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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 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. But in all that the school accidently blocked him in August and he could not submit my dissertation until October. Most recently in December the school sent me and my chair and email saying they were replacing him with a new chair and his services were no longer needed. Now I have a new committee member and a new chair who are unfamiliar with my study and they have their own ideas about it. I should be graduating this term but now looks like I will have to extend for the fourth time. The school just seems to want me to stay a student forever so they can keep making money, in the meantime I have more in loans than I can ever pay. My only saving grace is I am now working at a site and they have the student loan repayment for rural mental health and then it is a nonprofit and public service so will qualify for public service loan forgiveness. But I still have extreme panic attacks about the payments. And I had to use my grace period when my daughter was killed and thus won't have any grace period, and I have Graduate PLUS loans which I don't think have a grace period. Once I graduate I still have to study and take the national exam before I can get licensed and qualify for the loan repayment program so I don't know if they will defer my loans while I do that process. Where the schools get you is they tell you there are programs that will pay your loans for you and not to worry, by the time you are scared you are too far in and have to keep going because you have to get licensed to get the loan repayment. I went to school to better myself, now at 50+ yrs old I will never have a retirement or be able to afford more than bread and water, all just so I can help others. I need guidance and help.

I am 58 years old and my 68k loan is now over 70K, despite making regular payments of over $500/month for over 10 years! I have calculated that at this rate, I will have paid triple the amount of the original loan by the time it's all over. I was in a tough financial situation the first 3 years after graduation, so took some deferments that were readily offered to me. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that I would be paying such a price for help I desperately needed. I don't understand why this has never been addressed, despite exhausting inquiries to the numerous student loan companies that have taken over my original loan.

patti    January 12, 2016    council bluffs iowa   

two of my grandchildren are still paying these loans, after several years. both have two jobs- one is in law-enforcement-I would think the one working for the state should have this debt erased- the other planned on teaching until the bottom fell out of "education" for the ease of the internet- SHAME on GREEDY LOAN OFFICERS-and The inept financial government "services"- a grey eagle

jeanette ratliff    January 12, 2016    ohio   

I borrowed $40,000 dollars in student loans from 1986 to 1990; I now owe over $130,000 and cannot afford to pay. Since I have been in deferment and not paid for years the debt cannot be forgiven even though it is more than 25 years since I took the loan. I had to declare bankruptcy some years ago and left my case open in case someday I might be able to add this debt to my bankruptcy. I am now 57 years old, have some health issues and will never be able to pay the loan back.

Mindy Cole    January 12, 2016    Albuquerque, NM   

I attended ATI College in Santa Ana, which has now been shut down as soon as I and 60+ other students filed a lawsuit against them, of which they claimed to be bankrupt. All of the teachers had major language barriers and even one instructor never even worked in the field but begun teaching after she graduated. It was a total joke and waste of money and time. Most of the equipment was completely broken. Even taped together and we were performing ultrasound scans on pregnant women that could have shocked them. This was an awful experience and they made us pay for an internship program for a lab that they owned. Which was not run by professionals either. I could go on and on about this nightmare. And now even tho they are shut down I am in huge debt. Please help as I would never be able to get a sonography job with this poor level of education.

Ashley Ward    January 12, 2016    El Segundo   

I left college with my Bachelors degree in Music Education and about 75k in debt (16k in federal, rest in private). I have lived barely paycheck to paycheck, 3 years as a substitute and 6 years contracted in 2 school systems. I have yet to find a place to live that I can afford that is lower than my student loans. I pay back over 600/month in loans alone. Add in rent, utilities, car payment, gas, food, and travel expenses and I barely have any money left over to save. Now I look for graduate programs and my private loan won't let me defer while in school unless I refinance with a higher interest rate and a load period. It's so crippling that I don't know how much longer I can keep teaching and if I can even get a graduate degree. Its like the banks are against me living a happy life so they can make their bank on my unfortunate circumstance. I don't want an easy out. I just want to be content. And I need help for that to happen.

Nathan Mitchell    January 12, 2016    Minnesota   

went to school in the 1990s and returned to grad school in 2008-2010 to become a public school teacher....was never able to find a fulltime teaching job within the last six years only substitute teaching work that paid less than 10 bucks per hour....well over 400 candidates for every single teaching job for which I applied, and I have applied for hundreds over the past six years with little to no interest due to having a Master's degree. Have worked several part time jobs to supplement income but finally decided to leave teaching after having went heavily into debt with student loans to survive...my total debt in student loans for all my undergrad and grad school experiences is well over $200K with no hope of ever paying it off. If I file for bankruptcy and include my student loans as part of it, then it will ruin my credit forever and I will never be able to get a decent job with decent pay....it would be the same as having a dishonorable discharge from the armed forces....I need to seek forgiveness of my student loans but have no idea how to do this.

Paul Russell    January 12, 2016    Indiana   

i was given the sc teacher loan along with some other teacher loans. i had every intention of completing my degree and becoming a teacher. i had some health problems come up and instead of continuing my higher education i spent 4 years in and out of hospitals. i am only now starting to be able to function as a normal adult. not only am i bombarded with bills and letters threatening to take every penny i have (why i do not have a bank account) but the university is also threatening me all because i wanted to follow my dream of teaching theatre. i was stuck with needles and went through countless tests and failed treatments. just as i am now trying to get my life on track it seems almost hopeless because of my student debt now added to hospital debt. it seems like all "they" care about it money, not me or my story. while yes i owe thousands upon thousands of dollars im still a human being,

Emma    January 12, 2016    sc   

I qualify for student loan discharge/forgiveness due to being disabled, but because the government considers the loan as taxable income, I will be hit with a huge tax bill. I cannot afford to pay this tax bill all at once, but if it is not paid, the IRS can take money from my monthly disability check to pay the tax bill. This is SO wrong! If the loan is discharged due to disability, the borrower should NOT have to pay a tax penalty! What is being done to change this?

Christy Hanna    January 11, 2016   

My life was effected when hurricane Katrina happened, I'm from New Orleans, at the time of Katrina,I had been on my job bout twelve years after I relocated I went to Remington to better my condition because I no longer had a job, I graduated in medical coding and billing, was an honor roll student, ended up with no job, owing all this money that I cannot pay back because of financial hardship, I'm working at Walmart part time, I have not been able to pay, it's terrible

Debra Windsor    January 11, 2016    Louisiana   

I went back to school to try and not only improve my life (I was scared and nearly near eviction after waiting tables for years), but the lives of others by becoming a school social worker. I now hold my Master's Degree in Social Work and am (very thankfully) employed. However, the amount of student debt has ballooned to over $100,000 with payments so high I now work two jobs or risk losing my home. I will never be able to pay off my loans with the interest rates as high as they are and my salary being what it is. I find it despicable that our own government has used students to make such immense fiscal gains while simultaneously driving our economy into the ground. On the backs of those working the hardest to improve their lives, sit the profiteering, greedy big banks/corporations once again. We MUST fight to keep education alive and real for ALL who are willing to do the work, study, and sacrifice to improve our lives and the nation.

Hannah    January 11, 2016    Chicago   

I've written about this before.

At 70 1/2, I qualify for IBR. However, I am not eligible for Loan Forgiveness despite the fact that I worked in public service consistently since I received my loan in 1995 and have never defaulted. This needs to change. I got screwed by my graduate school's Financial Aid office, Citibank and now, AES. My loan forgiveness date will be in my 90s. There needs to be a way for seniors to get help with this. It's a real burden to have to deal with. I was not able to pay the interest on my unsubsidized loan portion last year due to my financial situation which made the total loan amount go up. While I was employed and was paying the loan down, the balance barely changed. It's a racket.

Leni Siegel    January 11, 2016    California   

I paid off my student loan in 1989, unaware of a " loan" in the amount of $600.00. paid it anyway, twenty-seven years later, they came at me again for fees, on top of fees. by that time, I'm disabled, I filed for a waiver which was granted. I later began retraining with EDD Disabled American, working from home for NTI out of Boston, they paid us during our training, penny’s, $10.00 per hour/ 4 hours per day. Student loan came at me all over again. It appears to be a racket, a vicious cycle. After major hip surgery, knee surgery, couldn't participate in the NTI program. how do I get off this roller coaster ride? This is ridiculous!

Disabled Retired Student    January 11, 2016    California   

I had about 9K in federal student loans in1999 and it ballooned worse than credit card debt! (I have no credit cards)I paid monthly for a number of years but it was hard with 2 small kids. I panicked and didn't deal with the letters and calls and last year it was handed over to a collection agency. They won't play fair at all. Offered me a program with unmanageable monthly payments and I missed a payment after about 5 months so was kicked out of that program. If only the loans had a low interest rate or no interest for those who graduate on time.

Patricia    January 9, 2016    South Carolina   

I paid for my own education through federal and private student loans. During my senior year of college I found a great job. My job had very little to do with my degree, but could eventually lead to my current dream job. I worked for state government but could not afford my student loans on my current salary. After holding on for several years while waiting for a promotion, I was forced to leave for another state agency. I had to leave in order to not fall further behind on my student loans.

I borrowed about 50k in federal and private loans. After 2-3 years of 500 dollar a month payments I still owed about 50k. I was forced to leave a great career opportunity for a slightly higher paying job with far less room for career growth. I fully understood the pro's and con's of both career paths, but was forced to take the lesser path. Because of my debt I was forced to give up a fulfilling and potentially lucrative career for the kind of job I went to college to avoid.

Alec    January 9, 2016    New York   

I moved to NC to attend Duke University for graduate school. Initially, Duke employees received tuition deduction, but when the time came for me to enroll in school, this benefit was removed. having already moved my family and established a new life, I enrolled using loans to pay for (private) tuition fees. I now have a suffocating debt that limits my ability to save for my kids' college tuition. I fear it's a viscous cycle for me and now my children.

tonya    January 7, 2016    Durham, NC   

Currently, I am over 100K (120 which includes living costs, prequisite undergraduate courses required,etc.) in debt to a Jesuit university in San Francisco (USF), as a result of student loans taken out for a master's degree in International and developmental economics, which includes a field research and thesis component. I am not sure how I will be able to manage this debt-load when I graduate, and am concerned about the prospects of paying them off after I graduate. I am in my last semester, and I use part of he loan money to cover living expenses in San Francisco, which are very expensive. I have also needed to use a portion of the money to cover expenses overseas (requirement of the program). I have been working part-time while attending school part-time, and the demands of the program as well as the massive financial burden have made completion of the degree quite daunting. At this point, I am desperate for viable solutions to reduce a portion of the debt to make it more manageable.

D Conway    January 5, 2016    San Francisco   

I went to college and received a bachelors degree in Computer Animation. My college stressed how 85% of graduate from the private college received careers in their field withing 6 months of graduation. Sure... They failed to mention that most creative careers are Contract positions and are in other countries (with low wages). I have gotten a couple of short term gigs but nothing even close to make me an independent person. I owe $50,000... How the hell am I supposed to pay it off? Every job in my field wants experienced employees. So now I am stuck with on and off contract/ freelance jobs, living with my parents trying to gain experience while drowning in my student loan debt. I am stressed beyond belief...

Holly    January 4, 2016    atlanta   

Went to school. First in my family to go to college. Graduated in 2004. Had $65K of student loans. Worked. Did great. In 2007 was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Have been on disability for the last 2 years. Have been managing to pay my $81/month to Navient. Now Navient wants me to pay $321/month on a $1026 income from Social Security, with a $800/month mortgage. Cannot find disability discharge paperwork anywhere for this private loan. Have called them 3x.

School's great. In this world, nowadays - I wouldn't even consider it. My boyfriend is a Pastry Chef at a high-end, 5 star restaurant. He never went to culinary school. Self-taught.

Don't waste your money.

Christine    December 31, 2015    Jacksonville, FL   

I am an English Language Learner (ESL/ESOL/ELL) teacher which is in the teacher shortage area at a low-income school in a rural area. Unfortunately, it's also an expensive place to live. I have a chronic medical condition which results in medical bill payments--something that is not accounted for in student loan payment plan options. I applied and was awarded Teacher Loan Forgiveness after 5 years. I still have $32K to repay. After discussing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) with the loan service provider I thought I would also be about half way into the PSLF (which is 10 years service)--unfortunately for me the loan service provider I talked with was wrong and my "qualifying payments" started over after I was awarded the Teacher Loan Forgiveness of $16500. Had I been given the CORRECT information, I would have never applied for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness at all and simply waited another 5 years for PSLF. I am now 7 "qualifying payments" into my 10 years for PSLF. This is not helping with teacher shortages or supporting the teachers we have now AT ALL. By the time I make by 120 "qualifying payments" (aka 10 years) I will only have a few months to go anyway to pay off my loans. I'm in my 7th year of teaching so that means when I am in my 16-17th year of teaching my loans will finally be paid off?!? What is wrong with this picture???

Julia Westbrook    December 27, 2015    Oregon   

I took out about $40,000 in federal and private loans to pay for a bachelor's degree at a private college. By the time I graduated, $50,000 in interest had accrued on these loans, and I found myself owing $90,000 and making $12 per hour. After nearly ten years of struggling and handing over $600 per month to student loan companies, two of my loans are in default and the others have balances that refuse to shrink at all. My decision to go to college has turned out to be a detriment to my success, health, and happiness. (Aren't life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness inalienable rights?)

This is a common story. After reading other stories on this site, I realize that many other people share the exact same burden. It seems like outrageous interest rates, predatory lending practices, and fraudulent claims by for-profit colleges are affecting a very large percent of the American population. The law is on the side of the lenders, because they are rich, corrupt, and very powerful.

We've been led to believe that we have little recourse. The law is on the side of the criminals. They are free to charge outrageous interest, which keeps us in debt forever. They are free to garnish our wages and seize our assets. They are free to make it impossible for us to get married, start businesses, own houses. So this begs the question: what can we do?
What if all of us just stopped paying? What if one day everyone struggling under student loan debt stopped making payments, and refused to make any more until lenders adopt more acceptable practices? If a large enough group of people stopped paying, it would bring the current lending system to its knees, and they would have to negotiate with us. They can't go after that many people. This would mean wiping out interest and accepting payments that we can afford. This would mean an overhaul of the entire system. We can't rely on politicians to do this for us. Even the most liberal politicians talk much more about helping current and future students,

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Nicole    December 26, 2015    Massachusetts   
Nicole    December 26, 2015    Massachusetts   

I took out about $40,000 in federal and private loans to pay for a bachelor's degree at a private college. By the time I graduated, $50,000 in interest had accrued on these loans, and I found myself owing $90,000 and making $12 per hour. After nearly ten years of struggling and handing over $600 per month to student loan companies, two of my loans are in default and the others have balances that refuse to shrink at all. My decision to go to college has turned out to be a detriment to my success, health, and happiness. (Aren't life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness inalienable rights?)

This is a common story. After reading other stories on this site, I realize that many other people share the exact same burden. It seems like outrageous interest rates, predatory lending practices, and fraudulent claims by for-profit colleges are affecting a very large percent of the American population. The law is on the side of the lenders, because they are rich, corrupt, and very powerful.

We've been led to believe that we have little recourse. The law is on the side of the criminals. They are free to charge outrageous interest, which keeps us in debt forever. They are free to garnish our wages and seize our assets. They are free to make it impossible for us to get married, start businesses, own houses. So this begs the question: what can we do?
What if all of us just stopped paying? What if one day everyone struggling under student loan debt stopped making payments, and refused to make any more until lenders adopt more acceptable practices? If a large enough group of people stopped paying, it would bring the current lending system to its knees, and they would have to negotiate with us. They can't go after that many people. This would mean wiping out interest and accepting payments that we can afford. This would mean an overhaul of the entire system. We can't rely on politicians to do this for us. Even the most liberal politicians talk much more about helping current and future students, leaving those of us saddled under an impossible burden of debt to fend for ourselves.

This is not an original idea. Students of the Corinthians colleges are already doing this, and are having great success. We have to fight for our own rights because nobody else will do this for us. I think it's time to stop being victims and start fighting back against a highly prejudiced and grossly unfair system of blatant exploitation by corporations.

I was recently told that there is no such thing as a natural or God-given right... at some point there was a fight for every single right we enjoy today. At first I scoffed at the idea but then realized that it's true. I think this corrupt system of student lending is the next fight, and we should all get on board.

I am Kuldeep Singh Punian. I Joined New York Chiropractic College in Sep 2008, I applied for federal loan, and I stayed in NYCC for two trimesters and received $10, 320 or little more for these two trimester (6 months study). In first semester I receive $400 scholarship for my highest grade. I left NYCC because of harassment from two teachers. I did not complaint; I just dropped my education with them. I filled up a loan deferment form for paying my loan in future, I tried to check my loan status in 2010, and found it raised $ 19000 from $10,320. I called Great Lakes, and US Dept. of education. I asked them, and they told me that they going to stopped paying my loan, as NYCC tried to get my loan money, I also talked to NYCC and let them know that I have already dropped their education, they cannot take my loan money. NYCC assured me for not taking my loan money. As US education Dept. told me that I can pay my loan when I start working, and stopped my education, they are flexible; just I have to fill up a loan deferment form. I filled up a loan deferment form this year in March like every year. I am dedicated to pay my due loan $10, 320 with genuine interest. Today I called to get information about my status, I heard my due loan was transfer to collection agencies, and I was received a number to call them, the number was 8772918405. I called them and asked about my loan status, they told me I have to pay $52 thousand something. I asked how it is possible my loan $10,320 increased 52 thousand; I just stayed two trimester there, and dropped my education. They told me no you signed contact and your school received your loan money whether you attended or not, and they disconnected my phone. I am surprised, is this a Gov. Help for a student like me? Is it not a right for a student to drop his/her education? I correctly informed NYCC that I dropped their classes;

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Kuldeep S Punian    December 22, 2015    Kent, WA, 98031   
Kuldeep S Punian    December 22, 2015    Kent, WA, 98031   

I am Kuldeep Singh Punian. I Joined New York Chiropractic College in Sep 2008, I applied for federal loan, and I stayed in NYCC for two trimesters and received $10, 320 or little more for these two trimester (6 months study). In first semester I receive $400 scholarship for my highest grade. I left NYCC because of harassment from two teachers. I did not complaint; I just dropped my education with them. I filled up a loan deferment form for paying my loan in future, I tried to check my loan status in 2010, and found it raised $ 19000 from $10,320. I called Great Lakes, and US Dept. of education. I asked them, and they told me that they going to stopped paying my loan, as NYCC tried to get my loan money, I also talked to NYCC and let them know that I have already dropped their education, they cannot take my loan money. NYCC assured me for not taking my loan money. As US education Dept. told me that I can pay my loan when I start working, and stopped my education, they are flexible; just I have to fill up a loan deferment form. I filled up a loan deferment form this year in March like every year. I am dedicated to pay my due loan $10, 320 with genuine interest. Today I called to get information about my status, I heard my due loan was transfer to collection agencies, and I was received a number to call them, the number was 8772918405. I called them and asked about my loan status, they told me I have to pay $52 thousand something. I asked how it is possible my loan $10,320 increased 52 thousand; I just stayed two trimester there, and dropped my education. They told me no you signed contact and your school received your loan money whether you attended or not, and they disconnected my phone. I am surprised, is this a Gov. Help for a student like me? Is it not a right for a student to drop his/her education? I correctly informed NYCC that I dropped their classes; still they had been automatically taking loan money on my name without asking me, and US education Dept. used to give loan money to them without asking me, just because of my first sign. Even I informed US education Dept. for cancelling my loan money. I believe this is a corruption. I am not a slave, I am a citizen. I want right direction. I believe this is a big corruption that is why I am writing to you. I am feeling depressed and down, it means I am not a citizen, I am a slave? I have complain against so called Gov. Education department/ federal load or student help. This is not a help this is a corruption to destroy innocent students’ life. It is not even a business.

I am writing a follow up from my last post from February 2015. Currently, I owe $56,847.68 in student loans. $37,490.34 of that is private student loan debt and $32,473.88 of that total I owe to Navient. I have been on the full repayment plan with Navient since May 2013. Since private lenders do not offer IBR and ICR repayment options, I have sacrificed everything in order to pay the monthly amount. I cannot buy toiletries, groceries, put gas in my car, help pay my and my husband’s mortgage or pay utilities, because all of my income goes toward my student loans which total OVER $400 per month. My total private monthly loan payment to Navient alone is just shy of $325. If it weren’t for my husband paying for our necessary living expenses, we would be without food and shelter. I also want to add that in the 6.5 years I have been out of college, I have made $8 to $14 an hour. I am nowhere closer to being in a $40k a year job now than I was 6.5 years ago. And truthfully, one has to probably make closer to $60k a year to pay basic living expenses and the loans. Ironically, this story isn’t about me refusing to pay Navient. This story is about me paying them everything they have demanded over the last 2 years and that still is not good enough. (I mean, let’s be real, is anything ever good enough for them?)
Over the summer, I received a harassing letter from Navient stating that my loans were going to collections, because my grandfather passed away. They said he was a cosigner for $12k of the $32k I owe. However, when my loans were under Sallie Mae in 2010/2011, the representatives I spoke with stated there was only one cosigner on one loan (I have a total of 4 through them) and that was my mother’s friend. I called Navient’s customer advocate line. They are impossible to reach, by the way. You basically have to keep leaving voicemail messages and hope that you are available when they do finally decide to call you back.

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Abby N.    December 22, 2015    St. Louis, MO   
Abby N.    December 22, 2015    St. Louis, MO   

I am writing a follow up from my last post from February 2015. Currently, I owe $56,847.68 in student loans. $37,490.34 of that is private student loan debt and $32,473.88 of that total I owe to Navient. I have been on the full repayment plan with Navient since May 2013. Since private lenders do not offer IBR and ICR repayment options, I have sacrificed everything in order to pay the monthly amount. I cannot buy toiletries, groceries, put gas in my car, help pay my and my husband’s mortgage or pay utilities, because all of my income goes toward my student loans which total OVER $400 per month. My total private monthly loan payment to Navient alone is just shy of $325. If it weren’t for my husband paying for our necessary living expenses, we would be without food and shelter. I also want to add that in the 6.5 years I have been out of college, I have made $8 to $14 an hour. I am nowhere closer to being in a $40k a year job now than I was 6.5 years ago. And truthfully, one has to probably make closer to $60k a year to pay basic living expenses and the loans. Ironically, this story isn’t about me refusing to pay Navient. This story is about me paying them everything they have demanded over the last 2 years and that still is not good enough. (I mean, let’s be real, is anything ever good enough for them?)
Over the summer, I received a harassing letter from Navient stating that my loans were going to collections, because my grandfather passed away. They said he was a cosigner for $12k of the $32k I owe. However, when my loans were under Sallie Mae in 2010/2011, the representatives I spoke with stated there was only one cosigner on one loan (I have a total of 4 through them) and that was my mother’s friend. I called Navient’s customer advocate line. They are impossible to reach, by the way. You basically have to keep leaving voicemail messages and hope that you are available when they do finally decide to call you back. I spoke with a representative and she said that the letter was only a threat and that my loans were not going to collections.
She explained that since my cosigner died, Navient attempts to see if the deceased person has any estate they can go after. She said I could try to release the cosigner’s estate. I told her that I heard that I would have a better chance at winning the lottery than getting the cosigner’s estate released. She said since my repayment history was immaculate, I stood an excellent chance of being approved for the release of the cosigner’s estate and that she would not suggest it if she did not think I would be approved. I submitted all the required paperwork and a few weeks later, I received a denial letter in the mail. They claimed my debt to income ratio was the reason for the denial and my income (I was working for a DME company for $10 an hour at this time.) I then tried to refinance my loans through a bank, however, again I was unable to do that because of my debt to income.
I haven’t heard anything from Navient since the summer, but I continue to make the full monthly payment. What I don’t understand is how Navient is able to get away with sending harassing letters and emails to people who are doing their due diligence and making the monthly payment. If I had credit cards and was paying them on time every month, the credit card companies would not be able to harass me over a dead cosigner. The same goes with an auto loan. I can understand that being the case if I weren’t making the payments to begin with, but I have never missed a payment. Even when my grandfather was alive, he wasn’t making the monthly payments. He never once made a payment. I just don’t understand how these loan sharks can continue to attack and harass people who are giving them what they ask.
What makes the story worse is that I have a twin sister who graduated the same time as me, from the same school. However, for some unknown reason, Sallie Mae tacked on an additional $20k in interest on one of her loans around the time our grace periods ended. There was never an explanation as to why that money was attached or where it came from. She has made her monthly payments on time for the last several years, too. Our grandfather cosigned roughly $20k of her loan (the original amount borrowed I think was close to $32k). I don’t understand how she has a cosigner for $12k of an almost $50k loan and I have two cosigners for a $32k loan. You can call Sallie Mae / Navient / Whatever their name is this month and speak to 5 different people and get 5 different answers. We are beyond frustrated and exhausted. We can’t win for losing. You pay them and it’s not good enough. You don’t pay them and it’s not good enough. I am the point now where it’s like, why pay them at all?

I can't say that I regret going to school & getting my degree --- I just wish it didn't feel like the student loan system was set up to screw those of us who can't afford to pay for college out-of-pocket. So far I've been able to make all of my monthly student loan payments on time but it's certainly not cheap & it's beginning to feel never-ending. Will I ever be able to enjoy my education/degree without having this debt hanging over my head?

Shanika    December 15, 2015    San Diego, CA   

I filed chapter 13 bankruptcy half way through my ten of the public service loan forgiveness program. I am not entitled to know where my monthly payments go so I do not know if or how much will be paid on my student loans, which is $103,00 right now. I never missed a payment in the six years I have been paying on my loans. After the five years of making chapter 13 payments, whatever is still owed on my loans will resume. Even if chapter 13 makes a payment on my loan it will not keep me in the public service loan forgiveness. Whats more, my loan continues to accrue interest while I am not allowed to pay on it or be in the forgiveness program. The feds make money on my misfortune and prevent me from paying even though I work for the State of Maryland, which is my side of the forgiveness program. I have written to USDE, my state delegate, the Department of the Treasury and my governor with not response. What else can I do? Thank you.

jeanine aubertin*    December 12, 2015    frederick maryland   

My $28k federal loan at 8.25% is now $63k. My payments are way more than I can afford. I, too, regret going to school - I would gladly return my degree to get out of this mess.

Meghan    December 9, 2015   

I was the first in my family to go to college, and I was so pleased with myself, at the time. I got all As and Bs, and I've been able to find some employment in my field of study, though it's not high pay. After earning my Master's, my debt was a little over $80,000 in federal student debt. Since then, I've paid about $38,000. I spend every spare dime I have trying to get out from under it. Now my bill is around $140,000. There is no end in site. Now I see college as my biggest regret. I've accepted that I'll never be able to afford to get married, or own a home. But, I try not to define myself by this mistake. Recently I've taken steps to get involved with charity via the Free Masons, so that way I can feel good about something I've done in my life. I'm currently working 1 job, doing freelance work, and I've recently interviewed for a second job in my field of study. Wish me luck. I always advise every young person I meet to avoid college, and go to trade school, or get on-the-job training instead. The cost of a degree isn't worth it, and will only bring them regret.

Clayton V    December 8, 2015    Michigan   

I have $122,000 in student loan debt. I pay ~30% of my paycheck to my loan company. There is no end in sight and I can barely afford anything. I make more from my single income than the national household income average, yet I'm just barely putting food on my table.

Kaitlin    December 8, 2015    NJ   

As I sit here in my dorm room at Lewis University, I think about how I got here. I am currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership. Growing up as the youngest of 5 children raised by a single mother, we certainly did not have access to many things in life. Although our mother provided shelter and food, the necessities for raising a family, we were exposed to the same education everyone around us had access to. As I entered elementary school, I met several teachers who took an investment in me. For middle school and high school, I attended private catholic institutions that provided excellent education. My tuition was fully covered by a program designed to support inner city and underprivileged youth. Although I had an obvious learning curve due to the lack of quality education I received before attending private school, I academically survived, barely. As the end of high school was approaching, it was time to start looking at colleges. My older sister, who also received the benefit of being in the same program, left Colorado to attend Saint Mary’s College of California, a 30k/year school. She received a great deal of scholarships and grants, but still needed to take out a few loans. By the time I was searching for schools, Saint Mary's also ended up offering me the most money. However, two years after my sisters enrollment, the tuition was now 40K/year. I also received only partial scholarship from the school and a few grants. Remember, I barely survived high school academically, so my grades were certainly not very strong to compete for additional scholarship money. Looking back at the hard facts, that meant I would roughly leave school with about 80K debt, understanding that I would need to take out at least 15K a year (for 4 yrs) in loans considering the small grant amounts I received, add interests on top of the 80K, and we are now looking at close to if not over 100K. However, mentors and supporters highly encouraged that I pursue Saint Mary’s and move forward with my education without considering that I received no additional financial support from any of the programs that supported me prior,

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Sonya Lee    December 4, 2015    Chicago IL   
Sonya Lee    December 4, 2015    Chicago IL   

As I sit here in my dorm room at Lewis University, I think about how I got here. I am currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership. Growing up as the youngest of 5 children raised by a single mother, we certainly did not have access to many things in life. Although our mother provided shelter and food, the necessities for raising a family, we were exposed to the same education everyone around us had access to. As I entered elementary school, I met several teachers who took an investment in me. For middle school and high school, I attended private catholic institutions that provided excellent education. My tuition was fully covered by a program designed to support inner city and underprivileged youth. Although I had an obvious learning curve due to the lack of quality education I received before attending private school, I academically survived, barely. As the end of high school was approaching, it was time to start looking at colleges. My older sister, who also received the benefit of being in the same program, left Colorado to attend Saint Mary’s College of California, a 30k/year school. She received a great deal of scholarships and grants, but still needed to take out a few loans. By the time I was searching for schools, Saint Mary's also ended up offering me the most money. However, two years after my sisters enrollment, the tuition was now 40K/year. I also received only partial scholarship from the school and a few grants. Remember, I barely survived high school academically, so my grades were certainly not very strong to compete for additional scholarship money. Looking back at the hard facts, that meant I would roughly leave school with about 80K debt, understanding that I would need to take out at least 15K a year (for 4 yrs) in loans considering the small grant amounts I received, add interests on top of the 80K, and we are now looking at close to if not over 100K. However, mentors and supporters highly encouraged that I pursue Saint Mary’s and move forward with my education without considering that I received no additional financial support from any of the programs that supported me prior, and my family certainly was not an option to assist financially, hence the fact I was considered “underprivileged” and in this position to begin with.

Let’s fast forward to graduation. I considered dropping out of school twice because of the expense, but somehow I made it work. I worked two jobs while in school, joined Americorps after school to assist with debt, and have decided to attend graduate school (on a full scholarship) to provide some payment relief. I currently owe 95.5K in student loans. I have made on time payments, received a stipend from Americorps to help with student loans, but have only paid on interests for each loan due to the 9.75% interests rate on two of the five loans I currently have. Three loans are private, two are federal. I often wonder what’s the point of all of this, to attend four years of school just to dedicate a lifetime of paying for it. That’s not worth it to me!

However, I do feel there was a different way of doing this. Although I had many supporters and mentors around me, no one suggested that I take a different route. For example, “Sonya, you should attend an in state community college for two years, then transfer to a University” (that would have cut my debt most likely in half) OR provide the most obvious and basic suggestion ever “ let’s consider a school that will be more affordable”. At the end of day, I was going to be the only person responsible for paying for my education and I am accountable to the debt I owe. However, the people that put themselves in the position to guide me should have made sure to open doors that were realistic to my situation, not because the choice of school looks good on paper or possibly for bragging rights, I needed real guidance, and sending me to one of the most expensive schools on the west coast was not what I needed. It was a major disservice to me, for I was the only person in this equation who knew nothing about what this all meant, I had never even seen $1,000 before, let alone know what a interests rate was, and it was their responsibility to inform me. I hold them accountable to a certain degree.

Do I regret attending a wonderful college for four years, Yes and No, would I have chosen another way, absolutely. I think about my debt and what future choices I should consider, like starting a business, traveling internationally, or even having kids. Many things in life that I feel I have worked hard to experience may not be accessible to me because I simply cannot afford them. I can’t even qualify for a decent apartment or car let alone think about having kids. Is there a way out, sure, like trying a fundraiser. I’m still searching for additional options, other than working my ass off, but if anyone comes up with a better solution let me know. The morale of this story is that we cannot go into the inner city communities, reach out our hands to help children who don't have opportunities to access quality education, and encourage 40K/year schools expecting for them to figure it out once you lead them there. We need to be realistic about people’s situations, and truly set them up for success, not to open one door and just to close another. We need to make sure people have access to quality and affordable education the right way, and hopefully decrease the amount of people in this country going through the same things I am experiencing.

I am 67 years old and am now facing repayment of student loans at the amount of $1064.50 a month. I am a college teacher with a base salary of less than $45,000 a year and it took me 13 years (adjunct all this time) to get a full-time position. I was told when I refinanced my loans that they would be refinanced at 3% and when the loan documents came, and time had run out, I was given an 8.25% rate. This was the original rate that I had. I am told that there is nothing that can be done except to reduce my payment to the interest amount which is $900. a month. This is the most disgraceful predatory system that we have, even worse than the housing market. It seems to be discriminatory to exclude student loans from bankruptcy. I am certainly not wholeheartedly supporting that program but when absolutely necessary, it is available to those who need it to help themselves financially. These loans need to go away and I don't feel that way just because I have them but also for all the struggling students I see everyday. Both education and healthcare are human rights and should be identified as such in this country instead of the economic slavery system that has been created.

Lou Bonavita    December 3, 2015    Florida   

I was the first of my family to go to college. My mom spent a year in an arts program and my dad (born deaf) was placed by a social worker into a factory job to support my family.

Being the first to go to college means a lot of things. It holds a lot of responsibility. It holds a lot of promise. It holds a lot of questions. My family having never experienced student loans didn't think there was a difference and unknowingly allowed me to take out a hefty mix of private and federal loans. I went to an in-state university for my bachelors and then stayed in state to get my Masters of Social Work degree. I'm a social worker now -- a profession that undoubtedly helped my father. I'm not a commodities trader, or a broker, or any profession that makes a comfortable living.. I'm a proud social worker doing the necessary work to help those washed out the bottom of our market driven society.

All told -- I owe $70,000 to Chase Student Loans and $50,000 to FedLoan -- I owe over $130,000 total to be a social worker. My monthly payments recently jumped to $700 per month. Not including rent, food, transportation, or utilities -- student loan payments constitute 40% of my take home pay. This is no way to live. I've been heavily questioning leaving social work -- a rewarding job that I love -- to do something that might pay the bills better. Which begs the question:

"What’s the point of an education if the economic gains of higher education are lost to a life of student debt?"

Carl Wiley    November 30, 2015    Chicago Illinois   

I'm 36 years old, and time is running out. I will never be in a position to financially support having a child. My student loan debt has and will continue to haunt me. I didn't understand what I was getting into. Yes, I signed up for it, but I didn't know how much it would prevent me from doing what I wanted to do in life.

I grew up thinking college was the way to get me places in life. I grew up in a crowded mobile home trailer in Florida with three youner brothers and no money for college. Scholarships and loans were my only ticket out. I took out student loans to help with tuition, books, and living expenses for an in-state school University of South Florida and received my undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and Policy. I was excited and thought I was really going places when I was accepted into the College of William and Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science for their Master's program. They offered me some financial aid, however, to make the out-of-state transition, I needed to supplement the rest with student loans. As a graduate student, I ran into some difficulties with the school; the department I was in closed and I was shifted into another one, and I was given a new thesis topic to start on. Then, I ran into some medical difficulties. These caused me to extend my program and take out even more loans at an out-of-state rate. Finally, I took a medical leave, but I could not afford to return to school after the allowed time period. To date, I have over 45 graduate credit hours, all but thesis, no degree.

After leaving my graduade program, I found a job in the science field as an environmental laboratory analyst, which started $10.00/hour, and after working there for six years, I was up to a little bit over $13.00/hr, with over $80,000 in student loan debt! I missed payments, I ignored phone calls, I used deferment options, I used forbearance options, I tried different repayment plans...

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Jennie    November 29, 2015    Virginia   
Jennie    November 29, 2015    Virginia   

I'm 36 years old, and time is running out. I will never be in a position to financially support having a child. My student loan debt has and will continue to haunt me. I didn't understand what I was getting into. Yes, I signed up for it, but I didn't know how much it would prevent me from doing what I wanted to do in life.

I grew up thinking college was the way to get me places in life. I grew up in a crowded mobile home trailer in Florida with three youner brothers and no money for college. Scholarships and loans were my only ticket out. I took out student loans to help with tuition, books, and living expenses for an in-state school University of South Florida and received my undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and Policy. I was excited and thought I was really going places when I was accepted into the College of William and Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science for their Master's program. They offered me some financial aid, however, to make the out-of-state transition, I needed to supplement the rest with student loans. As a graduate student, I ran into some difficulties with the school; the department I was in closed and I was shifted into another one, and I was given a new thesis topic to start on. Then, I ran into some medical difficulties. These caused me to extend my program and take out even more loans at an out-of-state rate. Finally, I took a medical leave, but I could not afford to return to school after the allowed time period. To date, I have over 45 graduate credit hours, all but thesis, no degree.

After leaving my graduade program, I found a job in the science field as an environmental laboratory analyst, which started $10.00/hour, and after working there for six years, I was up to a little bit over $13.00/hr, with over $80,000 in student loan debt! I missed payments, I ignored phone calls, I used deferment options, I used forbearance options, I tried different repayment plans... The interest grew. The monster kept getting bigger. It didn't help that the companies kept changing and I kept moving from apartment to apartment. It was a frustrating, confusing mess for a young adult just trying to get settled.

Now I'm married, and with my husband's support, in the last four years, I was finally able to do a career switcher program and move from an hourly job to teaching high school science. I make less than $40,000, but it's much more than than my lab job. With our combined incomes, my husband and I were finally able to afford a house.
TEN years later, mind you, not living on my own, I can finally (barely) afford to make my almost $900/MONTH student loan payments, with no end in the near future. My husband also has his fair share of student loans, though not nearly as much as mine.

What breaks my heart most is that I cannot afford to have a child. Due to some medical issues, we need some fertility help, and I don't have the extra money to save. Furthermore, with my loans, I can't afford not to work and combined with the cost of childcare, it's out of our reach.

This has caused me heartache and more grief than I ever thought possible. My husband and I have gone through months of couples counseling and therapy to work through this together. We ran the numbers,we made spreadsheets, we calculated everything. Our therapist tried to help us think out of the box and get creative. Every time it came down to one thing- my student loan debt. I always thought my student loans were going to be my ticket to happiness and a better life, instead, they are a burden and a constant reminder of my biggest failures- a graduate degree I never did finish and the mother I may never be, and I don't have much time left to make that happen. A 36 years old, my time for that is running out. It doesn't seem fair.
When I was about 18- 22 years old, I thought I knew what I was signing up for, I thought I was investing in a better future for myself, I thought I was going to get out of the poverty and debt I lived in growing up. I thought the ends would justify the means. I thought I would be able to get a great job and pay them back in a decent amount of time. I didn't truly understand what I was getting into and what my student loans would prevent me from doing with my life. I'm angry, I'm sad, I'm bitter.

In 2001, I had a miscarriage at 20 weeks. After 3 medical procedures and no insurance, I owed $53,000.00. My husband and I had to consolidate our student loans into a federal spousal consolidation loan in order to attempt to stay on top of things with 2 other kids. 9 years later, and at $250,000.00 of student loan debt, we ended up divorced. I was first on the loan paperwork, so I am held responsible. My ex knows this and pays nothing. We can't separate the loans. I am a teacher making barely enough to pay my bills. I feel despair and hopelessness. My ex is living life without a care in the world. How is this life?

Leslie    November 28, 2015   

To me there are 3 big injustices in America that are not political:
Life Insurance is one.
Student loans another.
And the third is the value of most university endowments, which is or could be used to relieve Student loans.

When I went to the University of Connecticut tuition was $600.00 a semester. Loans were rare and quickly paid off. You now have skyrocketing tuition costs and loans. Totally wrong and unfair. As an example: Yale's endowment is now $23.9 billion as of June 30, 2014, net of spending. The University benefited from investment gains of approximately $4.0 billion. Yet how many students will be able to EVER pay back their loans that go there. For those reading this, google any college's endowment value to see what I mean.

My daughter has a $30,000.00 student loan to attend UNR. We both make payments monthly, but with interest, it will take 24 years to pay it off. She graduated 8 years ago. The University of Nevada, Reno's total endowment exceeded $277 million as of June 30, 2014 and returned 19.6 percent. Fair?

Larry Roscoe    November 25, 2015    Nevada   

Hello, my name is Keith Herring and I am 25-year-old aspiring entrepreneur residing in New York City. One day someone told me that I would never amount to anything. That I should forget about going to college and just enroll into the army. Wise words from a New York City High School teacher. I wish they could see me now.

I am a 2014 college graduate from Long Island Post University. I received my bachelors degree in criminal justice with a 3.1 GPA and a minor in psychology. In addition, I have played four years of baseball at the collegiate level and received multiple awards because of my dedication to the sport. I am not the smartest person, but I have accomplished a lot of things people haven't in my neighborhood.

I am writing you today because I need your help, I need a solution. Long Island Post University has a tuition of $41,400. There were loans taken out for my education so I could stay in school. As soon as I graduated, I received information from the company I will not name, stating that I would have to pay nine hundred dollars a month. Previously mentioned, I am a recent graduate who studied criminal justice. My dream is to become a police officer, then work my way up to SWAT. I have taken multiple police exams and all I can do now is wait on a call back from the department. I thought to myself, what job can I get quickly to help me pay my dues?... All while I help my single mother with buying household appliances, food, and my medicine because I've been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.

The company has threatened mine and my mothers credit if we do not comply. How can I meet the requirements if a steady salary does not exist. I have not done anything wrong but try, and I do not think a part-time position at a fitness gym paying $8.75 an hour would help. If I was able to pay that company nine hundred dollars month I don't think I would have needed a loan or even live where I have lived my whole life.

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Keith Herring    November 23, 2015    New York   
Keith Herring    November 23, 2015    New York   

Hello, my name is Keith Herring and I am 25-year-old aspiring entrepreneur residing in New York City. One day someone told me that I would never amount to anything. That I should forget about going to college and just enroll into the army. Wise words from a New York City High School teacher. I wish they could see me now.

I am a 2014 college graduate from Long Island Post University. I received my bachelors degree in criminal justice with a 3.1 GPA and a minor in psychology. In addition, I have played four years of baseball at the collegiate level and received multiple awards because of my dedication to the sport. I am not the smartest person, but I have accomplished a lot of things people haven't in my neighborhood.

I am writing you today because I need your help, I need a solution. Long Island Post University has a tuition of $41,400. There were loans taken out for my education so I could stay in school. As soon as I graduated, I received information from the company I will not name, stating that I would have to pay nine hundred dollars a month. Previously mentioned, I am a recent graduate who studied criminal justice. My dream is to become a police officer, then work my way up to SWAT. I have taken multiple police exams and all I can do now is wait on a call back from the department. I thought to myself, what job can I get quickly to help me pay my dues?... All while I help my single mother with buying household appliances, food, and my medicine because I've been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.

The company has threatened mine and my mothers credit if we do not comply. How can I meet the requirements if a steady salary does not exist. I have not done anything wrong but try, and I do not think a part-time position at a fitness gym paying $8.75 an hour would help. If I was able to pay that company nine hundred dollars month I don't think I would have needed a loan or even live where I have lived my whole life.

So if it is possible can you please give me any kind of information that can help me in this difficult situation, thank you.

Sincerely,

Keith Herring

My story is the absolute worst-case scenario. I have never met anyone in such a terrible circumstance, and have never heard anyone propose a solution or a plan of action to ease this burden or provide some semblance of a better quality of life. I am 26 years old and my AS degree is valueless - it would be impossible for me to make monthly payments with an entry-level salary in my field. After a few years of uncertainty and indecision, I racked up debt just shy of $150,000. Before it is paid, with interest, it is unlikely that I will pay one penny less than $200,000. Every day that passes I get further from my promised career path, stuck doing what must be done to make payments rather than what is fulfilling, interesting, or good for our country. With all but a few thousand owed to private lenders, there is almost no relief for me. I am subject to multiple variable interest rates even among loans with the same company. The rules and deadlines for payments, the penalties and collections practices, all of them vary from one company to the other. I've gone back to school to defer my loans because the community college tuition is less than what I would pay over the same period of time. I have 3 children who may never know what it's like to live in their own home, because I have to pay close to $1500 every month just to my lenders. I will never own a home, my credit may never recover. There is no American Dream on the table for me. The best I can do is tread water and hope for the best.

My generation deserved better than to be the cash crop for a predatory, profit-driven business model. My children deserve better.

Andrew G    November 23, 2015    Philadelphia   

I was so desperate to have a better life I jumped into college mid life to secure what was left of my future only to graduate realizing that now I'm still in debt like before only making more money now to hand over to the government.

Lauretta Gomez    November 21, 2015    Bremerton WA   

The shared $200,000.00 of student debt between my husband and myself affects every decision we make: we have decided not to have children, we have decided to live in an area that would not have been our first choice, we have decided to purchase second-hand whenever possible and we have not decided that we cannot afford a house right now. Maybe not ever. Much of our life together is about managing our student debt, rather than planning for the future or living in the present.
If there was only one thing I could change about my life, I would not have gone to such a high profile (and extremely expensive, even with a partial scholarship) graduate program. Except... that is where I met my husband.

Selena    November 21, 2015    Florida   

My wife and I owe more on our student loans than our home. We both earned advanced degrees (MFAs in Creative Writing) to help us in our careers. Currently, my wife is moving forward with an editing business that is slowly taking off. However, I work as an assistant professor in academia. Though I was told to earn my MFA to gain a spot for a tenure track, I was passed up for said track because of the MFA (my colleagues determined the administration would not grasp the value of a terminal degree with an MFA in lieu of a PhD. However, no one on the committee even attempted to contact the administration, and I was never allowed to defend my degree). In addition, if I had gone to a state school in Pennsylvania for my MFA, I would have attended for free. I chose a private school because it had a far better program. Now, since I am not on the tenure track, I am not receiving any cost of living increases. This means I am now earning what I was making in marketing in 2003. I have absolutely no money to keep my home up to date or even make repairs, so we have to sell, and I cannot afford to currently pay back my student loans.

I just turned fifty. I have no idea if I will ever be able to pay back my loan, if I will ever earn tenure so I can get a raise, and if I will ever be able to save enough money to retire (and afford healthcare). I am scared.

William D. Prystauk    November 20, 2015    Easton, PA   

My student debt story is a little more tragic than most. . . Like many students, my FAFSA forms were always filled out by my parents. Unfortunately for me, this means that someone other than myself controlled my debt and limits. I thought it was odd that every semester I'd get money back from school, but was unclear on where that money came from. My mother insisted it was from a loan that she had taken out at the time. Instead, I was funding her own private stash of cash every semester. While in school, I was unfortunate enough to begin having loans come through the recession that the U.S. began to suffer through in 2007/2008. I watched my loan interest rates soar, but had no option to pay for college out-of-pocket, so I did what I had to do. Fast forward, and I graduated with $65,000 worth of debt, high interest rates, and no idea how to pay for my loans after they'd open in six months. Now, my loan balances are higher than what I had originally graduated with, and I've continuously put the rest of my life on hold. I only purchased a car after getting into an accident, and had to scrape together to figure out payments, money which was meant for my school payments. I've given up on ever being able to buy a house. My husband and I pushed back our wedding for years because we were drowning in debt and didn't want to harm each other that way. Finally, we decided to go as moderately as possible for a wedding, but it was not without serious sacrifice of what we "wanted" versus what we could pay.

As a strategic career move, I did opt to earn my Master's degree. In the midst of the change, my employers did away with higher pay for those with a higher degree, and I've again taken on MORE debt, with no end in sight. My total balance is now $103,000.

Why haven't I bought a house? I apparently purchased a home for a college dean somewhere.

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Raye S    November 20, 2015    Pennsylvania   
Raye S    November 20, 2015    Pennsylvania   

My student debt story is a little more tragic than most. . . Like many students, my FAFSA forms were always filled out by my parents. Unfortunately for me, this means that someone other than myself controlled my debt and limits. I thought it was odd that every semester I'd get money back from school, but was unclear on where that money came from. My mother insisted it was from a loan that she had taken out at the time. Instead, I was funding her own private stash of cash every semester. While in school, I was unfortunate enough to begin having loans come through the recession that the U.S. began to suffer through in 2007/2008. I watched my loan interest rates soar, but had no option to pay for college out-of-pocket, so I did what I had to do. Fast forward, and I graduated with $65,000 worth of debt, high interest rates, and no idea how to pay for my loans after they'd open in six months. Now, my loan balances are higher than what I had originally graduated with, and I've continuously put the rest of my life on hold. I only purchased a car after getting into an accident, and had to scrape together to figure out payments, money which was meant for my school payments. I've given up on ever being able to buy a house. My husband and I pushed back our wedding for years because we were drowning in debt and didn't want to harm each other that way. Finally, we decided to go as moderately as possible for a wedding, but it was not without serious sacrifice of what we "wanted" versus what we could pay.

As a strategic career move, I did opt to earn my Master's degree. In the midst of the change, my employers did away with higher pay for those with a higher degree, and I've again taken on MORE debt, with no end in sight. My total balance is now $103,000.

Why haven't I bought a house? I apparently purchased a home for a college dean somewhere.

I attended a tech school back in 2006 and graduated 2 years later with over $35000 in student debt. I was paying the minimum amount due for awhile but they kept raising the minimum so now I've gotten further and further into the debt and can't seem to find my way out of catching up. All I want is a break so I can catch up and be able to stop worrying. And, like some others I am not working in the field I studied because there are no jobs where I live. I can't afford to move because I'm still raising a child and he has needs. I work full time but it just isn't enough to pay for necessities plus student loans. I am a single mother and receive no child support.

Carmen    November 20, 2015    Baldwinsville, New York   

I had a federal student loan in 1974 for $12000.00. I am being charged 18% interest and I will end up paying till I die. I thought that Obama forgave student loans over 30 years. I am retired 7 years ago and my small federal pension and SSA is garnished by 25% and my federal tax refund is confiscated. This financial nightmare must come to an end.

joel despas    November 20, 2015    northern CA   

When I graduated in 2007 I owed just under 40K in student loans. Since that time, I have always made monthly payments. However, due to my spouse being laid off a few times and unexpected hospital stays for family over the past several years, there have been times I have had to put my loans in deferment. However, the interest continued to increase. I now owe over 45 K. I will continue making payments at this rate well into retirement. I am not sure what the solution is, but this is one of the fastest growing financial crisis in our country. I feel if you have paid over 5 years on your loans and worked in a field that requires a degree, your debt should be erased.

Christy    November 20, 2015    San Antonio   

A few months ago my wife's mother died and with the money from her will we were finally able to pay off our children's student loans. With the little excess we had left we helped our granddaughter pay some of her loans off. The future of America is in the education of our children and with the crazy system we now have many graduate without a job and still have horrible loans sitting there drawing interest. We need a solution like Mrs Warren and Bernie Sanders have suggested. Without a drastic change the rich will soon control everything with no way to rectify it. I'm afraid that just voting will not change things. The mind set of the officials in office has to change.

Dennis F Doran Jr    November 19, 2015    Central New York   

I graduated in 1993. Paid on my $38,000 loan for 15 years then on/off since. I am now have $98,000 in student loan debt due to loan sell off and interest. This is unsustainable. I'm trying to get a business off the ground and I'm living in my vehicle. This is the cost of higher education...

Peva    November 19, 2015   

YMy student loan debt is now over $300,000 dollars, and in default. I haven't worked in 3 years, I'm 54, and my life is over. The only thing I have to look forward to is death, which seems rather inviting about now.

How did I get here? After I left the Marine Corps in 1989 I began college, and I paid the first year out of my pocket. In 2000 I went to work full-time after completing my M.S. in Biology with a end G.P.A. of 3.82 - I also worked while I was a student, sometimes more than 40 hours a week. In 2004, after paying on my student loans, or the interest more accurately, I consolidated all my loans with the Dept. of Education in an effort to reduce my payments. Because of the sheer amount of my loans I had forbearances, deferments, and eventually went into the Income Contingent Repayment plan (ICR).

I made payments when I could until late 2010 when I became unemployed; in 2012 my student loans went default and I had to endure months and months of debt collectors calling me at anytime they desired, and I do mean at anytime of the day or night. And then they proceeded to harass my mom, dad, and other family members as well. I got married in late 2013 and as a precaution, I had a prenuptial agreement drawn up so my wife would not have to suffer for something she had nothing to with, at all. So much for that - the IRS took her tax refund anyway, even though it was for the year before we met and married! America the great, right?!

On to the amount. I'm sure you're wondering how the hell did I amass $300,000 in student loan debt? I didn't. When I defaulted a collection company tacked on a juicy $80,000 collection fee and then kicked it back to the feds for ultimate collection. That probably works out to $500.00 for every call they placed to me - I didn't know phone charges were that high these days.

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Done Tom    November 19, 2015    Jax, Florida   
Done Tom    November 19, 2015    Jax, Florida   

YMy student loan debt is now over $300,000 dollars, and in default. I haven't worked in 3 years, I'm 54, and my life is over. The only thing I have to look forward to is death, which seems rather inviting about now.

How did I get here? After I left the Marine Corps in 1989 I began college, and I paid the first year out of my pocket. In 2000 I went to work full-time after completing my M.S. in Biology with a end G.P.A. of 3.82 - I also worked while I was a student, sometimes more than 40 hours a week. In 2004, after paying on my student loans, or the interest more accurately, I consolidated all my loans with the Dept. of Education in an effort to reduce my payments. Because of the sheer amount of my loans I had forbearances, deferments, and eventually went into the Income Contingent Repayment plan (ICR).

I made payments when I could until late 2010 when I became unemployed; in 2012 my student loans went default and I had to endure months and months of debt collectors calling me at anytime they desired, and I do mean at anytime of the day or night. And then they proceeded to harass my mom, dad, and other family members as well. I got married in late 2013 and as a precaution, I had a prenuptial agreement drawn up so my wife would not have to suffer for something she had nothing to with, at all. So much for that - the IRS took her tax refund anyway, even though it was for the year before we met and married! America the great, right?!

On to the amount. I'm sure you're wondering how the hell did I amass $300,000 in student loan debt? I didn't. When I defaulted a collection company tacked on a juicy $80,000 collection fee and then kicked it back to the feds for ultimate collection. That probably works out to $500.00 for every call they placed to me - I didn't know phone charges were that high these days.

Anyone who defends this draconian system of predatory lending is not anyone you want to know, or associate with, in your life.

America - land of the indebted and home of the too poor to be brave.
our Story*

Parent Plus Loan Nightmare the Monster that keeps Growing. I am a single mother of 3, one still in college. I had to take out Parent Plus loans to help my last two through college. I am 62, work full time and have a college degree. I was hoping to retire at 65 and pay the loans on payments and then the balance when I sold my property. Well with no warning my paycheck gets garnished from the Dept of Education $1,000. a month. No warning, no phone call, no letter, NOTHING. Letters did arrive 8 days after the garnishment was in place. Too late ! Fortunately I have worked at my job for 20 years and they were really nice about it. I was mortified and never late on any bill. For 5 months now I have tried to find out how this happened and find out how I fix this but the Dept of ED is a mess, no one calls back, very poor communication and each time you call you get a different story. They were in the wrong but fixing it is almost impossible. You will not find an advocate to assist you. My $50,000. of loans for 2 kids is now over 100,000 !!!! A collection fee of $35,000. ?? Even lawyers do not know much about Federal garnishments and how to get them removed. It is the biggest mess I have seen in my entire life. My credit that was perfect is now ruined. I have worked all of my life, I am a taxpayer, a nurse, a good Citizen. I have been treated like a criminal ! This is what I have learned. Private lenders have to have a court order to garnish you, the Dept of Ed does not. So they can garnish, lean your property and take your income tax with no investigation or court hearing. It is your word against theirs. No one will listen to you and you will not get the same person twice. You will definitely not get your day in court. There is a Borrower's Bill of Rights but there is no one to make sure it is enforced.

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Judy    November 19, 2015    Arkansas   
Judy    November 19, 2015    Arkansas   

Parent Plus Loan Nightmare the Monster that keeps Growing. I am a single mother of 3, one still in college. I had to take out Parent Plus loans to help my last two through college. I am 62, work full time and have a college degree. I was hoping to retire at 65 and pay the loans on payments and then the balance when I sold my property. Well with no warning my paycheck gets garnished from the Dept of Education $1,000. a month. No warning, no phone call, no letter, NOTHING. Letters did arrive 8 days after the garnishment was in place. Too late ! Fortunately I have worked at my job for 20 years and they were really nice about it. I was mortified and never late on any bill. For 5 months now I have tried to find out how this happened and find out how I fix this but the Dept of ED is a mess, no one calls back, very poor communication and each time you call you get a different story. They were in the wrong but fixing it is almost impossible. You will not find an advocate to assist you. My $50,000. of loans for 2 kids is now over 100,000 !!!! A collection fee of $35,000. ?? Even lawyers do not know much about Federal garnishments and how to get them removed. It is the biggest mess I have seen in my entire life. My credit that was perfect is now ruined. I have worked all of my life, I am a taxpayer, a nurse, a good Citizen. I have been treated like a criminal ! This is what I have learned. Private lenders have to have a court order to garnish you, the Dept of Ed does not. So they can garnish, lean your property and take your income tax with no investigation or court hearing. It is your word against theirs. No one will listen to you and you will not get the same person twice. You will definitely not get your day in court. There is a Borrower's Bill of Rights but there is no one to make sure it is enforced. Make sure you stay on top of your loans they will not necessarily notify you when they come due. Don't expect a payment book. Parent Plus loans cannot be deferred so do not believe anyone at the Dept of ED that tells you that your PPL's are deferred. If you are being garnished and no one will communicate with you send monthly voluntary payments to the Dept of Ed and keep copies and records. Keep sending them. $100. payments helped me. If you are able to reach someone get on a rehab payment plan asap. It took me almost 5 months for anyone to communicate logically with me and the payments did help and were applied to my "official" rehab payment plan. I cannot tell you the hopelessness and upset this has created. Also my loss of respect and mistrust of the Dept of Education. If you mail an appeal and financial form like I did keep checking on it. I have sent 3 times and with return receipt but they claim they never received it. Finally a faxed copy was noted. Don't think any of your forms have been entered in as received. I fear for our Children's future. I hope parent's read my story and do not take these loans out. If you have to take out loans go to a private lender not the Dept of ED. Try not to take loans at all but in this day and age who can afford education without loans? I hope this helps someone.

I graduated from highschool in 2008 and went right into college and the University of Bridgeport as a Graphic Design major in the Fine Arts program. I maintain a 3.5GPA and excelled in all of my major design classes.

I'm originally from Brooklyn, NY and I thought getting a good education in a lucrative field such as Graphic Design would be a great step towards a rewarding future, not to mention I've been enthralledwith art my whole life.

A year and a half before I was set to graduate, meaning I was a Junior at the time, Discover Student Loans suddenly decided to cut off my loans. I could not continue going to school so I had to drop because there was no way I could pay out of pocket.

Before I signed up for the loans I was under the impression these loans are set up specifically for people, who have little to no credit, ie. college students who are just starting out. Why approve me for the loans in the first place if you're just going to cut me off 3 semesters before graduation? Of all my friends that I became close with in college I know of only 5 who actually managed to graduate, the others have financial issues similar to mine. Out of that 5 only 3 are actually in the field making an quite a bit of money but are still plagued by student loans. I've tried going back to school several times and the same thing keeps happening.

I am over $80k in student loan debt. I'm harrassed daily by them and they continue to report on my credit making it worse. I had only 3 semesters to complete which were basically core classes that have nothing to do with my major so I essentially have everything I need to be a graphic designer, but just don't have the degree to prove it. I can't get my credits released for all the time I spent. I can't get a job in my field because I have nothing to show for my hard work.

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Abdul Jameel    November 18, 2015    Charlotte, NC   
Abdul Jameel    November 18, 2015    Charlotte, NC   

I graduated from highschool in 2008 and went right into college and the University of Bridgeport as a Graphic Design major in the Fine Arts program. I maintain a 3.5GPA and excelled in all of my major design classes.

I'm originally from Brooklyn, NY and I thought getting a good education in a lucrative field such as Graphic Design would be a great step towards a rewarding future, not to mention I've been enthralledwith art my whole life.

A year and a half before I was set to graduate, meaning I was a Junior at the time, Discover Student Loans suddenly decided to cut off my loans. I could not continue going to school so I had to drop because there was no way I could pay out of pocket.

Before I signed up for the loans I was under the impression these loans are set up specifically for people, who have little to no credit, ie. college students who are just starting out. Why approve me for the loans in the first place if you're just going to cut me off 3 semesters before graduation? Of all my friends that I became close with in college I know of only 5 who actually managed to graduate, the others have financial issues similar to mine. Out of that 5 only 3 are actually in the field making an quite a bit of money but are still plagued by student loans. I've tried going back to school several times and the same thing keeps happening.

I am over $80k in student loan debt. I'm harrassed daily by them and they continue to report on my credit making it worse. I had only 3 semesters to complete which were basically core classes that have nothing to do with my major so I essentially have everything I need to be a graphic designer, but just don't have the degree to prove it. I can't get my credits released for all the time I spent. I can't get a job in my field because I have nothing to show for my hard work. I'm basically stuck in limbo. Discover Student Loans ruined my life. If I could've just finished college and gotten my degree I'd be able to get a job in my field and begin paying them back. They want their money, but it's their fault I'm in a position where I can't pay it back in the first place.

Because of the overwhelming debt, the inability to gain employment in my field even though I have the skills, 6 years of freelance experience and internship experience, and constant reporting on my credit I can barely maintain. This debt is literally crippling. The worst part is I have nothing to show for it.

This country stresses education so much yet they don't give us the tools to to pursue it and then they cripple us before our mid twenties. I just turned 26 a few days ago and I'm $80k in debt and rising due to interest. I have no doubt the debt would still be crippling even if I HAD finished my education, but at least I'd have my degree and a way to maintain with a career I enjoy. It's just so frustrating; Having employers tell me how impressed they are with my portfolio and that I have the necessary skills required to work gain an $18 to $24 an hour job but then get rejected because I don't have the degree. Every time I try to go back to school my financial situation just worsens.

I've literally considered faking my own death just to get out of this seemingly endless cycle of student loan debt just so I could start fresh.

I will say it again; Discover Student Loans ruined my life.

Here's my story in a letter to the president. Got an automated response back from him.

Dear Mr. President,
I am not sure if this letter will get to you or not, but I figured I would give it a try. I am writing concerning the student loan debt. I do have to say, I am not just writing on others behalf, but on behalf of myself as well. I look at my student loan debt grow every day, and there is nothing I can do about it. You know why? Because I have been unable to secure employment in my field for over 2 years after graduating, and what employment I did secure I was unable to make full payments on certain student loans, so what does that mean? As you probably already know, I had to put my loans in deferment for 2+ years (like many others) and the interest just keeps collecting and collecting and collecting. Over $7000 in interest has collected, and not to mention that on an affordable payment plan I would pay over 100,000 in just interest on the loan. You may ask yourself, why didn't you work while you were in school? Well, I had multiple internships that were equivalent to a part-time job that I PAID for as a part of my program. I focused on my studies and wanted to get the best grades that I could; with homework, classes, studying, and my internships that left little room for a part time job. I did not want to just be that “passing” student. I wanted to be that “outstanding” student. I do not believe I fell below a 3.6 grade point average with a full class schedule, internships, and I made the Dean’s List multiple semesters while I was in undergraduate school, but I barely received any scholarships or tuition assistance.
I was told multiple times, “You have a bright future ahead of you,” but looking at these loans I have realized I will NEVER get out of this debt that I feel in some way, shape,

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sam    November 18, 2015    Florida   
sam    November 18, 2015    Florida   

Here's my story in a letter to the president. Got an automated response back from him.

Dear Mr. President,
I am not sure if this letter will get to you or not, but I figured I would give it a try. I am writing concerning the student loan debt. I do have to say, I am not just writing on others behalf, but on behalf of myself as well. I look at my student loan debt grow every day, and there is nothing I can do about it. You know why? Because I have been unable to secure employment in my field for over 2 years after graduating, and what employment I did secure I was unable to make full payments on certain student loans, so what does that mean? As you probably already know, I had to put my loans in deferment for 2+ years (like many others) and the interest just keeps collecting and collecting and collecting. Over $7000 in interest has collected, and not to mention that on an affordable payment plan I would pay over 100,000 in just interest on the loan. You may ask yourself, why didn't you work while you were in school? Well, I had multiple internships that were equivalent to a part-time job that I PAID for as a part of my program. I focused on my studies and wanted to get the best grades that I could; with homework, classes, studying, and my internships that left little room for a part time job. I did not want to just be that “passing” student. I wanted to be that “outstanding” student. I do not believe I fell below a 3.6 grade point average with a full class schedule, internships, and I made the Dean’s List multiple semesters while I was in undergraduate school, but I barely received any scholarships or tuition assistance.
I was told multiple times, “You have a bright future ahead of you,” but looking at these loans I have realized I will NEVER get out of this debt that I feel in some way, shape, or form I was brainwashed to believe that I needed. I do not see a future ahead for myself. We as young children are told in order to make anything of ourselves and be successful we need to go to college, and then what happens when we go to college? We are told that we need to take out these loans in order to finish school. My high school did little to guide its students for a successful career path. No educational testing or career advisement was done. Also, no financial advisement was performed at the high school or collegiate level. There was no explanation of the repercussions of taking out these loans. Institutions just tell you to sign on the dotted line and all will be well.
When we go to college we are promised all these things such as scholarships, good paying jobs, etc, but in reality that is only true for some, but NOT true for most. Answer me this, how is it fare to put this pressure on someone who is still a CHILD when making these decisions? Yes, I did sign for these loans and understand I took this on as a responsibility, but how am I ever supposed to afford these loans that keep racking up interest upon interest? I have accepted that I will never own my own house, have children, have a new vehicle, etc. I will never be able to live the American Dream (even though I am an American Citizen) because of these choices that I felt in a way I was forced to make when I was still a child. These decisions will haunt me for the rest of my life. I honestly look back and regret my secondary education because I was told you will get a GREAT job and be able to pay these loans back. That was nothing but lies; lies the government told us as children so they could fill their pocket books and look out for Number 1, themselves. At this point I feel I would have been better off never have attending college and started working out of high school or learning a trade. It seems many of those who have are better off than I would be financially because they do not face the burden of these student loans.
I was the first one in my family to go to college and complete a degree, but honestly my family was working class and could not afford to help me with school. However, the government still they asked for my father's income anyway and based my Financial Aid off of that. He was not able to help me financially because he had 3 other children to take care of. There was no college fund for me. Being the first one to go for higher education, my family and I were unaware of what it exactly entailed regarding financial aid, student loans, and the school was not honest about it. They just wanted their money. They are predators and prey on individuals like myself who want a better life. They know those striving to do better will listen because we believed what they were saying. Why shouldn't we, right? Schools are supposed to be honest, forthcoming, and for the student. Are they not? Well let me tell you something, they are not! It is people like me, and many others, who really want to make something of themselves and try to get ahead by getting an education that seem to get, excuse my language, screwed here.
I get panic attacks looking at these loans and wondering how I am ever going to repay them. They seriously have put me into depression. I want to be a productive member of society and put money back into the economy, but unfortunately I cannot do that. How are we supposed to be putting money back into the economy when essentially the vast majority of our money will go to the large loan corporations?
Mr. President, I ask you. Is there ever going to be any hope? Will there be any help for those who are being crushed with student loan debt? Is there a future for us who suffer from student loan debt because at this point it feels impossible to see. I want to be able to live the “American Dream.” I want to be able to give back to my economy, have a family, have a place to call my own, but like my hopes and aspirations this dream has died to. I thank you for your time Mr. President, and I hope to hear a response back in due time from you.

I have $119,000 in student debt for college and graduate school - which doesn't seem like a lot based on how much it costs to just live and go to school in California for 6 years (housing, food, car, tech). I have another $15,000 that my parents are covering for part of my undergraduate studies. The interest rates are above 6.8% so even though I've paid over $40,000 back on my student loans, the principal hasn't moved. Keeping a generation in debt because of education is ludicrous. Further, without the ability to save for a home, marriage, etc...the United States will be in a really dangerous economic position while the rest of the world educates their students for free. At the very least, eliminate the interest rates on student loans and open up universities to market forces - they have too many incentives to charge high tuition.

Deep Datta    November 17, 2015    Palo Alto, CA   

I graduated in June 2013 as a Medical Assistant with a 4.0 GPA and perfect attendance. This was a career change for me I was an admin assistant with over 20 years experience.

I had made a decision to make a career change after moving back to southern California and having a difficult time finding work.

I am Caucasian female in my 40's, I am not bilingual. After graduation I was so excited to start my new career. To my disipointment I still have not gotten an interview in the field I went to school for. I live in a community that is a majority Hispanic and Caucasian.

I have over 28K in student loans. Of all of the students that I became close with only 2 are working in the field they went to school for. One opened her own massage salon. The other has continued her education and is bilingual. I have no income and my boyfriend puts a roof over my head and feed me. I have bill collectors call me on a regular basis.

Velvet Bern    November 3, 2015    Southern California   

The spousal consolidation student loan I have with my wife was sold to a new student loan company, as happens often with loans. When I get the paperwork and immediately notice a mistake. Someone has swapped my father's name for my wife's name and listed him as cosigner. For the sake of privacy I have changed names, but it should be noted, we all share the same last name, which was being uses by both of us at every point in our conversation.

So I called up the new student loan people and tell them that at some point when my student loan was transferred to their company, someone seemed to have mistaken my father’s name, John *same last name* for my spouse’s name, Mary *same last name*. So they were listing my father as my spouse and cosigner for on the loan in error. As this is a spousal consolidation student loan, only my wife has ever been a cosigner the loan, and every other loan for that matter, so this is an error on their part.”

Then Customer Service Representative then kept asking me what my father’s name was. I would give it to her and she would repeat “No, I need your father’s name not your spouse's name.” She isisted that John ** was my wife and not my father.

After several attempts to explain it to her, she then asked me if I had divorced John ** (my father). Again, I tell her that this is my father not my spouse and that I never divorced him, as I never married him in the first place.

Then she asked with great confusion in her voice she asked “So you’re married to both John ** and Mary **?” (Insinuating a polygamist marriage)

I’m getting frustrated at this point, so I start to talk slowly and deliberately. I tell her that John ** is my father (with emphasis on father) and that at no point have I ever been married to my own father. I also explain that for the entire length of this loan I have only been married to one person,

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Jeffrey B.    November 3, 2015    Sherwood, AR   
Jeffrey B.    November 3, 2015    Sherwood, AR   

The spousal consolidation student loan I have with my wife was sold to a new student loan company, as happens often with loans. When I get the paperwork and immediately notice a mistake. Someone has swapped my father's name for my wife's name and listed him as cosigner. For the sake of privacy I have changed names, but it should be noted, we all share the same last name, which was being uses by both of us at every point in our conversation.

So I called up the new student loan people and tell them that at some point when my student loan was transferred to their company, someone seemed to have mistaken my father’s name, John *same last name* for my spouse’s name, Mary *same last name*. So they were listing my father as my spouse and cosigner for on the loan in error. As this is a spousal consolidation student loan, only my wife has ever been a cosigner the loan, and every other loan for that matter, so this is an error on their part.”

Then Customer Service Representative then kept asking me what my father’s name was. I would give it to her and she would repeat “No, I need your father’s name not your spouse's name.” She isisted that John ** was my wife and not my father.

After several attempts to explain it to her, she then asked me if I had divorced John ** (my father). Again, I tell her that this is my father not my spouse and that I never divorced him, as I never married him in the first place.

Then she asked with great confusion in her voice she asked “So you’re married to both John ** and Mary **?” (Insinuating a polygamist marriage)

I’m getting frustrated at this point, so I start to talk slowly and deliberately. I tell her that John ** is my father (with emphasis on father) and that at no point have I ever been married to my own father. I also explain that for the entire length of this loan I have only been married to one person, Mary **."

The service rep then says she understand, and tell me that she will need “documentation that you have never been married to John ** and only marred to Mary **, in order to change your spouse’s name.”

(I pause for a second, while trying to figure out how in the world to do this...) I asked her “So what kind of documentation do I need to send you to prove that I have never been part of a Legally Recognized Incestuous Homosexual Polygamist Marriage?"

The Customer Service Rep. then told me she wasn’t sure and would have to you me back after she spoke to the manager in the special issues department. It took two more months and numerous calls, for me to finally convince this loan company that I was not married to my own father and wife at the same time. All the time, my loan was appearing on my dad’s credit score, screwing up his finances. It's scary that I owe these people money.

I guess my story without all the details was/ is classic. Single mother raising three daughters, not making enough to make ends meet. Struggling financially, little to none child support, you know the scenario. The college I applied at was local, a Christian based private owned college with student housing and a work study program. I qualified and met all the criteria to enroll and stay on campus. I was 36 years old at the time and my daughter's were very young teenagers at the time. We struggled, it was tough, but I felt I had to set an example for my girls. To help meet expenses, I applied for full Pell Grants and applied for any assistance I could get, to include welfare assistance. After my first two years, I had applied to work full-time at the local county Welfare Dept. Office as an Eligibility Case Worker. I was able to get off of welfare assistance, and continue attending college full-time while working full-time for Mississippi State Dept. Of Human Services. I was able to finish my degree by the time I was 40, with the support and sacrifice of my daughters. I graduated in August 1992 with a 3.4 GPA in a BS degree in Business Administration Management Marketing and a minor in Finance. My girls and I were very proud of myself.

Now, reality set in. I still could not make enough money working for the State of Mississippi even with my degree and had to take a second job... and ask for a deferment on paying my student loan. This type of scenario continued off and on for several years, paying on my student loan when I could.
I did consolidate all my loans, at the time the interest was locked in a 9%. Wow, does that interest rate pile on the payments.

Between the deferments and forbearances I had to use, eventually I used up the limit. Fast forward to now, 2015, my age now 63, having heal issues barely hanging on to my great full-time job, struggling on FMLA,

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Corrine Carter    November 3, 2015    Alabama   
Corrine Carter    November 3, 2015    Alabama   

I guess my story without all the details was/ is classic. Single mother raising three daughters, not making enough to make ends meet. Struggling financially, little to none child support, you know the scenario. The college I applied at was local, a Christian based private owned college with student housing and a work study program. I qualified and met all the criteria to enroll and stay on campus. I was 36 years old at the time and my daughter's were very young teenagers at the time. We struggled, it was tough, but I felt I had to set an example for my girls. To help meet expenses, I applied for full Pell Grants and applied for any assistance I could get, to include welfare assistance. After my first two years, I had applied to work full-time at the local county Welfare Dept. Office as an Eligibility Case Worker. I was able to get off of welfare assistance, and continue attending college full-time while working full-time for Mississippi State Dept. Of Human Services. I was able to finish my degree by the time I was 40, with the support and sacrifice of my daughters. I graduated in August 1992 with a 3.4 GPA in a BS degree in Business Administration Management Marketing and a minor in Finance. My girls and I were very proud of myself.

Now, reality set in. I still could not make enough money working for the State of Mississippi even with my degree and had to take a second job... and ask for a deferment on paying my student loan. This type of scenario continued off and on for several years, paying on my student loan when I could.
I did consolidate all my loans, at the time the interest was locked in a 9%. Wow, does that interest rate pile on the payments.

Between the deferments and forbearances I had to use, eventually I used up the limit. Fast forward to now, 2015, my age now 63, having heal issues barely hanging on to my great full-time job, struggling on FMLA, I am making the bare bones payments based on accelerating payments as time goes on. However, how much longer can I work? I was assured by the student loan company that my student loan debt would not pass on to my family when I die. How nice of them, right?? Currently I owe around $17,000.00. Will I be able to afford to live and continue to pay on my student loan? No.

This is my condensed story of my student loan situation

Thank You
Corrine Carter

My student loan interest rate doubled while attending graduate school. I would have never attended if I would have known in advanced that my interest rate would increase to over 6% which, makes it a challenge to pay off. You would think a government student loan interest rate would be lower and more affordable than a mortgage from a private lender.

Mark Oshinsky    November 2, 2015   

When I graduated from law school, we had a fair where folks from the Dept of Ed (?) came and told me what a good idea it would be to consolidate my eligible loans w/the Dept of Education. That way, I was told, if I took a job in public service, the government would forgive my loans in 10 years! So, I took a job in service for the federal government. I called the Dept of Ed about 4 times throughout the past 7 years to confirm that I was on track for loan forgiveness. The first 3 times, I was assured forgiveness, so long as I worked for the government for 10 years. The 4th phone call gave me different news: I had to work for the government AND make 10 years worth of "qualifying payments" in order for my debt to be forgiven. As it turns out, if I made 10 years of "qualifying payments," I would pay off my loan in 10 years! And, I did not qualify for IBR or ICR payments. So, I was consistently given misinformation, and now I feel swindled! How many other people were coerced into consolidating their loans with the promise of loan forgiveness after 10 years of service?

Anya R.    October 29, 2015    Portland, OR   

Student loans aren't just a young person's problem. When the economy collapsed, I was graduate school and my husband lost his job. He could not find work, so he went back to school. We both needed student loans to survive this period. Then our daughter graduated high school and went to college. Now we are paying for all three of our student loans and although all of us are working, we cannot pay them at the full rate. We are barely covering the interest so they never decrease, even when we are paying over $1000 a month. When we took the loans, we thought they would have a fixed interest amount, like a car loan. If we had understood that they are more like a credit card, constantly adding interest, we would have probably quit school instead of being stuck in this debt. My husband will be 60 next year and will probably barely make a dent in what he owes before he retires.

K Blake    October 24, 2015    New York state   

graduated college in 1974 with a degree in accounting. At that time I was indebted to New York State Higher Education Corporation in the amount of $5,600. due to some health issues I got behind on payments and eventually was only able to pay interest. now in 2015 I owe $66,000 and receive a Social Security benefit of $879. because I got behind on my loan my credit report became negative for any job application. I have had to work off the books, take part time work to survive. I have even been fired from jobs when my wages are garnished by collections of the student loan. that I am a senior citizen they still wish to garnish my social security 25%. I'll be forced to become homeless in my old age.

scrubb white    October 23, 2015    nyc   

I was a high school drop out who had gotten a GED. I had very little debt, but once I reached my early thirties I felt like I wanted to better myself. I assumed that a higher education wa the answer. It was what we had all been taught. Higher education would provide a better future. So I did it. I started with my AA. I got it online, since I was a SAHM and wanted to be with my kids. It was more expensive, but I easily got the loans and assumed I would just as easily pay off the loans when I got a great job with my degree.

Well, I didn't find a job with my AA. In fact. Some jobs wouldn't hire me BECAUSE I had a degree. So, silly me, I thought I needed a higher degree to get the job I desired. So I got my BS and borrowed even more money to do it.

After my BS, I still didn't land the wonderful job I assumed I would have no problem getting after working so hard to get a degree. So, I became really depressed. How would I ever pay back all of this money I had borrowed?

I got the bright idea to keep getting my education. This way I could teach classes online like I had taken. So I got my MS in Education Technology. Surely I could get a job with that degree, obviously so many people were doing it, right? Oh, but I have no EXPERIENCE! So I didn't get any jobs.

I became really depressed by this point. I had huge student loan debt, and no job. I finally continued my education even more. Not really because I ha hope in finding a good job, anymore, but because I didn't know how else to stall paying student loans. I went to school for 10 years total, and maxed out my student loans. I couldn't borrow or continue any more. My only hope of escaping the huge debt was death.

Death was my only hope,

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Julie    October 23, 2015    MO   
Julie    October 23, 2015    MO   

I was a high school drop out who had gotten a GED. I had very little debt, but once I reached my early thirties I felt like I wanted to better myself. I assumed that a higher education wa the answer. It was what we had all been taught. Higher education would provide a better future. So I did it. I started with my AA. I got it online, since I was a SAHM and wanted to be with my kids. It was more expensive, but I easily got the loans and assumed I would just as easily pay off the loans when I got a great job with my degree.

Well, I didn't find a job with my AA. In fact. Some jobs wouldn't hire me BECAUSE I had a degree. So, silly me, I thought I needed a higher degree to get the job I desired. So I got my BS and borrowed even more money to do it.

After my BS, I still didn't land the wonderful job I assumed I would have no problem getting after working so hard to get a degree. So, I became really depressed. How would I ever pay back all of this money I had borrowed?

I got the bright idea to keep getting my education. This way I could teach classes online like I had taken. So I got my MS in Education Technology. Surely I could get a job with that degree, obviously so many people were doing it, right? Oh, but I have no EXPERIENCE! So I didn't get any jobs.

I became really depressed by this point. I had huge student loan debt, and no job. I finally continued my education even more. Not really because I ha hope in finding a good job, anymore, but because I didn't know how else to stall paying student loans. I went to school for 10 years total, and maxed out my student loans. I couldn't borrow or continue any more. My only hope of escaping the huge debt was death.

Death was my only hope, literally. What had started as a way to better my families lives turned into hopeless depression. I was scrambling. I prayed and prayed to God for help to pay off my debts and help my family. Thankfully, He answered and now I work for myself and make my husband and my huge loan payments every month. It feels good to have a way to work hard and make payment on this debt that I used to feel so hopeless about.

They crazy thing is that I am not using my education at all to provide for my family. Education is good, and I don't regret learning how to work hard and stick to something, but it is a myth that education will guarantee u a job. I recommend that everyone get at least an AA, but only for themselves. Otherwise, work and build something for yourself. There are so many opportunities out there. Do something. Thing outside the box. Don't look to work for someone else. Make something for yourself with what you have and know. You can do it, and without so much senseless debt! All I have to show for mine is a huge payment and a piece of paper!

I was fortunate enough to have parents who paid my tuition in undergrad. The deal was I would work to support myself and they would pay for the classes. I worked 40 hours a week as a server at Old Chicago and made it out debt-free. My degree was in Psychology and so I was anxious to get out into the world and help people and contribute to the community. I would stay up every night working on cover letters and resumes, researching open positions, and networking through family friends but even with a Bachelors degree I really struggled to find a job where I felt as though I was contributing to the community in a way that matched up with my gifts and skills. It felt like I had the same employment opportunities after my degree as I did before. I kept working as a server and filled my free time with unpaid internships in domestic violence shelters, youth programs, and religious organizations. After working with homeless youth at Urban Peak for several months I decided to earn my Master of Divinity and pursue ordination in The United Methodist denomination. Although I received a scholarship that eliminated half of my tuition costs, I still graduated with $75,000 in student loans. Then I married a fellow seminarian who had undergrad and graduate student loan debt. The combination of our student loan debt eleven years after graduating from seminary is over 250k. I am an ordained United Methodist Clergy working in Denver, Colorado and my husband serves at a church in Littleton, Colorado. We have a beautiful 7 year old daughter with special needs and a sweet dog named Tracey. While we don't make a lot, I do feel like we make enough if it wasn't for our student debt. A family friend had researched the Student Loan Forgiveness Program for us and for awhile we were on that track until a footnote was added to the legislation disqualifying us from participating due to our professions being religious in nature. I understand the motive behind the exclusion but I also feel saddened by it.

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Stephanie Price    October 22, 2015    Denver, Colorado   
Stephanie Price    October 22, 2015    Denver, Colorado   

I was fortunate enough to have parents who paid my tuition in undergrad. The deal was I would work to support myself and they would pay for the classes. I worked 40 hours a week as a server at Old Chicago and made it out debt-free. My degree was in Psychology and so I was anxious to get out into the world and help people and contribute to the community. I would stay up every night working on cover letters and resumes, researching open positions, and networking through family friends but even with a Bachelors degree I really struggled to find a job where I felt as though I was contributing to the community in a way that matched up with my gifts and skills. It felt like I had the same employment opportunities after my degree as I did before. I kept working as a server and filled my free time with unpaid internships in domestic violence shelters, youth programs, and religious organizations. After working with homeless youth at Urban Peak for several months I decided to earn my Master of Divinity and pursue ordination in The United Methodist denomination. Although I received a scholarship that eliminated half of my tuition costs, I still graduated with $75,000 in student loans. Then I married a fellow seminarian who had undergrad and graduate student loan debt. The combination of our student loan debt eleven years after graduating from seminary is over 250k. I am an ordained United Methodist Clergy working in Denver, Colorado and my husband serves at a church in Littleton, Colorado. We have a beautiful 7 year old daughter with special needs and a sweet dog named Tracey. While we don't make a lot, I do feel like we make enough if it wasn't for our student debt. A family friend had researched the Student Loan Forgiveness Program for us and for awhile we were on that track until a footnote was added to the legislation disqualifying us from participating due to our professions being religious in nature. I understand the motive behind the exclusion but I also feel saddened by it. As a United Methodist pastor I see my role and the role of my congregation doing so much good in the community without expectation or even mention of conversion. I have felt a lot of shame for the debt we carry and our inability to pay it back. Sometimes I cry because its so overwhelming and I can't get a hold of it. I think about changing careers because maybe in a corporate job I could make more. I know what I do matters more than the money I make but I also have a desire to be able to contribute and to pay back all my loans it's just not possible and really is hopeless. We will never own a home or pay off our loans but I am proud that we will make a difference in this world and in the lives of people who have had a tragedy or feel lost or unloved. We will feed the hungry and cloth the cold and listen to the lonely because we are Christians, not because they are or aren't. At the end of the day, I remind myself of the ways I do contribute to this world and I ask for grace in the midst of falling short on the expectation that we will ever be out from underneath all we borrowed to get us there.

I am 61 years old. I have two Masters Degrees. I am presently homeless, unemployed and have more than $120,000 is student loan debt

Paul S Andrade    October 22, 2015    Santa Cruz CA   

I am the first person in my family to graduate college. I went to college in the '60s and my books were more expensive than my tuitoon. What the hell happened to our higher education system?

I graduated with a master's degree and successfully completed 30 years of teaching in secondarry schools in California. Without reasonable costs for college I would probably be another guy either collecting unemployment or welfare. Why can't our lawmakers realize that that we either put our money into education or into prisons and social welfare programs?

Our lawmakers need to re-order their priorities and think seriously about adequately funding education instead of our endless wars and bungling their efforts in nation building (empire). We must also keep corporations out of public education because they must be profit oriented to maintain their charter and education never makes a monetary profit. They must cut services to make a profit.

Out government should not be in the educational loan business but should be the supplier of educational funding. Perhaps they could allow other countries to take care off their own problems without our "help" which only creates more enemies, and put the money into educating Amerricans without making a profit.

Howard Shapirro    October 22, 2015    Portland OR   

I have a $90,000 dollar dept that I have had to put on forbearance due to not having enough income to pay that with the rest of the daily living bills I have. I make to much to get a lower rate. So I feel like I am stuck in a hole and will never be able to get out of it. I wish there was some way that would work better.

Ambrey Nichols    October 22, 2015    Denver CO   

My "Student Debt Journey" began as an undergraduate. I first was denied financial aid due to my parents' income. This was very upsetting considering my parents did not in any form help me with my college career. Although I obtained many scholarship, they were not enough to keep my cost of attending a public college to a minimum. After my undergrad, I was about $50,000 in student loan debt. I was then give the “opportunity” to attend law school. As a first year law student you are not permitted to work, which basically forces you to rely on student loans. Although I was successful in receiving an academic scholarship after my first year, I was still dependent on student loans for other expenses. I am not over $150,000 in student loan debt. Although I feel I have a responsibility to pay for my loan expenses, I feel at the bottom of an endless pit. With interest and the lack of a stable job market, it seems like my life will be dedicated to paying off my debt. At times I am more prone to tell the youth to just not go to school if they can’t afford it out of pocket. Many are quick in saying that it was my choice to attend both undergraduate and law school. While that is true, as a student in high school I also remember how the recruiters made it seem so easy. From, “It will not cost you so much” to “You will have a great paying job as soon as you graduate”, it was senseless tactics as these that influences many of us to take the great risk of incurring massive debt with little benefits. I believe school should affordable for all, and I think the government owes the young adults some form of aid other than the simple “repayment” plans they throw at us.

Ignacio Mendoza    October 21, 2015    Texas   

I look back at my education very often and compare my success to those of fellow graduates, and can't help but wonder did I make the right decision?

All my favorite stories start with these magical words, "Once upon a time..." So, once upon a time there was a middle class boy who had two parents of varying education; one with an associates and in the medical profession, and one with only a high school education in the aerospace industry. I can always remember my parent's encouragement as I grew up, "study hard, get into a good school so you can make money and live, "happily ever after." I can't tell you how many times over the past seven years if my, "happily ever after" will come.

My dad lost his job during the 80's due to lack of government contracts and little to no investment. It was the first time I experienced what it might be like to be homeless. He was able to find odd jobs here and there, but knew that he had to go back to school if he was going to be the bread winner of the family and ensure that I wouldn't have to go to public school. My parents believed in education, but they invested in a private education because they knew that public schools just weren't cutting it.

Fast forward 12 years of private catholic school education I began my college career in the fall of 1998. Having little savings aside, I began my educational career at California State Polytechnic University Pomona where I successfully flourished for the first year and a half. I struggled with identifying what I wanted to do with my life. Having changed my major several times, I took it upon myself to pay for my own schooling by getting a job and dropping out of school for a year to build up savings to have at it again.

I started working at Disneyland in the winter of 1998 my dream job! I thought many times, well this is my dream job,

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Jake O    October 18, 2015   
Jake O    October 18, 2015   

I look back at my education very often and compare my success to those of fellow graduates, and can't help but wonder did I make the right decision?

All my favorite stories start with these magical words, "Once upon a time..." So, once upon a time there was a middle class boy who had two parents of varying education; one with an associates and in the medical profession, and one with only a high school education in the aerospace industry. I can always remember my parent's encouragement as I grew up, "study hard, get into a good school so you can make money and live, "happily ever after." I can't tell you how many times over the past seven years if my, "happily ever after" will come.

My dad lost his job during the 80's due to lack of government contracts and little to no investment. It was the first time I experienced what it might be like to be homeless. He was able to find odd jobs here and there, but knew that he had to go back to school if he was going to be the bread winner of the family and ensure that I wouldn't have to go to public school. My parents believed in education, but they invested in a private education because they knew that public schools just weren't cutting it.

Fast forward 12 years of private catholic school education I began my college career in the fall of 1998. Having little savings aside, I began my educational career at California State Polytechnic University Pomona where I successfully flourished for the first year and a half. I struggled with identifying what I wanted to do with my life. Having changed my major several times, I took it upon myself to pay for my own schooling by getting a job and dropping out of school for a year to build up savings to have at it again.

I started working at Disneyland in the winter of 1998 my dream job! I thought many times, well this is my dream job, why do I need to go to school?, but the instillment and echo of my parent's values kept me motivated despite the lack of direction. I just knew one thing, getting my bachelor's was paramount to living the life they had dreamed for me. I guess that's what parents do, they want the best for their children to be more successful than they were.

It wasn't until 2003 that I learned about student loans. I did exactly what the student financial aid office told me to do. Fill out the FASA, and see what you get. Well I didn't qualify because I made too much money from working at Disneyland. How 8.03 an hour was too much income, I will never understand. I did know one thing, in order to be successful, I had to work part time and go to school full time, so I took out the maximum federal loans I could get. I went online completed the quizzes and that was that, had my loans and knew that some of the interest was being paid while I was in school. It wasn't until 2005 when I transferred to Chapman University that I learned about alternative loans. The only thing I was told was they would run my credit score to see if I was eligible. To my surprise I was, so I signed on the dotted line and that was that.

In 2008 I finally graduated! After 10 years of struggle with finding myself and who I wanted to be, I had that paper, that paper with th gold seal, the paper that would provide me with the money that I needed to pay off these student loans.

Well 2008 wasn't such a hot year for graduating students. I was lucky enough to get an internship at an advertising agency, in my educational field, but it paid 12 dollars an hour. I was actually making more money at Disneyland at 14 dollars an hour. So I remained part time at Disneyland to see if the internship at the ad agency would turn into something . It did not unfortunately as the agency laid off 40 people while I was there. So I went back to Disneyland thinking I would be able to move into management since I had my degree and had plenty of Leadership, well that was a big fat no. Three words corporate politics suck! (That's another story all in itself)

The only thing that I could do to prevent the student loans from going into repayment was going back to school part time. Underwater basketweaving it is!

From 2008-today, I have worked two to four jobs to just pay the INTEREST! on some of my loans!

I learned that my ALTERNATIVE LOANS were PRIVATE LOANS! Why didn't they tell me!? I asked questions to make sure they worked the same way as the federal loans and was assured that they were.

To this day I have paid 3,000 off the principal of one of my 5 student loans. I owe about 180,000. I pay about 1000 a month just to stay a float. In 2017 my student loans will get higher by 400 dollars, so I will be owing 1400 a month! Wow, isn't that trip to a destination? Isn't that a house payment? Isn't that a payment for two cars and insurance for both of those? I asked one of my lenders to tell me when I would be done paying my student loans, and the told me 2055. I will be 75 years old when I pay my loans?!!! I'll be dammed if that is going to happen.

Here are the list of things that I have put off because of paying my student loans.

Travel
Buying a House
Starting a Family
Donating to non-profits
Getting a Master's degree
The list goes on and on

Let me be CLEAR... I don't want a handout. I don't want my loans to be forgiven. I signed the documents, I will pay these back, but how much of my LIFE do I have to sacrifice? How many jobs do I have to work? I can't tell you the number of times I have thought about doing porn to just even pay off maybe one or two of my loans, but alas my pride and dignity get in the way. I can't tell you the number of times suicide did cross my mind because I had no co-signer, so they wouldn't be able go after my family once I was gone. All of these things because I got that shiny piece of paper.

I would love to see some reform. Why does the interest need to be so high? Is all of congress planning on cashing in on their pensions at the same time? Why are private loans even offered to students? There is too much PROFIT in education, and that's what scares me. I have learned so much since I have graduated, and like the changes they have made for federal loans, but they really need to develop a program for private student loans.

Private student loans are the stench that comes from farting after a run, you know when your crack sweat is going and you let one loose and it just makes you want to die three times over? I hope you either laughed or crinkled your nose at that one because that's how I feel. Private Student loans need the MOST reform!

Again to be CLEAR, I want to be a good customer, I want to pay you! But I NEED HELP! I need you (the lender) to realize I need options. How about lowering that interest rate since I have been paying you for 5 years and filling your pockets with my hard earned money.

There are so many thoughts and feelings that I have about this issue and I look forward to CHANGE! Change for the better, change so that three generations from now student's know where they stand when they leave high school to embark on their journeys of greatness.

I don't think college education is for everyone and I feel that are so many resources that should be available to high school students to help them figure that out if getting a higher education is the right choice for them. I don't regret my choice, but I wish I had a little more resources to help me along the way in terms of financial investment. money management, and career counseling.

I do have two things that no lender will be able to take away from me, and that is HOPE and DETERMINATION.

A wise woman once told me "You can't get blood from a stone." and that quote is something I hope every lender reads and thinks about.

The End

I have just under $550,000 in student loan debt. This is a mix of federal and private loans. My interest is over $45,000 per year. I make $53,000 per year as a family medicine resident. When I graduated from medical school I Had about $475,000 in student loan debt. By the time I am able to start making payments on my student loans I will have close to $600,000 in student debt to become a family physician. I will have no savings and no retirement. As we all know there is no such thing as a pension program for physicians. I will have to save all of my own money for retirement. When I tell people how much I will make they tell me "you will be fine" but what they don't realize is I will pay more than half of my disposable income on my student loans which will leave me making less than I was making 10 years ago as a Carpender. I didn't become a physician to get rich, otherwise I would've chosen to be something other than a family physician. However, I did expect to be able to retire, put my kids through college and make at least what I made before I started school. Now… Looking at my finances moving forwards… I expect to be in debt for the rest of my life and I doubt I will be able to keep my children from being in the same financial situation as I am. They will be buried in debt for their education because I am buried in debt for mine.

Tyson    October 18, 2015    Redding,ca   

I was forced to sign a Promissory Note by my former school or they weren't going to let me re-enroll even though we could've paid for the tuition; The School was informed by Certified Letter that they were NOT to take any student Loans or accept any other financial aid unless they were explicitly told or I gave them permission to. They were supposed to get in touch with me AND explain the terms of any Financial Assistance they would accept on my behalf. The never did and when confronted I was told "Oh you never sent us a letter like that; at least we don't have that in your file" and my favorite was "You signed it so you're liable for it no matter what even if you did tell us to contact you before we accepted financial aid for you. Too bad" No one is interested in assisting me because it's been over 10 years since everything happened and for 10 years I've been fighting this and it seems that no one gives a damn....

Kristen-Diane Pollock    October 17, 2015    Macomb, Illinois   

I come from a poor family. I was the first person to go to college and then also on to graduate school. I worked full time Monday through Friday and went to school full time evenings and weekends. My full time job allowed me to pay for books, lunch and transportation to school while student loans covered the cost of my education. Despite consistently staying on the dean’s list and winning meager scholarships along the way I still graduated in 2005 with $50K in student loan debt.

The first few years of repayment threw me for a loop and the three loans (2 Stafford and one private) were finally refinanced somewhat to make monthly payments reasonable, though still far too high a percentage of my take home earnings. After paying consistently over the course of 10 years, I realized (rather late, might I add) that in the ten years I’ve been paying my loans my principal was never touched and in fact I had paid $19k in interest payments alone!

Now I’ve finally wised up and am starting an aggressive repayment plan though in truth I don’t how long I can sustain paying so much on a monthly basis. This feels like an insurmountable challenge and my education has become the biggest most expensive regret I’ve ever had since I can’t envision when I’ll be done paying this off and the pace and amount to pay back cannot be sustained indefinitely. Student debt reform needs to be done ASAP because we’re drowning!
Your Story*

AuthorEdwin*    October 15, 2015    NYC   

My son and I are are currently suing Fisher College in Boston, Massachusetts fraud and academic misconduct. Fisher acquired the art school ( Butera School of Art, a 60 year old private school ) that my son had enrolled in a few weeks before the semester started stating that it was a merger between the two schools advertised that would be adding the Butera Program to their curriculum and the students would benefit from being on a larger campus, ect… They then closed the program within three weeks of the first semester, but didn't tell the students until almost 4 months after the decision to close the program was decided, coincidentally right after student loan money was dispersed to the school. They had tricked the students into signing a "teach out" on the very first day of classes, explaining that it was a necessary form since the two schools were merging. As it turns out it was a shady real estate deal so that the Fisher College could acquire the property the Butera School was located on to add to their real estate portfolio. We discovered later, after dropping the program, that the program had never even been approved by the Department of Higher Education prior to enrollment and in fact had been told by the Board of Education six months before announcing the false “merger” of the two schools NOT to accept any new students into the program since it was intended to be closed within the year. We can't get the loans dismissed because the Federal government doesn't have a "form" that fits this type of issue. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education refuses to explain to us how this was allowed to happen and claim that they are under no obligation to speak to us, even though we acquired the proof of the fraud through their public records office. So whether is for profit or non-profit, students are being taken advantage of left and right and the laws that were made to protect students from these types of situations are unenforceable by the state. It's a shame that students who pay a hefty price to attend an institution that is supposed to shape their futures are taken advantage of and and even more appalling is that the government allows it.

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Susan Butts    October 15, 2015    Boston Massachusetts   
Susan Butts    October 15, 2015    Boston Massachusetts   

My son and I are are currently suing Fisher College in Boston, Massachusetts fraud and academic misconduct. Fisher acquired the art school ( Butera School of Art, a 60 year old private school ) that my son had enrolled in a few weeks before the semester started stating that it was a merger between the two schools advertised that would be adding the Butera Program to their curriculum and the students would benefit from being on a larger campus, ect… They then closed the program within three weeks of the first semester, but didn't tell the students until almost 4 months after the decision to close the program was decided, coincidentally right after student loan money was dispersed to the school. They had tricked the students into signing a "teach out" on the very first day of classes, explaining that it was a necessary form since the two schools were merging. As it turns out it was a shady real estate deal so that the Fisher College could acquire the property the Butera School was located on to add to their real estate portfolio. We discovered later, after dropping the program, that the program had never even been approved by the Department of Higher Education prior to enrollment and in fact had been told by the Board of Education six months before announcing the false “merger” of the two schools NOT to accept any new students into the program since it was intended to be closed within the year. We can't get the loans dismissed because the Federal government doesn't have a "form" that fits this type of issue. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education refuses to explain to us how this was allowed to happen and claim that they are under no obligation to speak to us, even though we acquired the proof of the fraud through their public records office. So whether is for profit or non-profit, students are being taken advantage of left and right and the laws that were made to protect students from these types of situations are unenforceable by the state. It's a shame that students who pay a hefty price to attend an institution that is supposed to shape their futures are taken advantage of and and even more appalling is that the government allows it.

I followed the rules. I graduated Cum Laude. Still ended up with too much student debt. Now I'm a physician. I applied for "Income Based Repayment" for the last 3 years. Navient, my federal loan servicer tells me I must pay 80.5% of my Gross Adjusted Income based on my tax returns! This has been a bi annual ritual with them. I ask them incredulously how is that possible. They don't even entertain my protests. They keep putting me on 'emergency deference' and threaten me with collections. Not sure how to survive. My financial aid advisor at my school still hasn't gotten back to me. The law is IRB Payments don't exceed 10-15% of disposable income. Something is wrong here. My family lives in desperation. We're not alone. This isn't sustainable. How do we change this situation.

John Rybak    October 9, 2015    Portland, OR   

I'm writing this out of anger and desperation. I graduated with my undergrad dregree in hospitality management in 2010 and it took me about 2 years to get a Job in my field after working as a security guard in the financial district in NYC. I've been working as a front desk agent in hotels for the past 3 years now earning 35,000 a year in New York City and owing over $100,000 in student loans. Private loans do not consolidate and I haven't been able to afford to pay the minimum required for each of my 6 private for loans which is $500 PER LOAN (this is not including my federal loans). Now I'm in collection and I'm afraid to move on as an adult an live a happy life with my fiancé, since I've been trying to get approve on a mortgage loan. To add on to my never ending debt right... I must be a masochist... Just trying to live American dream...

Kimberlyn    October 7, 2015    My bedroom at my parents house   

I am writing this story in behalf of my little brother who owes a lot of money in student loans. He attended college in San Antonio Texas and studied abroad in London for his Masters. I would like to advocate for students that struggle with paying student loans back.

Yolanda Ramalho    October 2, 2015    Aurora Colorado   

My husband and I both owe around 20,000 dollars a piece for school loans. Due to medical bills/garnishments, we are currently down to no money in our bank account. I reviewed our school loan statements, which we have been paying 166 dollars a month for over 6 years on and it shows a 250 dollar dent in the loan. OVER SIX YEARS OF PAYMENTS! We can barely support our family as it is... and they keep putting us in the gutter! Many life situations have come up and we struggle to pay!

Chelsea Muckey    September 30, 2015    Swanton, Ne   

I graduated with about 100,000 in student loan debt roughly 80,000 of that was borrowed from Sallie Mae. BIG mistake. They refuse to lower my payments, or help me in any way, meanwhile my monthly loan payments are are $1000 a month from Sallie Mae. I can't seem to get ahead. I can barley afford to live, which makes me sick after going through years of school. I had been able to consolidate my federal student loans, but I still owe about $11,000 on them as well. I'm staring to regret even going to college!

Brooke    September 30, 2015    Philadelphia, PA   

I have over 4 years in college. $50,000 in student debt. After leaving college early as I maxed out my lending capacity, you try and find a good job. Well in this bad economy, even with a great education...good luck. So I found a part time job, no better than I could have found without college. So how do we as the people expect our young ones to succeed in life and pay back these high college bills if more jobs are being sent oversees and more people every year are allowed in our country? You do the math. Its going to get worse people. The whole system needs to be changed and our student debt needs to be forgiven.

Michael Kreischer    September 29, 2015    Pennsylvania   

I graduated in 2004 with a Masters Degree in Adult Education. I have not yet worked in that field nor have the school assisted me in finding jobs within that criteria. Most of the jobs you will need so many years experience. To cut to the chase, I have a total of 5 degrees 2 Assoc., 2 Bachelors, and the Masters. I have not even reached making 40,000 in a year but with the consolidation of my loans, which i was told was best, they are saying they want me to pay them over $200,000. Now tell me how am I to even begin to do that when I do not make no where near that type of money nor have I ever. So yes I need forgiveness. I'm not asking for an handout not at all but I am not able to pay. It's like you pay or we see that you die and we will collect on it as an insurance policy for your death.

Ms P    September 27, 2015    Kentucky   

I have not seen any of the news programs doing any stories on the issue of student loan debt and how some of us have been put into perpetual poverty. Below I am providing you with information I have investigated since I found out the so called degree I have is not recognized I only found this out by my own highway patrol when I went to test out for them. This is not just for me but also my nephew and a fellow classmate we have kept in contact with name Dan we have tried to get local news reporters to broadcast this but none responded back.We are willing to speak to anyone about this thank you for taking the time out to read my letter please contact me at ( twangpoupau@yahoo.com )

Here is my story about going to a for profit college and being in debt to the point I will never see the end until I die I spoke to a bankruptcy attorney last week he told me that the state of MO has no laws in place at this time to file any kind of bankruptcy on student loan debt as other states have made great progress MO lags behind as usual. I have sent letters to Sen Claire Mccaskill , Atty Gen Chris Kostner I have file complaints with BBB , FTC which sent back an email of they think its ID theft ?????? I have file complaints with CFPB thats still being investigated to this day.
I have been mental abused and put in perpetual poverty by these people ....first massage therapy a huge problem came up due to school not properly filing with the state and it took a year to get it fixed so i could get my date to test at that point no one would hire me and employers asked if i was willing to go take classes to be hired the classes are so expensive i could not. plus the fact they had me take out an in school loan for uniforms , special books and massage table i had to make weekly payments and if i did not they would harass me and tell me if i don't pay i would not be allowed in the payments were $50 a week.

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Marie Schalk    September 25, 2015   
Marie Schalk    September 25, 2015   

I have not seen any of the news programs doing any stories on the issue of student loan debt and how some of us have been put into perpetual poverty. Below I am providing you with information I have investigated since I found out the so called degree I have is not recognized I only found this out by my own highway patrol when I went to test out for them. This is not just for me but also my nephew and a fellow classmate we have kept in contact with name Dan we have tried to get local news reporters to broadcast this but none responded back.We are willing to speak to anyone about this thank you for taking the time out to read my letter please contact me at ( twangpoupau@yahoo.com )

Here is my story about going to a for profit college and being in debt to the point I will never see the end until I die I spoke to a bankruptcy attorney last week he told me that the state of MO has no laws in place at this time to file any kind of bankruptcy on student loan debt as other states have made great progress MO lags behind as usual. I have sent letters to Sen Claire Mccaskill , Atty Gen Chris Kostner I have file complaints with BBB , FTC which sent back an email of they think its ID theft ?????? I have file complaints with CFPB thats still being investigated to this day.
I have been mental abused and put in perpetual poverty by these people ....first massage therapy a huge problem came up due to school not properly filing with the state and it took a year to get it fixed so i could get my date to test at that point no one would hire me and employers asked if i was willing to go take classes to be hired the classes are so expensive i could not. plus the fact they had me take out an in school loan for uniforms , special books and massage table i had to make weekly payments and if i did not they would harass me and tell me if i don't pay i would not be allowed in the payments were $50 a week. By the the time that test date was actually set grad placement manager cindy ottens tells me i need an additional $250 to take the test i told her i dont have that and that should have been in my tuition she then goes on to say well because its been a year it needs to be repaid. I didnt believe her for a minute she tells me she will send the state board a personal check out of her and her husband's back account to cover it i seriously doubt she did that.
Second time was criminal justice in which they were not accredited to teach it but the worst part is I was not of sound mind when they forced me to sign and document's prove it as there are different dates, my father was gravely ill he did die May 2007, i had told them this but the rep dana killian would not leave me alone she called at least 9 times a day to make sure i was coming in to sign paperwork and pay the fee to hold my place. cindy ottens grad placement manager and suzanne marshall caby campus president even the finance officer jason hellmann knew because all i did was cry when i was there these people should be held accountable for the mental abuse and financial strain they have put me in not one of them ever said you should wait til you are in a better position in life but all they wanted was money. the reps got commission off of each student they placed i know this because i confronted the president of the campus suzanne marshall caby she became so agitated by the statement she advised i would be in trouble with the school if i continued making statements i could not back up. the teacher was the former sheriff of navada mo christine keim all we did was watch trutv videos when i asked why are we not going to the morgue or at least go out to logan college to see the cadaver lab or maybe to local gun range i was told we were not allowed to do that. well with this answer that was not good enough so i took it up the line to the so called campus president suzanne marshall caby i told what we should be doing im not the teacher but im sure not learning what i need to hell ive learned most of this from going to college to be an EMT. so what does she do we get a highway patrol office to come out and this was a complete joke and embarrassment for me they put bed sheets over the class window that faces the hall , closed all the blinds an then locked the door when he came in this is not a lie. they did not want to offend anyone or scare anyone so next he has two guns he shows us and one and only one bullet but we could not touch it what a joke and they charged me $25k for this joke of a degree and they were increasing the cost of the degree while i was there. the biggest reason why they did not do anything outside of the school is they all knew about the loss of accreditation and if any student was to leave for a so called field trip it was raise suspicion to the head office im just guessing at this point but im sure that im right. suzanne marshall caby is now a campus dean & regional hub leader for devry university another for profit college iI wonder how they would like to know they have someone that is the head of this school that knowingly breaks the law or maybe they just dont care.

i went to allied college ( at 645 gravios bluffs blvd fenton mo 63026 )under chubb institute. i have never been able to get a job with this so called degree in fact they sold the school due to lawsuits to anthem educ group ( owned by the pobiak family trust & great hill equity partners & great hill investors ) for $1 buck i was told the class credits would transfer that was a lie the teachers for the most part where less than professional the staff was worse the so called reps where thugs calling several times a day if you did not sign up with them im in debt to the tune of $70k and no one can help, high tech institute owned by chubb and anthem edcu group they both have filed chapter 11 bankruptcy which means at some point this ugly snake will re appear as something else

i have a letter from navient this was salliemae as we all know this letter was dated 1/26/2015 it states that ; you received this form because a Federal Government agency or an applicable financial entity (a lender) has DISCHARGED ( canceled or forgiven) a debt you owed , or because an identifiable event has occurred that either is or is deemed to be a discharge of a debt of $600 or more. now keep this in mind because i was working i was laid-off off on 5/1/2015 they have been garnishing my wages every pay period plus took money from my severance per casenet. This berman and rabin ( 15280 Metcalf Ave Overland Park, KS 66223: Toll Free:(888) 320-1555: Phone:(913) 649-1555:) debt collectors have went as far as sending out letters to financial institutions to find any money i may have hidden what they did was seize a CD that was in my uncle's name first mine second the illegal seizing of the CD comes from the fact that this berman and rabin never ever sent a letter to my uncle of what they were doing. he received a phone call from a rep at bank of america that said they have a letter to release the finds to this berman and rabin to satisfy a student loan debt i have. this man never was attached to the student loan he never signed anything for that loan he wants his money back asap i cant blame him he 90 yrs old its his money not mine.

there is more to this i found a senate investigation on this so called college and the people that should be held accountable for this is campus president suzanne marshall caby , grad placement manager cindy ottens ( i have an email from her that she says the did have accreditation a complete lie per senate investigation ), financial manager jason hellmann and rep dana killian. at this point i want all money back that is the CD in my uncles name $2776.58 and my money that had been garnished $1175.32. these loans are nothing more than consumer fraud , predatory lending and the people at that allied college broke Missouri law Missouri merchandising practices act 407 sections 1 & 4 apply to the fact we were told the school was accredited and class credits would transfer sections 2 applies to the book that we were given that has nothing to do with United States law it for the U.K. none of used the book but im sure we paid $350 for it. So as you read this no one that went to this school whether in MO or anywhere else should have ever been enrolled let alone be in such poverty.

>> I’m finding out that no one will accept the credits nor the degree from Allied College because of who they are accredited by and because the curriculum does not meet the standards of a criminal justice degree.1069 In May 2007, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT) pulled High-Tech Institute’s accreditation for its degree programs after placing the school on probation in January 2007.1070 This meant that High-Tech Institute schools could not enroll new students in Associate degree programs and could only offer Diploma and Certificate programs. However, degree program students who were already enrolled in High-Tech Institute were allowed to complete their course work and receive a degree. Many students wrote about learning of High-Tech Institute’s loss of accreditation after paying for and completing substantial coursework towards their degrees. One such student explains: I was not informed that your accreditation had been lost before I had signed my contract. In addition, I was informed that I would have an Associates Degree upon graduation. 1064 Senate HELP Committee staff analysis of information provided to the committee by the company pursuant ( Anthem Education Group - Senate Committee on Health ...
www.help.senate.gov/imo/media/for.../Anthem.pdf

Facing lawsuits and financial losses, Chubb Corporation put the school for sale in 2004 and eventually sold it for $1 to a partnership of private equity firm Great Hill Partners and the High-Tech Institute, a network of similar technical schools based in Phoenix, Arizona.[1] Chubb Corporation recognized a $31 million loss from the sale.[2]
The new owners struggled to rescue the chain at first. Facing a loss of $9 million in 2005, they invested millions and renamed several of the poorer performing schools. The location in Chicago had been renamed to Banner Institute in January 2006, and the location in Arlington, Virginia, had been christened Banner College.[1][3] However, as of 2007, the Washington Post reported that the chain was still struggling with lawsuits and challenges to accreditation.[1] Banner College in Virginia closed in August 2008 after ten years of operation there.[4]
By 2010, the colleges were being operated by the Anthem Education Group, a company owned by Great Hills Partners.[5] At that time, the group was based in Phoenix and operated 23 accredited colleges.
In 2012, the company changed hands again, coming under the ownership of the Education Training Corporation in Florida.[6] The merger expanded the educational areas offered by AEG. As of November 2013, the group operated 8 brands, including Anthem College, Anthem College – Bryman School, Anthem Career College, Florida Career College, FCC Anthem College, Anthem College Online, Anthem Institute, and Morrison University.[7] At the time, the company operated 34 campuses in various states and one online institution.
On August 21, 2014, the following statement was released in the Milwaukee area: "Due to an extended period of financial difficulty, Anthem Education has made the difficult but necessary decision to close several of its facilities on August 22, 2014, in conjunction with the end of the academic term. Anthem Education has secured teach out and transfer opportunities for the all of our students at Anthem College - Brookfield, subject to ABHES approval, and we are pleased that our students may continue pursuing their educational goals."[8]

I'm one of the 160,000 Social Security beneficiaries having their monthly checks garnished. THIS (TOTAL 30% GARNISHMENT) IS CREATING A SEVERE HARDSHIP IN MY LIFE! IT'S A REAL MIRACLE I'M NOT HOMELESS RIGHT NOW. I think the thing that gets to me most is: where were all these dozens of parasites during the 2+ years I was wrestling with the SSA to get my SSDI (Disabiltiy) approved? After 2 denials and 2 appeals, I finally got my day in court and won. But...no thanks to these dozens of "creditors" who now want to bleed me dry of what little I am apparently to have to live on for the rest of my life (the TOTAL "GROSS" IS ABOUT ONE-FOURTH OF WHAT I WAS MAKING AT THE LAST *TEMP* AGENCY I WORKED FOR IN 2008). Trying to live on 70 percent of that amount is slow starvation.

Allen Roberts    September 24, 2015    Smithville, TN, USA   

Graduated from 4 year Nursing program in 1998. I was 21. Approximately $55,000 in federal loans. Started a family. Made poor financial decision to defer loans maximum amount allowed. I have over $64,000 left to pay over 18 more years. I am almost 40. I have been working as a nurse for 17 years. I would like to get a Masters degree, but cannot afford the cost. I have 3 children, all of which I expect to go to college. I will not be able to help them pay for their education. I will likely be a grandmother when my student loans from the age of 21 are paid off.

Dawn    September 24, 2015    Oregon   

I didn't have my family to help me with college. I was alone, but I wanted to make a difference with my life. I wanted to make something of myself. Well, with not being able to work because college was so intense for me, I had to take out loans to support myself in the process along with paying for my books, paying for the extra supplies needed....it was too much to handle. I dealt with unemployment for many years because it was during the recession. I dropped out of college because I couldn't work full time to support myself AND take a full load of work with college because I had two jobs to be stable. I lost motivation, I felt hopeless, and I was in total regret. Of course the payments got much bigger to the point I couldn't afford them anymore...it was a choice between me being able to pay rent of pay my student loans. Now I'm stuck with an incredible amount of debt and nothing to show for it. It's depressing and makes me wish I would have never went to college...which is a TERRIBLE feeling.

Christina    September 24, 2015    South Carolina   

At first, I thought hey why not...I deserve to have a piece of the American dream; with a father whom is deceased from the horrible epidemic of A.I.D.S. to the Mother who tried her best to succeed but had to fend for 2 children in a broken society. My dreams whereally big, sky high. I wanted to be married, own a house, work in the FBI and have 1 child by the time I was 25. BUT.. this dream has not been able to flourish as I planned. I have been completely consumed by the American Lies and Promises I was fed from colleges. I went to 3 different colleges because one didn't allow you to complete the program so I had to move on. I graduated over 6 years ago, I still have no job in my field and honestly by this point jobs look at my like I no longer have the skills or education that is qualified.. I am now outdated. I was so apple to see how many let downs I received from job after job. The private 50,000 dollar a year college didn't even care. They never tried the day after I graduated I was another number and a statistic. I'm drowning in debt I owe double now I have not even touched the principle. It's just horrible.

Jasmine    September 24, 2015    Connecticut   

I applied to University of Phoenix because I have four small children and wanted to continue my education, online looked like the best option. At first everything seemed too good to be true, the person who helped me enroll in this school was extremely nice. He used to call me even 4 and 5 times a day, he really wanted to make sure I finish school. At least thats what I thought...

The classes were horrible, the teachers do not teach anything, they just send you the homework and then you are on your own googling (Google is free). I noticed that I wasn't learning much, they gave me an orientation class that was mandatory and very expensive, then a communication class and health class, where they made me watch videos about not smoking and eating healthy. I could of watch those type of videos on "YOUTUBE" for free.

I decided to leave the school, I didn't even feel motivated anymore and when I told the staff they stopped being so nice. I was already enrolled, they had no need to continue being nice to get my money. I failed the classes on my second semester because I kept telling the counselor that I didn't approve of them, that they were a joke, she tried to make me apply for another loan and I refused. I didn't withdraw the classes on time so at the end of the semester my account had a balance for almost $300.

I found a great school around my house and wanted to enroll but Phoenix University wouldn't allow me to get my transcript until I pay the $300, so my mom lent me her credit card and I paid it. Successfully I applied online for the transcript but I never received it. I went back to the website to see the reason why I didn't get it and it turns out I have another balance for $112 dollars. I didn't know this, I called them and they informed me that this is already in collection so I can't pay it on their website.

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Susan Marte    August 24, 2015    Bronx, New York   
Susan Marte    August 24, 2015    Bronx, New York   

I applied to University of Phoenix because I have four small children and wanted to continue my education, online looked like the best option. At first everything seemed too good to be true, the person who helped me enroll in this school was extremely nice. He used to call me even 4 and 5 times a day, he really wanted to make sure I finish school. At least thats what I thought...

The classes were horrible, the teachers do not teach anything, they just send you the homework and then you are on your own googling (Google is free). I noticed that I wasn't learning much, they gave me an orientation class that was mandatory and very expensive, then a communication class and health class, where they made me watch videos about not smoking and eating healthy. I could of watch those type of videos on "YOUTUBE" for free.

I decided to leave the school, I didn't even feel motivated anymore and when I told the staff they stopped being so nice. I was already enrolled, they had no need to continue being nice to get my money. I failed the classes on my second semester because I kept telling the counselor that I didn't approve of them, that they were a joke, she tried to make me apply for another loan and I refused. I didn't withdraw the classes on time so at the end of the semester my account had a balance for almost $300.

I found a great school around my house and wanted to enroll but Phoenix University wouldn't allow me to get my transcript until I pay the $300, so my mom lent me her credit card and I paid it. Successfully I applied online for the transcript but I never received it. I went back to the website to see the reason why I didn't get it and it turns out I have another balance for $112 dollars. I didn't know this, I called them and they informed me that this is already in collection so I can't pay it on their website. They don't want to give me my transcript and I'm tired of giving them my money. Someone please help me, I'm a mom of 4 who's struggling a lot and the last thing I need is to give the little bit of money I have to this horrible school.

Now I keep getting letters and calls asking me for money, not only the $112 but also the $4,000 loan.

Susan Marte

I attended what Newsweek touted as, "The least affordable university in the nation". Lucky Me! The combination of coming from a not so financially stable family and my parents wanting me to go to a "prestigious" private school was a bit of a bad combination. As a 16 year old, I had no idea what I was doing signing up for private loans. Although my grades in high school were great, the university didn't really pony up much in the financial aid department.

After my $200,000 undergraduate education had finished, I was left with $70K in debt. (I worked full time during these 4 years to pay for school as all of my wealthy counterparts partied and blew their parents money on Gucci bags.) Regardless, I figured I was dealt a bad hand and I just had no choice but to work harder than my friends. I thought hard work would pay off in the end, but it turns out the light at the end of the tunnel was still far away.

Since I graduated in 2009, I have paid off $60K worth of my loans, by living well below my means, working two jobs and being smart about what I can afford ( no pets, no trips, nothing that would put me into more debt etc (like a big wedding or a new car.) I suppose it's a bit of a militant outlook, but I needed to look at my life and say "I will not incur anything that will make my financial situation and life more difficult". Frankly, it's depressing because you work your butt off expecting a return, or even just a break.

I have 10K to go and after 6 years, I am proud that I have paid most of it off, but I am depressed that instead of being able to work towards my dream, I have had to take other jobs to pay off my loans. I feel a bit robbed. Especially for young adults that do not come from an affluent family; if they are not afforded a free ride,

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Anonymous    August 19, 2015   
Anonymous    August 19, 2015   

I attended what Newsweek touted as, "The least affordable university in the nation". Lucky Me! The combination of coming from a not so financially stable family and my parents wanting me to go to a "prestigious" private school was a bit of a bad combination. As a 16 year old, I had no idea what I was doing signing up for private loans. Although my grades in high school were great, the university didn't really pony up much in the financial aid department.

After my $200,000 undergraduate education had finished, I was left with $70K in debt. (I worked full time during these 4 years to pay for school as all of my wealthy counterparts partied and blew their parents money on Gucci bags.) Regardless, I figured I was dealt a bad hand and I just had no choice but to work harder than my friends. I thought hard work would pay off in the end, but it turns out the light at the end of the tunnel was still far away.

Since I graduated in 2009, I have paid off $60K worth of my loans, by living well below my means, working two jobs and being smart about what I can afford ( no pets, no trips, nothing that would put me into more debt etc (like a big wedding or a new car.) I suppose it's a bit of a militant outlook, but I needed to look at my life and say "I will not incur anything that will make my financial situation and life more difficult". Frankly, it's depressing because you work your butt off expecting a return, or even just a break.

I have 10K to go and after 6 years, I am proud that I have paid most of it off, but I am depressed that instead of being able to work towards my dream, I have had to take other jobs to pay off my loans. I feel a bit robbed. Especially for young adults that do not come from an affluent family; if they are not afforded a free ride, they pay a penalty for simply existing in a certain socioeconomic group.

It's frustrating that most other countries have affordable if not free education systems, but why would the US government offer this when in 2013 alone they profited 41.3 Billion dollars off of student loans.

I take full responsibility for my debt, but I wish that someone would have helped guide me from a financial standpoint. The amount of Americans that have had their dreams crushed due to debilitating amounts of student loan debt is staggering. The system is broken. We need to step back and take a look. We are living in a country where necessities are becoming luxuries.

I grew up in rural Tennessee, graduated from high school and worked as a carhop at Sonic Drive-In when I decided to go to law school. For those of you that followed through on this dream with private loans, you know exactly where this story is headed.

Although I was accepted to the University of Tennessee, I ended up attending the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, which boasted an expensive tuition. Concerned about tuition when I toured the school in advance, I asked about this issue and was advised by a school representative that I would make more money as a lawyer in Washington, D.C., and that my salary would more than compensate the student debt I was going to undertake. To assuage my concerns, I then reviewed their employment statistics, which represented an average salary of approximately $80,000.00 per year.

Three years and a mid-school interest hike later (an interest hike I could do nothing about since I couldn't alter my student lender after taking on the initial debt for the first year of school), I had an incredibly difficult time finding employment upon graduation, and only managed to find a job that paid $35,000.00 per year.

Undeterred I pulled myself up by my bootstraps, working in difficult conditions, and became a very valuable young Associate at this firm. In doing so, I was able to work my salary up to a respectable $65,000.00 and change. Yet, I could only get into this position by alternating staggered forbearance on half of my loans in six month increments over the first year, and eventually transitioning into income based repayment when this option was no longer available. Nevertheless, I was able to exist by this scheme. I lived in rented rooms instead of apartments, didn't have a car, didn't do a great deal of shopping. I was able to pay my bills , importantly, my student loans, for several years.

Eventually, four years after I became a practicing attorney, my ship came in through the form of a new job at a larger firm,

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Anonymous    August 14, 2015    Washington, DC   
Anonymous    August 14, 2015    Washington, DC   

I grew up in rural Tennessee, graduated from high school and worked as a carhop at Sonic Drive-In when I decided to go to law school. For those of you that followed through on this dream with private loans, you know exactly where this story is headed.

Although I was accepted to the University of Tennessee, I ended up attending the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, which boasted an expensive tuition. Concerned about tuition when I toured the school in advance, I asked about this issue and was advised by a school representative that I would make more money as a lawyer in Washington, D.C., and that my salary would more than compensate the student debt I was going to undertake. To assuage my concerns, I then reviewed their employment statistics, which represented an average salary of approximately $80,000.00 per year.

Three years and a mid-school interest hike later (an interest hike I could do nothing about since I couldn't alter my student lender after taking on the initial debt for the first year of school), I had an incredibly difficult time finding employment upon graduation, and only managed to find a job that paid $35,000.00 per year.

Undeterred I pulled myself up by my bootstraps, working in difficult conditions, and became a very valuable young Associate at this firm. In doing so, I was able to work my salary up to a respectable $65,000.00 and change. Yet, I could only get into this position by alternating staggered forbearance on half of my loans in six month increments over the first year, and eventually transitioning into income based repayment when this option was no longer available. Nevertheless, I was able to exist by this scheme. I lived in rented rooms instead of apartments, didn't have a car, didn't do a great deal of shopping. I was able to pay my bills , importantly, my student loans, for several years.

Eventually, four years after I became a practicing attorney, my ship came in through the form of a new job at a larger firm, where I was able to earn $90,000.00 per year. While this salary was below the market for lawyers with my experience at that time, I jumped at the opportunity to expand my litigation footprint and increase my salary. It was in this timeframe that the initial cases were being filed against law schools that misrepresented their employment statistics, and Catholic happened to be one of the schools listed as a potential target, though I don't think suit was ever actually filed.

I worked at this second office for four years, with a great deal of success. I served as first chair trial counsel, was able to serve as co-counsel on patent and antitrust matters and was recognized for my success in local media. Yet, once my employer elected to close their D.C. office, my career came to a screeching halt. Despite submitting over 100 applications, I was unable to find any type of full-time work, instead having to scramble from one temporary document review position to another. In doing so, I tried to gain a forbearance on my private loans only to be told that there was no redress save forbearance on two small loans which had a total monthly payment of $150.00 give or take. In essence, the servicer for my private loans informed me I would have to default on the rest of my debt before I could try to work out any form of a payment plan, and even then the lender could simply refuse to work with me and send my account to a debt collection agency.

Prior to losing my job, my monthly student loan payments were $1,820.00. Close to half of my take home pay. After this forbearance of $150.00 and being able to put my federal loans into deferment, my monthly student loan payment dropped to $1,180.00. Yet, I no longer make the same salary. Rather, I have to try to make ends meet in the docuverse, where work only pays $30.00 an hour, hours are typically capped at 40 and projects only last around 3 weeks. Add in the competition from other unemployed lawyers, projects which aburptly stop and projects placed on hold, and perhaps you can see how this situation has just utterly ruined my life.

Ultimately, after eight years of repayment, my total debt burden is $199,000.00, my monthly payments (after my lender's "generous" forbearance) are $1,180.00 and every month I lose more and more from my savings, realizing that eventually this loss will creep into my 401K.

I spent eleven years of effort on a career only to see it implode before my very eyes. I spent eight years paying for an education which feels as though it is of no use to me whatsoever (having been assured by several recruiters that the likelihood I will ever find similar employment, much less comparable pay, is "slim to none" and that placing me would be "difficult"). I've tapped every resource humanly possible to try to find a job to service these loans and cannot.

Losing my job was difficult because it caused me to lose part of my identity, especially as a litigator, where personality defines your approach to your work. Yet, what makes this situation altogether more disorienting, is how out of step it is with what we are told about the American dream. By all outward accounts, I did things the right way. I worked hard, pushed through the hurdles, was a tremendous employee, and yet I find myself holding nothing but ash. I don't understand how a system that purportedly values hard work could fail so miserably for so many of us. I don't understand how I could spend eight years paying for an education only to end up holding the tab for $199,000.00 of debt for an education which is no longer of any use.

I can't responsibly have children, I can't buy a house, I wake up most nights at 2:00 a.m. and cry because I have no idea what I am going to do, in part because I have no idea what my student lender will actually do and because I feel like a complete failure. This education, point blank and period, ruined my life. There just is no other way to say it. It was a worthless pipe dream that sucked 11 years that I could have spent elsewhere, and will likely suck another 20 before its all over and done with.

I left Tennessee thinking I had broken from a cycle of poverty, that I had overcome the tragedies that afflicted my family so deeply and so terribly, and now I look back over how things ended up and I can't help but feel like I have been playing in a system that was gamed this entire time.

All I can do is view this new landscape flat footed, and wonder at the point of all of this.

Where do i begin? My student loans have been a pain in the neck since i left a 4 year college. It has destroyed my credit and it stresses me out. I went to a 4 year college back when i graduated high school in 2006. I didnt finish because the tuition went up and i could not afford to take out anymore loans on top of my mom being diagnosed with breast cancer. I took a year off to tend to my mother while also looking for constant work. that did not pay off. After about a year and a half i ended up going to a 2 year college where i did graduate but again finding work in my field as well as any other field was hard. To this day, I still have not found work in my field because no one wants to give you the opportunity if you dont have the "in office experience". After being frustrated with that and still dealing with my moms health, i ended up going to beauty school for 6 months. I applied for fafsa but due to my loans with shaw university, it was not able to pay full tuition so I still had to come out of my pocket $100 a month that i really did not have. I did not finish there because i ended up getting pregnant and the reality of standing up on my feet all day did not comfort me. I do plan on going back to finish but the thought of applying for fafsa and it not being able to help me with tuition scares me. I am now back to being unemployed because my mom most recently has been dealing with neuropathy and other side effects from when she was taking chemo. My passion is doing hair but i cannot continue that education because my loans are holding me back. On top of being late with rent and utilities, i just dont have the money to pay back any loans which is why i keeping asking for deferments. If my student loans were forgiven,

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christina nolley    August 13, 2015    charlotte, nc   
christina nolley    August 13, 2015    charlotte, nc   

Where do i begin? My student loans have been a pain in the neck since i left a 4 year college. It has destroyed my credit and it stresses me out. I went to a 4 year college back when i graduated high school in 2006. I didnt finish because the tuition went up and i could not afford to take out anymore loans on top of my mom being diagnosed with breast cancer. I took a year off to tend to my mother while also looking for constant work. that did not pay off. After about a year and a half i ended up going to a 2 year college where i did graduate but again finding work in my field as well as any other field was hard. To this day, I still have not found work in my field because no one wants to give you the opportunity if you dont have the "in office experience". After being frustrated with that and still dealing with my moms health, i ended up going to beauty school for 6 months. I applied for fafsa but due to my loans with shaw university, it was not able to pay full tuition so I still had to come out of my pocket $100 a month that i really did not have. I did not finish there because i ended up getting pregnant and the reality of standing up on my feet all day did not comfort me. I do plan on going back to finish but the thought of applying for fafsa and it not being able to help me with tuition scares me. I am now back to being unemployed because my mom most recently has been dealing with neuropathy and other side effects from when she was taking chemo. My passion is doing hair but i cannot continue that education because my loans are holding me back. On top of being late with rent and utilities, i just dont have the money to pay back any loans which is why i keeping asking for deferments. If my student loans were forgiven, that would be a huge load off my back. I can finish following my dream on top of being financially stable to help my mom and family. I could also work on getting a new car for the car we have is no longer working and maybe even help my mom move to a better home. Having my loans forgiven will be the best thing that has happened to me, besides me having my daughter but i would be sooooo grateful and appreciative.

I have a good heart and I just dont want to worry anymore.

Having signed loan papers under duress (high pressure and scary sales tactics), with insinuated limited alternatives, I am now in a considerable amount of student debt. This concern comes at the heels of spending nearly $5,000 out of pocket for tools and resources that tuition did not cover and the school did not provide. I have complained numerous times to the schools here, but to no avail, I was left unanswered. My 13 minute complaint to the school had not been delivered to me via digital copy as I had requested. This was months ago. Now as I enter my final year, I am applying to internships and networking with professionals --who's consensus, incidentally, is that the school I attend doesn't provide the adequate and competent knowledge necessary to enter the field. Now I face over $70,000 in student debt for a job that I can't get. What's infinitely worse, universities for grad school likely won't accept my credits. If anything is to get better, people of this school must unite and become organized with their strategy. If I could go back and change things, I would have asked more alumni about their success rate upon leaving the school.

AM    August 11, 2015    Houston, TX   

I am a graduate of the now defunct Art Institute of New York Culinary Art program. I graduated in 2008 with all the hope and promise of being able to get a hands on career that would let my creativity flourish and allow me to build a promising life for myself. I came to the decision of the Art Institute after having a long discussion with my husband (then boyfriend who also attended but never received his certificate despite his completion of the program) about how much I enjoy baking, and being able to do art and bake simultaneously could be revolutionary. I was looking for colleges and saw the Art Institute everywhere. In my mind I believed if they have campuses all over and they are advertised frequently there has to be something good. WRONG. I attended the open house and took a small tour of the school followed a lecture claiming that they were the ONLY trade school accredited by the Department of Education. Oh how naive we were. I really believed this would change my life...and it did but not for the better. I met with the recruiter who sang songs of great starting salary (upwards of 50k) amazing job placement and a true environment that fostered both learning and creativity. I made my choice, payed the $100 application fee and continued the course to the financial adviser. I hit a small hiccup because in order to qualify for Financial Aid I needed my mothers Tax history. She completely refused to provide it. She said I had to figure it out on my own. (This same process had stopped me from attending an out of state college) I explained my situation to the adviser and she said " Well we'll just say you're independent since you work, say you don't live with her and you can just pull out some private loans, but don't worry you'll be able to pay them off no problem once you graduate." Everything following was painless. Filled out my information, was told to pick Sallie Mae (since that's what everyone else uses) for both my private and federal loan.

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Danielle Adorno    August 10, 2015    New York   
Danielle Adorno    August 10, 2015    New York   

I am a graduate of the now defunct Art Institute of New York Culinary Art program. I graduated in 2008 with all the hope and promise of being able to get a hands on career that would let my creativity flourish and allow me to build a promising life for myself. I came to the decision of the Art Institute after having a long discussion with my husband (then boyfriend who also attended but never received his certificate despite his completion of the program) about how much I enjoy baking, and being able to do art and bake simultaneously could be revolutionary. I was looking for colleges and saw the Art Institute everywhere. In my mind I believed if they have campuses all over and they are advertised frequently there has to be something good. WRONG. I attended the open house and took a small tour of the school followed a lecture claiming that they were the ONLY trade school accredited by the Department of Education. Oh how naive we were. I really believed this would change my life...and it did but not for the better. I met with the recruiter who sang songs of great starting salary (upwards of 50k) amazing job placement and a true environment that fostered both learning and creativity. I made my choice, payed the $100 application fee and continued the course to the financial adviser. I hit a small hiccup because in order to qualify for Financial Aid I needed my mothers Tax history. She completely refused to provide it. She said I had to figure it out on my own. (This same process had stopped me from attending an out of state college) I explained my situation to the adviser and she said " Well we'll just say you're independent since you work, say you don't live with her and you can just pull out some private loans, but don't worry you'll be able to pay them off no problem once you graduate." Everything following was painless. Filled out my information, was told to pick Sallie Mae (since that's what everyone else uses) for both my private and federal loan. I got approved and started classes only to learn 2 weeks in the program was closing down. I was told not to worry, our education wouldn't be effected and we'd have the same quality all the alumni had. We decided to stay the course, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Within a month more than half the faculty left. The entire facility was practically a ghost town save what few instructors stayed ( I would have to if I made $75.00 an hour) and the remaining student body. Everything we learned was minimal. I had a personal incident with a chef who chose to destroy a display cake that was made over 3 days and when I spoke to him asking him to not pick at it, he broke my project and proceeded to lob a piece that almost hit my face, had my friend not caught it. I had no one to report the incident to, no supervisors were on duty and the dean had quit. Flash forward it's time to graduate and I'm defeated. I don't feel like I learned anything extraordinary. No skills that could carry me into a future with this certification. I wound up finding my own job during my internship phase. When my job dissolved I was no longer able to receive any help from the faculty. There were never any job interviews set up for me. There was never any advocating on my behalf for a fare starting salary like they stated. Now it's 6 years later, I have a family, I stay home with my son, because if I got a job I'd only pay for daycare. I cannot afford and have never been able to afford my student loan payments. I live in a veritable shit hole of an apartment and can't even afford to move. When my husband and I tried desperately to take a small personal loan out for a new apartment we were denied due our credit. Our debt exceeded our income. We would not be able to successfully pay it and our student loans off. Even now with our son we have to choose to either eat or pay our loans. We chose food so our kid wouldn't ever have to starve. Now we deal with possible wage garnishment, default in our loans and a black hole of debt that will never end. Go Ai!

I have a PhD in psychology, but because it is from a non APA accredited university, insurance companies do not reimburse me as a Ph.D. professional, but as a master's level professional - which makes it impossible to make my Ph.D. level monthly payments. I also teach at universities as an adjunct (which is when they need me). So, my income is difficult to define. I have asked and asked, ad nauseum, how I can show proof of income or how should I fill out what I make on the forbearance? (which is supposed to be an income based reduction payment application form). Nothing! I just keep getting the monthly payment due but absolutely NO response to my requests - not even an acknowledgement that they are receiving any of my emails. They never answer when I call and I am put on hold for long periods of time. I am getting no where! I am at my wit's end! ..and emotionally exhausted. My payment is due 8/20. You would think they would want to respond to me and work something out... I am at a loss as to why they are not responding! Maybe they think they can just ignore me and start garnishing something (God knows I don't have wages..so I don't know what). But, they did this to a friend of mine..kept ignoring his requests to work something out and then started garnishing his wages. Is that even legal?!!!!

Nina N.    August 9, 2015    Florida   

I am a retired single parent and I was tricked into the most insidious of all student loans, The 8.5% Fed UnSub PARENT Plus loan. It has the highest profit of all the student for the FED I will be long gone before this is paid so that's comforting to know the only way out is to die early! Not allowed to transfer to my now graduated kid, not allowed to modify terms and not allowed discharge under any circumstances. Vote Bernie Sanders!

JM    July 30, 2015    Hawaii   

The weight of my student loan debt is crushing. I entered college at age 26 as a married mother of two and military spouse, graduating with my BA 4 years later. At the encouragement of my abusive ex-husband, I borrowed more than necessary to complete my degree program, assured it would be repaid once I had improved my level of education.

I struggled to find full-time employment in my chosen or any field for five years. I left the 19 year relationship and subsequently solely support a household and two teenage sons, while working 40-plus hour weeks and struggling with multiple chronic illnesses.

There needs to be help available for those with hardships and both federal and private student loans. Anyone who's ever dealt with the around-the-clock collections calls, chronic worry and stress that makes you ill knows how desperate the situation feels.

To pursue bankruptcy on this heap of insurmountable debt, I'd have to make my sons do without to afford the legal fees and then, the risk it would not be discharged remains very high.

Some things in life are beyond one's control and, though it's challenging to reform and regulate education lending, it needs to happen because there are other hard-working Americans that, like me, are wondering if my choice to improve my future through higher education will eliminate that option for my children.

Carrie Munn    July 29, 2015    Maryland   

My time in graduate school was interrupted by the sudden need to have brain surgery. I couldn't complete my Ph.D. despite several attempts to get started again. Some of these attempts lasted a few years. Anyway, I tallied up some student loans in the process, but here's the thing... I DON'T KNOW how much I originally borrowed, because the loan companies have all "capitalized" the interest and late fees that I've been subjected to, over the many times my loans fell out of whatever system I used to try to put them off.

As you might imagine, having major brain surgery has kind of a detrimental effect on a person's capability to earn money. In between and since my attempts to get my Ph.D. (I've given up), I've worked as I could, or at least TRIED to find work that I would be capable of doing. Because of this and the fact that my parents give me one of their old cars, once every few years, I have never qualified for disability payments or anything like that. Believe me, I've tried. And the loan companies JUST DON'T CARE. They just want their money. But of course, they also want so pretend to be sympathetic. So, they offer to put me deferment again... which means another capitalization of my interest and missed payments and penalties.

My total loan amount (as near as I can tell) is now almost $100,000. I didn't borrow even half of that. And my interest rates are outrageous, partly because some of these loans are from a time of higher interest rates, in general. Consolidation doesn't lower these interest rates. I was stupid enough to borrow money for my education when rates were high. I guess I should have gone to college when I was 10 years old, or 40.

Now, I have a part-time job that I really like, but I earn hardly any money at all. I earn about what a full-time, minimum wage worker made before the minimum went up, recently. But I still have to file all this paperwork,

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TomR    July 22, 2015    Oakland, CA   
TomR    July 22, 2015    Oakland, CA   

My time in graduate school was interrupted by the sudden need to have brain surgery. I couldn't complete my Ph.D. despite several attempts to get started again. Some of these attempts lasted a few years. Anyway, I tallied up some student loans in the process, but here's the thing... I DON'T KNOW how much I originally borrowed, because the loan companies have all "capitalized" the interest and late fees that I've been subjected to, over the many times my loans fell out of whatever system I used to try to put them off.

As you might imagine, having major brain surgery has kind of a detrimental effect on a person's capability to earn money. In between and since my attempts to get my Ph.D. (I've given up), I've worked as I could, or at least TRIED to find work that I would be capable of doing. Because of this and the fact that my parents give me one of their old cars, once every few years, I have never qualified for disability payments or anything like that. Believe me, I've tried. And the loan companies JUST DON'T CARE. They just want their money. But of course, they also want so pretend to be sympathetic. So, they offer to put me deferment again... which means another capitalization of my interest and missed payments and penalties.

My total loan amount (as near as I can tell) is now almost $100,000. I didn't borrow even half of that. And my interest rates are outrageous, partly because some of these loans are from a time of higher interest rates, in general. Consolidation doesn't lower these interest rates. I was stupid enough to borrow money for my education when rates were high. I guess I should have gone to college when I was 10 years old, or 40.

Now, I have a part-time job that I really like, but I earn hardly any money at all. I earn about what a full-time, minimum wage worker made before the minimum went up, recently. But I still have to file all this paperwork, all the time, with my loan companies. And guess what? My brain is, and will always be, messed up. It's incredibly hard for me to keep up with all of this and the loan companies make it as hard as they can - even while claiming they want to help.

So, this is my future. My debt will not go down, but instead continue to rise, ad infinitum. Someday, I'll probably inherit some money, and I worry that I'll lose it all to my loan companies and still be poor. And I worry that they'll go after my family, etc.

Oh, and one more thing. One of the tricks they pull is when you apply for Income Based Repayment or something. I even filled out the form while on the phone with the loan company rep, and they found some reason to reject the form, anyway. It's no problem, they just "capitalized" my interest while I was straightening that mess out. This happened several times. These companies are criminal.

Have a nice day!

Non-traditional student at 26 years old. Had great credit and a modest savings prior to starting college. Initially just took a couple core courses at liberal arts college close to my work. Realized I could do this, so transferred to an out-of-state college where I knew I would enjoy being at and had the program I wanted. Money went quick; paying my own room and board, initial non-resident tuition, books, standard bills, tools to utilize for school work, etc...Started turning to my high limit credit cards I was paying off on time as a full time worker. Slowly those crept up as I had to use them for groceries and spending cash. Started working two part-time jobs around my class schedule to still pay my bills. Luckily one was related to my major and helped me gain experience for post-graduation employment, the other was just some mundane, mindless job usually. By the time I graduated, 5 years later, I was 58k in federal, default on most my credit cards, 24k in a private loan.
Since then, that was 10 years ago, I've paid those defaulted credit cards off or at least settled those I could salvage, just about have the private loan paid off. Amazingly got my credit rating back up to 710 from I believe it was down around 460. Still working on that large federal loan, believe it is only down to 48k today. Payments of $350 a month I can handle once the private loan is complete in approx. 2.5 years., which is $330 a month. I know if I didn't have these loans I would actually have a decent amount saved up in the bank for a rainy day or towards a down payment and monthly mortgage on a house. Right now I can't save up enough to put a down payment on purchasing a house nor can I pay the astronomical rent of the SF Bay area where my job requires me to be geographically located, so I am homeless, technically "houseless". I live in the back of my Jeep and my worldly possessions are in storage.

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Alan    July 21, 2015    California   
Alan    July 21, 2015    California   

Non-traditional student at 26 years old. Had great credit and a modest savings prior to starting college. Initially just took a couple core courses at liberal arts college close to my work. Realized I could do this, so transferred to an out-of-state college where I knew I would enjoy being at and had the program I wanted. Money went quick; paying my own room and board, initial non-resident tuition, books, standard bills, tools to utilize for school work, etc...Started turning to my high limit credit cards I was paying off on time as a full time worker. Slowly those crept up as I had to use them for groceries and spending cash. Started working two part-time jobs around my class schedule to still pay my bills. Luckily one was related to my major and helped me gain experience for post-graduation employment, the other was just some mundane, mindless job usually. By the time I graduated, 5 years later, I was 58k in federal, default on most my credit cards, 24k in a private loan.
Since then, that was 10 years ago, I've paid those defaulted credit cards off or at least settled those I could salvage, just about have the private loan paid off. Amazingly got my credit rating back up to 710 from I believe it was down around 460. Still working on that large federal loan, believe it is only down to 48k today. Payments of $350 a month I can handle once the private loan is complete in approx. 2.5 years., which is $330 a month. I know if I didn't have these loans I would actually have a decent amount saved up in the bank for a rainy day or towards a down payment and monthly mortgage on a house. Right now I can't save up enough to put a down payment on purchasing a house nor can I pay the astronomical rent of the SF Bay area where my job requires me to be geographically located, so I am homeless, technically "houseless". I live in the back of my Jeep and my worldly possessions are in storage. Coworkers and other I interact with at work, say I'm the cleanest, sharpest dressed homeless person they know...hahaha. My job actually requires me to travel on occasion and at those time, I can expense a hotel. My office space has a shower and kitchen including standard amenities and appliances, so I am better off than most homeless people just If I didn't have these loans I would be in a much better place.

As the first person to attend college in my family, I had little knowledge on how to finance my education. Year after year I continued to take out private loans with the goal in mind that I would go immediately to medical school. Things did not go as planned and I was left with $120,000 in debt for undergrad alone. I worked two jobs, seven days a week and was still unable to pay my debts and living expenses. My credit score has dropped substantially to the point where I am unable to even try and apply for a credit card, car or apartment. I was just accepted into medical school and my federal loan was denied due to my credit history and I am now unable to attend. How am I ever going to achieve more with this mountain of debt over my head

Kandace LaMonica    July 20, 2015    Bronx, NY   

I went back to school when my youngest child was in high school. After graduation I owed about $10,000. I got my last child off to college and then joined the Peace Corps (I was a single mom for 20 years- it was time for me to have an adventure). I lived and worked as a Peace Corps volunteer for 2 years in Guatemala... helping women and children re-learn their food growing skills, after their 36 year civil war.
When I returned, I was 59 years old... but wanted to get a Graduate degree in Nonprofit Management. I went to grad school... and went $20,000 more in debt.
It was 2008- the economic crash- I could not find a high paying job. I had to leave my state to find work. I moved from Oregon to New Mexico for a job.
2 years later, I returned to my home in Oregon. Now 67 years old, I work full time for a Grain Farmer- helping to run his grain mill. I would like to retire, but my student debt will keep me working until I am well past 80 years old.
Please Please Please! Work to excuse debt for senior citizens!
I would like to join the Peace Corps again.... but my debt holds me back.

Sarah    July 17, 2015    Eugene, OR   

I attended higher education for 3 weeks im a veteran so the school took me in with open arms but forced me out i have a signature loan that was supposed to be returned but the school never returned the money when i was forced out i owed 1250.00 now im sitting at nearly 10,000.00 im a disabled veteran who makes just enough to scrap by

ken crosby    July 14, 2015    Chicago Illinois   

I started out in college going for vascular technology, failing out of that, then changing majors. Since I changed majors, all the classes that I had in vascular technology didn't apply to my career, and I started paying more money to take psychology classes since I wanted to go into psychology. After that, I went for my masters in psychology taking on more student loans than I can handle. After my masters, I now have a minimum wage job supervising visitations and I'm also a CASA. I went on disability before I got my minimum wage job in 2012 because of personal reasons, could never get the correct documentation sent to them to defer my loans because of the confusing process, and now have interest rates upon interest rates for forbearances and on my unsubsidized student loans. I am now 33 years old, 150,000 dollars in debt and no way to get out. Please help!

Annita Bell    July 11, 2015    Vancouver, WA   

Ok so I have read many stories here and I feel very disgruntled by how many of your suffer. But my story will be a little different, it will be of hope. I took 16k in student loans from 2012 to 2015 to help me pay for expenses while I was attending school. I had full ride, but I knew I couldn't work full-time and keep good grades. In total at the beginning of 2014 I have 16k in student loans, 11k car loan, 3k in credit card debt, 3k in miscellaneous debt. It was daunting, I was only a 22 year old, and I already had more than 30k in debt. But one thing was clear to me, I didn't came to this world to suffer from slavery. Debt is the slavery of the new age, it decomposes yours soul, its the root of fear, depression, and sleepless nights for many of us. In 2014 I took a 3k credit card to start my own business, I resold electronic items I purchased online through online stores or at traders villages, anyways to cut it short I have paid off 3 student loans, my car loan, credit card debt, and all miscellaneous debt, I only owe now 9k in my student loans which will be paid off in October by selling my car. There is hope people, think outside of the box, go out there, the money is everywhere, you just have to be creative. God didn't bring you to this world to live a miserable existence, just the essence of life itself its pure on its own syntax. So to whoever reads this, go out there, make a plan, execute it. Don't quit on life. If your loans are exuberant and you see no end, leave the country, but if you want to stay and deal with the problems you face, fight, even if you have to bend the rules, fight. You and your family deserve a good life. Remember, impossible is nothing.

Hector    June 30, 2015    Texas   

I went to medical assistant school 20 years ago through a school that promised to help me find a job once I graduated, I got no help from them managed to get a job on my own but while training for the job found out I was pregnant and was immediately fired. Through a high risk pregnancy which I was on bedrest and spent 5 weeks inpatient at the hospital finally had my baby 5 weeks early only to find out at my 6 week check up I had cervical cancer, 5 surgeries including a hysterectomy and a lot of craziness later I'm now so far behind on loan payments I can't catch up. I become fully disabled but because my loan has changed hands I can't get out from under it my original $10,000 loan is now upwards of $25,000 and every year we have to file an injured spouse form with our taxes so my husband doesn't lose his tax return for my student loan from long before I met him. The only way out of it is to die and then I'm sure they will come after my husband and children for it!

Rd    June 28, 2015    Bremerton Wa   

A large part of the problem (I feel) is that 18-20 year olds are asked to make a HUGE financial commitment when they have no concept of what they are doing. I started in a very good 4yr undergrad school when my mom was on her own, and I received a lot of aid my first year (grants, scholarships). At the end of my freshman year my mother remarried and I lost it all (except for a few merit-based scholarships that came nowhere near offsetting tuition). My stepfather owns his own business, but he couldn't afford to pay my tuition as a one-man business. So I was told I would have to leave a school I loved after my first year or take out loans. I started working when I was 13yo, but I had no concept of the kinds of numbers I was dealing with. I signed everything. Then right before I graduated they sat down with me (no parents present) and had me sign even more papers that I didn't understand. There was a 6 month wait period before repayment started, and during that time they sold all my loans to a bank. A big bank with lots of money and resources. There was no way I could pay at the rate that they wanted. I was scraping by, splitting rent with a roommate, living frugally and they wanted more than the FULL rent on my apartment every month because the new owners of my loans had jacked the interest rates up so high. I worked all through college but that paid meals, rent, incidentals, textbooks. I hadn't put anything away because I could only work 20 hours a week with a heavy class load. I never asked for anybody to take all my loans away, I did sign up for them and it is/was my responsibility to pay for them. BUT I think there are problems inherent in the system. 1) Students who are, for all intents and purposes, essentially still children should not be asked to sign their lives away without adequate consultation and explanation--and without an adult advisor present!

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Stephanie Stiles    June 24, 2015    Anaheim, CA   
Stephanie Stiles    June 24, 2015    Anaheim, CA   

A large part of the problem (I feel) is that 18-20 year olds are asked to make a HUGE financial commitment when they have no concept of what they are doing. I started in a very good 4yr undergrad school when my mom was on her own, and I received a lot of aid my first year (grants, scholarships). At the end of my freshman year my mother remarried and I lost it all (except for a few merit-based scholarships that came nowhere near offsetting tuition). My stepfather owns his own business, but he couldn't afford to pay my tuition as a one-man business. So I was told I would have to leave a school I loved after my first year or take out loans. I started working when I was 13yo, but I had no concept of the kinds of numbers I was dealing with. I signed everything. Then right before I graduated they sat down with me (no parents present) and had me sign even more papers that I didn't understand. There was a 6 month wait period before repayment started, and during that time they sold all my loans to a bank. A big bank with lots of money and resources. There was no way I could pay at the rate that they wanted. I was scraping by, splitting rent with a roommate, living frugally and they wanted more than the FULL rent on my apartment every month because the new owners of my loans had jacked the interest rates up so high. I worked all through college but that paid meals, rent, incidentals, textbooks. I hadn't put anything away because I could only work 20 hours a week with a heavy class load. I never asked for anybody to take all my loans away, I did sign up for them and it is/was my responsibility to pay for them. BUT I think there are problems inherent in the system. 1) Students who are, for all intents and purposes, essentially still children should not be asked to sign their lives away without adequate consultation and explanation--and without an adult advisor present! 2) An educated populace is an advantage for the country; education is important and essential. We should be able to refinance our student loan debt (as with any other debt) or at least have reasonable interest rates! I have fantastic credit and no other debt--besides my mortgage--and my interest rates remained in the high 20% for their duration! After 20 years I was finally able to fully pay off my debt (the final $3k) and only because my father-in-law died and left us some money. Nobody should have to hope for the death of a loved one to get out of debt!! It's outrageous. What a sad country/situation when my husband and I have to have a conversation before ever getting pregnant about whether we can afford to send a child to college someday because if we were in debt for 20 years, what does that mean for her? Just by having my daughter, have I committed her to paying student debt until she retires? Whatever we manage to put aside for her will not be enough based on the trajectory of tuition increases, interest rates and the overwhelming and appalling lack of consideration for people in this country, in favor of currying favor with corporations.

I had an $8,000 plus loan which I made all the payments on. When I checked on what should have been the last payment they told me I owed $7,946 because they put all my payments towards interest (there wasn't supposed to be any). I demanded documentation which they never provided and sent my loan to a collection agency that then demanded over $14,000. This issue has prevented me from obtaining an additional license that I need because the grantor now thinks I'm financially irresponsible

Andy Steinborn    June 16, 2015    Las Vegas   

I attended the Illinois Institute of Art (Ai) in Schaumburg Illinois between the years of 2007-2010. I had previously been working in the M.I.S. department of a leading midwest courier company where I had paid vacations and paid holidays, as well as the option for medical through their carrier (which was out of my price range). Although the job offered some benefits, I was only making $10.50/hr after 4 years, and the raises were normally only $0.25, once per year. Due to my desire to better my position in life and create a career for myself instead of a dead end job with no opportunity for advancement, I decided to look into attending college. I had been accepted to Columbia College of the Arts fresh out of high school, but I didn't think that would be a good option at this later stage in life. I wanted to work while I was in college, and retain my current position, so I looked into local schools. One of the first schools I looked at was the Illinois Institute of Art in Schaumburg.

They never asked for a portfolio, but were encouraged by my love of art. That should have been the first red flag. They had no idea if I had an ounce of talent to back up an application. I was also shown falsified job placement rates, which greatly influenced my decision to attend. I was shown the facilities and told that graduates would have access to the studios as well as the equipment after graduation because they had a great alumni connection with former students. I was also told that they had many contacts already in the industry who provided internships to their students, which was a requirement for successful completion of the program.

The admissions representative also told me that since the school was very close to my home, I would be able to save on housing costs, which she stated, on average run around $60,000 for the duration of the average American education. That was another huge selling point. I thought I would be saving money,

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Ami    June 12, 2015   
Ami    June 12, 2015   

I attended the Illinois Institute of Art (Ai) in Schaumburg Illinois between the years of 2007-2010. I had previously been working in the M.I.S. department of a leading midwest courier company where I had paid vacations and paid holidays, as well as the option for medical through their carrier (which was out of my price range). Although the job offered some benefits, I was only making $10.50/hr after 4 years, and the raises were normally only $0.25, once per year. Due to my desire to better my position in life and create a career for myself instead of a dead end job with no opportunity for advancement, I decided to look into attending college. I had been accepted to Columbia College of the Arts fresh out of high school, but I didn't think that would be a good option at this later stage in life. I wanted to work while I was in college, and retain my current position, so I looked into local schools. One of the first schools I looked at was the Illinois Institute of Art in Schaumburg.

They never asked for a portfolio, but were encouraged by my love of art. That should have been the first red flag. They had no idea if I had an ounce of talent to back up an application. I was also shown falsified job placement rates, which greatly influenced my decision to attend. I was shown the facilities and told that graduates would have access to the studios as well as the equipment after graduation because they had a great alumni connection with former students. I was also told that they had many contacts already in the industry who provided internships to their students, which was a requirement for successful completion of the program.

The admissions representative also told me that since the school was very close to my home, I would be able to save on housing costs, which she stated, on average run around $60,000 for the duration of the average American education. That was another huge selling point. I thought I would be saving money, I would be getting an amazing education, and that I would have a very high chance at successful job placement if I worked hard. The admissions representative was extremely high pressure and played to a lot of my insecurities. I was the first to attend college in my family, and she asked if I wanted to remain in a low wage dead end job forever. Her tactics worked, and we began the admissions process. Much of the financial information was sped through. They told me that I qualified for grants and that my mother could take out Parent Plus loans since my income was too low to qualify for many of the loans.

We never received any sort of education about the loans, and we never received counsel about the ways the loans would compound after graduation. My mother and I did not even realize that we were taking out multiple loans with high interest rates because they never explained that there were caps to those loan amounts. Once enrolled, the loans were again quickly signed without explanation. They would pull you out of a class already in session and have you come down to a window next to the student store, bring you a piece of paper to authorize your loans to be transferred to the institution, without actually explaining that some of these were new loans.

Once enrolled, I started to realize how bad the decision to enroll was. I quickly learned that alumni did not actually have access to the studios post graduation, and we were also not permitted to rent equipment after graduation, either. We had to take almost a year and a half of fundamentals courses before ever starting the classes within our major. Once you get to that point, however, you realize how far you are in and how hard it is to get out. The credits from AI do not transfer to most schools. They have a different accreditation, but fail to mention that during admissions. I also learned how oversaturated not only our department, but the industry was, and realized my job prospects were not as great as I was led to believe.

There was a wealth of issues within the photography department. First and foremost, we were rarely able to get into the studio for projects or even classes because they enrolled too many students for an inadequate amount of facilities. The same issue occurred within the equipment cage, where we rented equipment from. The cameras were always booked out, as were the lenses and photo specific lighting. I frequently had to use static lighting for film in place of photographic lighting, which contributed to me having no knowledge of correct photo lighting equipment. I was enrolled during a summer session in a studio photography class, and because there were so many students, we ended up shooting outside all of the time, which is the complete opposite of studio lighting.

We also had a high rate of instructor turnover, which made it difficult for students to have a consistent curriculum. I had several classes where the instructors would just show videos all class, and not actually teach us anything. I feel like I could have spent $7/month on a Netflix subscription and received the same instruction I had in those classes. I also had instructors who were frequently absent, and did not show up, so substitutes would show up with busy work, which, again, contributed to a very unstable and inconsistent curriculum. I was never taught how to use external flashes or studio slave lighting. I was also never taught how to use a tablet for editing images within Photoshop. These are all basic skills that should have been a part of any digital photography program, but which I was not taught despite an education with a final cost near $80,000. We were frequently taught with materials that were found for free on the internet.

There were constant instances of the school just telling us to use the online tutorials to complete our projects instead of actually teaching us anything. Such were the instances in my image manipulation classes. I had another instructor for a class called location photography. He took us to the Forest Preserve near the school for a field trip one day, and we were stopped because we were shooting without a permit, so that field trip /location was cancelled for the rest of the day. Another day he took us to Auto salvage. He showed up later than a few of us and we asked the gentlemen working if we could just head in without our instructor and were told they knew nothing of what we were talking about, and that no cameras were allowed inside the salvage. Our teacher scolded us for saying anything, because his plan was to illegally shoot. We were constantly told that as photographers, we should make sure we were only breaking one law at a time if it meant getting the right shot. This seemed like incredibly dangerous advice to be coming from an instructor. On another field trip, he took us downtown in Chicago to a restaurant, which his friends owned. He wanted us to photograph the facility and a pair of shoes the owner was creating. When we got to the restaurant, our instructor ordered drinks and food, and told us to go shoot. The restaurant was dimly lit, and our teacher was drinking with his friends. It seems that every class lacked any real instruction. Every project was very loose and consisted of us taking shots and showing them to the class. It was impossible to fail. Once I reached the point of being in my internship class, I realized what a joke that promise had been as well. The school got me an internship where I just edited acne and blemishes off of people all day and worked on shipping and receiving the photographer's materials. I never got any hands on photography experience in that position, and I was also not present during the photoshoots. I ended up getting my own internship through another studio and had 2 internships so that I could try to learn as much as possible. Another man I was in school with had an internship through the school where he just burned discs for a photographer all day, and was never even in a studio or on shoots. He was in that internship for nearly half of the semester before the teacher told him he should ask for a different one.

Graduation and our portfolio show were probably the biggest disappointments. I spent a lot of money on my display because we were sold the line that employers would show up and hire students on the spot. I had buttons made, I had a really nice bamboo portfolio with my best images. I had resumes and business cards and signage. Not a single employer showed up during the portfolio show. My student adviser came up to me during the portfolio show and told me I needed to sign a piece of paper before I could graduate. The paper stated that basically because I was pregnant at the time, the school would not assist me with job placement. The way she stated it inferred that if I didn't sign, I would be unable to participate in the ceremony. Not that the job placement would have helped because we received exit packets with job information and all of those leads came from online resources such as Monster and Craigslist.

After graduation, I was unable to find employment in my field. When my child was born in early 2011, I quit my job, figuring my degree would pay itself off and I would be able to take an extra few weeks and rejoin the workforce within my field. I graduated in December of 2010, and was searching for jobs by May of 2011.

I was unable to find relevant work until fall of 2012, when I was hired by a national modeling agency. I was the photographic manager, and boy, was I unqualified! I could not keep up with the demands of the department. I could not edit fast enough, and I did not have the education of using the tablet pen for editing, which would have been extremely useful in that position. I also quickly learned that my interns, who were unpaid, were far more skilled than I was when I actually completed my education and had a BFA. I was fired after 3 months, and it was 2 weeks before Christmas. From there, things progressively got worse.

I couldn't find any jobs in my field, and I could not regain my former position that I held before and throughout college because the company had restructured and downsized many departments. I was forced to declare bankruptcy, and for a time, I worked a part time job at the front desk of a fitness facility, making minimum wage. I had to quit that job after being unable to find sufficient childcare for my daughter, and being unable to pay the costs of daycare. I have lost everything. I have terrible credit, a bankruptcy that couldn't even discharge my largest loans, and a degree that is seen as useless within the creative community. Sallie Mae used to harass me multiple times a day. I would receive phone calls early in the morning and late at night. I would receive calls from several different numbers, and they would leave automated messages demanding that I call them to pay, when I couldn't even pay for food. Sallie Mae even went so far as to contact my elderly grandmother who lives off of my grandfather’s pension, to collect the debt! I deferred and went into forbearance for as long as I could, but now they have made it very difficult to work with them to come to a resolution.

I made less than $5000 last year, I receive public assistance and medical, and all I want is for my debt (for a fraudulent education) to go away so I can start rebuilding my life and become a productive member of society like I once was. My credit before college was amazing. I had co-signed on a car, I paid my rent and bills on time, and I even had credit cards I was paying as well as money left over to save for nice things I needed. College, in every way shape and form, changed my life forever for the worse. I am not the only one who has been affected by my education. My mother's retirement and her pension are on the line because she owes nearly $60,000 in Parent Plus loans, and they have made it impossible for her to pay, so she is in forbearance. She is just as much a victim as I am. The school has already been investigated by the federal government for fraud, and there is documentation to prove that the years I attended included fraudulent data and misleading recruitment practices. Jason Sobek, former EDMC admissions supervisor, filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against EDMC stating that marketing materials deceived prospective students by falsely inflating job placement statistics at its many campuses around the country.

(source: abcnews.com).

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From ABC news article,

"Whistle-Blower: For-Profit College Operator Allegedly Inflates Job Placement Rates"
Nov. 26, 2012
By MARK GREENBLATT

"They manipulated the job placement rates by counting students working in a job that they did not need the degree for," Sobek told ABC News. "In my opinion, it's a wretched fraud."

Before he left EDMC, a publicly traded for-profit corporation that operates such colleges as the Art Institutes, Brown Mackie College, Argosy University and South University Online, Sobek downloaded a trove of data and documents, which, he alleges, support his claims.

Sobek gave ABC News an exclusive look at one of the internal nationwide job placement databases at EDMC, which shows the degrees students received upon graduation and what jobs (if any) they obtained. Sobek says the database also stated whether the job could be counted as "related" to their degree for the purpose of marketing job placement success rates to potential students. Sobek claims the data reveal a pattern of fraudulently counting students as landing great jobs to create a false impression for future students.

"It is intentional. It's the business model," he says.

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Kathleen Bittel, former Assistant Director of Admissions of Argosy University, an EDMC run school, testified that while she worked at the admissions department of Argosy, she became a part of a high- pressure work environment.

From her publicly available testimony:

"We were constantly pressured to deliver a minimum of two applications per week. New “leads” were to be called three times a day for at least a week, then you could drop back to two, then one as the month progressed. Most of these leads were also being sold to the other online schools, so these poor people were inundated with phone calls mere minutes following their oftentimes unwittingly submitted information. These calls would continue to each of them for months."

After voicing her concerns, she fell lower in her "lead stream" and couldn't meet her quotas. Eventually, she found her way into the Career Services Department at the Art Institute Brand. She took a pay cut, and was promised $3000 per quarter as a bonus if she met her quota.

"I realized quickly it was all about hitting quotas instead of really helping students find meaningful work. I quickly came to see that career service department’s primary role is to lend credibility to the brands of EDMC by allowing them to claim such large numbers of successful graduates working in their fields. But these are not realistic numbers that are being reported."

Kathleen goes on to testify that:

"Early on in my employment with career services, a co-worker showed me how to manipulate information received from a student, to ensure that the student could be listed as “gainfully employed” for the purposes of the company’s statistics. This same co-worker later came to me
exhibiting two documents: one was a signed Employment Verification form from the graduate stating they were working in their field earning $8,000 a year, the other a printout from salary.com estimating that the average salary in that field and in their zip code would be $25,000, which would meet the salary threshold of $10,500 to justify marking them as employed in their
field. “Which one do you think I’m going to turn in?” they laughed as they tossed the graduate’s document in the trash and entered the salary.com data into the student’s file. These kinds of actions were not discouraged by managers. It is important to note that I immediately reported these actions to the supervisor I had at the time, who promised to discuss this with the head of the department. No disciplinary action was taken."

And then she adds this part, which is relevant to me since I was taken off of their statistics for job placement since I was forced to sign the document stating I was pregnant:

"In some instances we were able to essentially eliminate graduates from the employment statistics
if we could prove they had extenuating circumstances that prevented them from seeking field
related employment. A waiver could be used for:

• Stay at Home Parent – one not seeking employment, choosing to raise their
children instead

In other words, if a graduate was not actively seeking employment due to one of the above listed situations, they were removed from the total number of graduates prior to calculating the number of those gainfully employed."

If these are the common practices of EDMC run schools, I fail to see how this can be anything other than fraud. If my education had been a car, it would be deemed a lemon, and I would be able to have legal recourse such as bankruptcy, or the ability to file a lawsuit for a bad product and get my money back. As it stands, student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, and the school has an arbitration provision in their paperwork stating that students have no right to litigation, we cannot sue the school whether individually, or through a class action lawsuit. They have effectively found a way to scam thousands of students and profit while students suffer with insurmountable debts. I am almost 30, and I am unmarried (because if I marry my boyfriend, he gets my debt), I live under my mom's roof, and I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel. I can't get loans, I can't buy a car or a house, and I can't get certain jobs due to my student loans. This entire situation has caused me extreme depression. I just can't wrap my head around how it is that the school could file bankruptcy after defrauding students, but the students who suffered the fraud have no similar options, despite the fact that we were defrauded. They sold us on fallacies and fraud, and allowed us to enroll in an over-saturated market, all the while promising us job placement and careers after graduation, when that was never the case. I would have no issues with paying back a legitimate loan, even if it was for an art degree, as long as I had gotten what I paid for, which was the education I most definitely did not receive.

I decided that I wanted to better myself about 8 years ago, so I enrolled at ITT Nashville. Long story short: my only option was a Sallie Mae loan, and being a 22 year old moron, I didn't see the harm in signing for a 22% interest loan. I attended 3 quarters with perfect grades, but on my final quarter of my first year I had to return to work. Its been 8 years now... I owe something to the tune of 25k, but no one can give me an exact number. The IRS has been keeping my tax returns, I can not get a loan, for anything, I can't even get an electric bill in my own name all because of student debt, and I didn't even graduate. And to make it all worse, I can't go back to school until my loans are no longer in delinquent mode, but as do most of us, I have bills to pay for my family, so I'll never go back to school. Insanity. Thanks a lot..

bobby key    June 11, 2015    Nashville, Tennessee   

I started college at a school that is nationwide. I wanted to make a better life for my daughter and myself. I obtained a degree in Criminal Justice, specializing in Paralegal Studies. I did not learn until I was already over a year in, that the school was issuing predatory loans. I was a victim of this. I have not found a job in my field, nor did they attempt to help me. The only job offer that they had for my was at a local awful call center. I now owe over $33,000. I have not even been able to make my first payment.

The school is now in a federal lawsuit, and I am hoping that everyone that went to the school will be taken care of and understood.

Thanks.

Amber Gates    June 10, 2015    Kingsport, TN   

well her it is. I was caregiver for 8years I did in home care for CDM and took care of many clients. I was making decent money. Especialy since prior to working as a care giver I worked as a cashier for WinCo. When I left WinCo. I collected my ESOP money which wad about 65,000.00 and turned to 69,000.00 how ever my dad got sick and I had to quit my job to take care of him full time. the State payed for part time and it was greatly appriciated. but given the economy and bill we had accumulated prior it was not enough. so I ended up pullling from my retire ment to keep the house hold income equal and help my dad get what he needed to be comfortable and well taken care of. One year later not only was the retirement gone but we had to pay IRS 7000.00 for penaltys because the percentage I was withdrawing for taxes was not enough to cover it all. Then my dad took a turn for the worse. Long story short he died in the passenger seat of our family car. With my two youngest children 9 and 10 at the time in the back seat so not only did they see their grandpa take his last breath but the watched as I pulled his dead body out of our car and gently lay him on the ground next to the car till AMR got there. Much to my surprise AMR does not take DOA patients the Mortuary has to do that. So I have family on their way and my dads body still in the street in front of our house next to our car. I can honestly say I could claim legal insanity for one day. Moving on in a attempt to make a very long story short My dad died March 8, 2010. I started school April 12, 2010. First quarter went better than expected. but then I could not really afort to pay for parking in portland so my husband talked to a friend of the family who owned a reaturant off sandy and Burnside,

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Diana Chappelle    June 9, 2015    LaCenter WA, 98629   
Diana Chappelle    June 9, 2015    LaCenter WA, 98629   

well her it is. I was caregiver for 8years I did in home care for CDM and took care of many clients. I was making decent money. Especialy since prior to working as a care giver I worked as a cashier for WinCo. When I left WinCo. I collected my ESOP money which wad about 65,000.00 and turned to 69,000.00 how ever my dad got sick and I had to quit my job to take care of him full time. the State payed for part time and it was greatly appriciated. but given the economy and bill we had accumulated prior it was not enough. so I ended up pullling from my retire ment to keep the house hold income equal and help my dad get what he needed to be comfortable and well taken care of. One year later not only was the retirement gone but we had to pay IRS 7000.00 for penaltys because the percentage I was withdrawing for taxes was not enough to cover it all. Then my dad took a turn for the worse. Long story short he died in the passenger seat of our family car. With my two youngest children 9 and 10 at the time in the back seat so not only did they see their grandpa take his last breath but the watched as I pulled his dead body out of our car and gently lay him on the ground next to the car till AMR got there. Much to my surprise AMR does not take DOA patients the Mortuary has to do that. So I have family on their way and my dads body still in the street in front of our house next to our car. I can honestly say I could claim legal insanity for one day. Moving on in a attempt to make a very long story short My dad died March 8, 2010. I started school April 12, 2010. First quarter went better than expected. but then I could not really afort to pay for parking in portland so my husband talked to a friend of the family who owned a reaturant off sandy and Burnside, he let me park there and walk to the school which was about a total of 5 miles away down across the morsin bridge. This arrangement went great until my knee gave out. No cartlidge between my knees along with the ostio authritis is a bad combo because bone fragment would attach and when I bent my knee to walk the fragment would break and well you can not emaging the pain. How ever I took medication for pain which did not work at all and I was over weight. So you can emagine how much of a challange Graduating was. I did it though I graduated. after graduating I had to not only look for a job but I had to loose waight so I could have the surger to replace my knee other wise I would have ended up cripple and on disibility. So I lost over 100 lbs. I now have a new knee. Just need that tech job to pay my bills. which "Everest For Life" as they so freely advertised was supose to do. Now not sure what to do Just keep looking for a tech Job and hope I get one before Owe so much money on my schooling I will never make enough to pay it off.

My story is simple. Started college out of high school because "YOU HAVE TO GO to have a normal life - to be able to survive"! I went for a year 1/2 before I stopped college & began working (from the bottom in the corporate world - data entry). I had my son - young - at 21. I was married to his father at 22. Bought a small house (with savings from his parents) at 22, also. We were not making much money. But, we were making it. We were able to pay off BOTH of our student loan debt (this was back in the mid-90's - so college was much more reasonably priced than now). We started living our lives & making some money. I was able to be a stay at home mom for our 3 kids. However, my parents convinced me that I will never be able to hop into the work force without that "degree". I had to go to an online university (AIU Online - which was great - not knocking the school)...just to FINISH my Associates Degree. Which I did in record time - but, boy did it cost me. I got my degree in 2003. My payments started before I even had a job. It caused a lot of financial strain on my husband (at the time) & I - we eventually divorced. I had to settle for a job that I could have gotten without the degree & THOUSANDS of dollars in loans. Now I had to go through a divorce - and pay a LAWYER! I was able to put my loans in forbearance and stuff - and was able to bring my payments down (with the income - sensitive repayment option) - but, it wasn't enough. I had to pay my lawyer over $24,000.00!!! In like a year and a half time span. My mother had to help. She paid half. I couldn't pay the student loans and I couldn't delay payments anymore. I lost my car because I couldn't pay the payments in full on that, either. They had to repossess it.

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michele    June 9, 2015    Exton, PA   
michele    June 9, 2015    Exton, PA   

My story is simple. Started college out of high school because "YOU HAVE TO GO to have a normal life - to be able to survive"! I went for a year 1/2 before I stopped college & began working (from the bottom in the corporate world - data entry). I had my son - young - at 21. I was married to his father at 22. Bought a small house (with savings from his parents) at 22, also. We were not making much money. But, we were making it. We were able to pay off BOTH of our student loan debt (this was back in the mid-90's - so college was much more reasonably priced than now). We started living our lives & making some money. I was able to be a stay at home mom for our 3 kids. However, my parents convinced me that I will never be able to hop into the work force without that "degree". I had to go to an online university (AIU Online - which was great - not knocking the school)...just to FINISH my Associates Degree. Which I did in record time - but, boy did it cost me. I got my degree in 2003. My payments started before I even had a job. It caused a lot of financial strain on my husband (at the time) & I - we eventually divorced. I had to settle for a job that I could have gotten without the degree & THOUSANDS of dollars in loans. Now I had to go through a divorce - and pay a LAWYER! I was able to put my loans in forbearance and stuff - and was able to bring my payments down (with the income - sensitive repayment option) - but, it wasn't enough. I had to pay my lawyer over $24,000.00!!! In like a year and a half time span. My mother had to help. She paid half. I couldn't pay the student loans and I couldn't delay payments anymore. I lost my car because I couldn't pay the payments in full on that, either. They had to repossess it. By the grace of GOD I found a wonderful landlord who would rent to me - given my credit score. I HAD to make sure our essentials were paid (rent, electric, my new car - which was a POS used car in my mom's name, daycare so I could work, and FOOD). I was barely scraping by. Meanwhile, some other things I just couldn't pay. Student loans was one of them. Now they want the WHOLE balance! I met another wonderful man at my SECOND job. We dated for a while & he moved in. My kids loved him. Well, he lost his job - then was REhired for the same job (titled something else - but same job description) for a MUCH lesser hourly pay (when he was used to a salary and bonus)!! He also had student loans - that after the major financial blow - they also want the whole balance. He had to go through bankrupcy (because he had to live off credit cards during the whole job mess). He could not include his student loans (which was most of his debt). My student loans is ALL of my debt...my ONLY debt. They garnish my much needed tax returns...etc etc. And we will NEVER NEVER NEVER be able to buy a home....or get ahead. Ever. And I'm 40.

I'm a mother of five children, no more than a year apart. I was married and made it my mission in life to see all my children become college graduates. My husband was not financially contributing to the education of my children. I took out loans in hopes that we could pay them off together. He left me with over $300,000. The thing that gives me hope is my children (all) did graduate from college and have very bright futures. Myself on the other hand, hopes of getting married again with this debt is low. The only thing I can afford is loan payments. I have to worry about just keeping a roof over my head, and loan payments. If it takes the rest of my life I'll pay this back I just wish I didn't have to chose whether to live or pay student loans. I pray for help almost everyday.

Karen    June 9, 2015    Maryland   

Long story short: Westwood lied, cheated me and did NOT provide value in return for the cost and I'm left with nothing but shattered dreams, impossible loans and Navient/Sallie Mae caling 6-8 times a day from multiple "toll free" numbers. Instructors didn't know their subject matter, failed to answer questions effectively and tutors were students who barely knew more than I did! I had the head of the design department for my third Photoshop class and he didn't know brush from eraser! I was declared "unofficial T.A." within the FIRST WEEK OF CLASS! Why was I stuck taking it if I didn't need it?! $2,000 a credit was wasted on their lies!

Jennifer Rash    June 8, 2015    Carson City, Nevada   

I was one of the unfortunate ones that never got a degree. I too was pressured to get an education to better my home life. I married early, started school, took out any loan possible to help pay for college while working a full time job to keep my family a float.
I spent several years in school but never finished. I have NO degree and over 20K in student debt. Finances were tough, causing strain on the family life so much so that we got a divorce. I can't get a great job because I don't have the "Degree" that companies demand, so I work pay check to pay check, pay child support, and carry insurance for my kids (not myself because I can't afford it). I can't pay on my loans and they have gone in to default, DESTROYING my credit. I can't file bankruptcy to eliminate them to start fresh, yet I don't make any money to pay on them either...I've paid over the years and the end balance has ONLY gone UP. (originally the total loan amounts were around 10K)....

My personal life is horrible, no woman wants to be with a man that is in debt, has horrible credit, can't buy a home or a decent car. Although i pay child support and try to be a good dad, I don't have a place of my own that my kids can come too when i get them on the weekends, so we go to families homes and spend the night...I feel like a failure...

School loans and HIGHER EDUCATION has destroyed my life, not helped it. It has caused me to think about suicide many times over as I see no end in sight and no way for me to climb out of a horrible situation. My kids are the only thing keeping me going, and I worry for their future. I don't want a hand out, but I want a FRESH START! Let me have my life back!

The government has no problem taking my hard earned money,

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Paul H.    June 8, 2015    Utah   
Paul H.    June 8, 2015    Utah   

I was one of the unfortunate ones that never got a degree. I too was pressured to get an education to better my home life. I married early, started school, took out any loan possible to help pay for college while working a full time job to keep my family a float.
I spent several years in school but never finished. I have NO degree and over 20K in student debt. Finances were tough, causing strain on the family life so much so that we got a divorce. I can't get a great job because I don't have the "Degree" that companies demand, so I work pay check to pay check, pay child support, and carry insurance for my kids (not myself because I can't afford it). I can't pay on my loans and they have gone in to default, DESTROYING my credit. I can't file bankruptcy to eliminate them to start fresh, yet I don't make any money to pay on them either...I've paid over the years and the end balance has ONLY gone UP. (originally the total loan amounts were around 10K)....

My personal life is horrible, no woman wants to be with a man that is in debt, has horrible credit, can't buy a home or a decent car. Although i pay child support and try to be a good dad, I don't have a place of my own that my kids can come too when i get them on the weekends, so we go to families homes and spend the night...I feel like a failure...

School loans and HIGHER EDUCATION has destroyed my life, not helped it. It has caused me to think about suicide many times over as I see no end in sight and no way for me to climb out of a horrible situation. My kids are the only thing keeping me going, and I worry for their future. I don't want a hand out, but I want a FRESH START! Let me have my life back!

The government has no problem taking my hard earned money, taxing the hell out of it, and pulling for Social Security which I will NEVER SEE, but they can't help me out NOW, with Loan Forgiveness? Depression runs rapid among many who have student loan debt, causing marital problems, prohibiting some to stay employed, and even leading to suicide.

This is a major problem and no one gives a shit....They keep lending to people who don't truly understand the ramifications that lie ahead...

I finished college with maybe a little over $20,000 in debt but there were no jobs available. I don't regret getting an education, but what I was supposed to do with a composite major in industrial technology. After applying for numerous different, jobs I ended up landing one as an electrician. That led to a five year apprenticeship of low wages and barely scraping by. I had to sell my vehicle because I couldn't afford to make both payments. After using up all of my grace periods during periods of unemployment I was eventually unable to make payments and my loans ended up in default. After a few years of getting on my feet, throughout the poor economy and whatnot I finally heard about rehabilitating the loans so I found out who the debt collector was that I had to contact. Debt over 40,000 due to collection fees. They made me answer all kinds of questions about my earnings and expenses and requested a ridiculous down payment to prove my commitment, and told me I would be able to afford an amount pretty much equal to one weeks pay every month and proceeded to badger me to give over my bank account information so that the payments could be automatically taken from my checking account. Fortunately I had done a little research before calling them, and had read that the collection agencies were notorious for cleaning out your bank accounts and if they did there would have been nothing you could do about it. So I refused to give that information but the person I was talking to began to threaten me that that was the only way I would be able to make payments and that mailing them payments was not an option for me, and then informed me that if I don't sign up for the automatic withdrawals this will never be off of my credit, up to 50% of my wages will be garnished, I will never buy a home, a car have a credit card, all that. I did however happen to get a settlement from them for $750 for violating my rights under the fair debt collection practices act after that.

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Shawn Andersen    June 8, 2015    South Dakota   
Shawn Andersen    June 8, 2015    South Dakota   

I finished college with maybe a little over $20,000 in debt but there were no jobs available. I don't regret getting an education, but what I was supposed to do with a composite major in industrial technology. After applying for numerous different, jobs I ended up landing one as an electrician. That led to a five year apprenticeship of low wages and barely scraping by. I had to sell my vehicle because I couldn't afford to make both payments. After using up all of my grace periods during periods of unemployment I was eventually unable to make payments and my loans ended up in default. After a few years of getting on my feet, throughout the poor economy and whatnot I finally heard about rehabilitating the loans so I found out who the debt collector was that I had to contact. Debt over 40,000 due to collection fees. They made me answer all kinds of questions about my earnings and expenses and requested a ridiculous down payment to prove my commitment, and told me I would be able to afford an amount pretty much equal to one weeks pay every month and proceeded to badger me to give over my bank account information so that the payments could be automatically taken from my checking account. Fortunately I had done a little research before calling them, and had read that the collection agencies were notorious for cleaning out your bank accounts and if they did there would have been nothing you could do about it. So I refused to give that information but the person I was talking to began to threaten me that that was the only way I would be able to make payments and that mailing them payments was not an option for me, and then informed me that if I don't sign up for the automatic withdrawals this will never be off of my credit, up to 50% of my wages will be garnished, I will never buy a home, a car have a credit card, all that. I did however happen to get a settlement from them for $750 for violating my rights under the fair debt collection practices act after that. So I began sending them $200/month. Which is what I felt I could afford, they told me that once I began making regular payments, I would begin the process of loan rehabilitation. They said they would send me an agreement, which they refused to get me a copy of, once I began making payments. I was told the only way to get a copy of the agreement is to begin making payments. Anyway, $200/month, by money order because once you mail these companies a check they have the right to automatically deduct money from your bank account, which was an enormous pain in the ass. For atleast 6 or 8 months, after 10 they told me that my loans would be out of collections, no agreement ever showed up, I had no idea when the payments were due, no acknowledgment whatsoever that my payments were received, and felt like I was just throwing away money. So again I quit making the payments, I don't know what to do. I think I have a right to not have to do business like this. I desperately need this debt off of my conscience. I'm 37 now, I'm a union electrician and I'm making good money. But I have no credit cards, don't ever plan on buying a house, I'm a single dad and I'm afraid to get involved with anyone because I am embarrassed to tell them about this part if my life and also feel that it would not be fair for me to bring that amount of financial stress into a relationship. I would be absolutely willing to jump through whatever hoops I needed to to pay this back but I need to know what my rights are and be informed of the repayment/rehabilitation process. I've tried to email lawyers to explain my situation and see if any would be willing to negotiate with the debt collectors on my behalf, or atleast recommend anither lawyer who would, but I never get a response. I'm in total despair with the situation so far I've just accepted that this will be on my conscience until I'm gone. Thanks for listening, I've never told anyone this whole story. At the moment I believe I know owe over 60,000 due to more fees tacked on but I am no longer sure and I am too scared to find out exactly what the amount is.

Shawn

I am the first in my family to attend college. I made many financial mistakes along the way, including spending a year at a school I could not afford. I maxed out my federal aid to pay off other debts. My degree programs required extensive reading and research, so I used private loans (which my grandmother cosigned for, due to neither of us knowing better) to help offset the cost of only working part time. When the bill came due after grad school (and many years of deferment) the interest had nearly doubled what I owe. I am currently $160,000 in debt and make a reasonable living as an entry level college English teacher, but my massive loan debt (much of which is high interest private loans with variable interest) is killing my chances at buying a home and delaying my ability to start a family. My payments are over $1400 a month. Reform needs to happen. I was shortsighted and naive in my youth and now I'm drowning.

Author*Steve    June 7, 2015    Arizona   

I was always very impractical and uneducated about money, in part because my parents were. All throughout college and graduate school I kept taking out student loans to pay
my tuition, as well as to pay necessary living expenses, and a few unnecessary ones like expensive furniture. I was supporting myself and working full-time while going to graduate school but I
still took out more loans than I needed to. I didn't really know anything about how the whole thing works, and didn't really think much about it. I guess my thinking was, 'well, when I graduate they won't make me pay more than I can afford.' I thought I'd be paying $90 a month, just like I had been with my undergraduate loan. I was thinking in very abstract terms. Boy, was I wrong.

I got my master's degree in Library Science in 2007, and was $54,000 in debt. I was doing fine financially at that time, even though I didn't have a very high-paying job. I was living on my own, and felt secure. Then, 6 months after I graduated, my first student loan bill came. And as soon as I saw it I knew my life was over, that I'd never be able to pay it back and I'd never experience financial freedom again. I couldn't afford the minimum monthly payments so I consolidated the loan with a private company, which brought down my monthly bill but doubled the interest on my loan. Shortly after that, I lost my job and could not find another one. I had a graduate degree, $54,000 in debt, and no job. I moved back home with my parents, and spent the next 4 years working paraprofessional or part-time jobs. During that time period, the interest on my loan grew, increasing my loan balance to $58,000. Each month I was able to make my minimum loan payment, which covered the interest, but nothing more.

In 2012 I finally got a full-time salaried OK-paying job that allowed me to start paying off my loan. I also met my husband,

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Yelena Gordiyenko    June 6, 2015    Aurora, CO   
Yelena Gordiyenko    June 6, 2015    Aurora, CO   

I was always very impractical and uneducated about money, in part because my parents were. All throughout college and graduate school I kept taking out student loans to pay
my tuition, as well as to pay necessary living expenses, and a few unnecessary ones like expensive furniture. I was supporting myself and working full-time while going to graduate school but I
still took out more loans than I needed to. I didn't really know anything about how the whole thing works, and didn't really think much about it. I guess my thinking was, 'well, when I graduate they won't make me pay more than I can afford.' I thought I'd be paying $90 a month, just like I had been with my undergraduate loan. I was thinking in very abstract terms. Boy, was I wrong.

I got my master's degree in Library Science in 2007, and was $54,000 in debt. I was doing fine financially at that time, even though I didn't have a very high-paying job. I was living on my own, and felt secure. Then, 6 months after I graduated, my first student loan bill came. And as soon as I saw it I knew my life was over, that I'd never be able to pay it back and I'd never experience financial freedom again. I couldn't afford the minimum monthly payments so I consolidated the loan with a private company, which brought down my monthly bill but doubled the interest on my loan. Shortly after that, I lost my job and could not find another one. I had a graduate degree, $54,000 in debt, and no job. I moved back home with my parents, and spent the next 4 years working paraprofessional or part-time jobs. During that time period, the interest on my loan grew, increasing my loan balance to $58,000. Each month I was able to make my minimum loan payment, which covered the interest, but nothing more.

In 2012 I finally got a full-time salaried OK-paying job that allowed me to start paying off my loan. I also met my husband, who does well enough that he's able to support me financially. (Yes, I know how lucky I am). I began putting 95% of every paycheck I made towards my student loan, every pay period. A month ago, I finally paid off my student loan. It took me 2 years and 9 months of saving almost every paycheck to do this, but I finally did it. I'm free. I'm no longer a prisoner to my student loan. I finally have no debt and have a small savings account and a bit in retirement savings, and I never thought it would feel so good to just not be in debt. I am still poor and yet I feel so rich. I also believe that my loan debt experience taught me an expensive but very valuable lesson about money. I wish I had learned it without spending $58,000 but it was worth it.

Growing up I had it very rough. My family was into drugs my older brother had already been to juvenile detentions, in and out of jail and now he's in prison. While I was growing up I had been introduced to all of these drugs but realized it wasn't my thing. I then proceeded to think I was going to do much better than my family and make something of myself. I graduated high school and the following day moved to a city. (Mind you I grew up in a small town.) I had a roommate and only being 17 at the time we had to have our parents co sign for an apartment. From then on I started drinking heavily and partying which who wouldn't at 18 years old! After 5 months of being a graduate my roomate mysteriously enrolled me into Cosmetology School. I was working part time at a shoe store and could barely afford housing costs. As I began school things got harder for me to handle, but I pushed through it. I then proceeded to have to pay for gas and meals because I was doing 10+ hours at school a day. Therefore, I couldn't help pay for bills. My roommate broke the lease and took hers and her mom's name off the lease. I had no choice but to break it myself therefore mine and my father's credit was ruint from then on. I found a family member that let me sleep on their couch for the remainder of my school time. I ended up loosing my job because I was clear across town and couldn't afford it and I also chose to take on the responsibility of taking care of my family members children while they were off doing who knows what! Through all of this mess I couldn't handle the fact that my baby cousins were being neglected so I turned them in to cps. Which led to me being out on the streets. I then approached my brothers ex wife and she willingly let me stay with her. (Mind you I'm still going to school through all of this chaos!) I lived in her garage while she partied day and night through the summer.

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Shelby    June 5, 2015   
Shelby    June 5, 2015   

Growing up I had it very rough. My family was into drugs my older brother had already been to juvenile detentions, in and out of jail and now he's in prison. While I was growing up I had been introduced to all of these drugs but realized it wasn't my thing. I then proceeded to think I was going to do much better than my family and make something of myself. I graduated high school and the following day moved to a city. (Mind you I grew up in a small town.) I had a roommate and only being 17 at the time we had to have our parents co sign for an apartment. From then on I started drinking heavily and partying which who wouldn't at 18 years old! After 5 months of being a graduate my roomate mysteriously enrolled me into Cosmetology School. I was working part time at a shoe store and could barely afford housing costs. As I began school things got harder for me to handle, but I pushed through it. I then proceeded to have to pay for gas and meals because I was doing 10+ hours at school a day. Therefore, I couldn't help pay for bills. My roommate broke the lease and took hers and her mom's name off the lease. I had no choice but to break it myself therefore mine and my father's credit was ruint from then on. I found a family member that let me sleep on their couch for the remainder of my school time. I ended up loosing my job because I was clear across town and couldn't afford it and I also chose to take on the responsibility of taking care of my family members children while they were off doing who knows what! Through all of this mess I couldn't handle the fact that my baby cousins were being neglected so I turned them in to cps. Which led to me being out on the streets. I then approached my brothers ex wife and she willingly let me stay with her. (Mind you I'm still going to school through all of this chaos!) I lived in her garage while she partied day and night through the summer. Some days it was hard to make it to school after lack of sleep, I was late, I was tired, I was ready to give up! But I didn't! I graduated a month late but I made it!! After I graduated I had to move back to my small home town. The competition of cosmetology in this town is ridiculous! And expensive to even get started. I proceeded to do it out of my kitchen( I know it's illegal but I had to make it somehow!) Some time after I got into a horrible car accident with a friend. We both walked out of it but it was sure a life changing experience. I ended up getting a pelvic injury which her insurance wouldn't pay for because she wasn't on the insurance. Imagine that! Anyways after some time passed and I wasn't doing hair for a while due to the injury my license expired. I ended up getting pregnant! My son's father was in and out of my son's life and is now looking at 5+ years in prison. I am a single mom just trying to put food in my son's stomach and a roof over his head! Trying to do what's right! I work at a retail store now and just got promoted to full time! But it still does not pay the bills! I was so happy to get a full time position because I just knew I would be able to pay for my student loans! Because I live in a low income apartment they raised my rent along with my income! People seriously do not want anyone to make it in life!! I'm struggling now but I could have it worse. My credit is horrible but there is absolutely nothing I can do about it right now. I know that God has my back and one of these days I will succeed!

My name is Alycia, I am a victim of Everest College (Corinthians College). I owe Thousands of dollars to a for profit college and got a certification I can never use because of the school I had attended for eight months.. I might as well took 20,000 dollars and flushed it down the toilet. Although there is a huge lawsuit going on and they settled on a reimbursement to these students who were also victim's of this predatory lending scheme and all their false percentages and accreditation's there is still a chance that my debt will in fact not be relieved more than $60.00. I understand that there are a lot of people to pay back and a lot of the school's were shut down but we deserve better than that if anyone who went there ever has a fighting chance of actually making it out of poverty and getting off welfare. Recently Everest was bought out by a non-profit organization and only lowered tuition by 10%, I am sorry but for the demographic they are recruiting that is still outrageous and completely unreasonable. What am I supposed to do if I still owe all that money? I will never be able to buy a house or a new car because my credit is so messed up now!!! I had exceptional credit before they had basically ruined my life, I was able to do pretty much whatever I wanted if I wanted because I had great credit. Now I have to ask myself will my daughter ever be able to play in her own backyard with her dog? The answer to this question is highly unlikely. I want more than anything for my student loans to be relieved so I can start over. I want the best life possible for my family and for the many other families all suffering because they to were betrayed by the educational system. It's a hard truth but the fact of the matter is is that we have no options or choices because of the greedy actions of one company that decided to pray on people who are poor.

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Alycia Gardner    June 5, 2015    Washington   
Alycia Gardner    June 5, 2015    Washington   

My name is Alycia, I am a victim of Everest College (Corinthians College). I owe Thousands of dollars to a for profit college and got a certification I can never use because of the school I had attended for eight months.. I might as well took 20,000 dollars and flushed it down the toilet. Although there is a huge lawsuit going on and they settled on a reimbursement to these students who were also victim's of this predatory lending scheme and all their false percentages and accreditation's there is still a chance that my debt will in fact not be relieved more than $60.00. I understand that there are a lot of people to pay back and a lot of the school's were shut down but we deserve better than that if anyone who went there ever has a fighting chance of actually making it out of poverty and getting off welfare. Recently Everest was bought out by a non-profit organization and only lowered tuition by 10%, I am sorry but for the demographic they are recruiting that is still outrageous and completely unreasonable. What am I supposed to do if I still owe all that money? I will never be able to buy a house or a new car because my credit is so messed up now!!! I had exceptional credit before they had basically ruined my life, I was able to do pretty much whatever I wanted if I wanted because I had great credit. Now I have to ask myself will my daughter ever be able to play in her own backyard with her dog? The answer to this question is highly unlikely. I want more than anything for my student loans to be relieved so I can start over. I want the best life possible for my family and for the many other families all suffering because they to were betrayed by the educational system. It's a hard truth but the fact of the matter is is that we have no options or choices because of the greedy actions of one company that decided to pray on people who are poor. I wish debt relief for everyone who is struggling to make ends meet because they were victimized by Everest/Corinthians College.

Good luck everyone hopefully the fight is not over yet.

After high school, I went straight to work in a factory because I could not qualify for student loans due to my mother's wages. I attempted college several times in my 20's through my 40's. It was hard to work full time and attend school full time for something I wasn't passionate about. Then, I found out when I was 25 that I had rheumatoid arthritis. I also found out that I was born with the hearing of a 60-70 yr old and there was no way to restore it. I would not get hearing aids until 2007 though. I am now at 70% hearing loss and suffer from major pain in every joint. At the age of 44, I have had to leave factory work because of my health but don't have enough recent work history to obtain a job as an business or media professional but I have to pay back $46,000+ in student loans based on just $24,000 for an Associate of Arts in Business. I am extremely worried how I am going to survive and finish raising my teenage son. Why doesn't the government just kill me now? They will probably never get the money I owe and create more debt for me and my family in the long run through countless doctor bills that I cannot pay either.

Stephanie Smith    June 4, 2015    Kearney, MO   

Education has always been important to me. Even in high school I wasn't the type to use my senior year to finish up my credits with a half day of school and then work at a fast food place in the afternoon. In the summer before my junior year, I saw that I would only need about half a day in the following year to graduate so I went to summer school and then took two night classes during my junior year to take my senior year requirements. I was anxious to get to college!

And then my mother died about a month before I was to graduate. My hopes of going to college seemed but a faraway dream. That was in 1972 and I was 16 years old.

I spent many years working clerical-type jobs and just couldn't get ahead without a degree. Then I decided to move forward with my dream and when I was 40 years old I got my Associates of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems. When I was 50 I got my BS in Management. And finally, at 55 I got my MS in Human Relations and Business. I would love to go for a PhD, but as it is I will have a student loan that won't be paid off until I'm 70 years old.

And therein lies the problem. Education is so very important and I wasn't going to let anything stop me. I got all three of my degree while working full time and I didn't care how old I was. My problem now is that the loan I have is not covered by any government exemption. Even if I were to refinance, I would have to start the program over and it's still 10 years no matter how you look at it.

I've worked a lifetime and still plan on working a few more years. Except I can't even think about retiring at 62 or 65 or even 68. I'll be turning 60 this year and I've got 10 years to even think about finally relaxing and enjoying life.

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Toni Brown    June 4, 2015    Austin, TX   
Toni Brown    June 4, 2015    Austin, TX   

Education has always been important to me. Even in high school I wasn't the type to use my senior year to finish up my credits with a half day of school and then work at a fast food place in the afternoon. In the summer before my junior year, I saw that I would only need about half a day in the following year to graduate so I went to summer school and then took two night classes during my junior year to take my senior year requirements. I was anxious to get to college!

And then my mother died about a month before I was to graduate. My hopes of going to college seemed but a faraway dream. That was in 1972 and I was 16 years old.

I spent many years working clerical-type jobs and just couldn't get ahead without a degree. Then I decided to move forward with my dream and when I was 40 years old I got my Associates of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems. When I was 50 I got my BS in Management. And finally, at 55 I got my MS in Human Relations and Business. I would love to go for a PhD, but as it is I will have a student loan that won't be paid off until I'm 70 years old.

And therein lies the problem. Education is so very important and I wasn't going to let anything stop me. I got all three of my degree while working full time and I didn't care how old I was. My problem now is that the loan I have is not covered by any government exemption. Even if I were to refinance, I would have to start the program over and it's still 10 years no matter how you look at it.

I've worked a lifetime and still plan on working a few more years. Except I can't even think about retiring at 62 or 65 or even 68. I'll be turning 60 this year and I've got 10 years to even think about finally relaxing and enjoying life. I'll be 70 years old!!! I can sell my house and get rid of that mortgage, but you can never get rid of a student loan.

Please help. And please start your kids in college when they are young so they can enjoy an early retirement.

I had a really awful conversation with the studentaid.gov people that resulted in me writing a letter to the president. Here's my letter (sent last June):
"Dear Mr. President,
While reading the press release “FACTSHEET: Making Student Loans More Affordable,” I couldn’t help but feel compelled to write to you about my situation. I began pursuing a Bachelor’s degree back in 1995, and in 1997, could not afford to stay on campus at Central Michigan University, where I attended college. In 2005, I made the decision to go back to school to complete my degree program, and ultimately graduated from University of Phoenix in 2007. My student loan was through Nelnet, and the original amount totaled $24,449.72. Since graduating, I have continued to make payments to my student loan, despite having to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy after going through a divorce. Every month, when I look at my statement, I cringe at the figures presented:
Total Principal Paid Through 06/30/14: $2,007.64
Total Interest Paid Through 06/30/14: $10,138.36 (41% of the loan!!!)
While the amount that I pay annually (approximately $1764.00) is not 10% or more of my income, it is still a significant amount of my income, and at this rate, will be for my entire career AND retirement.
I am disgusted at how companies like Nelnet are able to so significantly gouge those of us who pursued a Bachelor’s degree in hopes of bettering our future - when all we really did was accumulate excessive amounts of debt. While I believe it helps to have the President step in and take action, I believe more action is necessary for those of us who have stable jobs and incomes, even though those incomes are not increasing as steadily as all of the other costs of living. I pride myself on my education, and the fact that I’ve managed to provide for myself over the years, but must say that when my income hasn’t increased much over the past few years due to cutbacks at the public university where I am employed, my student loan bill continues to weigh me down and prevent me from doing other things,

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Mandy    June 4, 2015    Michigan   
Mandy    June 4, 2015    Michigan   

I had a really awful conversation with the studentaid.gov people that resulted in me writing a letter to the president. Here's my letter (sent last June):
"Dear Mr. President,
While reading the press release “FACTSHEET: Making Student Loans More Affordable,” I couldn’t help but feel compelled to write to you about my situation. I began pursuing a Bachelor’s degree back in 1995, and in 1997, could not afford to stay on campus at Central Michigan University, where I attended college. In 2005, I made the decision to go back to school to complete my degree program, and ultimately graduated from University of Phoenix in 2007. My student loan was through Nelnet, and the original amount totaled $24,449.72. Since graduating, I have continued to make payments to my student loan, despite having to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy after going through a divorce. Every month, when I look at my statement, I cringe at the figures presented:
Total Principal Paid Through 06/30/14: $2,007.64
Total Interest Paid Through 06/30/14: $10,138.36 (41% of the loan!!!)
While the amount that I pay annually (approximately $1764.00) is not 10% or more of my income, it is still a significant amount of my income, and at this rate, will be for my entire career AND retirement.
I am disgusted at how companies like Nelnet are able to so significantly gouge those of us who pursued a Bachelor’s degree in hopes of bettering our future - when all we really did was accumulate excessive amounts of debt. While I believe it helps to have the President step in and take action, I believe more action is necessary for those of us who have stable jobs and incomes, even though those incomes are not increasing as steadily as all of the other costs of living. I pride myself on my education, and the fact that I’ve managed to provide for myself over the years, but must say that when my income hasn’t increased much over the past few years due to cutbacks at the public university where I am employed, my student loan bill continues to weigh me down and prevent me from doing other things, like saving a down payment for a new home. I’ve found several websites where other people in similar situations are trying to start up a class-action lawsuit against Nelnet in particular, but it doesn’t appear to have been successful...yet. I’d really like to see more action against Nelnet and other companies like it who continue to make it seem impossible to get ahead of debt and plan for a better future. What advice can you offer me in this situation?"

While I did receive a response back from the White House, it appears to be a canned message that has no real answers, and points me back to the studentaid.gov folks, who told me there's nothing I can do to lower my interest other than going to a private loan through my bank or whatever. Here is the response:
"Dear Amanda:

Thank you for sharing your story. I have heard from many people who feel like they did everything right—studied hard, applied to college, did well in school—and still got saddled with crushing student loan debt. I am glad you took the time to share your thoughts.

The fact is, I know that frustration myself. The First Lady and I each graduated from college and law school with a mountain of debt, and we barely finished paying it off before I was elected to the United States Senate. And while neither of us came from a wealthy family, many borrowers today have it tougher than we did.

That is why I have fought to make college more affordable for millions of Americans—so they never end up with loans they cannot pay back. But we also need to extend relief to the millions of borrowers who are already weighed down with a lot of debt, because they deserve the chance to repay it.

The good news is that some help is already available. You can learn about options for repaying student loan debt at www.StudentAid.gov or www.ConsumerFinance.gov/Students. These websites also have special information for service members, veterans, and military families, and so does www.GIBill.VA.gov.

There is also a loan repayment plan we put in place called Pay As You Earn, which lets many borrowers cap their monthly payments at 10 percent of their income. The plan forgives loan debt after 20 years of responsible repayment, or after 10 years if you are in public service.

We are going to push Congress to open up the program to more borrowers who should be eligible. But in the meantime, anyone who needs help with Federal student loans should visit www.StudentAid.gov to see if the program can benefit them.

Thank you, again, for writing. I wish you all the best.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama"

So, basically, we all just sit here getting raped by the Fed, and these student loan companies like Nelnet are making a killing. The fact that I have a job that pays decent money kind of takes me out of the whole "Pay As You Earn" program... How about the fact that I pay hundreds of dollars a month, and after 10 years of student loan payments, I still owe as much as the original amount of the loan. It's a crime, and it's a shame that it's allowed to continue. That's my story.

I was in corporate America and lost my job due to the company moving out of state. I then went to school full-time for one year and lived off of student loan money. After getting employed at the University that I went to school at, I wasn't making enough money to start paying back the loans and I was going to school part-time still. My mom got sick and I had to quit school for a while. Then after she passed, I went back to school. I was only two classes away from an associates degree when I went back but they wanted me to take several classes over again which meant more money. So I decided to change majors and be able to use my credits. Now I have an associates degree but took me 10 years to get not all of those in school and I have a bill of over $50,000. I started paying back the loans but then the payments went so high but I couldn't afford them with my budget. Now I have had to file bankruptcy in order to be able to pay the student loans back. Something is wrong with this picture. I am single and in my 50s so I have no help to pay the bills.

Lois    June 4, 2015    Lafayette IN   

Were currently back in the U.S. from a tour over in Turkey. Financially we were good there, making payments on bills, getting ahead a little bit. I had two jobs trying to help support my family including my husband and son. My husband who is in the Air Force is a low enlisted member who has been to school and owes 6,000.00, nothing compared to some stories I have read. Being back here in the states we have had everything come out of our pocket and I am now currently unemployed, I am also in debt with school loans but this is for my husband. He works everyday without complaining but is so stressed out trying to live until I get a job. Just to pay off his school loan and get the extra money for groceries would be a lifesaver beyond belief! Some people think that being in the military is the easy way out for financial burdens but everyones circumstances are different.

Reichert    June 4, 2015    Patrick AFB   

My parents never got the opportunity to go to college, so they put a lot of pressure on me to go. From the time I started Kindergarten my parents were telling me I had to go to college, there was no other way. If I wanted a decent life, I had to go to college.
In school all my teachers, career counselors, family, etc all told me, I had to go to college if I wanted a decent job and a decent life. I was told it didn’t matter what I studied or what I wanted to be, I just needed that magic paper and I’d be set. Like a Fool, I trusted and believed them.
When I turned 18, there was no option, I was sent to college. Because my father had passed away and my mother was broke I was on my own, 100%, to pay for college. But I was marched into the registration office, and told to sign loan papers and register for classes. Because there was no other way.
I started at a community college to get the basics out of the way. Then I went to a 4 year college. But because I moved to a new state, that 4 year college did not accept any of my previous courses, so I was basically starting over at square 1. Then they kept finding reasons to deny my instate status. (I’ve lived in this state for 15 years now, but because my uncle was also listed on my car’s title, I wasn’t accepted as “in state” at the time)
I graduated in 2007. I got an ok, fresh out of college job and I did well. I got promoted right away, I got raises, and I was put in charge of my own department. Then two years later, thanks to the economy, myself and 10 other people were laid off. I was unemployed for six months. I have been working at admin jobs just making it pay check to pay check and trying to pay off these loans ever since.
Needless to say,

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Caskey    June 3, 2015    Az   
Caskey    June 3, 2015    Az   

My parents never got the opportunity to go to college, so they put a lot of pressure on me to go. From the time I started Kindergarten my parents were telling me I had to go to college, there was no other way. If I wanted a decent life, I had to go to college.
In school all my teachers, career counselors, family, etc all told me, I had to go to college if I wanted a decent job and a decent life. I was told it didn’t matter what I studied or what I wanted to be, I just needed that magic paper and I’d be set. Like a Fool, I trusted and believed them.
When I turned 18, there was no option, I was sent to college. Because my father had passed away and my mother was broke I was on my own, 100%, to pay for college. But I was marched into the registration office, and told to sign loan papers and register for classes. Because there was no other way.
I started at a community college to get the basics out of the way. Then I went to a 4 year college. But because I moved to a new state, that 4 year college did not accept any of my previous courses, so I was basically starting over at square 1. Then they kept finding reasons to deny my instate status. (I’ve lived in this state for 15 years now, but because my uncle was also listed on my car’s title, I wasn’t accepted as “in state” at the time)
I graduated in 2007. I got an ok, fresh out of college job and I did well. I got promoted right away, I got raises, and I was put in charge of my own department. Then two years later, thanks to the economy, myself and 10 other people were laid off. I was unemployed for six months. I have been working at admin jobs just making it pay check to pay check and trying to pay off these loans ever since.
Needless to say, short of winning the lotto, I will never pay this debt off. It’s ruined my credit, I have no savings because of it. I get harassed regularly and I know I will never be able to afford a car, home, or children. I worry that any decent man would take a look at my debt and run the other way, which means I feel unworthy of being loved. It's crushed my self-esteem. My family knows I’m in debt, but they have no idea how much this has cost me. I’m always afraid of people finding out.
The other day I saw an elderly woman, homeless and sleeping on a corner and I thought, “Is that going to be me one day?”
Getting an education was the worst decision of my life; what does that say about the student debt crisis?

I have been on my own since I was a teenager. I never knew my father and my mother was an alcoholic and although I don't doubt whether or not she loved me, I know she loved her drugs and alcohol more. I was never formally adopted so when I went to apply for student loans, I had to emancipate myself from my mother just to be considered (Apparently working 3 jobs and pulling in just under $18,000 didn't qualify on its own.) It was rough, but I was determined to get my degree. I went to a local community college for 3 years and worked to support myself while I completed as many credits as I could before being forced to take out loans for my bachelor's degree. 2 years of commuting to campus and I still ended up with $26,000 in student loan debt. It was tough, but I did it. I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in Middle School English Education in May of 2011. Yay! Now I could find a full-time job with benefits and be in a career that I loved! Except for the tiny little detail that there were no teaching jobs. The market was flooded with teachers and schools weren't replacing ones that retired. My 6 months post-graduation expired and it was time to pay back those loans. Then, in 2013, my husband was diagnosed with liver cancer and on June 29th of 2014, he received a liver transplant. We have been drowning in bills and scrambling just to make ends meet every month since the diagnosis. We were able to put payments on hold while he was home for 6 weeks after the transplant, but as soon as he went back to work, the payments resumed. We want to start our family, but how can we bring a child into this world knowing we can't make our payments as it is? It's been 4 years and I still owe over $23,000 in student loans. How can the government say we make "too much" for assistance when we can't pay our basic utility bills?

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Jessica Beeson    June 3, 2015    St. Charles, MO   
Jessica Beeson    June 3, 2015    St. Charles, MO   

I have been on my own since I was a teenager. I never knew my father and my mother was an alcoholic and although I don't doubt whether or not she loved me, I know she loved her drugs and alcohol more. I was never formally adopted so when I went to apply for student loans, I had to emancipate myself from my mother just to be considered (Apparently working 3 jobs and pulling in just under $18,000 didn't qualify on its own.) It was rough, but I was determined to get my degree. I went to a local community college for 3 years and worked to support myself while I completed as many credits as I could before being forced to take out loans for my bachelor's degree. 2 years of commuting to campus and I still ended up with $26,000 in student loan debt. It was tough, but I did it. I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in Middle School English Education in May of 2011. Yay! Now I could find a full-time job with benefits and be in a career that I loved! Except for the tiny little detail that there were no teaching jobs. The market was flooded with teachers and schools weren't replacing ones that retired. My 6 months post-graduation expired and it was time to pay back those loans. Then, in 2013, my husband was diagnosed with liver cancer and on June 29th of 2014, he received a liver transplant. We have been drowning in bills and scrambling just to make ends meet every month since the diagnosis. We were able to put payments on hold while he was home for 6 weeks after the transplant, but as soon as he went back to work, the payments resumed. We want to start our family, but how can we bring a child into this world knowing we can't make our payments as it is? It's been 4 years and I still owe over $23,000 in student loans. How can the government say we make "too much" for assistance when we can't pay our basic utility bills? How is it that we make "too much" when we are constantly deciding which necessities we will have this month and which ones we will not? How can we make "too much" when their definition of too much is not enough?

I was born in Carthage, Miss. My mother completed the eight grade and my father completed two years in a junior college after he return from World War ll . I grew up in a large family of 16 siblings and my parents did not encourage us to go to school, because their was not enough money to cover the cost. As children, we were taken out of school for six weeks every year to pick cotton for the rich white families. No one took education of black folk serious. Each year we miss a big block of learning. I left home at the age of 18. I dropped of our school and move to Wisconsin. I eventually earned my G.E.D. and attended a technical college. I was later motivated to get a bachelor's degree. I continues school until I completed a masters degree. I am the only person in my family to receive a mastered degree. I owe over $109,000 dollars in student loan debt. I will turn Sixty Four years old this October. I can not afford to pay enough to cover the interest on my student loan and the interest continues to accrue. I am told that I do not qualify for any of the forgiveness grants because of the year that I took out the student loans. I had not planned to retire, but circumstances beyond my control has forced me out of the job market. The pension and social security I receive is not enough to maintain a quality lifestyle. I am hoping for some relief from this debt so that I can afford food, a home, and other necessities.

Francis J. Jewell    June 3, 2015    franklin, WI   

I began college in August of 2001 after being told all my life how important it was to get a college education in order to survive in society on my own. I was excited to embark upon such a journey until I learned about the costs and my student loans and exactly what interest was. I lived on campus my first year of school which was the most expensive year of all my years in college. In an attempt to cut down on costs and loans, I got myself a tiny apartment off campus and a part-time retail job to help pay for my living expenses. I spent 3 years at one University before trying to further cut down on costs by switching to a less expensive University. Due to the inflation of living expenses and school schedule not allowing as many work hours, I lost my apartment. My world then fell apart and I felt the need to survive without my college education so I entered into the world of working fulltime in retail. 3 or 4 random retail jobs later I felt it necessary to return to school in search for a better way to survive as the stress of retail hours, type of physical labor and lack of decent finances took ahold of my life in a physical manner. I barely made enough money to survive even working fulltime and over-time occasionally. In between those 3-4 random jobs, I had my first and only child which was the what helped me to decide to continue going to college but we continued to struggle horribly from homelessness to living from house to house not ever having a safe place of our own all the while. I finally graduated with my Bachelor's of Science in Education August 2010 from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. At that time our local government had already laid off nearly 500 teachers and we all were searching the local market for employment without luck since childcare was already saturated with workers and we all were "OVER QUALIFIED" to work for retailers and other local organizations.

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Stephanie Marie Jewell    June 3, 2015    Milwaukee, WI   
Stephanie Marie Jewell    June 3, 2015    Milwaukee, WI   

I began college in August of 2001 after being told all my life how important it was to get a college education in order to survive in society on my own. I was excited to embark upon such a journey until I learned about the costs and my student loans and exactly what interest was. I lived on campus my first year of school which was the most expensive year of all my years in college. In an attempt to cut down on costs and loans, I got myself a tiny apartment off campus and a part-time retail job to help pay for my living expenses. I spent 3 years at one University before trying to further cut down on costs by switching to a less expensive University. Due to the inflation of living expenses and school schedule not allowing as many work hours, I lost my apartment. My world then fell apart and I felt the need to survive without my college education so I entered into the world of working fulltime in retail. 3 or 4 random retail jobs later I felt it necessary to return to school in search for a better way to survive as the stress of retail hours, type of physical labor and lack of decent finances took ahold of my life in a physical manner. I barely made enough money to survive even working fulltime and over-time occasionally. In between those 3-4 random jobs, I had my first and only child which was the what helped me to decide to continue going to college but we continued to struggle horribly from homelessness to living from house to house not ever having a safe place of our own all the while. I finally graduated with my Bachelor's of Science in Education August 2010 from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. At that time our local government had already laid off nearly 500 teachers and we all were searching the local market for employment without luck since childcare was already saturated with workers and we all were "OVER QUALIFIED" to work for retailers and other local organizations. Since, I have a passion for teaching, I sincerely thought that going to school to become a teacher would allow me the opportunity to at least survive while enjoying what I do in my community. I am saddened to state that I continue to financially struggle with my student loans while working in a completely different field than I studied and now that they are asking me to pay as much as it costs for me to pay my rent each month, I am in a state of panic, financial strain, stress, and poor health worrying over the inability to purchase a home, car, and anything else myself and child would need outside of food and clothing. I work fulltime and pay for both myself and child's healthcare monthly. More over, I am struggling to keep this roof over our heads as my rent costs go up each year and there is a severe lack of safe, affordable housing in my city. Over the years, I have been attempting to rebuild a positive life myself and child, I have cleared my negative credit and started trying to pay towards my students loans when I can here and there. I am a hard working, productive individual who deserves a huge break when it comes to students loans and the financial strain and stress they have been causing in my life for at least 9 years now. Please hear us and help us! I sincerely would appreciate it.

I'm about $70K in debt for student loans, that isn't taking into consideration interest at all. I am currently unemployed due to health issues. These health issues prevent me from obtaining employment in any of the areas of my schooling or past experience. I can't find any position that I can do.

When I first entered into the repayment phase of my student loans, they demanded no less than $700 a month, which was over half of my monthly income. I tried to negotiate, but I had already missed payments by that time, because having a roof over my head, utilities, and food were more important to me. They refused to negotiate a lower monthly payment until I was caught up. I got more and more behind. They started garnishing my wages, taking $250 from each paycheck, which left me short on other bills. I lost my car that was nearly paid off to repossession. My boyfriend and I had hopes to purchase a home, but because of all of this, we no longer qualified.

My physical condition has deteriorated quite a bit recently, but what I have isn't visible or testable, so I am being denied disability. I can't afford medical care. These student loans hanging over my head are causing me severe anxiety and depression.

They have been harassing my parents as well, which put a huge damper on our once close relationship. I have sold everything I have of value, including the only memento I had from my deceased grandmother. Because my wages were being garnished, I could not afford to go to my own father's funeral.

Because my credit has been so damaged by limited finances, I had a terrible time finding an affordable place to live after my boyfriend of 8 years passed away. I live with 2 roommates and I barely make ends meet. I'm behind on all my bills and struggle to keep the utilities on. I entered a medical study to help pay my bills.

My future looks pretty bleak. I feel like I am drowning in debt and I will never escape.

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Stacy DeMartelaere    June 3, 2015    Portland, OR   
Stacy DeMartelaere    June 3, 2015    Portland, OR   

I'm about $70K in debt for student loans, that isn't taking into consideration interest at all. I am currently unemployed due to health issues. These health issues prevent me from obtaining employment in any of the areas of my schooling or past experience. I can't find any position that I can do.

When I first entered into the repayment phase of my student loans, they demanded no less than $700 a month, which was over half of my monthly income. I tried to negotiate, but I had already missed payments by that time, because having a roof over my head, utilities, and food were more important to me. They refused to negotiate a lower monthly payment until I was caught up. I got more and more behind. They started garnishing my wages, taking $250 from each paycheck, which left me short on other bills. I lost my car that was nearly paid off to repossession. My boyfriend and I had hopes to purchase a home, but because of all of this, we no longer qualified.

My physical condition has deteriorated quite a bit recently, but what I have isn't visible or testable, so I am being denied disability. I can't afford medical care. These student loans hanging over my head are causing me severe anxiety and depression.

They have been harassing my parents as well, which put a huge damper on our once close relationship. I have sold everything I have of value, including the only memento I had from my deceased grandmother. Because my wages were being garnished, I could not afford to go to my own father's funeral.

Because my credit has been so damaged by limited finances, I had a terrible time finding an affordable place to live after my boyfriend of 8 years passed away. I live with 2 roommates and I barely make ends meet. I'm behind on all my bills and struggle to keep the utilities on. I entered a medical study to help pay my bills.

My future looks pretty bleak. I feel like I am drowning in debt and I will never escape. I don't know what I'm going to do, and the companies that hold my loans really don't care. This stresses me out to the point of being nearly suicidal, don't think I will ever go that far, but I hate what this is doing to me. I feel defeated....

I consolidated my loans with the Direct Loan Service of the Federal Department of Education. They sent my loans to Sallie Mae for servicing. Then last year in 2014, they switch my account to Navient. I am on the Income Based Repayment (IBR) plan. During their switch they sent me an email that said that I had a document for review in my account with Sallie Mae. I never saw the request and the request never said what it was for. Supposedly, it was a notice for me to reapply for the IBR payment plan. I never saw this request.

In November, I contacted Navient and asked why I never received this request. They said that they had sent it to me and now they had kicked me out of the plan even though the 12-month period was not even over. Their deadline for reapplication was the end of October. After they kicked me out of the program, they capitalized almost $7,000 worth of accrued interest into my account. I was flabbergasted. They resigned into the IBR plan in November and then refused to remove the capitalized interest. I explained that I had never seen that request and they just said that it was my responsibility to keep on track of such things. I had been diligently paying my student loan on time every month and now here I was being penalized for missing the October 31 deadline by 2-weeks because I missed a noticed they sent me that never explained what it was for. This is a deviant and predatory practice that Navient and Sallie Mae emply. If I had seen a notice/email informing me that it was time to reapply for the IBR plan, I would have done it immediately.
I also was laid off in the middle of October due to a company layoff. The supervisor told me to write a letter to appeal the capitalization of almost $7,000 on to my Department of Education loans. Of course it took them no time to respond back and let me know that my appeal was denied and closed.

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Dilruan Nicholas    June 3, 2015    Louisville, KY   
Dilruan Nicholas    June 3, 2015    Louisville, KY   

I consolidated my loans with the Direct Loan Service of the Federal Department of Education. They sent my loans to Sallie Mae for servicing. Then last year in 2014, they switch my account to Navient. I am on the Income Based Repayment (IBR) plan. During their switch they sent me an email that said that I had a document for review in my account with Sallie Mae. I never saw the request and the request never said what it was for. Supposedly, it was a notice for me to reapply for the IBR payment plan. I never saw this request.

In November, I contacted Navient and asked why I never received this request. They said that they had sent it to me and now they had kicked me out of the plan even though the 12-month period was not even over. Their deadline for reapplication was the end of October. After they kicked me out of the program, they capitalized almost $7,000 worth of accrued interest into my account. I was flabbergasted. They resigned into the IBR plan in November and then refused to remove the capitalized interest. I explained that I had never seen that request and they just said that it was my responsibility to keep on track of such things. I had been diligently paying my student loan on time every month and now here I was being penalized for missing the October 31 deadline by 2-weeks because I missed a noticed they sent me that never explained what it was for. This is a deviant and predatory practice that Navient and Sallie Mae emply. If I had seen a notice/email informing me that it was time to reapply for the IBR plan, I would have done it immediately.
I also was laid off in the middle of October due to a company layoff. The supervisor told me to write a letter to appeal the capitalization of almost $7,000 on to my Department of Education loans. Of course it took them no time to respond back and let me know that my appeal was denied and closed.

Now, I am back in school, and I have been automatically placed on an in-school deferment even though I am on the IBR payment plan. What they don't tell you is that even though you didn't request to go on to this in-school deferment, now that you are, once you are done with your deferment, no matter what, all the accrued interest will be capitalized on to your account even if you went back on to the IBR payment plan. This would be almost another $8,000. Oh my god. I feel like I am being raped by this predatory and deviant company. Then when I told them about it, they just said, oh well, after 25-years, the balance you owe will be forgiven but it will considered taxable income and you are going to have to pay taxes on it and the more interest that is capitalized the larger your loan amount will be.

For $63,000 worth of student loans that I started paying back in the beginning of 2013, I now over a little over $70,000. This number will grow to about $80,000 after I am done with school. Then I will be paying on top of that another $25,000-$30,000 worth of interest. God save us all from these predatory lenders that are using the government to rape and pillage us all.

Furious in Louisville, KY

I initially received $50k of student loans to support my entry into an MBA program. When it's all said an done, my repayment amount will be b/w $75-110k. This is a frustrating process, as the companies dealing with student debt collection are not educated in finance, the firms are so big that they are unable to effectively answer specific account information, and the billing instructions and allocations to specific loan instruments are too confusing for the collector's staff to follow! The system is broken, and there is no willingness on the part of our elected officials to fix this. With my growing family, this money should go to saving for the education of my children, or a down payment on a new house, but sadly our generation cannot grow freely due to this debt holding us back.

Why would politicians in this Nation determine that the President is sole person who can reduce the interest rate for student loans? Why does this "honor" not extend to mortgages? I refinanced a loan on a new car, but cannot with my student loans unless the President lets me! I will repay my debt early, but this process has forever changed my opinion of our elected officials.

Benjamin Lawrence    June 3, 2015    Maryland   

Growing up poor wasn't anything outside the norm for me. When I hit 14 however, I met my real father. He was loaded. I ended up graduating with academic honors and even got into Purdue. It was a big deal since no one in my family had even tried to go to college. Once there I did extremely well. My father told me I didn't have to get loans and that he would pay out of pocket. His exact words were "You won't have to worry about a dime". His business started going through the struggle that every small business did and he decided that what I wanted to do with my life wasn't good enough (Graphic Design) and that he would no longer pay for it. I was an -A- -B- student taking 5 classes ("crap classes") and working part time just to eat. Once we severed ties he left me with about $4,000 worth of debt after my second semester. I am too proud to pay this amount and it has been since 2009. I am curious if this debt will ever go away or if I will forever just owe this amount.

Brittany    June 3, 2015    Indiana   

iwas 16 years old when my mother started talking about college and where I needed to go. I studied hard in school and I was only able to go to a local State College due to the fact that my mother was a single mother raising two children on her own. with that in mind going to a local college was cheaper and meant that we would receive more financial aid. most of which meant you could take out loans to help you go through school. I am the first in my family to go to college even with the negative comments from my biological father telling me that no woman needed to be educated. I graduated in 2009 right when the economy was falling. I remember sitting in orientation at college listening to them preach how if we did well and we chose a college education we could land the jobs of our dreams and be making anywhere 60,000 and higher.after graduation I spent two years looking for a job. I applied on every single website, went and had my resume is valuated through the school employment services, and worked with the unemployment office to the state. I found babysitting jobs they were able to give me some money but not enough to be able to support myself and pay off the student loans. I end up putting my loans in deferment and forbearance due to Financial issues. I was living at home with my mother and growing more and more depressed and frustrated with each and every job interview. I ended up becoming a nanny for a family,not exactly what my college degree I prepared me for and financially could not support me. I ended up unemployed again after the family moved. I continued my search great job the entire time I work for the family still could not gain employment. I went to local job fairs, scoured the wanted ads.I was told by my college counselors and employment office that I should just go back to school because there is no jobs out there. I ended up going online to try to get my masters hoping that I would score a job that would enable me to pay back what I was accruing even more.

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Jacqlynn    June 3, 2015    illinois   
Jacqlynn    June 3, 2015    illinois   

iwas 16 years old when my mother started talking about college and where I needed to go. I studied hard in school and I was only able to go to a local State College due to the fact that my mother was a single mother raising two children on her own. with that in mind going to a local college was cheaper and meant that we would receive more financial aid. most of which meant you could take out loans to help you go through school. I am the first in my family to go to college even with the negative comments from my biological father telling me that no woman needed to be educated. I graduated in 2009 right when the economy was falling. I remember sitting in orientation at college listening to them preach how if we did well and we chose a college education we could land the jobs of our dreams and be making anywhere 60,000 and higher.after graduation I spent two years looking for a job. I applied on every single website, went and had my resume is valuated through the school employment services, and worked with the unemployment office to the state. I found babysitting jobs they were able to give me some money but not enough to be able to support myself and pay off the student loans. I end up putting my loans in deferment and forbearance due to Financial issues. I was living at home with my mother and growing more and more depressed and frustrated with each and every job interview. I ended up becoming a nanny for a family,not exactly what my college degree I prepared me for and financially could not support me. I ended up unemployed again after the family moved. I continued my search great job the entire time I work for the family still could not gain employment. I went to local job fairs, scoured the wanted ads.I was told by my college counselors and employment office that I should just go back to school because there is no jobs out there. I ended up going online to try to get my masters hoping that I would score a job that would enable me to pay back what I was accruing even more. I was listening to the advice of the college considering they are the ones you are supposed to help you getting that better education and make those better decisions to have a successful future. now I am working a job that I hate and has nothing to do with my degree and even though I make decent money it is still not enough to pay all of my student loans. I now have a daughter who started out with medical issues and that did not help my stance at all with my student loan debt. I just wish that high schools and counselors alike would tell these kids going into college what the real expectations are regarding their student loans. if I had known what I know now I might not have gone to college but instead work my way up in a company. At least I would have a debt free life and I wouldn't have to worry about living paycheck to paycheck. I'm not even doing but my education prepared me for due to the lack of a job market. It seems when the economy falls a college education doesn't stand a chance. You start out like the rest of them.......from the bottom and work your way up to the top. I thought an education was my ticket to a better life. Now I know better due to all the student loan debt that I will never be able to pay off.



I started attending school back in 2006, I enrolled at ITT Technical Institute with a pursuit in Digital Entertainment and Design, a four year degree. I was working full time and going to school full time. It was hard but I was able to keep my head above the water. I got married back in 2004 and my full time job was key to help us get thru the hard times that we faced since the twin towers fell. In September 2008 I finish my Associate Degree in Drafting and Design and I was hired by a company to do electrical floor plans. But almost at the end of 2009 I was laid off due to the economy downturn. To make things more difficult my wife was pregnant, and she gave birth to a baby boy in January 2010. I was out of work for nearly two years and was only surviving on a small check that I was receiving from the unemployment office. Although things were really, really hard. I was able to stay in school, and finish with my four year degree keeping a 3.8 GPA. But there was a problem, I still didn’t have a job. Almost at the end of 2010, I was blessed with a job in graphic design. The work is great but it only pays the minimum. This for the family of my size is not enough.
The money that I receive from my work is not enough to cover the expenses in my house, my wife has a fulltime job as well and that is the only way that we are able to make it everyday. My problem is that I don’t make enough to cover the house expenses and be able to pay for my student loans as well. I never went to school with the intention of not paying that money back. My wife also has her student’s loans from when she completed her career. I was able to get her and my mom to co-sign for two different private loans and now they are getting letters saying that they must pay for that,

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Jorge Villalba    June 3, 2015    California   
Jorge Villalba    June 3, 2015    California   



I started attending school back in 2006, I enrolled at ITT Technical Institute with a pursuit in Digital Entertainment and Design, a four year degree. I was working full time and going to school full time. It was hard but I was able to keep my head above the water. I got married back in 2004 and my full time job was key to help us get thru the hard times that we faced since the twin towers fell. In September 2008 I finish my Associate Degree in Drafting and Design and I was hired by a company to do electrical floor plans. But almost at the end of 2009 I was laid off due to the economy downturn. To make things more difficult my wife was pregnant, and she gave birth to a baby boy in January 2010. I was out of work for nearly two years and was only surviving on a small check that I was receiving from the unemployment office. Although things were really, really hard. I was able to stay in school, and finish with my four year degree keeping a 3.8 GPA. But there was a problem, I still didn’t have a job. Almost at the end of 2010, I was blessed with a job in graphic design. The work is great but it only pays the minimum. This for the family of my size is not enough.
The money that I receive from my work is not enough to cover the expenses in my house, my wife has a fulltime job as well and that is the only way that we are able to make it everyday. My problem is that I don’t make enough to cover the house expenses and be able to pay for my student loans as well. I never went to school with the intention of not paying that money back. My wife also has her student’s loans from when she completed her career. I was able to get her and my mom to co-sign for two different private loans and now they are getting letters saying that they must pay for that, when they cant afford it either. I currently owe about $150,000. Not only that, my miy "Degree" is worthless, as many schools dont accept degrees from ITT.

I live and work in Nicaragua (Central America). I have live abroad most of my life and was able to study at a branch from an American college here in Nicaragua. Ever since I started working, I earned a "Nicaraguan payment" ranging from $1,300 (at best) to $200 (at worst). This has been enough to live well or at least survive here. But there is no way I can afford to pay back my student loan. I simply stop sending payments except for a private loan where a relative is my cosigner. I send $70 each month and spend about $80 on shipping and handling. Obviously, I cannot send more than that at once. So I'm paying more on shipping and interest than the loan itself. At a point where i was unemployed and my deferment was past due I tried to apply for bankruptcy and found out it does not apply for student loans. It's simply ridiculous. There is no way i can repay such loans with the money I make here. At least I don’t need to worry about not being able to get a car or home since i can rent a decent home and use public transportation anywhere. But it is so unfair knowing that by now my debt keeps increasing and even if I sent monthly payments i would probably die first before paying it off.

Alexandra H.    June 3, 2015    Managua,Nicaragua   

I was working for the US Navy as a contractor in the computer science field at that time I had an Associate’s Degree in Computer Information Systems. After several years the Government made a requirement that if we wanted to continue working there many of us were now required to get a BS degree. The contact company did not pay much for tuition and I had to get financial aid to complete my degree.
I am currently over 50,000 dollars in debt. The worst part is a few years after getting my degree a large number of us were abruptly laid off stating the contract did not need our services any more. I spent all this time getting a degree and was thrown out the door. I spent almost a year unemployed and was not able to get any job close to what I had before. I was un-hirable because my position with the US Navy as so specialized that in the "real" world I was under qualified.
I eventually made a decision to make a career change to a completely different job field in healthcare and had to take over a ½ salary pay cut. I am financially strapped and can hardly pay my mortgage payments. I keep getting late notices and the interest is racking up. At least I am working but I now have a huge worthless computer science degree and payments looming over my head.

Linda Renkowski    June 3, 2015    Ventura CA   

I decided to go back to school after being laid off at my first full-time job after high school. I already had two small children, and I was in the middle of a divorce. Immediately after I started school online, I found another job which I have been at for 6 years. Since then I have had serious health issues arise, lost my house, had to file bankruptcy, and I still can't get back ahead. I have $65,000 in student loans that I can't repay and am afraid for my future. I have a hard enough time getting money together just for rent and utilities and to support my kids every month, and they somehow want me to come up with another $690 a month for student loans. I feel like no matter how hard I work, I will never be able to buy a home again or have the nice things I want for my family and me due to this burden constantly weighing on my shoulders.

Summer    June 2, 2015    Iowa   

I started with roughly $120,000 in student loan debt, most of which is private with a co-signer. Once we realized what it would take financially to get my degree, we had already begun and it was either drop out and start paying without a degree or finish and have more debt. I've never missed a payment over the past 6 years at $860 per month in minimums. I have 16 years remaining on most of that debt if I'm able to keep this up.

I'll never own a house or have an experience of grocery shopping without counting to the penny what I'm buying. It's just what life is at this point. . and it's pretty terrible.

Michael Jordan    June 2, 2015    Atlanta, Georgia   

I grew up in a poor family, and quite often we went without heat or electricity, and if not for the local parish, would have gone hungry, too. I recognized that in order to get out of that situation, I needed a well-paying job, which meant I should get a good education. My family couldn't help pay a thing toward college, and I was the first in generations to apply. Without experience or money, I got what scholarships I could, and financed the rest through federal and private loans (some $80,000). After graduating in 2009, following the worst financial upset our country has seen in decades, I spent a year applying for literally hundreds of jobs, with no luck. By the time I caught a break, I had a couple loans in default as I simply couldn't pay, and had no experience or mentorship in dealing with such things. As I figured everything out and began to finally get a grip on all the repayment, my wages were garnished, my credit destroyed, and I still found myself living in very similar conditions as I did growing up.

Six years later, I've paid back over $15,000, and even paid one loan off (through crippling garnishment). Total owed today? $72,200.00.

Eight years of dedicated studying, five years of full-time $20+/hr employment, countless hours of budgeting, refinancing, sacrificing and striving, and what do I have to show for it? Cancerous debt, a 0-br apartment barely up to code, and a budget that most generously allows me $50/mo. for any vestige of recreation. But hey, our banks are doing well.

James    June 2, 2015    Massachusetts   

I went back to school at age 40 with my then fiance now wife. We both were at the top of our class in Medical Assisting and Phebotomy. Neither of us have been able to get even an interview and are always told we don't have enough experience. Now almost 5 years later after being homeless again since finishing school we still are not able to get interviews or positions in the fields we studied. My wife is a maid and I am currently unemployed after being fired by a hotel I was working at unfairly, which was the first job I have had in 3 years, and luckily have unemployment for the next 8 weeks at a whopping $100 a week! lol... We live in an abandoned house we have fixed up so we aren't on the street. https://www.facebook.com/TheAbandonedHouseProject For all our troubles we are $40,000 plus in debt each and of course both our loans are totally in default. We have no idea how to get out of that hole.

Jason Osborne    June 2, 2015    Medford, OR   

After I was done with college, I was unable to find a job. I suffered from health problems which complicated my financial situation. Not being able to pay my bills because I was not working, I lived with my parents for several years until I was able to get a job. However, my loan payments were not reasonable based upon my salary. To complicate things further, my loans were sold to company after company who were less accommodating to accept my payments of $50.00 a month as originally arranged by the original loan holder Dime Savings Bank.

When I saw that the payments I was making made no difference because I was being assessed late fees which almost doubled the original payment that was expected, I stopped paying on my loans altogether resulting in a defaulted loan and it was not long before my taxes returns were being taken. I could live with that because I was still able to live day to day. When I started to make a little more money, I was contacted by the another company who purchased my loan and agreed to work out a payment plan that I could live with and bring my loan out of default. Once the company recouped the money they purchased my loan from the previous company they sold my loan to someone else. Now the company that has my loan, requires me to pay them more than my child support payments are per month over 450 a month. I struggle to pay my bills, to meet the all my payments. I no longer can live in my apartment, I was forced to move back into my family home. I work very hard for everything I have at a not-for-profit company serving individuals with disabilities. My salary is less than $45k a year working two jobs. I've calculated that from all the tax refunds that were taken and the money I've already paid directly to the three (3) companies that purchased my loans... I've paid the original amount borrowed twice over. By the end of this year I will have paid another 5,000+ dollars on this loan which has reached over 43,000.

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Fritz Guerrier    June 2, 2015    Brooklyn, New York   
Fritz Guerrier    June 2, 2015    Brooklyn, New York   

After I was done with college, I was unable to find a job. I suffered from health problems which complicated my financial situation. Not being able to pay my bills because I was not working, I lived with my parents for several years until I was able to get a job. However, my loan payments were not reasonable based upon my salary. To complicate things further, my loans were sold to company after company who were less accommodating to accept my payments of $50.00 a month as originally arranged by the original loan holder Dime Savings Bank.

When I saw that the payments I was making made no difference because I was being assessed late fees which almost doubled the original payment that was expected, I stopped paying on my loans altogether resulting in a defaulted loan and it was not long before my taxes returns were being taken. I could live with that because I was still able to live day to day. When I started to make a little more money, I was contacted by the another company who purchased my loan and agreed to work out a payment plan that I could live with and bring my loan out of default. Once the company recouped the money they purchased my loan from the previous company they sold my loan to someone else. Now the company that has my loan, requires me to pay them more than my child support payments are per month over 450 a month. I struggle to pay my bills, to meet the all my payments. I no longer can live in my apartment, I was forced to move back into my family home. I work very hard for everything I have at a not-for-profit company serving individuals with disabilities. My salary is less than $45k a year working two jobs. I've calculated that from all the tax refunds that were taken and the money I've already paid directly to the three (3) companies that purchased my loans... I've paid the original amount borrowed twice over. By the end of this year I will have paid another 5,000+ dollars on this loan which has reached over 43,000. I make payments and more of the money is put towards the ridiculous interest rate than towards the principle - so I am on a forever payment plan to people who are legal loan sharks!!! It is so disheartening to see that I am being ripped off and I can not do anything about it and no one will help make sense of this criminal act of victimizing someone who can not afford to have a reasonable quality of life. I feel like I lost control of my thoughts because this is emotional for me and hard to deal with.

I'd wanted to be a helping professional for most of my life, if you don't know, it requires a masters degree in most cases. I earned a bachelors degree in psychology knowing that it would be perfect for a masters program in my chosen field. Finished with about 15,000 in debt. Got admitted to graduate school, found that mental health professionals aren't so professional, was treated so poorly I ended up in my own therapy for it. After spending almost 3 years and adding another 40,000 to my debt, I was dismissed from the program for "poor fit." They told me it was my "personality for lack of a better explanation", said they felt horrible about it, that I was the one in a million person who didn't belong there, and sent me on my way. It's been 8 months, I'm still unemployed; and even though I've set things up so that my monthly payment is 0, the interest is still accruing daily and the total is rapidly approaching 60,000. The saddest part is, that most of that is from a degree I will never finish, for a career I will never have. Even if I manage to find a job, considering what I'm "qualified" for, I'll never pay it off.

Katie    June 1, 2015   

I enrolled at the University of Michigan-Flint, in 2008 and graduated in 2012. At the time of graduating I owed the USA government and loan agencies a total of $42.000 dollars. Upon graduating to this day, I have not obtained employment in my chosen field of study--Sociology. And to my misfortune, neither have I obtained stable employment since graduating. Thus, I have been able to live above the poverty level, struggling from day to day, literally some days I don't where my next meal is going to come from. And because I am ashamed of my status quo, it's important to admit, I am living in a homeless shelter. I am not there by desire or conscious intent. I am able bodied, willing to work, ready to work, and want to pay my bills. The debts I accumulated as a student I am committed to pay. But first things first---work. Where is the law that mandates graduating students employment. A law of nature would not only guarantee employers the fittest and best prepared, and this would also give debtors the monies necessary to make payments. Surely, some people scam and sham paying for one reason or another, but for those of us that want to pay the loan money back so that it's available to help others, should by law work to meet this end.

Robert Allen    May 31, 2015    Flint, MI 48502   

When I was in high school our guidance counselor came into one of my classes and began asking everyone where they wanted to go to college and what they wanted to study in. He told us that we should go for our dream college no matter of where it was or price if that was what we wanted. He said the money will come, you should go to where you think is the best fit for you. This was my thought when I was applying for a private university in New York because it was my dream to go to New York and going to college up there would be perfect for me. So I applied for loans and my mom applied for loans and I graduated and now I'm working a pretty good job, but frankly since I promised my mom I would make payments on hers and she can't get hers lowered to a manageable rate I can't afford to pay mine. So even if I get the ones in my mom's name payed off I will probably never get the ones in my name payed off because I so inconsistently pay on them.

Please give 16, 17, and 18 year old kids the proper expectation for what they will have in store of them when they can not pay for college up front or do not go to a cheaper or local school.

Caitlin N    May 31, 2015    Charleston, South Carolina   

My story is not unlike countless other American college students. When I was young, my head was filled with all of these fantastic stories of the "better life" I would have if I sought higher education after high school. Little did I know that academia is little more than a shameless extortion racket that takes what it can from you in exchange for the promise of this "better life."

"Maybe you should have tried harder," I was told, "You could have gotten a full ride or this or that." Excuse me, I did try. I graduated from high school with a 3.8 GPA. "Why don't you just move?" I've been asked. Well I would, but I can't very well just pack up and expect to live even remotely comfortably with over $50,000 in student loan debt. It's embarrassing to be 24-years-old and still live with you parents, especially after you've "bettered" yourself through higher education.

Being a college graduate should feel like an accomplishment, it should be something to be proud of, but it isn't for me. It's the biggest mistake of my life.

Amanda    May 29, 2015    Michigan   

Hi everyone! First of all, I want to say that I feel not alone in the student debt crisis in America. This gives me some hope for better days to come. It motivates me to try live my life as best as I can because our life is the most precious gift amid all difficulties or sufferings. And again, that I am not alone in this debt problem. Well, here is my story. After graduation from the high school, I had a period of time when did not know if I should continue my education in higher levels. I said to myself, everyone goes to the college so I should as well so I can have "better future." AND THIS WAS MY BIGGEST MISTAKE I made so far in life that I regret. Today, when I recall it, this brings much pain. Anyway, I was enrolled at ITT Technical Institute. Private college that provides education for a lot of money compared to community colleges that can offer same classes for less money and time. My major is Computer Drafting & Design completed in 2 years. Original principal balance was about $39,000 plus an interest rate that concluded in $42,000. Just for 2 year college. Insane. Here is another thing. The quality of the education provided was not satisfactory for me later as I realized that my class mates would be more knowledgeable than some of the instructors. Some of the classes were nor really needed for my future job. I could just go to the community college for some classes and get enough education to find a job in the filed of Architecture or Engineering. After the graduation, later I worked a bit in the filed of study, but could not live a normal life due to high monthly payments. But earlier than that, financial institution that provided the money for my school asked for about $600 a month when I was still unemployed. I had to beg them to lower the amount. Then, I lost the job due to lack of projects and was receiving unemployment benefits and trying to survive with little money I got from the state.

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Marcin Czechowicz    May 29, 2015    Chicago, IL   
Marcin Czechowicz    May 29, 2015    Chicago, IL   

Hi everyone! First of all, I want to say that I feel not alone in the student debt crisis in America. This gives me some hope for better days to come. It motivates me to try live my life as best as I can because our life is the most precious gift amid all difficulties or sufferings. And again, that I am not alone in this debt problem. Well, here is my story. After graduation from the high school, I had a period of time when did not know if I should continue my education in higher levels. I said to myself, everyone goes to the college so I should as well so I can have "better future." AND THIS WAS MY BIGGEST MISTAKE I made so far in life that I regret. Today, when I recall it, this brings much pain. Anyway, I was enrolled at ITT Technical Institute. Private college that provides education for a lot of money compared to community colleges that can offer same classes for less money and time. My major is Computer Drafting & Design completed in 2 years. Original principal balance was about $39,000 plus an interest rate that concluded in $42,000. Just for 2 year college. Insane. Here is another thing. The quality of the education provided was not satisfactory for me later as I realized that my class mates would be more knowledgeable than some of the instructors. Some of the classes were nor really needed for my future job. I could just go to the community college for some classes and get enough education to find a job in the filed of Architecture or Engineering. After the graduation, later I worked a bit in the filed of study, but could not live a normal life due to high monthly payments. But earlier than that, financial institution that provided the money for my school asked for about $600 a month when I was still unemployed. I had to beg them to lower the amount. Then, I lost the job due to lack of projects and was receiving unemployment benefits and trying to survive with little money I got from the state. I would apply for a deferment and, of course, more an interest rate was added. As I recall, since I finished this school I payed as much as almost $ 10,000. I do not even see the difference in the grand total because all my payment were eaten by high an interest rates like 9% or 10%. All this did not help me live normal life. I was constantly under the stress. I was looking for any way out like bankruptcy but based on my research I found out that there is no bankruptcy for student loans. So, I went to get some advise from couple of attorneys. Some of them did not know what to do. Others helped to file the complain against ITT but I did not win. Being unable to pay my student loans for some time due to being unable to find a job my student loans were defaulted. The late payments and fees increased up to almost $ 4000. I would receive millions of phone calls a day from the collection agencies. They told me that they will sue me in court for all money that I owe them. So now I have to live with all this burden. It does not help me to smile to people like I did before. Only thing I can say is that we have to take strength from God - Jesus Christ and that students and graduates have to be strong and get together like this organization provides to find out some solutions in one of the major problems in America today like student loans.

I would like to make you aware of how the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is ineffective and unfair. I have been teaching for 16 years. I began my career in Strafford, NH teaching with a master’s degree and a gross annual income of approximately $18,500. Naturally, I deferred my student loans for a couple of years until I could make ends meet. I explored federal programs, such as the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, that provided relief for teaching in impoverished areas. The community of Strafford, though economically diverse, was not poor enough and my pay was slightly too high. I consolidated my loans and made income based payments until I was able to acquire a higher paying job.
I just became aware of the PSLF program which began in 2007 and requires 120 punctual payments (ten years of repayment) in order to qualify for forgiveness. It seemed too good to be true, considering I have been paying my loan since 2001 and have many more years to go. I began my application process and was promptly notified that my current loan does not qualify. Apparently I must have a direct consolidation loan through the federal government, something that wasn’t even offered when I began my college education. The direct loan program was piloted at a limited number of institutions while I was in the midst of my own higher education. I do not believe it was offered at the University of New Hampshire at that time. I am a civically active teacher and private citizen. I cannot reconcile how it is I was unaware of this opportunity and the requirements. I am left wondering how well or widely it was promoted or communicated. Consequently, my only option is to reorganize my loan under the federal program, wait another 10 years (teach for a total of 26 years) before my public service would be recognized. Additionally, my current private loan payment is $480 per month; under the federal program my monthly payment based on income and a family size of three would be $780 per month. Where is the relief?

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Valerie    May 28, 2015    NH   
Valerie    May 28, 2015    NH   

I would like to make you aware of how the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is ineffective and unfair. I have been teaching for 16 years. I began my career in Strafford, NH teaching with a master’s degree and a gross annual income of approximately $18,500. Naturally, I deferred my student loans for a couple of years until I could make ends meet. I explored federal programs, such as the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, that provided relief for teaching in impoverished areas. The community of Strafford, though economically diverse, was not poor enough and my pay was slightly too high. I consolidated my loans and made income based payments until I was able to acquire a higher paying job.
I just became aware of the PSLF program which began in 2007 and requires 120 punctual payments (ten years of repayment) in order to qualify for forgiveness. It seemed too good to be true, considering I have been paying my loan since 2001 and have many more years to go. I began my application process and was promptly notified that my current loan does not qualify. Apparently I must have a direct consolidation loan through the federal government, something that wasn’t even offered when I began my college education. The direct loan program was piloted at a limited number of institutions while I was in the midst of my own higher education. I do not believe it was offered at the University of New Hampshire at that time. I am a civically active teacher and private citizen. I cannot reconcile how it is I was unaware of this opportunity and the requirements. I am left wondering how well or widely it was promoted or communicated. Consequently, my only option is to reorganize my loan under the federal program, wait another 10 years (teach for a total of 26 years) before my public service would be recognized. Additionally, my current private loan payment is $480 per month; under the federal program my monthly payment based on income and a family size of three would be $780 per month. Where is the relief? I am the bread-winner for my family. It would be a hardship to take on that kind of monthly payment. If I adopted this plan, I would never qualify for relief because the entire balance of my loan would be repaid before ten years had passed. My current loan was financed privately under the Federal Family Education Loan Program. According to the current rules, all of the payments I have made to date do not “count” because they were not federally funded. If the government is serious about providing relief to the middle class, stimulating the economy and honoring the contributions of service professionals, it is imperative that this policy change.
Around 2001 legislation was passed that incrementally lowered interest rates on student loans. Again, I did not qualify because of the time frame in which I had begun paying my loans. Policies like these feel arbitrary and out of touch with financial realities that young professionals in the field of service face. My income, after 16 years, has just begun to be commensurate with my student loan debt. In my first ten years of teaching I limped along barely being able to pay my student loan each month. I have been caught in a financial legislation purgatory in which I began my professional work either too early or too late to benefit from any relief. I am frustrated. I hope that my story will give you perspective and inspire you to advocate for inclusive, intelligent legislation that meets a broader range of needs in our society. I hope to be heard. I want to see change.

I got out of the military in 2008 because I wanted to get into filmmaking. I eventually decided to go the Art Institute of Seattle for the bachelor’s degree in Digital Film & Video Production program. I was able in enroll and start school in April of 2009. One of the reasons I liked the school is because they told me that if for some reason you have to leave, all your credits will transfer with you and they are an Accredited college…one of the best filmmaking programs in the U.S.

I was going to go full time using the new Post 911 GI bill program. For the first year or so everything was fine with the school and finances for the most part, except I was one of those people back when the Post 911 GI bill came out that didn't get there housing money for months, so they told us to go to the headquarters and get a $3,000 advancement for housing money. They told us that we did not have to pay it back, that they would take it off the back end of our benefits. Well couple months later, they sent letter after letter telling me I needed to pay $3,000 ASAP (not that this has to do with the school but made it extremely difficult to survive regardless).

So about a year in a half into my program...very close to enough credits for my associates degree...I got a message during one of my classes telling me I needed to go to the finance department. I went and talked to the lady and she told me that I am almost $7,000 in debt with the school and once you reach a certain amount of unpaid debt with them, you will be forced to leave the school till it’s resolved. Well, like I mentioned, I was using the Post 911 GI Bill, a few minor grants and the Yellow Ribbon program...so basically all my school was paid for and no money needed to come out of my pocket. So how could I be $7000 in debt with the school?

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Rob W. Scribner    May 24, 2015   
Rob W. Scribner    May 24, 2015   

I got out of the military in 2008 because I wanted to get into filmmaking. I eventually decided to go the Art Institute of Seattle for the bachelor’s degree in Digital Film & Video Production program. I was able in enroll and start school in April of 2009. One of the reasons I liked the school is because they told me that if for some reason you have to leave, all your credits will transfer with you and they are an Accredited college…one of the best filmmaking programs in the U.S.

I was going to go full time using the new Post 911 GI bill program. For the first year or so everything was fine with the school and finances for the most part, except I was one of those people back when the Post 911 GI bill came out that didn't get there housing money for months, so they told us to go to the headquarters and get a $3,000 advancement for housing money. They told us that we did not have to pay it back, that they would take it off the back end of our benefits. Well couple months later, they sent letter after letter telling me I needed to pay $3,000 ASAP (not that this has to do with the school but made it extremely difficult to survive regardless).

So about a year in a half into my program...very close to enough credits for my associates degree...I got a message during one of my classes telling me I needed to go to the finance department. I went and talked to the lady and she told me that I am almost $7,000 in debt with the school and once you reach a certain amount of unpaid debt with them, you will be forced to leave the school till it’s resolved. Well, like I mentioned, I was using the Post 911 GI Bill, a few minor grants and the Yellow Ribbon program...so basically all my school was paid for and no money needed to come out of my pocket. So how could I be $7000 in debt with the school? I called the VA and they said they sent the check to the school; the school say’s they never got anything. This went back and forth for days! In the end I had to leave the school and move out of state with a sister in Arizona (including my girlfriend and our kid). I couldn’t get a job in such short notice of having to leave the school and if you are not attending school you cant get housing money so we were completely broke with no where to go (remember this is in bad times of the recession, jobs were very hard to come by).

Once in Arizona with my sister, my girlfriend got a job temporarily until I got a job offer that could sustain our family in Maryland State, working for Lockheed Martin doing what I did in the military (Avionic). For about a year I had been consistently calling the Art Institute of Seattle and the VA trying to figure out what happened to my $7,000 in tuition. Eventually the school came forward and told me that they think they accidentally threw it away. Basically, each quarter they receive a Fed Ex envelope with all the VA students’ money. They think when they got it, mine got stuck inside envelope and they threw it away. Well, with the VA, it’s not as simple as sending a new check…they have to send out trackers and all this stuff that takes forever. Meanwhile, I cant go to school and I m now on the other side of the U.S. because they screwed up.

So during my time in Maryland working at Lockheed Martin I saw that they had a job opening for Aerial Videographer at the same place I was already at…a perfect job for me! I applied for the job, got the interview and nailed it. About a month later I talked to one of the managers in the video department and he told me they submitted to Lockheed Martin Headquarters that they wanted to hire me for the job…Perfect right? Well, one mother later, I got a note telling me the job has been fulfilled. What the heck! I was told I got the job; well come to find out, Lockheed wouldn’t hire me because I didn’t have my degree, so they had to go with the next qualified person. That was a massive blow to me! How messed up is that, I went to school, got kicked out for money that the school lost and now lost my dream job because I couldn’t get my degree!

So after that emotional blow…I was so frustrated that I decided now I am here in Maryland I will try to transfer to a new school. I couldn’t go to any schools physically because of the location I was at, so I had to go online. I enrolled in Full Sail University because I was a tired of scrapping by not doing what I love and I was hell bent on succeeding in my career I got out of the military for. Enrolling was fine until I had to transfer my credits from The Art Institute of Seattle to Full Sail University. Full Sail would only accept 2-classes worth of credits; nothing else could transfer because of the Art Institute of Seattle. I as very upset, so I tried another school, The Academy of Art University…same thing, only 2 classes would transfer. So now I am still stuck on the other side of the U.S. doing a job I hate and just wasted almost 2 years in college with thousands of dollars wasted from my GI Bill. I now had to start my degree all over!

I decide to stay enrolled at Full Sail University where I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Cinematography in August of 2014. The problem is…I now owe +$20,000 in school loans because I tapped out my GI Bill my last year at Full Sail, all because the Art Institute of Seattle lost $7,000 of my tuition and told me to leave!

That’s the summed up version of how I was screwed by The Art Institute of Seattle…and I am still paying for that mistake for going there, all this happened because of the Art Institute!

I went to college cause I was told that was the thing to do. Looking back, I should have never gone. Not because it wasn't great, but because I wasn't really mature enough to understand the consequences. I have $125,000 remaining in student debt, majority of which is private loans, and I've been out of college for 3 years now. I didn't go to a fancy college, just a state school (I happened to be out of state, something I never thought would make a big deal, but it ended up being twice the price). I am currently in a job that doesn't even technically require a college degree, making just enough to pay my monthly loan payments, with some assistance from my family, and all my other monthly bills like rent, food, and an attempt at having a life. I went to college for theater, cause I honestly love being creative and it was the one thing that felt right to me. I have so many things I want to do, that I know I could do and make an impact like writing thoughtful film scripts or acting. I even want to be able to do volunteer activities like helping at an animal shelter or even exploring the world, anywhere. Everything takes time though, and if it isn't going to make the loans disappear, I sometimes wonder what the point in trying is. I realized that I most likely will never be able to buy a house, I can't even process the idea of having kids, and I'll have grey hair before the loans are paid off. I can't even disappear or die, cause someone would still have to pay back the loans and I had to have cosigners to get them. If even something small happens to my car, it's like the end of the world is coming. I even realized recently that my loans might double by the time I'm finished paying them off, like over $200,000, due to interest. The only thing I can ever think, after debating what I want to do with my life,

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Kristin Riopelle    May 20, 2015    Massachusetts   
Kristin Riopelle    May 20, 2015    Massachusetts   

I went to college cause I was told that was the thing to do. Looking back, I should have never gone. Not because it wasn't great, but because I wasn't really mature enough to understand the consequences. I have $125,000 remaining in student debt, majority of which is private loans, and I've been out of college for 3 years now. I didn't go to a fancy college, just a state school (I happened to be out of state, something I never thought would make a big deal, but it ended up being twice the price). I am currently in a job that doesn't even technically require a college degree, making just enough to pay my monthly loan payments, with some assistance from my family, and all my other monthly bills like rent, food, and an attempt at having a life. I went to college for theater, cause I honestly love being creative and it was the one thing that felt right to me. I have so many things I want to do, that I know I could do and make an impact like writing thoughtful film scripts or acting. I even want to be able to do volunteer activities like helping at an animal shelter or even exploring the world, anywhere. Everything takes time though, and if it isn't going to make the loans disappear, I sometimes wonder what the point in trying is. I realized that I most likely will never be able to buy a house, I can't even process the idea of having kids, and I'll have grey hair before the loans are paid off. I can't even disappear or die, cause someone would still have to pay back the loans and I had to have cosigners to get them. If even something small happens to my car, it's like the end of the world is coming. I even realized recently that my loans might double by the time I'm finished paying them off, like over $200,000, due to interest. The only thing I can ever think, after debating what I want to do with my life, is if I just didn't have loans to pay off, I could follow my dreams. I don't care if everyone knows who I am, I just want a chance to try, cause if you can't even try to do what you want, what's the point in making money to live your life? What's the point in life? Am I even a human anymore or just a cog working through life to pay back some higher financial power for allowing me to go to college? It's like I was tricked and now a bank controls what I do with my life. If only I knew it would be this way before I decided on my college...

I am example of someone who fell victim to the "system". The system is: do well in school (elementary through high school) in order to go to a good college. Go to college, get a loan if tuition is not affordable. Get a degree to get a good job. The salary from having a degree, will be enough to pay back those loans. Easy peasy. Well, I needed to have real world experience to learn that I didn't HAVE TO go to college, especially when I didn't know what I wanted to study. After I graduated with a Bachelor's I didn't know where to go. I couldn't find a job, and a college professor suggested I go back to school and get a Master's degree. So I did, and realized after 3 years of graduate study, that I couldn't go on any further. I was so burned out from so many years of working hard at school. I dropped out and now have about $100,000 in student loan debt. I'm full of so much regret. Sure, higher education has its benefits, but it's not for everyone and I wish I had learned that BEFORE going to college and ruining my life with debt. The debt is so large that I don't want to burden anyone else with it. So, I will not get married, I will not have children. I'm very lucky to be one of the few college graduates who found employment, but I'm afraid that I'll be paying off my loans until I die. What kind of life is that?

melody    May 16, 2015    seattle, wa   

My name is Michael Thompson and I live in Jeffersonville, IN.

I attended the Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham, a for profit school, from 2010-2012. I attended school late, at the age of 26, seeking a way to get out of my warehouse job that paid me only $11 an hour but caused issues with my back that I am just now being able to afford to go to a doctor to evaluate. The school promised me that all of my loans would be federal and that I would not have to go through private lenders. A year into my program, I was told that I had a hold on my account and could not register for classes. I was in debt to the school $10,000 for 2 quarters of school that I had already completed but was never notified. When I asked why I owed this money, considering that I was told my federal loans would cover the cost of my education, I was then told by a representative of the accounting department that my federal loans were part of a specialized program that has expired and I was only able to use it for 2 quarters by being grandfathered in. None of this information was previously explained to me.

So there I was, $40,000 in debt already and owing another $10,000 for back tuition. My options were to either seek out private loans or stop attending and start paying back $50,000 on my $11 an hour salary with no degree and no better off, so I unfortunately received loans from Sallie Mae and American Education Services.

After graduating, my first job laid me off and I was unemployed for 4 months. Neither of my private lenders would grant me deferments based on my unemployment nor lower my payments. It actually took a year and a half of communication and switching to Navient before Sallie Mae offered me a lowered interest rate and lower monthly payment. American Education Services retains a $250 a month payment and will not lower it.

Those two make up under half my student debt at around $45k with another $50k in federal loans.

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Michael Thompson    May 15, 2015    Jeffersonville, IN   
Michael Thompson    May 15, 2015    Jeffersonville, IN   

My name is Michael Thompson and I live in Jeffersonville, IN.

I attended the Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham, a for profit school, from 2010-2012. I attended school late, at the age of 26, seeking a way to get out of my warehouse job that paid me only $11 an hour but caused issues with my back that I am just now being able to afford to go to a doctor to evaluate. The school promised me that all of my loans would be federal and that I would not have to go through private lenders. A year into my program, I was told that I had a hold on my account and could not register for classes. I was in debt to the school $10,000 for 2 quarters of school that I had already completed but was never notified. When I asked why I owed this money, considering that I was told my federal loans would cover the cost of my education, I was then told by a representative of the accounting department that my federal loans were part of a specialized program that has expired and I was only able to use it for 2 quarters by being grandfathered in. None of this information was previously explained to me.

So there I was, $40,000 in debt already and owing another $10,000 for back tuition. My options were to either seek out private loans or stop attending and start paying back $50,000 on my $11 an hour salary with no degree and no better off, so I unfortunately received loans from Sallie Mae and American Education Services.

After graduating, my first job laid me off and I was unemployed for 4 months. Neither of my private lenders would grant me deferments based on my unemployment nor lower my payments. It actually took a year and a half of communication and switching to Navient before Sallie Mae offered me a lowered interest rate and lower monthly payment. American Education Services retains a $250 a month payment and will not lower it.

Those two make up under half my student debt at around $45k with another $50k in federal loans. My federal loans are manageable but with all three payments I'm unable to save and it's hard to pay off debt I incurred while being unemployed. Help.

My daughter graduated from Florida State University in 2013 with a degree in Meteorology. She got a job right away at a TV station as a Meteorologist. The pay is not very good but she is able to support herself except pay for her student loan. So I am paying her student loan that has interest rates that are almost 7%. My feeling is the interest rates for education loans should not be that high. This is education were talking about. They know the kids from middle class families will most likely go to college and the parents will pay the tuition with loans, cash, loans from 401K, home equity loans. Somehow they will get the money. The cost of the classes/semester is out of proportion and the interest rate makes it worse. Even the Pennsylvania state schools are becoming unaffordable. In the tuition comparison for Penn State University vs Florida State University - except for the travel expenses it was less money to go to Florida State University.

Kathryn fullam    May 14, 2015    Pennsylvania   

Decided to break the mold in my family by going to school and getting that "Higher Education" that is supposedly highly coveted. Not coveted enough to pay for the cost of such education. Cut hair to put myself through undergrad and then decided to go to law school. Not having a huge educational foundation I could not attend a 1st tier law school so I had to settle for a 2nd tier school. Ended up borrowing approximately $150K in 2002-2005. Graduated in 2005 sat for the CA bar (too many times) was unsuccessful (partially due to a disability) and now can't support my loans because I am not licensed. So I work as a paralegal with paralegal salary caps. I have been paying on my loans for the better part of 10 years at approximately 800$/month (paid in excess of 75K) now ACS (student loan servicing company) claims I owe $222,000. WHaaatt? On what plant does this math work? None. Only on the ACS student loan plant. IBR does not help me as my loans are pre 2008. Bankruptcy doesn't help me- because its student loans. So the only option come June 1, 2015 when my loans go up to$2000/month is to default which is going to cripple me even further... So what do we all do??? I'm now looking to talk to attorneys in various areas of the law as this is obscured and quite frankly fraudulent. I spares you all the details of all the miss-applied payments (by ACS) which resulted in erroneous reporting on my (and my co-signers') credit report which took 2 years to clean up. As well as countless hours on the phone with ACS in the past 10 years trying to get information on MY loans but all to no avail. So now I am out surfing the web trying to find some HELP to stop this insanity as I am against suicide and there truly are NO OTHER OPTIONS for me! I believe that is enough for now about "My Story"- And yes, it is all true and I have plenty of documents to back it up!

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Nicole    May 13, 2015    Irvine CA   
Nicole    May 13, 2015    Irvine CA   

Decided to break the mold in my family by going to school and getting that "Higher Education" that is supposedly highly coveted. Not coveted enough to pay for the cost of such education. Cut hair to put myself through undergrad and then decided to go to law school. Not having a huge educational foundation I could not attend a 1st tier law school so I had to settle for a 2nd tier school. Ended up borrowing approximately $150K in 2002-2005. Graduated in 2005 sat for the CA bar (too many times) was unsuccessful (partially due to a disability) and now can't support my loans because I am not licensed. So I work as a paralegal with paralegal salary caps. I have been paying on my loans for the better part of 10 years at approximately 800$/month (paid in excess of 75K) now ACS (student loan servicing company) claims I owe $222,000. WHaaatt? On what plant does this math work? None. Only on the ACS student loan plant. IBR does not help me as my loans are pre 2008. Bankruptcy doesn't help me- because its student loans. So the only option come June 1, 2015 when my loans go up to$2000/month is to default which is going to cripple me even further... So what do we all do??? I'm now looking to talk to attorneys in various areas of the law as this is obscured and quite frankly fraudulent. I spares you all the details of all the miss-applied payments (by ACS) which resulted in erroneous reporting on my (and my co-signers') credit report which took 2 years to clean up. As well as countless hours on the phone with ACS in the past 10 years trying to get information on MY loans but all to no avail. So now I am out surfing the web trying to find some HELP to stop this insanity as I am against suicide and there truly are NO OTHER OPTIONS for me! I believe that is enough for now about "My Story"- And yes, it is all true and I have plenty of documents to back it up!

While serving in the U.S Navy I went to ITT Tech to get my associates degree. I nearly finished the two year program with only 2 classes to go when I was transferred to Guam where there are no ITT Tech's. I had to put my degree on hold but I was reassured that with the military clause I could hold it for however long I needed and come back and pick up where I left off. Two years later I moved back to the U.S and went to finish my degree when they told me my degree program had been changed. Many of the classes I took were now irrelevant and they were forcing me to take classes to replace those. so instead of 2 classes left, I now had to take 6! I asked if I would be reimbursed for the classes that I no longer needed and they said no. They didn't even attempt to work with me on reducing the cost of the modification THEY did to my degree plan. I told them they won't ever see another dime of my money and I wouldn't be returning. Unfortunately the sad truth is I was left with no degree and 20k in debt (30k now with interest)

I then enrolled in a LEGITIMATE college and they didn't take ANY of my ITT tech credits. Not just them, but no one would. Luckily my GI bill paid for most of my new degree but my current ITT tech loans drowned me for years and still continue to financially burden me even with a well paying job. Thanks to the compounding interest from Sallie Mae I now owe far more then my initial amount and will likely be paying it off the rest of my life. All this because ITT Tech is a scamming, greedy misleading corporation. I hope they all rot in jail for fraud.

Nicole    May 13, 2015    Portland, Oregon   

I went to a FOR PROFIT school called at the time allied college owned by high tech institute it has changed names to try to out run the class action lawsuits now called anthem owned by anthem educ group the school was sold for ONE BUCK back in June 2010. needless to say i owe 70k to the worthless scum bags the classes don't transfer the degree doesn't mean anything i cant even get a job shoveling horse manure with the st louis city mounted police. the thugs at salliemae hired a law firm called john rowatt who sent out letters to financial institutions to seek money i may have that was a joke but not to my poor uncle who is 90yrs old he an old cd in my name he forgot about sallie mae took it now i have been garnished for 5yrs for student loans. no one seems to care or hear me when i say this was consumer fraud predatory lending and that i was not of sound mind or body when i signed. i was thugged into it by a rep at allied called dana kilian and the finance guy named jason hellman these people called restlessly for me to come sign up for classes. i kept telling them i could not my fathers health was failing and he came first but NOOO that didnt mean shit i get calls from job placement manager named cynthia otten reynolds and campus president susan marshall caby. my father did die and these people still didn't care they kept up I SWEAR AS GOD AS MY WITNESS I DID NOT KNOW WHAT I WAS DOING. to this day i have wrote to my senator claire mccaskill attorney general chris kostner president obama anyone and everyone i could think of im now looking into trying the last stand and that is bankruptcy im 50 yrs old i have never or will ever be able to use this so called degree for criminal justice the school was not accredited even though cynthia otten reynolds sent me an email saying it was at some point i will get this taken care of but i may dead by that time.

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Marie Schalk    May 11, 2015    Missouri   
Marie Schalk    May 11, 2015    Missouri   

I went to a FOR PROFIT school called at the time allied college owned by high tech institute it has changed names to try to out run the class action lawsuits now called anthem owned by anthem educ group the school was sold for ONE BUCK back in June 2010. needless to say i owe 70k to the worthless scum bags the classes don't transfer the degree doesn't mean anything i cant even get a job shoveling horse manure with the st louis city mounted police. the thugs at salliemae hired a law firm called john rowatt who sent out letters to financial institutions to seek money i may have that was a joke but not to my poor uncle who is 90yrs old he an old cd in my name he forgot about sallie mae took it now i have been garnished for 5yrs for student loans. no one seems to care or hear me when i say this was consumer fraud predatory lending and that i was not of sound mind or body when i signed. i was thugged into it by a rep at allied called dana kilian and the finance guy named jason hellman these people called restlessly for me to come sign up for classes. i kept telling them i could not my fathers health was failing and he came first but NOOO that didnt mean shit i get calls from job placement manager named cynthia otten reynolds and campus president susan marshall caby. my father did die and these people still didn't care they kept up I SWEAR AS GOD AS MY WITNESS I DID NOT KNOW WHAT I WAS DOING. to this day i have wrote to my senator claire mccaskill attorney general chris kostner president obama anyone and everyone i could think of im now looking into trying the last stand and that is bankruptcy im 50 yrs old i have never or will ever be able to use this so called degree for criminal justice the school was not accredited even though cynthia otten reynolds sent me an email saying it was at some point i will get this taken care of but i may dead by that time. oh and now i have no job so i guess i will get to go live under a bridge lose more of my mind cause God knows if a psychiatrist would evaluate me i would be put away for a long time im sure i have ptsd i cry at ever letter i get about this damn student loan and looking at the payments when it comes out of forbearance those monthly payment will be about $850. thanks for reading

For the last 2 1/2 years, I've been attending the University of Tennessee. I'm a U. S. Air Force veteran who has been trying to reinvent myself after the economy crash. I've been working for a public library for a few years. I discovered that additional employment opportunities were available if I went back to school. I was accepted to the University of Tennessee graduate program for Master of Science in Information Sciences. Although I live in Las Vegas, NV, I attended the classes online. I had already used up my Montgomery G.I. Bill so I received financial aid to attend this school. During my final semester, I made a mistake that I was not aware of until it was too late. I enrolled in one class for my final semester because I only needed 3 credits to graduate. I didn't realize that by only enrolling in 3 credits, financial aid will not pay my tuition because 3 credits does not meet the at least half time status requirement which is what financial aid requires to pay tuition. This left me with a tuition balance of $3600.00 and the University of Tennessee placed my student account in "Holds" status. This means that I can't apply for graduation. So I have completed all of my required credits and I can't graduate because I mistakenly enrolled in only one course during my final semester. The University of Tennessee has not been understanding of my situation and only suggested that I apply for a personal loan. All attempts to apply for a personal loan have been denied because of my bad credit. My credit score is low because of previous student loans that I haven't paid and an emergency surgery that I needed to save my life. It gets worse. Now that I'm no longer considered a student, the creditors have come calling. They want me to start paying off my student loan for a degree that I never received because the University of Tennessee will not allow me to graduate due to me owing for tuition. I just wanted to point out that our college universities only care about money and are willing to put a person's degree at ransom in order to get the money owed to them.

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Johnny P    May 9, 2015    Las Vegas, NV   
Johnny P    May 9, 2015    Las Vegas, NV   

For the last 2 1/2 years, I've been attending the University of Tennessee. I'm a U. S. Air Force veteran who has been trying to reinvent myself after the economy crash. I've been working for a public library for a few years. I discovered that additional employment opportunities were available if I went back to school. I was accepted to the University of Tennessee graduate program for Master of Science in Information Sciences. Although I live in Las Vegas, NV, I attended the classes online. I had already used up my Montgomery G.I. Bill so I received financial aid to attend this school. During my final semester, I made a mistake that I was not aware of until it was too late. I enrolled in one class for my final semester because I only needed 3 credits to graduate. I didn't realize that by only enrolling in 3 credits, financial aid will not pay my tuition because 3 credits does not meet the at least half time status requirement which is what financial aid requires to pay tuition. This left me with a tuition balance of $3600.00 and the University of Tennessee placed my student account in "Holds" status. This means that I can't apply for graduation. So I have completed all of my required credits and I can't graduate because I mistakenly enrolled in only one course during my final semester. The University of Tennessee has not been understanding of my situation and only suggested that I apply for a personal loan. All attempts to apply for a personal loan have been denied because of my bad credit. My credit score is low because of previous student loans that I haven't paid and an emergency surgery that I needed to save my life. It gets worse. Now that I'm no longer considered a student, the creditors have come calling. They want me to start paying off my student loan for a degree that I never received because the University of Tennessee will not allow me to graduate due to me owing for tuition. I just wanted to point out that our college universities only care about money and are willing to put a person's degree at ransom in order to get the money owed to them. If I had my degree in hand right now, I would have a better job with a better salary that would grant me the opportunity to pay back the University of Tennessee and start paying off my other student loans. But unfortunately I've reached a barrier. Every dime I earn currently goes towards bills and a mortgage that I'm barely able to pay. I don't have additional funds to save to pay my school so that I can graduate. I may eventually lose my house. My only option would then be to relocate out of country to live with my in-laws so that I will have a roof over my head. Our higher learning education system needs to be reviewed.

As a first generation college student, I was very proud of myself for attending medical school. I did everything I could to reduce my debt including applying for numerous scholarships, living with my family when I could, and reducing my debt by about $100,000 by doing an additional year of teaching at my medical school. Now I am finally working at the age of 33, and find that my student loans have increased to over $330,000. I will never be able to pay that amount off as a Family Medicine doctor because with the interest the total will be over $600,000 in 20 years. Despite every payment that I make, I owe more money. All I ever wanted to do was contribute to society by helping people to live the healthiest life possible, but I find myself constantly stressed about money. I am sure my stress shows to my patients, but I do my best because I believe we all have a responsibility to make the world better than the way we found it.

Some of my loans had interest rates of over 9%. The federal government should not allow this! We owe it to ourselves and our country's future to continue to advance through education. We need to join together to stop this from happening to future students!

Sarah    May 7, 2015   

I just turned 47, and feel like I have made a huge mistake with my education. I have a Master's degree in Library and Information Science, and although many people said that this degree was not very useful, my love of research and academic spurred me on. When I rec'd my first Bachelor's degree, I was able to study abroad on a student loan, which was a life changing positive experience for me. I don't regret it at all, even though it left me with $21,000 in debt. When I returned to the states, I graduated and my Bachelor's degree was enough to land me an administrative job. Paid okay, but I wasn't happy. The bills kept coming and I continued working admin jobs, to pay what I could to student loan. Then I decided I'd had enough of admin work, and went back to a Master's program. I had a career counselor at the time, and in the end, I wish I hadn't used her services... she encouraged me to continue with the MLIS program, but my heart became increasingly not into the major. I was now in debt for about $50k and only halfway through the program. I decided to just plug on, and finish, and now I'm $90k in debt, for a fairly defunct line of study and work. I think I was in a panic for a long time, wanting out of admin work. And now, with huge student loan payments coming due, guess where I am? Back in admin work, and this time for much much longer. Feels like a prison sentence of sorts. I'm trying to keep positive, and I will pay what I can, but I fear for all of us lower middle income educated people who have nowhere to turn. In some ways, I wish I had learned a technical trade, and just satisfied my academic thirst on my own, without a college sticker price. When will the government realize that in order to compete on a world economic with an educated citizenry, quality education mandates student loan reform. Otherwise, the result will be increased civil unrest and governmental liability.

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Melissa    May 4, 2015    Bay Area, CA   
Melissa    May 4, 2015    Bay Area, CA   

I just turned 47, and feel like I have made a huge mistake with my education. I have a Master's degree in Library and Information Science, and although many people said that this degree was not very useful, my love of research and academic spurred me on. When I rec'd my first Bachelor's degree, I was able to study abroad on a student loan, which was a life changing positive experience for me. I don't regret it at all, even though it left me with $21,000 in debt. When I returned to the states, I graduated and my Bachelor's degree was enough to land me an administrative job. Paid okay, but I wasn't happy. The bills kept coming and I continued working admin jobs, to pay what I could to student loan. Then I decided I'd had enough of admin work, and went back to a Master's program. I had a career counselor at the time, and in the end, I wish I hadn't used her services... she encouraged me to continue with the MLIS program, but my heart became increasingly not into the major. I was now in debt for about $50k and only halfway through the program. I decided to just plug on, and finish, and now I'm $90k in debt, for a fairly defunct line of study and work. I think I was in a panic for a long time, wanting out of admin work. And now, with huge student loan payments coming due, guess where I am? Back in admin work, and this time for much much longer. Feels like a prison sentence of sorts. I'm trying to keep positive, and I will pay what I can, but I fear for all of us lower middle income educated people who have nowhere to turn. In some ways, I wish I had learned a technical trade, and just satisfied my academic thirst on my own, without a college sticker price. When will the government realize that in order to compete on a world economic with an educated citizenry, quality education mandates student loan reform. Otherwise, the result will be increased civil unrest and governmental liability.

I have recently graduated with my Master of Social Work degree with $100,000 in student loan debt. Between my partner and I, we have nearly $200,000 in student loan debt with a daughter under the age of one. I work part time because the price of child care is completely unacceptable (that's a whole other story). My partner is a corrections officer with the State, so he makes decent money, but not enough to be able to cover a whopping $1000 a month payment to Sallie Mae (that's just his payment, not mine). I make $13.00, but only work 27 hours a week so I do not qualify for the 10 year loan repayment schedule. My IBR is $0, which sounds great, but the reality is I will end up owing nearly $500,000 in 20 years that will have to be claimed on my income taxes. Sallie Mae is determined to get their money, but I know the IRS is much scarier. It has become crippling. We cannot buy a house, we have put off the thought of having another child simply because we cannot afford one. We have even considered moving in with my parents to be able to catch up on something. My partner works at least three overtime shifts in a pay period to be able to help pay his student loan. I find it absolutely disgusting that we have loans at 6.8%, yet banks and auto companies are getting bailed out with taxpayers dollars with a .75% interest rate. This has completely ruined my future, my partners future, and it has potentially ruined my daughters future.

Kate    May 4, 2015    Michigan   

If I could use the money I am paying toward loans for housing, transportation and durable goods, I would be making a much greater contribution to the US economy. As it is, all my money goes to either bills or banks, which doesn't do very much for other Americans.

Chris    April 30, 2015    Missouri   

I recently graduated from Boston University. I'm from a middle class family, and apparently my parents "made too much money on paper" for me to receive financial aid. They never intended to assist in paying my tuition, but I was still required to put their incomes on my FAFSA form. I received VERY little aid to attend BU, a school that costs over $50,000 per year to attend. With about $200,000 in student loan debt, and a degree in the arts, there is no end in sight to paying down my loans. Now I am stuck at home, totally dependent on my parents, working full time at a very poorly paying job, and giving every single paycheck directly to Sallie Mae. I know there are many others like me out there, and something needs to be done in this country about this insane system of robbing students blind.

Kyle    April 30, 2015    Philadelphia, PA   

I teach GED and other subjects at a small rural Native American College. I needed to be there to teach my people so I went on to get my education. I am a single mom and I don't get paid much as a teacher. I am needed here and I do not want to quit or move. I also take care of my disabled sister. I am coming due on loans that want $5-$600 a month to pay back but I will never have that kind on money. The whole reason I needed my education was to teach here and make a difference. I have no idea what I will do because I cannot make enough to make those kinds of payment. I drive a car that is from the 90's and I do not wear fancy clothes so I don't have any where to make budget cuts. Student debt put people like me in a bad position. We are trying to help others but we end up hurting ourselves!

Bambi    April 28, 2015    Pawnee, OK   

I am now approaching my 60th Birthday on May 10, 2015!
I have worked for 23 yrs for not for profit and as a single mother I got through the most challanging years financially. Or so I thought, approx 8 yrs ago I finally took the GED test and earned by GED. I went on to getting my BA in Health and Human Services and the three years ago I began a Masters Program at for Marriage and Family Therapy. I am graduating in a few short weeks!! I am very happy but I have now 118K in student loan debt. I am have health issues as well and I don't see a time I will be able to retire. I will not ever be able to pay back this hugh overwhelming loan and after working my entire life I wanted to retire and work with the disabled, veteran families and others in need of counseling who may not be able to afford it.
How will I ever be able to do this and my life will not ever be what I wanted in my later years. I have quite a few disabilities myself and yet I have to continue working to pay this hugh debt which I worry will keep me from paying my rent and other bills. What are my options - please, as a senior with disabilities I really need some help. There is alredy a $597 payment coming due by June - I need therapy - what did I do? So disappointed and distressed.

Andrea M. Santoro    April 28, 2015    Westchester, New York   

My husband and I both went to school at a public University. We thought that going to a public University would be cheaper in the long run but, we were wrong. I have a bachelors degree and half of a graduate degree. My husband has his bachelors and graduate degree. All in all, our student loan totals 260,000 dollars (private and federal). Our annual gross income is about 48,000 dollars. We have a baby that we can barely afford to buy nessisary things for. While our income is average for the place in which we live, our income is just enough to cover our loan payments of nearly 3,000 dollars a month. We are in desperate need of help like many other young adults struggling to pay their student loans. We only live once, and a large number of people in our generation (including my family) will never get to do the things any human should be able to do like eat,raise a family, have a decent place to live or enjoy life.

Kate    April 14, 2015    Illinois   

I graduated with $130K in student loans. I have a very good job that pays the bills, but it is not the career I wanted. I've put my dreams of being a professional pilot on hold, and see no easy of doing what i love for a living. If I continue to make normal payments, I will be 53 years old when my debt is paid.

Mike Beckwith    April 14, 2015    Ashburn, VA   

Upon graduation in 1989, I owed about 50k in Federal student loans. Due to times of unemployment or underemployment I now owe about 190k. I have had times of making serious payments, but it never got me ahead of any of it. The added on interest is down right criminal.

Thompson    April 12, 2015    Los Angeles   

I owe roughly 98k. My principle amount has surpassed the amount borrowed thanks to interest, unemployment, and a career in a highly competitive and saturated job market (making it ok for employers to pay you as low as possible). My only debt is student loan and car payments.

I'm barely hanging on trying to pay my life expenses and student loans. I live in the cheapest part of town (it's not safe to be outside after dark). For a while I forewent health insurance because I couldn't afford it, held full time and a part time job to help with expenses. I live in a high cost of living city; heavily taxed.

I feel so stressed and trapped in my life, that I often wonder if I would have been better off never going to college.
By the time I pay this off I will be in my 60s. This affects my decision in having children, affects my ability to own a home...

I'm living in an invisible prison.

Amy    April 11, 2015    Los Angeles   

Let me just start by saying this student load debt is out of control!! I graduated college in 1997 with a BA in merchandise management. I went to a private college so my tuition was kind of high. Upon graduation I couldn’t afford my student loan payments as I was just starting out in my field. Initially I could defer with no interest but after a couple of years I had to choose a Forbearance in which I didn’t have to pay but interest still accumulated. Mind you my field was in Fashion so in order to get decent jobs I had to live in cities with a high cost of living (Boston, NYC, and San Francisco). Finally in 2004 after working very hard in my field I was able to start paying on my loans. At this point, over $30K in interest had accumulated and my monthly payment was almost $500 a month for the next 25 years. In 2014 my partner and I moved from the East Coast back to the West Coast so I quit my job to make the move. After paying on my loans for 10 years my principal balance had only gone down about $2K the rest went to interest. While looking for a job the past year I had to put my loan in Forbearance again in which over $6K in interest has accumulated. I now owe more than I did when I started paying them back 10 years ago. That’s over $70K for just a Bachelors Degree!!! I thought about getting my Master’s degree I can’t afford any additional debt. As it is I will be paying on these until I am almost 70 years old!!! There needs to be some real reform and fast!!

D Martin    April 11, 2015    Los Angeles   

Student loans are controlling our lives and family plans. For me, it was not as bad. I did community college (best education I got) then transferred to a University. They offered night classes at reduced tuition so that I could work during the day. Downside is it took me nearly 9 years to get my Architecture Degree. Now I am paying about $565 a month in student loans. My fiance on the other hand, spent 4 years at a University for fashion marketing. She now owes $850/month on the "pay as you earn" repayment plan. The repayment plan reduced her current monthly loan payment but also increased the span of the loan and nearly doubled the overall interest. If she gets a raise or promotion she will pay more toward her loans. We both work 8:30-5:30 and spend 1½ hrs commuting per day from our one bedroom apartment between our two jobs. We can not get a mortgage together because of our debt to income ratio (only college loans and moderate car payments). Yes, in another couple years I will have my Architecture license and (hopefully) get a 20% raise and promotion but we will still be chasing our tails. I would love to start my own business one day but don't know if I can afford my loans and other debt with the initial pay cut (that's assuming I can successfully start and run a new firm at all).

We talk about starting a family after the wedding but realize it is nearly impossible without putting our child in daycare for 9-10 hours a day and still struggling to pay for that. Mom and Dad could help us babysit one or two days a week but that would only increase our commute and take time away from us to spend with our own child. The truth is, I don't see an end to this anytime soon and it is because of student loan debt. She is in a constantly stressed and now says she might not even want kids because she feels she would be depressed knowing someone else will be raising them.

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CJ A    April 9, 2015    New Jersey   
CJ A    April 9, 2015    New Jersey   

Student loans are controlling our lives and family plans. For me, it was not as bad. I did community college (best education I got) then transferred to a University. They offered night classes at reduced tuition so that I could work during the day. Downside is it took me nearly 9 years to get my Architecture Degree. Now I am paying about $565 a month in student loans. My fiance on the other hand, spent 4 years at a University for fashion marketing. She now owes $850/month on the "pay as you earn" repayment plan. The repayment plan reduced her current monthly loan payment but also increased the span of the loan and nearly doubled the overall interest. If she gets a raise or promotion she will pay more toward her loans. We both work 8:30-5:30 and spend 1½ hrs commuting per day from our one bedroom apartment between our two jobs. We can not get a mortgage together because of our debt to income ratio (only college loans and moderate car payments). Yes, in another couple years I will have my Architecture license and (hopefully) get a 20% raise and promotion but we will still be chasing our tails. I would love to start my own business one day but don't know if I can afford my loans and other debt with the initial pay cut (that's assuming I can successfully start and run a new firm at all).

We talk about starting a family after the wedding but realize it is nearly impossible without putting our child in daycare for 9-10 hours a day and still struggling to pay for that. Mom and Dad could help us babysit one or two days a week but that would only increase our commute and take time away from us to spend with our own child. The truth is, I don't see an end to this anytime soon and it is because of student loan debt. She is in a constantly stressed and now says she might not even want kids because she feels she would be depressed knowing someone else will be raising them. I am going to do everything and work every hour overtime, or pick up any side jobs I can to make it easier for her but this is no quality of life for either of us.

Don't get me wrong, we live comfortably, always have food on the table and can go out to dinner or and rent a movie occasionally but I urge young adults looking into college to seriously consider and TRULY understand the cost implications of college. Also consider what you want in life and what they are looking to achieve by going to college. It is too easy for a young adult (like me 10 years ago) to say I want to go to college and all I have to do is get a loan. Parents feel an obligation to encourage or at least not discourage their children from college. College Universities think nothing of raising tuition every year and building the biggest and best, most impressive campuses they can. No one seems to care or understand the effect it is having on this generation. I never realized what I was getting myself into. If I could do it over again, I never would have went to college. I would have joined the military or got a good union job close to home and focused on climbing the ladder or starting my own business.

OK, so I chose to take an online degree program for an Associates and then on to one for a Bachelors. Neither of them are worth anything and I continue to struggle, now more than prior since accruing massive debt.
I seem to finally get a tiny bit ahead in hopes to afford dental work I HIGHLY need. But No, my student loans want my money and I just can't seem to get anywhere. The more I put off the Dental work the more expensive it gets, and it's insane. Why should I have to settle for less Quality of Life because I tried to better myself with a couple degrees that require even more debt to be worth anything. I really need a solution before my health gets worse.

D. Larsen    April 9, 2015   

Back in 09, I started college at the age of 39. I was a single father of two teens and it was time to make a little more out of myself, set an example. I ended up going to Kaplan University, yeah way too expensive, but accelerated. Working full time, keeping up with a household for three, and attending classes full time. Now still $50k in debt, I'm paying loans that I think have a ridiculous amount of interest. I fortunately work in my field, but that turns out to be a who I know situation. Everyday I see more and more people moving to this country and expect high level positions with high level pay. Most of these people didn't have to pay for their education, their country took care of it., (Correct me if I'm wrong). The US offers breaks to these people trying to start a new life. I served this country to protect the rights of everyone here, including myself. I'm 45, I don't own a house, I drive a used car and I pay student loans. Why are people born in this country paying interest on an education? I'm far from racist,(filipina girlfriend), but why am I paying for something I needed to improve and all can move here and live and go to school on my dime??! Interest is covering the government giving money away! Everyone NEEDS to be on their congress and Senate representatives to remove interest.

Steve    April 7, 2015    San Jose, Ca.   

I have a bachelors degree and 10 years later I still have a lot of debt. I chose to work in the non-profit sector because I'm an idealist and care about helping people. I do help people but I live paycheck to paycheck. I don't want to be wealthy, I just want to be debt free, save a little money, and be able to afford an occasional vacation or save up to buy a home. At this point, I think the best option is to go be homeless in Hawaii! . . . I won't do this but I am being bitter and sarcastic.

Jules    April 6, 2015    California   

Growing up it was repeatedly mentioned to me that I must go to college in order to not live in poverty like my parents. I was told over & over again that if I went to college I would get help finding a career job, get a high paying job, be successful, I would become SOMEONE. I graduated in 2010 with a Biology degree, $25,000 in debt, and found out that the science job field is extremely competitive & lacking funding for high paying jobs. The only way I have been able to work in biology is by volunteering my free time for science projects or working for low paying internships that barely pay my living expenses. There is no way I can afford to pay chunks of my loans. I have been getting through life by working housekeeping & other odd jobs that dont require a college degree. Someone I still have hope that if I go to grad school I might become more competitive in the biology job field & be able to score a higher paying job then to pay off my students loans but it seems like an oxymoron to get in more debt to pay debt. I am low income, can't afford grad school so would probably need more loans. We need help, this is not just my story, my friends who graduated from college are also going through the same struggles.

Yesenia Rivera    April 6, 2015    Eureka, California   

I watch my debt grow even though I have never once missed a payment. I started making more money, and the loan became hungrier, asking for more and more, and no matter how much i paid when asked, the debt continues to grow, not shrink.

I would like to help the economy by spending, traveling, investing in small business and projects for social change. But my loan holder is too greedy, selfish, uncaring and unjust.

I wish I could pay every penny back at a reasonable rate, in a reasonable time frame, but instead this for profit industry stresses me out and aggravates me every time I see my balance and pay.

Diego G    April 5, 2015    NYC   

The biggest regret/ mistake of my life was rushing into law school without trying to apply to more schools and get better scholarship offers. Instead I went to the first decent school I got into even though they had a steep tuition and only gave me about 10k a year in scholarship, which didn't even cover my yearly rent there. I had good grades and a pretty good LSAT score too so it kills me every day that I didn't apply to more schools. I am now close to 2 years out of law school with about $210,000 in student loan debt. I have a horrible interest rate of 7.9 for most of my loans and I do not qualify for Pay As You Earn which would be the best repayment plan for me. When I first got out of law school I took a job at a mid-sized firm paying about $65k a year. I tried to do the 10 year repayment and moved back home. I was paying $2,000 a month for that plan. After I lost my job this past Oct. I had to put my loans in deferment but I've still had to pay about $1,100 a month in interest alone! So i've been funneling all of my unemployment money towards my loans. I have been fortunate in that my boyfriend has allowed me to live rent-free while I don't have a job. But the thing is that I want to be able to afford to pay rent, save money, buy a car, and do normal things that these loans are preventing. I'm 28 and I would like to have the money to get married, have kids, travel and LIVE. My only hope right now is finding a job in public service so I can do public service loan forgiveness. Also IBR has a 25 year forgiveness I think? So that would mean I would be in my early 50's when the rest would be forgiven. It's a really criminal system they have and I hope something changes that helps us all out in my lifetime.

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Emily    April 4, 2015    Brooklyn, NY   
Emily    April 4, 2015    Brooklyn, NY   

The biggest regret/ mistake of my life was rushing into law school without trying to apply to more schools and get better scholarship offers. Instead I went to the first decent school I got into even though they had a steep tuition and only gave me about 10k a year in scholarship, which didn't even cover my yearly rent there. I had good grades and a pretty good LSAT score too so it kills me every day that I didn't apply to more schools. I am now close to 2 years out of law school with about $210,000 in student loan debt. I have a horrible interest rate of 7.9 for most of my loans and I do not qualify for Pay As You Earn which would be the best repayment plan for me. When I first got out of law school I took a job at a mid-sized firm paying about $65k a year. I tried to do the 10 year repayment and moved back home. I was paying $2,000 a month for that plan. After I lost my job this past Oct. I had to put my loans in deferment but I've still had to pay about $1,100 a month in interest alone! So i've been funneling all of my unemployment money towards my loans. I have been fortunate in that my boyfriend has allowed me to live rent-free while I don't have a job. But the thing is that I want to be able to afford to pay rent, save money, buy a car, and do normal things that these loans are preventing. I'm 28 and I would like to have the money to get married, have kids, travel and LIVE. My only hope right now is finding a job in public service so I can do public service loan forgiveness. Also IBR has a 25 year forgiveness I think? So that would mean I would be in my early 50's when the rest would be forgiven. It's a really criminal system they have and I hope something changes that helps us all out in my lifetime. Good luck to everyone here.

I am currently so far in debt my house payments are 11 months behind, my electric has been threatened to be turned off every month for the past 6 months and I cant seem to keep enough food in the damned house on a weekly bases. Now the stupid government who dont seem to care want me to start paying back my student loans in May at $780.67/Month. Where do they think the money is going to come from...my ass. If their is an answere please let me know. Oh and i'm a disabled veteran that feels like he's been shit on by the very country he served.'

Randy Lahnum    April 3, 2015    Coldwater, MI   

When I was a high school senior there was no doubt that college was necessary for a