as a single mother I guess I didn't see too much either. Way too easy to accept your student loan package and not deal with it. It makes me angry for not as much myself, but for all the young kids who are going to leave school with great dreams of their future..................oh and that burden of the $100K debt! Absolutely disgusting. I am not even sure if it's worth it. I guess that for me, when I am in a nursing home and 70 plus years old, I will have met my 20 years and be done. How awesome is that!

Maryann    December 8, 2016    Enfield   

Every time I try to get back on my feet and bring my family forward, I have a creeper behind my back that won't allow me to move forward financially. I get better financially and thenot when I try to pay something happens that makes me take a step back and does not allow me to pay my loans. They have been sold over and over and I can't keep track of the owner of my loan. When I check my credit, there it is to take me back. I help to push my family forward without having to worry about a debt dragging me down.

Jahdai    December 7, 2016    Orlando   

I'm a former student of now Defunct ITT TECH which CLOSED everyone of its 134 colleges Nationwide back in September. I am $70,000.00 in Debt for nothing more than a worthless piece of paper. I applied and Interviewed at several businesses but did not have any success. Now I come to find out that the Degrees that were given at ITT TECH were not even recognized as Credible Credentials so I feel that I have been Defrauded by ITT TECH and since they closed all their Schools Nationwide I shouldn't have to Pay anything.

Author *Randy    December 3, 2016    Coldwater   

Lost my factory job when the economy tanked. Decided to go to Devry and was misled. All I wanted to do was get a better job to help my family survive. Now I have to wait 20 years to pay off my loans. I can't wait til I'm in my late 50's to have this forgiven, BUT it'll suck when it all counts for income. Feel like I can't do anything under the amount of debt I have and try to take care of my family of 6. It makes me sick thinking that my children will have to go through the same exact thing. Makes it hard for me to recommend that they go to college when it costs so much both monetarily, mentally and emotionally.

Todd    December 1, 2016    Akron   

I took out $25000 of federal loans (some subsidized and some not) for a Master's degree in Education in 1993 so that I could continue to teach and at some point not have to have a second job to make ends meet. Silly me. I have paid back over $35000 and still owe $20000. I have paid off 3 cars, each around $25000, in that same time frame. Something is WRONG. I may have been better off NOT getting the degree and just making less money doing the same work. I'd like to think all the work was worth my while but it seems like a lifelong gotcha. I work with high school students and do not hesitate sharing my thoughts about how awful student loans can be. I qualify for $5000 teacher forgiveness but have been denied twice due to some technicality and also consolidated to try the public service forgiveness but was denied for that as well. Is it even ethical to set up loans for young people such that they could pay the rest of their working life? I now have a young child, unable to put anything away for her as I am still paying my loans from twenty some years ago. Have thought of leaving my inner city teaching role to make some money to throw at these things, but that would be a win for me or my students. I know of people in my profession who owe four times what I owe and have given up, haven't made payments for years. This isn't an option for me, but should I just keep paying until they say I'm paid up? Hopefully before I try to retire. I am sooooo fed up with this - I occurs like I have been violated (and many others, too) Shame on whoever put this scam together. I have looked high and low for anyone who has some insight, tough to stay accountable in the face of no accountability.

Gigi    December 1, 2016    Bloomington   

Never go to devry, my life counts on the ftc lawsuit against this fraud school. 70k in the hole. The recruiter of devry only wants to scam you into the worthless college. My life could be fixed if my loans are forgiven. Government shouldn't let people go to these worthless colleges.

Brighton    November 29, 2016    chintwo   

I have a BS in Biological Sciences from Loyola University Chicago (left with under $20,000 student loan debt). I have an MBA in Healthcare Management from Davenport University (left with and additional $120,000 student loan debt) and an MD from All Saints University School of Medicine (left with $240,000 student loan debt) and I am underemployed. I did not get one of those very difficult medical residency positions so I cannot practice medicine in the USA, and I have not been able to land a job using my MBA. I currently make $150 per week working part-time at a friends restaurant as the hostess. It's the only job I have found in 2 years. Oh yes, did I say that I'm 52 years old?! I currently hold over $500,000 in student loan debt due to my underemployment status. On an IBR I am paying $1,500 per month (since I'm married and my husbands income counts) in student loan debt and it has taken a huge hit to our family finances as you can imagine. I apply to well over 100 jobs per week, go on an average of three - five interviews per week but still have yet to be offered employment.
As it stands I don't know if I will ever be able to repay my student loans, not due to not wanting to but due to my current state of underemployment.
Welcome to being an older overeducated, underemployed person in the USA!!!

Author *Cathy Rehfus-Wilsek    November 28, 2016    River Grove   

My husband at the time consolidated our loans, in which he owed so much more than me. After the divorce, I called direct loans to unconsolidate our loans & was told it could not be done & they no longer allow married couples to do so because of possible divorce. Our debt has grown to 96k and we've been paying for 12 years. No end in sight. We have no children together but share this loan forever. It's like our child!

april    November 26, 2016    Phoenix   

I never wanted student debt nor did I want to be a bad son. My mother cornered me one day putting all the pressures of keeping the lights and the house on and left me with a terrible moral choice. It was a moment in my life that became the day that all my dreams would go up in smoke. She had opened a letter that happened to be a student loan debt offer from a bank. I don't know why I didn't get violent or angry with my mother for violating my private mail. What made me even more angry was that she had already signed the offer waiting for me to add my signature to a loan that I had no intentions of signing on or wanting. Nonetheless, being raised in a religious family where I was expected to help out at home. I got suckered into a bad deal.

I tried to pay it but it was more than I could afford. To make matters worse. my mother lost her job and tuned out on life, leaving me with a debt I didn't spend or had the money to pay.

That was officially ten years ago.

Now i have been recently sued by National Collegiate Trust 2007-1, whom by the means of the law was able to purchase my defaulted debt. They sued me and hope is nowhere in sight for hope. I feel so angry and pissed off. My mother robbed me of my future and the government has rigged this system against me. I can't sue my mom because my family will hate me and I can't file bankruptcy because of the corruption in Washington. Now this Donald Trump guy is the president…..

I literally want to die and I don't know what is keeping me from doing so….

This testimony is very aphoristic but I don't have the patience to write a warm story…I am just angry at existence...

Phillip L.    November 17, 2016    Philadelphia   

I would like to preface, that I have made mistakes in my life, this being the chief among them. This one mistake will follow me forever and made my life what it is. Because of this debt and bad choices, I waited to have children and now can't have them. I might add that I am one of those that is nearly 50 and still paying for my two degrees with no let up in sight. I make good money. I also found out two years ago that I have a liver disease that may make me disabled eventually. My point is that I don't blame anyone but myself for this debt, but what I do blame is government federal loan people not giving you any way out of it. I don't mean bankruptcy, I pay my bills (my husband has as many as I do), but I consolidated when rates were higher and I cannot refinance my 8.00% interest rate to make it easier for me to pay. I am on IBR, which helps, but my original 40,000 in loans is now 83000, due to forebearance, which I did to myself too. But now I pay nearly 500 a month and don't even cover my interest. If I could refinance and lower my rate, I could actually see light at the end of the tunnel So instead of buckling down and paying it off, I find ways to have a little bit of life with what time I have left. I don't want loan foregiveness, not even capitalized interest forgiveness (though I think that would be a good start), I just want a chance to get this paid off before I die. I guess it will be forgiven then won't it?

DJP    November 13, 2016    Muncie   

I am 34 years old, with a doctorate degree in physical therapy. I make a decent wage, but I live paycheck to paycheck because of my student loans. Also my husband earns minimum wage so I have to pay for 2 cars, 2 cell phones, and food for two. Let's do the math:
Rent 33%
Student loans 25%
Health insurance 9%
Taxes 9% (I pay every month because I didn't have enough saved to pay them)
Car insurance 5.5%
Utilities 2%
Groceries 10%
Cell phone 3%
Gas - I don't even know

Total = 96.5% of my income

That means I have 3.5% left over! Student loans are such a large percent of my income that I am unable to save for:
1. Buying a house
2. Having and raising a child
3. Any extra medical costs
4. Retirement
5. Any financial security in case of job loss.

I am 34 years old and have been married for 5 years. We would love to have children, but I'm so scared about finances it has made us wait. I don't want to bring a child into the world when I cannot afford to feed and clothe them or pay for childcare.

Student loans are such a large percent of my expenses and I have been paying them off for 7 years now. I could have been saving up all of that money over these years earning interest and been able to have a child by now.

We need to reduce student debt so that we can be productive members of society, putting money back into the economy, buying homes, having families and securing a bright future for the next generation.

Robin    November 10, 2016    Culver City   

I should preface this story by explaining that my parents are mentally abusive narcissists.
They regularly gas lighted me, convinced me they knew best, and often made me feel I had very few options but to do what the said.

I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder at 17 (although I've expressed symptoms since early childhood).
My anxiety disorder made it extremely easy for my parents to convince me I didn't know what I wanted, and they took advantage of that.
When I told them I didn't want to go to college, they angrily spewed all of the outdated info we all hear, that a degree guarantees you a good job and that you won't succeed without it.
Concerned, I told my therapist I wasn't interested in college, and that based on my particular interests, it wouldn't financially benefit me.
My therapist, my parents, and my guidance counselor all spewed the same story about what an opportunity college was; nobody stopping to hear that my particular interests didn't align with college.

At 18, it was time to think about paying for that college that every major adult in my life wanted me to go to. My parents threatened to withdraw all support (financial and emotional) if I didn't go through with enrolling in college, and signing up for a private loan through our local credit union.

My parents cosigned because I didn't qualify for the amount of assistance I would need to pay for this degree.

The bank was more than willing to sign me up for the loan with my father, who, trust me, never intends to help me pay for this degree I was coerced into paying for.
As I prepared for college, my parents also tacked on the requirement that I would stay in a dorm room for my entire college education, doubling my expense.
If I didn't have a mental disorder, maybe I could have put my foot down. Unfortunately for me, I gave in to my parents coercion and am now saddled with a $60,000 debt I never wanted,

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J    November 8, 2016    Kennewick   
J    November 8, 2016    Kennewick   

I should preface this story by explaining that my parents are mentally abusive narcissists.
They regularly gas lighted me, convinced me they knew best, and often made me feel I had very few options but to do what the said.

I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder at 17 (although I've expressed symptoms since early childhood).
My anxiety disorder made it extremely easy for my parents to convince me I didn't know what I wanted, and they took advantage of that.
When I told them I didn't want to go to college, they angrily spewed all of the outdated info we all hear, that a degree guarantees you a good job and that you won't succeed without it.
Concerned, I told my therapist I wasn't interested in college, and that based on my particular interests, it wouldn't financially benefit me.
My therapist, my parents, and my guidance counselor all spewed the same story about what an opportunity college was; nobody stopping to hear that my particular interests didn't align with college.

At 18, it was time to think about paying for that college that every major adult in my life wanted me to go to. My parents threatened to withdraw all support (financial and emotional) if I didn't go through with enrolling in college, and signing up for a private loan through our local credit union.

My parents cosigned because I didn't qualify for the amount of assistance I would need to pay for this degree.

The bank was more than willing to sign me up for the loan with my father, who, trust me, never intends to help me pay for this degree I was coerced into paying for.
As I prepared for college, my parents also tacked on the requirement that I would stay in a dorm room for my entire college education, doubling my expense.
If I didn't have a mental disorder, maybe I could have put my foot down. Unfortunately for me, I gave in to my parents coercion and am now saddled with a $60,000 debt I never wanted, cosigned by parents who never intend to help me out financially.
Everyone around me was all too supportive of getting that loan, because anything was worth getting that degree.
Now my anxiety has progressed to the point where I can't work, and I can't pay back my student loans.

I've nearly taken my own life because of my student loan debt, and I never even wanted it in the first place.

NEVER pressure someone into getting a loan for school.
I was only 17 when I had to make the decision to sign a loan at the age of 18. I had no idea what I was really getting into, and it's a decision that haunts me and triggered my mental health issues endlessly.

It was way too easy for someone so young and mentally ill to sign their financial liget away like that, I didn't feel like anybody was actually looking out for my best interest.

I am a single mother of a child with a disability. I did my best to get a career so I could take care of him and help him through life and college but now I'm drowning in debt. We can barely live most of my check if not all goes to rent and student loans. I can hardly breathe and I need to be ok so Incan help my son. Why punish me for trying to be better.

Michelle P.    November 8, 2016    Cambria Heights   

I went to college because my highschool was a college-prep school. What else was there to do after highschool? Go to college. That was my option. I was never informed of other options or careers that didn't need a college degree. I wasn't prepared for a community college to offset some of the cost while I made up my mind. So I ended up a music performance major (because I can be anything I want to be!) and a private 4 year college.

Thankfully, I wised up and left before graduation; however, I still have 40,000 in student loan debt... one of these loans is over 20,000 on a private loan with a 8.6% interest rate. NO ONE will refinance me as I do not have a college degree. I am gainfully employed with a union job, benefits, and decent wages, however my lack of degree is enough for these banks/entities to assume I am nothing more than a 'drop-out'. I'm not skirting around my debt. I'm not trying to have it forgiven. I am simply looking for a way for it to be more manageable.

Gina    November 5, 2016    Geneva   

When my marriage ended, I couldn't find a job. I took out student loans to get my BA but still couldn't find a job, so I went for an MA. I followed the advice of my teachers and believed the college when they told me I'd make 42,000 a year with my degree. I have never found a job making that much, and in fact haven't found a full time job with health insurance. Eight years ago, my debt was 70,000. Today, it's 85,000. I'm 52 and now know I will never pay this off. On top of that, I tried subsidized Obamacare, but this insurance doesn't pay for anything, doesn't cover anything. I have a growing lump in my throat and can't decide whether I should go another 5000 in debt to get it checked out. I feel hopeless.

Author *April    November 5, 2016    CityMcMinnville   

When I graduated from high school in 2003 I never imagined the nightmare that pursuing higher education would cost me. Today, 9 years after graduating from college I still stay up nights with knots in my stomach, constant dread and the weight of the world on my shoulders. This is all due to the International Academy of Design and Technology Chicago's predatory lending and deceptive recruiting practices. I was told that it would be better to finish school in 3 years and not go part-time and work (to pay as I went). I recently found out from a person who worked for a staffing agency that the “admissions advisors” were actually sales jobs. When Career Education Corporation needed “admissions advisors” they'd ask the staffing agency for salespeople. I thought I was being advised to, not being sold to. The salespeople, according to the staffing agency employee, would get bonuses the sooner you graduated. So, instead of working part-time I was advised that “I’d be making good money when i graduated and be able to pay off these loans fast and no problem.” I was then “advised” to take out major amounts of loans named things like "Federal Pell Grant" or "Perkins Loan.” I actually thought I was getting a grant. They even called what I now call the "Loan office" a Financial Aid Department. When I look back on it now, the ease that an 18 year old with no credit history was given multiple large amounts of loans seems criminal. Every quarter we would be called down to the loan office and told we needed to go to the phone booths (also in the loan office) and dial Sallie Mae, put in our FAFSA pin and request the amount of money they'd written down for us. At one point I remember my loan officer (financial aid advisor) telling me to take out more for living expenses even though I lived at home. I never remember them telling me the interest rates of these loans, some where variable interest rates, I'd later find out. I also don't ever remember them saying whether the loans were private or federal,

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Faith    November 2, 2016    Hoffman estates   
Faith    November 2, 2016    Hoffman estates   

When I graduated from high school in 2003 I never imagined the nightmare that pursuing higher education would cost me. Today, 9 years after graduating from college I still stay up nights with knots in my stomach, constant dread and the weight of the world on my shoulders. This is all due to the International Academy of Design and Technology Chicago's predatory lending and deceptive recruiting practices. I was told that it would be better to finish school in 3 years and not go part-time and work (to pay as I went). I recently found out from a person who worked for a staffing agency that the “admissions advisors” were actually sales jobs. When Career Education Corporation needed “admissions advisors” they'd ask the staffing agency for salespeople. I thought I was being advised to, not being sold to. The salespeople, according to the staffing agency employee, would get bonuses the sooner you graduated. So, instead of working part-time I was advised that “I’d be making good money when i graduated and be able to pay off these loans fast and no problem.” I was then “advised” to take out major amounts of loans named things like "Federal Pell Grant" or "Perkins Loan.” I actually thought I was getting a grant. They even called what I now call the "Loan office" a Financial Aid Department. When I look back on it now, the ease that an 18 year old with no credit history was given multiple large amounts of loans seems criminal. Every quarter we would be called down to the loan office and told we needed to go to the phone booths (also in the loan office) and dial Sallie Mae, put in our FAFSA pin and request the amount of money they'd written down for us. At one point I remember my loan officer (financial aid advisor) telling me to take out more for living expenses even though I lived at home. I never remember them telling me the interest rates of these loans, some where variable interest rates, I'd later find out. I also don't ever remember them saying whether the loans were private or federal, they were both. I was never given or asked to sign any type of loan documents. Now 9 years later, I lie in bed, awake from the anxiety of worrying. I worry that I will be burdened to shoulder these loans to the Federal Government for the rest of my natural life. To date the original amount of loans I've taken out have doubled. By the lenders calculations my loans with have quadrupled when I'm done paying in about 30 years or so. For $68,000 worth of college I'll be well over $200,000 in debt.

Hello,
When graduated from higschool 2002 we did not have any student loan consoling or someone to guide us through and collage information. Growing up my parents told me that school was for people who had money so try to work and get a job. I said no I want to go to school so I did. I applied for financials aid which I should of received some sort of help because my income was very low. At the collage I went to on oriatation day a lady had Parked a red BMW and was telling the kids "would you like to drive this car one day" then sign up for this school AIU. as a minor Sallie Mae approved a 10k loan by myself without a cosigner or telling me what would be my interest rate just a "here's a 10k loan"deal with it. It's sad how years back it was just giving loans left and right to these straight out of high school kids without even consulting them. This is why people are in debt. It was just lies and lies and brain washing kids to take out federal loans and priviate loans

Corina    October 31, 2016    Ft lauderdale   

I have been rejected for $17, 500 worth of teacher loan forgiveness due to taking out federal loans prior to October 1, 1998. Otherwise, I meet all criteria and qualify as a 9-year special ed teacher in a low-income school district but am inquiring as to what the significance is with this cutoff date. It's very frustrating witnessing younger teachers, who I am very happy for, getting their loans forgiven but mine being rejected. Thanks for your time.

Joe Rodzinak    October 28, 2016   

I borrowed student loans from undergraduate to graduate school. I have somewhere around the tune of 90k in debt. When I graduated from college I was hired to be a professor. I am currently a tenured professor at a junior college and have not missed a payment in 10 years. I have payed over 30k in interest and $310.12 to my principle. It is more than demoralizing to know that I actually have a job and have paid on a loan that has no way of actually ever being paid off. I have looked at the student load debt forgiveness and what also frustrates me is the criteria for one to be considered. You have to teach in the secondary not the college lvl. I know many of you will say that makes sense; however, I teach at a junior college that has open enrollment that is 53% Latino community, where the average house hold income for my county is 26k a year. I have a huge number of ESL students and spend 90% of my lectures reteaching the same material the students should have learned in high-school, and I make less than a high-school teacher in my area. However, I do not qualify for student loan forgiveness since I teach at a junior college; that matches many of the same criteria for a high-school teach receiving student loan forgiveness. I cannot not teach High-school because I do not have the necessary certificates to do so. So I pay and there is no end or hope in sight.

Dallas Pollei    October 27, 2016    Roswell   

To whom it may concern,
My name is Ruben Cendejas. I was a student at the Concord campus of Heald College. I attended Heald from October 2008 to January 2011 and was in the Criminal Justice program. My experience at Heald was rather frustrating and unsatisfactory. I was told after being there for sixteen months and completing the Criminal Justice course work that I would earn an Associate’s degree. After two quarters, I found out I was only getting an AAS degree; something I had never heard of. This worried me so I began to get more information from them. They explained to me that if I wanted my actual AA degree, I had to stay for an additional two quarters; which would cost about $8000 more. I agreed due to their assurance that I would be guaranteed transfer to any CSU campus.
Once I finished my program, I applied for SJSU and SFSU and happily was accepted. I prepared for my next journey in life and chose SJSU. Orientation came about and I had a meeting with a representative from SJSU. They went over my transcripts and gave me news I didn’t expect to hear. They went over my transcript and told me twenty of the units I had from Heald weren’t transferrable. This was devastating. I went back to Heald and talked with the Criminal Justice representative, Suzanne Pederson. She gave a facial expression as if she was caught and responded with a dull explanation of how they were “suppose” to have accepted me into SJSU. After thirty minutes of the conversation, I knew it wasn’t going anywhere so I left.
For the next months, I lost the determination to continue school because my opportunity and time were taken from me. I was unemployed for almost a year. Heald promises their students jobs for life, and I never received much help from them. All I got from them were links to websites where I could have applied for security positions in banks, hospitals, and other businesses where security was required.
The result of all this is,

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Ruben Cendejas    October 26, 2016    Pittsburg   
Ruben Cendejas    October 26, 2016    Pittsburg   

To whom it may concern,
My name is Ruben Cendejas. I was a student at the Concord campus of Heald College. I attended Heald from October 2008 to January 2011 and was in the Criminal Justice program. My experience at Heald was rather frustrating and unsatisfactory. I was told after being there for sixteen months and completing the Criminal Justice course work that I would earn an Associate’s degree. After two quarters, I found out I was only getting an AAS degree; something I had never heard of. This worried me so I began to get more information from them. They explained to me that if I wanted my actual AA degree, I had to stay for an additional two quarters; which would cost about $8000 more. I agreed due to their assurance that I would be guaranteed transfer to any CSU campus.
Once I finished my program, I applied for SJSU and SFSU and happily was accepted. I prepared for my next journey in life and chose SJSU. Orientation came about and I had a meeting with a representative from SJSU. They went over my transcripts and gave me news I didn’t expect to hear. They went over my transcript and told me twenty of the units I had from Heald weren’t transferrable. This was devastating. I went back to Heald and talked with the Criminal Justice representative, Suzanne Pederson. She gave a facial expression as if she was caught and responded with a dull explanation of how they were “suppose” to have accepted me into SJSU. After thirty minutes of the conversation, I knew it wasn’t going anywhere so I left.
For the next months, I lost the determination to continue school because my opportunity and time were taken from me. I was unemployed for almost a year. Heald promises their students jobs for life, and I never received much help from them. All I got from them were links to websites where I could have applied for security positions in banks, hospitals, and other businesses where security was required.
The result of all this is, I am in huge debt and have a degree that has not helped me find a job in the criminal justice field. This has not just affected me, but my parents as well. Despite my parent’s poor credit rating, they encouraged them to take out three loans to help me pay for college. Since I was a recent high school graduate, with no credit history, they convinced us that I could get financial aid. I applied for aid and was awarded nothing.
My experience at Heald was unpleasant to say the least. I was manipulated and lied to. They are good at selling the school to you, but that is where it ends. I am now working full-time to repay my debt and hoping to continue my education.
Sincerely,
Ruben Cendejas

Proud father of x3 College Graduates. Impeccable Credit 800+ Score. $300,000.00 total Student & ParentPlus Loans! We pay over $22,000.00 per year, yet the Principal Balance goes UP (due to the outrageous Federal Interest Rates)! i cant even get a Home Equity Loan, because my DEBT to Income Ratio is too high, and i cannot reduce it @ these Interest RATES! PLEASE PLEASE Help ALL of US across the Country - EDUCATION in AMERICA should NOT be Punitive!!

david meyer    October 26, 2016    Columbus   

Fortunately my own student loans are manageable, even though I haven't been able to get a decent job in the years since graduation. I went to my state college and had only $28,000 in Federal loans. However, my older siblings had it much worse. They both went to a private, out-of-state college and ended up taking out mostly private loans, at a time when the industry (*Cough* SallyMae *Cough*) was notoriously abusive.

My one sister took out $50,000 in student loans but the crazy interest rates (which frankly, should be illegal) caused it to balloon to six figures by graduation. Despite making decent money, she pays $1,000 per month PLUS for these loans and she is living paycheck to paycheck. She has nothing to show for her hard work, working 60+ hours per week. She has paid back at least $50,000 at this point and she at 30 she still feels she cannot get married, start a family, buy a car or a house. She is constantly stressed out and having panic attacks and bouts of depression over her debts.

My other sister has her Master's and she does make decent money so fortunately she can afford her crazy payment of $2,000 per month. The other day she jokingly said that they forgot to bill her that month and at this rate, she can afford a down payment for a house.

Imagine, even two power earners like my sisters cannot afford a house. Hah, and we wonder why the economy is tanking?? This is what happens when you try to suck all of the productivity/money out of young people into a broken system. Millennials are entitled my ass. The truth is people can't afford SH*T, and student loans are to thank.

I am seriously worried about the economy in its current state. Also, how will these people afford RETIREMENT someday if they cannot save while in their early years? The truth is they WON'T and everyone will be footing the bill later on, and the next generations will have trouble getting into the job market if there aren't open positions (due to robots and people not retiring).

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Miss Kay    October 25, 2016    Edison   
Miss Kay    October 25, 2016    Edison   

Fortunately my own student loans are manageable, even though I haven't been able to get a decent job in the years since graduation. I went to my state college and had only $28,000 in Federal loans. However, my older siblings had it much worse. They both went to a private, out-of-state college and ended up taking out mostly private loans, at a time when the industry (*Cough* SallyMae *Cough*) was notoriously abusive.

My one sister took out $50,000 in student loans but the crazy interest rates (which frankly, should be illegal) caused it to balloon to six figures by graduation. Despite making decent money, she pays $1,000 per month PLUS for these loans and she is living paycheck to paycheck. She has nothing to show for her hard work, working 60+ hours per week. She has paid back at least $50,000 at this point and she at 30 she still feels she cannot get married, start a family, buy a car or a house. She is constantly stressed out and having panic attacks and bouts of depression over her debts.

My other sister has her Master's and she does make decent money so fortunately she can afford her crazy payment of $2,000 per month. The other day she jokingly said that they forgot to bill her that month and at this rate, she can afford a down payment for a house.

Imagine, even two power earners like my sisters cannot afford a house. Hah, and we wonder why the economy is tanking?? This is what happens when you try to suck all of the productivity/money out of young people into a broken system. Millennials are entitled my ass. The truth is people can't afford SH*T, and student loans are to thank.

I am seriously worried about the economy in its current state. Also, how will these people afford RETIREMENT someday if they cannot save while in their early years? The truth is they WON'T and everyone will be footing the bill later on, and the next generations will have trouble getting into the job market if there aren't open positions (due to robots and people not retiring).

Rant over! Let's end this mess!

My family wanted me to go to a specific very expensive college. I wanted to go to a cheaper state school. My mom filled out my loan application, signed it, and sent it in for me. I was told I wouldnt have student loan debt. After graduation I recieved my loan repayment notices. I held down a NY apartment and paid my loan payment ON TIME every month. One month the loan dept contacted me and said I had been late on a payment so they had reported me as delinquent and ruined my credit for 7 years. I told them they had made a mistake and they agreed BUT told me it was too late and my credit was already ruined. They did this so they could raise my interest fraudulently. They never fixed my credit. So I stopped paying. I was so upset to have been preyed upon that I let my 12k loan balloon into 50k. I've been so depressed and stressed that I basically gave up.

Author *Lisa    October 25, 2016    New York   

I have a bachelor's degree in accounting, after $48,000 in student debt. The government is robbing me of any profit I make from the hard work that I did to get where I am. I have two children and worked hard to get my degree, and graduated with honors. I have a decent job but after the student loan payments come out I might as well have not gone to college. I won't have these loans paid off for 25 years at the rate I am going, and I don't know what to do. Everyone has hopes and dreams that when they get out of college they will land that dream job, buy that dream house, and buy a dream car. I have gotten to do none of those things, and I won't be able to do them for a very long time. I know I am not doing as badly as some of my peers with student loan debt but I know exactly what they are facing. In my case I finished my schooling and landed a great job and I STILL can barely survive. I shouldn't be eating beans when I have a bachelor's degree!!!

Lydia    October 24, 2016    Phoenix   

I was just out of high school and found myself looking for a career of some kind . I saw a commercial for I.T.T.Technical Institutes and decided to enroll in their Electronics Engineering program . Looking into what they offered it seamed like it would be easy enough to pay off the student loan of $9,995.00 because they said they would be placing me at the end of my studies. Apparently they felt I wasn't worth their time even though I had good grades and was impressive on my interviews . I found myself looking for work with an A.A.S. in Electronics Engineering Technology . I was finally hired by a cable company for a minimum wage to start . I was unable to even come close to starting repayment ,my daughter had just been born, I was working 15 hour days and still not paying all of my bills . My daughters mother decided to leave me and left me with my daughter , my job left soon after. Unable to pay my student loan payments I eventually put it behind me. Later on in life I decided to go to a junior college to try and make a career for myself being tired of doing odd jobs, when I try to get my classes I was faced with a student loan debt that had more than doubled in size and the only way to move forward was to have the federal student loans dept. buy my once small loan at the over doubled amount . So I did it ,after two years of aeronautics I am certified with the F.A.A. as an airframe mechanic. I completed both the schooling and the F.A.A. written , but was unable to pay to take the oral and practical, the third part of certification,. Nobody in the industry wants only one cert. . They want both , unfortunately . I found work with a tire and auto shop , made my payments like clockwork .I became unemployed over a year ago , I was in deferment with interest adding up, and then apparently I don't qualify for the repayment plan i was on and am now three payments behind with no way to pay the almost $1,500.00 they say I owe .

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William C. Bellus    October 24, 2016    Temecula   
William C. Bellus    October 24, 2016    Temecula   

I was just out of high school and found myself looking for a career of some kind . I saw a commercial for I.T.T.Technical Institutes and decided to enroll in their Electronics Engineering program . Looking into what they offered it seamed like it would be easy enough to pay off the student loan of $9,995.00 because they said they would be placing me at the end of my studies. Apparently they felt I wasn't worth their time even though I had good grades and was impressive on my interviews . I found myself looking for work with an A.A.S. in Electronics Engineering Technology . I was finally hired by a cable company for a minimum wage to start . I was unable to even come close to starting repayment ,my daughter had just been born, I was working 15 hour days and still not paying all of my bills . My daughters mother decided to leave me and left me with my daughter , my job left soon after. Unable to pay my student loan payments I eventually put it behind me. Later on in life I decided to go to a junior college to try and make a career for myself being tired of doing odd jobs, when I try to get my classes I was faced with a student loan debt that had more than doubled in size and the only way to move forward was to have the federal student loans dept. buy my once small loan at the over doubled amount . So I did it ,after two years of aeronautics I am certified with the F.A.A. as an airframe mechanic. I completed both the schooling and the F.A.A. written , but was unable to pay to take the oral and practical, the third part of certification,. Nobody in the industry wants only one cert. . They want both , unfortunately . I found work with a tire and auto shop , made my payments like clockwork .I became unemployed over a year ago , I was in deferment with interest adding up, and then apparently I don't qualify for the repayment plan i was on and am now three payments behind with no way to pay the almost $1,500.00 they say I owe . I was told that there was a lawsuit that held I.T.T. responsible for this because they never placed me but am unsure how to find out .
MY student loan started at $9,950.00
Direct loans bought it later at $22,000.00
I now owe and am unable to pay $25,000.00
The amount that my loan has become is impossible for me to pay in my life time I honestly don't know if I can ever pay off this balloon and feel that it is going to the grave with me . Regretfully ,my credit will never be good enough for anything. Because of this belief that a school was going to keep it's word , I can't do the things that most take for granted. If there is anyone who can help me with this please let me know . Thank You William

I have large student loans from one year of school, almost 37,000! My husband and I both work on minimum wage and we have a 1 year old son I cannot afford my loan payment. I have actually ran so late on my bills trying to pay my loan payments that they have shut off my power and my water. I've tried refinancing and gotten denied multiple times. We are actually considering filing bankruptcy because we are in a major hole that keeps getting bigger each month

Samantha    October 19, 2016    Libby   

So my story begins, a few years back, I wanted to better myself and thought taking the route of going to school would benefit me in the long run. Well, I was wrong the "school" I attended was nothing more than a hoax! I thought going to learn about being a medical assitant wouldn't be that HARD, but it was because when you try to teach yourself the material that the "teacher" should know becomes a daunting task, especially when you work and study for your "tests". I was duped into thinking the school was great and outstanding. I had to purchase my own books, uniform and medical equipment that I never really used, good thing I purchased the knock-off brand. The only thing I learned from there was to administer injections in the subcutanious regions. That's it, all I learned, I was forced into "getting 25" positive drawings of my fellow students blood, by the way which I didn't like because not everyone including myself knew how to properly draw blood, and dig around under your skin they did. But when the equipment is outdated and not replaced when it should be, I guess the student's arms would be fine. During the time where we were learning about cardiology, which by the by was a very short course, we were LEFT to ourselves to practice on each other in another classroom, which happened to be the "phlebotomy" room along with another class that were a few months ahead of us. So not only did we practice putting the leads on each other, we didn't know how to READ the echocardiogram, well, isn't that cute. Oh and, the reason why we were left to ourselves is because the "new medical assistant students" were starting class, and they needed a teacher. So then medical billing comes around, and what do you know, the "teacher" had no clue what-so-ever, about medical billing. I find that odd, strange and a little whacky, that there would be a teacher that didn't know the material we were supposed to be learning. Medical billing was my career choice,

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Gia    October 19, 2016    bronx   
Gia    October 19, 2016    bronx   

So my story begins, a few years back, I wanted to better myself and thought taking the route of going to school would benefit me in the long run. Well, I was wrong the "school" I attended was nothing more than a hoax! I thought going to learn about being a medical assitant wouldn't be that HARD, but it was because when you try to teach yourself the material that the "teacher" should know becomes a daunting task, especially when you work and study for your "tests". I was duped into thinking the school was great and outstanding. I had to purchase my own books, uniform and medical equipment that I never really used, good thing I purchased the knock-off brand. The only thing I learned from there was to administer injections in the subcutanious regions. That's it, all I learned, I was forced into "getting 25" positive drawings of my fellow students blood, by the way which I didn't like because not everyone including myself knew how to properly draw blood, and dig around under your skin they did. But when the equipment is outdated and not replaced when it should be, I guess the student's arms would be fine. During the time where we were learning about cardiology, which by the by was a very short course, we were LEFT to ourselves to practice on each other in another classroom, which happened to be the "phlebotomy" room along with another class that were a few months ahead of us. So not only did we practice putting the leads on each other, we didn't know how to READ the echocardiogram, well, isn't that cute. Oh and, the reason why we were left to ourselves is because the "new medical assistant students" were starting class, and they needed a teacher. So then medical billing comes around, and what do you know, the "teacher" had no clue what-so-ever, about medical billing. I find that odd, strange and a little whacky, that there would be a teacher that didn't know the material we were supposed to be learning. Medical billing was my career choice, at the time, I was unable to find a school geared towards only medical billing. So not only did I have to endure other subjects of the medical field, which I wasn't in anyway interested in. So as the months went by, I had to complete a 300 hour un-paid "externship" at a facility that I was not comfortable in, the location was dangerous, I couldn't afford the tickets I was getting from street parking, I was working in a Dr. office that I did not learn anything, so I called the woman in charge of finding an externship to let her know that I need an externship that is geared towards medical billing. So she did grant me that wish, but when I went on an "interview" I asked the manager if I would be working with the two employees who do the medical billing, and the response was " I have no idea, what she's talking about, she says a lot of things" So after I left my "interview" I called her, and asked why the manager didn't know anything about medical billing. She responded with a nasty tone, and said, "You just had the interview, give it a few days". That was it, I did my 300 hours FILING, and putting papers together. That's what I wen't to school for, to learn how to FILE. A school that is now costing me over $10,000 for basically NOTHING. Oh and when I went to take my CMA AAMA ( American Association of Medical Assistants) test, which I didn't even know what to study besides the notes I took, and the books I had, which I did study every chapter and studies my notes, didn't help as well as paying $100 to TAKE the test, which I didn't pass. And I only found out that I didn't pass because no one sent me anything to my house, or called me to let me know I didn't pass, I showed up to the school, to find out what were my results, so as I'm sitting in the admissions office, I overhear the admissions lady say "Oh yea I helped her with her test, I just gave her the answers." Real nice, real nice. So yeah, that's my story. I really wish states would check these supposed schools out a lot more. Maybe it will save someone money , time and really find what they want to do in life.

I have Student Loan Debt of 73,000. Navient is the student loan processor of my loans. They are terrible to work with. Horrible customer service and I cannot get how my student loans are being applied. I've sent extra in every month and they applied it to the interest and not to the principle. I've asked many times why they do it that way and they because they "can". That does not answer the question. I pay 500.00 plus extra every month. It does not budge. I've called asking them why and Navient says the charge interest on a daily basis. At this rate it won't get paid. I'm getting near retirement and will not retire until this paid. A while back I was diagnosed with Lupus and RA and called Navient to tell them I was going on part time status/Navient told me the loan would continue to be $500.00 a month and that "is my problem" Horrible people. I told them I would consider going on disability and the lady told me she would foreclose on our home and take our tax returns. It was due even if I died. Not sure how that would be paid. I've been paying the loan for almost 7 years and it has not gone down it actually went up. Something needs to be done!

Sandy Oconnell    October 19, 2016    NEWINGTON   

I went to school to further my education and hopefully do something I love as a career. Now I'm down to counting pennies and living paycheck to paycheck just to keep up with paying my student loans. I did the math, they'll be paid off as soon as I'm 64. Maybe.

Tina    October 19, 2016    Newburgh   

I'm sitting on over $180,000 in student loans, and will never be able to pay it off in full based on my age and income. Granted, pay interest for 25 years and it will be forgiven, but holy cow!!!

Linda    October 19, 2016    Ogden   

My intention from going back to college is getting a better Job. Having a student loan was helping me to be a full time student. After graduated from college, it was not easy to find a job. The employer wanted at least 1 year job experience. Now, i have to pay my 30K student loan but I haven't got a better job. I work hard at school to better my life but now I am stuck in low income job because the employers do not give me a chance to work. It is not fair. When can I get out from my debt if the situation is like this?

Defi Chandrawati    October 19, 2016    Los Angeles   

I went to school for 7 terms before they took away my financial aid. My grades were slipping, but not because i wasnt applying myself. The work was just becoming so difficult. Since i was no longer receiving aid, I could no longer go to school, and since i am not in school anymore, its time to pay them back with a minimum wage job. I owe over $43,000. I was going to school so I didnt have to try and survive on minimum wage. Now im stuck with minimum wage and a debt hanging over my head that I can never repay.

Matt    October 18, 2016    Goldendale   

It's been about 8 years that I've been trying to clear my name out this debt. Thought going to college would help me live a secured future, but unfortunately that's not the case. Now I'm stuck paying something that I'm never going to be free from. Ive work hard and its not fair that ive been having my taxes taken from me for over 8 years. Its like i sold my soul and there's no way of me getting it back. I just want this debt to be done and over with. I have a son and I want him to be able to have the things I've never had. But with this Student loan hindering my name and on my back.... Will that even be possible?? Tired of Paying and not seeing anything in return. I have a life and a future that I have to focus on.... Not just for me but for my son.

Christina    October 18, 2016    Milwaukee   

I applied for a student loan back when i was attending glendale community college, it was a really ruff time trying to get back and forth to college from los angeles, ca so I got a loan for tranportation for to and back from college. That year was a very stressful year for me I didnt have a job I did not have a stable place to lay my head, i was back and forth from my sisters and my mothers and grandmas house or just sleeping in my car. Made it hard for me to focus in my classes and trying to pay for books and food and all the other stuff. So i stopped going to gcc dropped out for a year then attended lattc and had a hard time there also because of my living situation. Now im stuff with this loan in my name that effects my credit and im not able to get a place of my own . The little jobs I have been working to not allow me to be able to pay the loan back.

Tiana Buford    October 18, 2016    los angeles, ca   

The old adage: "If i knew then what I know now,,,," I would have never gone back to school. The loan repayment has literally made us poorer, and now living paycheck to paycheck, just to make the minimum payments. And my minimum payment is more than my mortgage! The school told me that when I got out of school I could refinance all the loans into one manageable payment,,,what a bunch of lies! I contacted multiple organizations, banks, credit unions, and no one would consolidate because the school itself was falling on hard times. They will tell you whatever you want to hear to get your signature at the bottom of that enrollment form. If I could go back in time 7 years ago,,,,

Khoerle    October 18, 2016    Ferndale   

So I had a baby and in my current living situation couldn't go to school on campus. I looked into a couple options and having checked out a school that specified in my field I took a chance on a online school that MANY of my teachers had recommended. I went through the usual steps, application, fees, FASFA, all that jazz. Signing all the paperwork I'm told that being that I'm a single monther and unemployed because of it I was a perfect candidate and I'd be filing as independent. Half way through my semester I get a call saying my independence fell through and I was now considered dependent of my parents who at the time were on vacation. VACATION. So I did my best called anyone who would listen to try and explain my situation because something was horribly wrong. All my classes and books and labs were now being charged back to me because I was no longer covered. By my third month in school my debt had gone up to $11,000+. I had to withdraw because I knew I wouldn't be able to pay it off. The only help the college was offering me was a "payment plan" even though I had explained countless times that I was unemployed and my boyfriend was very selflessly supporting me the best he could but there was no way I'd be able to pay it. They told me that unfortunately that's how it was and that because I didn't provide more than half of my income to my child that he wasn't my dependent so basically even though I birthed this being and I was taking care of him every single day on top of my excellerated school work, he was not mine. They even told me that if my boyfriend wanted to go to school he'd be able to because he had an income and most of it was going to me and our child. Long story short it's been 2 years and I'm only down $1,000.

Tammy    October 18, 2016    Hopatcong   

Going to school is the worst decision I have ever made. My parents wanted a better future for me than what they had. They fought tooth and nail to get to where they are in their jobs. And are considered well off middle class. They have two other kids (who both work part time and are full time students which hardly covers books let alone meal plan ) to support in college and one middle school aged child. The debt in their name that they took out so that we could go to school is 1000 a month not counting our other loans and my own and my siblings individual educational loans. We can't afford to move out now and are worried about losing the house at the same time. My dad might have to work two jobs (he already commutes two hours for work) And will no longer be able to retire as planned. My bachelor's of science degree didn't even get me a full time job. I work for 12 an hour. In a factory. Ashamed at what the American dream has come to. The real sad part is if we had more time or lower payments we could do that just fine, but my parent's loan doesn't give us that option.

Al    October 18, 2016    West Chester   

1988 I went to a proprietary school for electronics , and checked out early , after I left the school , they kept on taking loans out in my name and I haven't been able to prove it nor recover from it . I am now 50 years old and have worked my way into a decent career with no success in cleaning up the past . I would like to be able to handle this situation however do not know how to go about doing this .

Dennis Kitchen    October 17, 2016    Houston   

I'm from a lower-middle class family, the youngest of seven children born to a father and mother dedicated to public service and ministry. I graduated top of my class from high school, did many extracurriculars, got my Associate degree, and moved away to build a life...But my poverty background and over 4.0 merits did not get me the financial aid or scholarships that I thought they would. I got more degrees, thinking I just needed to work harder. I've been in public service, ministry, and non-profit work full-time, using all my education to help others, and yet here I am paying 1/2of my monthly income to pay my loan debts.

Abigail Hohenstreet    October 17, 2016    Post Falls   

When I got out of the service I didn't know what to do. I ended up having to change careers. To make a long story short I had to get a student loan, I paid on this loan for many years. In 2004 I had gotten the debt down to approx. $1500. Then I broke my back was laid up for 6 months and took another 6 months to fond a job again. I never made enough money to raise my kids pay necessary bills and money just kept running out. Anyway they kept charging more and more interest where the loan debt went from 1500 dollars to over $20,000. Now I'm 63 years old, disabled, unable to work and living on only Social Security Disability, which isn't enough from the start. Now the student loan people are seizing all my income tax returns and garnishing 20% of my Social Security monthly check. I never thought I'd be in the situation where I have to choose between buying my required medications and food, but now it seems that I'm always running out of miner about one week to a week and a half before I get paid. It also seems that even on the day I die these blood suckers are going to want a payment. With my wife gone now it is very difficult.

David Marks    October 17, 2016    Hull   

I think I figured out how to pay off my student loan debt. I'm already on a federal income-based repayment plan that calculates my payment amount based on my tax information linked to the IRS each year (you re-certify online for the plan annually). So far, both years I've done this, my payment amount was calculated to be $0/month. If I continue to make a low income as an adjunct professor (even with my second job in retail), my payment will continue to be $0/month. If you remain on the repayment plan for 25 years, the remaining balance is forgiven. I borrowed $38,000 for graduate school, but if I make $0 payments for 25 years, I'll have a balance of $164,000 to be forgiven when I'm 67.

But I'll have to start saving now, not for retirement (can't afford to), but for taxes. They tax the amount forgiven, which means I'll have to pay taxes on $164,000.

Melanie    October 17, 2016    Fairbanks   

Universities that are non-profit should be reimbursed. Universities that operate as a business purpose more so than for an educational one should cancel the debt. The promise that with their completed degree program guarantees you a higher paying job is invalid.

MJ    October 16, 2016    CULVER CITY   

I'm a graduate of a top engineering school. I have a BS in electrical engineering. I had to take out loans to pay for school because scholarships and grants didn't cover it all and my parents couldn't afford to pay it. After graduating I struggled for years to find employment in my field. I took odd jobs doing what I could because student loan repayment started. I moved home with my parents, but still didn't make enough to keep up on loan payments. Once I did find a job in my field I was so far behind on loan payments that I still struggled financially and my credit was horrible. I did my best to make payments on time, pay down other debts, been on the same job 7 years, and finally got my credit score up. I tried to get approved for a mortgage to buy a house, but was told my debt to income ratio is too high because of student loans. I work really hard and have done all the things people tell you to do, but my dream of being a homeowner may never come true because of this debt hanging over my head like a dark cloud. It's not fair, people say go to college so you can be successful. But that very thing is the cause of great stress and struggle in my life.

Shonta    October 16, 2016    Atlanta   

I am older, divorced and now re-married with a large blended family. For the next several years I am geographically confined to a large metro area because of my wife’s custody arrangement, so moving is not an option for now.

Two years ago, I earned my Master of Social Work (MSW) from the USC online degree program. Tuition 120K. That isn’t a typo.

I am a veteran and wanted to work with veterans or military, preferably in the VA (I have over 15 years of federal service and I understand the importance of retirement).

The USC program billed itself as a military social work program (and at the time claimed it was the only one in existence). It was implied that internship would be working with that population. But that never happened as USC has zero relationships with the VA or other organizations that service veterans in this area.

I am not your traditional social worker; I was infantry and watched as friends and co-workers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan struggle with injuries, TBI, PTSD etc. I am a white male. I have not had much in the way of personal experience with other mental health issues or struggles like poverty, CD, etc. I simply wanted to work with the military/veteran population.

I took and passed the state exam to practice prior to graduation (LGSW). I am confident I could have passed the exam without taking a single social work course. I am not being arrogant...it was just a common sense test.

I have had one interview with the VA despite applying for many, many jobs with them. I did not get it as I was not experienced enough. To date, I cannot get another interview with them. I cannot get interviews with other agencies, as I lack the experience as a social worker (most want a year or more and/or licensure at the clinical level).

The only thing that is available that I really seem to be qualified for is an hourly wage worker with no benefits.

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Author *Pete    October 14, 2016    Marine on Saint Croix   
Author *Pete    October 14, 2016    Marine on Saint Croix   

I am older, divorced and now re-married with a large blended family. For the next several years I am geographically confined to a large metro area because of my wife’s custody arrangement, so moving is not an option for now.

Two years ago, I earned my Master of Social Work (MSW) from the USC online degree program. Tuition 120K. That isn’t a typo.

I am a veteran and wanted to work with veterans or military, preferably in the VA (I have over 15 years of federal service and I understand the importance of retirement).

The USC program billed itself as a military social work program (and at the time claimed it was the only one in existence). It was implied that internship would be working with that population. But that never happened as USC has zero relationships with the VA or other organizations that service veterans in this area.

I am not your traditional social worker; I was infantry and watched as friends and co-workers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan struggle with injuries, TBI, PTSD etc. I am a white male. I have not had much in the way of personal experience with other mental health issues or struggles like poverty, CD, etc. I simply wanted to work with the military/veteran population.

I took and passed the state exam to practice prior to graduation (LGSW). I am confident I could have passed the exam without taking a single social work course. I am not being arrogant...it was just a common sense test.

I have had one interview with the VA despite applying for many, many jobs with them. I did not get it as I was not experienced enough. To date, I cannot get another interview with them. I cannot get interviews with other agencies, as I lack the experience as a social worker (most want a year or more and/or licensure at the clinical level).

The only thing that is available that I really seem to be qualified for is an hourly wage worker with no benefits. $16-20 per hour. I can only bill when I get time with a client. I also have to pay for supervision hours, CE and other fees associated with obtaining licensure. Over the course of the 2-3 years it would take to get a license, I would shell out an additional $6000-10000, to get the requirements for it (which is really what I need to get on with the VA). This is like a kick to the nether regions to add insult to the 120K injury that the school inflicted.

We live incredibly frugally, but raising four kids costs $$$. We have one car, a tiny house (2 bedrooms), never go anywhere, etc etc. I burned through ALL of my savings and cashed out retirement to get through the MSW program With a 20+ hour per week internship, and a three hour commute to get to/from said internship, there was no way a full time job was going to keep me on. Yes I worked part time.

This whole thing would be funny if it where not so pathetic. I cannot afford to live at the poverty level for three years as I pursue licensure. I would spend more than I would make. And in all likelihood all that would do for me is allow me to work in an agency for several more years for 33-40k as I gained the experience necessary to land a job with the VA.

The cost of this degree is truly criminal, the salary prospects are not commensurate with the cost, the level of stress that one endures while engaged in social work, and I really was not impressed with what the profession actually does…At least in the degree program, we learned very little that was actually applicable to clinical work and the social workers I did interact with seemed jaded and burned out. One was actually abusive to clients.

This lending system needs an overhaul. I would gladly give back my diploma for a partial or full refund as it is unlikely I will ever use the degree. Something needs to change, as it seems like this has become the new predatory lending scheme.

We have four children and I am fully disabled. Due to adoption expenses and extensive unforseen medical debts for their childhood (ranging from Hashimoto's Disease, to Cancer, Paralizing Spinal Cord injury to Stroke at age 6, plus Glaucoma and Legal Blindness due to Extreme Prematurity) and with the latter two children, permanently disabled as a result, we are all still trying to get our kids a college education.
While this has included working themselves through via Summer and School time jobs, lots of grants and scholarships due to scholastic or athletic skills, hard work and outstanding achievement, student loans, some of which it was necessary for us to cosign, we have just graduated one and have two in college right now. A fourth is in 10th grade. Now the Oldest is thinking of going for a Master's degree! Ok, so, do we choose between our children? Already we are selling our home and moving South to where they all live. This will eliminate our absurd taxes and the need for dorm rooms, But for the life of me, I'm stymied. This is a high-quality, modest-cost school that has a wonderful post education placement rate and they've been very generous, but we have been quickly paying down the medical costs and find that there is just so much money that one can ssqueeze out of a 1 family income. ANY SUGGESTIONS?

Susan B.    October 10, 2016    Preston   

I went to college, so I would not become queen of minimum wage. I graduated in 1992, and got my degree in Fashion Merchandising. Just after I graduated the bottom fell out of this field. So, became a store manager of a shoe store, asst. manager of Factory 2-U, worked for Wal-Mart, ended up back to driving buses, where I started. NEVER making over $40,000, unable to pay back my loans, that have become uncontrollable, and went bankrupt. Now I am 64 years old, and still got this monkey on my back, and no way to deal with this. I can't even retire early, or if ever.

Harriet    October 4, 2016    Eagle Creek   

All my life I wanted to go to school. I was a teen parent constantly on and off of federal assistance for years. My family suffered because I was only able to get minimum wage jobs. Also, I have Aspergers syndrome, a type of autism, which means I lack social skills but I have a high IQ.
I started college as a homeless person with $5 in my pocket. I got 5 four point zero report cards in a row during my first two years in college, I qualified for pell grants and got a place to live and a car. I then changed my major to Wildlife Biology which added a year. At that time I graduated from a community college with honors and on the Dean's list. With excellent grades I applied for scholarships and got them and moved up to a state college. Up until then I only borrowed minimal amounts.
Once I got to the upper division classes I found it hard to get the schedule I needed at the expense of having to go three extra years. In 2008 the economy took a world wide crash. I managed to finish my 2009 classes. At that time people found out through social media I was autistic. Although I has a cumulative average way above 3.0 after chemistry, calculus, and statistics, I was still cut from the program due to financial woes at the school and fears that an autistic person would not be able to handle the pressures of the real world.
I had only three classes to go graduate. Federal aid said everything was fine, my loans would come through. Well, they did not, and I got the news after it was past the class drop date. So I left school and took 3 fails as a result, hurting my GPA.
I went back to my hometown only to find thousands of people living on the street and jobs very hard to find. I thought for sure that I could easily earn the money to return. I could not. That first year I got one temp job that lasted three days and I blew through the money I had saved up.

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Randy Smith    October 3, 2016    Draper   
Randy Smith    October 3, 2016    Draper   

All my life I wanted to go to school. I was a teen parent constantly on and off of federal assistance for years. My family suffered because I was only able to get minimum wage jobs. Also, I have Aspergers syndrome, a type of autism, which means I lack social skills but I have a high IQ.
I started college as a homeless person with $5 in my pocket. I got 5 four point zero report cards in a row during my first two years in college, I qualified for pell grants and got a place to live and a car. I then changed my major to Wildlife Biology which added a year. At that time I graduated from a community college with honors and on the Dean's list. With excellent grades I applied for scholarships and got them and moved up to a state college. Up until then I only borrowed minimal amounts.
Once I got to the upper division classes I found it hard to get the schedule I needed at the expense of having to go three extra years. In 2008 the economy took a world wide crash. I managed to finish my 2009 classes. At that time people found out through social media I was autistic. Although I has a cumulative average way above 3.0 after chemistry, calculus, and statistics, I was still cut from the program due to financial woes at the school and fears that an autistic person would not be able to handle the pressures of the real world.
I had only three classes to go graduate. Federal aid said everything was fine, my loans would come through. Well, they did not, and I got the news after it was past the class drop date. So I left school and took 3 fails as a result, hurting my GPA.
I went back to my hometown only to find thousands of people living on the street and jobs very hard to find. I thought for sure that I could easily earn the money to return. I could not. That first year I got one temp job that lasted three days and I blew through the money I had saved up. The next year I got a job that paid $90 a week, and rents were about $1200, double that of when I left, due to the obscene number of foreclosures.
At that time, 2010, I owed $40 grand in student loans. They went into default. By 2015 with late fees and interest, even low student interest, I now owed $60 grand. After sending out over 1800 resumes, I got a job that paid $190 a week in 2013, and lost my food stamps that were literally keeping me alive.
Two new laws arose. One is the background check law from the Patriot act, and the other is the good neighbor law, stating that landlords can deny you based on credit history. Well needless to say, Fedloan and UHEAA trashed my credit report due to non-payment
To compound my problems I have lived in my car since 2010, a fifty year old autistic man living on the street. I have been jumped by every sort of street trash you can possibly imagine, including violent Latino gangs. I was chased out of every camping spot by irate neighbors fed up with the growing number of homeless at the first part of this decade. The police let me camp at some places at first, but soon had pressure me to keep moving me on. Now, they know me on sight, so I move often. All this time I managed to buy $3.50, stay fed, and keep my job. I make too little to get a place to live, and too much to get help with housing.
Although I kept up to date with the student loan people and filled out all the forms and got a much needed IBR, I just barely crossed the plateau where I have to make full payments and my debt is closing in on $70 grand. I am just about totally bonkers living on the street, working, and giving 52% of my take home pay to ever growing loans that are now growing exponentially. At 65 I will owe almost a million dollars. At 71 when they forgive my debt I will owe just over 7 million dollars off of $40 grand of principal. My life is over. The jobs are just not there. What I need is income, and I am doing every thing to get it, but it's hard when your credit will never be fully repaired.
I have no idea what will happen tomorrow. I am scared as hell and dread the rising of the morning sun. God help me for wanting a better life, and I hope I make it through the night.

This is a very bad thing happening in our schools, they make money at our losses and don't care. They don't mind if you want to pay them loads of money to give you a degree, which they know will be useless to you. They don't even warn you about how to get a job with these skills, or who to go see to connect within the industry, no. They just take your money. Worst thing is, after graduating whit that useless degree, I got an email for TA job offer at the same school I went, but they didn't ask for a graduate from their school, they were asking for someone with past works and experience. I mean, even they know their degree doesn't mean shit. Hustle. Hustling is the only real thing. Thug Life.

Xavier B    October 1, 2016    Montreal   

Was going to college for my BS in Nursing. Same year I was accepted into the program, I found out I was pregnant. I was put on bed rest and had to give up my seat for the program. Shortly after the birth of my child, my marriage dissolved. I filed bankruptcy, but as we all know, student loans aren't discharged. Now, I am almost in my 40's, making very low income with 56k in student loans, raising 3 children by myself, living in a small 2 bedroom apt and trying to support both my parents who are disabled. I honestly believe I would have been better off had I never attempted to go to college to begin with. My credit was excellent and I didn't have payments hanging over my head for next 30 yrs before forgiveness is an option like with the Income based repayment plan. This whole student loan is a joke...costs you more in loans to get educated for a job where you may make half or less than what you have to pay back.

Sarah    September 30, 2016    Raymore   

I graduated in 1998 with a Psychology Degree which is a joke. My adviser should have told me I would be poor in trying to use that. I worked as a social worker for 7 long years in the field. I started out at $27,000 a year, I got out of social services and everyone talked about how a business degree was so useful. I applied at Webster University (which now I hear is a ripoff) and it was. Graduated and my income went up by $8,000 a year (from my last job). My total Graduate bill $95,000 in school loans. I spent $98,000 dollars to only make $50,000 a year. I did the math and the short of it is I will NEVER pay these loans off. The interest accrues at $6000 dollars a year adding that to my loan and these is a 30 year loan agreement. It is impossible. Now, I have gone back through and realized that my schooling should only have cost no more than $38,000 for grad school . Somewhere along the line more loans were authorized and interest accrued on the loans while in school and out. This was the biggest mistake of my life and I will never be able to pay these off. I don't even need a degree for what I do now. What a waste.

Monica S.    September 28, 2016    North Port   

I was contacted to "consolidate" my student loan into a lower rate, one payment loan with a "new lender". I paid over $470/month for 8 months to Processing Services in Newport Beach and was told that my loan was "still in process" so my payments were being held in trust and would be applied to my balance once the process was complete. Instead they changed my credentials with Nelnet, placed my loan in forbearance numerous times and kept my payments. To this day, they allege that they are still working on placing my loan, but I started receiving late notices from Great Lakes last January. I contacted them in April, placed my loan in forbearance and requested a fraud investigation into how I ended up with a loan I never signed for and never authorized. The loan there is a higher interest and payment than any of my loans were with Nelnet, so there was no financial improvement in refinancing my loans. I am in a worse situation, not better and due to the 18 months of forbearance I have incurred nearly $20k in additional debt during this process. This CANNOT be legal. I requested an investigation with Great Lakes which is "in process", the CFPB will not help me and has said to file a claim with the servicer. Processing Services said they will have a "supervisor" contact me - 7 times in the last 10 months, I take SO much time trying to resolve this at work, on breaks, lunches, etc. I am credit worthy and can refinance my loan with a legitimate institution but do not want the added 20k+ which was not incurred by my fault, want to retain my lower rate and want the money I paid to Processing Services returned plus damages. Great Lakes locked out Processing Services and setup a new login for me, but nothing in writing as to what happens now several months later. My payment is low, but negative amortizing which was never disclosed. When this process started, my balance was 96k and it is now fast approaching 130k. I am so devastated.

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Jennifer Quinteros    September 28, 2016    Moraga   
Jennifer Quinteros    September 28, 2016    Moraga   

I was contacted to "consolidate" my student loan into a lower rate, one payment loan with a "new lender". I paid over $470/month for 8 months to Processing Services in Newport Beach and was told that my loan was "still in process" so my payments were being held in trust and would be applied to my balance once the process was complete. Instead they changed my credentials with Nelnet, placed my loan in forbearance numerous times and kept my payments. To this day, they allege that they are still working on placing my loan, but I started receiving late notices from Great Lakes last January. I contacted them in April, placed my loan in forbearance and requested a fraud investigation into how I ended up with a loan I never signed for and never authorized. The loan there is a higher interest and payment than any of my loans were with Nelnet, so there was no financial improvement in refinancing my loans. I am in a worse situation, not better and due to the 18 months of forbearance I have incurred nearly $20k in additional debt during this process. This CANNOT be legal. I requested an investigation with Great Lakes which is "in process", the CFPB will not help me and has said to file a claim with the servicer. Processing Services said they will have a "supervisor" contact me - 7 times in the last 10 months, I take SO much time trying to resolve this at work, on breaks, lunches, etc. I am credit worthy and can refinance my loan with a legitimate institution but do not want the added 20k+ which was not incurred by my fault, want to retain my lower rate and want the money I paid to Processing Services returned plus damages. Great Lakes locked out Processing Services and setup a new login for me, but nothing in writing as to what happens now several months later. My payment is low, but negative amortizing which was never disclosed. When this process started, my balance was 96k and it is now fast approaching 130k. I am so devastated. I am forced into a worse financial situation and I never authorized any of this! I am not looking for a ton of money. I would like my loans to revert back to Nelnet and have them forgive the interest that has been added to my loan balance, which is absolute robbery. I would like Processing Services to reimburse me for negligence and also for loan fraud, and Great Lakes investigated as they have also profited from this agreement even though they indicate it is through no fault of their own. I would also like my rates to revert back to 3.75 and now they are at almost 7 in the new loan... almost double the payments and negative amortizing for 20 years! Please help me with this or refer me to someone who can assist. I have no missed payments, excellent credit and 2 kids in college.

As a struggling single senior grandmother, I can't repay loans for classes, (a majority of those were online ), that were taken in hopes of getting a job and retirement in my fields of education and counseling.

Charmaine Smith-Warden    September 28, 2016    Coeur d'Alene   

I have student loans that haven't been able to pay on for 21 years. Been on an IBR plan but now have to start paying back. My problem is I do t qualify for the non-profit program because I only work part-time even though have been with the same company for 9 years. I have to work part-time because I have a disabled child that requires appointments. There isn't anything out there to help me or my husband where we owe as much as our house, over $100,000. I didn't ask for this disabled child but I wouldn't change it either. There needs to be assistance for those of us who need help with repaying loans due to havi g a disabled child. Sad part is we have filed bankruptcy twice but couldn't on our loans.....they haunt us and we are scared they are going to ruin our lives. They almost interfered with us buying a home that would be handicapped accesible for our son. When we were younger we were told that go toschool, get loans, and they won't hurt your credit which we all know is a bunch of crap!! We need help where there is no help!!!!

Michelle    September 28, 2016    Vinton   

I have student loans that haven't been able to pay on for 21 years. Been on an IBR plan but now have to start paying back. My problem is I do t qualify for the non-profit program because I only work part-time even though have been with the same company for 9 years. I have to work part-time because I have a disabled child that requires appointments. There isn't anything out there to help me or my husband where we owe as much as our house, over $100,000. I didn't ask for this disabled child but I wouldn't change it either. There needs to be assistance for those of us who need help with repaying loans due to havi g a disabled child.

Michelle    September 28, 2016    Vinton   

I have been in school for the last four years. I have made terrific grades. Now that it have comes down to me graduating . I get hit with the bad news. Even when you finish with these last five classes you will not get your degree until you pay back the tuition you have to pay out of pocket. I though when You get your degrees you have to start back paying. But it not If I had a wish . To do something no one in my family ever did get a degree. a BSBA. Now I feel I have did all this in vane . My heart is aching and paining know I have reach my goal but cannot touch it until I get the money to get it. If there anyone that out there that can help me. Let say thank you I will make a wonderful person in the health care field, because I care

Cheryl Butle    September 27, 2016    Grapida Rapids   

I took out loans to go to college in hopes of providing my daughter a better life. My credit is destroyed and there are not enough high paying jobs. It shouldn't damage your life and credit to better yourself and to try and give your child a better life.

Author *Kiki    September 25, 2016    City Milford   

I received my Masters in 1999. My field of study was new. I passed the National Boards, then graduated and moved back to CA, where I am from, to begin a practice. The board exams there were much more difficult and not just for me. I never passed the CA board exam, after taking it four times. To study for it, takes a few months and it's not cheap to take. During those years I accepted less skilled work to make ends meet between exams. Nine years later, I had no choice, but to move out of state to be able to practice, where I had to start all over again.

That was 2008 and didn't realize what was happening in our economy before I moved. The financial crisis really hit especially hard in certain states. I was Oregon and there was so much competition for every job I applied for and the unemployment rate was one of the highest. My husband had to start a new business too, as a contractor. Working several part time jobs to barely pay rent, utilities and food, nothing was ever left. Coming from CA, where we could always find good work and never had a problem, it was a shock, so stressful and such a struggle for both of us to simply get by.

After taking 140 education units to qualify even though I hadn't even started practicing, I finally got my state license in 2013. Then my husband was diagnosed with cancer and I think it was partly due to the stress we were under financially. I barely worked. He died, then my mother, then my brother. I was spent emotionally. I did begin working in my field a year later part time, and I'm finally beginning my own practice now in 2016, which will take time to build. It has been 18 years. My student loans have more than doubled and I now owe more than $120,000.00. I was only able to pay during some of those years, then had to defer my loans, due to financial hardship,

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Kim Finley    September 23, 2016    Oregon   
Kim Finley    September 23, 2016    Oregon   

I received my Masters in 1999. My field of study was new. I passed the National Boards, then graduated and moved back to CA, where I am from, to begin a practice. The board exams there were much more difficult and not just for me. I never passed the CA board exam, after taking it four times. To study for it, takes a few months and it's not cheap to take. During those years I accepted less skilled work to make ends meet between exams. Nine years later, I had no choice, but to move out of state to be able to practice, where I had to start all over again.

That was 2008 and didn't realize what was happening in our economy before I moved. The financial crisis really hit especially hard in certain states. I was Oregon and there was so much competition for every job I applied for and the unemployment rate was one of the highest. My husband had to start a new business too, as a contractor. Working several part time jobs to barely pay rent, utilities and food, nothing was ever left. Coming from CA, where we could always find good work and never had a problem, it was a shock, so stressful and such a struggle for both of us to simply get by.

After taking 140 education units to qualify even though I hadn't even started practicing, I finally got my state license in 2013. Then my husband was diagnosed with cancer and I think it was partly due to the stress we were under financially. I barely worked. He died, then my mother, then my brother. I was spent emotionally. I did begin working in my field a year later part time, and I'm finally beginning my own practice now in 2016, which will take time to build. It has been 18 years. My student loans have more than doubled and I now owe more than $120,000.00. I was only able to pay during some of those years, then had to defer my loans, due to financial hardship, although they continued to grow interest. Now, I have few options and cannot declare bankruptcy like the rich and powerful. I will never be able to buy my own house at this rate. Even my credit has suffered and I will die with this loan.

If I had known the risks ahead of time, I would have worked part time and gone to school part time and avoided taking the loans altogether, But the school I went to and the lender took no pains to explain anything to me. I was excited to be embarking on a new career. But "Truth is stranger than fiction." And the reality, my nightmare.

Large financial corporations are making hand over fist on our backs. I would never want anyone to go through what I am still baring.

We deserve help and the shame belongs to the corporations and the educational institutions who set us up to fail and pay through the nose to support them.
In solidarity, keep up the "Good Fight",
KF

I filed bankruptcy in 2013 due to the dissolution of my marriage, but was unable to list my $80,000+ in student loan debt. Since my divorce, I'm very low income with two children and unable to pay anything on my loans. I'm in my late 40s and feel like I will be paying until I die. The icing on the cake...I still don't have a degree.

Michelle Miller    September 23, 2016    Nashville   

I also have a student loan, of which I've had for 3 years. That can't be paid simply because haven't been able to find work in 5 years. Let alone have retirement money. Where I used to work there isn't such a thing. So what is a person supposed to do? Currently live off of Social Security all I can say on that is I'm getting what I get. Just scarcely enough to say that I get anything.

Author *Yolanda Rodela    September 22, 2016    Fort Worth   

Depending where I look, I owe widely different amounts as of today, September 2016. On the NSLDS.ed.gov site it says I owe $37,983 principle + $5,518 interest = $43,501. According to the U.S. Department of Education Debt Management and Collections, my loans defaulted to them in November of 2013, at $42,341. Since that time, my wages have been garnished, but my balance has increased by $11,718. I now owe $54,059, AFTER payments of $9,810. It's like a movie about Mafia loan sharks! But this is all government sanctioned. And the public doesn't understand why we feel overwhelmed!?

Author *Jorge    September 22, 2016    Providence   

Like all of us, my generation says "school is the way out." FALSE FALSE FALSE! I don't have family or much friends. I support myself. Went to community college for years while homeless and starving at one point, hoping education would give me a brighter future and boy was I horribly wrong. I have a private loan with a cosigner. I was forced to drop out because I was neglected to be told that I needed a 2nd cosigner mid way through school. Been overpaying on my loan for a year and LITERALLY it has stayed the same. I am 26k in debt. This world is so backwards, it blows my mind as to how much money has captured a disgusting grip on people and the government is downright IGNORANT to this fast paced life they've forced us into. We are set up to fail unless you come from an insanely rich family. Yay to not eating !!

Lindsey    September 21, 2016    Westerly   

I started school out of state in 2004. I also attended school in state 2008. I accumulated $20,000+ in student loans. I began paying on them November 2015. I received capitalization of a total of $6000 bringing the amount owed from 24,000 to $30,000. Paying a total of $251/ month for 2 loans, Sept 2016, the balance is still $30,000. I call Great lakes (they handle for the loans Dept of Education) and they say im paying $4 in interest/ day. So only about $60 is going towards principle.

Almost a year has passed and my loan is at the same balance. Something needs to be done about this student loan interest. I am on autopay so, 0.25% of interest is supposed to be reduced, and im still paying $4.50/ day. How am i supposed to pay my loan back if im getting $150 a month in interest?

Dre    September 20, 2016    Atlanta   

I went to school and never finished the degree due to I found out in the middle of semester that the school was not accredited at the moment. Years later I went back and I couldn't transfer the credits because the old school said I owed them money. I had to start from scratch, I finished my undergrad degree, I make less than 40k a year and I have student load debt of approximate $130k. I still live with my parents, I cant save money, I do not leave a luxury life, I live check by check and making payments on student loans under forbearance program on which is not going to principal. It's frustrating .

Vanessa    September 20, 2016    West Palm Beach   

My father is a retired school teacher trying to help me pay off my loans. We are struggling immensely. Please something needs to be done. I'm almost 50k in loans 🙁

Sonam    September 20, 2016    San Jose   

Hello to whom ever is reading this. I graduated in 2009 when the American economy was experiencing a recession. While thousands of families were losing there homes because of mortgage fraud and faulty loans issued by the banks I had accumulated debt of approximately 27,000.

My years in academia as a college student were memorable and pleasant. Upon graduating I didn't have a job lined up and can remember receiving my first payment request within 1 week of graduation. Students should be given a grace period to begin paying back there loans because they need time to readjust and celebrate there accomplishments, or to just find a job. This forces students to take deferments and forbearances that add more interest in order to leech out as much profit through accrued interest. College graduates are real people with defined skills. Skills that are being ignored by financial institutions and the government at large.

Within one month of graduating I found a job in sales with a home security system company. I found that my background and academic career prepared me adequately. The job was commission based and allowed me to experience being an entrepreneur. At the same time not one, but various loan payments were pouring in that I had no choice to consider consolidating because of the difficulty in keeping track of lenders and scheduling payments. Furthermore, after making payments very little is subtracted from the total amount which makes borrowers realize they aren't getting anywhere. If you had to choose between keeping your hard earned money through hours of work to make purchases on essentials for operating your business you would use the money to investment. For other borrowers, I imagine that having to choose between going out on a date or drink after work or to pay back what feels like being in a never ending cycle of fruitless payments can also be difficult decision to make on top of other essentials such as rent, insurance, utility bills, medical and dental health that are critical and essential to a persons well being.

If I had choose to consolidate my loan I would have added an additional 10,000 USD so I had to think about making that decision and ultimately didn't consolidate.

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Author *Renieri Segovia    September 20, 2016    City Long Beach   
Author *Renieri Segovia    September 20, 2016    City Long Beach   

Hello to whom ever is reading this. I graduated in 2009 when the American economy was experiencing a recession. While thousands of families were losing there homes because of mortgage fraud and faulty loans issued by the banks I had accumulated debt of approximately 27,000.

My years in academia as a college student were memorable and pleasant. Upon graduating I didn't have a job lined up and can remember receiving my first payment request within 1 week of graduation. Students should be given a grace period to begin paying back there loans because they need time to readjust and celebrate there accomplishments, or to just find a job. This forces students to take deferments and forbearances that add more interest in order to leech out as much profit through accrued interest. College graduates are real people with defined skills. Skills that are being ignored by financial institutions and the government at large.

Within one month of graduating I found a job in sales with a home security system company. I found that my background and academic career prepared me adequately. The job was commission based and allowed me to experience being an entrepreneur. At the same time not one, but various loan payments were pouring in that I had no choice to consider consolidating because of the difficulty in keeping track of lenders and scheduling payments. Furthermore, after making payments very little is subtracted from the total amount which makes borrowers realize they aren't getting anywhere. If you had to choose between keeping your hard earned money through hours of work to make purchases on essentials for operating your business you would use the money to investment. For other borrowers, I imagine that having to choose between going out on a date or drink after work or to pay back what feels like being in a never ending cycle of fruitless payments can also be difficult decision to make on top of other essentials such as rent, insurance, utility bills, medical and dental health that are critical and essential to a persons well being.

If I had choose to consolidate my loan I would have added an additional 10,000 USD so I had to think about making that decision and ultimately didn't consolidate. At the same time, my business had taken a dip and I was suddenly faced with a dilemma. Do I keep the money I have or make a student loan payment? Should I consolidate and add additional years to endure this type of living?

Why, if a person chooses to consolidate there loans should thousands of dollars be added to the amount? Did I receive a degree or masters that I'm unaware of? Clearly, receiving an education and helping to mold an additional member of society is no longer a bargaining chip when I signed a loan promissory note. Student loans should be consolidated in the first place. A person when buying a home or car doesn't take a loan each year. Why not create a system that is manageable? The current system is a designed to be confusing, unsupportive, and a waste of time or years of a persons life.

I am currently living in South Korea, my loans have defaulted and I stopped making payments years ago. Upon returning to America last year to see family I was solicited by a company and nearly convinced of paying a fee to rehabilitate the loans. I have since rehabilitated the loans that accrued interest to a whopping 57,000 USD. Had my loan been 1 loan and I been allowed to make payments that still allowed me to live a productive and happy life I wouldn't have had an issue paying it back. But because lenders were trying to take advantage of the situation I have simply ignored to pay the loan and enjoyed my life anyway.

Here in South Korea, I have medical and health insurance, live comfortably and have used my education to positively effect the society here. It's unfortunate that in my own country I was not able to do so. I have recently been given a grant by the government to create an education software program using the money I earned and reinvested while working here. What is truly saddening is that other skilled college graduates will be confined by there debt rather than allowed to use the best of there youth to create opportunities for themselves and society.

The student debt crisis is watering down America and needs serious reformation. I want to pay back my loan, the original amount without compromising my lively hood and well being in the process so, that I can use my creativity and skills to positively benefit the world. If you're reading this, please understand that individuals choosing to educate themselves should be seen as a resource to the economy to drive growth, not leveraged for profiteering by lenders that negatively impacts the years of education obtained.

I've never been a quitter, so when I committed to getting my Ph.D. in I/O Psychology, I knew I had to finish what I started. Unfortunately, what I started caught the bubble in university fees (as they were growing 17 times faster than median incomes), propped up by a student loan program that, on the one hand, made my education possible and, on the other, is making the future I'd worked for impossible. I worked through school as quickly as I could. By the time I was nearing the end - writing and defending my dissertation - I had come too far to stop, yet that didn't stop the delays of quarter after quarter of paid tuition as I waited for dissertation committee members to read my work, meet, or approve changes. The semesters kept adding up and 4 months after I graduated I received a loan notice for an eye-popping $179,624.88. If this number makes you question why I would take on such debt, a question I’ve asked myself in retrospect, I’d direct you to the countless number of advisors and industry mentors that assured me that this degree was necessary to the work I sought to do in my career. I'm 34 years old, have a wife and daughter (15 months). I am working full time in my field at a great company, and additionally, part-time trying to pay down this loan. But with the amount of student debt, I simply can't make full payments. We can't afford to buy a house, because I'm already making a house-sized payment on the past, not to mention the destruction this has done on my credit. I have to change this. We have to change this.

As you know, the student loan crisis has hit many young Americans very hard and with over 1.3 trillion dollars of student loan debt and more than 40 million Americans currently living with this burden, it is undoubtedly having an impact on the entire country. I am one such American who has worked very hard my entire life, and in spite of many academic and professional achievements,

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Anthony Attan    September 18, 2016    Baltimore   
Anthony Attan    September 18, 2016    Baltimore   

I've never been a quitter, so when I committed to getting my Ph.D. in I/O Psychology, I knew I had to finish what I started. Unfortunately, what I started caught the bubble in university fees (as they were growing 17 times faster than median incomes), propped up by a student loan program that, on the one hand, made my education possible and, on the other, is making the future I'd worked for impossible. I worked through school as quickly as I could. By the time I was nearing the end - writing and defending my dissertation - I had come too far to stop, yet that didn't stop the delays of quarter after quarter of paid tuition as I waited for dissertation committee members to read my work, meet, or approve changes. The semesters kept adding up and 4 months after I graduated I received a loan notice for an eye-popping $179,624.88. If this number makes you question why I would take on such debt, a question I’ve asked myself in retrospect, I’d direct you to the countless number of advisors and industry mentors that assured me that this degree was necessary to the work I sought to do in my career. I'm 34 years old, have a wife and daughter (15 months). I am working full time in my field at a great company, and additionally, part-time trying to pay down this loan. But with the amount of student debt, I simply can't make full payments. We can't afford to buy a house, because I'm already making a house-sized payment on the past, not to mention the destruction this has done on my credit. I have to change this. We have to change this.

As you know, the student loan crisis has hit many young Americans very hard and with over 1.3 trillion dollars of student loan debt and more than 40 million Americans currently living with this burden, it is undoubtedly having an impact on the entire country. I am one such American who has worked very hard my entire life, and in spite of many academic and professional achievements, I’m crippled by student loan debt.

I've developed a plan to make payments and add value to the community at the same time but simply can't get a call back from anyone to gain funding for this initiative. I feel less and less empowered everyday and at this point, I'm just trying to stop the bleeding, let alone make any substantial progress toward becoming debt free. I've run out of options and am not sure if help is even possible anymore.

Our government didn't protect its citizens from terrible accreditation and systemic misrepresentation by corporations. For-profit chains soaked up the pell grants funded by taxpayers like myself, and left graduates with worthless degrees. Why should we pay 1000+ for debt from a fraud school that is shutting down? What purpose does this serve?

This is no about only justice for the defrauded. This is about protecting the future of higher education in our country- for everyone.

Sanders    September 18, 2016    San Diego   

Tried going to college after high school, dropped out from lack of funds. Tried again to years ago and recently graduated. Still working at the same job and can't find a job in my field. My roommates moved an hour and a half away, forcing me to live out of my truck because I couldn't find a job near them. I can't afford my own apartment because my student loan monthly payment is so high, but if I went by my paycheque, I would just be in even more debt because of interest. Yay me.

Dean R.    September 16, 2016    Massillon, OH   

I am a single mom of 3. I do not have childsupport nor any other government assistance (just Medicaid for the children). I can barely afford childcare, rent, car payments, and utilities as is. I graduated school with an Associates in 2011 and they never helped me get a job. Right now I work in a regular office doing nothing of what I studied. I borrowed 13,000 and I owe 23,000 now. How can I help my kids with their school when the time comes, if I cant even pay off my own.

Author karen    September 15, 2016    Fort Myers   

I was teaching in an Alternative School on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation. The longer I taught, the more I realized that a large portion of the problems my students had was due to a sub-standard reading level. So I took online classes to help me learn how to teach students to read - I taught English, so it fit in well.

Unfortunately, I had to retire due to the failure of my eyesight from macular degeneration. Now I owe over $10,000 in student loans -- not a lot in the huge scope, but I'm living on Social Security and a small pension. I've been trying to get my student loan payments reduced. Unfortunately, the people I've consulted haven't helped at all, just taken the money I provided as an incentive. After three times, I've learned. I still don't have my payments reduced to an affordable rate.

Author *Sandra J. Sanders    September 14, 2016    Julesburg, CO   

I have attended college for three years so far, my cumulative GPA is 3.94 and I have been on the dean's list every semester of college. This was while working a job full time (40 to 60 hrs per week) and going to school full time taking the hardest classes I could. My major is Chemistry and Mathematics, so the classes are very hard academically. I recently had to have major oral surgery due to my wisdom teeth being severely impacted, leaving me in a pile of agony every day (i was taking the max dose of Tylenol XL every day and it would not dull the pain). Thus I was forced to DROP OUT due to this crippling medical debt. I'm totaling around $10k in debt right now (including student loans).

In conclusion, because of our broken medical and education system an all A student with vast potential to better the word through science and mathematics has had to drop out of college and work as a Chef just so I can have a roof over my head!!!!!

Ukiah Miller    September 13, 2016    NC   

I am 30 years old. I just got a full time position not too long ago, and I still don't see any money extra coming to my pocket. This is a nightmare for the young people after college. My entire check goes to student loans and rent. How can a young person be independent and professional nowadays. This situations are making these professional going to our parents for help.

Alan Mamzueta    September 5, 2016    New Jersey   

I went to college right out of high school. I was absolutely not ready. My mother had said she would pay the student loans, which at first was I think $5,000. Now I am up to $9,647 with interest accrued. I was indigent for years. Homeless, I went to rehab... And finally this last year I paid $5 a month for 9 months religiously... hoping it would help. It did not. It does not even say that I paid anything. I need my debt to be forgiven because I actually need to file for bankruptcy, too. I literally have no money and I never finished school. All my money goes to is keeping me alive now. It's hell. And I get mail and calls ALL THE TIME. I feel horrible. It's not like I didn't want to pay them back. I just can't.

Molly Adams    September 4, 2016    CO   

I'm a retired school social worker living on a pension. I own a condo and have a mortgage payment. I am single and paying $1100.00 a month on a rate reduction payment plan along with consolidated loans for my daughters student loans that I co-signed when I was married. Hence my daughter has not been working full time since she graduated from college 5 years ago. When she did work she was unwilling to help me out with monthly payments. So now I am stuck with this insane monthly payment until I die since I will never be able to pay it off. I live a very simple life to stay within my means. My dream of retiring and doing some traveling to visit long time friends has been shattered do to my financial situation. I would like to see a program where the student is also held responsible for student loan repayment. I also wonder how many parents are in my same situation? Is there anyone out there can give me some advice?

Author *Evelyn Palen    September 2, 2016    Illinois   

I owe 8,000 it's preventing me from graduating. I need help!!!

Author *Keisha Russell    August 29, 2016    Location St Louis, Mo   

At the time this loan originate, I was married...this was a loan for our daughter to go to school- a "Parent Plus" loan...$26000.00 total. We were told we HAD to take this out, because they would not loan our child the full amount she needed. We struggled to pay this loan during lay offs, etc with our jobs. A bad divorce took place in 2011- I am the one to pay this loan as I have NO contact w/my X. I can recieve no help, forgiveness, or plan that will put $ toward the principal. Any plan thru AES that i qualify for only pays on interest...i am throwing $ away. My balance is now 37,000.00 and I cant qualify for better payback plans becauwse it requires my X's involvement & financials. they do not offer this type of loan any more because of these issues... yet i am stuck with it.

Beth Cioca    August 29, 2016    Massillon, Ohio   

I encountered a student debt relief company back in March. I paid over $600 to them before realizing there were lots of companies out there doing the same thing. I have not contacted them nor has anyone contacted me as to why I never sent the paperwork back signed. Is there a way to get my money back from said company?

E Lambert    August 29, 2016    Little Rock, AR   

I attended Everest Institute from August 2013 to March 2014, i had just given birth to my daughter who was not 10 days old yet when the school failed to warn me of dropping me until 430pm calling me to give me until 5pm that day to sign a waver or i was going to be dropped from the program. My job where i was interning at spoke with my school telling them they wanted me to come back to just give me time since i just had a baby less than 2 wks old and the school lied on their behalf to me and dropped me. Now i owe student loans i shouldn't have to pay along with not getting me a job i had to get on my own and worked so hard for them to take it away along with repeatedly making errors as i was enrolled i never got a single bill until they dropped me from the program.

Author *lucia santiago    August 28, 2016    Chelsea, MA   

I graduated from college in 3 years by overloading on credits and taking summer classes because I only had a loan for 80k, and I wouldn't be able to afford a fourth year of housing and tuition. I am now 97K in debt, (one year later and thanks to interest) I married my spouse after graduation and he is currently in the military, because I have moved a lot in my short adult life, every employer in this military town can correctly assume I'm a military spouse and does not want to hire someone who may move in the next few years, leaving me only minimum wage part time jobs with $750 monthly repayments. I had no idea being a military spouse was unattractive to employers, and I thought getting an education was the right thing to do. I went from working for a state government in high school, to retail after college. I feel like I was lied to, and that the American Dream of working hard has died for my generation.

Kristen S.    August 28, 2016    NC   

Yes, sarcastically living the dream. The American Dream of $62,000 in debt, 6 years of schooling with only an Associate's Degree to show for it. I wouldn't mind if they were all strapped to me, but my mother has signed $30,000 on herself to give me the chance to go to college. Well, she got breast cancer, in a car accident, and she is now unemployed. She isn't permanently disabled so she will not collect, but she is in terrible pain everyday with no signs of light in the future. My loans only burden her and I curse the Government for not doing something about this failing system. Soon all jobs will be outsourced and Americans will be forced to work the lowest class jobs, paying off the largest amounts of debt...

Terry    August 27, 2016    Pennsylvania   

I returned to school after a difficult divorce to get a degree and have the ability to care for my two sons. Now at age 70, my social security is being taken to repay what is left of my student loan, leaving me with little to live on.

Author *Ileana    August 27, 2016   

I went back to college as an adult. At 29 married with one child and a dead end job. Did well in school graduated with a BA, and an AA. However no good jobs.....So now 2 kids same dead end job. I keep ignoring the department of education letters, but I'm stuck, I barely make enough to survive. If you have an awesome job, or connections in life great, college won't create that.

Author *Matthew    August 26, 2016    LocationCa   

Just as I graduated from a professional program, my mother was injured and became disabled and my grandfather suffered a heart attack. Since I was the only family member who had no spouse or children, I helped care for the family for two years. I then had difficulty obtaining employment due to the two year gap.
I reentered the work force (finally!) just before the 2008 recession, but my position was soon eliminated. My income from temp agencies and unemployment was barely enough to pay my monthly bills. My balance of 160,000 climbed to 240,000 as my interest was recapitalized. I was prepared to honor my commitment to repay 160K, but will simply not be able to repay 240K in my remaining work years.

Yvonne    August 26, 2016    Eugene   

He got an education with over $100,000 in loans for an entry level job that paid $52,000 with the expectation of payments over $1,300/month. His housing ($800), transportation ($400), food for him his family (wife and 2 kids) and his dog ($300), mandatory health insurance with $40 copays ($400). He took the dog to a shelter. Had his wages garnished, took the kids out of sports, got a 2nd job and had those wages garnished. He is at a negative monthly income on wages of $2080 before taxes and expenses of $3200. Even without eating and just housing and transportation to and from work he has negative monthly income. HELP!

Sue    August 25, 2016   

I was only 17 with no GED or HSD, I was attending Career Centers of Texas in El Paso (a trade school) as a Medical Assistant. I used to walk to school everyday, one day on school grounds, I fell and sprained my ankle. School authorities were notified, I was taken to the hospital, later had to use a cast. All of a sudden, I receive notification that I have been dropped from school and have been stuck with the loan!! The school no longer exists, they changed it twice, I didn't have a diploma at the time, shouldn't it be forgiven??

Jackie    August 25, 2016    El Paso   

I went to night school at an inexpensive state college to try to better my standard of living. Now, because of corrupt banks supported by lax government I will be paying on student loans into my 70's. If government wants to spur the economy RELIEVE THIS DEBT!

Tracy McMillin    August 25, 2016    Seattle, WA   

I've been trying to pay my student loans off for what seems like forever, sadly there have been times I've been unemployed and couldn't pay. During these times I was screamed at, harrassed, and threatened, everytime my income taxes were taken. That was money I was counting on to help with raising my kids. I'm still not sure when I will actually have them paid off!

Veronica    August 25, 2016   

I went to ball state university after being pushed by my parent in infuential ways that I would not amount to much if I didn't exceed a higher education. I followed this and took on financial aid absolutely not knowing what this even was to get a higher education but literally did not want to go but that's another story. I left ball state 3 years 3 months later with out a degree since I had no clue why I was even there in the first place but I quickly started working a repaying the 5 different loan institutions monthly. After a year of this I was informed of a consolidation program from one of the institutions I was making payers too and proceeded to do so in able to have one monthly payment. Again not really having any clue of interest rates and or adjustable rates I excepted it so I could manage one payment instead of 5. Later my payment went up double and at that time I was doing okay with work so I kept the payment automatically drawn from my bank account for years upon years.. being said when I left ball state I owed little over 27,000 for a little over 3 years of college. I paid it down to just around 18,000 after 6 years and then I had to make move in job positions due to internal corporate changes that hugely effected my income and was unable to make payments at the time and when I started a new position started again but my balance increased greatly in a short period and I felt scamed. Anyways I tried to work with the companies William Stafford which sold my loan to Chase Manhattan and it was a nightmare. They were threatening and uncaring of any situation so I did what I could to keep a place and a car to get to work. Some years passed of this depression thru 2007 and 2008 and Nelnet calls and says they are going to garnish my wages. I agree to have them take over the debt to avoid garnishment and they send me a bill for 450 a month interest only at a balance of just over 35,000 dollars.

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David Parrish    August 25, 2016    now phoenix arizona   
David Parrish    August 25, 2016    now phoenix arizona   

I went to ball state university after being pushed by my parent in infuential ways that I would not amount to much if I didn't exceed a higher education. I followed this and took on financial aid absolutely not knowing what this even was to get a higher education but literally did not want to go but that's another story. I left ball state 3 years 3 months later with out a degree since I had no clue why I was even there in the first place but I quickly started working a repaying the 5 different loan institutions monthly. After a year of this I was informed of a consolidation program from one of the institutions I was making payers too and proceeded to do so in able to have one monthly payment. Again not really having any clue of interest rates and or adjustable rates I excepted it so I could manage one payment instead of 5. Later my payment went up double and at that time I was doing okay with work so I kept the payment automatically drawn from my bank account for years upon years.. being said when I left ball state I owed little over 27,000 for a little over 3 years of college. I paid it down to just around 18,000 after 6 years and then I had to make move in job positions due to internal corporate changes that hugely effected my income and was unable to make payments at the time and when I started a new position started again but my balance increased greatly in a short period and I felt scamed. Anyways I tried to work with the companies William Stafford which sold my loan to Chase Manhattan and it was a nightmare. They were threatening and uncaring of any situation so I did what I could to keep a place and a car to get to work. Some years passed of this depression thru 2007 and 2008 and Nelnet calls and says they are going to garnish my wages. I agree to have them take over the debt to avoid garnishment and they send me a bill for 450 a month interest only at a balance of just over 35,000 dollars. Now with Nelnet cause of a change in company or what not they have increased the balance in just 3 years another 10,000 dollars. So being said I had it paid down to 18,000 and now it's 46,000. Is this the way we are going as people living here in the states? While imagrants go to school free of charge ( I'm not mad at that but kind of confused of our choices ) while middle class American people live in poverty because they took on college courses not aware or taught of this future deviation of debt? I'm on an income based repay and it's the worst thing I can think of every day of my life. I'm 42 and the next 25 years of my life I am told I'll have 15 percent of my income taken from me a month. Hard to live with that. If we can bail out white collar crooks 56 billion and counting while they take those proceeds and head across seas there's something to be said about the priorities of this nation! I'm not sure if this means anything for writing this but I am in hopes it gets to the right people that can make a difference. I'd happily repay my debt but I am going to try every possible way to avoid the scam I am in as of now even if it means leaving the country in means of freedom from this. If there is any advice I'd greatly appreciate it cause the stress is unbareable.. thank you

I'm 34 years old and I'm $32,000 in loan debt with no degree. My loans were taken from me when I was 2 semesters from becoming a Registered Nurse. That was 7 years ago. I've never been able to afford to return and I've been forced to take $9/hr jobs just hating life. I tried to make a better life but it did the opposite.

Cody    August 25, 2016    Georgia   

I went back to school after being hurt at my job of 30 years.b I was accepted to UCLA when I was 50. It took me 8 years, but in 2010 I graduated with my MLIS. I am now working for $15.00 per hour at an elementary school library and I will never be able to repay $80,000. I will have to take early social security next year, and even then, I do not know how I will be able to pay my debt. I would love to have it gorgon due to my employment at a school.

Cara Adams    August 25, 2016    Los Angeles   

I'm a 66 year old retired educator. I served for 37 years in public education, serving students in inner city high poverty communities. To better serve my students, I attended school and earned advanced degrees.
I am requesting that two aspects of the student loan program which were eliminated be re-instituted, they are 1) interest paid on student loans be tax deductible and, 2) without condition, that student loans 10 years or more are completely forgiven.

Elizabeth H.    August 25, 2016    Georgia   

Our generation was told the only option was to go to college. And once we were in undergrad we were told that was like having a high school diploma now, so we had to go on to gradauate school. So after law school, and $200,000 of student loan debt later I find myself trying to pass the nys bar exam while working full time because I cant afford not to work and just study because my loan bills are absurdly high, and once I do get my license to practice law then I wont find a high enough paying job right off the bat for these debts. When I call the federal loan lender they tell me they dont take into account other monthly private loan payments or expenses such as housing or other necessities. They just look at your gross income and decide you can afford what ever they think. They claim this is to make their job easy, or else they would need tax people doing their job...so they just want a simplistic formula that isn't based on real life and don't care that it is drowning student loan borrowers. The system is setup for us to fail...

Hannah Goldsmith    August 25, 2016    Buffalo, NY   

After graduating high school in 1994, I responsibly went to our local community college, Harrisburg Area Community College (aka HACC). I spent 3 years there in which my mom paid cash for my tuition and my dad paid for my books. After receiving my Associates degree, I matriculated to Penn State Harrisburg. It was at this time I started taking out student loans. For most around here, this was typical and no one batted an eye at borrowing money for undergrad. I graduated owing maybe $20,000. But I went on to law school, and since I had remained in my hometown this whole time, living at home and saving living expenses, I decided to go out of state. I went to New York Law School. I was elated to get accepted and so excited to live in NYC. I received a stellar education and awesome living experience. But what I didn't realize upon starting was that I would also need private loans in addition to the federal loans (which mostly covered just my tuition). My dad helped me out by co-signing loans that we were pretty much automatically approved for... at an adjustable rate. I was desperate and wouldn't be able to stay in school without them. Upon finishing law school in 2002 (yes, I lived and went to NYLS during 9/11). I now owed about $80,000 in federal loans and another $30-40,000 in private ADJUSTABLE RATE loans. I moved back to PA, passed the bar less than 1 year later and became a public defender. I could not afford to repay my loans, so I enrolled in graduate school. I figured that I wanted to run for office some day and it would be good to have the public policy degree anyway. So back to PSU HBG I went for a graduate degree in public policy. I left the PD's office to become a sole practitioner, with about $5,000 in start up from my 401k that I took out upon leaving the PD's. I then met my eventual husband in 2007 before I had finished. I remained enrolled until we got married.

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Kelli Statt    August 24, 2016    Hummelstown, PA   
Kelli Statt    August 24, 2016    Hummelstown, PA   

After graduating high school in 1994, I responsibly went to our local community college, Harrisburg Area Community College (aka HACC). I spent 3 years there in which my mom paid cash for my tuition and my dad paid for my books. After receiving my Associates degree, I matriculated to Penn State Harrisburg. It was at this time I started taking out student loans. For most around here, this was typical and no one batted an eye at borrowing money for undergrad. I graduated owing maybe $20,000. But I went on to law school, and since I had remained in my hometown this whole time, living at home and saving living expenses, I decided to go out of state. I went to New York Law School. I was elated to get accepted and so excited to live in NYC. I received a stellar education and awesome living experience. But what I didn't realize upon starting was that I would also need private loans in addition to the federal loans (which mostly covered just my tuition). My dad helped me out by co-signing loans that we were pretty much automatically approved for... at an adjustable rate. I was desperate and wouldn't be able to stay in school without them. Upon finishing law school in 2002 (yes, I lived and went to NYLS during 9/11). I now owed about $80,000 in federal loans and another $30-40,000 in private ADJUSTABLE RATE loans. I moved back to PA, passed the bar less than 1 year later and became a public defender. I could not afford to repay my loans, so I enrolled in graduate school. I figured that I wanted to run for office some day and it would be good to have the public policy degree anyway. So back to PSU HBG I went for a graduate degree in public policy. I left the PD's office to become a sole practitioner, with about $5,000 in start up from my 401k that I took out upon leaving the PD's. I then met my eventual husband in 2007 before I had finished. I remained enrolled until we got married. When we got married I owed approximately $200k. We also had planned on getting pregnant right away because I was already in my 30s. I was never the type of person who thought she would want to stay home with her children, but of course after having my son I was insistent I was going to raise him, especially once we realized he was special... and was eventually diagnosed with autism. So, even though I had planned on going back into a law firm or government setting, I did not. Most of my work was for the PD's office as a "contractor" and I earned less than when I worked there, and without the benefits I now had to pay for. I used all the forbearances and deferments I could on both my federal and private loans, thereby racking up the interest. We now have a daughter too and I still work as a contractor for the PD's office in 2 positions. One as a juvenile court conflict attorney and a Domestic Relations defense attorney. This allowed me to work from home and make my own schedule and raise my kids... especially since we certainly could not afford daycare. Forgot to mention, my husband is a bartender. I love my kids. I love that I can make my schedule to fit our life, especially for all the help our son has needed. He is high functioning but still needed assistance to thrive. I love my job and representing kids who get in trouble. I've done this work since becoming an attorney. But now I owe $300k+ in student loans due to accrued interest and because of the type of work I enjoy doing and the area we live in, I will be paying my loans til the day I die. And they still will not be paid off. There's a lot more to this story, believe it or not. Alot more regarding my private loans and events that took place after getting pregnant that contributed to an increase in my loans. But here we are, a simple family living paycheck to paycheck because a great portion of my income goes to my student loans every month, which puts more stress and responsibility on my husband to pay utilities and such that I cannot contribute to. It's just very tough and it's like there's no end in sight.

I am 70 years old today with many health problems and struggling to pay my school loan from 1999 when I obtained my Bachelor of Science Degree. I don't know much about payment options and Assistance programs. I pay my monthly payment the best I can do each month from my Social Security check. I takes food from the table but I don't want to owe the Federal Government. I have been out of work over an year now and it's very difficult at times.

Greg Mena    August 24, 2016    Location California   

I completed my Masters of Social Work in 2009 and left with 100K in debt. I federally consolidated my loans to be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. The GOVERNMENT has me consolidated at 7.5% and I now owe 147K. I pay almost 1K a month, and it just keeps growing. Hopeful loan forgiveness will actually work, but who knows if the government will hold their promise.

Author *Anya Dubin    August 24, 2016    Oakland   

My bright passionate son cannot go on to Grad School to be a lawyer since cannot payoff student loans and work and stay alive.

Elaine    August 24, 2016    California   

I am a 67 yrs old woman, on social security and am having over $150 per month taken from my check of $970 for a student loan. I find it extremely hard to live on the $820 left when have to fully support myself.

Author *JoAnne Pegg    August 24, 2016    Location Florida   

After committing to finding a better job the university allowed me to sign documents to reach an educational goal. However, it was never disclosed to me how the repayment plan would work and what it would take to repay back student loans. In year 2008 I was ready to go work for a government job. This is when the new government put a freeze on all jobs so I had to wait. The longer I waited for a job opening the less possible it became for me to acquire the job a university academic counselor said I qualified for. I had to take on a job in the private sector that does not use my educational degree and I began to receive letters from companies (loan servicers) that told me I had to repay or get my wages garnished. After few years now my student loans have risen over $75,000 due to interest rates and my ability to not default on loans that could cause further financial hardship. What ever happened to 2.5 % interest rates and lower? My student loans are out of control and my credit score has dropped due to keeping up with my student loans repayment plan.

JJ    August 24, 2016    Phoenix, AZ   

I'm a victim of predatory lending by my own government. 32 years old, $230,000 in government student loan debt, I make $50k a year (my industry average for my experience level) and I've Never been able to make a full monthly payment on my loans... I rent, no one wants to marry into debt, and my credit is screwed... my education was not worth ruining my financial future- I went to college to better myself and got shafted. Thanks Navient! I mean Sallie Mae! I mean Department of Education!

Tarah    August 24, 2016    AZ   

My wife and me have over 200k in students loans, thanks for Puerto Rico board of medicine. Since 2009 nobody pass the PR medical exam. Total corruption, and now we are poors and we a disable kid. This is a disaster.

Noel Espinosa    August 24, 2016    LocationClermont Fl   

Anticipating work and school, I attended UIC with the intent of paying tuition through loans and the money I made from working and some assistance from my mom. From the very start of the semester, my mother was disabled from her preexisting condition of rectal cancer. The affects were hard on us collectively as a family. She was unable to work and or take care of herself. I immediately responded by coming home as frequently as needed to take care of her. This really hit my grades hard being unable to focus on my school work constantly worried and affected logistically by the situation. We were already late on my loan application but this halted all progress toward it. My account was automatically charged and I was unable to pay. While on campus, I left frequently to see about my mom and try to keep her stable. Due to her inability to pay her insurance premium, she wasn't able to receive proper healthcare like continuing chemotherapy or even a simple doctors visit. The finical struggles were unbearable through the end of the semester and I was dismissed from the university as a result of academic struggles from attendance and my inability to pay. I was never able to take out the loans I needed to pay the balance and have been working and supporting my mom ever since. My mother is limited to bed rest and is close to death. I'm 19 and I'm searching for answers on what to do next.

Author *Don P    August 24, 2016    Chicago   

I was three credits from receiving my Graduate Degree from William Paterson University in NJ when I was kicked out of the program for four absences to a class. I was commuting back and forth from Manhattan for work and sometimes it was difficult to get to night class, otherwise I was doing well in my studies. Due to these absences I received a failing grade and was kicked out of the graduate program with no chance to redeem myself. I was one class and a thesis away from completion and did everything in my power to prove to William Paterson that I would never miss another class and desperately wanted to finish the program. Now I am 70,000 dollars in debt without a graduate degree to show for it. The debt I am paying off is worthless and my current job position doesn't even require a college degree but that is all I can find.

Author *Rachael Toye    August 24, 2016    Wayne, NJ   

I had my first career as a Navy wife and mother. When I divorced, I lost my home and home based business. I had to move in order to avoid being stalked by my ex. After a couple of years in retail, I went back to school, ultimately deciding to be a chiropractor. I long ago paid off my pre-med loans but ended up with a total of $250,000 in loans just for chiropractic college. I was led to believe that I would have a good paying career and could comfortably pay that off. From the beginning, the payments were to be well over $1000 per month. Maybe you've heard about the cost of living in Seattle. Commercial rent is higher than apartment rent. Currently, my debt is about $375,000 and payments are deducted from my social security. Really, does any sane person think I can pay this off? I never had any career or debt counseling and have no family to help me. Is there anything I can do?

Author *minnie    August 24, 2016    Seattle   

Parents saved nothing for college, father spent life paying minimum balances, assumed as a teen everyone just took out loans for every single semester of their entire life. graduated right when awesome crash occurred in 08, first job paid 38k, still in debt, hope I die and this worthless college degree and education dies with me.

Author *whatever    August 24, 2016   

I'm a college degree (Biology) graduate with post-graduate education in Chiropractic. I have $300,000 in student loan debt. I never became a Chiropractor. There is absolutely no end in sight for me. Even joining the Peace Corps for 10 years can't help.

Author *Bart    August 23, 2016    Pennsylvania   

Almost 10 years ago, I graduated school as a Physician Assistant with $100,000 student loan debt. Since then, I have diligently paid $850/month, which was the minimum payment. Now I still owe about $80,000. If you do the math, I have paid $100,000 so far and only paid down $20k of my debt.

How is this ok?!

Beth    August 23, 2016    Ohio   

I went to school to better my life and it has only made my life worse. The only debt I have is for school to get a degree I never used due to it being a second rate school, I found this out after I graduated and attempted to get a job as a Medical Assistant. I have paid companies to consolidate my loans only to be scammed. I absolutely regret wasting my money on this education, such a waste.

Author *Rebecca    August 22, 2016    Springfield, Or.   

I fell victim to a student debt relief scam. I got a call last May by a company named Student Loan Relief Department (1-800-279-9319), and spoke to a man named Jubal Thomas (424-488-1929) who told me new legislature passed by the Obama administration made me a candidate to decrease my monthly payment for a small one-time fee. He said my $238,000 outstanding balance with my loan servicer, Great Lakes (https://www.mygreatlakes.org/), would be paid in full, and that my payments would be lowered to $39 a month or so.

I was sent a link to sign a form online, which would expire in a certain timeframe so I was pressured to sign it immediately. I then got a credit alert from a corporation called Equitable Acceptance that said I owed $1330. I had never heard of this sum and did not recall hearing the name of this bank. When I tried logging into my Great Lakes account, my password didn't work. I assumed perhaps they had paid the outstanding balance and I no longer had an account, making Student Loan Relief my new loan servicer. I tried calling Jubal repeatedly to clarify, in vain. He had said I could call him anytime. I left voicemails, never got a call back.

Equitable Acceptable charged me $39, which I thought was my monthly student loan payment. However, Great Lakes then charged me a sum for the month I had never heard of, $59 or so. I finally called the customer service department at Student Loan Relief Department for clarification. I was told that, contrary to what Jubal Thomas told me, Great Lakes was still my loan servicer, my outstanding balance had not been paid in full as he suggested, and that $59 was my new monthly payment with Great Lakes.

I then called Great Lakes, and spoke at length with a security specialist named Jared. He was very helpful and filed a complaint on my behalf. Jubal Thomas had requested my information to access my account with the Department of Education, which I disclosed. Based on what we could see on my account,

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Isabelle    August 21, 2016    California   
Isabelle    August 21, 2016    California   

I fell victim to a student debt relief scam. I got a call last May by a company named Student Loan Relief Department (1-800-279-9319), and spoke to a man named Jubal Thomas (424-488-1929) who told me new legislature passed by the Obama administration made me a candidate to decrease my monthly payment for a small one-time fee. He said my $238,000 outstanding balance with my loan servicer, Great Lakes (https://www.mygreatlakes.org/), would be paid in full, and that my payments would be lowered to $39 a month or so.

I was sent a link to sign a form online, which would expire in a certain timeframe so I was pressured to sign it immediately. I then got a credit alert from a corporation called Equitable Acceptance that said I owed $1330. I had never heard of this sum and did not recall hearing the name of this bank. When I tried logging into my Great Lakes account, my password didn't work. I assumed perhaps they had paid the outstanding balance and I no longer had an account, making Student Loan Relief my new loan servicer. I tried calling Jubal repeatedly to clarify, in vain. He had said I could call him anytime. I left voicemails, never got a call back.

Equitable Acceptable charged me $39, which I thought was my monthly student loan payment. However, Great Lakes then charged me a sum for the month I had never heard of, $59 or so. I finally called the customer service department at Student Loan Relief Department for clarification. I was told that, contrary to what Jubal Thomas told me, Great Lakes was still my loan servicer, my outstanding balance had not been paid in full as he suggested, and that $59 was my new monthly payment with Great Lakes.

I then called Great Lakes, and spoke at length with a security specialist named Jared. He was very helpful and filed a complaint on my behalf. Jubal Thomas had requested my information to access my account with the Department of Education, which I disclosed. Based on what we could see on my account, they had not only changed my password to login, but they had frankly falsified information. They listed my email address as one I had never heard of, pvassef@numailnow.com, which means I personally was no longer receiving any communications from my loan servicer. Jared informed me that, in order to lower my payment to $59 a month, they renewed my income-based repayment plan by claiming I had 4 children. I have zero children.

Jubal had lowered my monthly payment by lying to the government. When I asked him what my new interest rate would be, he did not answer directly. In addition to $39 monthly that I owe to this new bank Equitable Acceptance, with an outstanding balance of $1315. After creating an account with Equitable Acceptance at https://www.equitableacceptance.com/, I was able to find that my initial balance was $1330.86, with $23.80 of accrued interest already. Therefore, instead of helping me pay off my student debt, this company created a new debt with interest. I must have given them my credit card information because they had started to charge me $39 monthly. I effectively got charged $1330, with interest, to have someone lie to the government and report I had 4 children.

Student Loan Relief Department and Equitable Acceptance Corporation must be shut down. This is fraud. There is no new student debt relief legislation. I was misled and systematically lied to. I called Student Loan Relief Department at 310-750-2088, spoke to supervisor Jamie Miller. Jamie Miller said all calls were recorded. I asked if I could obtain the recording of my initial call with Jubal Thomas, which was made sometime in mid-June 2016. She said this was not possible. After hearing I was upset at having been lied to and scammed, she literally hung up the phone on me.

I cannot handle any more debt. I am almost 35, in a quarter million dollar of debt, single, overworked and burned out. Please help.

I came from the Dominican Republic with the hope of going to college and help my parents. Both of my parents are sick and one is not even in the States. How am I going to pay back when I can't find a job?

Author *Cristhopher R Guzmán    August 21, 2016    Alfred, NY   

I am a single mother and have 30,000 in debt for student loans and yet I still can't afford to finish my degree

Author *Tanya    August 21, 2016    New york   

Took five years to complete my four year Bs degree. My parents were only able to put me through for 2 years and then I had no choice but take out loans to finish. Every semester tuition was raised by at least 500$ and available loan amounts decreased. I had a baby my last semester, finished and walked when he was 8 months. Left with a Bs and 15000 in debt to "begin creating a life for myself and my son". Jobs in my field are difficult to come by and my degree isn't even close to paying for itself and as I try to also provide for my son. It gets in the way of buying a house or even trying to get a reliable car. So far it has held me back a great deal.

Cortney    August 20, 2016    Sacramento   

In December of 2015 i was contacted by "Strategic Credit Solution" claiming the can assist me to reduce or forgive my student loan debt, so long as I enroll in the 24 month program. And sure enough to good to be true. I made payments in the beginning by I did not receive monthly updates on my case which worried me. Long story short i'm out about $900 dollars that I paid into the program for up to three months or so. Florida Is a State the preys upon hard working people with little pay and high rent here in Miami-Dade County Florida. And the Florida legislature does nothing but turn blind I because of lazyness and lobby money.

Author *Francisco Ramos    August 20, 2016    LocationMiami, FL   

I had a suicide attempt when I was in college, after a 3.75 GPA. After I got out of ICU, I acted like I was fine and went back to school 9 days later. Failed all of my courses so I asked to drop the semester. They agreed I could, but said that I couldn't have a lower GPA than 3.00 and I was fine with that. Then my father died. My mom, for more reasons than I can get into, couldn't handle her life, and I was a mess anyway so I dropped out. Went into therapy after having a panic attack at my job, and got on disability. I want to go back to school, but I can't because I can't borrow money to do so and I guess don't qualify for any free tuition. I'm really good at photography by bad at the business end and can't afford the lenses I need. That loan has ruined my life.

Stephani    August 20, 2016    Bridgeport, OH   

I had to drop out because of a pregnancy but it was too late into the year to drop classes I had an abortion and was unable to keep going to classes.

Derria    August 19, 2016    Capitol heights   

My husband and l have both went to school but now we are worse then we where before school. Then anytime we look into help they always seem to want $400 up front if I could pay that I would not need help.

Jennifer Moore    August 19, 2016    Council Bluffs, Iowa   

I chose to go back to school after I lost my second child, I wanted a better life for my son and myself. Being a single mother living paycheck to paycheck is tough. I'm over 20,000 in debt, and I'm sinking more and more, sometimes I just want to give up.

Desirae    August 19, 2016    El Paso, TX   

After not being able to complete my degree with a handful of credits remaining I was forced to withdraw.

As a result I have no hope for a family, to travel, or continue my education.

If I can spare just one other person this misery, then it will have been worth it.

Adam    August 18, 2016    Maryland   

I was an orphan/ ward of the court. My aunt and uncle were my guardians. I chose to go to school. Received some pell grants, but received some bad advice from my guardians to "take whatever I could get". Meaning loans. I was not schooled in the area of finances as a teenager. I was just concerned about surviving my youth and going to college to better my future. I took out $20,000 in loans in the early 1990's. I graduated and started to pay them back. I got married and ended up in a bad marriage. Divorced and filed bankruptcy. During those years I put my loans in deferment. I got my self back on track and started making more money and eventually married and have a stable marriage and children. However, for the last 19 years I have been paying this loan, most if not all going to interest. I still owe $36K, yet I have paid about $34K over the years in total. I have adjusted my payments to income driven, extended plan, etc, but have always paid something each month. I cannot get a lower interest rate. I now will be paying for my son to go to college and still paying my loans. I know I made mistakes, but I have literally paid this stupid loan off technically, but not making any leeway at all. I will pay this until I die. I was not given good advice as a kid ( not anyone's fault) but I didn't realize all this until it was too late.

Author *Julie B    August 18, 2016    Florida   

Hard to believe that I borrowed $14,000 that is now $98,000. Others come to this country having never paid for education because it was free in their country and are getting paid our salaries with no debts. We loose for being educated here in the US if we need to borrow so much. Others succeed while we live in poverty and will not collect our SS retirement. We discourage talented students as they fear such debt

Daisy Berman    August 18, 2016    Florida   

I'm 70 years old and I will pay for the rest of my life my daughters student loan, from my social security check.

Author *Mario    August 18, 2016    LocationEl Paso, TX   

My student debt that started around $52,000 in 2002 has been sold to debt buying companies several times. They buy the debt for pennies on the dollar, charge you a ton of interest on the amount the debt was, garnish your wages and take your tax returns for years till they make a killing then sell it to another company that does the same. 15% of my pay every pay check has been going to these sharks and my debt has never gone down. Each time it's sold the company that buys it adds on thousands of dollars in interest. It is now up to $78,000. The dream I was sold of getting a college education and a career I love, the American Dream, has been nothing but a way for predators to make money. Even if I could afford a car or house the amount of interest I would have to pay would be insane as this has destroyed my credit. It's all such a scam! My degree hasn't helped me at all.

Chris    August 18, 2016    Iowa   

My wife and I both have a combined student loan debt of around $123,000. This amount grows every month since we cant pay the minimum payment of all the loans. We have 4 kids and 3 of them are in daycare at this time. Daycare cost take up most of our paychecks along with all the other expenses in life. We both work full-time jobs and I work an additional 2 part-time jobs in order to try and pay the bills. Most of the days during the week I only see my kids for a good hour or so in the morning before they go off to school. We have tried all the options for reducing our student loan payments and there really is nothing out there for us. When I look to the future I still see myself working and paying student loans.

Erik J    August 18, 2016    Lake In The Hills   

My husband and I are both passionate activists and would love to work full time within the community to help create real social and economic change. Alas, we are both strapped with a combined nearly $100k mound of student loan debt (we both received our bachelor degrees from public universities). This has prevented us from finding jobs we love (vs. just jobs that just pay the bills), saving for retirement, and simply enjoying the world.

Alexandra    August 18, 2016    Rhode Island   

I graduated with a 4 year degree in business @ 68K in debt. I cant get a job making near that annually! Plus every year I keep deferring my loans because I have a mortgage and 3 dependents... Im literally going backwards and dont see how I'll ever get this paid off!

Andrew    August 18, 2016    Texas   

Ran out of money to continue schooling two years into a four year degree and had to drop out. Now what loans I did have to take out are piling up.

Christopher    August 16, 2016   

I am a Widowed mother of 3. I went back to school to try and better our lives. Instead, I have a degree I cannot use because the field is locked down (medical assisting) and an insurmountable debt. My taxes are taken every year. I fall further and further behind every day. We live in a tent.

Amber    August 15, 2016    Texas   

My wife and I have been married 3 years and she desperately wants kids. But paying out 350 a month to pay off my 45k in loans has shattered our dreams of family. We both work but it's not enough. I've paid my loans since 2004 and I'm not getting ahead.

James    August 15, 2016    Erie   

After helping EMT's revive a construction worker outside my house I decided to go to EMT school I graduated however I can't get a job with my certification. I am now a volunteer firefighter and a touring musician playing guitar I owe less than $5,000 but every time I make a payment the interest replaces it. It seems no matter how much I try it will never get paid.

Tyler    August 13, 2016    Murfreesboro Tennessee   

I went to school to better myself for my two daughters. And not just be a bartender. To make a difference. I chose nursing. Now I owe 56,000 of only 26,000 I borrowed. I continually pay and get no where. They don't go down every month they get higher every month. I owe the government the rest of my life.

Author *sarah    August 11, 2016    Ocala,fl   

My name is Andrew, and I, like many other Americans, am in astronomical student debt. Sometimes I blame my parents, sometimes I blame myself for having a dream, but in the end, the fact is I...owe...money.

My story starts at Appalachian State University, an in-state public university in North Carolina, where I am from. I was a student there from 2006-2008, freshman and sophomore year. I had no clue of how to immerse myself in the conformity of listening to biology and psychology professors babble on and on. I attended class regularly, but while I sat there,my mind drifted elsewhere. I always dreamt of being on stage and/or screen. Oh yes, I'm an actor, I apologize I forgot to mention that. So, that was on my mind. And granted, App State has solid theatre teaching...but it just wasn't enough. I wanted more. I wanted to learn from the best. So, the summer after my freshman year I decided to research and apply (why not? I'm young and have a dream) to The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. Now, my parents knew the expense of this, but they also saw on my face that I wanted it. I wanted to be the best actor, period. So what did they do? My dad making 80k a year and my mom, a college drop-out making idk, 30k? Well they obviously had to take out a PRIVATE loan for their son attending a private ACTING conservatory program. The amount taken out was $33,000. And my 76 year old grandmother decided to be CO-SIGNER. Now let's just think about this for a moment.

Questions that would normally arise at this point would be 1. What actual degree will he receive from this "academy"? and 2. Who again is the co-signer? A dreadful third question would inevitably "What is the expected income of the person taking out the loan?"

keep in mind, the 33,000 was only for one year out of the two years....and is everyone ready for the slammer?? These loans which were taken out in 2008-2009 were PRIVATE LOANS TRUST from guess who...Sallie Mae (now called Navient,

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Andrew Parcell    August 11, 2016    Philadelphia   
Andrew Parcell    August 11, 2016    Philadelphia   

My name is Andrew, and I, like many other Americans, am in astronomical student debt. Sometimes I blame my parents, sometimes I blame myself for having a dream, but in the end, the fact is I...owe...money.

My story starts at Appalachian State University, an in-state public university in North Carolina, where I am from. I was a student there from 2006-2008, freshman and sophomore year. I had no clue of how to immerse myself in the conformity of listening to biology and psychology professors babble on and on. I attended class regularly, but while I sat there,my mind drifted elsewhere. I always dreamt of being on stage and/or screen. Oh yes, I'm an actor, I apologize I forgot to mention that. So, that was on my mind. And granted, App State has solid theatre teaching...but it just wasn't enough. I wanted more. I wanted to learn from the best. So, the summer after my freshman year I decided to research and apply (why not? I'm young and have a dream) to The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. Now, my parents knew the expense of this, but they also saw on my face that I wanted it. I wanted to be the best actor, period. So what did they do? My dad making 80k a year and my mom, a college drop-out making idk, 30k? Well they obviously had to take out a PRIVATE loan for their son attending a private ACTING conservatory program. The amount taken out was $33,000. And my 76 year old grandmother decided to be CO-SIGNER. Now let's just think about this for a moment.

Questions that would normally arise at this point would be 1. What actual degree will he receive from this "academy"? and 2. Who again is the co-signer? A dreadful third question would inevitably "What is the expected income of the person taking out the loan?"

keep in mind, the 33,000 was only for one year out of the two years....and is everyone ready for the slammer?? These loans which were taken out in 2008-2009 were PRIVATE LOANS TRUST from guess who...Sallie Mae (now called Navient, why...hmmm) I graduated that program in 2010 with my head held high. In my mind, I had moved from my tiny town in rural North Carolina, took a risk, and graduated from a prestigious acting school. Look it up, AADA has a very reputable background. I wasn't playing when I said I wanted the best training. But at what cost, dear citizens of the United States, at what cost?

I worked at this local factory in my home town, Winston-Salem, and actually loved my time there. Decent pay with decent breaks. October, 2010, I receive my first bill from Sallie Mae...care to know the amount due? $495.00.....and we're talking just for October. And what did I do? I paid it! I was living with my parents in the house I grew up in, and I paid it. Now here is the amazing thing. I paid this amount, but ANY and I am willing to bet my savings account on this (ha!), any young adult, recently out of college, would look at me and say "Jesus that's a lot of money to pay in one month. I pay around$35!!) And here-in lies the student-debt problem.........

For true information to my viewers, I only paid two of those monthly payments. Oh, and when the loan was taken out, the interest rate? 10%....ten percent. I'm sorry I have to type this again so it's clear...ten percent.

Let's fast forward to 2016..... I went back to school to finally attain my bachelor's degree in communication disorders. Why? Because I have this gigantic loan, which is private keep in mind, and being an actor who "may" book this project or that, simply cannot make enough income for that kind of deal. I love helping people and come from a line of therapists, so I decided to take that route. Presently, My private loan, which I (my parents) took out in 2008, has raised from 33,000 to 60,000 in 8 years, with the interest rate now at $900?? Now you tell me...what kind of government would allow this to happen?

To the readers here, my belief...the U.S. government should never allow PRIVATE STUDENT LOANS to be taken out for anyone who's future income is a GUARANTEE of at least 50,000 dollars a year. I have suffered this student debt crisis for almost a decade now. I'm 28, and I wish to be debt free. But hey, right now, it looks like it will never happen. The government/education system MUST SET qualifications for these astronomical private loans to be accepted! No more middle-class families co-signing because they "believe" in their child/grandchild/niece/nephew. Have complete financial background check on the family and co-signer, period!

America, the land opportunity and dreams? Now, unfortunately we have to ask this question....."Oh yes, in America you can be anything....but at what cost?"

Andrew
Philadelphia, PA

I attended a technical college with a 9 month program. At the end of my program I was told that I will be assisted in finding a job. I've had no help what so ever, and I've been doing my very best to find one. I took the Medical Assistant program, one of the simplest programs and "starting careers" there are. I shamefully say almost a year after graduating I am currently serving tables struggling to get by with a student loan of over $9,000.

Brandon Vela    August 10, 2016    Port Isabel   

I'm single mother that in debt for making sure my son got a education. My son did finish college but I'm in debt for 89,000 I will not be able to paid the money back I have not work a job in two years and I receive food stamps and medical. I need help finding employment. I do not see this debt being paid off so, I don't won't this to be held over head for a life time. These student debt programs are not here to help you. I'm person that is poor without income will never be able to paid off debt of 89,000. So that my story .

Author *Denise Ripley    August 4, 2016    Location -Philadelphia   

I underwrote some of my daughter's college debt. I've been sending $160 a month for over 12 years now. The balance never even seems to go down and I'll be carrying it into my retirement.
She went to a college, which in 1970 was free to CA citizens. She worked full time to otherwise support herself and finished her BA in 3 years, her BS in 4. She too, will never be debt free. I've managed to get a modification on my mortgage, to a 40 year loan! So, I can afford that student debt payment and the home will be paid off when I'm 102 years old. This is the nature of debt, we become life-long slaves to it.

Tim Williams    August 3, 2016    California   

Three years ago I was granted with an opportunity of attending a private school. All was well, school was great I was studying something I was passioniate about and the private school environment is a lot better for me. I would have a BA in under 2 years which was great, but the price not so much. I attended school for about 2 and half months. During that time I became very very Ill and was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. I was in and out of the hospital during the 2-3 months with extreme pain upwards of 2 weeks at a time. I ended up taking medical leave and was told that I can return at any time. But I was young and soon after I was better I wanted to work, I wanted money and I wanted it now. I starting working retail (still am) and I am now 3 years later thinking about going back. The only problem is DEBT! The biggest question I have about it is (and i think everyone should think about this even lenders). Why do I need to pay back debt for a degree I DO NOT have. To this day I dont understand It. I never used the full amount I never got my degree why do i still have to pay this debt seriously it doesnt make any sense. Like what if you starting renting something from like "rent a center" and the totel price of the item is 2,000 but you used or had that item for 2 months. You decided you couldnt afford to pay it anymore and returned it. What if you still had to pay the actual price of the item ? Doesnt make any sense at all. My credit is ruined because of something I apparently owe but never got my degree?!?? Not my fault I got sick.

Darnell    July 31, 2016    CA   

Like millions of other people, my husband and I took out student loans to go to school to make a better life for ourselves. I took about $18,000 for an undergraduate (in-state local college) and then another $40k+ for a graduate degree (online). I graduated in 2006. My husband only received an Associates Degree, but his 2-year degree was roughly the same expense as my master's because he got it from a two year technical school.
We struggled to make ends meet because even with our degrees, our jobs didn't pay well. My husband got a huge promotion at work, and things were looking up, but they required us to move. I lost my job because of the transition, but knew I would be able to find work. I did eventually find work, but around that same time, my husband got critically ill. He landed in the hospital and ended up not being able to work for nearly a year. We stayed on top of our regular bills (rent, food, utilities), living frugally. We had one son, and we found out we were pregnant again (I'm not supposed to be able to get pregnant). It was a scary time for us!
Luckily, he got cleared to return to work and we were both making decent wages (nothing major). We had deferment/forbearance, but the interest just kept adding up more and more and more. Eventually, the calls and emails and letters just became too much. We were paying, but not what they wanted. No one was interested in working with us because we couldn't settle or pay the high amounts they wanted. We rented a house. We only had one car between the two of us. We weren't living a life of luxury by any means. We had no other debt. No credit cards -- nothing! We paid all our bills -- all of them. The only exception was the student loans.
By 2011, we had enough. The threats were horrible. So, we did the only thing we could think to do. We filed for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

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Jessica    July 30, 2016    TN   
Jessica    July 30, 2016    TN   

Like millions of other people, my husband and I took out student loans to go to school to make a better life for ourselves. I took about $18,000 for an undergraduate (in-state local college) and then another $40k+ for a graduate degree (online). I graduated in 2006. My husband only received an Associates Degree, but his 2-year degree was roughly the same expense as my master's because he got it from a two year technical school.
We struggled to make ends meet because even with our degrees, our jobs didn't pay well. My husband got a huge promotion at work, and things were looking up, but they required us to move. I lost my job because of the transition, but knew I would be able to find work. I did eventually find work, but around that same time, my husband got critically ill. He landed in the hospital and ended up not being able to work for nearly a year. We stayed on top of our regular bills (rent, food, utilities), living frugally. We had one son, and we found out we were pregnant again (I'm not supposed to be able to get pregnant). It was a scary time for us!
Luckily, he got cleared to return to work and we were both making decent wages (nothing major). We had deferment/forbearance, but the interest just kept adding up more and more and more. Eventually, the calls and emails and letters just became too much. We were paying, but not what they wanted. No one was interested in working with us because we couldn't settle or pay the high amounts they wanted. We rented a house. We only had one car between the two of us. We weren't living a life of luxury by any means. We had no other debt. No credit cards -- nothing! We paid all our bills -- all of them. The only exception was the student loans.
By 2011, we had enough. The threats were horrible. So, we did the only thing we could think to do. We filed for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. We knew the debt wasn't dischargeable, but we could atleast breathe a breath of fresh air about who our next phone call would be from. The courts had claims of $93,000, which we did not dispute. We were required to pay approximately $675 ever two weeks, and we did. After five years, $89,000 was paid off, and we were responsible for the remaining balance. We knew this. My husband paid an additional $2,000 immediately (we had set this aside from overtime that we had earned over that 5 years), and his debt was gone -- he has it in writing.
I, however, am having a huge problem.
I had four loans through Sallie Mae. Before filing bankruptcy, one of those loans had been "sold" to ECMC. It was approximately $10,000. ECMC made this claim in the bankrupcty. We paid all but roughly $800 of it through the court system. Sallie Mae claimed the other $37,000. We paid roughly $36k of it through the trustee. Less than a week after receiving my discharge letter, ECMC is calling me claiming I owe them over $55,000!!! ALL of the loans were from Sallie Mae. I'm fighting it tooth and nail and working with my bankruptcy lawyer, but ECMC is not recognizing any error on their part. Even though I can prove the loans came from Sallie Mae and when and how much we paid directly to Sallie Mae, they insist the debt is legitimate and I "must have had more loans than I thought." The $55k is the original $10k loan + the three additional loans from Sallie Mae + interest and collection fees for 5 years. Five long years I've spent paying on this loan.
According to my lawyer this happens all the time. They told me I would have been better off not paying for the car or my credit card debt or my hospital bills because all of those could have been written off in Chapter 7, but student loan companies are horrible to deal with or get anything fixed. They aren't even willing to listen to my dispute, even when it's put in writing. Sallie Mae, in the meantime, got paid twice for my debt while I slave away never to be able to purchase a house or new car or do more than provide the basics for my family, at best. I'll be stuck paying a debt I've already paid, and then some, all because someone screwed up. It's not like I didn't want to pay my debt back -- I'm a honest person. But all they care about is $$$$$$$$$.

I'm an older American who did not have the opportunity to go to school when I was younger due to limited financial resources and the strain of trying to raise a family and a failed marriage. About 10 years ago when I lost a good job in IT due to the failing economy I was unable to get another IT job because I had no verifiable education, either a degree or certifications. I took a low-paying job just to pay my basic bills and I had to rely on student loans in order to cover school expenses. Eventually I was not able to handle both the full-time job and full-time school and I had to drop out of school without completing a degree. I am now saddled with crushing student debt that has made my financial life even more difficult than it was 10 years ago. The interest (why do these loans have interest) on these loans alone is unbelievably expensive. Another thing I find incredible is the high cost of education. It amazes me that a course can cost hundreds of dollars per credit hour and a book for the course can also cost hundreds of dollars. Something is wrong with this system. Why is this happening in America? Why are the ideals of Jefferson perverted into this depressing and greedy abuse of people who only want to get ahead?
Glen

Glen Moulder    July 30, 2016    Boynton Beach   

I am a senior citizen who went back to school to improve my earning capability. I was never able to get a job in my chosen field (education) due to the economic crisis, even though I have a professional teaching credential. I am now past the age (72) where I can work full time and have never earned enough to make the payments on my student loans. My mother died, I lost my home (equity was to pay off my loans), so have no resources to pay with now. I originally only borrowed less than $20K and now my debt is over $100K. I pray every day for some solution to this problem but it is very stressful and is affecting my health. I have recently been diagnosed with a heart problem which will eventually prevent me from working at all. I appreciate any assistance I can get. Thank you.

Author * Mary Wild    July 30, 2016    LocationAngwin, CA   

I graduated from my undergraduate university in December 2008, at the start of the Great Recession. Faced with little to no job prospects, I kept my college job and stretched my wages to make a life. Over the course of the next year and a half, prospects did not increase and facing a job market inundated with highly skilled workers, I decided to go back to graduate school. I chose a program focused on community development, with an emphasis on professional skill building. I took out several loans to pay for school. I graduated in 2013 with a Masters degree. I am grateful that I had the option to take out loans and go back to school to build my skill set. That being said, at an interest rate of 6.8%, in addition to wage stagnation, paying back the nearly $40,000 I owe is a huge debt burden. Despite making regular, bi-weekly payments, I am ineligible for a lower interest rate through my loan administrator because I am ahead on my payments. I believe that all students who pay the 6.8% interest rate should have the option to refinance to the current lower rate. I am proud that I have made paying back my debt a priority and I'm lucky to have had circumstances that make that possible. Not everyone is as lucky. In a country where someone can purchase a home at a 3.5-4% mortgage rate, it should be possible for students to invest in themselves, their education, and contribute towards their country's prosperity without being shackled to student debt burdens that are not aligned with today's economic realities.

Jessica    July 29, 2016    Santa Cruz   

In 2003, I began coursework for a Master's Degree in Teaching. I had a B.A. in Sociology, a B.S.S.W in Social Work, and a strong liberal arts background. I was in my late forties, and had mostly raised our two daughters rather than work at low paying jobs and paying for childcare. My choice to get this "alternative" degree was to find a way to not only teach, but also to earn money to help our family out. My husband was a . I was never able to help my eldest go to college, and she ended up using scholarships, three jobs, and student loans to get her teaching degree. I am glad she was never rooked. I hope my second daughter will someday be able to go to college, too, but she will have to borrow money, since I cannot help her. And that is the ultimate insult.college professor making a low salary, and we wanted to help our children be able to go to college, and to be able to pay for their insurance. Secretary Clinton got our children into the Louisiana form of CHIP, and it was a gift to us. The university for which my husband worked did not have insurance that was affordable for children. I was covered, as was my husband, but his salary was so low that we could not afford healthcare for the girls. When I started the program, I was told that I would not have difficulty finding a job after I finished. Most of the people in the program were already teachers, or had the most desirable of backgrounds, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, or STEM. People that came from the private sector into this program would have no difficulty getting a teaching job after they finished this program, because of the presidential mandate that we increase national excellence in STEM. I was never told that my age, my unemployment status, and my previous education would be a huge deterrent to getting a job. In addition, I had a disability, narcolepsy, that made it more challenging for me to do all the expected courses,

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Ann M. Flynt, M.A.T.    July 29, 2016    Jackson, TN   
Ann M. Flynt, M.A.T.    July 29, 2016    Jackson, TN   

In 2003, I began coursework for a Master's Degree in Teaching. I had a B.A. in Sociology, a B.S.S.W in Social Work, and a strong liberal arts background. I was in my late forties, and had mostly raised our two daughters rather than work at low paying jobs and paying for childcare. My choice to get this "alternative" degree was to find a way to not only teach, but also to earn money to help our family out. My husband was a . I was never able to help my eldest go to college, and she ended up using scholarships, three jobs, and student loans to get her teaching degree. I am glad she was never rooked. I hope my second daughter will someday be able to go to college, too, but she will have to borrow money, since I cannot help her. And that is the ultimate insult.college professor making a low salary, and we wanted to help our children be able to go to college, and to be able to pay for their insurance. Secretary Clinton got our children into the Louisiana form of CHIP, and it was a gift to us. The university for which my husband worked did not have insurance that was affordable for children. I was covered, as was my husband, but his salary was so low that we could not afford healthcare for the girls. When I started the program, I was told that I would not have difficulty finding a job after I finished. Most of the people in the program were already teachers, or had the most desirable of backgrounds, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, or STEM. People that came from the private sector into this program would have no difficulty getting a teaching job after they finished this program, because of the presidential mandate that we increase national excellence in STEM. I was never told that my age, my unemployment status, and my previous education would be a huge deterrent to getting a job. In addition, I had a disability, narcolepsy, that made it more challenging for me to do all the expected courses, as most of the courses were at night. During my time as a student, Louisiana suffered the extreme wrath of both Hurricanes Katrina, and then Rita, which devastated the entire coast, and in the case of Rita, took all that we had, except for a few items that we took with us as we fled the storm. The university I was attending was taken over by the federal government, and many of us had to postpone our student teaching and other work. So, all of this, coupled with the continuing need to borrow monies to pay for this program, the horrible effects of a terrible hurricane, and the near death of all of my immediate family in a tornado that was one of the ghastly experiences we had on one terrible night during the height of the storm, and the postponement of my student teaching, meant I was unable to complete my program until 2007. I should note that the university I was attending had a very poor record of helping student with disabilities, and I was given little assistance in that area. Also, the "advisor" I had was unavailable for most of the time, and believed that people in my age group had no right to pursue a master's degree in teaching. Despite all this, my hard work resulted in my graduating with a master of arts in teaching, and with a solid 3.90 average. I was hopeful I would be able to get a job right away. I was told by a number of principals that there was a huge need for teachers, and with my social work background, I would be a highly desired candidate for a job. But, the only job I was offered was at a local school that was pulling itself together after Hurricane Rita, and I could not accept it because I had no place to live. The rented properties in Lake Charles were mostly gone, and the few that remained were very expensive. We had NO money to purchase a house. We ended up relocating to Tennessee in 2007, and I hoped to find full-time teaching there. Always, there was hope. And yet, I could not find full-time work that would make a dent in the monies I owed for my education. I have had to ask for forbearance and deferments for many years now. If I could pay off my student loans in full today, the amount would be over $106,000.00. I have been unable to find full-time work, and the only two jobs that were full-time were late hires at schools with little chance for me to keep on top of all I was expected to do despite working seven days a week to catch up. In the public school systems where I have taught, there are no real unions. There are pay scales that are mandated for each level of education and time in teaching. Since I have a master's degree and later acquired a certificate in special education, again, borrowing more money to make myself marketable, and also because I am now 56, the assumption by those that are hiring is that I will be too expensive, and that I am a retired teacher. Clearly, there are people in our country that are clueless about the need for educators that are hiring teachers to look beyond the degrees and not make assumptions. I regret having borrowed any money to go back to school. I had paid off any monies I borrowed during my earlier college experiences, and I believe there are universities that are not honest with those of us seeking degrees that will add to our educational system. We need teachers that have experience in a variety of areas, and I believe that I was rooked by a system that wants to draw students in, have them borrow a fortune, and then blame the student for not getting a job. I am grateful for IBR, but I am very sad, and angry that I have this amount of money that I borrowed that I will never be able to pay back. . I was never able to help my eldest go to college, and she ended up using scholarships, three jobs, and student loans to get her teaching degree. I am glad she was never rooked. I hope my second daughter will someday be able to go to college, too, but she will have to borrow money, since I cannot help her. And that costs me more than anything.

My daughter graduated from a private 4 year art college. On portfolio day, it was expressed to us that she needed to have a degree from one of the private art colleges to get a job at a major company such as Nike, etc... I was not afforded the luxury (is it a right or a privilege?) to go to college so I wanted to do everything in my power to send my daughter to college and got sucked into the "business" of it all. My daughter graduated in 2013, 6 figures in debt and that debt grows every year because we can only make monthly payments based in our income so the principal grows every year. I can't buy a home because I co-signed the bulk of the loans, my daughter is working (3 jobs) but not getting paid enough to get ahead. I don't see how we can get out from under this debt. I look back now and wish we had made different decisions on which college she should attend, we would be better off financially and she would have the same job(s) as she does now. But as mentioned, we got sucked in, we didn't realize until it's too late that colleges are businesses, their only goal is to get attendance, charge as much as possible and tell you to apply for student loans to pay for their over priced services.

Susan P    July 29, 2016    manahawkin   

I was encouraged to go to private school due to it being a better education but I quickly amassed 6 figures of debt with only 5 years of university education for a major/degree in Social Work that did not pay well. I wish there could be some government subsidizing of all higher learning instituations, not just public. Also I wish college costs could be tied to how much income potential a particular degree or field should pay. Lastly, special United States low interest rates and certain privileges or procedures for all student loans should be enacted to make payback more convenient so that millions can get on with their lives and start contributing to our great nation in a major financial way sooner. Thank you for all you do to make a difference and all that you have done that has made a difference so far. Have a great week!

Tim Brown    July 28, 2016    Kansas City   

Going to college for me was the best time of my life in order to get a better education. During the time of acquiring my college degree the Finance Departments at the schools only had me sign the document to continue without worrying about what was needed to be paid. At the end of receiving my degree I also received invoices or bills for the student loans that I received from more than two loan servicers. There was no disclosure at the time of receiving the funds and now the Finance Departments are no longer interested in letting me know where the amount of over $75000 was spent and also do not offer any consultation on what can be done now that I am in too high debt with a college degree that I cannot use.

JJ Pedrosa    July 28, 2016    Phoenix, AZ   

My family is one that expects you to further your education. Today, more than ever, it is a requirement to advance yourself out of the mess that is poverty. I saw the job postings. Data entry paying $12 per hour--Bachelor's Degree required. We have reached a time where a high school education does not prepare you for a career. The best you can hope for is one of the dwindling number of $12-$15 per hour manufacturing job still left. Nevermind that, even if you find one, you'll likely be hired through a contract house so you can be released at any time for any or no reason while getting no benefits.

Today's job market requires an education beyond high school as our local districts simply don't have the resources to teach real job skills any more. Off I went to college to obtain my Bachelor's degree. A degree that, today, has been watered down in value by these fly-by-night for-profit "educational" institutions. I fell into that middle-ground that makes for the perfect storm of student loan debt accumulation. My parents made about $80,000 per year. This is too much to receive any need-based assistance but only enough extra to cover maybe some supplies or food every now and then. I come home from school every weekend to work as many hours as I can scrounge together. My college town is flooded with students and nowhere near enough jobs. I can't find anything near school.

Two years in, accumulating loans, my father passed away. Now we're in a real bind. I finally found a found near school and work as close to full-time as possible. Picking up shifts all the time, working a second job every summer. The loans continue to pile on as I remind myself that this is the only way I'm going to have a chance to make it in this modern era. I have to take the debt burden. I'm smart, but not smart enough to get the scholarships. My family is under financial strain, but not enough to get need-based aid.

Fast forward to 2008.

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Chris Savelle    July 28, 2016    Troy, Michigan   
Chris Savelle    July 28, 2016    Troy, Michigan   

My family is one that expects you to further your education. Today, more than ever, it is a requirement to advance yourself out of the mess that is poverty. I saw the job postings. Data entry paying $12 per hour--Bachelor's Degree required. We have reached a time where a high school education does not prepare you for a career. The best you can hope for is one of the dwindling number of $12-$15 per hour manufacturing job still left. Nevermind that, even if you find one, you'll likely be hired through a contract house so you can be released at any time for any or no reason while getting no benefits.

Today's job market requires an education beyond high school as our local districts simply don't have the resources to teach real job skills any more. Off I went to college to obtain my Bachelor's degree. A degree that, today, has been watered down in value by these fly-by-night for-profit "educational" institutions. I fell into that middle-ground that makes for the perfect storm of student loan debt accumulation. My parents made about $80,000 per year. This is too much to receive any need-based assistance but only enough extra to cover maybe some supplies or food every now and then. I come home from school every weekend to work as many hours as I can scrounge together. My college town is flooded with students and nowhere near enough jobs. I can't find anything near school.

Two years in, accumulating loans, my father passed away. Now we're in a real bind. I finally found a found near school and work as close to full-time as possible. Picking up shifts all the time, working a second job every summer. The loans continue to pile on as I remind myself that this is the only way I'm going to have a chance to make it in this modern era. I have to take the debt burden. I'm smart, but not smart enough to get the scholarships. My family is under financial strain, but not enough to get need-based aid.

Fast forward to 2008. I graduate into a world with a collapsed economy. Jobs for fresh college students are few and far between with incredible competition. Did it matter that I was President of my business fraternity chapter and the Dean's business school student advisory council? Apparently not. Not even with my commendable 3.55 GPA. I'm $100,000 deep in student loans and there isn't a job in sight.

My "career" started off at a Walmart store as a department supervisor after 6 months of unemployment. Let that be a lesson. Taking a job on campus is great until you're not a student anymore and the school can't continue your employment. My worth? $9.90 per hour. 5 years, a Bachelor's in accounting, finance, and economics, and I'm still not worth $10 per hour. I asked myself for months why I even bothered with college.

Nine months roll by before I finally land a career position. I have to move from Michigan to Kentucky, but I'm ecstatic. I finally am going to work in a role that was promised for all my hard work in school. My student loans payments are crushing, but at least I can pay them as long as I keep a roommate.

Then it happens. My mother gets laid off. She had been a victim of the economy and depression resulting from my father's death. My college years were, at best, rocky for her. My sister is halfway into high school when the unemployment stops coming and mom can't make ends meet. I get a job offer back in Michigan and move them both in with me.

So here we are today. Drowning in student loans and trying to make ends meet with my mom and sister under my care. The joys of being a millennial. My sister is so scared of debt because of what she has seen that she practically refuses to go to college. She's young. I hope she'll come around one day. Maybe she'll at least go into a trade. The fact of the matter is that she's scared of college because it is so expensive and has burdened me so bad that I can barely sleep some nights.

We have crippled a whole generation and scared off the next from pursuing their dreams. What's going to happen in 30 years when our policies today stopped the flow of education? Who will lead our industry, our policies, our country? We must provide affordable education to our population or we will eventually reach a point where we just won't have the skills left to compete. We will step out of the way to allow foreign powers to reign supreme in a place we once held. All because of greed and misguided principles.

I began paying my student loan debt in 1990 to ASC Student Loan Services after paying about $27,000 to them, (interest only) my debt was transferred to Citibank Student Loan Services I was with Citibank from 2003 to 2013 after paying them about $25,000 in interest along I decided to consolidate my loans. The unpaid interest on the unpaid principle was accumulating, as loan sharks would put it, on a daily basis. The unpaid interest was added to the principle the loan continues to grow even while in school status and making payments my principle still grow. While in school I was paying $400 a month. I thought while in-school status the secured loan interest was to be paid by the Government and the $400 would go toward the unsecured loan. I was wrong the servicing company have the right to put the money where they deem necessary and that was the daily accumulating interest. I have worked in public services from 1990 to current, my loans were transferred to Sallie Mae in 2007 after making bimonthly payments to this company and consolidating my loans I put in for the public service forgiveness. In 2013 when I put in the paperwork to Sallie Mae to asked for forgiveness my loans were transferred to FedLoans. I had consolidated my loans this was not an option for me with Sallie Mae. The secured loans were now $61,987 at 6.8% interest accumulating daily on the unpaid principle and the unsecured loans were now at $107, 879 with a 6.8% interest rate accumulating daily. I am a state employee making $44,000 yearly. I qualify for the Public Loan Forgiveness but according to FedLoan Service representative I can’t get it because I have not made enough qualifying payments. My loans are reaching $200,000. I was recently sent a letter from FedLoan stating if I don’t pay $13,547 interest it would be placed on my principle. What can a person do outside of dying to get from under this debt? I believe there is one more student loan collection agency that they can transfer my loans to after they get Fedloan get their quota of payments.

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Annie    July 28, 2016    Matteson   
Annie    July 28, 2016    Matteson   

I began paying my student loan debt in 1990 to ASC Student Loan Services after paying about $27,000 to them, (interest only) my debt was transferred to Citibank Student Loan Services I was with Citibank from 2003 to 2013 after paying them about $25,000 in interest along I decided to consolidate my loans. The unpaid interest on the unpaid principle was accumulating, as loan sharks would put it, on a daily basis. The unpaid interest was added to the principle the loan continues to grow even while in school status and making payments my principle still grow. While in school I was paying $400 a month. I thought while in-school status the secured loan interest was to be paid by the Government and the $400 would go toward the unsecured loan. I was wrong the servicing company have the right to put the money where they deem necessary and that was the daily accumulating interest. I have worked in public services from 1990 to current, my loans were transferred to Sallie Mae in 2007 after making bimonthly payments to this company and consolidating my loans I put in for the public service forgiveness. In 2013 when I put in the paperwork to Sallie Mae to asked for forgiveness my loans were transferred to FedLoans. I had consolidated my loans this was not an option for me with Sallie Mae. The secured loans were now $61,987 at 6.8% interest accumulating daily on the unpaid principle and the unsecured loans were now at $107, 879 with a 6.8% interest rate accumulating daily. I am a state employee making $44,000 yearly. I qualify for the Public Loan Forgiveness but according to FedLoan Service representative I can’t get it because I have not made enough qualifying payments. My loans are reaching $200,000. I was recently sent a letter from FedLoan stating if I don’t pay $13,547 interest it would be placed on my principle. What can a person do outside of dying to get from under this debt? I believe there is one more student loan collection agency that they can transfer my loans to after they get Fedloan get their quota of payments.

In the 1980s I borrowed approx 21,000 dollars in student loans at 9 percent interest.

To date I have repaid approx 55,000 dollars and still owe approx 35,000 dollars in principle.

I could have gotten a better deal from the Mafia. Little help, please?

Daniel W. Cleaves    July 27, 2016    Arcata, CA   

I graduated with a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology in September 2005. I had accumulated around $83,000 in debt. Yes, I did choose a private university. I did so because it was the best university for my learning style, it had night classes so I could work during the day, and it had a good reputation in the Bay Area so I could find work after graduation.

I was fortunate to finish at a time interest rates were low. So, I took a consolidation loan to lock in a 2.675% interest rate upon graduation. After the initial 6 month period I started to make balloon payments because that was the only payment scheme I could afford at the time. Income based payments were too high for me in light of payments I was making on other debt I had accumulated during the time I was working at a non-profit while going to school due to the high cost of living. I learned quickly that I couldn't afford those payments either and I went on deferment due to economic hardship.

I wasn't able to get an internship to earn hours toward licensure until 8 months after graduating. I was stI'll working at a non-profit since that is where most internships are in my field. I still couldn't afford payments because I had accumulated more debt and non-profits don't pay much to interns. So I took a forbearance.

I ran into difficulty with my other debt due to the high payments to service that debt and the high cost of living in the Bay Area. I went into credit counseling, made lower payments, and had those debts dischared by 2010. This trashed my credit but at least I could live without the stress of that other debt and I could afford to start payments on my student loan again.

Because the unsubsidized portion of the consolidation loan continues to earn interest when on a forebearance, the principal plus interest had increased the grand total owed to $93,000 from the original amount of $83,000 upon graduation in 2005.

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Jason Ranieri    July 27, 2016    Oakland, CA   
Jason Ranieri    July 27, 2016    Oakland, CA   

I graduated with a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology in September 2005. I had accumulated around $83,000 in debt. Yes, I did choose a private university. I did so because it was the best university for my learning style, it had night classes so I could work during the day, and it had a good reputation in the Bay Area so I could find work after graduation.

I was fortunate to finish at a time interest rates were low. So, I took a consolidation loan to lock in a 2.675% interest rate upon graduation. After the initial 6 month period I started to make balloon payments because that was the only payment scheme I could afford at the time. Income based payments were too high for me in light of payments I was making on other debt I had accumulated during the time I was working at a non-profit while going to school due to the high cost of living. I learned quickly that I couldn't afford those payments either and I went on deferment due to economic hardship.

I wasn't able to get an internship to earn hours toward licensure until 8 months after graduating. I was stI'll working at a non-profit since that is where most internships are in my field. I still couldn't afford payments because I had accumulated more debt and non-profits don't pay much to interns. So I took a forbearance.

I ran into difficulty with my other debt due to the high payments to service that debt and the high cost of living in the Bay Area. I went into credit counseling, made lower payments, and had those debts dischared by 2010. This trashed my credit but at least I could live without the stress of that other debt and I could afford to start payments on my student loan again.

Because the unsubsidized portion of the consolidation loan continues to earn interest when on a forebearance, the principal plus interest had increased the grand total owed to $93,000 from the original amount of $83,000 upon graduation in 2005. I started with the balloon payments again because that's what I could afford.

President Obama started the income based payment plan where after making 10 years of payments while working for 10 years in a position serving at a non-profit job where I serve homeless youth, the rest of the balance due is forgiven. When this became available I called my loan servicer to get information on how to get into that program. I found out that there was a big catch and complication for my situation.

Consolidation loans do not qualify for the income based student loan forgiveness program after 10 years of payments and 10 years of service. In order to qualify I was going to have to refinance the loan at a much higher interest rate and make income based payments that were way too high for me. My loan servicer suggested that I switch my payment plan to a flat payment plan because eventually the balloon payments would have become unsustainabe for me. I switched to the flat payment plan.

As of July 2016, I have made $16,000 in payments and have brought my balance down to $81,000 from the height of $93,000. I am just about done paying the capitalized interest from the unsubsidized portion of my loan from when I was on forebearance.

My loan matures when I turn 69 in 2039. That means that retirement must wait until I am at least 69 in order to be able to make all of my payments on my student loan.

So, I have been making payments for 6 years and I have given almost 14 years of service in non-profit work serving homeless youth for 12 of those years and I have 23 years of payments left and won't be able to retire until the loan is paid off when I am 69.

It would be a huge relief if I could refinance into a program where I would get loan forgiveness but if I refinanced, I would still face 10 years of income based payments that I cannot afford because the income based payments are too high. Because I have a consolidation loan, I cannot get loan forgiveness while keeping the low interest rate of my consolidation loan.

We have to do more for people who get degrees to be of service to the communities in which we live. I believe in the sacrifice I make in making a lower income so I can serve homeless youth. It would be nice to be supported in making that sacrifice.

The cynicism of for-profit schools and the student loan trap is overwhelming. I know this from first-hand experience.

A few years ago, I personally counseled a student who succumbed to high-pressure sales tactics. He had signed up for a program that would have bankrupted him and his mother (who, when she is able to work at all, earns minimum wage), all to provide the same education he could get for free at the Lehigh County Career and Technical Institute. But since I was a school board member and friend of the LCCTI superintendent, I was able to get the school (Baran Technical Institute in Connecticut) to refund his application fee.

Later, his guidance counselor at Southern Lehigh High School told me he that the boy's financing package would have included only about 10 meals per week, because that was all he thought he could afford.

Not every student who is victimized by these cynical programs has a friend on the school board. I shudder to think of all the victims I did NOT individually help.

So what happens to those students? Did they all get great jobs that allowed them to pay back their loans easily? You know the answer to that.

Baran Technical Institute used every sleazy salesman's tactic in the book to get my young friend to sign. It added up to psychological coercion. That is how they operate.

The students I did NOT get to help need protection from this predatory perversion of "higher education." Please support the regulations that would provide this.

John Schubert    July 27, 2016    Coopersburg, PA   

I have a loan with the student assistance corporation or navient. I pay my loan monthly yet I hand been getting calls from them on a daily basis, numerous times because they want me to defer my loans to 'help me'. They are ruining my credit despite the fact I'm paying my loans. I did not have kids because I ddn't want them burdened with my debt. I have not married because I don't want my wife burdened with my debt. I want to become a nurse practitioner but won't because I already owe so much on my student debt and will never, ever have it paid off. I will probably not be able to buy a house or have to pay much higher due to navient. The government has allowed student debt corporations to run rampant. They always talk about why people are doing bad. Well, this is the reason. I can't save for retirement because I'm paying for debt all my life. When I'm unable to pay when I retire they will probably garnish my social security. The only way I could pay off my debt at this point is if I won the lottery. Congress is allowing this to happen to people and it is wrong.

Hans Pierre-Louis    July 27, 2016    Fort Myers, fl   

I took out 80k to attend a four year school and obtain my masters right after. Fast forward to present, I'm sitting on $250k of student loan debt that just keeps growing. ALL of my money goes to my loans for them to keep going up every day by the minute.

I despise myself and am angry with my parents for not telling me this was a bad idea. I work hard and don't get to see anything from my hard work. I'm delaying marriage and family with fears I'll never be able to have children because of these loans.

I've taken out a significant life insurance policy so should I die, the loans can be paid off without my family at risk. That's sad

We need bankruptcy protections restored to student loans (both private and federal) to give us all a fresh start.

Here's my idea:
- fine the universities each and every time a current or former student declares bankruptcy. This will make schools be more honest about job markets and to stop offering BS majors.

I would give back my accreditations and worthless degrees (that I burned out of anger) to just be debt free because hard work never got me anywhere.

Laura    July 26, 2016    NY   

I graduated early, semester early in high school! I was excited and had a determination as I started this harder unknown journey. I enrolled in community college. My mother was a struggling single mother, never could rely on my sperm donor of a father to pay his child support. I went to financial aid office hoping I could get a Pell grant. Didn't get one:( I was plagued with a unsubsidized loan and subsided private and public loans. I borrowed $2,000 and $,4,000. I had a bank account at age 18. I had a check book and debt card. My debt card got compromised at a bar of a fromer friend and I disputed it and the bank refused to take it as fraudulent bc I used it a lot for general living while unemployed and going to community college. Out over $700 money for gas to get me to classes, my whole disbursement check. The bank won, lucky I had a grandmother who bailed me out. Paid the bank and continued to go to classes. Then I had to take a break bc I was not having luck finding a job and moved out of my mother's. So now I'm faced with dropping. Owing money and not even made it to finals. I know I screwed up. Years later, I loved the wrong person. He financially controlled my money, I never had the ability to pay of my accumulatingredient debts. I had to sign over my checks I made to him, I was now in debt to someone who didn't care I was drowning in student loans debt. I had a child with him, keeping me from making my payments further more. I can't go to school ever again, I'm scared my taxes are next, we are getting divorced bc of this fear and control he had over me. I can't seem to get on my feet myself as a person. I struggle with anxiety, and depression. I need student loan forgiveness, yet I contact them and they want me to pay what I owe but for it to take a course of 2-3 years.

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NICOLE    July 25, 2016    Illinois   
NICOLE    July 25, 2016    Illinois   

I graduated early, semester early in high school! I was excited and had a determination as I started this harder unknown journey. I enrolled in community college. My mother was a struggling single mother, never could rely on my sperm donor of a father to pay his child support. I went to financial aid office hoping I could get a Pell grant. Didn't get one:( I was plagued with a unsubsidized loan and subsided private and public loans. I borrowed $2,000 and $,4,000. I had a bank account at age 18. I had a check book and debt card. My debt card got compromised at a bar of a fromer friend and I disputed it and the bank refused to take it as fraudulent bc I used it a lot for general living while unemployed and going to community college. Out over $700 money for gas to get me to classes, my whole disbursement check. The bank won, lucky I had a grandmother who bailed me out. Paid the bank and continued to go to classes. Then I had to take a break bc I was not having luck finding a job and moved out of my mother's. So now I'm faced with dropping. Owing money and not even made it to finals. I know I screwed up. Years later, I loved the wrong person. He financially controlled my money, I never had the ability to pay of my accumulatingredient debts. I had to sign over my checks I made to him, I was now in debt to someone who didn't care I was drowning in student loans debt. I had a child with him, keeping me from making my payments further more. I can't go to school ever again, I'm scared my taxes are next, we are getting divorced bc of this fear and control he had over me. I can't seem to get on my feet myself as a person. I struggle with anxiety, and depression. I need student loan forgiveness, yet I contact them and they want me to pay what I owe but for it to take a course of 2-3 years. I don't get information in the mail bc we moved around alot bc he joined the air force with his perfect credit score while mine got ran into the ground. I'm dying everyday I stay on this earth, my child sees the pain I'm in everyday I can't take him for ice cream or to see a movie bc I don't have it. Forever in debt. I can't buy a home, I can't get a loan, I get anywhere now:'(

After being divorced at age 34 with 2 children, I decided to go back to college to earn a degree so I could make a better living to support my little family. (My ex paid no child support, despite a court order). That was my goal. I had already received an AAS from the Community College of Denver in Legal Studies (Paralegal) but this hadn't translated into an increased wage or a new career for me. I remembered that the school told me my credits would transfer to the University so I applied for admission and a credit transfer to the University of Colorado at Denver.
After some wrangling, the school accepted me as a Political Science student. I did surprising well in this field of study. My GPA was quite high and I began to receive small scholarships to help with my tuition. I also received work-study and also worked off campus as a waitress on the weekends.
But. It wasn't enough. I was an adult student with two children. I had a house that I owned with a mortgage, utility bills, a car, food, clothes, and so on. I had to take out loans just to survive. I was doing very well in school and did not anticipate that paying back the loans would be a problem. For me, It was a choice between taking the loans or dropping out of school.
My Sophomore year I was in a car accident that was not my fault. While driving to visit my then boyfriend ( a fellow student) on Christmas Eve, I stopped at a red light and the car behind me didn't. I was left with injuries that didn't heal for years.
My boyfriend and I had a child while I was in my Junior year. I literally took my final exam two weeks after he was born. And I got an A.
I continued on through school and was doing so well I was offered a Tenure track Professorship. I didn't take it. I had a family to support. I was concerned that if I stayed at school I would have no way to support my now 3 children.

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Author *Teri D    July 25, 2016    LocationParker, Colorado   
Author *Teri D    July 25, 2016    LocationParker, Colorado   

After being divorced at age 34 with 2 children, I decided to go back to college to earn a degree so I could make a better living to support my little family. (My ex paid no child support, despite a court order). That was my goal. I had already received an AAS from the Community College of Denver in Legal Studies (Paralegal) but this hadn't translated into an increased wage or a new career for me. I remembered that the school told me my credits would transfer to the University so I applied for admission and a credit transfer to the University of Colorado at Denver.
After some wrangling, the school accepted me as a Political Science student. I did surprising well in this field of study. My GPA was quite high and I began to receive small scholarships to help with my tuition. I also received work-study and also worked off campus as a waitress on the weekends.
But. It wasn't enough. I was an adult student with two children. I had a house that I owned with a mortgage, utility bills, a car, food, clothes, and so on. I had to take out loans just to survive. I was doing very well in school and did not anticipate that paying back the loans would be a problem. For me, It was a choice between taking the loans or dropping out of school.
My Sophomore year I was in a car accident that was not my fault. While driving to visit my then boyfriend ( a fellow student) on Christmas Eve, I stopped at a red light and the car behind me didn't. I was left with injuries that didn't heal for years.
My boyfriend and I had a child while I was in my Junior year. I literally took my final exam two weeks after he was born. And I got an A.
I continued on through school and was doing so well I was offered a Tenure track Professorship. I didn't take it. I had a family to support. I was concerned that if I stayed at school I would have no way to support my now 3 children.
After graduating we gt married. It took me two years to get a good corporate job. But my husband suffered a severe spinal injury and had to have spinal surgery. He was left unable to work for two years. I had to apply for Deferrment on my student loans. Just when we thought he might be getting better, the surgery failed and he had to go back for another spinal surgery. With me left being the only wage earner, I had to apply for Derferment and the Forbearment when the Deferment ran out.
Just after this I was permantly disabled in another car accident when my car was rear-ended on the interstate t 55mph. I was driving home from work aand a driver, who said she fell asleep, rammed into the rear of my car, causing my car to catch on fire.
This car accident left me totally disabled and ended my marriage. i applied for Forgiveness due to total disability and am still waiting. I have been waiting for 3 years.
So what is the Moral of this story?
When a person has to borrow money to go to college. they also lack the resoucerses that te tradidional college population has. For example: I did not have a family attorney to adive us when I got in the car accidents. The result? For the first car accident which left me injured for ears I got only a few thousand. aAnd the same for the second car accident, which left me permanatly disbabled.
Also, when we graduate, we have no help finding jobs. We can't go to work at Daddy's Firm or work at Unlce's business. These things are not taken into account when expecting students to pay back their debt.
In my case, I have submitted my proof of Disability 3 different times in 3 different ways and have had to involve the Ombudsman because the same group in charge of collecting the loans is the same group in charge of Forgiving the loans.

I have two sons in the thirties. Both are well educated, one with a masters and one with a juris doctorate. Neither son has been successful yet in securing a job that puts them in a position to be able to buy a home and pay off their debt. Both work tirelessly trying to make ends meet, pay their private loans, and then pay their federal loans. They are heading to the age of 40 and neither has a decent amount of money saved for retirement either. I am on a fixed income and need to help them still because of the poor job market and their payments to student loans are like a mortgage. Forget getting a real mortgage. How can they ever buy a house? My one son was planning on getting a home through the first home buyers plan, but now that it has changed and is taking college loan debt into account, he and his future wife feel that they will never be able to buy a home because they both hve extensive student loan debt. Sometrhing has to change. They wonder why the housing market is poor. It is because young Americans can not afford to buy homes with the debt that they have accrued. Debt that they took on expecting a bright future with jobs to support their degrees. Jobs that weren't there when they graduated. Now they have to compete with those fresh out of college year after year because they graduated when everything crashed. On top of that, interest keeps growing, as they are on Income based payments plans . No matter how much they pay, they never seem to get ahead. Our government needs to do something to stimulate serious job growth in this country for our children and it wouldn't hurt to help by forgiving them for a substantial amount of the debt. It would stimulate the economy because they would finally be able to have some purchasing power, which they don't have now because they are constantly paying off loans...never-ending loan debt!!!

Author *Sandra    July 24, 2016    Location*Wapwallopen, PA   

I took out my student loans in the early '80s. While I was in college, my lung collapsed. I was in the hospital for nearly a month and out for another two weeks for recovery. I managed to keep up my homework and still made the Honor Roll that semester. A year after graduating collect, my other lung collapsed -- another near-month in hospital and weeks of recovery. My student loans defaulted, I lost my car and my one low-balance credit card -- none would work with me although I had disability that would pay AFTER I returned to work. Since then, I have received the nastiest phone calls. They insisted on at least $200 per month although I could only afford $25. They wouldn't accept that. My student loans, originally $5,000 are now $12,000. I am now pending permanent disability, and there is no hope of ever being able to repay.

Kathleen    July 22, 2016    Wisconsin   

I graduated from Nova Southeastern University in May 1999 with a Master's Degree in Varying Exceptionalities and Emotionally Handicapped. I burrowed a total of $40,000 for the two years it took me to complete . I worked for Dade County Public Schools from August 1993- June 2011, leaving at a salary of $47,000 because for 12 years there were no raises. In 2008 I was hit from behind in traffic accident that resulted in 3 Brain Aneurysms and 3 Brain Surgeries. Currently, the amount owing is $220,386.32 as a result of compounded interest daily. I am retired and live on fixed income. I need this to go away

Janet E Simpson    July 22, 2016    PEMBROKE Pines FL   

After students graduate from college already thousands and thousands of dollars in debt and with unemployment so high that they cannot get a good paying job that they were promised by the schools from which they graduated they have to accept minimum wage jobs and still the government garnishes their wages to pay for student loans. When someone makes $10-$14 per hour which is $20-$28 thousand/year and ½ of that amount goes to student loan debt how can they live? And I am talking about students that have master’s degrees that have started on a doctorate they can’t finish because they can’t get financed to borrow to finish. Our government has the right to literally annihilate the finances for the youth of this country and for what? Trying to find consolidation loans is a joke too! The student loan banks and government are very willing to loan this money because it is a sure deal no matter how much is destroys lives they get paid. Student loan borrowers should declare a moratorium on loan payments for two or more months to get the word out to these companies to work with student borrowers so they can at least eat, have a place to live, and have transportation back and forth to work (if they can find a decent paying job). Colleges that cannot employ graduates should be held accountable for repayment or not given funding until all of their graduates have jobs and the ability to pay their loans. The amount of time should/could be extended to 30 years like a home mortgage. Politicians should become aware of the dire circumstances this country has because of these loans. This is predatory lending and it has to stop. Also it is discrimination to say that if someone is employed in a government position a percentage of their loans are forgiven, the private sector employees then have to bear the burden of no forgiveness while their taxes are paying for those whose loans are forgiven.

Sue    July 21, 2016    Rochester, NY   

I grew up in Connecticut; I decided I wanted to go to college for Chemical Engineering because I liked chemistry, thought it looked interesting, and most importantly it had an average starting salary of about $60k. My mother is an alcoholic so I knew I needed to get out of my home. I decided on The University of Minnesota because it was the 2nd ranked school for Chemical engineering and it was a state school so significantly cheaper at only about $30k/year ($25k after my academic scholarship). My dad took some loans, I took some loans and worked part time. It is a very challenging major though and my grades were slipping from working too much so I took out a few private loans to cover some living expenses and focus more on my studies.
When I graduated in 2008 the economy was just starting to really go into free fall. For a year straight I did little else but apply for jobs and work part time. I was now in repayment and couldn’t afford rent so I moved back to CT and continued to apply for jobs. I was not making anywhere near enough to cover my expenses despite working about 50hrs a week a few jobs so to avoid default I started getting into credit card debt. After a while I got rather worn down and wasn’t applying for jobs as much. Finally, I heard of a job through a friend and started in January 2012. I was so desperate I just accepted the first offer of $48k. By this point I had about $120k in a mix of credit card, public student loan, and private student loan debt. I was already on the extended graduated repayment plan and looked into income based repayment; since it didn’t account for the rest of my debt it would have increased my payments. I got a private credit card consolidation loan to avoid some of the high interest. I rented a room from a friend on the cheap and still less than $100 a month ‘disposable’ income.
I finally started to feel a little better though,

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Phil    July 21, 2016    Minneapolis   
Phil    July 21, 2016    Minneapolis   

I grew up in Connecticut; I decided I wanted to go to college for Chemical Engineering because I liked chemistry, thought it looked interesting, and most importantly it had an average starting salary of about $60k. My mother is an alcoholic so I knew I needed to get out of my home. I decided on The University of Minnesota because it was the 2nd ranked school for Chemical engineering and it was a state school so significantly cheaper at only about $30k/year ($25k after my academic scholarship). My dad took some loans, I took some loans and worked part time. It is a very challenging major though and my grades were slipping from working too much so I took out a few private loans to cover some living expenses and focus more on my studies.
When I graduated in 2008 the economy was just starting to really go into free fall. For a year straight I did little else but apply for jobs and work part time. I was now in repayment and couldn’t afford rent so I moved back to CT and continued to apply for jobs. I was not making anywhere near enough to cover my expenses despite working about 50hrs a week a few jobs so to avoid default I started getting into credit card debt. After a while I got rather worn down and wasn’t applying for jobs as much. Finally, I heard of a job through a friend and started in January 2012. I was so desperate I just accepted the first offer of $48k. By this point I had about $120k in a mix of credit card, public student loan, and private student loan debt. I was already on the extended graduated repayment plan and looked into income based repayment; since it didn’t account for the rest of my debt it would have increased my payments. I got a private credit card consolidation loan to avoid some of the high interest. I rented a room from a friend on the cheap and still less than $100 a month ‘disposable’ income.
I finally started to feel a little better though, at least I was on the right path now. I let myself get in a serious relationship for the first time. After a few years and a few raises I still wasn’t even denting the principle. By 2015 every time I thought about money or my future I would get depressed. I went to the doctor and tried some different medications with varying degrees of results. I couldn’t shake this sense of hopeless though, and it started showing in my work. That quickly became a negative feedback loop, getting more depressed about not doing well at work. Then finally lost the job 2 months ago. Finding another one seams pointless. Cashed out a retirement plan to make payments. The only thing stopping me from expatriating is my dad co-signing. Honestly though, I don’t have much more in me, I’d be surprised if I’m alive in a year.

I married at age 15, and didn't start college until I was 30. My ex-husband worked for my dad, and everything was fine until my dad had a heart attack, lost his business, and the whole family was in dire financial circumstances.
I started college at Wayland Baptist College in Plainview, Texas on financial aid grants to take Real Estate classes. I took 2 classes ( 6 semester hours). At the end of the semester, the Real Estate Commission told me I had to have 90 classroom hours. I thought I only had 6, and no one told me that 1 semester hour equals 15 classroom hours, so I did not realize that I actually had enough hours.
No one in my family had ever gone to college before. My counselor talked me into going to college, and I took 10 hours the Spring semester. I had a hard time because my dad was hospitalized several times, my mom was ill, my youngest daughter was a cheerleader and in track and choir, my oldest daughter was a graduating senior and had a choir trip, and my brother was getting married in June with both of my daughters as bridesmaids. And I had a part-time job at a roofing company. I still managed to carried a 4.0 average.
That fall, I got my first student loan to cover costs for my expenses and my daughter starting college. I received several scholarship awards while at Wayland. I was listed on the Dean's List, and I contacted the college to find out what I did wrong. I had never heard of a Dean's List before.
We moved to Austin, Texas and I did finally learn that I had enough hours for my real estate license, so I passed the test and started working in real estate. I continued my education at Austin Community College, obtaining an Associate of Science degree in Business Administration, and an Associate of Arts in Mass Communications. I then transferred to St. Edward's University, where I received my Bachelor's degree in Business Management with a minor in Marketing.

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Shan Wright    July 21, 2016    Spring, TX   
Shan Wright    July 21, 2016    Spring, TX   

I married at age 15, and didn't start college until I was 30. My ex-husband worked for my dad, and everything was fine until my dad had a heart attack, lost his business, and the whole family was in dire financial circumstances.
I started college at Wayland Baptist College in Plainview, Texas on financial aid grants to take Real Estate classes. I took 2 classes ( 6 semester hours). At the end of the semester, the Real Estate Commission told me I had to have 90 classroom hours. I thought I only had 6, and no one told me that 1 semester hour equals 15 classroom hours, so I did not realize that I actually had enough hours.
No one in my family had ever gone to college before. My counselor talked me into going to college, and I took 10 hours the Spring semester. I had a hard time because my dad was hospitalized several times, my mom was ill, my youngest daughter was a cheerleader and in track and choir, my oldest daughter was a graduating senior and had a choir trip, and my brother was getting married in June with both of my daughters as bridesmaids. And I had a part-time job at a roofing company. I still managed to carried a 4.0 average.
That fall, I got my first student loan to cover costs for my expenses and my daughter starting college. I received several scholarship awards while at Wayland. I was listed on the Dean's List, and I contacted the college to find out what I did wrong. I had never heard of a Dean's List before.
We moved to Austin, Texas and I did finally learn that I had enough hours for my real estate license, so I passed the test and started working in real estate. I continued my education at Austin Community College, obtaining an Associate of Science degree in Business Administration, and an Associate of Arts in Mass Communications. I then transferred to St. Edward's University, where I received my Bachelor's degree in Business Management with a minor in Marketing. I was working on my MBA in Public Administration, and a Certificate Program in Government Contract Acquisition & Negotiation, when the real estate market in Austin went completely under. I was also going through a divorce, and both of my parents were still very ill. I dropped out of college 3 classes short of my MBA, and 1 class short of the Certificate Program, and moved to Dallas.
Both of my parents were disabled. Dad had a second heart attack and had emphasema. My mom had polio as a child, had hip replacements, kidney stone problems, and mental issues of Bi-Polar and depression. They had a very small income, and I had to help out as much as I could. They lived in Plainview, and I lost several jobs when emergencies came up and I had to be there.
I decided to go back into real estate in Dallas, and I had 4 houses sold, but it was time to renew my license, and I could not receive the commission of about $8,000 until my license was renewed. I received a letter that I could not renew it until I was current with student loan payments. I had to call a collection agency in Skokie, Illinois, and they said I had to make six consecutive payments to be in compliance over the course of 6 months. I only had 30 days to renew my license. So I lost the commission, the job, and the ability to pay the loans back.
Over the next 10 years, until my dad died in 1998 and my mom in 2003, I had to help them as much as I could and things like electricity and groceries take priority over student loan payments. I was contacted by various collection agencies over the years- every time they sent my loans to a new collection agency and charged me another 30+ percent. They would call and want to "work something out". They wanted a payment of over $600 a month, but they could take $450 for the first 3 months. I told them $600 would be half my income, and there's no way.
After my parents died, I moved to their house in Plainview, Texas for a few years, but there are no jobs in Plainview, so I was driving 120 miles round trip every day to work at Convergys call center in Lubbock. A collection agency contacted me in December 2004, and said I could voluntarily pay them $325 a month deducted from my paycheck or they would draft my paycheck for over $400 a month. I really wanted to settle this, so I agreed to the $325, and asked to start in January. They said no, it had to start on the next payday. That was my last payday before Christmas, so I was not able to buy any presents for my children or grandchildren that year. I was only making $8.35 an hour, and gas was costing me about $300 a month, so with the student loan payment, I was left with only about $350 a month to pay a house payment, utilities and groceries. I ended up losing the house, having to move back to my daughter's house in Austin, and I decided that I would never do that again. I was not even paying enough to cover the interest. I was only about $29,000 in debt when I dropped out, but now it was up to almost $100,000.
A collection agency called me about 2009, and offered to settle the debt for half price, which at that time was $45,000. They also said that they could let me pay it out in 3 installments of $15,000. I can't afford $400 a month payments, so where in the world do they think I'm going to get $15,000???
I kept reading online and I heard about Income Based Repayment plans, so I started checking into that about 2013. I had 12 loans, but the Dept of Education said only 11 could be included. My goal was to get my licenses back for real estate and insurance, so I really needed all the loans in the plan. I found out that for some unknown reason, one of my loans was still with the State of Texas and was never sold to the Dept of Education like the others. I talked to the Attorney General's office, and found out that the $2,000 loan was accruing interest at the rate of over $2.00 a day and was now up to over $16,000. The State of Texas has no type of Income Based Repayment. They want 10% ($1600) down and $400 month payments. Totally impossible.
In July 2014, Van Ru Credit collectors called to offer me rehabilitation for $5 a month for 9 months for the 11 loans. After that they said I could consolidate the loans and place them in an IBR, I agreed, signed the agreement, and made payments. They called me in February of 2015 to sign the "permanent" agreement, saying the first one was just a "temporary" agreement. The only problem was the "permanent" agreement only had 7 loans. I asked about the other 4 loans, and they said they had no idea. Finally after going through 3 supervisors over 2 weeks time, they informed me that 4 of my loans were judgements. I was shocked. I have never been notified of any court proceedings. I asked when and where, and they had no idea, and suggested I contact my credit bureaus.
This turned into a total nightmare. I went to annualcreditreport.com to order all 3 reports, but when I talked to each one, they all asked security questions I could not answer, so they would not send me a report. Questions like "what is the name of my mortgage company?" I don't have one. "What is the amount of my mortgage payment?" I don't have one. They said that's the wrong answer.
Then I was hospitalized and had to have an angiogram. Turned out to be ok, but then I had major dental infections, and I had to have oral surgery. Medicare does not pay for oral surgeons, and I had to come up with $1900. I also had to have a cataract surgery that I had to put off until after the dental surgery, and by that time, there were 3 layers of cataracts, and they had to use a laser, and it costs $2,700 over what medicare paid.
Then I got a call from another department in Van Ru Collections about the loans with judgements. They said I could try to include them with the consolidation loan, but they don't know if it will work. Otherwise I will just have to pay them, they said.
Now Fedloan servicing says I have to consolidate & get an IBR or make payments, so I'm trying to do that.
I'm 68 years old. I haven't been able to drive for the past 3 years because of cataracts. I make $630 a month on Social Security, and my rent is $900. I have a job at $10 an hour that I don't know how long I'll be able to keep it going. This is hopeless. I can't live long enough to get this straight. It's blocked me from making a living since I can't get a license for anything, from owning a home, buying a car, and it's totally wrecked my credit with inaccurate facts.

Sincerely,
Shan Wright

Just paid $700 to have someone submit request forms to the same company already serving my student loans. Could have done it for free. Very unhappy with these robbers.

Steven Hirsch    July 20, 2016    Topeka KS   

stop charging interest, and/or allow payments to go toward principle and interest, not just past interest due

JAllen    July 15, 2016    Kansas   

Got a J.D. but can't put it to work. Deferred for a while. Will have paid almost $70k by the time it is over. I'm 65 and still owe over $55,000. Will likely be paying until I die. Have already paid a lot. I hope my son doesn't get stuck with any of it.

G L LeBlanc    July 14, 2016   

I had a $135K job when my daughter went to private college in that provided the academic support she required. Because of a good credit score we had no options but private high interest loans; a parent plus and a cosign on a signature loan. I was laid off leading up to the recession ONE YEAR LATER. We could not get jobs and had to start our own business. We never recovered our income level. I am now 62 and our family is trapped into over 1000 a month in payments that we could not bankrupt (we had to do that when we lost our house which went upside down, lost my daughters car, and my daughter had to drop out of college.) She can only get jobs in retail. Now her stepdad cannot get off as cosigner on the one loan she carries unless she is a graduate!! What? She has no chance of going back to college! Our income dropped to the point that the government currently covers our health care premium on a bare minimum policy. Student loan balances went from 30K to 40K EACH when we could not pay at all, and are still over 80K. The lenders are protected from offering us any refinance to workable solution that pays down the principal realistically. These loans are written like credit cards so you can never get the principal paid down. Really? This is where my social security is supposed to go? How do we pay this, health care at 13,000 deductibles, and also pay for a house to live in? Any reforms must look back in time at loans written in the dark times of student loan and the recession. Protecting future student is great but I am very concerned that people like us will be left to the wolves.

Christine Voss    July 12, 2016    Longmont, CO   

In the 1960's and 1970's college tuition was FREE because Americans recognized that investing in future generations was valuableto us all. This meant a better educated next generation ready to build the economy for everyone to have a FAIR SHOT at the American Dream. Then Ronald Regan became president selling "government is the problem" and subscribing to that marketing ploy, thus opened the door for millionaires, billionaires, corporations and the like to NOT pay their FAIR SHARE towards economic security. Bill Clinton continued the betrayal when he signed the end of regulation of Wall Street , insurance companies and banks. They delivered what we have today: 3rd world country crumbling infrastructure, uneducated genreations, debt ridden kids who can't get their career off the ground and the rest of America's citizens the hostage of WAGE-SLAVERY ! Instead of building a future home, these Americans and their parents are drowning in debt unable to buy a home or goods and services to make any kind of contribution to a healthy and growing economy. All the while, Congress and the Fed Reserve have sold Americans out to banks, loan sharks, wall street and their lobbyists. The citizens of these United States have failed to maintain their democratic republic. Without integrity, elected Congressional representatives serve their "overlords" the 1% and the 99% be damned. fascists ! oligarchs ! plutocrats ! NOT the foundation of a healthy society.

J.C.    July 11, 2016    Huntington Beach   

I borrowed as a single parent needing to support my two children. I completed my M.A. and Ph.D. and got a visiting professorship job at Vanderbilt University. My loans were about 70,000. I taught for two years and reduced my loans to about 55,000 then there was no renewal. I was unable to find other teaching jobs. Went back to below poverty level. My loans were sold to private companies. I was unable to make more than income sensisitve payments. Interest piled onto principle. I think my debt is about 200,000 now. I make monthly payments but can never pay it back.
I moved overseas to teach. No jobs in the States. I am now retired from teaching and living on social security of 700 a month. Got my kids through college, however. They are doing well. But I'm a liability to them.

Marian Angele    July 11, 2016   

I have some student loans in default and some in good standing and some are being garnished from my wages and my income tax return is intercepted every year. This all comes to a total of 1/3 of my income. You do the math. Do one thing or the other and put all these loans under one bill so if we defer the loan then we don't have to do it again two weeks later for another part of the loan

Rickey Davis    July 9, 2016    pittsburgh, PA   

I know three people who were essentially conned into going into expensive for profit schools. One young lady was married with a baby and very little income. She wanted to be a teacher but didn't have a car and couldn't figure out how to navigate the financial aid system in the local community college. A nearby for profit school persuaded her that she should major in computers because she could take her classes on line. She had the ability to become a teacher but no aptitude in either computer programming or computer repair. She now has student debt, no degree, and a low paying but rewarding job in a non-profit which only required a high school diploma. Two other people were persuaded to study to be dental hygienists. They were working and had children and couldn't pull it off. One of them told me that the school used student loan money preferentially to her Pell Grant, which was not completely used. The other was not capable of doing the program, but no one told her that; they just took her money. My impression is that they persuade people that they are more capable than they are; so they enroll in those schools rather than the community college that would require remedial work first. I believe if you crack down more on the go nowhere schools, that will go a long way toward improving the student debt crisis. Thank you for working to do something about this.

JoAnne Brenner    July 9, 2016    Jacksonville, FL   

I am a twice widowed mother at age fifty two. I was six months pregnant when I lost sons father. Both his father and stepfather died at young ages 26 and 48, so we did all on our own. My son and I put ourselves through college with grants and loans, both still paying them off. We have been in a major recession for 9 years and so I have been laid off several times and had to put my loans in forebearance due to this and the fact that no job I have ever had has paid me over mid 30's and do not have any financial help. Possible solutions that could be implemented...write off and forgive student loan debt for people like my son and I who have lived in financial struggle our entire lives, so costs are a hardship. For the rest who have good jobs, stop all interest on these loans, 0 interest on all loans so they will be paid back. Going forward lower the cost of education or make it free for all born in this country and stop giving loans out to anyone and everyone, be more stringent with who can borrow and how much, get rid of interest or make it 1 percent, college costs are outrageous and with the job market no guarantee of a life long career with any company, none of them are loyal or pay people enough to make a good living now, but instead work us like we are five people and instill a constant sense of fear in workers of losing their jobs, which then affects whether students can repay their debt.

JoAnna Toth    July 9, 2016    Marion, IL   

I returned to college in my mid forties to purse graduate degrees in my field with the hopes of teaching at a community college. After graduation and with degrees in hand ran smack into ageism in the hiring practices of the colleges to which applied to for open teaching positions. I was able to eventually gain employment with a Native American Tribe and have worked for them for the past 16 years. My issue is with the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. All the student loans I took out where Federally funded through the Dept of Education and as such should make me eligible for the PSLF program since I have more then meet the employment and loan repayment requirements. Except for one thing, 20 years ago after consolidating my loans through the Dept of Education, it then sold my loans to a private bank. This action has made me ineligible for the PSLF program. Ironically since my loans are guaranteed, should I die before paying my student loans off ( a likelihood ) the Federal Government is obligated to pay off the balance remaining. Given this, it seems to me the PSLF program should include all Federally insured student loans and not just those which it didn't sell to private banks.

Ted    July 8, 2016    Eureka, CA   

I have 3 adult children who each owe about $30k-$45K in student loans. This would not be as bad if they also had great paying jobs to help in paying them off- but they don't.

Deborah Baron    July 8, 2016    Northern California   

Both my daughters worked hard to complete Masters degrees. One is a therapist. The other is a social worker. They incurred huge debts (over $60,000 each), as my husband and I could only help them with undergrad expenses. They had hoped that their work in public health would qualify them for eventual loan forgiveness. But here's the deal: the organizations that hire them don't hire full time employees. They have to work "fee for service," which means they won't qualify for loan forgiveness or other benefits. Eventually, they hope to be hired full time. Or to find other jobs. But the loan forgiveness plan has a big loophole, since many workers are hired for just a tad under 40 hours a week, just enough to leave them, despite their work for the community, holding their loans forever. Sigh

Merry JOnes    July 8, 2016    Philadelphia PA   

My student loan interest is almost double my mortgage interest. Does that make sense? Ones monthly bills not being taken into account is ludicrous in determining what a borrower pays. Also when one goes to school, the payments should have a life, not into social security checks. Fix the system and forgive debt incurred after a time limit and payments made.

Brandi    July 8, 2016    KY   

My student debt is crippling. It is something that worries me constantly and I wonder if I will ever pay it off in my lifetime. The career for which I accumulated all of my debt was left because I did not make enough money to pay my $1,000 monthly loan payments. I became a teacher, a career I now love, with the hopes of one day having some of my debt forgiven for my public service. One year, my entire salary went towards my loan payments and daycare. I made no money. Thank God I have a supportive husband. My interest rates on private loans are too high and they do not negotiate. If my husband and I file our taxes separately so I qualify for IBR, we would pay more in taxes because we would lose other tax credits. For those who are single or do not have children the program is fine, but what do the rest of us do? Plus, for public service loan forgiveness, the qualifications are too narrow, I worry one day that there will be a loop hole in order for me not to qualify. It is so depressing. Others have terrible stories. The system needs to be fixed. People are suffering while others are making money while we try to do the right thing.

Caroline Garcia    July 8, 2016    Leonia, NJ   

I graduated college with a bachelors degree in 1993. My student loans were $30,000 . I have never been in default but have always paid on income based payments. Through the years my loans were sold to several companies at about 9%. The interest snowballed monthly. It has now been 24 years since I have been paying on a 30,000 student loan and my balance due is now over $300,000...I am in a student loan debt forgiveness program but I will be 64 before it's forgiven...It has affected every part of my life. Surely over the years I have paid way more than the original 30,000 loan probably triple. I have tried absolutely everything humanly possible to stop the madness as this is severe loan sharking.

Suzanne DeMarinis    July 8, 2016    Missoula, Mt.   

My goal was to become a college educator after a number of years in the corporate world. After putting two children through college, I went back to college and received my Masters' degree. I pursued positions in my field but found few were available hence very competitive with almost all being awarded to individuals holding Ph.Ds. I consolidated my loans hoping that I would soon attain a position.
I am 67 years old and after 13 years of adjunct (part-time) positions, with the occasional year contract, I owe $170,000, $100,000 due to compound interest due to consolidation.
Consolidation is predatory and I am confused as to why this has never been questioned as an accepted form of loan sharking. Students are preyed upon by banks for consolidation because these loans are guaranteed by the government. It would be far better for the student as well as society, quite frankly, to work out a temporary arrangement of payment as opposed to indebting a person for the rest of their life and then ultimately charging society the full balance later when the debt is not paid off. Absent winning the lottery, I will never be able to pay this debt. This is a win-win situation for banks and an incredible burden on borrowers and ultimately society.

Lou    July 7, 2016    Tampa   

My boyfriend and I have been together for over five years. We met in grad school. We both have over $100,000 of student debt and are on income based repayment plans. We were pleased that this plan helped us to pay our loans, but still allow us to meet other financial goals, like saving for retirement. We wanted to buy a house this year, however, the Fannie Mae and FHA programs changed how they calculate student loans when applying for a mortgage. They don't allow you to use your monthly IBR approved payments, but rather count the whole balance against us. So even though we both work full-time and have excellent credit, we can't qualify for enough of a loan to buy a starter house. Instead we have to pay more in rent than we would on a mortgage.

K.L.    July 7, 2016    Florida   

I turn 42 in a couple of weeks and work as a licensed PA state auto mechanic. I grew up in a lower income household and began working at age 12. I borrowed federal money to better myself and put myself through school. In 2009 I graduated from a technical school with an associate degree in automotive technology. When I graduated I owed over $28,000. Today is July 6, 2016 and my student loans have grown to approximately $37,000.00. I earn only $11.00/hr and have no retirement or savings. Two years ago shortly after my 40th birthday it was discovered that I have kidney disease and only 48% kidney function. I'm scared I will never be able to retire.

Brady P Albert    July 6, 2016    Brownsville, PA 15417   

My consolidated loans are from 1985 and for graduate school in 1992, so I have been paying various lenders ever since. Since 2005, I have paid roughly the entire amount of my remaining loan in monthly payments. In 2011 the loan was taken over by EdSouth Wells Fargo, and serviced now by AES, for the original amount of @33K. Since that time, I have made made 50+ payments of from 160/month to now of 274/month. Yet, with AES's completely unintelligible reasoning, I still have 153 more monthly payments, which increase over time. This will bring this fed loan at 8% interest to an enormous final amount, far over the original loan, and certainly not 8% annual interest.
Some way, some how, this company has to be stopped, and force to pay back questionable and enormous earnings.

John Radanovich    July 6, 2016    Florida   

I went to a trade school when I was 25 that told me I would make an x amount to start but once in the field, entry level jobs were only $10 or less. Living in California, I couldn't afford to live off of that so I had no choice but to go back to my old job, a concierge at the Hilton. The schooling was rushed, most students were complaining that we were not learning anything that we couldn't learn on the job. Recently, this school ( Bryan College) was sued by the federal government for misleading students and the gov won however I am still forced to pay for the loan and I now am 36. The loan was for 12 thousand I still owe over 6.

Elizabeth    July 6, 2016    Arizona   

I had no family or funds to pay for college and had to do it on my own. I have over $65,000 in government student loans and though they work with me on the payments the amount owed goes up every year instead of down because I can't afford the full payment. I have worked in social work and Foster Care the social work forgiveness program doesn't even help unless you meet very strict guidelines and still have paid on the loan for several years. There is no real relief. It's Horrible.

Amanda    July 5, 2016    Phoenix, AZ   

I graduated from college in 2000 and graduate school in 2012. I have over $150,000 in student loan debt and feel completely trapped. I don't feel like I can buy a home or start a family because I am locked in this prison of debt... It's really discouraging. The American dream has become a nightmare. The government bailed out the car industry, why can't they help with student loans? The system is so backwards...

Jennifer Madura    July 5, 2016    Boston   

I didn't know what I wanted to major in or even if I wanted to go to college after high school in 2005, but there was such a pressure to attend college especially a good one. My parents were dead set on the idea that taking on some debt and getting an education that would pay itself forward and reward me in the long run with a high paying and rewarding job. Since I didn't know what I wanted to do I went to Maine's state school. Most if not all my tuition was covered by my parents when I attended state school. After grasping what I wanted to major in I decided to transfer to Manhattan College, a private college in the Bronx where the tuition was twice as much $35k with room and board. My parents said they would pay for half and I would be responsible for the rest. So I graduated in 2009 $30,000 something in debt. My monthly payment is $191 and as of today I owe $6,853

So a couple things would be I wish I had just staid in state school and had zero debt out of college. $30k or so and $191 isn't crippling by any means compared to others but the state school was just as good as Manhattan College but just not in NYC. Second thing would be not knowing the rates I borrowed at which would be 2.5% for one lone and 6.9% for another, again not bad but knowledge is key since I hear some people get plowed by their APR's and it makes me wonder if they looked at what they were signing. I got lucky and had my parents co-sign my loans and my father looked over everything. I also regret not paying more than the minimum, again $191 isn't a huge amount but living in NYC really puts a damper on your funds. I am 29 turning 30 in November and it isn't until now that I am really evaluating my student loans/debt. But the good news if I just pay the minimum I have 3 years left.

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Joseph    July 1, 2016    Bronx   
Joseph    July 1, 2016    Bronx   

I didn't know what I wanted to major in or even if I wanted to go to college after high school in 2005, but there was such a pressure to attend college especially a good one. My parents were dead set on the idea that taking on some debt and getting an education that would pay itself forward and reward me in the long run with a high paying and rewarding job. Since I didn't know what I wanted to do I went to Maine's state school. Most if not all my tuition was covered by my parents when I attended state school. After grasping what I wanted to major in I decided to transfer to Manhattan College, a private college in the Bronx where the tuition was twice as much $35k with room and board. My parents said they would pay for half and I would be responsible for the rest. So I graduated in 2009 $30,000 something in debt. My monthly payment is $191 and as of today I owe $6,853

So a couple things would be I wish I had just staid in state school and had zero debt out of college. $30k or so and $191 isn't crippling by any means compared to others but the state school was just as good as Manhattan College but just not in NYC. Second thing would be not knowing the rates I borrowed at which would be 2.5% for one lone and 6.9% for another, again not bad but knowledge is key since I hear some people get plowed by their APR's and it makes me wonder if they looked at what they were signing. I got lucky and had my parents co-sign my loans and my father looked over everything. I also regret not paying more than the minimum, again $191 isn't a huge amount but living in NYC really puts a damper on your funds. I am 29 turning 30 in November and it isn't until now that I am really evaluating my student loans/debt. But the good news if I just pay the minimum I have 3 years left. I can't pay extra now since I am saving for my wedding but after next year if I start contributing more than the minimum I could be done a year early. In the end it does bum be out that this money isn't be saved either in a 401k, for a house, or a rainy day but the only thing I can do is move forward. My advice is before thinking you have to go to college as yourself what do you really want to do? Ask yourself if the college you desire has a very good ROI for the program you want to be in. If not don't take on debt just to take on debt and have a "college experience" or to "grow up" because you can do that without debt as well

I work in Poison Control. My job is to advise everyone. I give advice to doctors, nurses, parents, grandparents, teachers.... I went to college for a BBA majoring in healthcare services. I graduated in 2008. Apparently the worst year to graduate. No jobs. I had taken time off from school to be with my daughter who has epilepsy so that I could be sure she was stable and on the right medication. All the way around I lost. Now I owe over $70,000. IBR was not helpful. Navient is really no help. Davenport University put the screws to me when I graduated. First they did not have a an internship coordinator so I found my own which would have lead to a job in my desired field. When they finally hired someone they said there was no contract with them, so I could not do this. Instead, I had to work with their contact which lead no where for me. I have a job that barely pays enough to live on. But they wany me to pay $800 a month in student loans. Clearly they have no sense of reality.

Denise    July 1, 2016    Michigan   

I took out private and federal loans to pay for undergrad degree in psychology and a masters in school counseling. This is an impossible field to get into if you do not have connections. I owe almost $200,000. I pay about $1000 a month. I work to pay bills/ there's nothing left of my pay check. I work as a behavioral specialist which is reliant on my clients keeping appointments so I can work. I never work the same hours each week. I have to hustle to make sure I earned enough to cover bills and day care for my baby. My husband wants to leave the job he hates and open the business of his dreams but it's too hard because of my monthly bills. Private loans will NOT help at all and we cannot find a way to get above this. I have a useless degree and in regretting my choices everyday.

Lauren Richardson    June 30, 2016    Pennsylvania   

From a young age, I have always wanted to own and manage my own business. I have always been aware of the amount of hard work and sacrifice it would take to do this, but I also knew that if I were successful, the rewards could be immeasurable. So early on I started studying hard and learning the ins and outs of business management. I worked and worked to put myself through college while supporting my family. I knew college was expensive, but tuition just kept increasing the entire time I was in school. My first 3 credit class was under $300 for tuition and materials, my last classes were around $2000 for each course including materials. I became concerned with how much debt I was accumulating, but I was determined and already committed. Now that I am done with my MBA, I am stuck with a staggering and literally crippling $153,000 in student loan debt. My payments are over $900 per month (twice as much as my house payment) and I can't find a job that will even come close to what I currently earn as an automotive tech... This debt also means that I can't even consider getting any kind of small business loan, or saving any substantial amount of money living paycheck to paycheck just to stay current on my payments. I am exhausted from constantly worrying about the debt. I know that this debt will haunt me for the rest of my life, the interst alone is approximately $18 per day, which means the principal balance of the loans will never actually decrease. I feel like my dream is dead, I have failed my family, and my ambitions and determination have quite literally ruined my life.

Michael    June 27, 2016    Missouri   

My student loan debt has skyrocketed to $135,000, of which $100,000 is the astronomical interest rate that I am stuck with to pay on this outrageous loan. I was encouraged by my school to take out student loans to pay for my education as a court reporter. Consequently my school closed, I never received the degree, and even though I had filed babkruotcy years ago, and attempted to discharge the student loans, my request was denied. I did manage to pay off two of the loans, but due to financial burden and family illness, I have been unsuccessful to get the current loan to a manageable state, I am deeply disturbed that there is no substantial relief for the current student loan debt burden, and that the banks are able to get away with unregulated policy that destroys people's lives. I pray that one day all student loan debt will be forgiven - it would forever change my quality of life.

jhr    June 26, 2016    California   

I have been involved in the student loan industry in one way or the other ever since 1997. One of my first jobs dealing with federally guaranteed student loans, was with a company called Collegiate Funding Services based out of Pinellas Park, Florida. This company came up with the incredible idea to market the federal consolidation loan program, (which had been put in place since the Higher Education Act of 1965) to students and parents that could not afford their standard monthly payments on their loans. It was amazing to find out the large amount of people that had no clue they had the ability to lower their monthly payments by extending their loan using their own federal right to consolidate. There is no prepayment penalty with this program. Other benefits include placing all of the loans disbursed in different years and school semesters into one simple loan. In many cases this process would improve a loan borrower's credit score by lowering their debt to income ration. With all of these benefits available for student loan borrowers, how come the FFELP and FDSLP programs were not more informative with their borrowers. In many cases the borrower would call their lender or servicer for help and they were simply placed on a deferment or a forbearance program which in turn would have the loans accrue interest. A temporary solution for a never ending problem. In 2008 the companies that offer the marketing strategies that I was involved with were forced to close their doors. Ever since the student loan borrowers all over our country are more confused than ever. I know what some people are thinking, it is the borrower's responsibility to take care of their student loan debt and be well informed of the same. Take it from me my fellow Americans and college loan colleagues, I have been in this industry for 19 years now and I am still learning new policies, new laws, guidelines and regulations. This is the reality of this Trillion dollar industry.

DJ Omar    June 24, 2016    New Port Richey, Florida   

Finishing my Master's degree in education cost me 40k in student loan debt. Worked as a teacher for 5 years and around $600 /month. I am 63 and want to retire... But currently I am on a deferred period and trying to survive with a home job. No light at the end of this tunnel.

Mono    June 24, 2016    Saint Paul   

I was born in one of the worst cities to live in Massachusetts. As one can expect, living in a "dying" city affords little opportunities. However, I was able to live on my own at 18, work three jobs, and attend Northeastern University. Of course I couldn't afford to live on campus, so commuting two hours each way was my only option. After college I immediately enrolled in grad school because I realized that society practically demands a graduate degree in order to be successful. I decided to pursue a career in teaching at the secondary level. I have always loved learning and hoped to inspire that same passion in someone else. After six years of college and $74,000 in student loan debt, I am currently unemployed because jobs are scarce and pursuing dreams is an American farce that I believed.

Brittany Foley    June 21, 2016    Quincy   

I was foolish enough to go to a for-profit college where I gained over 12,000 in debt and unanswered calls begging my "career advisors" for any help. I'm currently working a job that is barely above minimum wage, my car has been repossessed and I get daily threats from bill collectors that I'll be evicted from my apartment, my drivers license suspended, and my already low wages garnished. I should have never gone to college. I wake up everyday hoping I'll be hit by a car or something, just so I can be unconscious for a while and be free of this anxiety and depression. I fully believe that a coma is my only reprieve from this intimidation and striking poverty.

Elizabeth brooks    June 9, 2016    Knoxville   

Miami-Dade County Public Schools K-12, prepaid and scholarship public college at Florida State Univ., then went to U of Miami Law School (private) and racked up tremendous student debt. Entered bleak job market with misrepresented statistics, toiled in private practice for a few years "paying my dues," took NY Bar exam hoping for better prospects (passed). Now, candidate for Congress in FL-27, progressive Democrat bringing the revolution to South Florida. Campaign contributions not permitted to be spent paying down candidates' student loans. Maybe someone will pay attention now? Has there ever been a member of Congress actively paying off their student loan debt?

Adam Sackrin    June 9, 2016    Miami, FL   

I have been paying my student debt faithfully for 20 years. I graduated in June 1996. My original debt was $29,624.14 and over the years I have paid about $52,000. I still owe $18,865.83! My income is 90% social security. How do I qualify for debt forgiveness?

Peter Sanford    June 8, 2016    Corvallis, Oregon   

I am an sophomore in community college. I have a 4.0 gpa. I recently got accepted to USC, but they refuse to give me any financial aid. All I can get is a $9,084 Cal Grant. They said I'm eligible for $45,000 in loans. This is ridiculous. They are just conniving, thieving mostors who want to trap me into having $150,000 in debt when I graduate. That's more than people who go to law school, when all I'm asking for is a measly chemistry degree. Now I don’t know what to do because my parents say I have to go to USC. Although, now I hate it. I don’t want to go to such a heartless school. The whole thing makes me want to kill myself. I don’t know if I can live in a world with such cold injustice.

Michelle    June 8, 2016    Los Angeles, CA   

I don't even know where to start. I was raised in poor rural areas and thought that college was my ticket out of there. I did well in school and took out private and federal student loans to go to college. I went to a small liberal arts college. I didn't know that I had just been sold. Hard. My junior year, I was denied more loans and had to drop out. I left with 60k in student loans. My student loans are $600 a month. Most weeks I don't have food in my kitchen and basically live off of whatever I can find. The worst part is that I can't even qualify for food stamps or aid at all. I make less than 25k a year and I can't get a better job. I've tried to think of every possible solution and I can't find anything. I just don't think I can keep living like this. I just can't do it. The only thing that is keeping me from declaring bankruptcy or committing suicide is my Dad. He cosigned and If I can't pay my debt they will just hound him. He will lose his home and everything he has worked for in life.
I can't do that to him but I can't keep going like this. I just can't. I can't take the pain and never ending struggle any longer. I don't know what I'm going to do.

Kate    June 7, 2016    Idaho   

I dropped out of high school because I could no longer deal with the bullying that occurred on a daily basis. Fortunately, I eventually enrolled in a community college, which in California has an open-door policy.
I completed both a certificate and associate program, then, went onto complete an undergraduate degree in the Cal State system.
I obtained a great teaching job. In order to keep that job, I had to obtain a master's degree for which I obtained a student loan.
Upon graduation, I applied for, and came very close to obtaining several administrative positions. Trusted colleagues advised me it would be worth it to complete a doctorate degree, as it would make me more competitive.
I did, and was the first in my family to do so.
Initially, my income based monthly student loan payment was low enough, and I was managing it. The next year, Navient nearly tripled the amount. I couldn't manage it, and they suggested I apply for forebearance. I can't them to lower the payment to a manageable amount, so I keep having to apply for forebearance.
In the meantime, the college at which I am employed was issued a "show cause" accreditation status. One of the issues was the budget, so the administration began a Draconian austerity plan in which our pay was cut by 5%, and our pay schedule was converted from every other week to once a month. I couldn't take this double hit on my budget. At the end of each month, I was paying for essentials like gas and groceries with credit cards. Needless to say, I ran them up quickly that first year, and doubled my debt.
In the meantime, I've still been frustrated in my efforts to obtain an administrative position. I get close, but most of the time it appears that the district has someone in mind, and the interview process is simply a formality. One district even denied me an interview because I couldn't make the time and date they arbitrarily set up for me. They scheduled it the morning of a regular work day,

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Kyle Thornton    June 7, 2016    Oakland   
Kyle Thornton    June 7, 2016    Oakland   

I dropped out of high school because I could no longer deal with the bullying that occurred on a daily basis. Fortunately, I eventually enrolled in a community college, which in California has an open-door policy.
I completed both a certificate and associate program, then, went onto complete an undergraduate degree in the Cal State system.
I obtained a great teaching job. In order to keep that job, I had to obtain a master's degree for which I obtained a student loan.
Upon graduation, I applied for, and came very close to obtaining several administrative positions. Trusted colleagues advised me it would be worth it to complete a doctorate degree, as it would make me more competitive.
I did, and was the first in my family to do so.
Initially, my income based monthly student loan payment was low enough, and I was managing it. The next year, Navient nearly tripled the amount. I couldn't manage it, and they suggested I apply for forebearance. I can't them to lower the payment to a manageable amount, so I keep having to apply for forebearance.
In the meantime, the college at which I am employed was issued a "show cause" accreditation status. One of the issues was the budget, so the administration began a Draconian austerity plan in which our pay was cut by 5%, and our pay schedule was converted from every other week to once a month. I couldn't take this double hit on my budget. At the end of each month, I was paying for essentials like gas and groceries with credit cards. Needless to say, I ran them up quickly that first year, and doubled my debt.
In the meantime, I've still been frustrated in my efforts to obtain an administrative position. I get close, but most of the time it appears that the district has someone in mind, and the interview process is simply a formality. One district even denied me an interview because I couldn't make the time and date they arbitrarily set up for me. They scheduled it the morning of a regular work day, with one weeks notice, and would not reschedule it.
Though I learned a great deal, and am proud of having achieved that doctoral degree, I'm a bit ambivalent about that investment. I graduated just four years ago, so perhaps something is yet to come. I'm trying to remain optimistic, but with a $250,000.00 student loan debt that is in forebearance, it is difficult.

I am a first generation college student. I excelled as an undergrad at Chico State, and then attended law school at McGeorge in Sacramento. It is 6 years later, and I find myself in nearly $400,000 worth of debt, and unemployed. The anxiety and depression I feel knowing that I will likely never be able to lift myself out of this poverty makes me feel hopeless, and like a fool for believing the teachers, administrators, etc, when they told me that taking out loans for tuition and living was a safe bet

Caroline    May 31, 2016    LocationRichmond CA   

I have an original student loan debt of $12,000. Over the last 6 years, I've paid over $65,000. According to them, I still ove over $55,000.

Craig    May 30, 2016    Kansas   

I moved to the United States by myself in September of 2013, hoping to take a burden off my father who is supporting my three other siblings in their higher education.
I had already completed two years of my bachelor’s in Architecture at Notre Dame University in Lebanon yet, unsurprisingly, had to restart the program at the University of Maryland. In the three years since, I have established myself, bought a car, and even paid off my first semester’s tuition (for which I was considered out-of-state). I lost half a year waiting to become a resident of this state in hopes that I would not have to work day and night to pay immense tuition in addition to helping my parents, who live in a struggling economy. I planned carefully to ensure a smooth and somewhat worry-free life, and to ease the anxiety of going through this alone.
I reapplied for school a year after my first semester. Unable to find my admissions decision online, I went to campus to speak to an advisor. He accepted me on the spot and told me to register immediately as it was 3 days prior to the start of classes. I explained that I could not afford to pay out-of-state tuition; I was not going to register for classes when the deadlines for financial aid and residency-reclassification had passed. He said it was fine and they would “take care of me.” That, of course, turned out to not be the case.
Slammed with $15,000 for 3 classes, I sacrificed sending money to my parents in order to pay my tuition. since it was not a loan. The bureaucratic and, as far as I am concerned, greedy, school would not give me any sort of payment plan, and charged me a handsome late fee every month despite my regular payments.
A few months later, my account is now at $16,900 even though I have paid $2000 toward it.
I lost my job at the beginning of this year and have not been able to get one that would allow me to pay my tuition and still afford the cost of living.

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John Maghamez    May 27, 2016    College Park, Maryland   
John Maghamez    May 27, 2016    College Park, Maryland   

I moved to the United States by myself in September of 2013, hoping to take a burden off my father who is supporting my three other siblings in their higher education.
I had already completed two years of my bachelor’s in Architecture at Notre Dame University in Lebanon yet, unsurprisingly, had to restart the program at the University of Maryland. In the three years since, I have established myself, bought a car, and even paid off my first semester’s tuition (for which I was considered out-of-state). I lost half a year waiting to become a resident of this state in hopes that I would not have to work day and night to pay immense tuition in addition to helping my parents, who live in a struggling economy. I planned carefully to ensure a smooth and somewhat worry-free life, and to ease the anxiety of going through this alone.
I reapplied for school a year after my first semester. Unable to find my admissions decision online, I went to campus to speak to an advisor. He accepted me on the spot and told me to register immediately as it was 3 days prior to the start of classes. I explained that I could not afford to pay out-of-state tuition; I was not going to register for classes when the deadlines for financial aid and residency-reclassification had passed. He said it was fine and they would “take care of me.” That, of course, turned out to not be the case.
Slammed with $15,000 for 3 classes, I sacrificed sending money to my parents in order to pay my tuition. since it was not a loan. The bureaucratic and, as far as I am concerned, greedy, school would not give me any sort of payment plan, and charged me a handsome late fee every month despite my regular payments.
A few months later, my account is now at $16,900 even though I have paid $2000 toward it.
I lost my job at the beginning of this year and have not been able to get one that would allow me to pay my tuition and still afford the cost of living.
In a few days, I will turn 23. I still have no degree. I know that I have immense potential, but I have been unable to put it to use. My family needs my help and I fear it might take me a lot more years to get out of this and be done with school.

Currently speaking I'm going to Full Sail University, which I am fully regretting as the lies they spew is far too convincing for someone straight out of high school. It is a for profit school that I honestly should've looked into more. I had been going to school for a bit at my local community college, taking out a total of $3600 in loans (I had a grant worth $386 at the time.) The degree program (Game Design) from Full Sail cost a minimum of $74500 and that is for an UNDERGRADUATE. If I could do anything different, I honestly wouldn't have bothered going to college. I'm currently working at a job that refuses to give me more than 10 hours/week at $8.05 an hour. There's no way I'll be able to pay it all off. I've considered getting a bunch of credit cards and paying them all off and then declaring bankruptcy because that is the only viable way I can think of paying it off. It kills me because my little sister wants to go to college, and I've had to tell her don't do it. Simply because she has to take out student debt. This was a parent plus loan so it's on my parent's shoulders and the amount of guilt I feel for doing this to them is enormous. So unless, I can get it forgiven, win the lotto or some huge benefactor shows up I'm doomed.

Patrick Calhoun    May 27, 2016    Orange Park, Florida   

I was working full time and co-signed for my daughter when she started college. She took out some loans also. I kept paying on it and for a while when she started working she payed on it, but lost jobs twice. I kept my payments till my hours got cut, then I was missing work from health issues and was told I was going to get released from work if I missed one more day, so I put in for early retirement and have been living on that, lost my home and have been living with my daughter. I haven't paid on it because I have a small monthly social security check. They said they can't transfer it to my daughter and she still owes a higher amount on her loans!! I have spent my years just recuperating from my health issues and now I help my daughter with my grandchildren. She is now a single parent so she can use my help. I wish they would remove this loan.

M CARRELL    May 26, 2016    Denver Colorado   

I graduated from law school with nearly $200,000 in student loan debt. Due to forebearances, etc., and despite the fact that I have never been in default that number is now about $220,000. For the last four years I have been paying my federal loans through an Income Based Repayment program. My private loans offer no relief at all. My payments for all the loans exceed $800 a month. A year ago it occurred to me that I had a small loan with Sallie Mae that I was paying an additional $80 per month on that could be consolidated with my other federal loans. Today I found that that doing so erased the prior three and a half years of qualifying IBR payments and reset the clock for my payback date. I worry that I'll have paid student loans for most of my adult life and won't be able to collect Social Security (which I've also paid into my entire life) because of these loans that will never go away.

Eric Hevenor    May 25, 2016    Aurora, Colorado   

While we were dating, my husband and I both returned to college to make a better life for ourselves. We've been out of school for over 6 years, and have $167k between us. We had no familial assistance. We had no savings. We both worked through school to be able to eat and put a roof over our heads. While we both have decent jobs now, we're barely keeping our heads above water. We can't afford to buy a house because our student loans ARE a mortgage (in fact, our monthly student loan payments EXCEED our rent). This is NOT the life we want, and with baby #2 on the way, we're reaching out for help any which way we can.

Heather    May 24, 2016    Massachusetts   

After having a child late in life, I found myself a single mom at age 40. I decided to go back to school and finish my degree. A Bachelor's degree doesn't provide much in the way of wage increase, so I continued on to my MBA. Then the economy crashed, and I was unable to find a well paying job. My daughter passed away, and I was unemployed for over 2 years. I work a part time job in a coffee shop. My student loan payments will be $1600 a month. Originally I owed about $82k- it is now $146k. At 56, I will never be out from under this crushing debt. I will not be able to collect social security, and I have no retirement fund. Perhaps I can use my MBA certificate to get a cup of coffee when I'm old and homeless.

Terri P    May 23, 2016    Tucson   

I was 18 when I decided to study Interior Design at a private college. I had no idea that living on campus and going to school out of state would make my principle loan so high. I have approximately 80K in debt. The loan is through a Parent Plus Loan, so my mom pays and she takes the money out of my checking account each month. If she dies, the loan is forgiven. I have always been able to make the monthly payment, but it still sucks. I'm thinking about selling artwork, saving up and then just writing my mom a big check so I can get it out of my life

Shannon    May 20, 2016    Vermont   

After getting my degree and working for awhile, I foolishly decided to go to law school. I wasn't able to finish (for financial reasons) so I went to work for a local city as a land use planner. I had taken out about $50,000 in loans for law school. The monthly payments that Sallie Mae wanted were huge so I filed a Ch.13 repayment plan. For 5 years I paid almost $1,500 to a trustee; most of that was to go to Sallie Mae. Fast forward to today: ECMC is my current loan servicer and when I look up my account history online, there's absolutely nothing for the years 2002-2006, not a single payment shown. I'm convinced that Sallie Mae never applied the money from the trustee to my debt. ECMC now claims I owe $221,000. I've been accepted into the Peace Corps to begin a new career but I don't know what to do about ECMC. Maybe in a couple of years I'll try to find a lawyer to help me challenge the debt as a matter of sloppy (or illegal) accounting.

Brian *    May 16, 2016    Tacoma, Washington   

Had this loan for my son for 20 years who today still struggling to find steady full time work.. 8/14/2007 I fell had multiple devastating injuries lost my $80,000/yr job, worked since I was 14....because I did not have a 100% total disability Sallie Mae would only do forebearance after forebearance until that was no longer an option...then phone calls started and harassment to say the least. All while I had no job due to my injury and multiple surgeries. To this day I am 67% disabled but I work barely making ends meet at $12/hour and in constant pain......$415/month would make anyone's life worse...still drowning and I am a good swimmer! I retire next year...they won't EVER get me to pay this off so why not assist me now for quality of life...my injury kept me out of work for 8 years, but wasn't a total 100% disability so they didn't help me then or now.....my original amount was to assist my son in college 20 years ago, and now it is more than double due to them punishing me when forebearance interest has more than doubled and tripled amount I originally borrowed. 'In 10 years we will look at a possibility of forgiveness.' I was told two months ago...what a joke..yet illegal immigrants and our own citizens are taken care of in this country who are here and I work and have worked since I was 14 and I help support those who do nothing for this economy.....this is the time of my life where I should be retiring and no worries...other than my car payment, this is my only overwhelming struggle...other than rent, utilities, food, gas....I guess no one will EVER EVER REACH OUT TO ME...I know others are in this boat too. I went back to school raising my two children working 3 jobs to support them due to a dead beat father...paid off my loan quickly...this one is in my name and we are struggling to make payments...after struggling to show honor to pay back SOMETHING I was allowed after 6 months to have my loan overtaken by NAVIENT==I had no choice it just happened and now payments are $415/month...was told if I was to pay monthly payments on time for 10 years,

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Mary Woodfield    May 14, 2016    Liverpool, NY   
Mary Woodfield    May 14, 2016    Liverpool, NY   

Had this loan for my son for 20 years who today still struggling to find steady full time work.. 8/14/2007 I fell had multiple devastating injuries lost my $80,000/yr job, worked since I was 14....because I did not have a 100% total disability Sallie Mae would only do forebearance after forebearance until that was no longer an option...then phone calls started and harassment to say the least. All while I had no job due to my injury and multiple surgeries. To this day I am 67% disabled but I work barely making ends meet at $12/hour and in constant pain......$415/month would make anyone's life worse...still drowning and I am a good swimmer! I retire next year...they won't EVER get me to pay this off so why not assist me now for quality of life...my injury kept me out of work for 8 years, but wasn't a total 100% disability so they didn't help me then or now.....my original amount was to assist my son in college 20 years ago, and now it is more than double due to them punishing me when forebearance interest has more than doubled and tripled amount I originally borrowed. 'In 10 years we will look at a possibility of forgiveness.' I was told two months ago...what a joke..yet illegal immigrants and our own citizens are taken care of in this country who are here and I work and have worked since I was 14 and I help support those who do nothing for this economy.....this is the time of my life where I should be retiring and no worries...other than my car payment, this is my only overwhelming struggle...other than rent, utilities, food, gas....I guess no one will EVER EVER REACH OUT TO ME...I know others are in this boat too. I went back to school raising my two children working 3 jobs to support them due to a dead beat father...paid off my loan quickly...this one is in my name and we are struggling to make payments...after struggling to show honor to pay back SOMETHING I was allowed after 6 months to have my loan overtaken by NAVIENT==I had no choice it just happened and now payments are $415/month...was told if I was to pay monthly payments on time for 10 years, a forgiveness may be granted....I am 63 YEARS OLD...10 more years??? seriously....I HAVE LOST ALL FAITH IN WHAT ANYONE CAN DO TO HELP ME RESOLVE THIS...

MY QUESTION....IF I TOOK $20,000 out of my extremely small retirement savings account, would someone say ok...let's take this as a settlement? Does anyone know or know someone who can answer this question?

I am now in my mid 50s and my student loans have gotten out of control. I think my original amount I borrowed was $45,000.

Today somehow my student loans are now near $400,000.
Needless to say, I now view this as obstacle that can no longer be over come.

Kevin    May 14, 2016   

As the economy crashed I thought it would benefit me to go back to school and earn another degree. Turns out my degree is worthless because I cannot find a job running a livable wage my house has been foreclosed and I am homeless have a car but cannot afford to drive it because of the ridiculously high insurance rates. I feel as though I should have file for bankruptcy before this craziness begin. Nowhere to go nowhere or no one to depend on. What am I to do?

Solomon    May 11, 2016    Michigan   

My parents who had been struggling financially since I was 6, divorced when I was 15. My mom made about $18K a year and had three girls to take care of. The judge determined that my dad should pay $86 a month for child support. My sisters and I were all determined to go to college. We worked hard in school and applied to college. Private schools were cheaper for each of us than a state or public school. It was also cheaper than finding an apartment and car to go to a community college. So at 18, I embarked with no support from my family, and went to school. I was fortunate enough to get grants and scholarships for the majority of my aid. My original principal was $25,088.23. I graduated with no job and no where to go. I took a live in nanny position, hoping to go to Grad School. My life took a slight turn and I found myself taking care of my new born baby, on welfare and working 3 jobs to make ends meet. I had to put my loans on forbearance or several years. Eventually, I was able to get a great job, but being a single mom with childcare consuming 1/3 of my income, I still was struggling to make payments at nearly $1000 a month so I had to modify the loan to a longer term. Now -- I have been paying my loans consistently for more than 10 ears and I will have my last payment in 2030. In the end, my student loans will cost me $61K. My son is planning on starting college in the fall and I am faced with a struggle -- do I encourage him to go to school and take out student loans? Or postpone school and try to make some money.

For someone who has been contributing to the work froce for 20+ years it is so frustrating to know it is taking me 40 years to pay off my student loans.

Jennifer    May 9, 2016    Chicago   

I am a 31 year old professional opera singer/ soprano working in Germany. In order to finance a Master of Music Performance at Arizona State University (necessary for a young singer before beginning a professional career), I took out $50,000+ in direct student loans. I currently earn about $1,800 a month in Germany- a normal income for a professional soloist that is engaged full-time at an operahouse.

In 2 months, I will be freelance again, auditioning again, earning less and more irregularly again. Singers also have to continuously work privately with a teacher and/or a coach/conductor to prepare roles and repertoire for auditions and jobs. Think of it as being a high-level, finely tuned athlete. One has to stay physically and mentally fit, trained, and prepared.
But I digress...

My student loans have ballooned to over $80,000 now, and I don't see how I will be in a position in the next 5 years (or possibly ever) to make even a dent in them. The interest continues to snowball.
I am doing exactly what I trained to do, what I love, what I am called to do. I am working as hard as I can to support myself. But I do not earn enough to make any significant, if ANY, monetary payments towards my student loan debt.

My life is in Germany, I have a partner and have paid into the social and retirement benefits system here since moving here after my masters 5 years ago.

I know I can continue on an income-based repayment plan, but one day the sum, or a part of it, will have to be paid.
I am considering bankruptcy, I am looking for a way to have the loans forgiven, or for a generous donor who wants to assist a young developing artist.
I look forward to being contacted and to any guidance, beginning a dialogue with this organization.
Thank you for reading my story,
Martha

Martha O'Hara    May 9, 2016    Germany   

Don't buy into the scam that as long as you have good grades or come from a poor family you'll be able to do it. My family was poor and I had almost a 4.0 but never received any scholarships, grants, or tuition assistance.
I come from a single parent home, and the first person in my family to go to (and graduate) college. My mom ran a food stand growing up. I never qualified for ANY student aid. FAFSA said I should be contributing almost $7,000 a year (which I didn't have). I went to school online so I could stay employed but it cost me about $10,000 a year to go to that school. I later switched to a local college but gave up working because I had an illness that didn't allow me to take on both work and school at the same time. Plus, now I have giant medical bills to deal with.
Long story short- I ended up with almost $58,000 in student loans for just my undergrad.

Lynn B    May 6, 2016    TN   

I went into foster care as a child - no one ever talked to me about higher education. I knew nothing about it. When I became of age and was phased out of foster care, I was suddenly on my own, homeless, with no family or anyone to help or guide me. I was trying to learn how to survive on my own for the first time with no one to help me. I couch surfed, I slept on the streets, I stayed with the parent who abused me for some nights - and then I realized I had to do something to stay alive. I had to better my life somehow. I lived in an area with many college students, I watched them come and go from school on city buses, I saw them studying in cafe's. One day, I took the city bus to a local community college, having no clue how to get in, or that I couldn't just walk in one day and be a student. I hadn't been taught anything about this - I was clueless. I walked own a hallway at the community college, asking someone in the hallway where to sign up to go there. The person pointed me to the financial aid office. I went there, talked to a woman behind the counter, told her a bit of my story, and she helped me apply for student aide and loans, sign up for classes for the next semester, etc. I just signed on the dotted lines, desperate for any place to belong, for anything to help me better my life, to survive. I had no one and belonged no where, so this community college felt like a life line, it was a place to belong, it was everything to me. I took out loans, got some financial aide, completed two years there on the Deans list and then transferred to a 4 year college, where I had to take out more loans. Higher education was still my life line. It was everything to me. It was the first time I felt like I belonged anywhere,

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Lily    May 6, 2016    MA   
Lily    May 6, 2016    MA   

I went into foster care as a child - no one ever talked to me about higher education. I knew nothing about it. When I became of age and was phased out of foster care, I was suddenly on my own, homeless, with no family or anyone to help or guide me. I was trying to learn how to survive on my own for the first time with no one to help me. I couch surfed, I slept on the streets, I stayed with the parent who abused me for some nights - and then I realized I had to do something to stay alive. I had to better my life somehow. I lived in an area with many college students, I watched them come and go from school on city buses, I saw them studying in cafe's. One day, I took the city bus to a local community college, having no clue how to get in, or that I couldn't just walk in one day and be a student. I hadn't been taught anything about this - I was clueless. I walked own a hallway at the community college, asking someone in the hallway where to sign up to go there. The person pointed me to the financial aid office. I went there, talked to a woman behind the counter, told her a bit of my story, and she helped me apply for student aide and loans, sign up for classes for the next semester, etc. I just signed on the dotted lines, desperate for any place to belong, for anything to help me better my life, to survive. I had no one and belonged no where, so this community college felt like a life line, it was a place to belong, it was everything to me. I took out loans, got some financial aide, completed two years there on the Deans list and then transferred to a 4 year college, where I had to take out more loans. Higher education was still my life line. It was everything to me. It was the first time I felt like I belonged anywhere, the first time I realized what I could accomplish, the first time I felt worth anything. I graduated 2 years later with great grades, got a job, but the pay was on the low side and I saw people around me going and getting their Master's Degree and I wanted to do the same thing. I applied and got in to a private school, got my Master's Degree with more loans and some aide. After some time working, I struggled with a healing journey that was just beginning - one from a really rough beginning with abusive parents and then years of foster care. My healing took everything out of me and in order to survive, I had to focus on taking care of myself, a severe trauma history, on how to live. The past took a tole on me and in needing to take care of myself, I went on disability. I paid on my student loans for as long as I could - the little money I had went towards necessities and student loans. 7 years went by and my principal balance barely budged, with interest, it was like running in place. It felt pointless. I was paying and paying and the balance wasn't going down, it just kept going up and up. It ballooned to over 100k. I finally got a lawyer to help me pro-bono, to get my federal loans discharged, which is very hard to do, but with all the right documentation and proof of my story, I was able to get my federal loans discharged last year. But what I didn't realize is that I would be taxed on the discharged amount. The nearly 100k I had discharged is considered "taxable income", even though it is not income. So now, I have a tax bill because I got my student debt discharged and I can't afford to pay it. Now, the state I live in sent me a letter saying I am going to have my driver's licence revoked and the little income I have, garnished, because I can't afford this 5k tax bill. And when I call them, I either get put on hold for hours and hours and then magically disconnected after hours on hold, or when I call, I get a message that says, "Your call can not be completed right now, please try back later." When I do get through, after hours of being on hold, I explain that I'm living in poverty and can't afford the tax bill on my discharged student loans, and they don't seem to care. Or hear me. I get told different things - I need this form or that form, and then the next time I call, I'm told I don't need that form, but a different form. I have 3 days before my driver's licence is revoked and they are going to take my disability money. I don't know how I'll get to my appointments or how I'll get around or how I'll be able to pay my rent without any income. Or my bills. Or even more ironically, the private loans that I still have to pay. I still have about 12k in private loans that I have to pay for and were not discharged. I feel like I"m being thrown off the edge of a cliff. I have no one to help me. I'm scared. I'm losing the little I have. I never should have gone to college, but it was my life line. I saved my life. And now, the bill for it keeps me awake at night and leaves me trembling under my covers and waking up with severe angst. I'm on my own. No parents to help me. No one. And now, because I'm too poor to pay, I'm about to lose my income and my licence and be further alienated from any lifelines I have to survive.

It's pretty simple, I borrowed $50,000 from Citibank, some for undergrad at Harvard and some for Grad school at Cornell. I've been paying on them for 10-15 years, for the past 4 years my payments have been $642 a month (my mom has been helping me with the payments) and, on a loan with a 10 year payoff I've paid about $45,000 and I still owe, today, $42,000. How can I get out of this? It will never be paid off, I can't see how I can pay this off. I am in my 40s now, I have one small child, and can't find a job (I've applied for nearly 100 since I lost my last job), my husband owns his own business which is suffering. I feel really trapped and I feel like, even if I file bankruptcy, which is a real possibility, I don't think I can manage this loan. By the way, I have a giant federal loan balance, but I at least know I can work that out with the recent laws. So, that's my story.

Peggy    May 6, 2016    New York   

First off I need to say, I gave all my information with no hesitation, if you want me, come get me.

When I was 18 years old I joined the United States Army. Less than a year later I was deployed to Afghanistan. While in Afghanistan, I will admit I did not make the best choices,while in Afghanistan, I was only 18 and 19 years old at the time and surrounded by 23, 24, 25.......year old men. Long story short, I was discharged from the United States Army while in Afghanistan after serving 18 months of active duty for failing a urinalysis. I did sign up for the GI Bill and paid $1300 dollars to obtain my GI Bill, however since I did not fulfill my contract obligations, which was 3 years, I am not qualified to receive my GI Bill.

Soon after my discharge, I enrolled into college. Because I was still young and naïve, I decided to be a full time student and take out a loan to not only pay for my school, but to pay for my housing as well. However shortly after enrolling, I found out I was going to be a father. After 2 semesters of college, I decided that having a job was more important than my education, because I was about to have a son, and how could I provide for him as a full time student. Again long story short, after only enrolling in school for 2 semesters, 5 years later, to this day, I owe over $12,000 for 2 semesters at Ivy Tech Community College.

Matthew Wessel    May 4, 2016    Frankfort, Indiana   

My mom was advised to take out Parent Plus Loans.... worst mistake ever! There are no repayment options for that. I went to an out of state public school. $20,000 a year for 5 years. My debt is only about 60,000 but because interest is a whopping 8% I have over $40,000 just in interest.... its ridiculous. I love my job and what I do but I wish someone would have advised my mom better and taken out more loans in my name so I can do repayment plans. I have $30,000 in federal loans which I pay $350 a month. And $121,000 in Private loans which I pay $800 a month... my mom is a single parent. My dad passed away when I was little my mom struggled and worked her butt off to get us through and to help put us through college. And we got NOTHING. A whopping $300 in financial aid.... because my mom worked and what they claim made "too much" its ridiculous and is so stressful being part time abd paying over $1000 in student loans. They told my mom the loans will be paid off in 30 years.... when she is 85!!! That is ridiculous and they need to fix this.

katie Z    May 3, 2016    NJ   

I went to medical school so I could practice family medicine in an underserved area. Unable to get a residency, my federal and private debt has ballooned to over $300,000. Help!

DrBob    May 3, 2016    Georgia   

I applied and attended ITT Tech in Albuquerque NM from 2007-2009. I took out student loans to go towards a bachelor's degree in game design. In the middle of my last semester before I received my associates degree my whole class was told that the bachelor's program was getting cancelled because it brought down the overall ranking of the college from school to workforce. So now me and about 100 other students got stuck with a $40,000+ bill for a degree that we didn't even get to complete. It took up all of my student financial aid and none of my credits would transfer to an accredited school so I am stuck with a seemingly unpayable debt and low paying job because any job that is available is minimum wage and I can't get anything close to my education field because a bachelor's degree or better is required yet unnatainable. How can schools get away with doping so many people just to pull the rug out from under you to retain school scores and leave people with loads of debt.

Mark Manning    May 2, 2016    grants   

I have been a teacher for 15 years. It took me eight years to get through my program. During that time I accumulated $30,000 in student loan debt. During most of those years, I was a single mom of four living on my teacher wages. I had to defer my student loans during many of those years because I simply could not repay them at the time. Now I am remarried and have stability but my loans have now claimed to $60,000. My monthly payment is set to begin next month but is nearly the size of our house payment, $1000. I found out that some teachers are eligible for loan forgiveness programs. I qualify for all requirements except for the fact that my loans were received prior to 1998. Therefore, none of my loans are forgiven. It's just not right.

Jeanette Lords    April 30, 2016    Idaho   

The debt was incurred in the usual way. ...
I paid about $1000/month for 2 years.
Fell off the grid... My own fault....
Moved to Mexico. 😊
My mother had a severe stroke, and we're back in the US.
I called the loan folks...
I would like to figure out SOME kind of payment plan...
I can't pay $1000/month, let alone, whatever it is now.
How do I make this right?
"You'll have to make 6 full payments before we can discuss a new plan"
"There's NO way I can make 6 full payments."
...silence...
"I really want to figure this out and start rebuilding my credit. ?"
"You have to make 6 full payments...

Mel    April 29, 2016   

I am a retired 72 year old father who is making the monthly payments on my daughter's student loan account so she, her husband and three children can remain solvent. In the more than nearly three years that I have been making the payments of more than $300, the principal has been reduced approximately $100.00.

john lindsay    April 28, 2016    aiken, sc   

I returned to college in 1982 at the age of 35. At that time, I was a single mother with two small children aged 10 and 7. I received my Bachelor's Degree in 1985. In the Fall of 1985, I entered Graduate School at U/Mass-Amherst, and concurrently completed two PhD programs in the Dept. of Psychology. In 1990, I completed my Psychology clinical internship at the VA Medical Center in Northampton MA. I was hired as a staff psychologist by that VA in March 1993.

I borrowed a total of $57,789.79. I began repayment on schedule, and have a solid payment history that reflects 20+ years of compliance with my loan payments. To date I have repaid $115,503.02. That is, jI have repaid twice what I borrowed. I have several more years of monthly payments of $626.33. All of this amounts to interest. The amount that I borrowed has been repaid twice.

I worked at the VA until 2005 specializing in treating veterans with PTSD from combat trauma. I retired from that full-time position, and began private practice continuing to specialize in caring for combat veterans with PTSD. I continue working with vets in private practice because I cannot pay my loans without that additional income.

I have been a good borrower for more than 20 years. I am 69 years old and have to keep working because I cannot otherwise afford my $626.33 monthly loan repayment. I am beginning to develop health issues. I need to stop working. I have tried several times to talk with Nelnet, now Navient. My options for terminating my loan are "die" or "default." Of course, the loan holder doesn't say THAT, but the loan holder is quite adamant that I do not qualify for forgiveness. They can, however, reduce my monthly payments and extend them for 25 years ... i.e., until I am 94.

That's my story. Thank you.

Linda Jenness-McClellan    April 27, 2016    Eastover, sc   

It is with the greatest compassion that I address those with student debt. I just want to underscore everything Bernie Sanders has said on the subject. I am old enough to have been a graduate from UC Berkeley when Berkeley and the other campuses of the University of CA were both a world class, second to none educational institution and tuition and fees were under $1000 / year. Just think, a great public university providing a great education with advanced degree, and launching every one of tens of thousands of graduates per year, free of debt! It was right then and it is right now! And the only thing keeping today’s gigantic, unjust student debt in place is the underpinning and undermining corporate greed mentality, which is also resisting every humanitarian and genuine patriotic impulse toward progress. All of you, stay focused on free college education at every public university and work for it. You and our nation deserve nothing less and America can easily restore what once was the norm.

DAVID BAUER    April 27, 2016    SANTA ROSA   

It is with the greatest compassion that I address those with student debt. I just want to underscore everything Bernie Sanders has said on the subject. I am old enough to have been a graduate from UC Berkeley when Berkeley and the other campuses of the University of CA were both a world class, second to none educational institution and tuition and fees were under $1000 / year. Just think, a great public university providing a great education with advanced degree, and launching every one of tens of thousands of graduates per year, free of debt! It was right then and it is right now! And the only thing keeping today’s gigantic, unjust student debt in place is the underpinning and undermining corporate greed mentality, which is also resisting every humanitarian and genuine patriotic impulse toward progress. All of you, stay focused on free college education at every public university and work for it. You and our nation deserve nothing less and America can easily restore what once was the norm.

DAVID BAUER    April 27, 2016    SANTA ROSA   

I am registered Art Therapist and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. As a single mother raising my daughter completely alone, I had very high hopes of making a better life for us by going to college. After I graduated, I found that I could barely afford to live on the salary of a therapist, and to think of paying off my student debt- forget it! If this is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, why are we paying for education, while many other countries offer free educations to their citizens? Even if I had been able to pay off my student loans, I believe that education should be free and I probably would not have paid a penny back in solidarity with the millions of others who are in crippling debt. Witnessing how this country does not reinvest in its people through education, I am encouraging my daughter to meet her professional goals without going through the US education system.

Carey MacCarthy    April 26, 2016    San Rafael   

I am a parent. When my daughter was applying to colleges we were told we could only get Parent Plus loans. I am now a widow and have spent years trying to keep the payments current after falling behind. The loans have finally been rehabilitated. The payments jumped from $190 a month to $1999.57 a month - my income is not even $3000 a month. For 8 years I paid and paid, none of the money went toward the principle, it appears to have gone only to the fees for the agency and penalties. The loans are now over $100,000. There is no end in sight. There is not place to go for assistance or advice. I am in my 60's and am in continuous fear that they will garnish my salary, or take what little I have left if I ever have to retire. This is not how I ever imagined spending this phase of my life.

Pamela Viscomi    April 26, 2016    Stamford, CT   

I am an educator. I owe a little over 100k in student loan debt because I hold a graduate and undergraduate degree. I've tried to apply for teacher loan forgiveness and have yet to receive a response after a year. I have been a teacher in title 1 schools for almost 10 years. How can I stress the power of education when I feel the burden of it daily. I am married with a 1 year old. I want to increase my family size but am afraid financially. I feel like I may never pay off my student loan debt. All I wanted was a better life, yet I feel like a failure. It's simply not fair.

Pat    April 26, 2016   

I am a student of the 70's where a person did not even need a HS diploma to work.
My Children are from 2001, 2003 and 2004. The years when young adults NEED a degree.

The banks jumped in and took advantage of the situation.

We wanted to make sure our kids went to College. Do what needs to be done. We did not understand the loan or the fact it will never be paid off.
Now I have 35,000 in student loans in my name and the kids father has 75,000.
The kids are paying the loans but we cannot consolidate or put in their names. Therefore I cannot buy a decent home. I can only get pre approved for more than 100,000. Not much available for that amount..

So my daughters will pay the loans for the next 30+ years and I will continue to live in a one bedroom basement apartment.

That 100,000 degree earned by my oldest daughter is not even being used in her job. My other daughter continues to go to school because it is required to advance her career. Not that her classes are related to what she does.

It is amazing that experience means nothing in the USA. Corporate hires young adults with a degree and no knowledge.

Who did this to America? Why are the banks and colleges allowed to continue?

Seems hopeless. I do not recommend that kids go to college.

Sheila Shellenbarger    April 26, 2016    St Paul, MN   

Needed these loans to survive in college, but wasn't wise enough to know the responsibilities of these decisions; I could have managed, however, until I got sick with strokes, breast cancer, and major depression. No way, can I pay my debt, and isn't as much as some or most. It still ways on me. Any type of rescue would be appreciated, my age? 66 years of age living with school loans.

Eva M. Vargas    April 26, 2016    San Diego, CA   

$75,000 and rising. I'm only paying interest. I'm retired and worked for the Federal Government for 43 years. I volunteered with various non-profits for most of those 43 years. Can none if that be applied to loan forgiveness so I can afford to pay these loans and begin to reduce the debt? I was contacted by a 3rd party company who wants to charge me $700 for a reduced payment for a lifetime. I contacted the Student Loan people and they can't offer me the same thing and I'm afraid to trust them. Will our chance to reduce this debt end when President Obama leaves office?

Gail    April 26, 2016    Virginia   

I attended a small for private college that I paid for and managed on my own. During this time I applied for several scholarships and for grants, including federal grants. The best I was awarded was federal and private student loans. I was not aware of what t mean to have private student loans, and though I believe I had a responsibility to understand, my educational institution failed to do their job in that as well. I continued my education to get my Masters so that I could actually obtain a job. It wasn't until I left my Masters instruction that I realized what this kind of student loan debt meant. I currently have almost 200,000 in student loans and a majority of that is private. Half my income goes to my student loans and his is interest only. I believed higher education would improve my life. I currently make similar to my friends without a higher education and do not for see myself paying of his debt.

Rhiannon    April 25, 2016    WV   

I have an overwhelming amount of student loan debt from going to a private school and living on campus. When I was taking on these loans I didn't quite understand the magnitude of what I was overtaking. Nor did I understand what they would do to my future. I am not self sufficient. I could almost never be. I am at the point in my life where I regret going to school at all. I believe I would be better off if I hadn't. I have attempted over paying on my loans for the last few years and instead of seeing my loan drop in principal my rates have been raised. I do not understand how that is legal. I am not asking for loan forgiveness. I am asking for an interest rate that could make my principal balance be feasible to pay off in my life time. To make it so I can save for retirement. Or possibly send my own child to school. None of the banks will help me. I feel like I am being swallowed up by my decisions.

Bethany Shearer    April 19, 2016    Rochester NY   

I wish there was more help for parents of disabled children. My husband was nearly finished with his degree when our son was diagnosed with Autism. He wasn't able to complete school as a result AND his student loan debt prevents us from being able to get our son all if the therapies he needs! HELP!!!!!

April    April 19, 2016    Spokane, WA   

I started going to college to try to get off of disability. I was able to complete the bachelor's degree while homeless and finding my way back to my partner. Now I have been having trouble completing the Master's degree which is necessary for a position as a CMHC or certified mental health counselor. I have accumulated so much debt that I will never be able to repay it because my partner of 20 years has end stage lung cancer (adenocarcinoma metastasized to the bones and is taking chemotherapy to try to slow his end stage cancer. The doctor has given him about a year to a year and a half to live to which I would love to be able to just enjoy him but this is not the case. Even with hardship on the debt, I cannot repay over 800 dollars a month when my check is 733 per month. So I am attempting to go to school but I am just too distracted. My being bipolar and having fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis while needing a knee replacement and trying to take care of his mother along with him is just too much. There is so much more to the story, but needless to say, I have too much debt to be able to pay back let alone try to take care of two people.

Catherine Weinberg    April 17, 2016    Enoch, Utah   

I have over 75,000 in student loan debt. I am struggling to repay despite being on an income based plan. The problem with that is, whenever you get the slightest raise or work part time, they increase the payment! It is ridiculous. I am constantly battling with what to do. I want to pay my loans but I can't afford to do anything else when they continue to increase the payments yearly. How can you ever get ahead? I want to see a change in that rule. You should not have to submit your income yearly. I would like to see a 3 year plan that would allow the same payment for at least 3 years before submitting your income. At least that way, you could have paid off other things or gotten ahead and would then be able to afford a slight increase. Who can I contact about this issue?

vicky    April 16, 2016    Virginia   

Hello, I am a 28 year old dentist who graduated from dental school in June 2014. I am married and we have a 10 month old son. I work for a non profit dental organization and am under the income based repayment plan. I have 380,000 in student loan debt and have never paid any money toward my principal student loan amount. In fact, my monthly payments do not even cover my interest payments, therefore my loan increases from month to month. We struggle to make our house payment, and we did not purchase an expensive or large home. In fact I do not know if we can afford our home long term, because any raises I get at work only cause our loan payment to increase. I went to an affordable undergraduate school so I have very small loans from that.
I find it sad to report that I do not believe in dentistry as a reasonable career choice. Why do I find that sad? Because dentists have a stigma that they make enough money to earn a comfortable living. This is no longer the case. What are the excessive amounts of student loan debt doing to the younger generation, those that are reaching adulthood? They are making it impossible to make a career and a living. They are hurting our economy, making it impossible to purchase homes and cars, making it impossible to be a professional. They are making me, as a dentist, tell younger people that they should not be dentists or doctors. That it isn't worth it. What kind of future does that paint for our country? For MY child? It is far more grim than I expected.
We need to make this our focus for the future of our country. I do not want to live lavishly. I just want to live and be able to provide for my family. There are some people living below the poverty level that have multiple children and get MORE and more from the government, while my husband and I cannot afford a second child. I appreciate that they are willing to forgive loans after 10 years however,

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Katie R    April 16, 2016    Minneapolis, mn   
Katie R    April 16, 2016    Minneapolis, mn   

Hello, I am a 28 year old dentist who graduated from dental school in June 2014. I am married and we have a 10 month old son. I work for a non profit dental organization and am under the income based repayment plan. I have 380,000 in student loan debt and have never paid any money toward my principal student loan amount. In fact, my monthly payments do not even cover my interest payments, therefore my loan increases from month to month. We struggle to make our house payment, and we did not purchase an expensive or large home. In fact I do not know if we can afford our home long term, because any raises I get at work only cause our loan payment to increase. I went to an affordable undergraduate school so I have very small loans from that.
I find it sad to report that I do not believe in dentistry as a reasonable career choice. Why do I find that sad? Because dentists have a stigma that they make enough money to earn a comfortable living. This is no longer the case. What are the excessive amounts of student loan debt doing to the younger generation, those that are reaching adulthood? They are making it impossible to make a career and a living. They are hurting our economy, making it impossible to purchase homes and cars, making it impossible to be a professional. They are making me, as a dentist, tell younger people that they should not be dentists or doctors. That it isn't worth it. What kind of future does that paint for our country? For MY child? It is far more grim than I expected.
We need to make this our focus for the future of our country. I do not want to live lavishly. I just want to live and be able to provide for my family. There are some people living below the poverty level that have multiple children and get MORE and more from the government, while my husband and I cannot afford a second child. I appreciate that they are willing to forgive loans after 10 years however, what are we supposed to do in the meantime? Put our lives on hold until our loans are forgiven? This is not a fair solution either. We need help now. If we do not get it, the middle class Americans will continue to struggle tremendously.

I'm over $60k in federal loans and no one will help me either!
I'm in IT and Graphic Design and have applied at over 200 entry level and junior level positions. I have been offered LOW unsustainable wages $10 -$12 hr , I accepted the $12 hr offer only THREE DAYS LATER the Company told me that they gave the position to someone else!! I can not make this up IF I tried!!!

Paul Schloemer    April 11, 2016    Madison, Wisconsin   

I have about a hundred thousand dollars in private and government student loans. Going into college I was not educated as to what loans are better than others. I graduated when the market was poor so finding a decent job was hard. I worked part time for five years until I was offered a full time position. I pay nine hundred dollars a month for my loans which leaves very little for anything else. If it wasn't for my parents I wouldn't have a place to stay, food in my stomach, or even a car to go to work in. My life revolves around working to pay off my loans. I haven't had any free time to enjoy life.

Jaimie    April 7, 2016    New Hampshire   

I worked hard throughout college, but the college didn't offer any decent job placement, so after a year of failed attempts of trying to get a job in my area in the field I went to school for, I accepted an internship and still somehow managed to pay my student loans. The internship turned into a short-lived career in the field I went to school for, and then the economy tanked. I had to put my loans into forbearance, but it wasn't long enough because after a year I was still not fully employed, and had exhausted my savings and unemployment benefits. I had to go back to school to get a technical certificate, putting me more than $5500 more in debt (more over time with interest). Not too long after I got a new job, and was able to start paying again. I have done so faithfully since I have been employed for the last 6 years, but still feel like this takes way too much of my income. If I weren't paying as much per month, I could actually afford a new car since my current one is breaking me every few months and I'm in medical debt up to my eyeballs. Not having to deal with student loan debt would definitely make things better for me.

Chris Calvert    April 7, 2016    Philadelphia   

Worked full-time through under grad and grad school, completed one full-time year of internship, graduated with honors...and it only cost me 130k! What a wonderful incentive of committing to 6 years of continuous academics. Now I have the privilege of paying it all off, with interest, while dealing with the stress of searching for a job that will pay me enough to simultaneously live a comfortable life. The American dream at its finest! #HELP

Luis R Rodriguez    April 7, 2016    Glendale   

I have told my son that education is important and to go to college. I even went on to get my associates and was trying to get my bachelors when the economy fell. I lost my funding and everything went down hill from there. I owe $45k in loans and my husband owes $44k. We am now in a place where I can try to pay back but they are already taking our wages and taxes because we are both in default. The cost of living is so much more expensive since we moved and we are trying to build our credit as well. If we had that extra money, it would go to rebuilding our lives and finally buying a house, fix our credit and look forward to taking trips to see family.

Cortney    April 4, 2016    Boulder, CO   

I feel misinformed and misled about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. In 2007 the program was launched and stated that after 120 on time payments (10 years) people in government jobs may qualify for forgiveness. How many people know that loans must be consolidated in the Direct Loan program??

Lauren    April 4, 2016   

I was told when I started school that loan payments would only be about $100 but they didn't tell me I would have 4 or 5 different companies, all wanting $100 a month payments. Not being able to pay them has ruined my credit. If I had known it would be like this, I never would have gone to school.

R. Southern    April 4, 2016    Oregon   

I'm 28 years old. I have 55,000 in federal loans and 15,000 in private student loans. I work for a non profit organization that serves adults and children with disabilities. I barely make enough to pay my bills let alone wrap my head around paying off my student loans. The burden is absolutely crushing and makes me feel like I will never be able to progress or even own a home. It makes me wish I never got my Bachelor's degree.

Sarah    April 3, 2016    New York   

I'm 37 years old. My true college stint started in 2004 when I became interested in technology and decided to go to ITT Tech for Information Systems Security. A bachelor's was going to cost 60k. I was easily persuaded by the smooth talking advisor and decided it would be a good move since there are very lucrative careers in that field. I cannot say all the blame lies on that school , but they sure did their part to make sure I kept coming. I did not receive proper advising on the mess I was getting into. They just kept feeding me loans and told me I did not qualify for grants. Now I'm currently over 120K in total SL debt after defaulting and finally finding a forgiveness program for my federal loans. But, I still have to make 300 payments to get anything forgiven. I fear I will never be able to own a home or feel free of this burden for the rest of my life. I need help, badly. Oh, and none of the credits I earned transfer. Yay.

Joshua Hudson    April 3, 2016    Lacombe, Louisiana   

I have both federal and private student loans. I am the first in my immediate family to go to college. My husband and I made the decision for me to go to college as we are self employed and my degrees are my security if the business ever went south. Well it did! We had a subcontractor commit fraud against our small business which resulted in us filing bankruptcy. It was not of our fault but to protect our home and business assets. None of my loans were discharged! To make matters worse, my private student loans came out of deferment even though I had time left. I tried to communicate with the lender and they sent my account into collections. The collection company even went to the lender and fought for me that my accounts shouldn't of even went to their office and there was deferment time left. They adjusted my monthly payment but didn't remove the bad marks from my credit of being late as they noted. My federal loans are now in repayment too. Now I not only have had a bankruptcy on my credit but negative marks for late payments that shouldn't of even happened. I have disputed it for years with the credit agencies and the lender won't remove any of them. I can't refinance them because of my credit too. The balances haven't gone down much either. I have been paying on them already for 8 years.

Joy Gutierrez    April 3, 2016    New Mexico   

I went to a private college for 5 semesters and was diagnosed mentally ill and had to go on medical leave. Now I am left with over $100k in debt, can't go back to a good school, and have to work full time. I am enrolled full time in a cheap school and work full time to keep my loans deferred but the anxiety and fear I experience is real and overwhelming knowing I will never pay back my loans in full short of winning the lottery.

Cody    April 2, 2016    Buffalo   

I am a sophomore in high school, and i know many people may think i do not belong here, but i wanted to share my piece. I think it is sad that i am SCARED to go to college. I am scared that if i decide to try to make my life better by getting an education and a better job, i will be in more debt than i can handle. I think it is sad that i am more afraid of college debt than i am of a future without college.

Christina Bundy    April 2, 2016    Geneva, Ohio   

I am a 34 year old mother of two. I started to purse my nursing career in 2005 in a school that was not accreditated. At the time I knew nothing about how important that would be. The school turned out to be a joke. We were given most of the answers on final exams and we were not prepared to enter the work force as nurses. Which is why maybe 4 out of a class of 30+ passed their PN-NCLEX exam. I owe over 20K for my 60+ credits that I can't transfer to another school for evaluation, because they won't release my transcripts. It's so frustrating to have to start all over again when I could be more than half to my bachelors instead of starting from scratch.

Nia    March 30, 2016    CHARLOTTE   

I have been paying for 16 years and I have another 20 years to go, this is outrageous. This needs to stop.

Jean Succar    March 29, 2016    Miami   

I'm a 35-year-old mom who decided to go back to school online when I was 28. I enrolled, I logged in for three months, then called to cancel my classes. No time. To this day, I still owe $12,000. For 3 months of class. I'm stuck and no one cares that it's not right.

Cherie    March 29, 2016    Las Vegas   

I borrowed about $76,000 for school and have been paying it back for around 8 years. I've never missed a payment, and always pay more than the minimum. My parents didn't help me with school. I had to do it all myself. The $76,000 is just what I borrowed, I juggled 2 jobs while in school to cover everything else. Basically, I graduated college $76,000 in debt with nothing in my bank account and had to start hitting the streets for a new career. To day (8 years later) I've managed to pay back around $72,000...but I still owe around $40,000! It is crazy! You know what though? Sometimes you have to be an adult, suck it up, and make a sacrifice. School isn't free. If you aren't willing to try to pinch pennies, then you probably shouldn't try it. Student loan debt is a crisis, but not as much of one as people looking for hand-outs.

Jonathan    March 29, 2016   

I am a 24 year old single mother, living on my own. Upon applying for school, I was not granted any financial aid because the parents, whom I do not live with nor helped me financially, made too much money.

I just graduated college this past December. Since the job market is terrible these days, I had to settle for an entry level position with a low pay scale. I have three more months until my student loan bills come in. The total cost of my monthly payments is $50 more than my weekly salary.

Janey    March 28, 2016   

I began attending ITT Tech for Criminal Justice in 2013. I was tired of dead-end jobs, and the recruitment commercials were very convincing. I was worried that my hand and throat tattoos would keep me out of a career that I was very interested in, but the recruiters assured me that they wouldn't be an issue as long as I had a degree. Of course, I believed them. During my second year, ITT fired almost of of our CJ teachers and replaced them with General Education teachers. You can imagine the quality of education we received at that point. Two years and nearly $50,000 of debt later, I can't begin to count the number of job denials I have gotten despite a "prestigious" degree from ITT Tech. They also recruited two students with felonies into my same class. Pretty sure we were set up for failure.

Terek Milligan    March 28, 2016    Denver   

I did two years of schooling, changed major once. To find out my criminal record would not allow me to work in the feild i was studying. So i quit school and started working. I borrowed 27 grand and now owe over 44 grand. There is no way ill ever be able to pay it off in my lifetime, all for schooling in which i cannot use what i learned. I truely hope something changes. Its by far the worse decision i have made in my life.

Josh    March 28, 2016    Minneapolis   

I am a PhD student working a full time job that pays less than 21,000 a year. By the time I finish this degree I will have well over 80,000 in student loans, which have already began to gather interest and make weight on my credit. I will be in debt to the system for the rest of my life, hoping that I will find a job that pays me enough to survive.

Sarah    March 26, 2016    Illinois   

My husband got loans through fedloan to attend a computer support technician class. Well they canceled his classes after he was unable to pay 1 payment because times were tough and it was either get groceries or pay the 50 payment. Then he still got stuck with the loans to pay off even though he never got a chance to finish the class in which he is paying the loan for. We NEVER received any letters stating he had to pay the remaining loan off or that he had loans due (no we never moved after he got kicked out of the school so address into was all the same). Well fast forward about 4 years and his income tax got.taken to pay off the defaulted loan. But to our surprise after looking into it this year there is still some loan left collecting interest. Why take am.pay his entire tax check (left us with 173.64) and leave 74.00 of the loan. Why wouldn't they just take the whole thing? Now that 74 is collecting interest and it's ridiculous. On top of our other bills and having 3 young children to support in only one income is hard enough much less trying to pay off something that should have just been completely paid off with the money they took. But nope... They took that money out us into a huge hole with our past due bills. Struggled through another year and hoped his tax check wasn't getting taken again for some other reason this year due to the students loans.

Jamie king    March 25, 2016    trenton   

I started working towards my nursing degree in 2012, and after 4 years and having to transfer to a different school, I have nothing to show for my hard work besides $66,000 worth of debt; $30,000 of federal loans, $6,000 of private loans and $30,000 of parent loans (of which my parents are expecting me to pay, of course) I received no free financial aid because of my parents income, which forced them to take out parent loans, which I'm going to end up paying in addition to my other loans. The burden of knowing I will need a really great job to even afford my student loans is overwhelming. So overwhelming that it's hard to focus and enjoy classes because I'm so worried about needing to pass them.

Dana    March 24, 2016    Ypsilanti, Michigan   

After years of working hard to put myself through school as a single parent and my four daughters. I have a huge student loan debt, I apply for the income-based repayment(IBR) would allow qualified me for a payment of 400-500 per month. I deferred my loans for a couple year, I need to go to community college for a certificate, during that time I pay off my car and bills trying to be prepared to pay on the student loans. I called about the payment plan and now the new service company, tells that my loans do not qualify for the original program because I have one parent student loan in the consolidation. Why didn't someone tell this before I consolidated, I was so distraught, I lay in bed awake at night wondering what am I going to do,the payment is now 1000.00 a month. I really do not know what to do at this point, I am looking for second job, or a roommate. It is so stressful, I am 50 year old woman that has worked all her life to do the right thing and encourage my children to go college and now I wonder if that was the right thing do to.

Micheline Wilcoxen    March 24, 2016    Sacramento   

I went to college twice and graduated both times with my Associates degree (Medical, 2005 & Criminal Justice, 2013). My first set of loans were through Wells Fargo and the second set of loans was through the US Dept of Education. After graduating from college in 2005, I never did get hired in my field of study. However, the payments for the loan kept coming in the mail. I was barely able to make ends meet putting food on the table, let alone gas ini my car to get into my minimum wage job. I was offered a deferment, which I was glad since it took off some of the load, but that time went by and interest continued to accrue. The bills started coming again and I asked what other options there were. I was later told that I maxed out all of my options for deferment and forbearance until one day I received a call from the loan company telling me about a Loan Forgiveness Program that would assist me for 20-25 years as long as I updated my income information every year. This sounded like music to my ears since my required payment went from $230 to $0. I considered this very helpful since I am a single parent and this would be one less expense to worry about. Unfortunately, I have recently been informed that this loan may be forgiven, but at the end of the 20-25 years, I will be hit with all of the interest from all of the years! I feel mislead since I could have worked out another option with my loan. The second loan through the US Dept of Education has recently went through the rehabilitation program and was brought by a third party company. I really believe that student loans should be truly forgiven as advertised. By the way, I have never received any kind of disclosures or anything concerning the forgiveness. In my opinion, if you are not able to get a job within your field of study and if your income proves that paying this debt will put you in a worse situation then you may currently be dealing with your loan should be forgiven 100%.

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Mae Miller    March 22, 2016   
Mae Miller    March 22, 2016   

I went to college twice and graduated both times with my Associates degree (Medical, 2005 & Criminal Justice, 2013). My first set of loans were through Wells Fargo and the second set of loans was through the US Dept of Education. After graduating from college in 2005, I never did get hired in my field of study. However, the payments for the loan kept coming in the mail. I was barely able to make ends meet putting food on the table, let alone gas ini my car to get into my minimum wage job. I was offered a deferment, which I was glad since it took off some of the load, but that time went by and interest continued to accrue. The bills started coming again and I asked what other options there were. I was later told that I maxed out all of my options for deferment and forbearance until one day I received a call from the loan company telling me about a Loan Forgiveness Program that would assist me for 20-25 years as long as I updated my income information every year. This sounded like music to my ears since my required payment went from $230 to $0. I considered this very helpful since I am a single parent and this would be one less expense to worry about. Unfortunately, I have recently been informed that this loan may be forgiven, but at the end of the 20-25 years, I will be hit with all of the interest from all of the years! I feel mislead since I could have worked out another option with my loan. The second loan through the US Dept of Education has recently went through the rehabilitation program and was brought by a third party company. I really believe that student loans should be truly forgiven as advertised. By the way, I have never received any kind of disclosures or anything concerning the forgiveness. In my opinion, if you are not able to get a job within your field of study and if your income proves that paying this debt will put you in a worse situation then you may currently be dealing with your loan should be forgiven 100%. I'm not trying to make excuses, but when I heard that the loan would be forgiven that is what I was truly under the impression of! Not paying off interest at a later date.

I started college in 2004 with aspirations to become an engineer. I didn't really know what that meant, and like many young students who moved away from home for the first time, I found my priorities backwards, I enjoyed the social scene too much, and after my first 3 semesters was nearly kicked out of school due to my poor grades. I re-evaluated my situation, changed majors to Communications/Journalism, and was able to graduate only a year behind. I was working part time, while taking out loans to cover tuition and additional living expenses. After 10 semesters, I had roughly $50,000 in debt, but it was okay, because I finally had that elusive and empowering degree.

Fast forward 6 months later. I've moved so that my fiance can continue her school, I'm unable to find a career, and I'm making minimum wage, working in a kitchen, walking to work because I can't afford to put gas in my car, let alone pay the $500/month Sallie Mae expects from me. My credit starts to slip as I miss a few payments, and eventually I realize that going back to school looks like the best option. I live right by a college campus, this allows my loans to slip back into in-school deferment, and with one degree down, I should be able to knock this one out super fast! I decide to finally get that elusive engineering degree I tried 6 years earlier, but now I'm older and my priorities are straight. Everything sounds perfect!

Trouble in paradise. Due to strange pre-requisites, it looks like I'll have to go part-time for two years, then full-time for three. Strange, but ok. Then I find out that because I already have one degree, I no longer qualify for any sort of federal assistance - that means no federal loans (queue up the 13% private loans), and no federal grants (I never received any the first time due to my parents' income). Alright whatever, how bad can it be??
Bad. I graduated in 2015 - 11 years after high school - with $127,000 in student loan debt.

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Brandon Davis    March 22, 2016    Indianapolis   
Brandon Davis    March 22, 2016    Indianapolis   

I started college in 2004 with aspirations to become an engineer. I didn't really know what that meant, and like many young students who moved away from home for the first time, I found my priorities backwards, I enjoyed the social scene too much, and after my first 3 semesters was nearly kicked out of school due to my poor grades. I re-evaluated my situation, changed majors to Communications/Journalism, and was able to graduate only a year behind. I was working part time, while taking out loans to cover tuition and additional living expenses. After 10 semesters, I had roughly $50,000 in debt, but it was okay, because I finally had that elusive and empowering degree.

Fast forward 6 months later. I've moved so that my fiance can continue her school, I'm unable to find a career, and I'm making minimum wage, working in a kitchen, walking to work because I can't afford to put gas in my car, let alone pay the $500/month Sallie Mae expects from me. My credit starts to slip as I miss a few payments, and eventually I realize that going back to school looks like the best option. I live right by a college campus, this allows my loans to slip back into in-school deferment, and with one degree down, I should be able to knock this one out super fast! I decide to finally get that elusive engineering degree I tried 6 years earlier, but now I'm older and my priorities are straight. Everything sounds perfect!

Trouble in paradise. Due to strange pre-requisites, it looks like I'll have to go part-time for two years, then full-time for three. Strange, but ok. Then I find out that because I already have one degree, I no longer qualify for any sort of federal assistance - that means no federal loans (queue up the 13% private loans), and no federal grants (I never received any the first time due to my parents' income). Alright whatever, how bad can it be??
Bad. I graduated in 2015 - 11 years after high school - with $127,000 in student loan debt. My wife and I now have two kids (2 and 7 months), and so she stays at home with them. Despite having a 3.4 GPA in Aerospace Engineering, it took nearly 7 months after graduating to get a job, where I'm paid in the bottom percentile of average Aerospace engineering jobs ($52,000). Now this may sound like a great starting salary, but let's add it up. After taxes, health insurance, etc., I take home a paycheck of around $1250 every two weeks. My rent is $1055, and student loan payments are $1100. That leaves only $300 to cover food, electric, phone, insurance, etc. This is definitely impossible. When I first graduated, we qualified for SNAP benefits, but that no longer applies since they only look at gross income. Because I've missed old payments, my credit score is too low to get a home loan, which would greatly reduce my rent payments. This also means that I cannot refinance my loans - other than one lender who, when I said "I cannot make $1100/month payments" came back with "well we can refinance and you can pay $1300/month..."
I'm out of options. We own our cars, and we've done everything to reduce our monthly expenses. Its demoralizing. I doubt I'll ever own a home. Our families have been helping when they can, but my father already cosigned half my loans and he's looking to retire in the next few years. I can make some of these payments, and I don't mind leaving frugally, but I shouldn't be making an engineering salary with two degrees and not knowing if I can put food on the table or leave the lights on. It's crazy that programs exist out there to help people in these situations, but the fact that student loans don't count against my qualifying income is ridiculous. I really just want my kids to be happy and to know that one day, I can get out of this, but with the way the system is set up, I doubt if there will ever be a day when I don't have these crippling student loans.

I was the first in my family who finished high school and wanted to go to college. I had been told that it was going to open doors and make my future bright.
When filling out FASFA forms the Feds wanted the household information. Not knowing any better and being honest, my mother and I completed them including both her and my stepfather (at the time)'s income. According to the government they made a high enough income and I wasn't given much of anything in financial aid. Since, again, we were first timers, we took out private loans to cover the rest. My mother could not afford college for me.

I went to school, got good grades, got my masters and then finally got a job. In. Teaching.
I had always known I wanted to be a teacher, but man did I not know what that would mean for my life.

Now as I shape and help mold little ones minds and lives, mine is being destroyed.

I have $100,000 in student loans. And the number doesn't seem to be getting any smaller. I pay both Fed loans and private loans every month totaling nearly $750. All my payments cannot be consolidated for the private because they did away with that the year before I graduated. I make three separate payments a month.
All of these payments are too high, but Feds don't care about private and private don't care about Feds. So we live paycheck to paycheck never getting ahead. Never knowing if there's even a light at the end of the tunnel.

I am in my early 30's wanting to start a family with my husband but instead we argue about what to do with the debt. My student loans are a burden on him. I feel like a burden.

Valerie    March 17, 2016    Albany, NY   

I started paying off my student loans in the ‘90s. I had the privilege of graduating from BU, but I never, during my career, realized any kind of big earning power. I always worked for non-profit entities (and still do part-time, though now retired). I always worked in the trenches with the most difficult of populations…the folks who needed care most: delinquents, juvenile sex offenders, adult sex offenders, SVP clients, and mentally ill felons. I never made a whole lot of money, but I provided the very best of treatment for my clients, and I was proud of what we accomplished.
Thirteen years ago, I moved to Florida to be closer to my aunt and uncle. I accrued some credit card debt, but what really pushed my financial picture over the edge was the hefty payments I was making toward my student loan. I had consolidated my loans a number of years ago; it had not worked in my favor, as I ended up paying more than I had previously, so I got no relief there.
I finally declared bankruptcy, and did not pay on my loans for the time frame. Last year, I retired and began receiving social security, and living on a “fixed” income. I was notified officially two weeks ago that my bankruptcy case was closed. Yesterday, I received a letter stating that at the beginning of April, I would begin paying on my loan debt again…to the tune of $450 a month. This was more than I had been paying prior to the bankruptcy stint. And I had been working full time then. I was floored. I will pay for at least 15 more years, and will no doubt pass on before this loan is ever paid up.
In a total panic now, I called various organizations, including the new service entity now managing my loan (I have had at least 7 different companies doing this since the beginning of 2000). I got no real answers, and was told I had no options except to do an income assessment, and was told I would have to pay until said evaluation was completed and a determination made.

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Libby Hopkins    March 16, 2016    Florida   
Libby Hopkins    March 16, 2016    Florida   

I started paying off my student loans in the ‘90s. I had the privilege of graduating from BU, but I never, during my career, realized any kind of big earning power. I always worked for non-profit entities (and still do part-time, though now retired). I always worked in the trenches with the most difficult of populations…the folks who needed care most: delinquents, juvenile sex offenders, adult sex offenders, SVP clients, and mentally ill felons. I never made a whole lot of money, but I provided the very best of treatment for my clients, and I was proud of what we accomplished.
Thirteen years ago, I moved to Florida to be closer to my aunt and uncle. I accrued some credit card debt, but what really pushed my financial picture over the edge was the hefty payments I was making toward my student loan. I had consolidated my loans a number of years ago; it had not worked in my favor, as I ended up paying more than I had previously, so I got no relief there.
I finally declared bankruptcy, and did not pay on my loans for the time frame. Last year, I retired and began receiving social security, and living on a “fixed” income. I was notified officially two weeks ago that my bankruptcy case was closed. Yesterday, I received a letter stating that at the beginning of April, I would begin paying on my loan debt again…to the tune of $450 a month. This was more than I had been paying prior to the bankruptcy stint. And I had been working full time then. I was floored. I will pay for at least 15 more years, and will no doubt pass on before this loan is ever paid up.
In a total panic now, I called various organizations, including the new service entity now managing my loan (I have had at least 7 different companies doing this since the beginning of 2000). I got no real answers, and was told I had no options except to do an income assessment, and was told I would have to pay until said evaluation was completed and a determination made. No criteria were provided regarding cut off limits for income, etc. It all appeared to be very corporate, cut and dried, with no real, decent options for retirees. My conclusion: I will spend the rest of my retirement as a pauper – a hell of a way to go out after all those years of good service to others.

I started college in 2007. After one year I was unhappy with my selected major and new I had to make a change. Home for the summer in 2008, it was nearly impossible for me to find even a minimum wage job. The economy was starting to tumble. Most of my peers were oblivious but I was worried. I had never been counseled on responsible borrowing. I weighed my tuition costs vs future earning potential. I chose a career field that I didn't really feel "drawn" to, but it offered stability and a healthy starting salary around $50,000. So far this has worked out well for me aside from a 3 month period of working on fill-in basis. I graduated from a private college with about $65,000 in federal and private loans. I worked part time throughout school and the money I brought home then covered most of my living expense (plus I lived at home for a year in school). I'm now just over 3 years out of school and will have my loans paid off in 6 months. Since graduating I have put 60% of my monthly take home pay towards my loans. I've worked hard and sacrificed vacations, a newer car, buying a home, even basic clothing necessities to get these loans done. However, I've also had good fortune by having someone to share living expenses with and having a parent with good credit co-sign my loans so my average interest rate was around 4%. My advice to new students: pick a reputable school (no online or franchise for-profits), avoid borrowing more than one year's worth of your starting annual salary, do your own research about the school's job placement rate as they will inflate their stats because they want your business, and finally look at your life circumstances - if there is even a small or moderate possibility that you'd have to take a break from school, don't go just yet, try to have emergency savings built up first to avoid this. Otherwise you're stuck trying to pay loans for a career you don't have.

Kate    March 16, 2016    Madison, WI   

Single mom, trying to better my life as well as the lives of my children. Saddled with 80k in student loan debt and I can't get my small business started because my credit is now shot.
So, I can't increase my income to pay my bills because I tried to increase my marketability.

Valery Balconis    March 15, 2016    New York state   

I was honorably discharged from the Army in '99, I went to Heald Institute of Technology and graduated with the class of '01 in Applied Associates of Science for Information Technology. The year of the .COM bubble bursting. I'm not entirely sure that I qualify having my debt erased for Heald's bankruptcy. I had my loans consolidated with (AES) American Education Services that are both subsidized and unsubsidized loans.
I forsaw a bleak future in the IT industry, so I futhered my education with University of Phoenix and obtained my Bachelor's degree in Business Managment during the recession and completed in '10. I had more student loans with Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation. I have not obtained a career in any of the fields I studied in or been able to payoff the loans in any form.
It is hard for me NOT to blame my "economic hardship" because of my "non-stable employment" or "stagnant wages" in a competitive workforce market with a "saturation of educated individuals" or the "Baby Boomers not retiring".
I ponder the thought that I will never have my loans paid and live a fruitful life.

Scott K Kennon    March 11, 2016    OAKLEY   

I had very good grades aside from working a rinky dink cleaning job and raising 5 children with my husband. I received little to no funding or grants/scholarships. No problem, since Davenport had a very successful job placement after school plan, I figured I would be okay to pay off loans. NOT THE CASE!!! I didn't qualify for anything and Davenport didn't even offer to help after I finished my undergrad program. When my loans went into payback mode, they wanted a house payment so I put myself on the IBR plan. I am currently still on the plan 5 years later. I called Navient the other day crying.. They had not processed my application and wanted that house payment in hand on the 23rd. I do not have this kind of money with my size family and no job. I have to say that the rep was kind and said she too was even in the same boat as us and wish she had never went to school. She finished my app immediately and told me what my amount was. Even though I felt better at the moment, my heart aches and my brains is fried. This has cost me sleepless nights, hours of crying, this sinking gut feeling that one day they will take everything from me to get their money back . $65,000 @ 6.8%. I will die with this loan unless they keep their word of forgiveness after 25 years on the IBR. I feel for all of us, not just myself. The government sees this debt.. This 1+trillion dollar debt. I keep my hopes high because something has to be done.

Aimee    March 10, 2016    GR, Michigan   

Modest undergrad debt returned to grad school for 5 years with 3.6 GPA ABD on PhD from a UC school. Was chased out of grad school by predatory school loan collectors who were trying to collect while I was still in school. UC quarter college calendar does not match east coast student loan semester calendar reporting requirements just prior to automatic reporting and internet based system we have today. Nightmare as each quarter was a separate loan with different types of loans even without private borrowing so 4 or more letters had to be generated each quarter by Fin Aid office to prove I was still in school making excellent progress towards my degree while working and raising 2 children by myself.

Left school to work as public school teacher in CA always working in low income areas with ESL, second language, in reading, special education, etc. all the areas to work off student loans. Was promised $5,000 credit for each year of service in the target hard to fill positions in the hard to staff schools. So 15+ years @$5,000 per year I could have, should have, still waiting for $75,000 credit on my original @$50,000 debt. Wouldn't you think with all the promises that were made to us? And current "forgiveness Programs" ?!?!? No because the Student Loan Program is mired in caveats that prevent any teacher from benefiting from these "on paper only" impossible to work off -debt that is now ballooned to over 250,000!!! No answers just dumb rules that prevent anyone from actually using their nonexistent programs!!!!

If I were an Irish indentured servant from the late 1800's or early 1900's I could have earned my freedom twice over as they only had to work for 7 years to pay back their fares with servitude! We are the perennial working salves of the present time who cannot work off the debt any way from Sunday!! Clinton signed the bill but the angry Repubs refused to allocate the funds for the program so we are disenfranchised because the program that finally did go through discounted all of us who borrowed before 1997!!!

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Victoria Olsen    March 9, 2016    Zephyr Cove, NV   
Victoria Olsen    March 9, 2016    Zephyr Cove, NV   

Modest undergrad debt returned to grad school for 5 years with 3.6 GPA ABD on PhD from a UC school. Was chased out of grad school by predatory school loan collectors who were trying to collect while I was still in school. UC quarter college calendar does not match east coast student loan semester calendar reporting requirements just prior to automatic reporting and internet based system we have today. Nightmare as each quarter was a separate loan with different types of loans even without private borrowing so 4 or more letters had to be generated each quarter by Fin Aid office to prove I was still in school making excellent progress towards my degree while working and raising 2 children by myself.

Left school to work as public school teacher in CA always working in low income areas with ESL, second language, in reading, special education, etc. all the areas to work off student loans. Was promised $5,000 credit for each year of service in the target hard to fill positions in the hard to staff schools. So 15+ years @$5,000 per year I could have, should have, still waiting for $75,000 credit on my original @$50,000 debt. Wouldn't you think with all the promises that were made to us? And current "forgiveness Programs" ?!?!? No because the Student Loan Program is mired in caveats that prevent any teacher from benefiting from these "on paper only" impossible to work off -debt that is now ballooned to over 250,000!!! No answers just dumb rules that prevent anyone from actually using their nonexistent programs!!!!

If I were an Irish indentured servant from the late 1800's or early 1900's I could have earned my freedom twice over as they only had to work for 7 years to pay back their fares with servitude! We are the perennial working salves of the present time who cannot work off the debt any way from Sunday!! Clinton signed the bill but the angry Repubs refused to allocate the funds for the program so we are disenfranchised because the program that finally did go through discounted all of us who borrowed before 1997!!!

If we were down on the docks this would be called loan sharking and it would be and is illegal !!! Also while I was still in school they were selling each quarter loans out as separate loans to different agencies during the great privatization of Govt programs of the 90's!!! Quarters instead of semesters means that with one signature you are signing for 4 times as many separate loans with separate fees attached -so many middlemen profit along the way and the cost balloons as you go and the paperwork is monumental and was all hand generated by mystified Fin Aid clerks to be mailed by me. My son works outside academia after spending a good portion of his young life in Fin Aid lines with me. My daughter borrowed little and has paid back her UC undergrad loans although as a teacher and single mom of two then college students I made too much in 2003 for her to get the Cal Grants that her grades had already earned her!!!

No solution but to stay in school part time at leat one semester a year and defer which amazingly is automatic now! Tell Andrew Kelly the crisis is real not solved and yes even grad school people cannot afford the ballooning debt!! Since we are over qualified for the jobs that are out there and as ABD's not having the PhD due to student loan privatized predators chasing us out of legitimate academic pursuits at UC schools we are a permanent underclass so unless he really has any idea he should keep quiet!!!

I want my loans to go back to what I originally borrowed then I want my credits applied at which point they will owe me$25,000 then I want damages and one free year at my UC before all my professors retire to go back and finish and I do not care if they have to create an act of congress for me and any one else so disenfranchised!! Thank you, Victoria

I am uneducated as far as higher education status. I realized as a sophomore in college that is was a waste of money to go to College for Art. It look me 12 years to repay the student loans and did not receive a degree. I hope that one day the world will open its eyes to see what they are doing to people that are trying to better their lives and make education affordable. Thank you Student Debt Crisis for being the voice of reason. We need a revolution of reformation.

I am Free    March 9, 2016    Indy   

I went to college just like everyone else thinking it would lead to a better life. Fast foward 10 years later and I am 30 with no savings and no own home or car because I have been paying my student loans off. I had to default on my private because I lost my job back in 2009 and Sallie Mae did not want to hear it. I am still paying off my federal loans and it feels like the balance of 17k never goes below that amount. The school promised us job placement yet I could not find a job paying me more than $12 an hour.

anthony brisita    March 8, 2016    east elmhurst   

I recently had $20,000 in fees tacked onto my balance. I have multiple payments where not one penny went to principal reduction. I have had multiple fees attached to my account including a "Repayment Fee" and an "Insurance Premium" ....... Balance according to them is in excess of $140,000. According to me it is $0 due to THEIR FRAUD and PREDATORY, USURY and DRACONIAN business practices and behavior. I am not by nature and angry person, this however has me livid and I know it has done the same to many, many others. We must organize people and do so in large way now in early 2016 so that by summer and fall, we are heard and heard in a BIG WAY.

Bob    March 6, 2016    Syracuse, NY   

I went to a university and borrowed roughly 40k before I was told I hit a loan limit. I was then unable to continue schooling and am now in debt without ever having gotten a degree. I have been putting them off with forbearance and deferment for years but I am afraid someday they will say 'no more!' and come after me. It sometimes causes me to get anxiety attacks. Going to college was easily the biggest mistake I've made.

Katrina    March 4, 2016   

I took student loans out with Sallie Mae back in the 1990's. I have NEVER had them take my tax returns but this year (2015), they took my tax returns and for NO REASON. I was working-on a payment plan with them so there was NO REASON for this to happen but it did!
Now, I don't know how to recover from this situation.

Mar-Lynn Mickens    March 4, 2016    Maryland   

After the death of my childrens' father I was motivated to get an education to secure a better future my girls and I. I applied for student loans to help me with living expenses and unfortunately the burden of being a single mom and paying bills on my own made having to work full-time a priority. My grades dropped and I was placed on academic probation. The costs of living today makes it hard to pay the total amount back or the minimum monthly payments.

Bobbie Hughley    March 3, 2016    Indianapolis   

I'll be 60 years old in April. I have about $60,000 in private student loans. Three years ago, the DEP declared me TPD-Total and Permanently Disabled. Several private originators accepted the TPD decision and discharged my student loans with them. Wells Fargo and Citizen Bank were great with me. I'm currently being sued by National Collegiate Student Loan Trust 2007-2. I hired a lawyer to handle this civil suit. I have been telling these loan servers for years that I am disabled and retired. We lost all of our life savings in 2008 and with my wife's medical needs. We own a mobile home built in 1998. Our home sits on a rented lot. Our 2004 Dodge Neon is not worth a dime. We both social security disability benefits and I have a state pension. None of it can be garnished. And all these student loans are past the statutes of limitation in Pennsylvania. I started my degree path part-time May 2002. I got my BS in Human Service December 2007. I started my masters January 2008, but had dropped out in October 2010 because of my physical illness. I am still healing from that major surgery. These bill collectors don't want to hear are story. And I have enough strength to fight the bastards in court. And I will send out press release for the press to be present too. If and when I get my day in court; it will be announced on Facebook. I want the entire country to see how a disabled, elderly couple is treated by our federal government. They have meant there match with me. Bring it on bitches!

Robert C Settle Jr    March 3, 2016    Lancaster, PA   

I feel I was lied to by teachers, society, elders, tv, that a college education would guarantee employment. A teacher even said that any degree is better than no degree. I earned both my AAS and BA in Liberal Arts and believe they are mostly a waste of money and time. I paid all my first degree loans back. also managed to pay half of my second degree but struggled to do so. I am unemployed and have been for several years. I am unable to find steady work but also suffer from childhood PTSD that have become more severe after I have been out of work for a couple of years. However, no one cares. I wrote President Obama and begged for college loan forgiveness. But he wrote that he paid for his college and I need to pay mine. The government, DSHS and SSI doesn't hear the people struggling to survive. They don't care what circumstances they suffer. I only pray and hope that the next president will forgive the college debt from students of whom are begging for forgiveness as there is no forgiveness in the current office. :(

Laura    February 29, 2016    WA   

I am currently saddled with 80K in student debt at over 5% interest. I was unable to graduate because while in school my employer changed my "flex" time and being a single father, I had to drop out. All of my loans through Navient and Nelnet went in to default. When I tried to work with them and explain that I did not make enough to pay rent, pay utilities, raise my child AND pay their loans, I was met with disdain and absolutely no help. I was never offered a consolidation or any other kind of help through either company. It was basically dealing with Ray Liotta from Goodfellas: "Can't feed your kid, F you. Pay me." About a year ago I finally was financially able to start making payments and consolidated with Fed Loan Servicing on an income based repayment. I know this debt is mine and I owe it but what is killing me, credit wise, are the late payments. I've tried to work with Navient and Nelnet to remove these blemishes but they flat out refuse. They have been paid off so they have no reason to help. I'm literally at the end of my rope and I know there are others out there that share my story and have it worse. I've recently started a non profit whose goal is to reform the way student loan lenders report to credit bureaus. I also want to create a movement through this non profit to start paying off borrowers student loans through fundraising, crowdfunding, and charity events. I honestly believe that now is are time to reform and overcome the student loan crisis we are in.

Charles Mistretta    February 27, 2016    New Castle   

I took out loans in late 80's -90's. After school consolidated loans thru Sallie Mae. I had been on forbearance because I did not make enough money to pay the minimal amount per month.
In 1999 or 2000 Sallie Mae stopped servicing consolidated loans. I had never been notified. The loans I had borrowed from Sallie Mae they called and I would be in contact, fax etc. In 2001 I was in the music industry and made enough money to pay my loans. I spoke to a service rep who told me I had to pay a minimum of $4,000.00 a month. I told them I could pay each month but not $4,000.00. They said, I would have to sign a forbearance. I told them "no" because I have the money to pay just work with me on the amount. I told them "fine, I will just pay $2,000.00 a month and the service rep told me that even if I made a payment for $2,000.00 a month I would still be reported late unless I signed a forbearance. So I did. I would have to wait for the paperwork in the mail and had to mail back to Sallie Mae. I would calls from Sallie Mae and then USA Funds saying they had no received my paper work. I would have to fax over the form. I would get calls saying I had filled out the paperwork wrong etc. Sallie Mae made sure I was not able to get my paperwork "in" so they could extend to get the interest.
I got a collection call whereby the man said; if I did not pay I would be arrested and threatened that the government would take everything away. I got really upset and scared. I was continually getting calls from 2 companies until finally a Sallie Mae rep told me Sallie Mae NO longer serviced consolidated loans. USA Loans had been asking me to sign another contract. I could not understand why until the Sallie Mae rep had told me my loans were not consolidated. I have every fax,

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Janice Holmes    February 27, 2016    Los Angeles   
Janice Holmes    February 27, 2016    Los Angeles   

I took out loans in late 80's -90's. After school consolidated loans thru Sallie Mae. I had been on forbearance because I did not make enough money to pay the minimal amount per month.
In 1999 or 2000 Sallie Mae stopped servicing consolidated loans. I had never been notified. The loans I had borrowed from Sallie Mae they called and I would be in contact, fax etc. In 2001 I was in the music industry and made enough money to pay my loans. I spoke to a service rep who told me I had to pay a minimum of $4,000.00 a month. I told them I could pay each month but not $4,000.00. They said, I would have to sign a forbearance. I told them "no" because I have the money to pay just work with me on the amount. I told them "fine, I will just pay $2,000.00 a month and the service rep told me that even if I made a payment for $2,000.00 a month I would still be reported late unless I signed a forbearance. So I did. I would have to wait for the paperwork in the mail and had to mail back to Sallie Mae. I would calls from Sallie Mae and then USA Funds saying they had no received my paper work. I would have to fax over the form. I would get calls saying I had filled out the paperwork wrong etc. Sallie Mae made sure I was not able to get my paperwork "in" so they could extend to get the interest.
I got a collection call whereby the man said; if I did not pay I would be arrested and threatened that the government would take everything away. I got really upset and scared. I was continually getting calls from 2 companies until finally a Sallie Mae rep told me Sallie Mae NO longer serviced consolidated loans. USA Loans had been asking me to sign another contract. I could not understand why until the Sallie Mae rep had told me my loans were not consolidated. I have every fax, letter I sent to Director of Education, became a member of every Consumer Rights groups with no help at all. I finally realized that every time I signed a Forbearance or Economic Hardship paper that I was signing a contract stating the amount is correct. So I stopped signing. Now the amount is $300,000.00 and they are going to start garnishing my wages. The collection agency Account Control Technology have sent me a letter stating I could have a hearing regarding the account. Their collection practices were out right illegal just this past December. I was unemployed for a long time, lost everything and I am just now rebuilding. This is NOT an issue of me not wanting to pay this is about the illegal practices of both Sallie Mae and USA Funds. I have every single document, notes and letter from Roy Alexander Office of Customer Advocate Sallie Mae who said the amount was correct. This was in 2010 and the amount was $166,166.97. I tried contacting and explaining that I did not owe and this amount is incorrect because they had UNCONSOLIDATED my loans which they are now incurring interest at the daily Libor rate.
I have my original contract, Sallie Mae nor USAA have a copy of the loan. I have asked several times. I have been waiting to get back to this problem. I am literally the poster child of the predatory lending of the late 80's and early 90's along with the NOW illegal collection practices. I have the names of every person I spoke to, sent faxes to over all these years. I am in a better place to take this situation on. I want to pay what I owe but I also want damages for this ruining my credit and making my life hell.

Im appalled at the state of student loans in the western world. Im 33 years old, worked ny way through college and have been extremely frugal my entire life and never made more than the average income. I became financially independant, so I could start a family at this stage in my life..but every potential partner I find is heavily indebted with student loans and as nice as they are its a burden Im not willing to take into starting a family.

Jennifer    February 26, 2016   

I owe over 90,000 in student debt. I graduated from the University of CHicago in 2015 as a model student, the first female editor in chief of both the student newspaper (the chicago maroon) and the campus investigative news journal (grey city magazine). I am highly skilled, award-winning journalist, who is stuck in a job working as a nanny + dinner server for a nyc reporter in order to keep ahead of my monthly loan payments. Instead of reporting myself -the reason I attended university, and incurred so much debt- I pour drinks for reporters.

Joy Crane    February 21, 2016    New York City   

I am $95,000 in debt and as a teacher at a small rural school in Oregon I brought in less than $2,000 a month (with a Masters degree!). You do the math! It's a life sentence. I have felt suicidal over my debt at various times throughout my life post-college. I have often had two, even three jobs at a time.

I finally decided it might be time to declare bankruptcy. Found out that I can get zero help with my student loans, but if I had been irresponsibly buying toys like a boat or racked up my credit cards buying clothes I probably could have written that off.

Nope, I was the silly naive person who decided to go to college, work my butt off in my Masters program and get straight As. I worked hard because I thought I would be able to help my family, buy a house, a few nice things and heck, just take care of myself.

I was told by a bank that I will never be able to purchase a home with my ginormous debt to income ratio. I go to school and see my high school students have nicer cars than I've ever had.

The saddest part is that I no longer feel comfortable as a teacher recommending college to poor kids, or at least I would tell them to think really, really hard about it.

I have since quit my job teaching, because what's the point of working a job with hundreds of hours of unpaid overtime and only $500 more than I made as an undergrad during my summer jobs at the State Parks.

Because of this, I am not contributing to our capitalist society--maybe good in some ways, but how many of us are not buying houses or new things (not extravagant) but nice things because we are so beaten down and broke by these crippling debts?

Enough is enough. Going to college is supposed to be a way to BETTER yourself, not drag you down into the dumps and shackle you with a debt sentence for life.

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Heather    February 20, 2016    Oregon   
Heather    February 20, 2016    Oregon   

I am $95,000 in debt and as a teacher at a small rural school in Oregon I brought in less than $2,000 a month (with a Masters degree!). You do the math! It's a life sentence. I have felt suicidal over my debt at various times throughout my life post-college. I have often had two, even three jobs at a time.

I finally decided it might be time to declare bankruptcy. Found out that I can get zero help with my student loans, but if I had been irresponsibly buying toys like a boat or racked up my credit cards buying clothes I probably could have written that off.

Nope, I was the silly naive person who decided to go to college, work my butt off in my Masters program and get straight As. I worked hard because I thought I would be able to help my family, buy a house, a few nice things and heck, just take care of myself.

I was told by a bank that I will never be able to purchase a home with my ginormous debt to income ratio. I go to school and see my high school students have nicer cars than I've ever had.

The saddest part is that I no longer feel comfortable as a teacher recommending college to poor kids, or at least I would tell them to think really, really hard about it.

I have since quit my job teaching, because what's the point of working a job with hundreds of hours of unpaid overtime and only $500 more than I made as an undergrad during my summer jobs at the State Parks.

Because of this, I am not contributing to our capitalist society--maybe good in some ways, but how many of us are not buying houses or new things (not extravagant) but nice things because we are so beaten down and broke by these crippling debts?

Enough is enough. Going to college is supposed to be a way to BETTER yourself, not drag you down into the dumps and shackle you with a debt sentence for life.

I went back to school at a late age, nearly thirty. I had two children and was a single parent. I elected to go to an expensive private college as it was in our town. I worked fulltime, attended classes full time and raised my children. I used student loans, the payments sounded reasonable, I had no idea about the cost of interest. I was an idiot. I've paid them back as I can, they always ask a much higher payment than I can afford so I wind up in default at which time they attach my wages for less than the PAYMENT I PROPOSED and begged to have. Because of this, I will never have the credit to buy a house, a car, or even pay for my daughter;'s college. I am 54 years old and my retirement will be ruined. I am paying and liing worse than I did before I went back to school. I wish I never had. I love my job, I am a Special Education teacher, but it wasn't worth the strain and grief.

Dawn Blocker    February 19, 2016    CT   

I graduated from Appalachian State University in 2007. One reason I choose ASU was because they were the cheapest in state tuition at the time. I always knew I was going to have to pay my own way and that never bothered me. What bothered me is that I could get no federal grants to help pay for tuition because I was REQUIRED to enter my parents earnings into the FAFSA application, and according to the government my dad made too much money for them to help. Except my dad wasn't going to be helping pay for anything. No one was going to be helping me pay for anything. So I had to take out loan after loan just to get my education. I had to work multiple jobs to help cover my living expenses so I didn't add to my debt. At one point I was working 5 jobs and going to school full time. But all worth it right? To get an education? Well thats all fine and dandy but I graduated right at the peak of the economic crisis. So there were no jobs for college grads. All the entry level jobs required 5-10 years experience because they could since so many people were out of work. So I was reduced to waiting tables. Needless to say my loans weren't always the top priority in getting paid. So here I am, nearly 10 years later, 30 years old, with a crippling $43,000 in student loan debt, horrible credit because of letting the loans go unpaid MULTIPLE times, unable to move on to the next stage of my life until these loans are paid off. Maybe when I'm 60 I'll finally be able to buy and house and have kids...

Jessica M.    February 18, 2016    Raleigh, NC   

About ten years ago I left an abusive marriage with 5 young children, and had no work history, no experience, no retirement, no tenure, no health insurance, no skills, NOTHING to start a career with, from more than a decade prior as a stay at home mother. While I was planning my escape, I applied for student loans, and eventually enrolled first at Art Institute Online, then after my first year, at Westwood College Online which was a relatively new for-profit college at the time, promising a degree in video game development, which I was assured by my student advisor was a thriving and rapidly expanding industry.

In the divorce I had been awarded a modest alimony, which I indicated as income on my applications for student loans. Even with five dependents and going through a very contentious divorce, I went on to earn the school's president's award every semester. I graduated in 2009 Magna Cum Laude with a 3.9 GPA, shortly after most of the few local game development companies had closed their doors in the economic crash of 2008. I attended numerous job fairs for the video game industry in the following years anyway, and even landed several interviews, only to be turned down repeatedly. I have submitted hundreds of cover letters and applications and sent hundreds of resumes since 2009, and have only received one paid job offer as a short term, online, contract worker in all that time.

My student advisor from Westwood College Online -- which I found out four years too late is regarded by many in my industry as a diploma mill -- initially
estimated that the cost of my degree would be around $45,000. All of the statements that Westwood sent seemed to confirm this amount. What the Westwood advisor didn't disclose to me before I enrolled was that Westwood College Online also requires game development students to pay thousands of dollars up front for textbooks, a long list of mandatory art supplies (including a digital camera), software ranging in the thousands of dollars, and of course,

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Laurie    February 18, 2016   
Laurie    February 18, 2016   

About ten years ago I left an abusive marriage with 5 young children, and had no work history, no experience, no retirement, no tenure, no health insurance, no skills, NOTHING to start a career with, from more than a decade prior as a stay at home mother. While I was planning my escape, I applied for student loans, and eventually enrolled first at Art Institute Online, then after my first year, at Westwood College Online which was a relatively new for-profit college at the time, promising a degree in video game development, which I was assured by my student advisor was a thriving and rapidly expanding industry.

In the divorce I had been awarded a modest alimony, which I indicated as income on my applications for student loans. Even with five dependents and going through a very contentious divorce, I went on to earn the school's president's award every semester. I graduated in 2009 Magna Cum Laude with a 3.9 GPA, shortly after most of the few local game development companies had closed their doors in the economic crash of 2008. I attended numerous job fairs for the video game industry in the following years anyway, and even landed several interviews, only to be turned down repeatedly. I have submitted hundreds of cover letters and applications and sent hundreds of resumes since 2009, and have only received one paid job offer as a short term, online, contract worker in all that time.

My student advisor from Westwood College Online -- which I found out four years too late is regarded by many in my industry as a diploma mill -- initially
estimated that the cost of my degree would be around $45,000. All of the statements that Westwood sent seemed to confirm this amount. What the Westwood advisor didn't disclose to me before I enrolled was that Westwood College Online also requires game development students to pay thousands of dollars up front for textbooks, a long list of mandatory art supplies (including a digital camera), software ranging in the thousands of dollars, and of course, adequate hardware to run it.

And how can you possibly pay for all these additional expenses when you are broke with 5 kids? Well "fortunately" the Westwood online bookstore not only sold all of these products, but was set up to charge directly to a student signature line of credit loan, conveniently set up by Westwood. On top of that, most of the required textbooks were published by the school itself -- no substitutes allowed -- and cost upwards of $100 new. The latest version of every textbook was required, so students could never get discounts on used books or recoup their costs through resale. Westwood also required that students purchase the latest software for each course (in my case, every year's new version of the full Adobe Creative suite and Autodesk's 3D software, both upwards of $2,000 every year, even for student versions, which you are barred from using commercially and making a profit with). Their required art kit was also pre-assembled by Westwood, and contained hundreds of dollars of supplies that were never used in any of my courses.

Two years ago, the father of my children was able to have the spousal maintenance award that had enabled me to make regular payments on my student loans ended. At that point, I had not been able to generate any other income. Right out of school I had applied, and was approved for, an income based repayment plan on my loans, and that had continued every year prior, but the year that my income stopped, without warning, my application for income based repayment was denied. My monthly payment instantly jumped from $180 one month, to $300 the next, then $500, then $800, and finally after months of being unable to pay the rapidly exploding monthly amount, my loans went into default.

In default you can no longer apply for repayment or consolidation, and I have around 15 loans, some with Sallie Mae (now Navient) and some with the Department of Education, for thousands of dollars each, at interest rates ranging from 6.9 to 10 percent. As of today I owe over $100,000 (up $20,000 from two years prior) and creditors still hound me EVERY single day. They call me at all hours, and they call all of my friends and family at all hours too (and probably my abusive ex and his family). If I block one number, the next day they call using a different number. I have hundreds of numbers blocked by now, maybe thousands. Creditors (or maybe scam artists, it is impossible to tell the difference) "introduce" themselves on the phone by rattling off a disturbingly accurate list of my private details, insisting on first confirming MY identity before they will tell me who they are, which means that if they ever happen to call an identity thief in their search for me, they will freely give that person information such as my home address, my birth date, the last four digits of my social security, and the school that I attended ("fortunately" an identity thief would not get much from me).

I consulted a lawyer the next year about possibly filing for bankruptcy. The lawyer warned me that in most cases schools are well able to afford teams of high priced lawyers to aggressively fight bankruptcy relief, and they would definitely ask the judge for additional attorney's fees, potentially tacking tens of thousands more debt to my already explosive total. I still have five kids, though two are now adults and experiencing the difficulty of trying to find employment in a world where their mother has had to warn them against the perils of student loan debt.

I wish that I could, in good conscience, encourage my children to pursue higher education, but I learned from personal experience that student loans are a vicious, unrelenting trap. My children have high aptitude in math and chemistry, and one would even like to pursue a PhD in Pharmacy, but I have had to tell them all that it isn't worth the risk. These are the kids that could have been scientists and doctors one day and improved all our lives when we are old, but because of the predatory practices of for-profit schools like Westwood and student loan lenders, they will not. The student loan debt crisis is not only impacting aging parents, but it is discouraging today's youth from pursuing valuable higher education, which impacts us all.

After paying $40k+ in payments over the last 12 years on my husband's $50K loan, the balance owed has gone up not down to $55k due to 8.5% interest rate on this consolidated loan and what we could afford to pay and did under IBR...all the lending rates went down after 2008 except student loans and banks got 0% rates from us, the American tax payers. If his had a 3% rate (like mine) we could have made a decent dent by now....

Catherine    February 17, 2016    Baltimore   

At the age of 22, I made the decision to attend a four-year state university and earn a degree, in an effort to put myself on a path to a better life. I did qualify for pell grants, but I borrowed the majority of my college costs, believing that I was investing in my future. No one made me borrow the money. No one coerced me into going to college. A college degree was something that I decided, on my own, was important to me.
I worked very hard at many jobs, while I built a career, also working to pay off my debt. I didn't have much of a social life for a lot of years, i never took a vacation, and I didn't have a cell phone. I lived very modestly, within or below my means and paid my college debt in full over a period of twenty years. I wasn't easy, but in the end, it was worth the struggle. My wife and I built a good life for us and our daughter. We paid for our daughter's college education, so she wouldn't have to struggle like we did. College isn't an entitlement. College isn't for everyone. If you decide to go, it is incredibly expensive and you should expect to incur those costs. Be accountable for your actions.

Kevin M.    February 17, 2016    Alexandria, VA   

I graduated in March of 2015 with my MPH. Prior to that I had received my B.S. Biology in 2008. I have around $150,000 in student loan debt. While my graduate degree cost around $50,000, the rest is compounded debt and interest from when I started my undergrad 12 years ago. My federal interest rates aren't over 6.8%, however on my private loans, that interest goes as high as 11%. On my Discover student loans, I've paid $6000 in interest since 2010. My loans just came out of deferment and I'm already behind. Currently my student loan payments will average around $1500 a month. I made around $75,000 a year, and I still can't make a payment that large. It is very difficult to consolidate private loans for a lower interest rate, so students end up paying twice of what they actually owe. Two thirds of each payment goes to interest. How is it far that student loan servicers profit SO much over the working class? Not only is college expensive, they make it impossible to pay it back. I can only imagine the students who weren't able to get jobs or are making $40,000 with my kind of debt. No one should be paying interest rates over 10%.

Jaclyn Curtis    February 16, 2016    Renton, WA   

The place I was working closed, so I thought going to school would be a good option to improve my life. I went part time and was less than halfway done with a Bachelor's Degree when Davenport University announced they would be closing the campus I had been attending. I can't get forgiveness, because I stopped attending when they announced the closing, not knowing that if I had continued attending until they actually closed, my loans could be forgiven. Now, I can't get them forgiven and until now, didn't have a good enough job to pay for them, so the $30,000 I borrowed is not over $60,000. The hopelessness I feel has caused me severe depression, and as sad as it may sound, I believe I am worth more to my wife dead than I am alive. I have no hope of ever being able to pay these loans, and I can't even buy us a decent car to drive.

Brandon Keele    February 15, 2016    Warsaw   

Let start from the beginning. I have been in Special Ed since 3rd grade not proud of that but its a fact I was also asked to leave my High School before graduation as I was not going to graduate. So I got my GED which was to easy I later got a Deploma as the learning center which my wife helped me get. I did fraud the education system a bit there that's my fault but I didn't want to have people think I wasn't smart or couldn't do a job because I had no diploma. I would rate myself as a 7-8 grade education in the 90s special Ed was really bad always teaching us the same thing every year I've never even had an algebra class or any class that would rate at a high school level. None the less I got into my community college needless to say I didn't do well with my core classes other classes I was able to lean such as computer classes. So I went for maybe about 2yrs or a year and a half. I then got a $10 an Hr job so i stopped going. I again went to DeVry online for a year or so again wanting a computer degree I did well at the computer classes but again not the core classes. So I stopped going after a year. My original debt was about 30k but only because when I was deployed in 2003 to IRAQ my wife consolidated our loans into 1 loan now in my name. With unpaid interest and other fees I have 1 loan at 60k currently in default I have another 25k that I do pay on I cant afford both loans. The way interest is capitalized should be criminal also my loans are all federal and a 6.75% interest. I have had these loans since 1997 and 2005. There is no way after taking the entry test for college placement I should have been able to attend in my option. But here nor there I took the loans as I needed them at the time having a family and all.

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Chuck B    February 14, 2016    Iowa   
Chuck B    February 14, 2016    Iowa   

Let start from the beginning. I have been in Special Ed since 3rd grade not proud of that but its a fact I was also asked to leave my High School before graduation as I was not going to graduate. So I got my GED which was to easy I later got a Deploma as the learning center which my wife helped me get. I did fraud the education system a bit there that's my fault but I didn't want to have people think I wasn't smart or couldn't do a job because I had no diploma. I would rate myself as a 7-8 grade education in the 90s special Ed was really bad always teaching us the same thing every year I've never even had an algebra class or any class that would rate at a high school level. None the less I got into my community college needless to say I didn't do well with my core classes other classes I was able to lean such as computer classes. So I went for maybe about 2yrs or a year and a half. I then got a $10 an Hr job so i stopped going. I again went to DeVry online for a year or so again wanting a computer degree I did well at the computer classes but again not the core classes. So I stopped going after a year. My original debt was about 30k but only because when I was deployed in 2003 to IRAQ my wife consolidated our loans into 1 loan now in my name. With unpaid interest and other fees I have 1 loan at 60k currently in default I have another 25k that I do pay on I cant afford both loans. The way interest is capitalized should be criminal also my loans are all federal and a 6.75% interest. I have had these loans since 1997 and 2005. There is no way after taking the entry test for college placement I should have been able to attend in my option. But here nor there I took the loans as I needed them at the time having a family and all. I will never pay off these loans.

I received my BS in television & media and have had some luck finding work. I went back to school to get a degree and had to take out students loans. Of course some people out there scream foul and point to me saying it's my own fault that I'm in debt, and that to event think about free education in this country would make me a whining liberal. Well I'm not denying I owe the debt, but trying to find a job in TODAY'S WORLD that will give you full-time hours with a decent pay with full-time benefits is very rare now. So of course I can't afford $1,200.00 a month in student loans when I have other bills to pay and can't even save for retirement or even spend any money outside of my bills. Sadly, my loans are with Navient and they are the worst company to deal with and I absolutely regret taking out any student loans with them. They refuse to re-negotiate a fair contract at a better interest rate even though I'm paying monthly, and if you're a day or two late, the fees are piled up on top of the loan. Their customer service is so uneducated and will fight with you over the phone while they read off of their computer screens..."you need to borrow money from another bank, you need to ask friends for money, you need to get this paid today". Navient was rewarded a new contract by the Department of Education even though they f***ed over the troops that had loans with them in 2015. So a corporation can commit a criminal act, and get rewarded, I'm a day late on a loan payment and I'm incarcerated. It is what it is, I'm sure the CEO at Navient will enjoy his new yacht. He made over 6 million in benefits, salary, and bonuses last year. It's true, the rich get richer while the middle class slowly goes to the poor house and gets f***ed. But what do I know, I'm just a poor whiny liberal millennial.

Joe S.    February 12, 2016    Philadelphia   

I graduated with a useless degree in English Literature. I graduated with $24,000 in student loans, which isn't bad, but due to never having a job above minimum wage I could never pay them. Now, 16 years later with interest the loan is at $64,000. I say reduce the loan to its original amount and I would be more than happy to pay that off. What is all that interest for anyway??? I would think they would be happy with some money, the original loan, rather than never getting any money at all.

Joliene    February 12, 2016    Delaware   

I was homeless at 17, finishing high school out of an abusive government shelter for teens. I tried to attend community college when I first graduated, but even with free-wavers I couldn't afford the bus it took to attend college so I was forced to drop out. After years in poverty, in and out of being homeless, I was able to attend community college again. I wanted a career that I could gain a steady income and no longer be on the verge of starvation. So I took the leap and after doing what research I could, I signed my life over to student loans with the promise of a future to attend a "real" college. The market crashed half way through my college career and I lost all low cost funding, and was stuck with an uncertain future and having to take out more private loans... or drop out and still owe the money anyways. I was scared and thought my best chance was to stay and finish what I started, than give up half way. Post graduation, the job market that once existed pre-crash is gone and won't return. Nobody was hiring those of us straight out of college. I ended up having to take what jobs I could just to keep myself from being homeless again. I just lost my recent job; it wasn't in my industry but was the closest I had to a stable income. Now my loans are in default and some sent to collections. I'm basically homeless again, and the loan collectors don't care and keep calling with threats. I've grown to resent the education and career I worked so hard to achieve. It wasn't worth it. This is what happened to the American dream.

Axel    February 12, 2016    SAN FRANCISCO   

There was a time when I thought anything was possible and the plans I had for my future was to start my own business, buy a house and start a family. Since graduating college, those dreams have been put on hold. I graduated from Philadelphia University in 2008 with a Bachelors of Science in Graphic Design Communication. I began doing freelance design and photography work and thought I was on my way to doing what I loved and planned. All of that changed when my full monthly payments kicked in. I quickly realized working for myself, running a business was not possible. I closed up shop and began my search for something else. My monthly student loan payments currently exceed $1,500 a month and many of my loans have doubled over the past 5 years because of the outrageous interest rates. When I graduated in 2008 my student loan debt was under $58,000. The balance has skyrocketed to $128,000 thanks to monthly payments only paying the interests and not the principal. I am paying $300-$400 a week towards my loans and alternating payments to stay out of default each week. Last month I dropped my health insurance and sold my camera gear to get a little more money to catch up. I am positive that I would be in a better place if the banks were not so greedy with such high interest rates. Attempts to consolidate my loans have failed because I have missed student loan payments in the past and the banks claim I make too much money. I am hoping I can find something to get my head above water.

Kevin J. Furst    February 12, 2016    East Stroudsburg, PA   

I moved to NYC looking for new professional and school opportunities. Back at home I was working at an advertising agency and I was getting paid the minimum wage which it was $6.25/hour (back in 2006). I decided that it was time to make a change so I could get a better future and a better job with better pay. I did my master degree in NYC and now I owe over $150k in student loans! The sad part of this story is that I haven't received my MA Certificate because in order to submit my Thesis I need approximately $7,000+ (including Thesis class credits, fees, editing fees,etc.). Currently, I'm working in a different field because I can't get a job in what I studied in NYC without my MA Certificate. I've been stuck for the last 5 years, paying student loans from which it doesn't make sense for me to be paying since I'm not working in the field that I did my Master Degree. The loan agencies damages my credit but with time I was able to fix it. In order to keep a good credit I need to keep paying something that I'm not using at all. This is VERY frustrating and I don't know what to do. Please help!!

Yomaira    February 11, 2016    Orlando, FL   

I went back to college at 52 years old. I had every intention of getting a job after college to pay my debt. But life happened! My mother passed away half way through college. I was given guardianship of a deaf, mute, legally blind, severally handicapped 55 year old brother. We had to short sell our home as my mother had a mortgage on her home that was help in trust for my brother. (we did not know she had this debt). I still completed college on time and with a 3.96 GPA in criminal justice. I care for my brother 24/7. He cannot cook, take baths without supervision, take medicine without supervision or wash his hands after he use the bath room or eats without supervision. So while in college at Indiana Wesleyan University, I buried my mother, packed up our home of 30+ years to a home my parents owned for 52+ years, while caring for my brother. I cannot work outside the home to earn money to pay for my college debt. I have been in deferment for 3 years but that is gone this year 2016. They will take my husbands tax return if I continue to file taxes with him. If I decide not to file taxes with him he takes a big deduction hit by not being able to claim me. I am in a catch 22. No one pays me nor is there funds to pay me to care for my brother.

Juni Krontz    February 11, 2016    Columbia City   

When I met my wife, I asked her why she rarely had more than eggs and bread in her refrigerator...I later found out her checking was often overdrawn because she barely had enough to make rent and pay her SALLIE MAE LOANS. I don't ever recall there being more than half a tank of gas in her car ... in fact, I expected it empty every time. She graduated with a BS degree and high marks from a private university.

We started our life together with over $100,000 in combined student loan debt. There was a period of time where student loan payments accounted for over 30% of our income. I graduated with a BS in Civil Engineering from a private university and now work as a project engineer for a booming design-build company. My wife works full time in human services and no longer has the income to pay her loans which have ballooned out of control since forbearance. I barely make enough to handle my own loans and living expenses. Our first child is on the way. I have concerns that I will not be able to support our child BECAUSE OF OUR STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS. We live in a shoebox apartment. I can't contribute toward my 401k. We live paycheck to paycheck even though we are both successful in our careers. This also comes with residual effects like depression and health problems that we can't afford.

I am seriously considering leaving this country. I honestly never imagined myself wondering how we would pay the bills being two educated model citizens with full time jobs. To think that my future, my wife's future, belongs to a bank is unbearable.

Joe    February 11, 2016    Fort Wayne, IN   

I went to school to be an engineer. I graduated high-school in 2010, two years after the financial crash. I chose the nuclear field bc at the time it was growing. The head of my department used deceptive marketing stating 98 percent placement happened in our program. That was a lie, that statistic includes grad school and non field related jobs.
I graduated with 62k in debt. I had no job for five months. I moved back home. I am now paying down the loans but have had to pay the interest down first. I have paid off 10k in about a year only because I live at home. I put half my paycheck into these stupid loans. My parents pushed me to go straight to a four year university. They suggested it would be fine. Now they have learned and refuse to cosign ever again. My sibling is being smart and going to community college first on scholarship. If I'm lucky I can pay my loans off when I'm 27. But the years wasted I will always remember. I don't want to marry or have kids till these loans are gone. I'm putting my life on hold$

Naomi W    February 11, 2016    kansas city, MO   

My dream was to become a public servant by being involved in community activism, politics and civil rights advocacy. I went to San Francisco State University and then New College of California School of Law, a public interest focused law school. I currently work for the City and County of San Francisco, as a Contract Compliance Officer. Nothing like what I want to do as a civil rights lawyer, just a job, but a good government job nonetheless. The federal government has a Public Interest Repayment Program which pays off your loans if you work for a non-profit or government entity for 10 years. I have been working in government for nearly 5 years. HOWEVER, I was living in the most expensive city in the US, San Francisco, was evicted from our non-rent controlled house, had 2 kids, paying for childcare, and could not afford to pay under the specific income-based program that is required to qualify for the Federal Repayment. We were forced to move 60 miles away from San Francisco and I have a horrible commute just to pay my mortgage and I never see my kids. I pay a measly $250 a month on my loans (compared to the $800-1000 I am supposed to pay under the qualifying plan) and am getting nowhere in reducing the debt. And even though I have dutifully worked as a public servant for 5 years, none of it counts. I will be paying off the debt the rest of my life. Further, I finally fulfilled one of my dreams by running for local office in 2012 and becoming elected to the Democratic County Central Committee in San Francisco. I started to make some real change against a corrupt leadership of the party. (See articles in San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner about my story of eviction and my resolutions regarding Student Loan Reform, supporting Sen. Warren's bill, and police reform.) I had to give up my position because of my move as we were not being able to afford to live in the city we loved and resided in for 20 years.

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Kelly Welsh Dwyer    February 11, 2016    Vacaville, CA   
Kelly Welsh Dwyer    February 11, 2016    Vacaville, CA   

My dream was to become a public servant by being involved in community activism, politics and civil rights advocacy. I went to San Francisco State University and then New College of California School of Law, a public interest focused law school. I currently work for the City and County of San Francisco, as a Contract Compliance Officer. Nothing like what I want to do as a civil rights lawyer, just a job, but a good government job nonetheless. The federal government has a Public Interest Repayment Program which pays off your loans if you work for a non-profit or government entity for 10 years. I have been working in government for nearly 5 years. HOWEVER, I was living in the most expensive city in the US, San Francisco, was evicted from our non-rent controlled house, had 2 kids, paying for childcare, and could not afford to pay under the specific income-based program that is required to qualify for the Federal Repayment. We were forced to move 60 miles away from San Francisco and I have a horrible commute just to pay my mortgage and I never see my kids. I pay a measly $250 a month on my loans (compared to the $800-1000 I am supposed to pay under the qualifying plan) and am getting nowhere in reducing the debt. And even though I have dutifully worked as a public servant for 5 years, none of it counts. I will be paying off the debt the rest of my life. Further, I finally fulfilled one of my dreams by running for local office in 2012 and becoming elected to the Democratic County Central Committee in San Francisco. I started to make some real change against a corrupt leadership of the party. (See articles in San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner about my story of eviction and my resolutions regarding Student Loan Reform, supporting Sen. Warren's bill, and police reform.) I had to give up my position because of my move as we were not being able to afford to live in the city we loved and resided in for 20 years. Without the debt (among all other crushing obligations a young family faces) we may have been able to stay to at least carry out my elected term or allow me to run for another elected office. I am now in a small town called Vacaville and am restricted on starting my path towards my dreams of either running for office again or starting a community law clinic because of my debt. I would also be halfway toward having the government pay off my entire loan balance had they allowed me to qualify based on my regular and timely payments, despite not being in the correct payment category. Student loan reform and forgiveness is essential and fair and must be something we fight for in order to give our children a fresh start.

I am 47 years old. I graduated with my Master's over 15 years ago. My $20,000 loans have ballooned into over $70,000 to pay back, that is AFTER I have already paid at least $30,000 or more on them. They are RELENTLESS!! I am a first grade teacher who got divorced. Sallie Mae would NOT work with me. Texas GSL wouldn't work with me. A single teacher mom with 2 little kids could not afford the $600 a month payments they DEMANDED I had to pay. I could not, so they garnished it and defaulted on my loans. IF I had not had a lifetime teaching certification, I would NOT have been able to renew my certification to continue teaching, my chosen career. I know because I obtained an additional certification in early childhood after my first certification, after the state laws changed. I was unable to renew that certification because my loans were in default. Thank GOD I wasn't teaching an early childhood grade or I would have lost my job. REALLY?!
It seems there is no end in sight. I doubt I will ever be able to pay them off.
My children have no desire to go to college because they have seen the turmoil, hardship, and devastation these student loans have caused us.

SOMETHING needs to be done about this forceable raping of our income and education. I might as well quit and go on welfare!

Christina    February 10, 2016    Texas   

I currently have over $250,000 worth of student loan debt (both private and federal). Most of this debt was taken out by my parents who at the time thought they would be able to pay it back. Unfortunately, the economic recession made this impossible. Despite the best intentions of my parents, I am left with crippling debt that cannot possibly be paid back since I am a high school teacher.

Although I am a public employee, I feel that the government has severely let my generation down. At 29 years old, I cannot buy a home or start a family and I constantly have to worry about being able to pay my bills each month. It pains me to think about how my generation could be contributing to society and the economy if it weren't for this horrible burden.

Carolyn    February 10, 2016    Brooklyn   

I was the first person in our family to attend a graduate from college. I had no help from anyone in order to do this. I was supported through my degree program with student loans. I am lucky to have an education, but even with my degree, I do not make enough to pay back my loans. I am a teacher for children who are blind. There is a nationwide shortage for special education teachers and especially teachers with my specialty. My work contributes to society in a direct way, but due to the timing of my loans, I am not eligible for forgiveness. The new teacher forgiveness program is great, but I have yet to be able to pay consistently so this option does not help. I am not asking for freebies, but shouldn't the work I provide count in someway to assist in paying off the loans? My husband has been unemployed for several months and I am recovering from breast cancer surgery, but I am still expected to pay and I have no idea how I will be able to do it. I choose to feed my family, pay the mortgage and let the chips fall where they may. I am trapped!

Amy Trumbull    February 10, 2016    Traverse City   

I am the first person in my family to graduate with a Bachelor's degree (BA in Criminal Justice), and the first person in my entire family history to obtain a Master's degree (MS in College & Agency Counseling). To have nothing to show for all the hard work I put into such accomplishments, aside from two fancy pieces of paper and an impossible debt, is absolutely heartbreaking. I went to school because my family was very poor, and I wanted to build a life for myself that would not mirror the manner in which I grew up. My family could not assist me with paying for college at all. It was left to me to take out loans, do work-study, and also work outside of higher education to pay for tuition/fees/materials and make money to live on while attending school. When I took out my loan, NOTHING was explained to me. No one in my family was in a position to teach me the finer points of finance and debt. The representative at the Bursar's Office handed me a Promissory Note to sign, and that was it. I had no idea what a Promissory Note was, let alone what it meant. When I asked, I was told "This is how you pay for school". With my goal of not being impoverished, it made sense to me. One must also remember that I was 17 at the time, and barely had any understanding of money, debt, or how it works in life. By the time my last semester of undergrad came around, I was taking a full course load, completing an internship, and working two on-campus and two off-campus jobs. I graduated Cum Laude, and when I could not find a position with my Bachelor's degree, I figured getting a graduate degree would give me the edge I needed to get a good job with a decent salary. I had dreams of not worrying about bills and making enough to be comfortable. I did not want to be poor ever again. Yet, once I finished graduate school, my dream was totally shattered.

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Janessa    February 8, 2016    GEORGETOWN   
Janessa    February 8, 2016    GEORGETOWN   

I am the first person in my family to graduate with a Bachelor's degree (BA in Criminal Justice), and the first person in my entire family history to obtain a Master's degree (MS in College & Agency Counseling). To have nothing to show for all the hard work I put into such accomplishments, aside from two fancy pieces of paper and an impossible debt, is absolutely heartbreaking. I went to school because my family was very poor, and I wanted to build a life for myself that would not mirror the manner in which I grew up. My family could not assist me with paying for college at all. It was left to me to take out loans, do work-study, and also work outside of higher education to pay for tuition/fees/materials and make money to live on while attending school. When I took out my loan, NOTHING was explained to me. No one in my family was in a position to teach me the finer points of finance and debt. The representative at the Bursar's Office handed me a Promissory Note to sign, and that was it. I had no idea what a Promissory Note was, let alone what it meant. When I asked, I was told "This is how you pay for school". With my goal of not being impoverished, it made sense to me. One must also remember that I was 17 at the time, and barely had any understanding of money, debt, or how it works in life. By the time my last semester of undergrad came around, I was taking a full course load, completing an internship, and working two on-campus and two off-campus jobs. I graduated Cum Laude, and when I could not find a position with my Bachelor's degree, I figured getting a graduate degree would give me the edge I needed to get a good job with a decent salary. I had dreams of not worrying about bills and making enough to be comfortable. I did not want to be poor ever again. Yet, once I finished graduate school, my dream was totally shattered. No matter where I applied, I was rejected. Despite impressive grades, an active extra-curricular life rich with community service and leadership activities, and a solid work history, I was rejected. I was considered underqualified for the positions in my field, as they wanted someone with at least two years of paid post-bachelorette experience for entry-level positions. I was considered overqualified for the positions for which I applied simply to make ends meet. My professors constantly chirped in my ear that "only 5% of the population obtains an advanced degree", and I bought it. I would play the phrase over and over in my head, and more so every time I received a rejection letter from a new employer. I am currently working in a position which requires no degree. In the 6 years since I finished grad school and received my MS, I've consistently been paid barely above poverty level, and certainly less than people with no degree... let alone a Master's. If I could change anything about my life, I would never have gone to grad school and may have thought twice about undergraduate school. At this point, my advanced degree has given me nothing more than a high school diploma can give me. So much for being one of the elite few who obtain an advanced degree. I now have a gargantuan amount of money to try to pay back on a ridiculously low salary, in a position which makes me feel mentally stagnant and adds very little to my daily life. I once had a passion for higher education, which is why I aimed for my MS in College & Agency Counseling. I wanted to be an academic advisor more than anything. I wanted to be there for the students in a way that several individuals were not for me. I am left with nothing but a disdain for higher education and the erroneous value placed on a degree, a considerable amount of regret, two pieces of paper that say I did something remarkable, a gigantic tab with the US government that is next to impossible to pay off with my salary (even accounting for annual increases), and one question: Can I please return my degrees for a refund? The knowledge was arguably worth it. The insurmountable debt, the daily frustration with not being financially able to begin any piece of the life I envisioned for myself, and the constant nagging worry that I never will... is definitely not worth it.

I received my BS in Biology/Pre-med from Sam Houston State University in 2012. I am a first generation college graduate and this was really exciting to my family. After graduation, I was accepted by Midwestern University College of Pharmacy. I knew it was a private school that was more expensive, but it completes a 4-year doctorate degree in 3 years which would mean that I was out in the work force even sooner, which I was really excited about. Being in a new state without family, I was forced to take out the max amount of loans to account for living expenses. I had to commit all my spare time to studying. I have 6 months left to go and my total student loan debt is $288,336. After graduation, interest and tuition will put me over the $300,000 mark. At first I never thought twice about it because, traditionally, pharmacists have always had high salaries. But now, there are so many new pharmacy schools out there and each one takes more and more students each year to the point where the market is at its saturation point. Very few employers offer a full 40 hour work week. I am forced, due to my large student loan amount, to abandon all thoughts of residency as that salary can not support my student loan burden. If I'm lucky, I will find a retail pharmacist job that brings home an average of $6,500/month. To pay my loans off in 10 years, my payments will be approximately $4,200/month. After paying for minimal living expenses such as rent, utilities, insurance, etc., I will end up with nothing at the end of each month. Plans for a family and buying a house have been permanently put off. I went into pharmacy school because I wanted to help people.... Now my loans and interest rates are so high that I can do nothing but resent the education and career I worked so hard to achieve.

Erica W.    February 5, 2016    Phoenix, AZ   

Unemployed, homeless I have not been able to get a job and because I owed Central Penn College in Enola almost $8.000,00 that were not covered by Student Loans since ITT Technical Institute used all my allowed amount on Student loans, I have just a few credits to finish...need help figuring out my situation regarding my Student loans, and how finish my few credits in order to get a Bachelor's Degree.

Beatriz    February 3, 2016    Harrisburg   

I was the first person in my family to graduate high school at the age of 17. So when i decided I was going to college I was not able to get my own loans. Knowing that a private University would help me get a better career, I went to Jacksonville University. Great school international accreditation. I was so happy. Then i learned that my mother would have to use her name for the loans I would need to attend. As the semesters went on the tuition kept going up by the thousands. Now with over 75k in loans I was unable to continue my education with having to start paying them back. So I had to get a job and then a second. It has given me anxiety, sleepless nights, and i have been turned down for some jobs because they are doing credit checks now. Needless to say calling the loans to ask them to lower the payments is for nothing, they can not help. I got my loans from a bank which then sold them to sallie mae and navient who if i can say are the rudest people I have ever spoken to. You would think you stole from them. If I would have known this was the outcome of wanting a better education I would have just got the first job available and worked my way up. I honestly feel like we all have been set up so that even with a good education there is no where to take it.

AmandaRose    January 30, 2016    Florida   

I went to Strayer Online because when I first expressed interest in the school they told me I could get my Bachelors degree in one year.. That was my first mistake. I found out after the first year that I needed to take every course needed for the degree and go to school almost every hours of the day. I had problems through out the 4 and a half years I went there. They switch me from the classes I was prepared for to classes that I wasn't prepared for nor had the right books for. I had to take out a private loan through Sallie Mae to finish school and I have since found out that Strayer did not and does not have the accreditation to give out such degrees. I am now stuck with just over 60K in student loan debt. I can't find a job and I have been told my degree isn't worth the paper it is written on.

Ed Anderson    January 29, 2016   

First, the confession: 15 years or so ago I made poor choices and defaulted on my student loan obligations. About 13 years ago I managed to get myself back on track, so I thought, by consolidating my loans with Sallie Mae. Little did I know what a poor choice that would turn out to be. When I refinanced Sallie Mae locked my interest rate at 8%. I paid regularly for a couple of years, and then found it necessary to go into deferment because I could not afford the monthly payment and still make ends meet. I came out of deferment and paid my monthly obligation- which by then was $1200 per month, for six years. I would contact Sallie Mae periodically to see if I could get the interest rate changed, noting that I had been consistent in payments for quite awhile. Sallie Mae refused. Just about a year or so ago I learned my account was placed with Navient. About 6 months ago I had to request an income based payment schedule, which was granted. But everything still accrues at 8% and now I am advised that my monthly payment will increase to $1500 per month at the end of the grace period unless I re-qualify. It's insane. I realize the mistake I made in the past, and accept responsibility. But I've been consistent and regular in my payments for the past ten years- but no mercy. My total student loan debt remains over $100,000 and no end in sight. The monthly student loan payment is more than my mortgage payment. I'm self employed and my income stream is lean. I work two jobs and still have a difficult time making ends meet, primarily because of the Sallie Mae payment. It's not that I think I shouldn't have to repay my loans. But I've probably already paid the amount of the underlying loans. It's the interest that's killing me, and Sallie Mae/Navient simply refuses to even consider modifying the rate. Is there anything that can be done about this?

Robert Brazil    January 29, 2016    St. Johnsbury, VT   

For years I've had to watch my daughter worry and stress about her student loans to Sallie Mae at an outrageous interest rate! The quality of life for her is frenetic and most certainly debilitating in the long run. She is now 40 years old and her monthly loan amount is tantamount to a monthly rent. She and her family can barely raise their heads above water. They own nothing since their monetary outlay for years has been too much to save anything at all. I fear for her and her family's future; in fact, I fear for any of the educated of her generation. Life should be easier the older one becomes, and obviously it is not. I cannot help her with her bills either because I spent all my money educating my children as a single mom contributing for the egregious fees beyond loans; as a retired teacher, I can barely make it here in England where I now live in order to help my daughter with babysitting while she works for minimum wage. Who could afford care on minimum wage? I had to uproot myself for her future. If her loans were forgiven, she and her family would have peace of mind. Sallie Mae is diabolical. Through the years, we have tried to appeal to the corporation to reduce the interest rate, at least, but it is an implacable complex unwilling to see the human side of a life span of so few years in which all of us make huge contributions to our communities. Shouldn't that be ample contribution without devastating interest rates that imprison a generation for a lifetime?

Therese Barbarossa McRae    January 29, 2016    York, England, UK   

I am a mother who wanted to go back to school but really can't afford to, due to the fact I had to co-signed for my two children so they could go to college. Because they are in so much student loan debt with Salliemae I'm afraid to make the attempt because it's so much. They've taken grant money and making a profit off it. They suppose to help not cause a bigger debt problem. Our children are in so much debt because of the interest rate, can they get on with their own lives.

Kathleen    January 29, 2016    NJ   

After paying for 10 years and over a $100k, my $43,000. Is now finally....$43,000!?

Justin D    January 29, 2016    Los Angeles   

I am a mother of a student loan holder my daughter is a hair stylist and makes less than $12,000 a year. She has $51,000 in fed loans and $28,000 in stafford loans. Her payments are over $500 a month. I am helping her make her payments so they don't default and she ends up with bad credit. I am 52 years old with fibromyalgia working a very physical job in order to help her. Whereas I am unable to save for my retirement and she cannot afford a home. Please help with these ridiculous over priced loans.

Deb    January 29, 2016    Omaha NE   

Being the first one to go to college I was super excited. I would dream of the day I would be able to help my parents financially, buy my own house and be able to work one job (unlike my parents that had two to three jobs to make ends meet). Reality check came when I graduated and I had to start paying my loans back which were $1,200 a month which equal my monthly take home pay. I am thankful for the income base repayment plan which reduce my payment on my Federal Loan, but my private loan payment is a nightmare !!!!(this is a debt that wakes me up in the middle of the night ). I am in a worse financial position than my parents were!! I had to move back in with them and I still struggled to make ends meet. Having to maintain a household and pay my students loans is something that I can't afford. I sometimes have to use my credit card to make ends meet (accumulating more debt just to survive). Is sad to say, but I don't want my daughter to go to college. I feel now that school is not everything there are some people that don't have a degree and make more money than I do. Those people don't have to worry about student loan debt and still manage to live a way better lifestyle than me. My loan debt is affecting my life and mental wellness.

Alma    January 29, 2016    Las Vegas NV   

My student loans eventually totaled over $1 Million, five times what was originally borrowed. The recession, financial struggles to keep up with taxes owed to the IRS meant we could not pay student loans. So the servicers sold the debt to subsidiaries they own and added 'collection fees,' assigned the debt to collection agencies who assessed a 30% collection fee while claiming the debt is in "rehabilitation" (Pioneer Credit Recovery, owned by Navient), and put other loans into forebearance while adding enormous collection fees WHILE the loans were in forebearance. At one point we took them all to court, suing them for their antics. The 9th Circuit Federal Judge who presided over our case was disgusted with the student loan companies, calling their actions, "...egregious" and, "...the worst thing I have ever seen." But still, no one has been able to help us. No one. No one does anything. We have no house. My husband cashed out his retirement after working for 33 years at the same company. We own nothing. We settled most of the debt but still have $300,000 left owing. My payments are $2,000/month on the Standard repayment plan because it is the ONLY repayment plan that actually pays down the principle. This is ridiculous. If I knew then, what I know now, I would never, EVER EVER EVER have gotten a single student loan. Ever. And I would have not gone to school. No crappy degree is worth the hell we've experienced. We'll come out of this one way or another if I die trying. But I don't wish this on anyone.

Amy    January 28, 2016    Oregon   

, I was thinking about it recently and I realized the following:

I am a teacher and I make 4,000 dollars a month

After taxes I receive 3,200 a month

Say I were to put all 4,000 into my loans and not pay the 800 in taxes. That should be legal for the following reason:

Since I was only allowed to teach on the condition that I get a masters and take out loans, I consider my degree my overhead.

Any money that goes into my loans is "overhead" and not profit. So I believe it is illegal to tax me on any money that goes directly from my pre-taxed paycheck to my student loans.

Why wasn't this ever brought up to the supreme court?

How can I bring this to their attention.

Donna Avavian    January 28, 2016    flushing   

The entire situation of student debt keeps me up at night. I owe over 70K in private and federal loans and no one will help me. I looked at refinancing, trying to get lower payments, nothing. I'm in the mental health field where I am so needed, but unable to make the money to pay off the debt that I have. I feel like the government wants me to just stay living with my parents until 45...because that's when my loans will be paid off.

Amanda    January 28, 2016    Pennsylvania   

I was just starting out and I applyed to Everest online school and I was trying to go throw school then my loans hit me fast and hard I had to drop out no degree making 19,000 a year and can't go back till I get saliemae off my back....

Erica roca    January 27, 2016   

I have two daughters in the Developmental Disability Field- one is a special education teacher and the other is in the same field as a Case Manager. They have college loans that accumulated from the approximate 2004 -2010 financial crisis ERA . It pains me to see that they work so hard - both have second jobs just to afford rental properties - Their salaries largely go for STUDENT LOANS and I also will tell you my oldest chooses not to have children at this time because she doesn't know how she could ever afford having children. Its pathetic - and truly is a crisis and needs to be addressed - or we will have yet another dividing of the people in this country. How and why did this get so BAD I ask ?

Christine    January 25, 2016    Ohio   

I graduated from my masters program in 1997 and had borrowed approximately $36,000 from SallieMae. In 2000, after giving birth to my son, my then husband left me after being on bed rest and I was unemployed. I have since consolidated and my interest rate is high at 8.25 % through Direct Loans whom someone told me that they were more flexible. My loans went into deferment. I went into private practice as a therapist, and began the process of being on the IBR program. I remarried (signed a prenuptial with my current husband) and had another child in 2005. I developed fibromyalgia and chronic migraines after this birth. Since then my loans have been in and out of forbearance and on the IBR program. Each time the two have overlapped, Direct Loans (now with Cornerstone) restart my end date for the loans. I have been paying small increments since 2001, having been in repayment for 15 years. Now they have extended my payoff date to 2029 due to starting be again on an IBR after a bankruptcy deferment. I was told that you are not able to discharge the loans through bankruptcy. I am never going to be able to pay off these loans. I make about $23000 a year and I am unable to work more than part-time due to health issues. According to Cornerstone since I still work I don't qualify for discharge for disability. They are telling me now that when the loan matures in 2029. It will be over $100,000. They will send the interest earned to the IRS and I will then at the age of 60 will owe the IRS close to $30,000. I feel as if I am drowning. The income driven programs are joke. Yes you get to pay at a lower payment, but that only goes towards the interest, never the principal, and $40 a month payment does nothing to touch the amount owed. I feel like there isn't a solution and the amount of debt owed leaves me feeling worthless and hopeless. Help.

Katrina    January 22, 2016    Duvall, WA   

I worked at colleges for 10 years as a nontrafitional student so I could earn free tuition. Then I started grad school. During that time the great recession hit and my husband lost his job. We lived on a little inheritance from my parents which was quickly depleted and financial aid. I am now an adjunct faculty member at two colleges, earning at best 35k a year and get no employee benefits. I am in default for my loans and with penalties I own close to $200k. There is no way I will ever be able to pay this off without help from someone.

old and broke    January 22, 2016    east coast   

I went back to school to further my education and get a better job in order to help get my family into a better situation financially. I went to The University of Phoenix online. Big mistake that was. 1st they tell students they are an accredited school and almost 100% of the people who graduate from them get right into a position they went to school for. All students I've talked to have the same gripes I do. We graduated with high debt and no jobs in the field that we went to school for. All companies that I've applied to have gotten back to me and said UOP is not an accredited school to them. That tells me my bachelors degree is worthless. I have banks calling me looking for money that I don't have, my credit is shot, I still don't have a job in the field I went to school for, I graduated 4 years ago now, and all avenues I have gone to try and pay back my loans have all ended in disappointment or dead ends. I started my own business which brings in just enough income to pay main bills and put food on the table and am left with nothing to pay my loans that in my opinion I should not have to pay since the education and bachelors degree I got are rendered worthless. On top of all that I have been hearing in the news that the UOP is under investigation again by the federal government. I also read that all UOP students that are currently enrolled with the UOP do not have to pay their loans back. So I called the bank and explained my situation, because they stated that a month after I graduated, and they said I was not currently enrolled so that did not apply to me and that there is no proof of anything illegal or investigation going on as well as I still borrowed the money and have to pay it back. I did try to go through other student loan help and have to pay them $500+ dollars up front before they will try to help.

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Shawn brighenti    January 22, 2016    Connecticut   
Shawn brighenti    January 22, 2016    Connecticut   

I went back to school to further my education and get a better job in order to help get my family into a better situation financially. I went to The University of Phoenix online. Big mistake that was. 1st they tell students they are an accredited school and almost 100% of the people who graduate from them get right into a position they went to school for. All students I've talked to have the same gripes I do. We graduated with high debt and no jobs in the field that we went to school for. All companies that I've applied to have gotten back to me and said UOP is not an accredited school to them. That tells me my bachelors degree is worthless. I have banks calling me looking for money that I don't have, my credit is shot, I still don't have a job in the field I went to school for, I graduated 4 years ago now, and all avenues I have gone to try and pay back my loans have all ended in disappointment or dead ends. I started my own business which brings in just enough income to pay main bills and put food on the table and am left with nothing to pay my loans that in my opinion I should not have to pay since the education and bachelors degree I got are rendered worthless. On top of all that I have been hearing in the news that the UOP is under investigation again by the federal government. I also read that all UOP students that are currently enrolled with the UOP do not have to pay their loans back. So I called the bank and explained my situation, because they stated that a month after I graduated, and they said I was not currently enrolled so that did not apply to me and that there is no proof of anything illegal or investigation going on as well as I still borrowed the money and have to pay it back. I did try to go through other student loan help and have to pay them $500+ dollars up front before they will try to help. Money I don't have to pay.

I don't think people undertsand how bad things are. Imagine you just graduated with a well paying degree and you start out making $60k before taxes. Let's say you graduate with $80k in student loan debt with anual interest rates that range from 6-8%. You don't own a home, you don't own a car. You are paying over 25% of your paycheck just to pay down INTEREST! You might be able to apply a meager 30% of your total payments toward the principal of your loans in the first few years after school. There is no going out. There is vacation. There is no starting a family. There is no bright future. School is a debt trap for those not fortunate enough to get grants or scholarships or help from family members. I'm sick of being used like a neverending stream of revenue for lenders.

Chris    January 21, 2016    Michigan   

Between my wife and I we both owe somewhere around 160k in student loan. 3/4 is probably private. With the interest rates that we got from our private companies and our median salaries, it will take us around 25 years to even come close to paying everything off.

Brandon Bonville    January 21, 2016    Austin, TX.   

In 1986 I went to beauty school I got a loan for $2,500 dollars then applied for a second loan for the same amount never receive it well the person in financial dept soon fired for embezzlement so never receive my check and still have paid but it has been 30 years of paying this loan and it is still not paid off now I'm on disability and I still owe 1,345 dollars it's no going away I've filed for relief and instrest rediculous so dose anyone really care that I worked all my life paid my dues and still owe after 30years I doubt it ?

Brenda Wilson    January 21, 2016    Indiana   

I don't come from a rich background my parents are working class. And i attended Law school the price was big. I did not pass the bar but will pass soon. I want to pay and do pay my student loans but think the interest should be lower. My house and car have lower interest rate so low the balance is going down. I am on the Dave Ramsey plan and now pay cash for items. I feel also students may not understand that when their loans are forgiven it is counted as taxable income this does worry me. I support this bill for the reason of not treating loan forgiveness as taxable income. I bet if these loans were interest free and people seen progress more people would pay them off. We need hope and this bill gives us hope.

Advocateeve    January 19, 2016    San Bernardino   

I borrowed $58,515 to get through college and graduate school, which took longer than I expected. Because some of the loans immediately began accruing interest immediately, by the time I graduated in 1995, I owed over $80,000.

As a psychologist, I don’t have the income potential of a surgeon and my income was not always adequate to pay back according to the rules of the lenders that I must pay a minimum amount of “interest only,” so, some years, I had to take deferment or forbearance.

Still, I have paid $65,730 in student loan payments in the past 20 years, all while working in nonprofit, public service jobs. Yet, the lenders, supported by the federal government, have utilized predatory lending practices, applying virtually all of my payments to interest. As such, Sallie Mae/ Navient indicates I still owe $159,371 and will pay $286,566 more. That's IF I start paying > $1,000/ month now, which I can't do.

I lost my job January 2014 and have only been able to get some few contract jobs since. I am 56 years old, my AGI for 2015 was $0, and I have almost nothing saved for retirement. So, when it comes to my student loans, I need unemployment deferment again. And the interest just continues to expand.

I started a part-time job in September and hope to increase my hours, but it will never pay enough for me to be able to pay off over $300,000 in student loan debt.

I feel terrified and utterly trapped by the usury and predatory lending practices of the federally backed student loan industry. I feel that this lending trap is unworthy of the United States government and unconstructive in holding back the economic and human service contributions of bright, educated people like myself.

Virginia Trierweiler    January 19, 2016    Denver, Colorado   

I'm currently about $35,000ish in debt from student loans, credit card debt and a car loan and although it's a rather small amount compared to others, I graduated from college in May 2009 and I've never had a job that has paid more than $27,000 a year. Now, it has gotten lower. I'm currently collecting UC benefits and working part time but because of financial and personal reasons, I was forced to move back home to my parents and now I'm basically starting over from scratch with a 3 month old baby. It was either continue living with my abusive baby daddy who was stealing my money to feed his drug/alcohol habit or move back home to mom and dad so I left my ex because I don't want my son to grow up thinking it's normal to live in an abusive environment. I contemplate about going back to college to get my teaching license but I don't want to get into even more debt. I'm already drowning in debt as it is. Sometimes I regret going to college in the first place but I only did what society said we should do. *sighs* I feel my life has just been one struggle after another since I graduated from college almost 7 years ago! I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever be debt free! I still can't believe my car loan ended up being cheaper than my student loans, at least I plan to finally finish paying off my car by the end of this year. This is why I hesitate about going back to school but I also don't want to spend the rest of my life working these "penny jobs" That's what I get for getting a BA in Psychology! For now, I'm grateful to have these sources of income but I always wish I could turn back the hands of time and make different choices, like maybe I shouldn't have gone to college in the first place. I almost envy my brother who is 19 years old and not sure what to do with his life, I found myself telling him that if he does go to college make sure he chooses a major that will guarantee him a good job!

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cd    January 15, 2016    New Jersey   
cd    January 15, 2016    New Jersey   

I'm currently about $35,000ish in debt from student loans, credit card debt and a car loan and although it's a rather small amount compared to others, I graduated from college in May 2009 and I've never had a job that has paid more than $27,000 a year. Now, it has gotten lower. I'm currently collecting UC benefits and working part time but because of financial and personal reasons, I was forced to move back home to my parents and now I'm basically starting over from scratch with a 3 month old baby. It was either continue living with my abusive baby daddy who was stealing my money to feed his drug/alcohol habit or move back home to mom and dad so I left my ex because I don't want my son to grow up thinking it's normal to live in an abusive environment. I contemplate about going back to college to get my teaching license but I don't want to get into even more debt. I'm already drowning in debt as it is. Sometimes I regret going to college in the first place but I only did what society said we should do. *sighs* I feel my life has just been one struggle after another since I graduated from college almost 7 years ago! I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever be debt free! I still can't believe my car loan ended up being cheaper than my student loans, at least I plan to finally finish paying off my car by the end of this year. This is why I hesitate about going back to school but I also don't want to spend the rest of my life working these "penny jobs" That's what I get for getting a BA in Psychology! For now, I'm grateful to have these sources of income but I always wish I could turn back the hands of time and make different choices, like maybe I shouldn't have gone to college in the first place. I almost envy my brother who is 19 years old and not sure what to do with his life, I found myself telling him that if he does go to college make sure he chooses a major that will guarantee him a good job! I want to believe things will improve greatly in this country. I don't want to believe those days of being able to land a good job where you can eventually retire from are permanently over. About 20 plus years ago, my dad was a supervisor at a printing company. At his peak, he was earning $20 p/hr and we're talking about more than 20 years ago! Everything crashed when he lost that job in 2001. He never fully recovered from that loss. He now currently works as a CNA at a nursing home only earning $11 p/hr! It depresses him a lot! My mother earns good money as an RN but even she is living paycheck to paycheck because of all the bills and debts. Will it ever get better? All I can do is continue to keep my head up and stay strong for my son's sake. I know when my son comes of age, I will teach him not to repeat the same mistakes I made as a youth. Despite all my struggles, I still remain hopeful that life will get better and I can gain my independence again, just me and my baby boy who, without him I would have never found the strength to leave my abusive ex. Like my dad always says, never lose sleep over money!

Because of my chapter 13 bankruptcy I was kicked out of the public service loan forgiveness program. I had over five of the ten years needed in that program. Even though my bankruptcy plan includes payments to FedLoan none of what they get applies to the public service forgiveness plan and even while I still work for the state of Maryland. I need for the payments to count toward the forgiveness plan. I have written to my congressman, governor, Dept of the Treasury, with no response from anyone. Can you please help me??? Thank you

jeanine aubertin    January 15, 2016    frederick maryland   

I have 2 student loan debts- one private, one public, totaling $100,000 (I have 2 degrees- bachelor & masters). This debt has now become $150,000 due to interest rates. I have no idea how I am going to ever get to the principle, much less pay off this loan! 🙁

Mari    January 14, 2016    Miami, FL   

While my debts haven't hit the $100k mark (yet), the unfortunate thing is, when I lost my job in '07 and ended up dropping out of college a couple of years later, I ended up back in an abusive home environment.

I took a chance and had gone to college, studying graphic design and communications, thinking that, there's always a need for something like that, so I should be okay when I graduated.

Then I lost my job, which... money got tight, sure, but I thought I'd be okay, I was only a semester away from graduating... then I was informed that I no longer could get aid to continue my studies, which resulted in my dropping out and moving back home.

I won't share just what's happened on that front, other than there are days I often wonder why I still bother with being alive.

As of right now, I've been out of school for five years, roughly, with job hunting as being probably applicable on a resume as far as work goes (it should be, anyway.) That being said, I owe almost $60k and honestly don't even feel like if I got a job at this point, if I'll even be able to escape the environment I'm in.

Kelli    January 13, 2016    Midwestern U.S.   

I have student debt created by supporting educational dreams of two daughters. I don't mind paying my debt and working hard to do so. However, the interest rates are not fair in a market where <5% mortgages are plentiful. Also, the loan forgiveness for governmental workers (specifically - non union, municipal employees) is not incentive enough for shrinking resources and growing needs carried by employees working in a culture that displays growing hostility toward paying taxes and those jobs funded by taxpayers.

Two things would right this wrong:

Lower interest rates reflective of market & understanding that we the parents are investing in our children and the future of America.

True forgiveness of principle of loans. If one has made payments for 120 consecutive months regardless of loan types for any college/university related loans, it should count....after 10 years all should be forgiven - outstanding principle and interest. This is an investment in our short term economy (money in hands of middle class) and in our future economy (educated workforce).

Kathi Bailey    January 12, 2016    Massachusetts   

I stupidly received a loan from BANK ONE like 20 years ago. They made it so easy; no credit check, minimum wage job, co-signer, and sign on the dotted line. I was a student for years as well and they offered deferments like government loans (this they copied for sure since it made them money). I graduated ended up with a huge private debt along with my federal loan debt. The difference is the private loan offers no way out they have you for life. No 10 years of paying and loan is eliminated, no reduction for being a teacher, and my co-signer is locked in for life. This affects and impacts both our lives very badly when we go to a bank or try to purchase a home. Government intervention is desperately needed here as there needs to be a better solution than being owed by this private loan balance.

CRL    January 12, 2016    TX   

I am a 60 year old mom and I work as a janitor to help my son pay his student loans of which $27,000 are federal and $20,000 are private. It is hard because he has very low wages, and I have arthritis which makes my job even harder. Without my help, the loans would default.

Darlene    January 12, 2016    48081   

I owe about $20,000 In student loans. Right after graduation, I became a single parent of 3 and the only way for me to survive in this ecomony was to defer. This is just for undergrad. i want to go to graduate school but the thought of adding to this debt has held me back.

Zaida    January 12, 2016    Brooklyn, NY   

Back in the 60's when government student loans first came on the scene, I really didn't need a loan. Tuition was minimal at the local community college in Los Angeles at only $3.00 per class. I had a job at the Post Office so I paid the tuition cost plus a babysitter. And I did the same thing when I finally transferred to a four year state school in the Los Angeles area where in state tuition was less than $80.00 for a full load. However now that privatization has taken over education in America the abuse of "Financial Aid" is phenomenal. And the $1.3 trillion that is now owed by student borrowers is not the fault of the students but of the outlandish number of private "colleges" who offer substandard educations to millions of usually income challenged students at astronomical prices. I am one of those students. I now owe approximately $60,000 in student loans and still haven't gotten the degree I was in search of so that I could possibly go back into teaching English but on the college level only to learn that college English teachers can't find full time positions even with a doctorate. I somehow feel duped by the system that has turned education into a boon for the business man and a bust for the "student" it is suppose to be serving. I should add that I thought I had chosen institutions that would offer a "good" education like the public schools I had gone to in the past but that was not the case as public schools have gone quasi-private.

Faith Luiting    January 12, 2016    Maryland   

In 2005 my current husband and his now ex wife consolidated there personnel student loans into one loan making them both equally responsible for the loan. The problem is there only going after my husband and not her. We've tried to work with loan co. I just don't understand why they would not go after both parties to get there money faster. I've given them her info and nothing they have garnished my husbands wages and this is a very resentful situation which no one has any answers to or wants to solve. I can see why they stopped doing these loans in 2006 there is a reason they aren't together anymore

Karin    January 12, 2016    Jonesborough   

I work for the Federal Aviation Administration. I incurred approximately $50,000 in student debt through the Department of Education and private Lenders to attend DeVry for my Associates Degree. I was placed in default and into the Treasury Offset program by the Dept. of Ed due to their refusal to accept anything less that $395 a month in repayment. I am currently paying through an outside debt collector, but am still considered in default. The DoE intercepts and keeps any tax returns owed to me etc. Now there is a new problem. Occasionally, I am forced to travel for work for training, seminars, etc. I use a government issued travel card for these trips and submit a voucher upon completion of travel. The DoE has begun intercepting the travel reimbursement money and applying it to my debt also. Leaving me to pay for official travel out of pocket. I don't complain when they take my tax return, as it is my money and it is my debt, but they are now stealing money that is not and never was mine. On top of all that, when they take $8,000 of tax returns, just over $1000 goes toward the principle while the rest goes to interest and "fees". This is predatory lending at it's finest.

Lincoln Glab    January 12, 2016    Kansas City, MO   

This is only part of the adversity student loans have put me through. I have spent three decades reacting to and trying to recover from the abuse at the hands of loan organizations and-or the collectors they authorize to abuse in their name. Spent years as a teacher in low-income schools, then more in service organization for education to farm workers and afraid to ask for help. Previously, after proven misprescription of psychiatric drugs, I fell into deep depression and self-hating, unable to concentrate or function, and in regular pain. During this time, when loans came due I received regular angry and sometimes ridiculing phone calls, including a call which affected my employment status. Disabled by medical issues, I was unable to advocate for myself, the interest rates continued to climb and 33K in debt ballooned to over 100K with no success at ever getting any help, just more pressure, ridicule and uncaring and thoughtless abuse. Wish I could get assistance of a pro-bono lawyer.

Douglas Tedford    January 12, 2016    Rexburg, Idaho   

I have over $600,000 in student loans for my BS through my doctorate. I am a 4.0 student and have been so through out all three degrees, so I am not a slacker. I have never attended online school until my doctorate, the online private school I am attending is not supportive for the practicum, internship or dissertation process. I started the process Jan 2007 and did all my coursework, then residency, then practicum and then internship. If I had known then what I know now I would have started dissertation while still taking courses. There was no guidance in locating practicum or internship sites so we were on our own. It was very difficult to locate appropriate sites. My original site was across country and so I moved. They were waiting for their APA approval and it was taking too long for the program to start and I was running out of time so I had to find another site. That resulted in another move across country to another site where I did finally get it all completed. The dissertation process has been a total night mare also. The professor that originally agreed to be my chair was released from the school, it took 18 months to find my new chair and another almost 2 yrs to find a methods person. They were all either full or not interested in my dissertation topic and the school doesn't make them take on students, but at the same time won't let you find someone outside of the school. All the school did is send me their latest list of facility, 154 email requests later and over 3 yrs. into dissertation my committee was finally together. Then last term my methods person quit the school. I had completed all 5 chapters and was just waiting for submission to the URR. The school told me I had to find a new committee member, knowing how long it took the first time and looking at where I was in the process I told them they would have to assign me one. Then my chair quit all classes except the one keeping him as my chair.

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Teresa    January 12, 2016    Arizona   
Teresa    January 12, 2016    Arizona   

I have over $600,000 in student loans for my BS through my doctorate. I am a 4.0 student and have been so through out all three degrees, so I am not a slacker. I have never attended online school until my doctorate, the online private school I am attending is not supportive for the practicum, internship or dissertation process. I started the process Jan 2007 and did all my coursework, then residency, then practicum and then internship. If I had known then what I know now I would have started dissertation while still taking courses. There was no guidance in locating practicum or internship sites so we were on our own. It was very difficult to locate appropriate sites. My original site was across country and so I moved. They were waiting for their APA approval and it was taking too long for the program to start and I was running out of time so I had to find another site. That resulted in another move across country to an