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Real Student Debt Stories

 

I promised by mother before she passed I would finish my degree. I started back to school, using student loans to finance my debt. I received by bachelors and felt forced to get my masters just to be able to place myself in deferment because I couldn't afford to pay my loans. I became a mother myself and had believed that if I obtained my masters, I would find the ultimate job that would help me pay back my student loans fast. I was wrong. Industries are relying more on skillsets these days than degrees. The interest that I am being charged on my loans is absurd and I am going to end up paying more for my loans that I do for my the value of my home. I struggle to make a payment monthly but still do in order to continue to have good credit. Everytime I make a payment I cant afford, it goes unnoticed because the balance never decreases and the interest just continues to add up. I am missing out on experiencing life and being able to take my daughter on vacations or make memories outside of the home because everything we do has to be budgeted. I have called Navient a million times asking for assistance and no one is ever willing to help. I am told that if I don't make the payment, the government has the right to obtain their money by taking directly from my check or seizing my home. I feel hopeless and scammed.

Rebecca Anthony    November 23, 2018    Columbus   

I obtained a masters in organizational management specializing Project Management and double major bachelor's in organizational management and accounting by end of 2014. It is proven the degrees are wothless being only priced investment. It was not viable regards higher paying jobs but rather over $1100 repayment requests for a $162,000 student debt. Not only have it been useless in the job market, i am no longer maketable because of the multitude of temporary emloyment gigs taken to keep temporary income flow. It is disheartening to take emloyment attaining the same pay as high school graduates. I have been unemployed since 2016 never been able to make any payments to begin repaying the debt.

Jacqueline Dixon    November 19, 2018    Columbus   

Our undergrad arts-based degrees had accumulated about $70,000. We knew what we were getting into the second time - $80,000-$100,000 each for two graduate degrees from well respected colleges. Interest rates seemed reasonable, until we factored in the Grad-Plus interest rates, at ~7% on over 50% of the loan amount. By the time we graduated and tried to find employment there wasn't an apparent way out. Family was deferred, travel was deferred, life was deferred. The bullies at work sensed the weakness and took advantage of the vulnerability. We were going to be in the hole until we were 65, if things went well. But, we got lucky. We found a house with a hole in the roof that was owned by the bank. A proper lemon we picked up with all of our savings. 4 years and thousands of hours and dollars later, we were able to sell the place for enough to cover all our student debt. This changed our lives. It is too late for kids, but we were able to start again from zero and have some freedom to abandon our awful employment in search of more use and purpose. It isn't practical for everyone to get out this way. How is it that this could ever be considered an option? We remember the loss, the pain, and the fear and continue to follow and support the need for manageable education costs to invigorate our culture and economy. It is trite, but sometimes small opportunities present themselves that lead to hope, and escape. We are with you working towards a reasonable future. Stay as strong as you can.

Chris    November 19, 2018    Seattle   

I work full time and I’m still in school but my first year they shut off my food plan and refused to feed me until I paid in full. I’m still paying off the school and my financial aid and cannot get a private loan because im 19.

Erynne    November 18, 2018    Indianapolis   

So I married and had children young keeping up the family tradition. I divorced and decided that I would not work multiple minimum wage jobs to support my children; their father was a deadbeat, but now a millionaire , go figure. I am now 57 years old, children are grown, and my student loan debt for both a bachelors and masters degree, has ballooned from $75,000 to 130,000 over the past 15 years or so. Oh I make enough money to support myself and pay student loans under income based program, but these loans will never be paid off and I have grown to hate my chosen career path. Yes, my plan worked- get an education and be able to support myself and my children. But was it worth the debt and burnout I now experience? I am not so sure of that. Would have liked another career but could not afford more time in school or more debt, so I went the "practical" route. I am extremely thankful that I never took a private loan and I was able to lock in at a 3.5 % interest rate. And of course I am thankful for income based payment plans. In some sense, I am one of the "lucky ones", but still miserable and in debt til the day I die.

Donna    November 17, 2018    Baton Rouge   

So I married and had children young keeping up the family tradition. I divorced and decided that I would not work multiple minimum wage jobs to support my children; their father was a deadbeat, but now a millionaire , go figure. I am now 57 years old, children are grown, and my student loan debt for both a bachelors and masters degree, has ballooned from $75,000 to 130,000 over the past 15 years or so. Oh I make enough money to support myself and pay student loans under income based program, but these loans will never be paid off and I have grown to hate my chosen career path. Yes, my plan worked- get an education and be able to support myself and my children. But was it worth the debt and burnout I now experience? I am not so sure of that. Would have liked another career but could not afford more time in school or more debt, so I went the "practical" route. I am extremely thankful that I never took a private loan and I was able to lock in at a 3.5 % interest rate. And of course I am thankful for income based payment plans. In some sense, I am one of the "lucky ones", but still miserable and in debt til the day I die.

Donna    November 17, 2018    Baton Rouge   

I tried going to school with student loans but was unable to finish because of my undiagnosed autism. I appealed after getting my official diagnosis to get my financial aid back but was rejected. Now I'm in the hole with my student loans and can't get them forgiven. I may have to start paying them back, which means I may have to find another job. What they'll never tell you: Student loan holders are legitimate loan sharks. They'll take it all away. I wish I had never gone, found more options that never had anything to do with loans or the military.

A. Emmanuel Abua    November 17, 2018    Dunwoody   

There was no doubt that our two son's would go to a Trade School or College. It was the one thing we could do to help them with the way the job market was going. We saved for it. I had questioned why we couldn't just take the money out of our savings and get it done with and our Financial Advisor explained that we should do it after we retired and have a lower taxable income.. We did not have that big of an income to begin with. My Husband was a teacher and I was an Instructional Aide. So in 2008/2009 while my husband was retiring at 67 the market crashed, we lost a lot of equity in our home of 30 years and we lost most of our investments. Either one of them could of paid the College Loans easily with money left over. . We had already sold our house of 30 years and were moving to a house we built in another state. We tried paying the loans off by withdrawing funds monthly from what was left but that was a joke. Even at the percentage we had most of the money we paid did not go to the Principle. When we moved back to IL, we moved into a more economical house. We then took out equity from the house to pay for the college loans. I know my son's still have their part to pay. I just think that anyone who was retiring or graduating from school when the crash came should of gotten a pass. We paid $76,000. Oh, and both sons had Scholarships and work while going to school. And I know we did not work for all those years to be worried about paying bills.

Susan Granias    November 16, 2018    Lombard   

I went back to school in 2001 as a young mother of two children, and stopped working as a registered daycare provider to go full time. My husband was a culinary grad, working a job that had insurance but didn’t pay very well. I took out loans to pay for my entire education, not fully understanding what I was getting myself into. When I left with my masters degree, I had $60,000 in loans to pay off. I deferred payments and when I finally was financially able to begin making them, my dept had accrued $20,000 in interest! The first payments I could afford went towards interest only, and didn’t even touch my principal balance! I cried every time I wrote out that monthly check, with that knowledge. As a speech language pathologist in a title 1 school, I was introduced to a federal loan forgiveness program, which is income based and allows for 120 on time payments with forgiveness of the loan balance after that. I pay $535 per month now, which increases each year as my salary does. My final monthly payments will be at least double that, and when all is said and done, although I am so grateful to be enrolled in this program, when all is said and done I will have payed almost double for my education! I also know that the new administration is trying to cut student loan forgiveness programs like mine, and am hopeful that this will not occur. Higher education is supposed to help you achieve financial security and a better quality of life and our federal government and big banks are robbing citizens of this to line their own pockets! It is truly a shame . Now my children are both young adults. My son is attending SUNY Ulster, working and paying for his own education out of pocket (with some scholarship assistance). He feels limited in his choices related to higher education because he fears getting into student loan debt. My husband and I still live paycheck to paycheck and wish we could support his and my daughter’s future endeavors.

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Denise    November 16, 2018    New Paltz   
Denise    November 16, 2018    New Paltz   

I went back to school in 2001 as a young mother of two children, and stopped working as a registered daycare provider to go full time. My husband was a culinary grad, working a job that had insurance but didn’t pay very well. I took out loans to pay for my entire education, not fully understanding what I was getting myself into. When I left with my masters degree, I had $60,000 in loans to pay off. I deferred payments and when I finally was financially able to begin making them, my dept had accrued $20,000 in interest! The first payments I could afford went towards interest only, and didn’t even touch my principal balance! I cried every time I wrote out that monthly check, with that knowledge. As a speech language pathologist in a title 1 school, I was introduced to a federal loan forgiveness program, which is income based and allows for 120 on time payments with forgiveness of the loan balance after that. I pay $535 per month now, which increases each year as my salary does. My final monthly payments will be at least double that, and when all is said and done, although I am so grateful to be enrolled in this program, when all is said and done I will have payed almost double for my education! I also know that the new administration is trying to cut student loan forgiveness programs like mine, and am hopeful that this will not occur. Higher education is supposed to help you achieve financial security and a better quality of life and our federal government and big banks are robbing citizens of this to line their own pockets! It is truly a shame . Now my children are both young adults. My son is attending SUNY Ulster, working and paying for his own education out of pocket (with some scholarship assistance). He feels limited in his choices related to higher education because he fears getting into student loan debt. My husband and I still live paycheck to paycheck and wish we could support his and my daughter’s future endeavors. I know we are not alone in this struggle and am so thankful for those who are standing up against this madness!

I started out of high school with a Student load to assist with a local state college. However, the ease of Financial Aid was not really explained other than it would be a debt you could pay off after college. Once life happened, deferment and forbearance, a debt of 40K became a debt of 80K, currently a professional career, raising 2 children, and I live paycheck to paycheck with nothing in my savings account. I am 43 with a debt I doubt I will be able to pay, and I can not imagine any way to pay it back. My life will never be a dream, though I have struggled and worked to be an educated citizen, a professional and give back to my community. I may not be able to help my children through their college, let alone their financial needs. Had I known this I would not have taken on loans, I would not have riddled myself with a debt that is so massive and chargeable. It is a shame and a process that needs to be evaluated. Bankruptcy filing would be the only way to help me, and that would be a clean slate, with room to live and breathe!

Maria A. Cruz    November 15, 2018    Holland   

I went to college later in life. I began at 46 and then I went to school 7 years straight. After receiving my masters in 2003 I began making payments on my student debt. In 2009 the government came up with a loan forgiveness program. So I consolidated my loans under Federal Direct Loans. In February of 2020 I will have been making loan payments for the 10 years working for a non profit. I was going to retire in February of 2020. I did what I was supposed to do and still get screwed. I made life changing decisions based on the repayment of that loan. I could have gotten a job with a higher income but I stayed at the non profit to get my school loan paid and forgiven in 2020. I have been working at the same non profit for 15 years with low income. I feel that I have been hoodwinked into thinking the government would actually do what they were promising to do. I am sick to my stomach about this.

Harvey Wiley    November 15, 2018    Davenport, IA   

I graduated in 2000 with a debt of $ 45000. I made my payments and did not live above my means through this time. I made my last student debt payment in o ctober of 2017. I feel relieved to be done with that. I did not return to school for a master's degree because I knew I could not afford another round of school. I make less than $35000 a year. I played my bills that I said I would.

ke    November 15, 2018    lakewood   

Sadly, it seems that I am another statistic. I currently owe 139,932 dollars in student loan debt. My minimum monthly payment is around 800 per month. That is around the average mortgage payment in America. I have applied for a loan consolidation to minimize payments based on income. It is difficult and very stressful mainly because I cannot buy a home. When lenders see this on my credit report, it is an automatic denial. I work in manufacturing now, the highest paying job that I have ever had. However, it is not what my degree was in, as I studied management and hoped to get my PhD. I wanted to teach at the collegiate level, make a difference, be a part of something great, make a change, or contribution. With this debt I feel like a failure. Im doing a job someone with a high school diploma could do and it is not in my degree of study. I am thankful I have a job, but it is so discouraging when you work hard, do the best you can, and you want a home for yourself and your family, and cant get one. My father is disabled and my mom has filed for her disability due to blindness. Both graduated high school, worked minimum wage or trade jobs. I saw them struggle financially over the years because of job loss, job security and I made this solemn vow to be financially independent and not to make similar mistakes that they did. That was one purpose of going to college was to be successful, grow, do something great, make a difference, use necessary skills in the workplace to be marketable and make a living that I could survive. That hasn't happened yet. Granted, the area I live in is economically depressed and there are many people with low jncome in the area. I dont want a mansion, I dont want a fancy, big dream home, I just want a place to call mine. The student debt hurts your credit score just because it is on the credit report. I have had to give up pursuing my PhD for now because of the astronomical expense of going to college and to help my parents since their health has been rough.

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Matthew    November 15, 2018    Harrogate   
Matthew    November 15, 2018    Harrogate   

Sadly, it seems that I am another statistic. I currently owe 139,932 dollars in student loan debt. My minimum monthly payment is around 800 per month. That is around the average mortgage payment in America. I have applied for a loan consolidation to minimize payments based on income. It is difficult and very stressful mainly because I cannot buy a home. When lenders see this on my credit report, it is an automatic denial. I work in manufacturing now, the highest paying job that I have ever had. However, it is not what my degree was in, as I studied management and hoped to get my PhD. I wanted to teach at the collegiate level, make a difference, be a part of something great, make a change, or contribution. With this debt I feel like a failure. Im doing a job someone with a high school diploma could do and it is not in my degree of study. I am thankful I have a job, but it is so discouraging when you work hard, do the best you can, and you want a home for yourself and your family, and cant get one. My father is disabled and my mom has filed for her disability due to blindness. Both graduated high school, worked minimum wage or trade jobs. I saw them struggle financially over the years because of job loss, job security and I made this solemn vow to be financially independent and not to make similar mistakes that they did. That was one purpose of going to college was to be successful, grow, do something great, make a difference, use necessary skills in the workplace to be marketable and make a living that I could survive. That hasn't happened yet. Granted, the area I live in is economically depressed and there are many people with low jncome in the area. I dont want a mansion, I dont want a fancy, big dream home, I just want a place to call mine. The student debt hurts your credit score just because it is on the credit report. I have had to give up pursuing my PhD for now because of the astronomical expense of going to college and to help my parents since their health has been rough. I honestly, dont know what the answer is. I am one of many struggling to get by. I think that credit requirements should be looked at differently, especially when someone has them in deferment. I think that companies should pay more of a living wage, a higher wage especially with the corporate tax cut given. There always is a give and take it seems when one thing good happens, something else comes along to mess it up.

I went to graduate school in 2001. It was the greatest mistake I have ever made. Taking out student loans for graduate school has prevented me from purchasing a house until 2017. I also chose not to have a family because I simply cannot afford it, and I am never home because I have to work two jobs (and have done so for 14 years) to make the payments, which are over $600 a month (I am on an income based repayment plan). with a 5% interest rate, I simply cannot keep up on the loan, even when I am making the payments, and it has skyrocketed to over $115K. I worked in a non profit for 12 years, hoping to be eligible for the student forgiveness policy, but with our current administration I know that is not going to be an option.

Denise    November 14, 2018    Seward   

I'm 73 and went to college in Montana at a time this greedy evil was unthinkable. As a veteran middle school teacher, I'm outraged and seeth inside to think this abuse is national "policy. "

Paul Sanderson    November 14, 2018    West Hollywood   

As a future educator I didn't think, at the age of 22, that I would accumulate as much student loan debt that I have. Educators are REQUIRED to go back to school in order to keep certification. When the salaries are as low as they are, especially in urban schools, how do you expect people to NOT have student loan debt? You need to in order to keep your job! Retirement as a teacher is not enough to pay student loan debt as well. It's ridiculous!

J. Johnson    November 14, 2018    St. Louis   

I believed that I was doing what was best for myself and my family, but it has only gotten me further in debt. In addition, I make a little over 50 yearly and cannot afford my student loan payment and struggle monthly just to pay the basics, I am still in school owing more than 100,000 and see no relief in my future, only struggling more as I will have to start paying on them more upon 6 months of graduating. I cannot buy a home due to the student loans. I do not think I will ever make enough to pay off the debt and only hope my children will not have to pay.
Thank you,
Lisa

Lisa Parker    November 14, 2018    Cheney   

I am a PhD student in evolutionary biology and I went to a state school for my BS in part because it was cheaper than private schools and in part because lots of exciting research happens there. My parents were too poor to pay for anything but books so I payed for all my living expenses with student loans. As a PhD student I don't make enough to make any payments towards my debt so now after the interest building throughout my PhD I owe ~$100,000. I am now married and interested in having kids, but even with two incomes we can barely afford paying for food and housing. My wife has her own student debt, although smaller than mine, and I don't know if we'll ever be able to afford having kids before my wife leaves reproductive age.

David Hufnagel    November 14, 2018    Nevada, IA   

My story is simple and unfortunate. Basically, I made the difficult decision to disregard my student loans completely. This choice will likely bring future consequences, but after paying my loans for a year, I realized that I had been somewhat deceived as to what a burden these debts would be to my life after school. I made the decision as a single mom to live my life without this monthly burden.
Thank you for all you do to correct this horrible system.
Rebekah

rebekah bossard    November 14, 2018    bellingham   

I am an immigrant from Mexico. First generation college graduate. I was able to graduate from college without debt, but when I decided to go to law school I had to take loans because I could not work and keep up with the workload, English being my second language and all. I happened to meet my husband right before taking the LSAT and we married in the summer I started law school. I was surprised by a pregnancy two months after our wedding. My daughter was born during finals of my first year of law school. She was born prematurely and had to be in the hospital for 6 weeks. I finish law school on time and pass the bar, but could not get a job because of my low grades. It took me six months to find a job in the legal field and I was hired as a legal assistant (not even paralegal). Because I had gone to private school, my loans were very high. I started deferring my loans because of my low income and family situation. I was promoted to associate attorney but then I was laid off when I had a second child--I didn't want my daughter to grow up as an only child. I went on maternity leave and I before I was set to return to work I was told the firm could not rehire me. I was unemployed for six months and I deferred my loans again. Then I started my own law office. I practice immigration law and most of my clients are low income. After four years as a solo attorney, I am doing well enough to pay my monthly bills but I can't seem to earn enough to make 2K monthly payments. My debt has double and just thinking about it makes me nauseous. I tried to settle my debt. I was ready to pay the full original amount of the loan but I was told I cannot settle. I have to pay the full amount. The interest has capitalized many times over now. It's like a mountain is sitting on my head and I can't get from under it.

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Maribel    November 14, 2018    Seattle   
Maribel    November 14, 2018    Seattle   

I am an immigrant from Mexico. First generation college graduate. I was able to graduate from college without debt, but when I decided to go to law school I had to take loans because I could not work and keep up with the workload, English being my second language and all. I happened to meet my husband right before taking the LSAT and we married in the summer I started law school. I was surprised by a pregnancy two months after our wedding. My daughter was born during finals of my first year of law school. She was born prematurely and had to be in the hospital for 6 weeks. I finish law school on time and pass the bar, but could not get a job because of my low grades. It took me six months to find a job in the legal field and I was hired as a legal assistant (not even paralegal). Because I had gone to private school, my loans were very high. I started deferring my loans because of my low income and family situation. I was promoted to associate attorney but then I was laid off when I had a second child--I didn't want my daughter to grow up as an only child. I went on maternity leave and I before I was set to return to work I was told the firm could not rehire me. I was unemployed for six months and I deferred my loans again. Then I started my own law office. I practice immigration law and most of my clients are low income. After four years as a solo attorney, I am doing well enough to pay my monthly bills but I can't seem to earn enough to make 2K monthly payments. My debt has double and just thinking about it makes me nauseous. I tried to settle my debt. I was ready to pay the full original amount of the loan but I was told I cannot settle. I have to pay the full amount. The interest has capitalized many times over now. It's like a mountain is sitting on my head and I can't get from under it. This affects my husband as we may have to use his 401K to pay the debt, and my children as I cannot start a college savings plan for them. I just don't earn enough

I received Pell Grants and only once had to take out a 2000 dollar loan when I went to college. I became a teacher and was able to buy a home and raise a family. Now that I am getting closer to my retirement, I currently have over $46,000 worth of debt and my children haven’t finished school yet. I have a son who is only a freshman and another in middle school so it is easy to project that my debt will be well into six figures by the time my children are done with school and able to take over the parent plus loans I signed off on for their education. When we as a society force people to choose between debt or education that is a dangerous bargain we strike. Education should not be solely a luxury of the very rich.

Teresa Scarpace    November 14, 2018    Thousand Oaks   

I started in a community college and didn't finished, fora family reason,and I signed a parent loan for my son. now I have 25,000 loan and I work as PCA with 12$/hr. and this ruined my credit score. I have no way to pay this loan

Thoria Ali    November 14, 2018    Savage   

I thought I was doing the right thing by returning to school. My plan was to go to school, get a bachelors degree in Business Management and get the ideal job making at least $60,000 a year but life happened. During the process of attending school, I ended up not finishing because my job close down and I had to relocate in order to keep working and the credits that I had from the school I was attending would not transfer to my new school and therefore I had to repeat several classes again. When I finally ran out of financing for school I was only 4 classes from getting my degree. And by now my student loan debt was now over $50,000. Some of the debt incurred when I had a fire and was homeless and the school advanced me additional funds. Now the $50,000 has ballooned to over $100,000 and my income has never gotten over $40,000 a year and that is a stretch because I only made that for 1 year. I just know that there is no way I can pay those loans with my current income and I can only pray and hope for a forgiveness. I’m 54 years old now and cannot afford to pay back these loans with the current income I’m bring in.

Thanks for listening to my story.

LaVelle Thompson    November 14, 2018    Memphis   

I am a college graduate with a Masters in Teaching. Because I took out loans under the George W. Bush administration, my interest rate is locked and I just watch my debt increase from month to month with no end in sight. My original loan debt was around$60,000. It has now quadrupled! I now owe over $250,000, almost $200,000 in interest alone! As an educator I simply don't know how I will ever be able to pay this off, or get out from under this crushing debt, even though I have made payments and am on an income sensitive repayment plan.

Robyn    November 14, 2018    Olympia   

I graduated from undergrad in 2009 and graduate school in 2011. I've since then paid the amount I have borrowed toward my loans, yet I "owe" just as much still because of atrocious interest rates and an income that just doesn't go up fast enough. I make a great living, but it ALL goes to my loans, and they still never seem to go down. I feel like I can't live-- I can't go on trips, I can't buy new clothes, I can barely afford my car payments and gas to put in it to go to the grocery store and back. I will never get out of this debt hell.

JESSICA BENOIT    November 14, 2018    SALEM   

Sought out to achieve at some of the highest levels of academics, and found out a good majority of working institutions had withdrawn many previous ideals on how that could be all achieved. Had to work more in between jobs, and thereby, could not prepare for what I was more prepped and committed to. Thereby, saw long term prospects of paying off loans indeed a more longer and substantial term then what I could have perceived. Other factors involved with it, had concerns at times with loan specialists seemingly not being as concerned about it as myself. Lots of circumstances in relation to it were not given their equal weight: examples like; getting a sustaining long term job that could help fulfill payments, not having credit scores effected, and overall manageability about just going on with normal life events. I know the loan companies eventually started getting more on to these problems, but it seemed to be a far more late event than what would have seemed a more reasonable response if it had been done far sooner. So, as a result, it's been a scattered response, at best...

John Rivoldini    November 14, 2018    Chehalis   

I excited graduate school in 1984 owing $8000.00. Currently, I owe $12,000.00. I have never been able to make my payments on a regular basis and see no prospects in the near future. I can retire early next year, but there remains my student loan debt. I am planning to start a graduate degree program next year and can once again defer my payments. But, my student loan will be there! Like a great nemesis, that debt will still be there.

I have declared bankruptcy once, and plan to do so again. But, still, the nemesis is looming. I plan to ask the court to dismiss the loan this time, but I know they are loath to do so. For 34 years I have had this burden. Every time I start to make enough money to live a "normal" life, the demon rears its ugly head. I do not think I will ever be able to pay this debt and it is a detriment to my life.

Eppson Taylor    November 14, 2018    Brevard   

I have HIV. When I got my student loans I never thought I would be living with a virus that requires me to take a very expensive pill daily and have to see a doctor for routine blood work every three months. I talked to my student loan provider and they said I would need to be considered totally disabled before they would forgive my loan. Now, think what that says about our society. People with a lifelong illness such as HIV, MS, Chrons disease, cancer or many others did not know they were going to be ill later in life when they signed the loan agreements. Also, what's the purpose of a government back loan if they won't allow you to default. The whole purpose for the government backing the loan was to get lenders to loan to the student and agreeing to pay the loan in the event the student was not able to for various reasons. We need to scrap this system and create a new system, either we offer free education to all in the public system or we make the student loan system a not for profit system and the loans simple interest loans. That would at least get the vulture out of the student loan market. We also need to create a nonprofit organization to provide assistance to individuals with illnesses by purchasing their loans an forgiving the loan.

James Derek Rounsley    November 14, 2018    Brookhaven   

The biggest loss for me is not being able to afford children. I've wanted children for as long as I could remember. I never imagined a life without them. I've worked in a non-profit environment for to qualify for forgiveness of my student loans, but in so doing, I've been making $10,000-20,000 under my worth, and I still have 6.5 more years of payments to make. I feel trapped...

Melissa C.    November 14, 2018    Saint Paul   

I am an educator and struggled for years getting my finances under control. Now that my payments are going into repayment in which the payment will be higher then my car payment I don’t know what I will do. America needs a forgiveness program now!

Yovanna Pomarico    November 14, 2018    Chicago   

I graduated from Michigan Tech University in 1977. I paid out-of-state tuition of about $500/quarter or $1500/year along with about $2000/academic year for housing and food, etc. I had a National Defense Student Loan at 2% interest. In those days, the state of Michigan supported its public universities at about 35% of university budget, if I recall correctly. Far more than state support is at today, which is around 15%. Therein lay part of the problem with exploding student debt today! The other is much higher interest rates now than back then. I stand with Senator Bernie Sanders and others that we as a nation ought to provide a tuition-free college education to all matriculated college students! It is simply a matter of budget priorities and the will and wisdom to invest in our students, our future! Debt burden ought not to play a huge role in what career path a graduate wishes to follow!

Rebecca Freund    November 14, 2018    Houghton   

I started chiropractic school at 34 years old and am much happier with my professional career now compared to what I was doing for 10 years after undergrad. However, I am close to $200,000 in debt from student loans, which I accepted as the price of my education. The frustrating issue I have with the student loans is we cannot refinance unless we go with a private loan company. The government is making millions upon millions of dollars in interest from student loan debt. Please change the laws to allow us to refinance and save money.

To    November 14, 2018    Bloomfield Hills   

I currently owe around $172,000, after 5 years of repayment. I pay over $2,000 in loan payments a month and have not been able to get into the field of my choice because I cannot afford to take an initial pay cut. I am lucky to have a partner who helps me and supports me but he has mentioned to me that he has not proposed because of my loan debt. I am 28 and would like to have children soon, but with this debt, I do not this that is an option. I want to save found a downpayment on a house but It is difficult with so much debt. Long story short, this debt is holding me back from my dreams. I currently work two jobs, 9-5 during the week and bartending on the weekends, which leaves me no days off for myself. And I am paying as much as I can but I still feel like it is not enough. I am scared that my rates will keep going up and I will never finish paying them off.

Alana Segura    November 14, 2018    Miami   

I was born in to a poor family. My mom has a blindness disease called stargardt and my dad was the only one working. I was born in windber , pa then moved to Alexandria , Va when my dad got a job at an apartment complex. I live there until the end of 3rd grade. That summer my parents were going through a speration and my mom moved back to Pennsylvania with me and my sister.

My father would help out by providing money to my mom for food and rent but we relied on food stamps and her social security check to get by.

My sister wasn’t happy in pa and moved back in with my dad then after my mother chose to live with an alcoholic I had to leave (her choice). I moved in with my farther.

He couldn’t afford the rent in Alexandria anymore with 2 kids, food and bills. He met a woman online and after a few months they met and he was dating her. Thought living with her was a nightmare.

My partners made me get a job when I was 16. I couldn’t have a car until I bought one my self and my parents would not let me get my drivers license until I was 18.

The summer when I graduated high school I was told by my “step mother” that I was being kicked out. It was either college or work but I wasn’t staying there.

I knew college would welcome opportunities beyond my current education so I went that route. I applied to WVU and was accepted by had to attend a smaller school called Potoma State College of WVU. I bought a car in June and by August it had died so I was careless and my parents wouldn’t help in anyway.

I had no money. My parents wouldn’t help me out. So I took out student loans. At one point I was kicked out of WVU because I still owed 1,000 for a semester and my “step mother” convinced my father not to help me.

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Daniel Teore    November 14, 2018    Frederick   
Daniel Teore    November 14, 2018    Frederick   

I was born in to a poor family. My mom has a blindness disease called stargardt and my dad was the only one working. I was born in windber , pa then moved to Alexandria , Va when my dad got a job at an apartment complex. I live there until the end of 3rd grade. That summer my parents were going through a speration and my mom moved back to Pennsylvania with me and my sister.

My father would help out by providing money to my mom for food and rent but we relied on food stamps and her social security check to get by.

My sister wasn’t happy in pa and moved back in with my dad then after my mother chose to live with an alcoholic I had to leave (her choice). I moved in with my farther.

He couldn’t afford the rent in Alexandria anymore with 2 kids, food and bills. He met a woman online and after a few months they met and he was dating her. Thought living with her was a nightmare.

My partners made me get a job when I was 16. I couldn’t have a car until I bought one my self and my parents would not let me get my drivers license until I was 18.

The summer when I graduated high school I was told by my “step mother” that I was being kicked out. It was either college or work but I wasn’t staying there.

I knew college would welcome opportunities beyond my current education so I went that route. I applied to WVU and was accepted by had to attend a smaller school called Potoma State College of WVU. I bought a car in June and by August it had died so I was careless and my parents wouldn’t help in anyway.

I had no money. My parents wouldn’t help me out. So I took out student loans. At one point I was kicked out of WVU because I still owed 1,000 for a semester and my “step mother” convinced my father not to help me. So I could not get a co signer on the load and was kicked out of school. I couldn’t transfer because my transcripts were being held for ransom by WVU for the tuition payment. So I had no choice but to move back in with my “step mother” and farther.

My parents had since moved to a new area (a new house was being built) but they were living in a cabin until then. Yet they couldn’t help me out with tuition and left all my personal items (from when to college) out side. The natural elements (rain and heat) had destroyed all my cloths , electronics , toys etc.. everything was gone and they never cared.

I never wanted to go back. I knew I had to move forward and the only way to do that was by education. So I got a job at a local casino, repaid wvu, and worked full time and finally was able to go back to school.

I changed my degree 3 times and finally settled on graphic and web design.

I’ve had issue off and in with employment. I’ve never mad more than 15.00 an hour and with a car payment , rent, food. It’s impossible to make a 350 dollar student loan payment. I’ve had so many deferments on my account and I owe about 75,000. I’ve only been career
Stable for over a year now and still can not afford the $450 monthly payment.

My story includes my own student loan debts, as well as my son. I am currently in $35, 600 student loan debt, but this is not counting the student loan debt from my son. I co-signed on 4 of his loans (totaling $40,000), which puts me in approximately over $75,000. I am hoping that I can remove my name off of his loan after 18 months of him paying the debts. But, most importantly my heart goes out to my son, because he will be faced with over $100,000 worth of debt when he graduate in May 2019. I am already worried about his future in knowing my child will have to be faced with all this debt, before he even get started with life. I just pray something will give where all kids, don't have to be up against a student loan debt battle, before they can get a taste of life. They say go out and get an education, but look at the consequences you have to face when you do. Thank you for reading my story.

Ivory Rivers-Scott    November 14, 2018    Howell   

My daughter has $100,000 in debt. She went to a 4 year university. Although she has a full time job. She is unable to rent an apartment because she is burdened with large payments. This has caused mental anguish. She suffers from stress, anxiety and depression.

Linda Adler    November 14, 2018    Cloverdale   

About half way through my second year of a for profit college I began to have deep regrets. I thought what have I got myself into? I attended a public college prior to this. It took about seven to eight years total since I was doing college part time and working 12 hrs a day. I was working hard to have a full time job and go to a public college. I worked at manufacturer job in a warehouse until they closed down and shipped that production line to China. Afterwards, I began jumping from minimum wage jobs to help pay for college tuition. Shortly after my departure from the warehouse. I got my associates degree. I would later find that it was not enough to receive a better paying job. My parents would constantly jump on to me to finish my bachelor's degree. So that I could get a good paying job . Little did I know back then that technology and cheap labor cost will put many Americans out of work today. Anyhow, I did what many young people do and I went back to school to better myself. I needed to get out of this situation so I did. I went to a for profit college. The schools name was Full Sail University. This is where I gained a great deal of emotional distress. It has finacially crippled me and caused many problems. When, I began this college I was extremely excited. I thought this could help me get into a good paying job. Little did i know again, I was going to be in the worst situation of my life. I found this school to be misleading, pushy, competitive, fast pace, lack of retaining any knowledge, and very costly for nothing. The information is crammed in a four week class. Each class is something different. One minute you are painting a picture, the next minute you're writing a story, the next minute you're, programming, next minute animation, next minute 3d modeling, next minute you are rigging, next minute you're doing a basic math course and so on.....

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shawn    November 14, 2018    Oak Ridge   
shawn    November 14, 2018    Oak Ridge   

About half way through my second year of a for profit college I began to have deep regrets. I thought what have I got myself into? I attended a public college prior to this. It took about seven to eight years total since I was doing college part time and working 12 hrs a day. I was working hard to have a full time job and go to a public college. I worked at manufacturer job in a warehouse until they closed down and shipped that production line to China. Afterwards, I began jumping from minimum wage jobs to help pay for college tuition. Shortly after my departure from the warehouse. I got my associates degree. I would later find that it was not enough to receive a better paying job. My parents would constantly jump on to me to finish my bachelor's degree. So that I could get a good paying job . Little did I know back then that technology and cheap labor cost will put many Americans out of work today. Anyhow, I did what many young people do and I went back to school to better myself. I needed to get out of this situation so I did. I went to a for profit college. The schools name was Full Sail University. This is where I gained a great deal of emotional distress. It has finacially crippled me and caused many problems. When, I began this college I was extremely excited. I thought this could help me get into a good paying job. Little did i know again, I was going to be in the worst situation of my life. I found this school to be misleading, pushy, competitive, fast pace, lack of retaining any knowledge, and very costly for nothing. The information is crammed in a four week class. Each class is something different. One minute you are painting a picture, the next minute you're writing a story, the next minute you're, programming, next minute animation, next minute 3d modeling, next minute you are rigging, next minute you're doing a basic math course and so on..... You get the picture, all this knowledge is crammed in a 4week span that in no way are connected to eachother? Also these were online classes and I have to watch pre recorded videos that are like 15 to 20 minutes to learn everything. I could of done that on my own. I found this to be very different in the way they teach their curriculum from a public college. The curriculum of the programs taught back then are not exactly the same as they teach now. This is because technology is always changing and advancing. So, the education is in no way worth it. Side note: When I first signed up for this school they said I know the school may be expensive but I will get a job easily that pays around 80k a year and there is a lot of jobs in this field. I will have no trouble paying for college tuition. What a bunch of lies that was! Anyhow, back to the story! So about half way through this chaotic learning style. I had to take a step back and analyze everything I was in. I knew I made a huge mistake by this time. I was disgusted with everything from the money, the time and effort I put into this school, All those years of my life gone and for what?!?! A massive debt bill and piece of paper! I have nothing and they want more from me?!?! When I have nothing to give? I had perfect credit and they are going to destroy it all. I wanted to open up a business. I can see the whole side of capitalism just failing. Now I need help paying for monthly bills. I have no job! I have severe PTSD! Emotional distress! Overwhelming amount of debt! I can barely make it from month to month. All my money goes to food and they want 50k from me plus interest? Give me a break! Student loans are the biggest scam of indoctrination if I have ever seen one. It literally makes you a slave. Which is inviolation of the constitution. Look at the national debt and student loan crisis! The system will emplode! No one has that kind of money especially a broke college student.

I have 100,000 in student loan debt. And am not able to find a job in either field. Bachelors and Masters Degrees from a nationally accredited school and the state won’t accept my degrees for a teaching license. Teaching has always been a plan for my future but little did I know the degrees aren’t good enough. I now am teaching on an emergency authorization & have to pay out of pocket to go back to college in order to confer a degree from scratch because not a single state school will even accept my bachelors for their masters programs. First of all nationally accredited schools should be stricken from student loan debt or the possibility of taking out a loan. Stop students from making my mistake or tell them they won’t get a job teaching. They aren’t worth the paper they are printed on.

Melissa Lycan    November 14, 2018    Denver   

Hi,
I am currently a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Psychology program. I began a year ago and I am almost done with my studies. I have a disabling condition to which I can only work a part-time job but not enough to sustain a substantial living. I am on disability and I have applied for Total and Permanent Disability to see if I can get my loan discharged. My doctor has filled out the medical documentation necessary to be sent to the loan servicer. The institution that can discharge my loan sent back a letter stating that the documentation was missing the date along with the signature. After pleading with the doctor to have the form dated I sent the form to the loan institution and then they sent a letter stating that the form was invalid due to the 90-day window of the date had passed. I am now awaiting to see if I can get the proper medical documentation needed. Interest is still accumulating.

Mylanie Alvarado    November 14, 2018    Bronx   

I am a 76 year old retiree, a parent who borrowed for my daughter's fresh year tuition. For several years, my income was too low to pay, so I went on forbearance. With 8.5% interest, I must pay roughly 10% of my gross pension and social security to Navient for the rest of my life.

Charles    November 14, 2018    Barton   

I am 66 year old and I am retired from the School District of Philadelphia. I took a loan for 35,000.00 on 1984. I have being paying forever what I was able to afford. They garnished my pay check because they were not satisfy with what I was paying in 1997. They decided that 10% from my pay check was only enough to pay for their collectors and drop my garnishment and reason was extenuating circumstances. I thought that was great thinking they eliminated my debt but they started harassing me even calling my school where I use to work. I wanted to kill myself. my union lawyer helped to set up a payment plan to get out of their own created delinquency. The agreement was for me to get out of delinquency if I pay 10 months without lateness. They will be sending a letter of good standing. It was just a lie. The account with all the interest and compound interest and fees was already 125,000 and paid 400.00/month religiously for more that two years but I never received the good letter until I was lay off in 2013. I was then paying from my lay off check. I used to send them all my income and expenses received and it was always an excuse for them not being able to put my account in good status. I wanted the collection calls and intimidating letter telling me in other words that they were going to destroy my live no matter were I will go. Eventually they send me that letter but to my surprise the situation got worst. They sold my account to Sally Mae and Sally Mae gave the account to Navient and I got into the IBR program. I thought with this program they at list will eliminate the compounded interest but is not the case. I am paying with this IBR (Income base repayment ) 232.00 per month. It has being 10 years since I maid the agreement and my account was about 125,00 and today is 180,000.00. I do not see the light. I am 66 year old and I am paying from my social security.

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Felicita Cintron    November 14, 2018    Philadelphia   
Felicita Cintron    November 14, 2018    Philadelphia   

I am 66 year old and I am retired from the School District of Philadelphia. I took a loan for 35,000.00 on 1984. I have being paying forever what I was able to afford. They garnished my pay check because they were not satisfy with what I was paying in 1997. They decided that 10% from my pay check was only enough to pay for their collectors and drop my garnishment and reason was extenuating circumstances. I thought that was great thinking they eliminated my debt but they started harassing me even calling my school where I use to work. I wanted to kill myself. my union lawyer helped to set up a payment plan to get out of their own created delinquency. The agreement was for me to get out of delinquency if I pay 10 months without lateness. They will be sending a letter of good standing. It was just a lie. The account with all the interest and compound interest and fees was already 125,000 and paid 400.00/month religiously for more that two years but I never received the good letter until I was lay off in 2013. I was then paying from my lay off check. I used to send them all my income and expenses received and it was always an excuse for them not being able to put my account in good status. I wanted the collection calls and intimidating letter telling me in other words that they were going to destroy my live no matter were I will go. Eventually they send me that letter but to my surprise the situation got worst. They sold my account to Sally Mae and Sally Mae gave the account to Navient and I got into the IBR program. I thought with this program they at list will eliminate the compounded interest but is not the case. I am paying with this IBR (Income base repayment ) 232.00 per month. It has being 10 years since I maid the agreement and my account was about 125,00 and today is 180,000.00. I do not see the light. I am 66 year old and I am paying from my social security. I worked as a social worker and Guidance counselor in one of the poorest areas in Philadelphia . I think I have paid my 35,000 loan about 3 times and I should be forgiven. I going to carry this debt until the day I die and that bothers me because I like to pay my bills and I like to finish what I start and it will be impossible for me to finish paying because they want me to pay 1,700.00 per month and with IBR I pay 232.00 per month so the substract 232,00 from 1,700.00 and what I do not pay they added that amount to the principal. Abusive!!! They are getting rich out of my misery. Also the percentage is 9%. I think it will be fair that they lower the percentage and also that eliminate that compounded interest and fees to allow us to finish paying. is like driving in the ice or walking in soap water. A scary nightmare. sometime I asked myself why I do not just die, it will be much better. Also I have to renew this IBR every January and it is always a problem. I always send my paperwork early and is a run around because they always find ways not to approve the the application. Even when my income has been the same since I retired 2014. Also I have health issues that are worsen by this situation. That is my story and I know I am not alone. I can not wait for the time that something is done.

Your Story*
I had to borrow 40K to complete my MA in counseling psychology and have never missed a payment in over 8 years. As markets have changed, this work is not lucrative unless you have the capital to build up a private practice quickly [which requires seed money for expensive office space, etc.]. I work fee-for-service now and have worked in day-treatment centers, making at the most 32K year. Now my net income is under 25K and my small practice is of course a small business and expenses reduce the net income to at most 5 K a year.
I borrowed 40 K and despite always paying as I can, within the constraints of Navient's "income-sensitive" or income-driven repayment plans, I now owe 44K.
That is criminal especially as I have already paid them about 25 K of the loan at least.
I feel that if interest is to be applied, it should be a straight "tithe" of 10%.
The constant stress of having to argue for a reasonable payment and the threats applied to failure to pay are nothing short of abusive.
Navient, like Sallie Mae, should be sued in federal court and I hope our movement spawns a huge class-action suit with repayment to the millions of us cheated by these corporations.
Mary November 14, 2018 Easthampton

Mary Kolodny    November 14, 2018    Easthampton   

Student debt not only affects me, but affects my daughter trying to go to college. My income reduces her grants and loans, but my student loans makes it impossible to to take out more loans to help her pay for college, causing the vicious cycle of debt to continue. My car is getting to end of life, but until my student loans are paid, I cannot afford a car payment and a student loan payment.

Helen G    November 14, 2018    Olympia   

My dad died when I was 16. My mom was a grossly underpaid cosmetician at a drug store. I was determined to go to college but without work study and scholarship, it would be impossible. I sometimes ate out of trash cans or just didn't eat much. Or I ate off other peoples' trays at the cafeteria when no one was looking. I transferred schools, too, midway, and my mom disowned me because she objected to the change. Dreams can be tough to realize.

Rebecca Nimmons    November 14, 2018    Bellevue   

54 and still paying off student loans from the 80's and 90's.
My $25,000 loans are now $87,000. Realistically I will never pay them off. They are there like the nose on my face. I just live with them.

Carolina    November 14, 2018    Phoenix   

My student loan debt impacts so many aspects of my life:

I currently pay more on student loan debt months than my housing, utilities, and groceries combined. I haven’t splurged on television or cable expenses due to those fixed expenses.

Adela Meraz    November 14, 2018    Austin   

My husband's and mine plan to live on one salary after we graduated so we could pay off our 6 figure loans with the other's salary came to a screeching halt when we had a surprise pregnancy (while I was on birth control and still enrolled in school). This moved up the timeline of our planned family. Once I graduated, we could not afford childcare and student loan repayments, so I stopped working after only 3 months and stayed home with the kids while deferring payments. By the time we could maybe make ends meet if I worked, I could not find a job because of the lapse in my resume. I ended up going back to school, attending a top 10 school, and getting a 4.0 GPA to prove to employers I could still contribute to the work force. This also allowed me to be eligible for internships I couldn't otherwise get so I could obtain the experience employers wanted, but I had to take on more student debt. I now have a full time job with all of my salary going to childcare and student loans. We are having to forgo moving for employment opportunities, vacations, retirement savings, and saving for our children's college so we can pay on our student loan debt and afford childcare. We are determined to find a way to pay for all of our children's' school however, essentially taking on 2 generations of debt, so they will not have to start their lives under the burden of debt that we have, although we know this means we will not be able to save for retirement.

Elizabeth    November 14, 2018    Aurora   

I'm a high school student in Sullivan County, New York, and I'm already in debt. Just looking a college tuition makes me a dollar poorer. I already eat microwavable goods and the vending machine, although expensive, is my best friend. #stressed

Natalie    November 13, 2018    Fallsburg   

Alone
Help. I have $60000 in student debt. I'm 64. I started College in 1990. I had full time job. 2 kids and married. My husband was upset I wanted to go back to school for Nursing degree. So he refused to help.
I was 28. Since then, my husband committed suicide, my daughter was DX with schizophrenia. I had couple of Courses left to do. I instead decided to take care of my daughter. I am on SS now. My family is gone. This year the Government started taking my SS to pay back the Student debt. It has accrued thousands in interest an late fees. I have tried to contact them to ask for forgiveness of debt. I can't find anyone to help me. I have worked in ICU for over 10 yrs. as a telemetry tech and clerk. I need help asap.

Vickie Yates    November 9, 2018    Crown Point   

Started taking parent plus loans out in 2005 for son while employed as Federal Law enforcement officer. I had a mandatory retirement in 2014 (as all federal law enforcement do at 57). I served 26 years. I consolidated them in 2015 because all lenders, nelnet, navient, and others kept selling off my loans to others and it got very confusing. I went through a divorce that took 3 years to complete with judge awarding all parent loans to me. I am making the income based payments but still have interest added at the end of the year that drives of the principal. Recently diagnosed with kidney disease and difficult to hold down full time employment. What are my best options for any discharge? I am making payments but way below the payment I need to make which is about 900 a month. Divorce cost me 50K that could have gone to this loan.

John Story    November 8, 2018    denver   

I went to college hoping to make a difference in the lives of my future students. I came out with a debt around 50 grand, could not get fulltime work so went back to get my master's in special ed. Had 4 credits to finish but my mom got sick so I had to quit school. I am 53 years old and now owe over 130 grand with interest. I can't buy a house, have no retirement and will never pay this off. The American dream is out of reach. Unless I win the lottery, I will be paying until I die and even then it won't be paid off!

Jeanne Mallett    November 8, 2018    Savannah   

I was a dumb young adult and took out over $150k in student loans. Mostly private. The company's I got the money from never questioned the amounts, just kept providing funds. I am now making almost $60k, and pay more a month in SL then my mortgage. Navient is the worst, they apply the money wrong constantly and mark my other accounts as late, even though I have a payment plan setup that details were each amount should go. The interest rate on each of them is causing the payment to not go very far, and I am unable to pay anymore towards them. I do not have family that can help me either. I have given up the thought of having kids as I cant afford it, and my credit is bad due to SL ( I dont have any other debt). I have been in this bad nightmare for over 10 years and see no light at the end of the tunnel.

Cassandra Campbell    November 7, 2018    copley   

I had a scholarship the first year of school but lost it because I took on more than I could handle my first year and I was not fully aware of the rules to keep it. I tried harder the next few year to get it back and could not get it awarded back to me. I had to take out student loans just so I could finish school because between my parents and I, we certainly didn't have the money to come out of pocket for it. I did finish and get my degree and I been paying a little on my loans, what I can. But, no matter what I pay it just seems like enough to cover the interest. The loans are building more each day because of the interest and I cannot keep up with it. My current student loan debt is well over my yearly salary. Its going to take the rest of my life to pay this off. I'm never going to be able to live comfortable and worry free as long as I have this massive debt on my back.

Matthew Theisen    November 6, 2018    Rock HIll   

My wife and I wanted to try and look at buying our first home only to be told I don’t qualify because a have a caivrs claim against me for student loans. I was told these loans were being written off. Another lie by student loan companies. When I signed for the loans they said they would work with me and payments would be affordable. Lies, lies, lies. The said I had to pay what would be at least half of my monthly income. At which point was to I repay, live or eat- can only do 2. They refuse to work with me and claim I do not qualify for repayment programs. Companies won’t even talk to me, I say my name and they say call this number then hang up, call that number and given a new one. I want to get my loans in order but as a city government employee, we are low paid even after years of experience. I just want to get on track so I can go on with my life. Constitution states every individual has the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness and student loan debt for me, infringes on all of these counts.

Phil    October 31, 2018    Indianapolis   

I graduated with a BS of Botnay in 1998. The debt I had at graduation seem very reasonable at 23k. The issues came when I had 5 kids and my husband left me and I lost my house. I had to get a deferment to make sure I could survive supporting my children on my own. I got a office job making 14$/hr. On that I could barely pay my bills and have food in the house. So I went on ICRP and paid 100$ a month on my student loans for 15 years. The student loan debt has compounded interest over those years, so even though I've paid 15k I now still own $75k! It cause me to be sick with anxiety and I am terrified to have to deal with the fall out of default! We need help, over priced product with very little real life value

Sarah    October 28, 2018    Ada   

I had a really hard time finding stable employment after graduating from a small liberal arts college with a degree in environmental studies. I deferred my loans but after that time flew by I still didn't have a steady job despite applying constantly. I fell into the "gig economy" where I was working all these short-term contract positions in my field but couldn't find anything permanent. I couldn't make payments once my loans became active again and kept living in 3 month stints thinking that if I could just get that next job that's more steady/pays better/is permanent/etc I would get back on track. Well, 8 years later, I am only beginning to chip away at my debt after falling into default. Now my credit is destroyed. And I have my first solid full-time job but am not able to save for anything because all my spare money is going to loan payments. Forget trying to save for a house, a car, etc.

Ash    October 25, 2018    Boston   

I began repayment in 1994. I had about $25k in student loan debt. As a struggling single parent, I had to utilize my forbearance and deferment options in full. This unfortunately has left me now owing over $120k in student loans; almost $100k more than I initially borrowed due to capitalized interest added during these deferment periods. I am unable to purchase a home, etc. because my debt ratio is too high with my student loan debt. Cannot imagine how I will ever get out of this debt hole. It should be illegal to charge this much in interest!

Cynthia Huffman    October 21, 2018    Spencerville   

I owe close to $400,00 and I am not a doctor or a lawyer. Part of my problem is that I changed my major a few times prior to getting my Bachelor's and pursuing a Master's degree in Social Work. I always knew I wanted to counsel people but wasn't clear on exactly what type which explains why I bounced around during Undergrad between Psychology and Social Work. I was somewhere around $200,000 in student loan debt with my MSW. One of the reasons I decided to pursue the MSW was that a coworker, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, sold me on the idea of having a private practice and using the money from that to pay my student loan debt. I couldn't afford to pay back the loans so I decided to pursue another interest and signed up for a Masters in Criminal Justice. I am one class shy of graduating and have decided to put that on the backburner. With the new loans and interest, I was at over $300,000 in student loan debt.
On 7/30/18 I contacted Fedloan, my student loan servicer to discuss options. I was told I was eligible for REPAYE and actually quoted a monthly payment amount of $744 (versus $1400 that they wanted from me). The $744 was certainly manageable and I was told that since I am a public service employee, my loans would be forgiven after 10 years. I was also told that the loans were for the entire $348,000 that I owed, which included my kids' parent plus loans. Some time later I received correspondence indicating my new payment amount would be $1800 which they calculated to be 20% of my and my husband's salary. This was because the parent plus loans made me ineligible for REPAYE. In subsequent phone calls, my husband and I were told all kinds of lies including how his loans of $262 per month could be included in mine and that my loans could go for an expedited special review because of his payment and mine - over $2000 month. Fedloan has not taken any accountability for what I was told on 7/30/18.

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Elisa Beth    October 20, 2018    Poughkeepsie   
Elisa Beth    October 20, 2018    Poughkeepsie   

I owe close to $400,00 and I am not a doctor or a lawyer. Part of my problem is that I changed my major a few times prior to getting my Bachelor's and pursuing a Master's degree in Social Work. I always knew I wanted to counsel people but wasn't clear on exactly what type which explains why I bounced around during Undergrad between Psychology and Social Work. I was somewhere around $200,000 in student loan debt with my MSW. One of the reasons I decided to pursue the MSW was that a coworker, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, sold me on the idea of having a private practice and using the money from that to pay my student loan debt. I couldn't afford to pay back the loans so I decided to pursue another interest and signed up for a Masters in Criminal Justice. I am one class shy of graduating and have decided to put that on the backburner. With the new loans and interest, I was at over $300,000 in student loan debt.
On 7/30/18 I contacted Fedloan, my student loan servicer to discuss options. I was told I was eligible for REPAYE and actually quoted a monthly payment amount of $744 (versus $1400 that they wanted from me). The $744 was certainly manageable and I was told that since I am a public service employee, my loans would be forgiven after 10 years. I was also told that the loans were for the entire $348,000 that I owed, which included my kids' parent plus loans. Some time later I received correspondence indicating my new payment amount would be $1800 which they calculated to be 20% of my and my husband's salary. This was because the parent plus loans made me ineligible for REPAYE. In subsequent phone calls, my husband and I were told all kinds of lies including how his loans of $262 per month could be included in mine and that my loans could go for an expedited special review because of his payment and mine - over $2000 month. Fedloan has not taken any accountability for what I was told on 7/30/18. I can't afford my monthly payments which are due next month. I was told by one of their representatives that I can file taxes separately from my husband and that they would then take 20% of only my salary.
I reached out to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who helps people with student loan problems. All they did was forward my correspondence to Fedloan Servicing.

While I was school, my husband was taking care of my student loans. What we did not know was that he had a brain tumor. He died in November 2010 leaving me with our eight year old son to raise, and two years of school to finish. And because he was not making sound choices due to the brain tumor, I was also in debt for 60,000.00 in student loans. Navient wants me to pay almost 600.00 a month for the next ten years to pay the loan off. How do I do that and get our son through high school and college for himself? I don't have an answer. One payment equals all of one week of pay. That leaves three pays to pay rent, car, insurance, groceries. gas. school fees, clothing and other necessary things. The bottom drops out when we have an emergency. I hope someone will be able to help.

Diana k Schanke    October 20, 2018    BROWNSBURG   

My wife & I have over 100k in private student loan debt with payments around 700 a month all combined. They wouldn’t work with us on affordable payments & now we have given up on paying them it’s been almost 3yrs & we get calls & letters none of which offer any kind of helpful resolution.

Brandon Tibbetts    October 16, 2018    Fort Wayne   

In 2012, I accepted a job with a nonprofit out of state. Before moving to my job, I got one of my servicers on the phone, Great Lakes, and discussed with them that I would be relocating and beginning a new nonprofit job. I told them that I planned to apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. I also told them that I had appreciated their service more than another servicer I had, which at the time was Ed Financial. I asked them if there was a way to pull all of my loans together in one place, so I could make one payment and have on servicer and that I would prefer it was them. They sent me paperwork to do a direct consolidation of the loans that were with Ed Financial. What I did not realize was that some of the loans held by Great Lakes were not "direct" loans and therefore needed to also be consolidated into the direct loan consolidation to qualify for PSLF. I talked to Great Lakes at least twice before beginning my job. I moved to my new job and began in April of 2012. In 2014, I filed my first employer certification form to get my first 24 months certified. It was then that I learned Great Lakes was not the servicer for certifying PSLF and had NEVER been the servicer to certify for PSLF. They never told me this. All of my loans were transferred to the only servicer managing PSLF cases, Fed Loan Servicing. I also learned that the loans held by Great Lakes which were not direct loans, but were FFEL and had not been included in the consolidation, did not qualify for PSLF. Those loans totaled about 1/3 of my total loan balance. That meant 24 months of payments could not be certified towards PSLF on 1/3 of my loan balance. Initially, Fed Loan Servicing recommended that I do a new consolidation, but that would have wiped out the credit for payments I'd already received on the other 2/3 of my loans towards PSLF. I came up with and proposed the solution,

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Angela Danovi    October 15, 2018    Lowell, AR   
Angela Danovi    October 15, 2018    Lowell, AR   

In 2012, I accepted a job with a nonprofit out of state. Before moving to my job, I got one of my servicers on the phone, Great Lakes, and discussed with them that I would be relocating and beginning a new nonprofit job. I told them that I planned to apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. I also told them that I had appreciated their service more than another servicer I had, which at the time was Ed Financial. I asked them if there was a way to pull all of my loans together in one place, so I could make one payment and have on servicer and that I would prefer it was them. They sent me paperwork to do a direct consolidation of the loans that were with Ed Financial. What I did not realize was that some of the loans held by Great Lakes were not "direct" loans and therefore needed to also be consolidated into the direct loan consolidation to qualify for PSLF. I talked to Great Lakes at least twice before beginning my job. I moved to my new job and began in April of 2012. In 2014, I filed my first employer certification form to get my first 24 months certified. It was then that I learned Great Lakes was not the servicer for certifying PSLF and had NEVER been the servicer to certify for PSLF. They never told me this. All of my loans were transferred to the only servicer managing PSLF cases, Fed Loan Servicing. I also learned that the loans held by Great Lakes which were not direct loans, but were FFEL and had not been included in the consolidation, did not qualify for PSLF. Those loans totaled about 1/3 of my total loan balance. That meant 24 months of payments could not be certified towards PSLF on 1/3 of my loan balance. Initially, Fed Loan Servicing recommended that I do a new consolidation, but that would have wiped out the credit for payments I'd already received on the other 2/3 of my loans towards PSLF. I came up with and proposed the solution, weeks later, to do a new separate consolidation just on the affected loans which had not qualified for PSLF. I filed the consolidation and in mid 2014 a new clock began on the 1/3 of my loans which I had initially not qualified. Another quirk I have found in the annual recertification process for income driven repayment plans is that almost every year I have been granted a one-month forbearance while my paperwork was processed for another 12-months for income driven payments. What I did not realize until my most recent consolidation is that each one of those months did not count as a qualifying month towards PSLF, even after making the payment I was told to make. I had filed all the forms electronically and on time, but processing time still exceeded 6 weeks to set up a new annual payment. This means another 5 months have been added on to my repayment towards PSLF because of each one of those months where my account was in forbearance, did not qualify for PSLF. Recently, I was accepted into an online graduate program. My account was immediately placed in "in-school deferment" status and it has taken me more than 3 times of filing the waiver form to have in-school deferment removed, because I am working full-time at a 501C3 nonprofit and making my full income-driven payment while I am in school. Even if I make required payments, any month my account is labeled in deferment of forbearance means it does not qualify for PSLF and for me that means another month I must be working at a qualifying employer and make a payment in order for that month to count. Since beginning my program, Fed Loan Servicing says I currently owe less each month than what I was certified for on my income-driven payment. I make my certifying payment based on my last certification, which is more than what Fed Loan says I owe, but the status of my account indicates that at least some or none of those payments may qualify as a qualifying payment for PSLF because of various forbearance and deferment statuses they have put on my account this year connected with me beginning an online graduate program. I will be filing my most recent employer certification form before the end of the year. I am scared that things are not going to go well, despite me continuing to work and to make full on-time payments. My student loan debt only continues to grow by thousands of dollars each year because of interest. I believe it reached a tipping point this year where the majority of the debt is now interest that has been added and compounded over the years. If or when I finally reach PSLF, the amount forgiven will likely be triple or more what I actually borrowed. The mistakes made with my student loans go back more than a decade, as well. I did a consolidation after completing AmeriCorps. Months after that consolidation of my undergraduate loans and beginning to make payments, I received a statement from a different entity demanding a payment for my very first loan I took out for my first semester of undergrad, in the mid 1990s. I didn't have the money to pay it and I didn't have a job where I could afford an additional payment. The money I'd planned to use from AmeriCorps for my first semester of graduate school, ended up going to pay off a loan that I didn't know was floating around out there. That was just the beginning of the most confusing, arduous, tumultuous and financially straining and painful journey of student loan repayment. Right now, I can afford my income driven repayment (REPAYE) and do pay my student loans every month. I've paid more than $20,000 towards my debt. Every single bit of it has gone to interest and more interest has been added on and capitalized, meaning my debt has not decreased, but has only grown. I wish our members of congress would take addressing student loans seriously. My suggestions to our members of Congress: 1) Interest rates need to be slashed to below 2% and applied retroactively on everyone's loans back to day 1. I think we would be shocked how much it would reduce the overall amount of student loan debt. 2) PSLF needs to re-worked so that stafford loans can be grandfathered into the program. 3) Income driven payment plans need to be capped at 10% of discretionary income. 4) Married couples should not be penalized nor discouraged from being married, meaning the loan should stay with the individual and not become marital debt. Income driven payment plans should be determined based on the income of the single debt holder, not the joint income. 5) The formula for discretionary income should be revised to include healthcare premium costs and those costs should be deducted from adjusted gross income, particularly for those buying individual plans on the ACA exchange. This adjustment would help young healthy people who are less likely to have employer provided insurance and who are paying student loans to both buy insurance and make their student loan payment. 6) Tax incentives should be put in place for private employers to make large payments of at least $15,000 or more towards the federal student loan debt held by their employees. Employers gain the greatest benefit of hiring highly educated people, often at wages that are comparably lower than past decades or generations. They should be off-setting their gains from low wages by making a substantial contribution towards the student debt of their employees. 7) Borrowers need case managers they know and people who understand the complexity of federal student loans, the various iterations of the student loan program, particularly over the last 20 years, the potential benefits and consequences to the borrower of taking actions, such as a consolidation, and someone who can make recommendations to the borrower based on their income, their goals for reaching repayment, and other life situations. I believe many servicers hire people who have not been to college and don't begin to understand how students loans work or worked in the past. The people on the phone provide quick answers that are often incomplete, inaccurate, or actually harmful to borrowers. I would like to see a complete restructuring of the repayment side of student loans, placing repayment back with the institutions where the student attended when initially borrowing the money and providing the money currently paid to servicers to institutions to carry out collecting payments and working with borrowers (who would be their alumni). Borrowers, I believe, would be more willing to contact their institutions (and many of them already do) to seek advice, direction, and information about making payments. The Perkins Loan program did this, previously and I believe this is a model that should be considered for all federal loans. Details would need to be worked out for students who attended multiple institutions (community college, 4-year college, grad programs) to ensure a smooth and fair management of the borrower's debt.

Our son is working his way to becoming a museum curator. He required a mass tees degree to be considered for low paying Fellowships at a museum. U of Chicago where he lived has a 1 yr program & is 1 of the most expensive universities in the U.S. he completed the program with enormous debt. We help as we can. He has a 2 yr low paying fellowship & is interim head curator as his boss left for a lucrative museum position. We also must help with living expenses. He needs to lower his student debt. Can you help?

MarySue Blackwell    October 13, 2018    weatherford   

I was very moved by a recent twitter post of yours, thank you.

I work for a non-profit school, so I am "taking advantage" of the public service loan forgiveness program. My suggested payment is $988/ month, just for the federal loans. I also pay $200/month in private loans. That is approximately 80% of my biwkly paycheck! I have been trying to get the PSLF program to review it, but am drowning. My debt isn't even that much. On that payment plan, I would be done paying on my loans WELL before the 10 years required in the program. I can't default as I work in education and will lose my job. It has literally put my life on hold. Thank you for the support you give.

Michelle Rosas    October 12, 2018    Dickinson   

I consider myself a very lucky individual when it comes to student debt. After following a music career after high school and learning about design when I was out on tour, I found myself attending a 4-year academic institute right before I turned 22. I went to a private, for-profit college in the heart of Philadelphia, PA that was 100% focused on design and illustration, nothing else. I worked hard those 4 years, and I was ever mindful of how much college was costing me. Every summer, I came home to work a grueling 90 hour weeks between my three jobs (one full time job as a shift manager at a Sheetz Convenience Store, another full time job working overnight at a food distribution warehouse, and my weekend part time gig working as the art counselor at a day camp). Even with making $1,400 a pay period between all of my jobs (with taxes taken out), I still had to pay part of my way living at home with my parents, getting gas to fill up my car, and the occasional night out with friends (which really consisted of us hanging out at a friends house, sitting and talking into the wee hours of the morning about games and movies because we were too poor to go out and do anything else) I could reasonably bank about $800 or so each pay period. By the time the semester rolled around...all of the money I saved up in the summer either went to supplies, such as updates to software, new hardware for the computer that was demanded for class, new art supplies, and if was incredibly lucky just enough money to save my seat for a week long study abroad trip that was offered. In regards to my tuition, each semester it went up and up and I had to borrow more and more. I was lucky to be able to get the PA State Grant, but thankfully I was older and I could qualify for more aid because I no longer was beholden to my "parent's contributions" which was nothing.

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Timothy Francis McKenna    October 11, 2018    Carlisle   
Timothy Francis McKenna    October 11, 2018    Carlisle   

I consider myself a very lucky individual when it comes to student debt. After following a music career after high school and learning about design when I was out on tour, I found myself attending a 4-year academic institute right before I turned 22. I went to a private, for-profit college in the heart of Philadelphia, PA that was 100% focused on design and illustration, nothing else. I worked hard those 4 years, and I was ever mindful of how much college was costing me. Every summer, I came home to work a grueling 90 hour weeks between my three jobs (one full time job as a shift manager at a Sheetz Convenience Store, another full time job working overnight at a food distribution warehouse, and my weekend part time gig working as the art counselor at a day camp). Even with making $1,400 a pay period between all of my jobs (with taxes taken out), I still had to pay part of my way living at home with my parents, getting gas to fill up my car, and the occasional night out with friends (which really consisted of us hanging out at a friends house, sitting and talking into the wee hours of the morning about games and movies because we were too poor to go out and do anything else) I could reasonably bank about $800 or so each pay period. By the time the semester rolled around...all of the money I saved up in the summer either went to supplies, such as updates to software, new hardware for the computer that was demanded for class, new art supplies, and if was incredibly lucky just enough money to save my seat for a week long study abroad trip that was offered. In regards to my tuition, each semester it went up and up and I had to borrow more and more. I was lucky to be able to get the PA State Grant, but thankfully I was older and I could qualify for more aid because I no longer was beholden to my "parent's contributions" which was nothing. They couldn't afford to send me to school...they couldn't even co-sign on the student loans because they were over-extended. I had to swallow my pride and ask my aunt to co-sign for me.

Luckily, I graduated on time and at the top of my class...but job prospects were slim. I ended up finding a few opportunities back in Central Pennsylvania, where I grew up, but if it wasn't for me enrolling into community college and taking on an associated in web development through night classes I would have been royally screwed. The first few jobs I had out of school paid so poorly, and the skills I needed (i.e. some coding ability) wasn't offered at my original school. So I went back to school at night to stave off making payments and I was accruing all of that interest...when one of my private loans came in exactly six months later and I had to start making $200 payments a month which I couldn't defer. $200 doesn't sound like a big deal but when you factor in that I was making more money at Sheetz than I was in my chosen career...it hurts. My first full time job was a creative director at a local magazine making $28,500/year for managing a team of designers on eleven different publications. I have since job-hopped my way and grown the skills I needed to land leadership level roles in eight years. Since graduating in 2010, I have quintupled my salary and now lead a team of designers and developers. I love what I do and I couldn't be happier.

But, I have faced some incredible challenges in all of the years that I have been paying my student loans. From mismanaged accounting and reporting from FedLoan Servicing and American Education Services to outright lies from customer services detailing my qualifications for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, I eventually changed servicers altogether and moved to Navient...and they only way I was able to do that was to have an ex-FedLoan Servicing employee show me how to do it. In 2017, I actually went to work at Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (aka PHEAA, which owns FedLoan Servicing and American Education Services) as their creative director, hoping to improve the borrower experience. What I found was a lazy, discontented, and uncaring staff of professionals all at least ten years past their prime and didn't care about anything except making their lives easier and waiting for that state pension to kick in. I left after a year and sadly came to the conclusion that the business of student financial aid is just that: business. The students and their families are not focal to anything...they are just a product, and asset to shuffle around. I've heard many people at PHEAA/FLS/AES refer to borrowers as "Cash Cows" and from the c-suite management saying that there is no business benefit to helping out our borrowers, our business to collect on those loans. Since being on Navient, I haven't had any mismanaged payments or erroneous credit reporting issues, so like I said...I'm lucky.

I make a great salary...I've worked tirelessly to get here, but never where any of the servicers or the Dept. of Ed there to help me in my decision making for what school I should consider for my chosen field, or what the outlook is for my field. I currently have $70,000 left in debt from my time in college. It's just this simple: the US Dept. of Education doesn't care about students. Loan servicers don't care about borrowers. The majority of schools are teaching outdated curriculum...and there is no protection for the borrower and their families.

I was paying my student loans just fine, got married last year. My monthly payment amounts doubled because my wife's income was taken into consideration. She also has student loans through the same company, hers doubled as well. Now we are literally paying nearly 40% of our monthly income because we got married. We didn't help each other create the debt why would it change? Now I literally have to work a part time job just to pay for fuel to get to and from both jobs. Thanks student loans!

Bill S    October 11, 2018    MO   

In 2008, I was laid off at the beginning of the recession, from a job of 11 years. I contemplated going to school and started looking into the possibility. It was then that I went to Le Cordon Bleu in Cambridge, MA to see if I could get in, cost, etc. I learned that it was pretty expensive and knew I wouldn't be approved for any loans because of my current financial problems. The recruiter convinced me that I would and told me that even if I wasn't approved, I could probably get some assistance with grants and that I could re-apply with a co-signer. I didn't know anyone who would be approved to co-sign either. However, it was then explained to me that it would be better if the co-signer was not approved and that it was more of a guarantee that I would get it that way. I was also convinced that the job market for that field was booming and that the success rates from their school was very promising. After a couple of weeks of being heavily recruited and pressured, I applied and got in. I graduated, had a few jobs in the field and kept getting laid off due to the economy, etc. After several years of part-time employment, no employment, being laid off from one job to the next, I gave up working in the field that my degree was in. I am and was a single mother of twin boys, raising them alone physically and financially and struggling significantly just to keep a roof over our heads and to put food on the table. Eight years later, I am in the same boat. I am consistently, putting my loans into forbearance just so they won't go into default. I have paid little to nothing towards my loans even with using the income driven options. I am at a point of thinking that I will never be able to pay them off. I will be 60 in May of 2019, with little money towards a retirement. I will never be able to retire, I will be working until the day I die just to keep a roof over my head.

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Brenda    October 10, 2018    Boston   
Brenda    October 10, 2018    Boston   

In 2008, I was laid off at the beginning of the recession, from a job of 11 years. I contemplated going to school and started looking into the possibility. It was then that I went to Le Cordon Bleu in Cambridge, MA to see if I could get in, cost, etc. I learned that it was pretty expensive and knew I wouldn't be approved for any loans because of my current financial problems. The recruiter convinced me that I would and told me that even if I wasn't approved, I could probably get some assistance with grants and that I could re-apply with a co-signer. I didn't know anyone who would be approved to co-sign either. However, it was then explained to me that it would be better if the co-signer was not approved and that it was more of a guarantee that I would get it that way. I was also convinced that the job market for that field was booming and that the success rates from their school was very promising. After a couple of weeks of being heavily recruited and pressured, I applied and got in. I graduated, had a few jobs in the field and kept getting laid off due to the economy, etc. After several years of part-time employment, no employment, being laid off from one job to the next, I gave up working in the field that my degree was in. I am and was a single mother of twin boys, raising them alone physically and financially and struggling significantly just to keep a roof over our heads and to put food on the table. Eight years later, I am in the same boat. I am consistently, putting my loans into forbearance just so they won't go into default. I have paid little to nothing towards my loans even with using the income driven options. I am at a point of thinking that I will never be able to pay them off. I will be 60 in May of 2019, with little money towards a retirement. I will never be able to retire, I will be working until the day I die just to keep a roof over my head. It is very depressing.

Your Story*I have about 50,000$ in student debt, some credit card debt as well. My monthly payments are nearly 700$. I have so much stress and anxiety now about paying off my debt, I feel that I cannot live my life until I do. But that won't happen until i'm well in my 60s or 70s. I also have bad credit now because I can't possibly meet the 700$ mark every month because i have so many other expenses- my rent, car, phone, food- it's endless. I'm so stuck, just because i wanted an education. We are supposed to be the land of the free, but I do not feel free.

Erin    October 7, 2018    Boston   

My daughter went to AI of Austin TX. This is a for-profit school. She is a very talented artistic person and this seemed a good fit. She loved her experience until someone in the finance office started threatening her after attending for a year. They were to get her a job in order to supplement her hosing fee. They never did. This man threatened her with homelessness and confiscating her personal property. He was rutheless. I know I spoke with him and paid the owed money so he would stop his harsh behavior toward her. All the agreements to pay were not in writing, again I know because I asked for them when I spoke with him. She was harrassed to the point of terror to pay them (AI). She left sadly and afraid. Today she is still afraid. They have not stopped calling and now has a third part calling her and family members. She is even afraid to work because they told her they will garnish all her wages. She has a fragile soul and want help for her. She attends community college and is making strides. This was 6 years ago. I do not why this country wants all the citizens to be sick, stupid and poor. In England this would never happen. We need to help the young talented kids they are the future of this country.

June Szott    October 3, 2018    Sacramento   

I consolidated my dept with the Dept of Education with an income contingent repayment option. My loan is to be forgiven after 25 years. The Department of Education later sold the debt management to a third party loan repayment company which has no record of the prior 6 years of loan repayment. There has been no incentive for the new company to resolve the data loss. Furthermore, the Dept of Education is very unhelpful in retrieving the missing payment data.

Patrick Moran    October 1, 2018    Ridgefield   

Ok, so I was packing 4 years of an education degree into 3 years, raising 2 teenagers and dealing with having to sell our home. But, I saw my education as a carrot on a string and never thought of the cost of the courses even when I had to go to the bursars office and talk some film-flam and get my Pell and other monies or beg and cajole who and what I could. So, upon graduation and 20,000 thousand in debt I was mystified as to how the hell those classes could have cost that much money. The loans started out at 6% and not long after they were dropped down to 2.8%. for the next 15 years. This is the amount of my undergraduate degree!! See, teaching is a thankless and low down and a on the down low job that not even a bachelors degree is gong to float the boat anymore. I'm OK with higher education so I started to take classes and paid cash, plus books, parking and.......to the tune of' back then' $2,500.00 per class. I was shelling out many dollars and one night I was tired, it was late, I was sitting in class with younger students, listening like it was a dream, and I started to do some 'mental math' so how much have I spent so far? How much to go and how much of a raise will I get once I get my Masters in Education/Reading? $500.00 per year. You know, I was never a keen mathematician, I am really good though at doing basic addition, subtraction, adding and subtracting fractions, I was a Pastry Chef for 20 years, and guess what!! Not an ice cubes chance in hell was I ever, even if I reached retirement at age 71 ever be able to recoup my $27,000.00 dollars. This number is only for the credits, no books, parking. At this point I was getting pretty disillusioned, 2008 saw a massive curtailment of monies for schools and funding for programs/materials that for the student population I was privileged to work with the impact was devastating.

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Mary    September 28, 2018    Somerville   
Mary    September 28, 2018    Somerville   

Ok, so I was packing 4 years of an education degree into 3 years, raising 2 teenagers and dealing with having to sell our home. But, I saw my education as a carrot on a string and never thought of the cost of the courses even when I had to go to the bursars office and talk some film-flam and get my Pell and other monies or beg and cajole who and what I could. So, upon graduation and 20,000 thousand in debt I was mystified as to how the hell those classes could have cost that much money. The loans started out at 6% and not long after they were dropped down to 2.8%. for the next 15 years. This is the amount of my undergraduate degree!! See, teaching is a thankless and low down and a on the down low job that not even a bachelors degree is gong to float the boat anymore. I'm OK with higher education so I started to take classes and paid cash, plus books, parking and.......to the tune of' back then' $2,500.00 per class. I was shelling out many dollars and one night I was tired, it was late, I was sitting in class with younger students, listening like it was a dream, and I started to do some 'mental math' so how much have I spent so far? How much to go and how much of a raise will I get once I get my Masters in Education/Reading? $500.00 per year. You know, I was never a keen mathematician, I am really good though at doing basic addition, subtraction, adding and subtracting fractions, I was a Pastry Chef for 20 years, and guess what!! Not an ice cubes chance in hell was I ever, even if I reached retirement at age 71 ever be able to recoup my $27,000.00 dollars. This number is only for the credits, no books, parking. At this point I was getting pretty disillusioned, 2008 saw a massive curtailment of monies for schools and funding for programs/materials that for the student population I was privileged to work with the impact was devastating. For the teachers there were no raises for 3 years in our district!But, our bill still had to be paid. I saw the HAND WRITING ON THE WALL. I knew my days were numbered in grad school as well as the high school. So I was out of a job, tanked emotionally and spiritually stripped. Still had to pay the student loans though. I did finish paying them in April 2018, just another day.

Your Story*my story is forever long so I will shorten it quite a bit. Let’s just say I went into a nursing school that offered a BSN because I already had a Bachelor’s degree in another field. I had to take out private student loans because I had no fed loan availability from my first degree. The private student loans are through the associated hospital. I went all the way through, short one class, and flunked the final test by 3 points. I was kicked out. I could see if I flunked my HESI why they would not allow me to re-enter, but I aced it. Every time(3). I fully believe I was discrimated against re-entering because of my age (at the time I was 49). I wasn’t the only one this happened to. Ironically, all the rest of them were also in their 40’s or older. Now I have a wage garnishment to the tune of 15% of my gross wages. I work in a big box store. I only have 12 years before I can retire. This 12 years will most likely be living right above the poverty level. A furthering education is not supposed to be a life sentence of debt. At this point in the game, I have told my children to not attend college. It’s a joke and nothing but a huge debt hanging over your head. I guess America doesn’t want educated people. SMH

Marjori    September 26, 2018    Quincy   

At this moment in my life, I feel completely hopeless as far as my student loans go. My parents couldn't afford to send me to college so I did it myself. Basically I wasn't a kid at graduation time that knew what they wanted to do the rest of their life consequently because of this issue, I used borrowed student loan monies to fund my education to try different careers until I found something I thought I liked. Even at 48 I'm working in my profession however is it really what I want to do the rest of my life? Who knows. I love to learn and if money wasn't an object I would be a professional student.

Either way, I can't say that I'm not envious of those people who get their schooling fully funded like prisoners, those who receive full grants etc. It's not that I don't think they should but I have $75000 in school loans which includes my Masters Degree and no matter what I do I can't get it knocked down.

One issue is at the time I went to school there was very little counseling with these loans. No one explained to me the difference between subsidized and not subsidized therefore I have loans with each category and I'm unable to consolidate them into one. Because of this unpaid interest continues to build to the point I have to pay that off before anything goes to the principal. I don't have the cash laying around to do this.

I have been on the income based repayment plan but this too keeps changing and amounts get higher. I'm also in the PSLF program but honestly I didn't know that I could do this until after 2007 so I've only been in 3 years or so because of this all my other payments I made from 2007 on since the program started do not count otherwise I would be in the free and clear.

This is my story. It's a constant struggle and honestly if I wasn't in an income based plan I would have more than a mortgage payment a month to pay.

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Jennifer L Taylor    September 25, 2018    Ontario   
Jennifer L Taylor    September 25, 2018    Ontario   

At this moment in my life, I feel completely hopeless as far as my student loans go. My parents couldn't afford to send me to college so I did it myself. Basically I wasn't a kid at graduation time that knew what they wanted to do the rest of their life consequently because of this issue, I used borrowed student loan monies to fund my education to try different careers until I found something I thought I liked. Even at 48 I'm working in my profession however is it really what I want to do the rest of my life? Who knows. I love to learn and if money wasn't an object I would be a professional student.

Either way, I can't say that I'm not envious of those people who get their schooling fully funded like prisoners, those who receive full grants etc. It's not that I don't think they should but I have $75000 in school loans which includes my Masters Degree and no matter what I do I can't get it knocked down.

One issue is at the time I went to school there was very little counseling with these loans. No one explained to me the difference between subsidized and not subsidized therefore I have loans with each category and I'm unable to consolidate them into one. Because of this unpaid interest continues to build to the point I have to pay that off before anything goes to the principal. I don't have the cash laying around to do this.

I have been on the income based repayment plan but this too keeps changing and amounts get higher. I'm also in the PSLF program but honestly I didn't know that I could do this until after 2007 so I've only been in 3 years or so because of this all my other payments I made from 2007 on since the program started do not count otherwise I would be in the free and clear.

This is my story. It's a constant struggle and honestly if I wasn't in an income based plan I would have more than a mortgage payment a month to pay. This is awefuI have no idea how I'm going to get ahead, 120 payments is a long ways off for me. What if I were to lose my job for some reason and the next job I was able to get I couldn't claim PSLF? It's a real problem.

I know people in Information Security, Information Technology which are my fields that have no degrees only certificates and they're making way over what I am. Pitiful.

I have to say to do over again, I'm not sure I would have went for all this education at the expense of $75000 to pay back and I'm 48 and can't seem to find any end roads.

I'm growing hopeless by the day quite honestly and personally I think if we all had a magic forgiveness on these loans right now, it would allow us to contribute to the economy because we would have more buying power, it would allow us to contribute to a retirement plan and it would be a real game changer but at this time, it's not that, it's stressful and hopeless for many of us.

Again, it makes it hard for me to tell my two boys, I encourage you to go to college. I don't have the money to help them because of my own mess and I don't desire to see them have loans, etc. because I personally don't feel the payback has been there and I don't wish for my boys to incur the debt I have. On the other end, will they be able to make it in life without a college degree of some type? I don't know.

This is my story, it's honest, from the heart, and that's it.

It is what it is.

Hoping for all of us some relief can come otherwise retirement is out for me and I will go to my grave with 75000 on my way out. I guess at that point what does it matter, honestly?

Thank you,

Jennifer L Taylor

I graduated with a BA in Mass Communications and found shortly after a few internships and graduation, I wanted to work more on the business side of an organization. I decided to get an MBA and pursue that desire. Finding employment in either was extremely difficult, and I found a career in software. I enjoy what I’m doing but my payments for student loans aren’t even putting a dent on the increasing interest.
These student loans have been dark clouds over every other concern, triumph and failure over these last 6 years. It sounds extreme, but I remember getting my MBA and the moment being overshadowed by the newly acquired debt. I’ve spent many sleepless nights thinking, “I wish I’d made smarter decisions in my undergrad and not borrowed so much. I should’ve been better and sought more scholarships. I should’ve researched more… Could’ve done this, that etc…” These thoughts occurred while simultaneously crying over my credit score and searching for ways to build it.
Staying positive and completing normal adult activities is difficult with the running thought of student loan debt. My mom passed in the middle of my undergrad, and my dad passed at the beginning of my MBA. The combination of the grief from those losses and stress of student loans is overwhelming at times. It’s hard to ever feel a sense of “normalcy.” If I could do things over, I’d still attain both degrees, but I’d certainly find different ways to fund them. This stress decreases your mental health and quality of life.
For anyone headed off to higher education, congratulations ahead of time. I urge you to find every scholarship and grant available. Be sure to seek opportunities for free education, even if it means moving away from comfort for a little while. Focus on your goal and research the best options and potential outcomes. I wish each of you great fortune and the absence of student loan debt!

CHARITY    September 15, 2018    Roswell   

This isn't the future I had in mind when I went back to school for an advanced degree: going homeless because I can't pay rent and student loans. Am 65 and unemployed. Defaulted because of underemployment. The feds garnished wages and tax refunds when I was working. Now they take 15 percent of $800/month Social Security.AND they gave my account to a collector. I have no money aside from SS. I don't even have a car. Or my own home. (I rent.) It's to the point where I actually can't afford to have a roof over my head. My only option is to live on the street. Face it. Congress doesn't care what happens to people like me. It's 21st-century elder abuse.

Maris    September 8, 2018    Asbury Park   

I started a PhD in 1998. It was at a time when projected faculty retirements in my field of choice would soon hit an all time high, leaving a job market wide open for those of us plugging away at our degrees. The timing seemed ideal, not very risky at all.

The modest financial aid I received covered tuition and most fees, but left me with just enough additional costs that I decided to take out a limited amount of federal loan support to keep from having to work more than the 25 hours per week I was already working.

Then the market crashed after 9/11 and retirements were postponed. My specialized field in theology started seeing significant drops in enrollment, so the prospects for hiring for those positions where faculty did retire dropped as well. To top it off, my dissertation advisor retired and I was assigned to another who required such significant changes to my project that I would be delayed beyond my ability to finish under the degree completion limits. All of these factors contributed to my decision to drop out with all but my dissertation and defense complete.

When I dropped out, I had about $24,000 in both subsidized and unsubsidized federal student loans. The job I got paid enough for me to make the payments, but there was little room for anything else, particularly since I had also maxed out a couple of credit cards that needed to be paid off. I couldn't buy a house. I couldn't afford to take a vacation. I couldn't work full-time in the business I co-own with my spouse.

And every month when I made the loan payment, I was reminded of the lost hopes and dreams, of the failure to complete a degree I started and at one time really wanted.

Slowly, I paid off the credit cards first and got out from under that 8 years after I dropped out. Once those were paid off, I put as much toward paying off my student loans as I could each month.

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Linda Ford    September 4, 2018    Depew   
Linda Ford    September 4, 2018    Depew   

I started a PhD in 1998. It was at a time when projected faculty retirements in my field of choice would soon hit an all time high, leaving a job market wide open for those of us plugging away at our degrees. The timing seemed ideal, not very risky at all.

The modest financial aid I received covered tuition and most fees, but left me with just enough additional costs that I decided to take out a limited amount of federal loan support to keep from having to work more than the 25 hours per week I was already working.

Then the market crashed after 9/11 and retirements were postponed. My specialized field in theology started seeing significant drops in enrollment, so the prospects for hiring for those positions where faculty did retire dropped as well. To top it off, my dissertation advisor retired and I was assigned to another who required such significant changes to my project that I would be delayed beyond my ability to finish under the degree completion limits. All of these factors contributed to my decision to drop out with all but my dissertation and defense complete.

When I dropped out, I had about $24,000 in both subsidized and unsubsidized federal student loans. The job I got paid enough for me to make the payments, but there was little room for anything else, particularly since I had also maxed out a couple of credit cards that needed to be paid off. I couldn't buy a house. I couldn't afford to take a vacation. I couldn't work full-time in the business I co-own with my spouse.

And every month when I made the loan payment, I was reminded of the lost hopes and dreams, of the failure to complete a degree I started and at one time really wanted.

Slowly, I paid off the credit cards first and got out from under that 8 years after I dropped out. Once those were paid off, I put as much toward paying off my student loans as I could each month. After 12 years, almost to the day, those are now paid off.

I'm one of the lucky ones. I didn't have a substantial amount of debt. I had a job that paid enough to make the payments, and later to make larger and larger payments until it was gone.

It's a relief to be done with it. I will be able to fully let go of that hoped for future for my life that was lost when I dropped out and to embrace the new one that I've been building for a few years now. I will be able to save to buy my first house...in my mid-50s.

I live in San Diego and have a three year old daughter. Just to support us, I had to go back to school so that I could put my $70k+ student loan balance ($500+ monthly payment) in deferral, for the time being, until I make more money. So now, I work full time and go to school full time. I hardly see my daughter. The only benefit is that my company pays for my new degree 100%, and I'm taking full advantage of it to keep us from crippling debt. Meanwhile, my current student loans will still be accruing interest while in deferral. Not to mention, I am on the 'extended graduate repayment program' which means every two years my payments increase by 20% and I have 25 years to pay them off...

Kody Helm    August 30, 2018    La Mesa   

I am a stay at home mom who can’t work because I can’t afford to pay for child care if both my husband and I work at the same time. My student loans have caused me to sit at a stand still and constantly pray that they don’t increase. I live on the income driven repayment plan and i pray that my required amount doesn’t go up because I can barely afford to get by when it’s at 0. Knowing that I have such a huge debt with nothing I can do about it is the worst feeling of all

Miranda    August 28, 2018    Tacoma   

I have $48,000 of student loan debt dating back to 2011 and cannot get hired in the field of my degree. I will never be able to pay it off while making next to nothing in a customer service job.

Brian    August 28, 2018    St. Petersburg   

We have been paying on a Parent Plus student loan for over a year and now my daughter’s part has come due. This is going to be $1000 a month. I am sick over this. She cannot afford the payment and is working on getting it reduced and we will be strapped if we have to pay the Parent Plus and hers which totals over $140,000. And with the current payment of the PPL, we are only paying the interest right now.

Sandra Larson    August 27, 2018    Winthrop Harbor   

I live in Brooklyn and pay over a thousand a month and owe 100,000 dollars in student loans. Rent here is 1750/mo. Plus electric and groceries cable etc.
I’ve also met the love of my life and plan on marrying her one day and starting a family. I feel with this debt I will never get my head above water and be able to have a family and home... it would be a huge weight off even if the % interest dropped even better if it was just erased. I know it was my decision to go to school but I was 18 trying to better my future. The system has to change where it does not throw 21+ adults fresh out of college with thousands in debt. Something has to change.
Thank you

Marc    August 25, 2018    Brooklyn   

I was a single mother, and on unemployment when I enrolled in a bachelor degree program. I qualified for Grant's, but after finishing a degree in business, that has gotten me nowhere, I am utterly shocked that I am expected to pay back over $60,000.

Kathy    August 24, 2018    Muskegon   

The only way I could afford college is if I pulled out student loans both federal and private to cover what federal didn’t pay for. I ended with a bill of $100,000 for 4 years. I can’t get approved for a home loan because I owe more than I can afford for my $700/month CAL loan and $300/month federal loans. It’s to the point I just avoid paying them because I’d rather pay my rent and other bills so I can have a place to live. My biggest financial regret is getting these loans because the government trapped me and so many others.

Julia    August 22, 2018    Corpus Christi, TX   

I started a 2 year technical program. Everything was great at face value. I thought it was a good fit for me. Little did I know that after getting a full loan for tuition and living the instructor would be so careless as too "misplace" assignments and not give grace to me for her mistakes on the books. Now I am stuck in debt for the rest of my life with no diploma job to pay it off.

Emily    August 21, 2018    Bridgewater   

To be blunt, I am like many early 00s high school graduates duped into going to college. I went to college with the expectation of being able to find work after college. I studied creative writing and had five minors. But when I graduated in 2010 the Great Recession was in full swing, there weren't any jobs. I decided to study abroad in the UK to get my Masters degree. Even with an MA I can't get hired in my field, and I'm stuck working junk jobs that pay nowhere near a living wage, let alone a wage that will allow me to pay off my $81k student loan debt.
At this rate, even if I become a successful author, I'll never be able to pay off this student loan debt. I live paycheck to paycheck and writing project to writing project. I'll likely never own my own home, or even get married as I don't want to saddle my potential future partner with this debt burden.

Student loan debts in the US need to be forgiven so the thousands of people, just like me, can finally move forward. We need free tuition for state colleges so that nobody else, who chooses to go to college, will face this burden and be able to have a future.

Kristoffer J Martin    August 21, 2018    Eau Claire Wisconsin   

I’am a 29 year old single father, trying to futher my education for me and my son. But I owe over $11,000 . With the minimum wage job I have I cant afford that and care for my son and myself.

Anthony fair    August 21, 2018    Baton Rouge   

Once I fell into debt so much it was a bitter sweet experience for me. I had completed a masters degree however now im 75000 dollars in debt. I decided to take my future into my own hands and become a professional speaker to talk to as many people as I can to educate them on the importance of picking the right college. Sometimes for-profit colleges can sound amazing but will lure you into more debt than you can imagine. I am here to eradicate that and help with our debt.

Linwood Noble    August 19, 2018    St Johns   

I have a good job. But I am also was the only bread winner for a family of three, three of us who were in college. Because of the high cost of college, my son did not finish his last year in school. He owes about $50,000. My daughter is currently in college and she currently owes about the same. I dread what her final student loan will be when she is done. But worse off yet, I am the one with the highest loan. I have both kids under the Parent Loan, and I am currently obtaining my Masters degree. I currently owe over $90,000. Most of it, though I fought it, and lost, is under unsubsidized. I graduate next August 2019 and in 6 months I need to start paying. I don't know what we are going to do. I'm losing sleep over this....stressed out!!!!

Lettie Jaramillo    August 17, 2018    Los Angeles   

I make my monthly payment each month to AES, however, Navient owns my loans. I recently called because I wanted some information on why I have made payments over the last 9 years & my balance has not gone down. As a matter of fact, the balance has gone up. When I finally got someone on the phone who could answer my questions, I was told that all I had been paying over the last 9 years was the interest only. The rep I spoke to told me that if I was to continue paying only the interest, that I would never pay off my student loans & in order for me to see the balance go down, I would have to make the standard payment each month which is almost $500.00. So now I have paid AES/ Navient approx. $36,000 & I still owe over $84,000 when my original balance 9 years ago was a little over $83,000. THE WHOLE SYSTEM NEEDS TO BE RE-STRUCTURED!

Christy D Eidson    August 16, 2018    Dallas   

I'm 67 year old, retired, divorced and a co-signer of my daughters student loans. My daughter graduated from college a number of years ago and has refused to pay for any of her loans. Currently the student loans add up to $154,000. I am paying over $1,000. a month for her loans. I know of a number of other parents who are also in the same position. Is there no help out there for us. In good faith I signed for these student loans never thinking that I would end up paying for these loans. These loans are affecting my ability to get a lower interest rate for my mortgage. I know that I will never be able to pay these loans off. This country should be ashamed of what they are doing to mothers like myself. Since my daughter has become estranged from me I have no hope that she will help with these loans. Very upset and sad about this situation. Do I have any recourse.

Evelyn    August 14, 2018    Evanston   

I owe $110,000 and my minimum monthly payment is over $1000 a month, which doesn’t even cover the interest. To make matters worse my husband I found out we need IVF to have a baby, but we can’t afford it because of my student loans.

Heidi Fleming    August 10, 2018    Valparaiso   

When I was 22, I stupidly decided to go to FIDM in Los Angeles to pursue a "degree" in Product Development. The tuition was $22K per year in 2007 and I was working a retail job at the time. Since I had to pay the tuition for the whole year upfront, I got a loan for $23.5K to include supplies. Since I did not have a lot of credit at 22 yrs old, the only loan provider that approved me was AES with a variable interest loan. I left school in 2008 to work full time during the recession to help out my parents. From then until now, I have struggled to pay the monthly amounts of $300 - $400 so I did things like apply for forbearance and made interest only payments which only made matters worse. I now owe $38K to AES for my one year of tuition at FIDM and an additional $6,000 to Navient for when I went back to school to pursue a business admin degree. My monthly payments are currently $495 and $87 per month for student loans. When people ask me how much longer I have to pay, I tell them the rest of my life and that I will most likely die before then.

Bianca Juarez    August 6, 2018    West Covina   

My current payment due on my Nelnet Account is $561.47. However my online account reflects $1,172.60 as the current due. I called and was told they bill 30 days in advance. I protested and was told this is their policy. What?! Why would my current amount due reflect a July AND August payment? What if I enrolled in auto pay? Nelnet would have taken a total of $1,172.60 for July and August which is in the future. What about the person who did not/has not caught this and had 2 payments deducted automatically? When you are paycheck-paycheck, this can cut into groceries, rent/mortgage, etc. The current due should reflect what is true, not what is due and what is coming due in 30 days!

Renee M. Jones    July 16, 2018    Atlanta   

My education is now indefinitely on hold due to the dishonesty of a few people and my own naivety. Being told that I would have "virtually no financial difficulty" was a clincher as a fresh-faced high school student, but in the real world, "virtually" doesn't mean "none". After a year and 2 months, I was unable to shoulder the financial burden any longer. The university was more than happy to keep taking out loans on my behalf. *cue eye-roll* But I dropped out instead. Now I'm unable to continue my education until a debt is repaid. I feel cheated and misled by the system.

Tanya    July 15, 2018    Minneapolis   

Hello I went to school for 2 years, I have been paying on my loan for 4 years and it has actually increased almost $4,000. I just don't understand, they tell you to go to college but college is a big debt. Most of the time I wish I never went, I really hate I did because it really didn't do nothing but put a big debt over my head.

kizzy piggee    July 15, 2018    City*conway   

My husband is retired but I can not. I’m paying over $600 a month and actually going deeper in debt. My degree works AGAINST retirement because it doesn’t pay social security.

Jean    July 14, 2018    gainesville   

I’m Erin from NY and I am recently married. My husband and I met in college and were together through grad school. We both have masters degrees and great jobs- feels like we did everything we were supposed to. Now we’re hoping to buy a condo, but you have to pass an impossible standard for your debt-to-income ratio AFTER you take the mortgage. With our student debt, we’ll never qualify. It feels like we’re trapped because our loans are not going away any time soon. It won’t even matter if we wait ten years when (hopefully) the balance is lower, because our monthly outgo will still be high and that’s how it’s calculated. We’ve already refinanced and this is just about as low as the payments go so I guess we’ll rent forever!

Erin    July 12, 2018    Flushing   

I’m a special education teacher who will never own anything bc I am in 160,000 dollar student loan debt mostly private Navient is no help and I struggle everyday worrying and stressing over it. I was the first in my family to ever go to college but little did I know it was the worst
Mistake of my life.

Kristin    July 12, 2018    Pennsville   

I’m a 36 year old working full-time in tv news and part-time at a gas station. Currently paying 3/4’s of my salary towards my student debt while living with my parents, while watching everyone I know start families and buy homes.

Josh Frost    July 11, 2018    Prattville   

I am literally drowning in my children's student loan debts. I have 5 children and recently divorced. I cosigned on both of their loans. As of today I am about 120,000 in debt. My son did not even graduate and his loans are around 60k. For the last 2 years I have been paying all of his loans since he has not made any payments on them. I am praying that my daughter will pay her loans although she has threatened not to pay them since her brother has not paid his loans. She graduated in June so her loans will be due soon. I am potentially looking at paying over 600.00 a month for their loans so that my credit is not ruined. The whole college system is a scam. Why should it cost so much money to earn a degree. And the fact that your child can not get their own loans to go to school forces parents to have to cosign for these loans. It is a completely broken and messed up system. How am I going to get out of this debt without going bankrupt. There should be a way to have your children's wages garnished when they are not paying on their student loans. The government needs to revamp the whole system. Number one, they need to make college affordable and number two they should revamp the loan process so that parents do not have to cosign on these loans. I hope someone can help me figure out how to get out of this debt.

Kathleen Paglaiccetti    July 11, 2018    Alburtis   

From the outside all you see is that I moved across the country for a dream job at one of the top 3 most admired companies in the country as Miss Independent. On the inside you’ll see I pay over $800 in student loans per month and can only afford to eat boxed mac and cheese and instant noodles like I’m still in college.

Michelle    July 11, 2018    Seattle   

I am a 40 year old Master's student. I graduated in 2007 with my undergrad degree thinking I would be making so much money, that student loan payments would not be a problem. Unfortunately, I became a single parent of 2 children who had to borrow the maximum to provide for my kids and to go to school. Fast forward 11 years and I'm no closer to being able to afford making the monthly payments, let alone, paying off over $50,000 in student loan debt. I do, however, have an aging house and car in desperate need of repairs, so I have that going for me....

Misty    July 10, 2018    Piedmont   

10 years ago I earned my Masters in Education. I had 2 loans. On recommendation from Sallie Mae/Navient I consolidated my loans into one based on the advice of employees from the above named companies. I was supposed to be one of the first groups qualifying for forgiveness. Last October 2017 should have been my last payment after paying on my loan for 10 years and teaching K-12 for 10 years. Then last October I was told I was setup with a consolidated loan that didn't qualify even though I had followed their advice

AJ    July 8, 2018    San Diego   

I dreamed of finding a job that I could work hard at and still be able to use my creative talents. I went to undergrad and grad school in the hopes that I would be able to be a Professor. I left 7 years of higher education with only 30,000 in student loans and thought I had gotten lucky and was proud of how hard I worked to be able to be granted scholarships, grants, and other prizes that paid for majority of my schooling. Sadly post grad school has been horrible and now 6 years later I am at 36,000 from just being unable to make enough to pay for any of it. At this point I don't know how I will ever pay off my loans and finding any full time work has been nearly impossible. I have no way to pay my loans, no health insurance, and barely am able to buy groceries in any normal fashion. At 35 it has put off any of those dreams I have ever had in regards to a career, family, or even just finding a place to call home. I just hope we can all come together and figure out a better way for us all going forward. None of this is okay.

Angela    July 3, 2018    Columbus   

graduated from lock haven university in lock haven pa. On average lock haven says you’ll graduated with an average of 27,000 dollars in student debt. Except with these scum of excuse student loan company’s such as discover student loan (which is a private loan company STAY AWAY FROM PRIVATE LOANS AND DISCOVER STUDENT LOANS) I walked out with 95,000 dollars of debt. I did not attend a fancy school. I had finally moved out on my own, got my own place. I saved up for everything in my apartment. When I moved in I had a table from college and an air mattress. After hard work I filled it with a nice bed, a nice couch and all the other things that made me proud to walk into a place I worked hard to create. Then...I got my student loans. My private loans from discover were close to 700 dollars. My federal loans are 345 dollars. I only make 12.50 a month. Luckily I work in adoption at a nonprofit so I have student loan forgiveness and income driven repayment plan with my federal loans so instead of paying of 1000 dollars in student loans a month (right off the bat) I just pay around 700 dollars. I called and cried to discover student loan hundreds of times saying I can’t do this, I’m going to have to get ride of my apartment, I can’t buy my little brother and sister Christmas gifts and among many other complaints expressing that it was way to much for me to afford. They don’t care. I skipped meals, ate 85 cent noodles because I could afford my loans. I’ve tried to consolidate my loans through discover student loans four times and they denied me every time because I have a delinquent account. (come to find out this delinquent account was a mistake made on discover student loans part. (They marked that I missed a loan payment in 2014. my loans didn’t come into repayment till 2017 because I graduated in December of 2016. So that would even make sense as to why someone would mark that).

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ashley hoover    July 2, 2018    Clearfield   
ashley hoover    July 2, 2018    Clearfield   

graduated from lock haven university in lock haven pa. On average lock haven says you’ll graduated with an average of 27,000 dollars in student debt. Except with these scum of excuse student loan company’s such as discover student loan (which is a private loan company STAY AWAY FROM PRIVATE LOANS AND DISCOVER STUDENT LOANS) I walked out with 95,000 dollars of debt. I did not attend a fancy school. I had finally moved out on my own, got my own place. I saved up for everything in my apartment. When I moved in I had a table from college and an air mattress. After hard work I filled it with a nice bed, a nice couch and all the other things that made me proud to walk into a place I worked hard to create. Then...I got my student loans. My private loans from discover were close to 700 dollars. My federal loans are 345 dollars. I only make 12.50 a month. Luckily I work in adoption at a nonprofit so I have student loan forgiveness and income driven repayment plan with my federal loans so instead of paying of 1000 dollars in student loans a month (right off the bat) I just pay around 700 dollars. I called and cried to discover student loan hundreds of times saying I can’t do this, I’m going to have to get ride of my apartment, I can’t buy my little brother and sister Christmas gifts and among many other complaints expressing that it was way to much for me to afford. They don’t care. I skipped meals, ate 85 cent noodles because I could afford my loans. I’ve tried to consolidate my loans through discover student loans four times and they denied me every time because I have a delinquent account. (come to find out this delinquent account was a mistake made on discover student loans part. (They marked that I missed a loan payment in 2014. my loans didn’t come into repayment till 2017 because I graduated in December of 2016. So that would even make sense as to why someone would mark that). They did not care and provide no type of help besides temporary help. I could no longer afford to financially support myself and I even explained this, they don’t care. Luckily I had a place to go, I have to get rid of my apartment, pack up and store or get ride of all the things I had bought for my apartment and move in with my mom. I still till this day do not have the means to get out on my own. I’m stuck in a job and will have to stay in a job that meets the loan forgiveness program for the next ten years of my life if I want to avoid my loans increasing anymore. The area that I wanted to be a part of in my field, I have to wait Ten years until I can do it. I’m afraid to go back and get my masters because I can’t afford any more debt. No one will consolidate me because of my debt to income ratio (it dropped my credit score from the 700s to 604. I have finally brought it up to high 680s but the point is, student loan debt screwed me and I worry for the other kids who might not have supports like I did to fall back on. What happens to the college student that doesn’t have a place to go when they’re loans take over? Are they going to allow kids to go live on the streets? Because if i didn’t have anyone to fall back on that is what would of happened to me. I have experienced emotional distressed, severe stress, lack of confidence, feelings of failure. I had dropped weight and the doctors didn't know why at first i dropped 6 pounds in less than a month with out trying. I had to get blood work done because they thought i had hyperthyroidism. i dont have it, it's just the effects of how horrific this financial situation is that student loans have put us in. I felt at one time that I wanted to end it all because i lost hope, i felt like no one was helping me, no one cared and no matter what i did i couldn't pull myself out of this situation. i thought about filing for bankruptcy (because that is such a good idea, not really.) student loans have set me and many others up to fail, when all we wanted to do was succeed and create a better future for ourselves. instead we struggle, mentally, emotional, physically and finically and no one cares. Something needs to be done. College was the worst mistake of my life.

I am a homeless mom and my student loan is holding me back from finding safe housing.

lolita    June 30, 2018    Roosevelt   

I was practically kicked out of school, a professor refused to pass me twice. I am a financial aid student and recognize this scam. It happened when I was about to receive my Masters, the school kicked me out so I had to get a private loan to continue, I believe I was one class away. I earned my Masters but now I have $144,000 in debt, due to attending law school and the university for my doctorate degree. The student loan people want $965, which I cannot do because I pay rent in the amount of $2,900 in California. Help, the only good thing is that I may qualify in 10 years for student loan forgiveness because I work for a public entity.

Isela Ortega    June 26, 2018    Hawthorne   

I am 40 years old I got my degree in 2010 and it took 5 years to find a job with my degree. My student loan is at about $80k and growing. Im currently on IBR because I cannot afford the approxinate $800 month oayment and survive. We will probably never be able to buy a home because my interest adds thousands each year causing my crefit to drop drastically. I dont feel I will ever get out of this hole instead Im getting buried deeper and deeper.

Cynthia Michelle Mosley    June 23, 2018    Haltom City   

Like most I found myself struggling at a job that did not pay much. I became a mother at the age of 17 and worked everyday to support my daughter. I had another child at the age of 20 and shortly after left the father of my two daughters. This was an extremely abusive relationship and i wanted a better life for my daughters. I came to a cross road and felt that going to school would be the only way to support my girls and provide them with a better life. I am now 150K in student loan debt and feel like I placed my family and a huge financial burden. I am no longer able to purchase a home with a FHA loan as they will use 1% of my student loans even though I am on a payment plan. I do not know where else I can seek help with my loans as these are now stopping me from providing my children with the best life possible. I have tried doing research on ways to pay off my student loans but none of the suggestions I am capable of. I currently have a Bachelors and Masters and I am still working 2 jobs to support my daughters. I feel like the decision I made to go to school was not the best but also a great decision. This has now put me in a situation i did not foresee and I am not sure what i can do to help make it any better.

Veronica Sanchez    June 12, 2018    Zion   

I am looking at $350,000 of student loan debt that I accumulated while obtaining a bachelor’s degree and then my doctorate in Chiropractic. Being a business owner I have high taxes due to paying both sides of social security and Medicare, which makes it very difficult to make a living. My current student loan payment is only around $370 but that does not include my impending big loan that is currently under income based repayment. I anticipate having to start paying on it next year and that will add another $500 per month to my current loan payment making for a total student loan payment of around $900 per month. I am never going to be able to pay off these loans and can only hope that loan forgiveness still exists in 25 years. In the meantime we are trying to put back a little each month so we can afford the lump tax payment we will have to make on the forgiven sum. We estimated that it will probably be around $75-100k in taxes on the forgiven amount. We are desperately trying to find some other viable solution..

James Casey    June 11, 2018    Jacksonville   

I am a psychologist. I am a divorced, single mother. I have over $385,000.00 despite having the majority of my undergrad degree paid for by a scholarship. I work for a non-profit and hope to one day have my loans forgiven. I am enrolled in an income driven repayment program and still struggle with the monthly payments. I am not able to buy a house because of my student loan debt. I often think about what more I could contribute to the economy and my community if I did not have this debt.

Rebecca    June 10, 2018    New Haven   

I attended an Art Institute because I wanted to major in art... because everyone told me it would be a very lucrative career choice. I didn't learn until after I graduated from AiP that the school was not only unaccredited (I think they became accredited shortly before I graduated), it's pretty much a diploma mill. Later on, I went to grad school because I figured getting a real art education and a master's degree would definitely put me on the right track for a career. Once again, everyone said I'd be so rich that I wouldn't even know what to do with the money I'd make.

Yeahhh, didn't quite work out that way. Between undergrad and grad school, I owe almost $135,000, and that is with a ton of grants and scholarships for both programs. Mind you, when I entered into repayment about 5-6 years ago, I owed $128,000, and in spite of giving my lender in excess of $500 a month every single month since then, the balance still went up thanks to the interest rates.

I can't even put the master's degree on my resume because it makes me overqualified for every single possible job I could have any chance of getting, so there's 50 grand wasted (the school never even gave me my diploma either). I'm working in my field now, but the problem is I only make $11 an hour and there is no chance for a raise or advancement. Meanwhile, my loan payment has gone up to over $600 a month and that is the absolute lowest it will go since I'm doing IBR on my federal loans and Navient is a bunch of greedy bastards who refuse to lower my monthly payment even by a cent even though they could in a heartbeat.

So here I am, middle-aged, watching life pass me by and watching all my friends and peers succeeding in life left and right, buying homes, having families, traveling to exotic places, getting promotions and generally enjoying the hell out of life. Meanwhile, I'm still living with my toxic,

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Elly    June 10, 2018    Pittsburgh   
Elly    June 10, 2018    Pittsburgh   

I attended an Art Institute because I wanted to major in art... because everyone told me it would be a very lucrative career choice. I didn't learn until after I graduated from AiP that the school was not only unaccredited (I think they became accredited shortly before I graduated), it's pretty much a diploma mill. Later on, I went to grad school because I figured getting a real art education and a master's degree would definitely put me on the right track for a career. Once again, everyone said I'd be so rich that I wouldn't even know what to do with the money I'd make.

Yeahhh, didn't quite work out that way. Between undergrad and grad school, I owe almost $135,000, and that is with a ton of grants and scholarships for both programs. Mind you, when I entered into repayment about 5-6 years ago, I owed $128,000, and in spite of giving my lender in excess of $500 a month every single month since then, the balance still went up thanks to the interest rates.

I can't even put the master's degree on my resume because it makes me overqualified for every single possible job I could have any chance of getting, so there's 50 grand wasted (the school never even gave me my diploma either). I'm working in my field now, but the problem is I only make $11 an hour and there is no chance for a raise or advancement. Meanwhile, my loan payment has gone up to over $600 a month and that is the absolute lowest it will go since I'm doing IBR on my federal loans and Navient is a bunch of greedy bastards who refuse to lower my monthly payment even by a cent even though they could in a heartbeat.

So here I am, middle-aged, watching life pass me by and watching all my friends and peers succeeding in life left and right, buying homes, having families, traveling to exotic places, getting promotions and generally enjoying the hell out of life. Meanwhile, I'm still living with my toxic, controlling parents because I can't even afford to live with roommates. I've been wanting to bring a cat back into my life after losing all three of mine to cancer several years ago, but I just can't afford to give one a good life because of the amount of money Navient demands from me.

This is no way to live, and since my parents are my cosigners and will verbally abuse me if I quit paying, I can't intentionally default. All the things people my age take for granted like simple adult independence or not having to live by someone else's rules are luxuries I (and others, I'm sure) will never get to experience. I think I would quite honestly rather be in prison than in debt because at least in prison, there's a chance I might get out one day. This debt will follow me to my grave, and even then, I could see Navient sending a representative to wherever I'm buried to dig a hole over my remains and stick a late payment notice in it.

It's horrible. So many of us are being punished with crippling debt for making the mistake of trying to better ourselves through education. I can't afford to go back to school to learn something new. I can't afford to get certified in anything useful. I can't afford to take individual classes. I've been rejected from every single place I've applied to for loan refinancing because I don't make enough money. I will never be able to save for retirement (assuming I live that long). When my car eventually dies, I won't be able to buy another one and I won't be able to get a loan for one. I will never own a house, and because of how much I owe and how I have no valuable professional skills, even if I do get out from under my parents' control, I will always have to be financially dependent on someone else to be able to afford to live. I won't ever be able to support myself. I'm at a point now where I kind of hope I develop a terminal illness just so I don't have to live very much longer and deal with this debt.

There is no way out. I know some of us can take comfort in the fact that they aren't alone in this, but it doesn't make the loan bills any easier to pay.

I still owe Wells Fargo 113,000 for buying my loans from Lehman Brothers for a now closed down school. One year from getting my bachelors! 🤦🏻‍♀️

Katrina Beck    June 8, 2018    San Diego   

Despite all the scholarships and grants I received I still had to take out loans to afford art school. I only completed 2 semesters and found out it wasn't for me. Now I owe $20K.

Jordan Swanson    June 8, 2018    Chicago   

Getting an education was bar the worst decision I ever made. Granted, I didn't really make that decision on my own, at least at first. I was a hardworking and driven student during my high school years, graduating top of my class. Therefore, it only made sense that I pursue higher education at a college. I grew up in a working-class inner city family; unfortunately the public high school I attended did not have a college counselor, which meant neither I nor my family had much schooling in the real cost of college. I forwent applying to private schools and ended up getting accepted to a state school, which was considerably less expensive. Still, I ended up graduating with about $20,000 in debt, once the the interested was added on.

I was told graduating with this type of debt would really make a debt in my income; that I was more employable with B.A. than without one. However, after a few in the field I was told that the only way to make more than $27,000 a year I needed to go back to school and get a master's degree. Reluctantly I decided to do just that and was accepted by a top school in NYC. I graduated with honors...and another $40,00 in debt. Once interest was added to this and previous student loans the total amount I ended up owing was about $100,000.

Everyone authority figure I had consulted (e.g. financial aid officers, college department heads, bank reps, professionals in the field), told me the same thing: "A master's degree will make you more employable and if worse comes to worst you can always teach. Besides the monthly payments will be so low you won't even notice them."

This was in 2008. Since that time the economy has tanked jobs have dried up. I took a job teaching English at private school, which recently had to my off along many other staff members because of low enrollment and financial mismanagement on the school's part. I have been unemployed for two months now, and have almost no savings as 50% goes to rent and another 30% goes to students.

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Jason    June 4, 2018    Brooklyn   
Jason    June 4, 2018    Brooklyn   

Getting an education was bar the worst decision I ever made. Granted, I didn't really make that decision on my own, at least at first. I was a hardworking and driven student during my high school years, graduating top of my class. Therefore, it only made sense that I pursue higher education at a college. I grew up in a working-class inner city family; unfortunately the public high school I attended did not have a college counselor, which meant neither I nor my family had much schooling in the real cost of college. I forwent applying to private schools and ended up getting accepted to a state school, which was considerably less expensive. Still, I ended up graduating with about $20,000 in debt, once the the interested was added on.

I was told graduating with this type of debt would really make a debt in my income; that I was more employable with B.A. than without one. However, after a few in the field I was told that the only way to make more than $27,000 a year I needed to go back to school and get a master's degree. Reluctantly I decided to do just that and was accepted by a top school in NYC. I graduated with honors...and another $40,00 in debt. Once interest was added to this and previous student loans the total amount I ended up owing was about $100,000.

Everyone authority figure I had consulted (e.g. financial aid officers, college department heads, bank reps, professionals in the field), told me the same thing: "A master's degree will make you more employable and if worse comes to worst you can always teach. Besides the monthly payments will be so low you won't even notice them."

This was in 2008. Since that time the economy has tanked jobs have dried up. I took a job teaching English at private school, which recently had to my off along many other staff members because of low enrollment and financial mismanagement on the school's part. I have been unemployed for two months now, and have almost no savings as 50% goes to rent and another 30% goes to students. At the time of writing this I have sent out 87 resumes and received exactly zero call backs. I have no idea how I am going to eat or what I am going to do if I get sick or have an accident. Still, the student loan bill keeps coming like clockwork.

The creditors offer me "forbearance" but with the caveat that the interest will continue to accrue and after a couple of months of forbearance I will be as if I had never made any payments toward the loan to begin with.

It is a nightmarish situation that keeps me up at night, and is the first thing that hits as I lay in bed in the morning. It has wrecked havoc in every aspect of my life: my spouse and I are unable to buy a home or have children due to the incredible amount of debt I carry. Likewise my credit score is so damaged by the "debt-to-earnings" ratio I have, that I'm not even sure if I could another apartment if/when I get priced out of the place I'm in. I am an industrious, bright, motivated, and creative professional who is well educated...and here I am, with no place to go.

Forced into default on private and federal student loans? Here's how it happened to me.

I went to law school at age 40. I still owed ~$25K from undergrad (child care costs, etc. carried forward after my divorce). After the first year of law school I knew it wasn't for me but, with over $25K in student loan debt from that first year added to my existing $25K loans, I knew I'd never afford the payments if I didn't become a lawyer. So I finished, but I failed the bar, with over $125K in student loans. I got a job as a legal secretary.

Today I am a 58 year old single woman, living with a friend in a trailer. My private loans have ballooned to over $95K (but I really don't know anymore), and my federal loans are well over $113K. I own no property, have no health insurance, but have a tiny IRA (under 7K). I work remotely, as a contractor, sometimes 5 hours a week, sometimes 20. I have debilitating health issues, but I control them by spending a high portion of my income on treatment.

I graduated law school in 2004, and my deferments/forbearances ran out in 2006. The private student loan payments were higher than my take-home pay. I contacted the private loan servicers several times to get my payments reduced and they said "Sorry, we can't help you." They suggested I get an additional job, borrow from relatives, or sell stuff. I told them I already worked full-time, my relatives had no money and I had nothing of value. One person I spoke with seemed to suggest I should prostitute myself. So I sent all of them what I could each month, every month, for 6 straight years. And they defaulted me anyway.

At least one private loan has been written off (only found out when the IRS told me). I have no clear records which loan was written off. My ex may have paid off those he cosigned for, but the servicers refuse to tell me if that's the case.

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Teri    June 2, 2018    Chicago   
Teri    June 2, 2018    Chicago   

Forced into default on private and federal student loans? Here's how it happened to me.

I went to law school at age 40. I still owed ~$25K from undergrad (child care costs, etc. carried forward after my divorce). After the first year of law school I knew it wasn't for me but, with over $25K in student loan debt from that first year added to my existing $25K loans, I knew I'd never afford the payments if I didn't become a lawyer. So I finished, but I failed the bar, with over $125K in student loans. I got a job as a legal secretary.

Today I am a 58 year old single woman, living with a friend in a trailer. My private loans have ballooned to over $95K (but I really don't know anymore), and my federal loans are well over $113K. I own no property, have no health insurance, but have a tiny IRA (under 7K). I work remotely, as a contractor, sometimes 5 hours a week, sometimes 20. I have debilitating health issues, but I control them by spending a high portion of my income on treatment.

I graduated law school in 2004, and my deferments/forbearances ran out in 2006. The private student loan payments were higher than my take-home pay. I contacted the private loan servicers several times to get my payments reduced and they said "Sorry, we can't help you." They suggested I get an additional job, borrow from relatives, or sell stuff. I told them I already worked full-time, my relatives had no money and I had nothing of value. One person I spoke with seemed to suggest I should prostitute myself. So I sent all of them what I could each month, every month, for 6 straight years. And they defaulted me anyway.

At least one private loan has been written off (only found out when the IRS told me). I have no clear records which loan was written off. My ex may have paid off those he cosigned for, but the servicers refuse to tell me if that's the case. Some services refused to send me copies of my paperwork. The defaulted loans keep getting renewed on my credit report each time they change servicers, so they will never come off. Loans could have added that aren't mine and I'd never know, since the servicers on those loans have been changed so many times I lost count.

Federal Loans - I signed up for IBR in 2009, and had a perfect payment record until this month. It had been easy to stay current before this year. I renewed with my prior servicer in April, way before the due date. My income dropped significantly due to the fact that I became remote and, I provided the requested documentation according to instruction. I was approved. A few days later, before my first payment was due, my loans got transferred to Nelnet. I made my first payment to Nelnet, according to the email and letter I received.

Less than 4 weeks before my second payment was due, I received notice from Nelnet that my payment went from just over $16 to over $903. I called immediately, and the rep told me my approved IBR plan had been unapproved/rescinded because Nelnet needed an application on its own IBR form, and they also needed more income documentation. I immediately followed the instructions and submitted the requested documentation that very day.

After a week of not hearing from Nelnet, I submitted my information again. After another week of not hearing from Nelnet, I submitted my information again and contacted a rep via chat. The rep told me the following:
- it takes up to 20 days to process the application;
- each new submission delays the process time another 20 days;
- she could put me on forbearance for a month to prevent my payment from being untimely.

It was surreal. The rep sounded like a bot. She was rude, insolent, insulting. Nelnet took over my loans on April 20 (with an approved IBR plan), accepted my first payment, but did not alert me to a problem with my application until May 18, way too late for me to remedy the situation without incurring a late fee unless I paid them $903! Nelnet seemed to deliberately delay processing in order to ruin my perfect 7 year record.

To add insult to injury, the Nelnet rep tried to force me into forbearance, which seemed to negate any future participation in an IBR plan!

I crossed my fingers and hoped that the processing of my resubmission would come in time for me to make a timely payment of the correct amount. But I also filed a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, seeking ensure that no late fee or payment would damage my payment record and reset the 25 year toll since the situation occurred through no fault of my own.

The next day I got an email from Nelnet stating that the payment information I submitted did not show gross pay or period. BUT ... not only had I named the files "gross pay," I had clearly indicated on my document submissions that the pay was gross, and bi-weekly, EXACTLY according to their request and instructions. This, it seemed, was either retaliation for my complaint (so soon?) or gross incompetence on the part of Nelnet, since it would delay my application approval WAY past the due date of my next payment.

I went ahead and send my regular ~$16 payment to Nelnet before the due date. But I know my record is ruined.

I feel that I cannot count on any agreement with regard to my student loan, since the servicer abused its position and made it impossible for me to remain timely through no fault of my own.

My student loans are nearly double what I borrowed, in spite of the fact that I've made thousands of dollars in payments over a period of over 20 years (consolidated undergrad loans with my graduate loans).

I tried to comply, keep up, stay current. But I cannot win; it seems as if the game is rigged completely against me and I have no choice but to default and let the government sue me, garnish my income, etc. At least that way, the payments will be less than what Nelnet is demand. And the stress of dealing with Nelnet will be over.

Education loans ruined my life. It was a mistake that cannot be undone. I messed up and I must pay for the rest of my life. And it seems very unfair, since people with credit card debt and gambling debt and business debt other debt can file bankruptcy and get a clean slate, but I cannot simple because I tried to improve my situation.

I owe $65,000 for a bachelors and masters degree. I work in my field, but I don’t make enough pay minimums so they are currently deferred until August of this year; where it would be $400+/month. It messed up my credit.

Ryael Coatie    May 31, 2018    Dayton   

I used student loans to get through undergraduate and graduate school. Shortly after graduating and right when I was about to begin repayment, I was hit with a crippling divorce and child custody battle for my son that wiped me out financially and I was forced into a position of providing a home and food for me and my son or defaulting on my student loans...I had to default on the loans to live. During the five to six years of the divorce, the debt increased and increased. Finally the divorce was over but now I have a debt I cannot repay. The loan collection agency put me through a sham of a rehabilitation program, saying I only had to pay what I could afford. Then hit me with $40k+ in collection fees and now that the loan is rehabilitated, the servicer is making my payments $1500 per month.... I can’t do it....please help.

Shane    May 28, 2018    Anaheim Hills   

My husband and I both went to college, 2 year programs for Graphic Design and Culinary. We currently pay over $700 per month towards our student loans. We are approaching our mid 30’s and have no savings to show for it. We have a house, but only because we don’t have car payments. We have no savings and absolutely no extra money to be able to afford anything to go wrong. If we have a medical or car emergency it’s going to have to go on a credit card. 2 out of 3 credit cards are maxed out. An extra $700 per month would give us the ability to pay off our debit, do updates to our house, afford car maintenance, put some money away for a rainy day. It would be life changing.

Abbey Suchoski    May 25, 2018    Charleston   

I grew up in poverty and started working when I was 14. I went to college to find a brighter future and then to graduate school. I have over 120k in student loan debt. I work as a mental health therapist and will never be able to pay off my loans making the possibility of a brighter future impossible. I’m tired. I’ve been working over half my life and have never been able to get ahead enough to breathe. My debt gives me anxiety. I’m not even 30 yet.

Badia Siddiqi    May 24, 2018    Berkeley   

I’ve paid over $140,000 on a $118,000 student loan. I still owe $101,000. My attempts to pay over these decades “in good faith” prevented me from having any savings or retirement. I’m now 54 years old, and I ended up in bankruptcy without the ability to discharge these loans, A week after filing bankruptcy, I got a breast cancer diagnosis followed by surgeries and radiation treatments. A ton of new medical debt. My bankruptcy filed for an adversarial proceeding in hopes of the lender showing compassion. No!! They are forcing us to proceed with litugation. No mediation or anything to spare me this stress! We need bankruptcy protection like other citizens. Student loan borrowers are not criminals.

Sharon    May 24, 2018    West Chester   

I enrolled in architecture school in 2009 at a university that pitched large scholarships and a manageable debt burden (<75K). I l eft graduate 180K in student debt, even after working consistently as a TA during the school year and as an architectural intern in the summer.

Since graduating, I enrolled in an income-based program, and consistently make on-time payments, yet the 7.75% interest rate on my federal loans has prevented me from keeping up with the interest. My loan balance is now 240K+.

The income-based program promises forgiveness after 25 years, but the US tax code currently views the forgiven balance as taxable income. My projected loan forgiveness balance is close to 500K. This would sidle me and my family with a tax bill of 100K+. Unfortunately my wife is in a similar situation.

Despite our monthly payments, we are still able to make rent and pay our other bills, however we have not been able to accrue any significant savings for a home or for the expenses of having children.

The key changes that could be made in the US system:
- set reasonable (Fed-based?) rates for student loans.
- allow loans to be paid pre-tax, or increase the tax deductible limit of loan interest
- adjust the tax code to prevent taxation of forgiven balance

These simple changes would allow this generation to move forward with major life-steps, like buying property and starting families - good things for the economy.

Justin Halsey    May 22, 2018    Brooklyn   

Like many people on this page, I went to college and in turn, accrued about $70,000 in student loans both private and public. I went to school to become a teacher. I worked 4 jobs in college to alleviate how many much I needed to take out in loans. It has since been 4 years that I graduated and after paying around $600 a month every month for 4 years, that adds up to around $28,000 O have paid toward my loans. My current balance is now $65,000. So because of interest rates that are close to 10% on several of my loans, my near $30,000 I have paid only results in as 5,000. This is madness. How can I keep up with this? And for how long?

Emilie Scott    May 20, 2018    St. Paul   

I have a bachelors in psychology and a masters in social work. Have worked in social work but never on a full time basis..Been working in retail which I Thank GOD for this bc it has proven to be better to me financially, benefits, room for growth, flexibility etc. I also Thank GOD for the IBR bc without it my over 160k in student loans payments would prevent me from owning a home care pay other bills etc. I looked up this site bc I really needed to vent..a few years ago my total was thousands less.. that interest is ridiculous..It probably would have been a good thing if I did not go to school ( I don't like feeling this way) or to not have gone until I actually started making a living for myself bc I probably would have borrowed in a more responsible manner.

Tina    May 14, 2018    Augusta   

I am currently going into my 4th semester of college, which will be my first semester of sophomore year due to credit hours. I have borrowed roughly $15,000 already because financial aid is not enough to pay for my college. My mother is a widow, and has been since 2015 (a year before I graduated), but we still haven't received help because tax years are different than the actual year. I am terrified of having to pay back all the unsubsidized loans that accrue interest over the course of college, because we have no money to pay on the interest.

Bryce    May 11, 2018    Bowling Green   

I went to an accredited university to get my criminal justice degree. It took me three years in stead of two because I was having kids and that in it’s self was a full time job. I was so proud of my self when I graduated. I quickly realized that no one wants to hire someone that has only an associates degree. Every job related to my field of study wants you to have a bachelorette degree or higher except security guards and police officer which I can not do due to physical disability. So I have a $30,000 dept for a degree I do not even use! I
Getting married in a year and we want to buy a house but can’t because of bad credit, mine mostly because of my student loans! So him and I and our combined 6 kids are in a two bedroom duplex just trying to make it work!

Candace    May 9, 2018    Decherd   

I was young and naive and went to art school when I was 20. Classes went up from an already staggering 1500/class to 2500/class. I took about 4 semesters before dropping out due to costs. With interest I am now over 30,000 on debt. I gain over 60 cents a day in interest and am on deferment for a year because I'm a stay at home mom and make no money. Soon my deferment will be over and I'm not sure there are any options after that.

Kelsea    May 9, 2018    Camano Island   

I graduated in 1997 with $26,000 in student loan debt. Poor labor market in my field, unemployment, bankruptcy (sans the student loan) exhausted my forbearance allotment and I am now paying interest towards $57,000 in student loan debt. I am 66 years old, and am looking towards retirement. This loan has been sold over and over to avoid the 25 year forgiveness clause, so each time it is sold the count down begins all over again. I'm looking for an attorney to assist me with the forgiveness of this loan before I retire in 3-4 years. Any recommendations? I need help.

Sanna Rose    May 5, 2018    Santa Rosa   

I went briefly (almost 2 years at Pennstate) in 1996. I then waited for a while and tried PTI and it was awful, that added a ton of money. but the kicker is ITT. i went there, 2.5 years..well over 40,000$ and the school is now closed and unaccredited! WHAT do i do. i pay $75 mandatory a month to predator school loan companies. I keep doing forbearance and deferment and everytime those run out, the payment jumps to 300-400 a month they want. so i put on hold again. I will never be able to pay for these. I owe prob 60,000 and have an associates ! I need help and they dont care

Dlangdaman    May 2, 2018    Pittsburgh   

I graduated from law school 8 years ago with about $115,000 in student loan debt. I have been making consistent payments under the income based repayment program, and I have been working mostly in the nonprofit sector after a series of internships. I now owe over $160,000 due to the interest that has accrued, even though I have been making all payments on time.

Shannon    May 1, 2018    Brooklyn   

I went to a specialty computer college in the late 90's & it was a 6 month intensive 6 course duration. I was forced to quit after 3 months because I couldn't afford my rent even working a work study program at the college. They still charged me the $6,000 & it's been going up with interest ever since then. I'm deeply saddened because i want to take some college courses now & I am refused grants because of this debt. I am disabled by a drunk driver & hit & run accident so i am not able to work or have any life. Cant get low income housing either. I really believe I am being discriminated against in many ways.

Tim Zizza    April 28, 2018    Haverhill, MA   

Growing up, whenever someone would ask me the age old questions "What do you want to be when you grow up?" My response was always the same, "I don't know, but whatever it is, it has to help people." Fast forward to a Bachelors Degree in Social Work and a Master's Degree in Social work, and here I am - serving in a government position that provides case management and services for children with Developmental disabilities (autism, neurological disorders, etc.). I consolidated my loans in 2011, allowing me to enter an Income Driven Repayment Plan. Being in this plan allowed me to have a much more affordable payment option. Lower payments allowed me to continue to work in a job that has less pay, doing what I love but also something my community desperately needs. Without a lower payment, the $700/month I would have needed to pay to student loans under standard repayment plans would have disqualified me from having the debt/income ratio to buy a house. Now, I am 7 years in to my 10 of qualifying payments. I have never been late or missed a payment. I am RELYING on this program to do what it was originally intended to do: allow public service workers to repay at affordable monthly costs, and eventually have the remaining debt be forgiven through Public Service Loan Forgiveness. I have based all my financial decision making around the rules of this program for the past 7 years. If it is taken away now I would have been completely mislead by the government and their commitment to this program. The government backing out of this program will be the sole reason that I will not be able to get out debt for the next 25 years, and I could even lose my home. The government needs to honor this program, and continue to allow people to help other people in the public service field!

Emily Goerz    April 26, 2018    Sun Prairie   

I am stuck paying my son's graduate student loans (Navient private loans) of $229,000. He is not working and has 2 kids and says these loans are on the bottom of his paylist. I am retired and unemployed and 65. I do not want to lose my home (which I still have a large mortgage) or retirement (social security) income I am entitled to this year. What can I do?!!!

Co-Signer Mom    April 25, 2018    Camarillo   

I am a 62-year-old retired teacher, so I never made a lot of money, but my wife and I always paid our bills and put away money for retirement. When it came time to send our 4 children to college, we made too much money to get full financial aid. We now have close to 1/2 million dollars in student debt in our names that paid for tuition for our children. Our oldest now gives us more than $1,400 a month to pay off her college debt. Thankfully she has a job, and luckily she has the least amount of debt (as college costs were less for her--being the oldest and with tuition costs increasing 10% or so each year). But this enormous monthly payment means she lives at home and cannot participate in the economy the way a professional not burdened with such debt could, otherwise. The other three are still in school, so they are still acquiring debt. The only way to help them start out their young professional lives without such a financial burden would be for my wife and I to spend all of our retirement savings. Either way, our family will be financially crippled for decades. We cannot be unique in this...this same situation must exist for thousands of families, and that number is only going to grow. The future health of the U.S. economy depends on a Congress and a President doing something about this problem NOW!

Doug Meyer    April 25, 2018    Dunellen   

I'm a 62 year old single adoptive parent. I took out a $45,000 federal loan to get my M.A. in Counseling Psychology when I was in my mid to late 30's. I couldn't afford to do a low fee/no fee internship for years after that, so I took a break and fell into doing corporate work. A few years later, having a stable job and a good salary, I was able to adopt my wonderful son as a toddler from a foreign orphanage. My job was eliminated days after I returned from Family Medical Leave Act, and I was then a single parent with no income. I have had a series of mostly crap jobs since then, just to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. I was making good money doing executive recruiting for a few years in there, but 9-11 destroyed the entire industry over night. Student loans -- first Sallie Mae, and then they kept selling them to places like CitiBank -- were very happy to allow me to defer payments so I could afford to raise my son -- keep him in preschool, etc, so I could work to support us, capitalizing the interest all along the way. By the time my son was in high school, that $45,00 had ballooned to $160,000. When my father died, leaving me some money I didn't even know he had, I decided to make monthly payments to pay the loan off, thinking that would fix my credit. Instead, after paying over $2,000/month for over 2 years, and paying off $48,000, which is more than I had borrowed, the principal went down from $160,000 to $159,000..... At this point, my tax guy said it was pointless to keep paying, I was running out of money anyway, so I stopped. In come the harassing phone calls now, 4 times/day, from 8am to 8pm, 365 days/year, from the liars in the Phillipines who our government pays to harass us. I felt like I wanted to bang my head against a wall! I finally decided to bite the bullet and contact the government to see what kind of options I might have.

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Esther    April 24, 2018    Portland   
Esther    April 24, 2018    Portland   

I'm a 62 year old single adoptive parent. I took out a $45,000 federal loan to get my M.A. in Counseling Psychology when I was in my mid to late 30's. I couldn't afford to do a low fee/no fee internship for years after that, so I took a break and fell into doing corporate work. A few years later, having a stable job and a good salary, I was able to adopt my wonderful son as a toddler from a foreign orphanage. My job was eliminated days after I returned from Family Medical Leave Act, and I was then a single parent with no income. I have had a series of mostly crap jobs since then, just to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. I was making good money doing executive recruiting for a few years in there, but 9-11 destroyed the entire industry over night. Student loans -- first Sallie Mae, and then they kept selling them to places like CitiBank -- were very happy to allow me to defer payments so I could afford to raise my son -- keep him in preschool, etc, so I could work to support us, capitalizing the interest all along the way. By the time my son was in high school, that $45,00 had ballooned to $160,000. When my father died, leaving me some money I didn't even know he had, I decided to make monthly payments to pay the loan off, thinking that would fix my credit. Instead, after paying over $2,000/month for over 2 years, and paying off $48,000, which is more than I had borrowed, the principal went down from $160,000 to $159,000..... At this point, my tax guy said it was pointless to keep paying, I was running out of money anyway, so I stopped. In come the harassing phone calls now, 4 times/day, from 8am to 8pm, 365 days/year, from the liars in the Phillipines who our government pays to harass us. I felt like I wanted to bang my head against a wall! I finally decided to bite the bullet and contact the government to see what kind of options I might have. It took 2 weeks of practically full time work to be able to even get to speak to someone in the U.S. They encouraged me to capitalize a bunch more stuff in order to be able to get on an Income Based Repayment Plan, which I did. The phone calls stopped, but now I have to fill out paperwork every year, and as soon as I start to make any money, they will come and take it. I often feel like I literally can't even afford to work, but I also can't live if we end up being homeless, which I have faced numerous times in recent years. According to the terms of the IBR, after I've been juggling this crap for 20 years or so -- which will put me in my 80s!!!!! -- they will "forgive" the balance of what I owe, and then CHARGE ME FEDERAL INCOME TAX ON THAT AMOUNT. After a few years of being on the IBR, my balance is now up to close to A QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS. By the time they get to "forgiving" what's left, with the interest continuing to capitalize at 8% every time I take a shit (excuse me, but I am just beyond beyond with this crap already...), the amount I owe will LITERALLY BE IN THE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS!!!! WHERE THE HELL AM I GOING TO FIND ENOUGH MONEY TO PAY TAXES ON MILLIONS OF DOLLARS WHEN I'M IN MY 80s??????? As far as I'm concerned, this is just government mafia. I am working my ass off to support myself and my son, and to help him get through college without getting into this kind of debt himself. He's watched me go through this crap his entire life. When his college wanted to offer him student loans, he busted me up by asking "Where's the 'Fuck No!'" box??? I can't believe this has happened in my life. I'm a good person, and I do tons of volunteer work with people all the time. I can't buy a home, I'm getting gouged by ridiculous rent increases, and I AM LIVID ABOUT THIS!!!!!! I can't see any way out of this other than a political solution, which I am going to help work on, and with every single dime in student loans that we all owe forgiven on the spot. Let people like that bitch DeVos trade financial situations with me, and let's see how long that takes. VENT ON, PEOPLE! iT'S BETTER THAN KEEPING IT IN!!!!!

My dad died when I was ten. My siblings and I received some money from his death. It was supposed to be enough to cover 4 years of college... it only covered 2. Now I am stuck with $52,000 on student loan debt that is only getting worse as I go because I can nearly afford the payments....

Jessica    April 23, 2018    Fort Worth   

I am a 36 year old parent. I moved to ohio to go to college. Now that I have finished school, I tried moving back home to Michigan. My credit score is not stopping me from getting a new home, my student loans are the problem. I owe 126,326.00 for 3 degrees. Every 2 weeks i get paid 1087.00 take home, my student loan payment is a 1,023.18 a month. Educate yourself they say, you will go far they say. I thank the federal gov. for assiting me in going really far in the whole and the job pool is a joke.

Michelle Vega    April 23, 2018    Sheffield Lake   

Your Story*I went back to school in 2011, to work on a PhD in Forensic Psychology. By 2014, I successfully completed my program and I was anxious to do my research for my dissertation. Due to unforseen circumstances, I was unable to continue my educational pursuits and I settled for my master's degree. I owe $96,000...no master's degree should cost that much. I am paying monthly on it, and it just does not seem to decrease. I am 69 years old now and this debt may never be paid off. It is a complete nightmare.

Diana    April 22, 2018    Colorado Springs   

Your Story*I have a Parent Plus Loan that I have been paying on for 8 years. Paying $13,000-$14,000+ every year in interest alone while the principal barely budges.. a few hundred dollars a year!! It takes more then 90% of my Social Security check every month and this is on an Income based plan! I worked for my State Government for 34 years and don't see this loan ever being paid off. I only keep it in the case of my death so my daughter won't be saddled with it. If the interest rate was MUCH lower, or wiped out altogether at least there would be progress in the principal

Kathy Sims    April 20, 2018    Schenectady   

I took at an $11k loan, have paid $25k on it and still owe $13k. I thought education was supposed to help get us out of poverty, not put us in it

Deon Darnell    April 20, 2018    Slater   

Hello, World! My name is April, and I am from Knoxville, TN. I grew up in a very poor family with a mother raising three kids on her own. She held down multiple jobs just so we would have food to eat. By the time I was 16 years old, I was on my own financially. I got my own jobs after school and worked really hard to buy a car and insurance, my own clothes, and anything else I needed.

When it came time to pick a college, I found a home at a small, private, Liberal Arts school a couple of hours from home. I had no prior knowledge of how loans worked and the massive burden I would be taking on as I was the first in my whole family to go to college. My mother simply could not take much in the way of parent plus loans because she was still struggling to make ends meet. But this school was my dream, and I had no idea what the real world would be like once I graduated. In my generation, I was brought up hearing you had to get a college degree to be anything and ever really make anything of yourself. I totally bought into all of it. Once I graduated from college, I started working full time at my Alma Mater and made a small salary. I then made the decision to go on to a graduate program and get a Master's degree. I packed up everything that would fit in my tiny Ford Escort hatchback and moved to Mississippi without knowing a soul.

After all was said and done and my Master's was earned, I now sit with a debt of approximately $98, 000. I will never be able to pay that off in my lifetime with what I make. I am 37 years old and will be completely crippled with this debt for the rest of my life unless something miraculous happens and it is forgiven. I am on the income based repayment plan right now which gives me the ability to LIVE,

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April Hill    April 19, 2018    Knoxville   
April Hill    April 19, 2018    Knoxville   

Hello, World! My name is April, and I am from Knoxville, TN. I grew up in a very poor family with a mother raising three kids on her own. She held down multiple jobs just so we would have food to eat. By the time I was 16 years old, I was on my own financially. I got my own jobs after school and worked really hard to buy a car and insurance, my own clothes, and anything else I needed.

When it came time to pick a college, I found a home at a small, private, Liberal Arts school a couple of hours from home. I had no prior knowledge of how loans worked and the massive burden I would be taking on as I was the first in my whole family to go to college. My mother simply could not take much in the way of parent plus loans because she was still struggling to make ends meet. But this school was my dream, and I had no idea what the real world would be like once I graduated. In my generation, I was brought up hearing you had to get a college degree to be anything and ever really make anything of yourself. I totally bought into all of it. Once I graduated from college, I started working full time at my Alma Mater and made a small salary. I then made the decision to go on to a graduate program and get a Master's degree. I packed up everything that would fit in my tiny Ford Escort hatchback and moved to Mississippi without knowing a soul.

After all was said and done and my Master's was earned, I now sit with a debt of approximately $98, 000. I will never be able to pay that off in my lifetime with what I make. I am 37 years old and will be completely crippled with this debt for the rest of my life unless something miraculous happens and it is forgiven. I am on the income based repayment plan right now which gives me the ability to LIVE, but if that goes away, I will owe over $900 a month for the rest of my life. I will never be able to own a home or better my life in any way with this debt hanging over me. I wish to God I would have received more information or better assistance when I was a kid, but instead I got empty promises of a better life with a four year college degree. Something. Must. Change.

My best friend doesn't get any proper financial aid because the government technically classifies her family as "Middle Class." So instead she has to take out a ridiculous amount of student loans. She turns 21 in 3 days, and is already thousands of dollars in debt.

Katie    April 18, 2018    Bellingham   

I cannot obtain a mortgage in my name due to student loan debt. Going to school should not prevent me from being a homeowner. This needs to change!

Nicole    April 18, 2018    Philadelphia   

I was in poverty most of my life and missed many school days from middle school to high school. I attended continuation schools for most of my high school years and eventually dropped out to later get my GED and Diploma doing homeschool. This was primarily to join the military.
Once in the military I realized one day that I can go to college. Finances have nothing to do with school. I began seeking a college degree when I was 25. Still pretty naive and clueless I discussed a program with an advisor at an online school (little did I know what for profit meant when it came to school). He basically talked me into these easy to pay off, low interest school loans that I wouldn't need to pay until I graduated. I am 35 now and do not have a degree. Changing schools basically causes you to start over when it's an online school. I had to restart (for the most part) at least once. I racked up about $30k in school loans in one year. Fortunately I was eligible for the post 9/11 gi bill. I used this up until I was 35 attending online when I could (family, full time work and more). I am about 10 classes from a degree (probably not the best since it was a for profit online school, but what choice do you have when you're 80 credits deep?).
My Gi Bill ran out and now I have navient calling me 10x a day, threatening garnishment and dropping my credit over 100 points just before I was trying to buy a home. Now I am not eligible for credit anywhere, nor can I get a home loan.
I have attempted to work with Navient, but they don't offer programs when you've owed for so long. They expect me to pay $300~ for one loan, then I have Nelnet asking for $100s a month too. This would be fine if they could work with me, but each time I called them they have been unwilling to work with me on a manageable payment plan.

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JoshuaQ    April 18, 2018    Redding   
JoshuaQ    April 18, 2018    Redding   

I was in poverty most of my life and missed many school days from middle school to high school. I attended continuation schools for most of my high school years and eventually dropped out to later get my GED and Diploma doing homeschool. This was primarily to join the military.
Once in the military I realized one day that I can go to college. Finances have nothing to do with school. I began seeking a college degree when I was 25. Still pretty naive and clueless I discussed a program with an advisor at an online school (little did I know what for profit meant when it came to school). He basically talked me into these easy to pay off, low interest school loans that I wouldn't need to pay until I graduated. I am 35 now and do not have a degree. Changing schools basically causes you to start over when it's an online school. I had to restart (for the most part) at least once. I racked up about $30k in school loans in one year. Fortunately I was eligible for the post 9/11 gi bill. I used this up until I was 35 attending online when I could (family, full time work and more). I am about 10 classes from a degree (probably not the best since it was a for profit online school, but what choice do you have when you're 80 credits deep?).
My Gi Bill ran out and now I have navient calling me 10x a day, threatening garnishment and dropping my credit over 100 points just before I was trying to buy a home. Now I am not eligible for credit anywhere, nor can I get a home loan.
I have attempted to work with Navient, but they don't offer programs when you've owed for so long. They expect me to pay $300~ for one loan, then I have Nelnet asking for $100s a month too. This would be fine if they could work with me, but each time I called them they have been unwilling to work with me on a manageable payment plan.

Now the education system and the credit system is against us. Sure, I haven't paid and that's my fault, but loan sharking and bad choices got me into this situation and I just cannot afford to pay 300-500 a month for school loans that lead to nothing except for near homelessness. They refuse to work with you, but are quick to sue. Call me irresponsible, but when did college become an hourly wage deficit for 30+ years who is excluded from bankruptcy unlike anyone else? I did file bankruptcy in 2014, and I am unable to claim these shark like loans. America is failing us all. Education is imperative to progression, but in America it has become degression because it is a business and nothing more.

I'm having to pay almost 450 a month. That's almost half of my of my paycheck and i can't afford to eat, pay mortgage and care for my family.

andrea anderson    April 18, 2018    Baltimore   

I graduated with a Master degree in Social Work in May 2000. I borrowed a total of $36,704.76 in student loan money to fund both my graduate and undergraduate programs. I began making a monthly payment in March, 2001. To date, I have made 17 years worth of payments totaling approximately $41,0000. Unfortunately because of the way interest is calculated and the manner in which these loans are given, I still owe the loan servicer $48,000. I have paid back every penny borrowed plus some and still owe in exorbitant amount of money. I do work for a non-profit agency and have for 17 years. My payments were not made under a qualifying payment plan so I did not and do not qualify for forgiveness even though I have made well over 10 years of payments. I am a social worker who fights for social justice but sadly do not see an end to this injustice. I have written letters to the US department of Education, the Ombudsman office as well as appealing to my loan servicer only to be met with disappointment.

Nicole Joy    April 18, 2018    Lexington   

I work for a non-forprofit university. I see these students who both borrow responsibily and irresponsible. Part of the problem is the higher education and the cost to pay the teacher , support staff, maintenance, and other areas. We get no state support and breaks. We are a great school for heal professions. Their are a group of students in a certain program that borrow way to much with no hope of paying back. Who’s fault is that? Student or the government. The cost of education is high for us, the cost of living in certain areas (like south Florida). We have become a society that demands degrees but not willing to pay for the student to get a higher education. Their is no single fix to this problem. If you forgive student loan debt for all students what is the fix long term solution to higher education. I’m willing to have a conversation with anyone about this.

James R.    April 17, 2018    Fort Lauderdale   

I have a wife and 3 kids. I make $110, 000 a year. You would think with my salary, I would be fine. We live paycheck to paycheck due to my high student loan monthly payments. She does not work because the cost of child care is so high it does not make sense. I’ve missed a few payments and now my credit has taken a hit. We can not buy a house because of my credit, and I can not get a lower payment because of my income. And both of our cars need maintenance that I can not afford. I should have never went to college and just stayed in the Marine Corp.

Chris    April 17, 2018    Salem   

I had to put everything into handling taking care of my family right after college. My dad was dying of cancer and due to medical bills my family was near poverty. My student loans kicked in after 6 months. (No one is ever prepared to start paying in that soon after graduation. After multiple times having to defer and forbare my loans in order to keep a roof over my dads head , the interest alone set me up for at least another decade of payments. Plus my parents made the mistake of taking out a parent plus loan of which my loan company will not let me transfer into my name so I can consolidate payemts leaving me with $500 a month payments. Who can afford this??
Who knew trying to better myself would leave me paying for it for the rest of my life.

Aleah Kraft    April 16, 2018    2565 Ivy Ave E apt 116   

I decided to go to grad school to help increase my chances of finding a decent job. I finished my program in August and haven't been able to find full time work. This has forced me to keep deferring my payments because I can't afford to start paying those off yet. When I can finally start I'm going to owe between 80 and 100 grand. I'm scared I'll never be able to afford to move out of my parents' house even when I do find full-time work.

Rachel Blase    April 16, 2018    Alexandria   

I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1994. My student load debt has grown from the 32,000 I owed originally to close to 90k now. This is mainly due to the fact that my payments have always been more than my rent or my house payments; and when times got tough due to layoffs or sickness, you can guess which one I paid and which one I didn't. I was able to get several forbearances during this time, but good ol' fed loan just kept on charging that interest. I recently had to take a lesser paying job and have been unable to make payments. Do they offer any help? Nope, but they keep on charging that interest. Reforms are desperately needed for the student loan system. In it's current state it's like borrowing money from the mob. The way they compound interest and the fact that you're tied with the debt until death is criminal.

Mark    April 15, 2018    Bushnell   

I went to Katherine Gibbs in 2005 for an one year program to be an office assistant. Not only it doesn’t make any difference in my life it gives me a big expenses: $10,000 loan that I’m still paying for every month. I have 3 kids and 2 will be going to college soon. I can’t even imagine how to handle this loan and my kids’ college expenses.

Cindy Chin    April 15, 2018    New York   

Hello, I believe our family has found itself in one of the highest known student loan debt ever recorded. You see it’s only my wife’s loans, I’m Scott-free. So after her 6 years of education and a 30,000 scholarship she alone has a total student debt amount of, 215,000. Most of her loans have doubled due to the 8% compound interest rate.... can’t find relief

Alec B    April 9, 2018    Bangor   

Before I injured my back and I was working they garnished my wages not once but twice. They have taken my income tax check where I no longer get my return and my credit is ruined because of the high interest rates and owe way to much to ever see them paid off in my lifetime. I have loans from a school that is no longer in business and think that it is unfair that the only people given loan forgiveness are public service individuals including teachers. I don't believe that interest rates should be decided by congress and don't believe interest rates should continue to be charged and plus they sell the loans off to different people all the time how is anyone supposed to stay on top of all of them when it keeps changing hands.

Tamara    April 8, 2018    Crandall   

I’m stuck with paying almost $500 a month just in student and federal loans. We are living paycheck to paycheck. I am pregnant and scared because Of money and if I don’t pay this, my credit goes down and we will never be able to buy a house. We live in a one bedroom trailer. Sorry for the rant but student and federal loans suck.

Kiana Palos    March 31, 2018    Lodi   

I counsel individuals with addictions, most of whom have mental health issues for a community-based non-profit organization. In the next four or so months, I'll have been doing this for 10 years, and I'll have made about 117 payments on my student loans. But since I didn't request an Income Driven Plan until about two years ago, the company that currently holds my loan says I've only made 26 payments that are part of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. What a joke. As a co-worker and friend asked about the 114 or so payments I've already made, "What did they think you were giving them, tips?" Anyone up for a class-action law suit?

Miriam    March 25, 2018    Vancouver   

I recently began a teaching job after college and began paying my student loans. Each month I pay 223 dollars, and I watch my loan balance INCREASE.

Joanie Murta    March 24, 2018    San Antonio   

Your Story*I started my doctorate in 2008 in Educational Leadership. I was promised I could get through the program in three years, and that I would not go over my aggregate loan limits. At the three point mark, my dissertation/study had not been approved, and I was forced to continue. I went to the Dean and Financial AId and asked for support. I had worked so hard in the program. All they said was, drop out. Well , dropping out wasn't an option, because I would still have to pay for the loan. They pushed me to my aggregate loan limits, I believe for their own financial gain. I graduated with a 4.0. However, as the mother of two young girls, and a wife, the jobs, for someone with my experience and education do not pay sufficiently to pay the loans. If I went back into non-profit teaching, I would not be able to take care of my family. I keep deferring. We have a mortgage and bills to pay. I am the primary bread winner in my family, so I cannot take a public service job to find relief.. If I had known my biggest dream would become my biggest nightmare, I would never have gone to school. I feel ignorant and stupid.

Jodi    March 21, 2018    Warren   

I earned a diploma in Electrical Technology from NATS at the end of 2013. I owe over $12,000 but i didn't had electrical jobs because i am epiliptic and my doctor had advice me not to work such kinds of jobe because of the nature of the jobs. So I work in small retail store 20 to 30 hours in a week with not more than a minimum wage of the state of Maryland. Because of my health problem and very low income I couldn't make a payment for my student loan.
Thanks for you attention many times I get stress out it trigger my problem and had a seizure.
Mar 16, 2018 Baltimore, Maryland.

Tarekegn Aboye    March 16, 2018    Baltimore   

Your Story*I have had a very difficult time over the years working with the various and changing servicers of my consolidated federal and private student loans. When I needed help with an additional forbearance in the past after my original forbearance period had been used up, my loan servicer showed absolutely no mercy, even though they had a supposed process to appeal their initial denial decision. Later, after entering into an IBR payment plan, I never missed a payment but missed the under-publicized deadline for submitting my annual updated income information. Because I submitted the information after the deadline, my servicer restarted the clock by entering me into a "new" IBR plan, which meant that I would have to make my twenty years of payments for a longer period of time. This clock has been reset three times now over the years, even though no payment was ever late. Being gouged in these legal but despicable ways has made me deeply interested as an attorney in helping other student debtors to use the legal system to get out from under their frequently oppressive and life-sapping student loan debt.

Joe Volpe    March 15, 2018    Cleveland   

I earned a master's degree in Education in 2007. I owe over $60,000 in student loans accumulated while working full time while raising two children as a single parent. I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic pain and post traumatic stress disorder because I was sexually abused for a decade as a child. Social Security does not believe I have these ailments (even though years of doctors' reports stated I did) because I was able to work 8 hours per week from bed teaching online and "made too much money" doing so. I needed to feed my children and keep a roof over my head while I was waiting for their disability approval. So I was forced to return to work full time and pay back $60,000 in social security benefits paid to me. Now, I am in a temporary position working outside the home and suffering greatly every day with anxiety and chronic diarrhea. I have $60,000 in student loan debt and $60,000 in social security debt and I break down and cry every day about it. Thanks for listening anyway. It helps to put it out there sometimes. We all have heavy burdens to carry. 🙁

Theresa Avila    March 13, 2018    SANTA MARIA   

I started school as an adult student. Finished several years later wi5h my Masters in Psych/Counseling. Finally received my professional credentials. My PSLF is the only thing giving me faith that I will ever be able to pay these loans. I have checked my payment status with Fed Loan Servicing. I started with a balance of $123,000, in the past year have paid $11,000 and it has netted me $160.00 to principle and the rest to interest. I will die with these loans, and wish I had more information at the time I borrowed. What makes things better is I asked for a recalculation of my payments because I was struggling making them. It returned to me $.75 less. That’s right seventy five cents. Overwhelming does not even begin to describe how this makes me feel daily.

NamTeresa Hamiltone*    March 12, 2018    Newfane   

I got my first Master's degree in Counseling Psychology at age 21 and my father paid for this at a state university in Maryland. During that time, I worked for several prestigious substance abuse/mental health treatment programs including The Willough (Naples, FL), Sierra Tucson (Arizona), The Rader Institute and The Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage CA. I loved doing residential substance abuse, eating disorders and dual disorders. After moving to Portland, OR, I stayed at an outpatient program for 3 years and then for the next 12 years, worked as a HR manager, Recruiting manager/director and made great money. When I moved back to Florida to take care of a sick parent, I decided to go back to graduate school to get my Masters in Social Work, which is the degree I wished I'd gotten 30 years ago so I could have gone into the Air Force as a officer and retired with the Air Force. I moved from Florida to western Colorado in 2016, being promised by my employer then that there would be "no problem in your getting federal loan forgiveness program-our employees get that all the time." I later found out that because this employer's HPSA score was too, I would never get federal loan forgiveness. I was also promised a $4K relocation and only got $2500. I was asked to complete other clinicians' clinical reports and was told by my professional association that this is fraud/lying and could lose my LCSW license over that, so I refused. Several months later, I was fired for confronting a coworker on her unethical client behavioral. I fought my unemployment and won and now hope I can get a contract job overseas that is tax free so I can send a lot of money to FAFSA and get some of the $100,000 loans I owed paid down. I guess I'll be working until I'm 99 doing private practice! Could use some wisdom, advice. Thanks!

Julie    March 1, 2018    Palisade   

Since I was young, I knew I wanted to serve my community. I started volunteering when I was in high school and I graduated with a B.A. in 2001 with only $15,000 in student loans. Just a few months later, 9/11 occurred. Because I wanted to work in international development, this prompted me to delay my application to Peace Corps and serve my community stateside for a few years. I served one year in AmeriCorps, apprenticed on an organic farm for another. I also volunteered at a local nonprofit and taught ESL classes.

In 2005, I joined Peace Corps-Mali as an Agriculture Extension Agent. After completing two years and upon my return, I knew I needed an advanced degree in order to make a larger, positive impact in the nonprofit sector. I explored the many graduate program options Peace Corps has for returned volunteers. These programs usually come at a reduced or no cost, but none of the graduate programs were available in Austin, a city to which I had just moved. After travelling extensively for over a decade, I loved Austin and didn't want to move again. In late 2007, the PSLF program was signed into law, which opened up many more options to get an advanced degree at a local university.

In 2010, I found a great master's program at a small, private university and started the program in 2011. It was an alternative MBA and would help me become an even more effective leader in the nonprofit sector. Throughout the two years, I worked full time at a nonprofit but I still had to take out $50,000+ in student loan debt in order to pay tuition. Today, four years after graduating, I still have nearly $70,000 in total debt.

In late 2016, I applied for and qualify PSLF, and not for at least 7 years. I share my story because I know PSLF is currently under threat with this administration's proposed FY19 budget. The prospect of PSLF helped me get an advanced degree, a degree that has helped me become a better nonprofit professional,

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Christina    February 28, 2018    Austin   
Christina    February 28, 2018    Austin   

Since I was young, I knew I wanted to serve my community. I started volunteering when I was in high school and I graduated with a B.A. in 2001 with only $15,000 in student loans. Just a few months later, 9/11 occurred. Because I wanted to work in international development, this prompted me to delay my application to Peace Corps and serve my community stateside for a few years. I served one year in AmeriCorps, apprenticed on an organic farm for another. I also volunteered at a local nonprofit and taught ESL classes.

In 2005, I joined Peace Corps-Mali as an Agriculture Extension Agent. After completing two years and upon my return, I knew I needed an advanced degree in order to make a larger, positive impact in the nonprofit sector. I explored the many graduate program options Peace Corps has for returned volunteers. These programs usually come at a reduced or no cost, but none of the graduate programs were available in Austin, a city to which I had just moved. After travelling extensively for over a decade, I loved Austin and didn't want to move again. In late 2007, the PSLF program was signed into law, which opened up many more options to get an advanced degree at a local university.

In 2010, I found a great master's program at a small, private university and started the program in 2011. It was an alternative MBA and would help me become an even more effective leader in the nonprofit sector. Throughout the two years, I worked full time at a nonprofit but I still had to take out $50,000+ in student loan debt in order to pay tuition. Today, four years after graduating, I still have nearly $70,000 in total debt.

In late 2016, I applied for and qualify PSLF, and not for at least 7 years. I share my story because I know PSLF is currently under threat with this administration's proposed FY19 budget. The prospect of PSLF helped me get an advanced degree, a degree that has helped me become a better nonprofit professional, a better leader, and better able to make a positive impact on my organization and the nonprofit sector. I believe we owe it to all current public-sector leaders to ensure that FedLoan is held accountable, becomes more transparent immediately, as well as safeguard the PSLF program for future public-sector leaders.

My name is Caroline Russ. I was so excited to read that bankruptcy might be an option for student loan borrowers. I declared bankruptcy in 2009, but it really didn't help my situation much because the largest portion of my debt were my student loans. Even though my situation was very much a hardship situation, I could not get released from my debt burden. I also was not making much money at my Public Service position in Florida. Until a couple of years ago, I did not realize that the lender that owned my loans was not a participant in the Public Service Forgiveness Program, and had to change lenders to one who did participate in it. My salary has gone up some, but not enough to completely pay off all of my student loans. Plus, they have also accrued a great deal of interest since I took them out because I have gone through a hardship period since the Great Recession. I know that they keep me from make life changing decisions that could change mine and my daughters lives. I won't get married because I really don't want somebody else drowning in debt with me. I can't buy a house because my debt to income ratio is extremely high because of my student loans even though my other debts are relatively low. Ironically enough, I work in financial aid at a college, but don't really talk about it with anyone I work with here. I do participate in the Income Based Repayment Plan, but don't feel like the debt will ever go away. I really feel disappointed for my daughter because it hinders me from making a better life for her, which I do feel is part of the American Dream. I would like to pay for her to go to vocational school. right now, I don't feel confident that a degree will help anyone anymore because of the crushing student loan problem. If there is a way to eliminate the debt, I would be so thrilled. I feel like my previous bankruptcy should be considered in this matter.

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Caroline Russ    February 23, 2018    Lehigh Acres   
Caroline Russ    February 23, 2018    Lehigh Acres   

My name is Caroline Russ. I was so excited to read that bankruptcy might be an option for student loan borrowers. I declared bankruptcy in 2009, but it really didn't help my situation much because the largest portion of my debt were my student loans. Even though my situation was very much a hardship situation, I could not get released from my debt burden. I also was not making much money at my Public Service position in Florida. Until a couple of years ago, I did not realize that the lender that owned my loans was not a participant in the Public Service Forgiveness Program, and had to change lenders to one who did participate in it. My salary has gone up some, but not enough to completely pay off all of my student loans. Plus, they have also accrued a great deal of interest since I took them out because I have gone through a hardship period since the Great Recession. I know that they keep me from make life changing decisions that could change mine and my daughters lives. I won't get married because I really don't want somebody else drowning in debt with me. I can't buy a house because my debt to income ratio is extremely high because of my student loans even though my other debts are relatively low. Ironically enough, I work in financial aid at a college, but don't really talk about it with anyone I work with here. I do participate in the Income Based Repayment Plan, but don't feel like the debt will ever go away. I really feel disappointed for my daughter because it hinders me from making a better life for her, which I do feel is part of the American Dream. I would like to pay for her to go to vocational school. right now, I don't feel confident that a degree will help anyone anymore because of the crushing student loan problem. If there is a way to eliminate the debt, I would be so thrilled. I feel like my previous bankruptcy should be considered in this matter. I thank you for re-evaluating the situation for previous borrowers like me.

I was a single mother with two children living in San Francisco in the Eighties. I went to a community college and then transferred to San Francisco State University, a four year college. Trying to pay rent in one of the most expensive American cities, even then, was a challenge for me. The whole point of returning to school was to better my living situation so that I could provide for my children. So, I took out student loans for my living expenses, feeling certain that I would get a great job and repay. Because I was an excellent student studying French and International Relations, I was admitted into an international program where I took my daughter for an academic year at the University of Provence in the south of France. By the time I returned, my loans came due. I was only six units away from graduation. So, I never got the chance to graduate and before I knew it, I owed over $32,000 for an education I couldn't complete. As a result, I was never able to achieve the salaries that would allow me to get rid of this burden. And this has hung like an albatross around my neck ever since. I am now 64 years old and I have no idea how I will ever be rid of this catastrophic burden. Help!

Denise Korn    February 16, 2018    Atlanta   

I have been struggling to pay my student loans for years. But with the PSLF program - at least I know there is light at the end of the tunnel. WIthout an Income Driven Repayment Plan I would be homeless. This program is ESSENTIAL to get qualified people to work in government and nonprofit sectors

Meegen    February 16, 2018    sacramento   

I'm barely making it on the IBR payments in on. I've already been through bankruptcy in 2017 due to high medical bills--but I still have +100k in student loan debt. The only thing that keeps me going is PSLF in 8 more years. PLUS, I am caring for a parent who is in default on her student loans because she has encountered age discrimination when looking for work. All student loans should really be forgiven. The forgiveness would grow the economy and give some if us a second chance which, ironically, a lot of us went to school for in the first place!

Lisa L. Longmire    February 16, 2018    Silverdale   

I'm a 77-year-old retired teacher trying to survive on a meager teacher pension & SS in the most expensive state of the US. I worked as a public school teacher in San Francisco for 29 years & in state prisons for 10 years. I have epilepsy. If it weren't for SS, Medicare, & the kindness of friends, I'd be living on the streets. My student debt is an onus. Due to my public service, most or all of that debt should be forgiven.

Herminio Flores-Mu;ero    February 16, 2018    San Mateo   

Librarians need a 4 year degree just to be considered for a job. Once you land a job, it's probably going to be under 30 hours a week, because libraries have fewer and fewer full time positions any more. They can't afford to pay benefits, and we can't afford to pay off our student loans. It took a hefty student loan for me to acquire my degree at the age of 45. Without a full time job opportunity in my field, I'll never be able to pay it off in my lifetime.

Wendy Sykes    February 15, 2018    Saint Cloud   

I am a 53 year old single, self-employed psychologist and mother of two. I am the youngest of four children raised by my mother who was widowed when our father died when I was four. I was the only one to go to college. I had to take out loans originating in 1990 while working full time and going to school full time to keep the loans minimized.

Loans were offered freely without question or warning. I was told how they are easily refinanced, with flexible repayment, etc. They carried forward into graduate school. Again, I worked full time and did not borrow at all when I received a stipend for my doctoral level internship.

After receiving my doctorate, I was now shown the debt was $112,000 with minimum payments of $650 a month. By that point, I was a single mother of two young children and their father was incarcerated for non-payment of child support. When I had trouble paying, Sallie Mae/turned Navient steered me into forebearance easily without telling me of the added interest, fees, and penalties that would escalate the loans to higher than they were originally.

They were condescending on the phone. From there I paid every possible penny toward the repayment. Throughout my children’s childhoods, I worked any possible hours to keep the cash flow and made the loans a priority over all else. I dragged them to work with me on sick days, snow days, etc. to avoid expenses of childcare.

Despite the relative success of my private practice, I could never earn enough to pay the loans, taxes, health care, etc. I juggled debt, refinanced whenever I could, and downsized homes dramatically on two occasions. My son, daughter and I ended up in a small two bedroom condo with my son sleeping in the basement by the time they got to high school.

Despite my constant working and downsizing, by 2016 I could no longer avoid bankruptcy. One week after filing Chapter 13, I got diagnosed with breast cancer. I had two surgeries and daily radiation treatments.

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Sharon Kelly    February 14, 2018    West Chester   
Sharon Kelly    February 14, 2018    West Chester   

I am a 53 year old single, self-employed psychologist and mother of two. I am the youngest of four children raised by my mother who was widowed when our father died when I was four. I was the only one to go to college. I had to take out loans originating in 1990 while working full time and going to school full time to keep the loans minimized.

Loans were offered freely without question or warning. I was told how they are easily refinanced, with flexible repayment, etc. They carried forward into graduate school. Again, I worked full time and did not borrow at all when I received a stipend for my doctoral level internship.

After receiving my doctorate, I was now shown the debt was $112,000 with minimum payments of $650 a month. By that point, I was a single mother of two young children and their father was incarcerated for non-payment of child support. When I had trouble paying, Sallie Mae/turned Navient steered me into forebearance easily without telling me of the added interest, fees, and penalties that would escalate the loans to higher than they were originally.

They were condescending on the phone. From there I paid every possible penny toward the repayment. Throughout my children’s childhoods, I worked any possible hours to keep the cash flow and made the loans a priority over all else. I dragged them to work with me on sick days, snow days, etc. to avoid expenses of childcare.

Despite the relative success of my private practice, I could never earn enough to pay the loans, taxes, health care, etc. I juggled debt, refinanced whenever I could, and downsized homes dramatically on two occasions. My son, daughter and I ended up in a small two bedroom condo with my son sleeping in the basement by the time they got to high school.

Despite my constant working and downsizing, by 2016 I could no longer avoid bankruptcy. One week after filing Chapter 13, I got diagnosed with breast cancer. I had two surgeries and daily radiation treatments. My deductible was over $7000 per year so I had almost $15,000 of new debt despite being in bankruptcy.

By that time, I had paid over $140,000 toward my student loans (that were originally only $112,000) yet still owed $96,000!!!

My attorney thought the student loan lender would be compassionate and offer some relief. Not so. We had to file an Adversarial Complaint and we are now facing continued litigation.

At one point, the loan servicer (NJHSEAA, taking over from Navient during the bankruptcy) tried to get me to plagiarize myself by completing a Total and Complete Disability form in order to qualify for temporary relief. I was trying to work and keep my practice alive despite the cancer treatments and would not lie.

I can’t engage in any more health care because I have a new deductible and I am on the verge of canceling my health insurance altogether since I can’t afford the yearly deductibles anyway.

There was some talk of mediation, but then NJHSEAA suddenly said they have no authority to negotiate a settlement. My attorney said we have to go to trial. The stress in overwhelming. My son just started college and my daughter starts next year. They are both scared and dissolutioned right now for putting them in this position. They lived our suffering from student loans throughout their childhoods and now they are forced to take out their own.

I’m pleased to see this sight, but becoming very hopeless about our country right now.

If the Public Service program ended, my years of hard work and service would not count. As a single parent, I would be paying hundreds and hundreds of dollars every month for the rest of my life.

Cassia    February 13, 2018    Millburn   

I used Federal Stafford Loans to pay for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I have worked in public service for over 20 years. I currently pay $527.00 per month to Navient, which purchased my student loan from Sallie Mae about 4 years ago. To date, I have made 114 income driven loan payments. I was looking forward to getting my my remaining student loan debt of $60,000.00 forgiven, but I was informed by Navient and the Deparment of Education that type of loan that I have disqualifies me from the loan forgiveness program! In order to qualify, I now must consolidate my existing loans again into the type of loan that is required for loan forgiveness and start over with making 120 payments again! I am devastated! My 120th payment would have been paid in July 2018! Neither loan servicer advised me all this time that I did not have the right type of loan to qualify for the loan forgiveness program that is now in jeopardy of being eliminated by our current administration. I consistently asked my loan services if I was on the right track for loan forgiveness and was told yes. I blame myself for not knowing. This feels like a nightmare. Somebody, please awaken me!

Katina Johnson    February 5, 2018    Jacksonville   

I am 41 years old. I feel like the majority the school loan debt stories and advice columns that I hear are targeted for recent graduates who are younger in their 20s. Don’t get me wrong, I feel for them. I know their employment prospects and the cost of living is very challenging for this group. However, I struggle with the advice and assistance for those of us who are older and have multiple degrees. Multiple degrees = lots of debt for some of us.

I am honestly ashamed to admit this, but here goes…. I owe almost $200,000 (yes, you read that right) in school debt. I never admit this out loud to anyone. I read that you should admit it and tell people out loud to stand in your truth. This is not easy. I have never met anyone or read any stories online of anyone in as much school loan debt as myself. I read that the average school loan debt is something like $30,000. I honestly laughed at this. I could only dream of this debt. I don’t say that to minimize how much that is to another, but just how embarrassed I am to have 6 times the amount that the average person has. How did this happen to me? How will I ever resolve this? I have impeccable credit (above 800), I pay all of my bills, I work multiple jobs, I own a house with a hefty mortgage (always paid) and I cannot get ahead of my school debt. I am at a loss….
I am a nurse-attorney and college professor. When I say this, I always get the requisite response that people are impressed (or maybe they feel that is how they are supposed to react). They always say something like you are so smart or so accomplished, etc. On the inside, I am ashamed, embarrassed and telling myself I cannot possibly be that smart if I have allowed myself to accumulate such debt.
As a young woman in college, I had no concept of what accruing debt meant.

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Shawna Butler    February 4, 2018    Boston   
Shawna Butler    February 4, 2018    Boston   

I am 41 years old. I feel like the majority the school loan debt stories and advice columns that I hear are targeted for recent graduates who are younger in their 20s. Don’t get me wrong, I feel for them. I know their employment prospects and the cost of living is very challenging for this group. However, I struggle with the advice and assistance for those of us who are older and have multiple degrees. Multiple degrees = lots of debt for some of us.

I am honestly ashamed to admit this, but here goes…. I owe almost $200,000 (yes, you read that right) in school debt. I never admit this out loud to anyone. I read that you should admit it and tell people out loud to stand in your truth. This is not easy. I have never met anyone or read any stories online of anyone in as much school loan debt as myself. I read that the average school loan debt is something like $30,000. I honestly laughed at this. I could only dream of this debt. I don’t say that to minimize how much that is to another, but just how embarrassed I am to have 6 times the amount that the average person has. How did this happen to me? How will I ever resolve this? I have impeccable credit (above 800), I pay all of my bills, I work multiple jobs, I own a house with a hefty mortgage (always paid) and I cannot get ahead of my school debt. I am at a loss….
I am a nurse-attorney and college professor. When I say this, I always get the requisite response that people are impressed (or maybe they feel that is how they are supposed to react). They always say something like you are so smart or so accomplished, etc. On the inside, I am ashamed, embarrassed and telling myself I cannot possibly be that smart if I have allowed myself to accumulate such debt.
As a young woman in college, I had no concept of what accruing debt meant. I had not been educated on finances at all (at home, school, etc). My naïve mindset was that I would be making money later after I graduated and became a nurse, so I would be able to pay it then. I had no concept of what that meant. I had always thought I would go back to school and get a graduate degree when I was an undergraduate. Shortly after graduating and working as a nurse for a short time, instead of going back to school to get a master’s in nursing, I decided to go to law school (not cheap!) as a means to combine my healthcare background with a future in law. After law school, I continued to work as a nurse for a bit until I found the right next career path. I was able to transition into patient safety and quality where both my nursing and legal background would be a benefit. We managed many regulatory, legal and investigative patient matters.
My problem was that through all of this I was not paying attention to the interest and other financial burdens being accumulated. I did not sit down and create a budget. I just bought things and paid the bill issued to me by the school loan companies as they came. I never sat down and thought about the long-term consequences of debt and how the interest continues to add up. I even deferred my loans a few times. This is the problem with not having ever been taught about money. I just kept thinking “someday” I would make more money and that it was the norm to just get by and spend every penny you made. I did not ever consider the big picture. I just thought you paid the bills that came each month. I never thought about debt over time or interest. I wish somebody has explained this to me or that I caught on to the problem earlier on. I was still in my late 20s at that time. I felt like I had forever….
After advancing in my career, I began to teach some college courses. Although I had an advanced degree, my advanced degree was not in nursing. In order to teach at the college level, you typically need an advanced degree in the field (often you even need a doctoral level degree). This led me back to school. I know, I know!!!! I still didn’t get it! I got a doctoral degree in nursing. This is how I ended up where I am.
Once I was closer to graduating with my final degree (yes, I stupidly deferred previous loans during this time), I started looking at the figures I owed and finally something triggered in my brain that these amounts could not possible be paid off. Even if that SOMEDAY I kept thinking would come that I would make more money, I could not possibly make that and still live. How naïve!!! I thought even if I paid $1,000/month (which sounded like a lot), I would not make a dent. For the past year, I have been working multiple jobs. I still work in the hospital and I teach for multiple universities. Some months I pay $1,000 and some I have paid as much as $4,000+. During this time, I have even still seen my balance increase. Do you know how disheartening it is to work so hard, make double and triple payments and still see that balance GO UP???? I do not want this debt hanging over me for the next 30 years. What can I do? What is a reasonable plan to pay this off in 5 or 10 years realistically. I am willing to make drastic changes. I make a decent annual salary (since I work multiple jobs), but it is not even making a dent right now.

Thank you, Educated and Indebted in Boston

I am relying entirely on PSLF. So many of us have shaped our life planning around PSLF and eliminating it would shatter millions of peoples finances. I CHOOSE to work with the Veterans Administration because I believe in helping our veterans. If I was no longer able to get PSLF through working at a government organization I and thousands others would FLEE the system for private sector jobs that simply pay better. I am pretty disciplined in money management but trying to save money with a family is still incredibly hard enough already with a significant percentage of my paycheck devoted to loans. Taking away PSLF seems like it simply should not be legal, especially for those of us that have been invested in the program for years already.

Cliff S    January 28, 2018    New Haven   

My student loan debt is currently $238,935.49. When I was on a standard ten year repayment plan my payment was over $2000 a month.

While applying for a income driven repayment plan to take advantage of public service loan forgiveness I placed my loans on a forbearance which resulted in interest charges of $27,997.32. But will hopefully not be an issue.

It seems crazy to me that the fed funds rate is currently 1.25% but my interest rates are between 6.5 and 8%. A moot point with PSLF. If I had the same rate as big banks, repayment would have been possible. Without PSLF I would be really struggling. I don't understand how the other loan forgiveness are of much benefit as people will currently be taxed on the amount forgiven. In my case, if my loans were forgiven without PSLF I would owe more in taxes than I make in a year!

Fortunately, with PSLF I won't have to save money to pay that tax bill!

Please keep up your efforts to keep this program going!

I wish all my payments counted toward the payback time, especially when I was paying much more than my income based plan. I suppose beggars can't be choosers.

Chris    January 27, 2018    NY   

I entered graduate school and took on student debt with the understanding that I would qualify for Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness as a librarian in a public library. Now, when I am three months away from graduating, this program is on the chopping block and if it is eliminated, I will likely just miss the window to be grandfathered into the program. I am terrified of being unable to pay off my loans and having my debt rule my life. Please fight for this program and for all of us who are working on the front lines in public service jobs.

Terra Emerson    January 27, 2018    Sebastopol   

Last year, I became sixty-five years old and I had to move into a room previous year because of prices going higher and I'm paying on back schools loans. I owe so much I don't see myself getting a salary that the government doesn't own. I'm a teacher for the City of New York. So, I get paid with one hand and the city takes the money back with the other. i don't make enough money to even have a studio apartment in Brooklyn, I started back to school when two of my three sons were teenagers and for the next twelve years I worked, taught for the Dept of Education and finished undergrad, grad and almost finished my certificate for school administration. I raised three sons living with their father who was never actively involved as a parent. I raised them the best I could- initially going to private school until college, involving them in all the the things they were interested in (paying for the lessons as well as attending their events) We moved several times due to lack of finances because of unemployment by their father so live wasn't easy. But we managed. The years as a parent has brought a great deal of challenges raising three sons which called for sacrifices but I still finished school. I entered the teaching profession as a Teaching Fellow which means I had a scholarship, My educational background involved finishing undergrad at the New School and grad as well as admin program at Long Island University. Therefore, loans were needed for undergrad and admin certificate. Cost of living rising, helping my sons through their trials and tribulations, I've struggled . It has also been quite challenging teaching in urban schools for seventeen years, spending at least five hundred dollars of my own money each year supplementing my needs for my students and never being reimbursed. Each year, I've had difficulties surviving living in Brooklyn, New York. When I should be retiring like most of my friends and people my age, I find myself still having to work. This year I had my second physical accident at school which involved a hip fracture resulting in surgery.

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Danielle Vilson    January 27, 2018    Brooklyn   
Danielle Vilson    January 27, 2018    Brooklyn   

Last year, I became sixty-five years old and I had to move into a room previous year because of prices going higher and I'm paying on back schools loans. I owe so much I don't see myself getting a salary that the government doesn't own. I'm a teacher for the City of New York. So, I get paid with one hand and the city takes the money back with the other. i don't make enough money to even have a studio apartment in Brooklyn, I started back to school when two of my three sons were teenagers and for the next twelve years I worked, taught for the Dept of Education and finished undergrad, grad and almost finished my certificate for school administration. I raised three sons living with their father who was never actively involved as a parent. I raised them the best I could- initially going to private school until college, involving them in all the the things they were interested in (paying for the lessons as well as attending their events) We moved several times due to lack of finances because of unemployment by their father so live wasn't easy. But we managed. The years as a parent has brought a great deal of challenges raising three sons which called for sacrifices but I still finished school. I entered the teaching profession as a Teaching Fellow which means I had a scholarship, My educational background involved finishing undergrad at the New School and grad as well as admin program at Long Island University. Therefore, loans were needed for undergrad and admin certificate. Cost of living rising, helping my sons through their trials and tribulations, I've struggled . It has also been quite challenging teaching in urban schools for seventeen years, spending at least five hundred dollars of my own money each year supplementing my needs for my students and never being reimbursed. Each year, I've had difficulties surviving living in Brooklyn, New York. When I should be retiring like most of my friends and people my age, I find myself still having to work. This year I had my second physical accident at school which involved a hip fracture resulting in surgery. At the moment i'm going through physical therapy and nutritional improvement to aid in my improvement in health' I would prefer to give in my papers to retire, I also worked thirteen years driving a bus for New York City Transit prior to becoming a teacher. I've worked for thirty-five years in total including other jobs I've had as well as doing a great deal of volunteer work in my community. So I think my background and others who are older people deserved to be given payment for our contribution to society by dropping any outstanding school loans we might have. I am part of the baby boomer generation and we have caused society to make some changes in their mine set e.g. holistic way of living, improvement in technology, no limitations on the capabilities on being older etc. So, I would appreciate someone helping me straighten out this situation so I can enjoy a well-deserved retirement from this profession so I can pursue my passion or open another chapter of my life. Thank you

When I entered college at 17 years old, I was desperarelty seeking freedom from my parents authority, as most high school graduates are. While I recieved a small scholarship from the private 4-year university which I'd attended, I needed to cover the costs in some other way. I sought help from my credit union, which led me to University Accounting Services, and when that borrow amount was exceeded, I then borrowed from Sallie Mae. To date I have $160,000 in student loan debt, $140,000 being held by private student loan companies, whose interest rates are climbing. The federal government has been the only understanding party, willing to bend in flexibility to ensure that I am able to keep my head afloat along with my credit score. The private student loan companies, against whom I've written to the CFPB, the President of the United States, the founder of the school system of which I was a part of in my upbringing, Ellen, Oprah, Eva Longoria, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bill Gates, and so many more, are bleeding me dry with little options other than to defer while I am in law school (which I'm paying out of pocket for). I am disheartened mostly by the fact that someone my age was allowed to continue borrowing, without being fully informed from the companies in a way that would make sense to someone my age at the time, of the serious consequences. My student loan payments will not stay in forbearance during the summer, despite that I will still be enrolled in my part-time law degree program, and I can expect to be paying approximately $1500 a month during the summer months, in addition to my tuition. I've asked for help, with little to no response, and have looked into consolidation; however, no one wants to acknowledge my struggle with the enormity of the monster that I've laid down with, and no one has any solution to private student loan forgiveness, as that's not an option.

Emma Fonseca    January 26, 2018    Lodi   

I thought I was doing things right. I enrolled in PSLF. I was working a qualifying job. But when I submitted my paperwork to certify my employment and count my qualifying payments they told me I had made 6 qualifying payments in 7 years. I interrogated the agent for 45 minutes over this. They said that at some point I had paid about 20 cents extra. And then consistently paid 20 cents over for many months. Which put my loans in “paid ahead status” which made those payments not count. Another month I paid 20 cents too little. So my next month’s statement was for 20 cents more than usual. So neither of those payments counted. Other months I had the money 2 weeks before due date so I paid it. But that meant my payment due Dec 7 was paid in November. Does not qualify. Somehow enough of these “errors” happened in 7 years so that only 6 of my payments were counted. I’ve started to look at private sector jobs because I’ve lost hope my loans will ever be forgiven in this program.

Gretchen    January 26, 2018    North Canton   

I graduated in 1994. I owed $40,000. I taught for 6 years at community college level, then as a staff member at CSULB in a non-profit Center from 2002 to 2017. I also taught at this university as a lecturer.
I've been paying on my loans for over 22 years and have applied for Forgiveness and was rejected, even though I've worked for a non-profit public university and a non-profit center at that same university. All of my payments have gone to the interest only...not a single penny to the principle. My balance owed now with 8 1/4 interest rate, is $120,000!!! How the hell does this happen? I'm 63 years old and won't work or live long enough to pay this debt off. It's forcing me to put off retirement as long as possible...and my health isn't getting better. Alum like me need help! It's destroyed my ability to live a full life and to save money for retirement. HELP US, WE'RE DROWING!!!

Cynthia Schultheisd    January 23, 2018    Long Beach   

I work in an ngo, fighting for solutions to end extreme poverty worldwide. I live in DC, even while biking, cooking and other extras I struggle to make ends meet. I want to do my masters and dream of being able to continue my education. I already have debt from undergrad, even though I worked full time during undergrad. I need the PSLF in order to get my masters degree and continue doing the work I do.

Veronica Brown    January 22, 2018    Washington DC   

I went to community college in the 1990. Graduated . Had problems keeping up with my payments on my loan. In 2006 my check was garnished for about 10 years . They took 24,000. Now a few years later they say I owe 3000 more was going to take my taxes. But garnishing my check again. I was sure I know I didn't borrow that much. I need help why they keep taking my money
I can hardly live on what have left this time .. this loan was in iowa

Julie pierce    January 21, 2018    York S. Carolina   

I am 69 years old. I am still paying for my son's education thru parent plus loans. My son is paying too. My son graduated 13 years ago and we are still paying. At my age, their is no program in place that help me get relief or reduction from this debt which is now at $32,000. I am retired and have health issues. I guess the only relief for me is death.

Janice Bennett    January 20, 2018    Detroit   

I took out student loans without proper education on what the long term effects on my livelihood would be. My mother was needed to be the cosigner in order for me to receive the loan. I decided college was not the right option for me and did not finish my education at the university I was attending. I am now making payments until i'm in my 60s. My life has been damaged by my student loan debts and I fear that I won't be able to recover.

Alexander Hall    January 19, 2018    San Pedro   

I am a city worker in the city of Baltimore. It seems like every time I get a increase in salary, it's really not a raise. Once the city finish taking out money for the retirement plan and other city due increase in employee paid benefits; I bring home less each time. I have student loans from 2009 that I'm struggling to try to pay. So if I had to put the loan payments in forbearance the interest rates have now increase the loan to over double than what I borrowed and the interest repayment rate is twice as high as when I initially borrowed. so how can they change the rate of interest from what I borrow to a different interest rate to repay. I will never be able to pay this loan off with the low wages I make with my degree and the constancies rate of repayment increasing. I'm on the phone with fedloan just about every 2 to 3 months. Trying to find a way to pay back, without having to go without the necessities

Sharmel Rhyne    January 19, 2018    Baltimore, MD   

I am a 44 year old divorced mom. I have about 155k in student loans that I cannot ever see paying for. Halfway thru my medical program, my ex spouse went to jail and confessed a drug problem. This forced me to drop out of school. I recovered and landed a decent job to raise my child but we live hand to mouth with SL debt looming and preventing any kind of saving or safety net. My ex doesn't support us in anyway. His loans were erased because his habit and criminal inclination allowed him to be declared indigent. Plus he has rich parents who hired attorneys to get him out of it. How is this fair? My child and I live paycheck to paycheck. We can't afford a home, a vacation or even some of the basic necessities.

Laura Phillips    January 19, 2018    Winston Salem   

I've studied at a for-profit college. Because the college where I worked decided to let me go, I've been unable to find similar work. Now I'm 66 years old and have worked retail and cleaning jobs. I really need to find a way to get the loan forgiven.

Rebecca Stump    January 19, 2018    Galloway   

I am a 30 something married woman who thought I was doing everything right. I went to college to further along my education to get a better job, But now days I regret going. I feel shamed and disgusted with myself for getting in this position. Anytime I try to talk about it nobody ever believes me about the struggle that it is to live with this kind of burden. I took out around 70,000 worth of loans to attend college, I’ve been paying on those loans for nine years and I somehow now owe a $157,000. I can barely afford to go to the dentist or the doctor, I sure can’t afford to go on vacation, anytime there’s an emergency I have to rely on credit cards or retired parents. Not only am I mentally suffering with this debt on my shoulders, but I feel like no one understands the pressure that comes along with it. I feel alone, and I feel like I have no voice. I can never talk about student loans to friends or family because they just judge me “Why did you take out so much“ “don’t you know how to do math”
“What do you expect the government to do”
I’m so sick of hearing these kind of questions and I’m sick of not being able to enjoy life. At this point, I feel like I am living at poverty level and would have been better off not going to college. I don’t feel like I’m ever going to be able to buy a house or even save money. I feel so trapped under Navient’s thumb, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to enjoy life again.

Kristina McManus    January 10, 2018    Woodside   

$35k now $140k. Government loan sharking with judicial muscle collecting. Insanity for this country! Please email your congress and senate reps and let them know to support H.R.2366 - Discharge Student Loans in Bankruptcy Act of 2017 (115th Congress). Criminals can declare bankruptcy. Corporations, banks, cities can declare bankruptcy. VA mortgages can be declared in bankruptcy. SBA loans can be declared in bankruptcy. But not student loans? Why? This debtors prison we have allowed our government to create must end.

Alan    January 5, 2018    Gladstone   

I have worked in the public sector since I graduated with my B.S. degree in 2009. I am currently attending grad school part time in hope to be able to get a better paying job one day. I currently work as an Academic Adisor helping students achieve their goal of earning a college degree. I am very dependent on the IBR repayment plan and PSLF program. Eliminating these will hurt my entire family financially. Student loans were taken out on the basis of knowing these two programs were available to me. I currently owe over $50k in student loans with 2 more years of grad school left. Without these programs I don't know how I can afford to pay my loans. Making full payment amounts on my student loans will leave no money for other necessities (food, medical payments, mortgage, etc.) It will have a HUGE negative impact my me and my family.

Michaela    January 1, 2018    Alamosa   

I am 66 year old father who signed for my son student loan, he has not find a job on his carrier to pay his own loan therefore FedLoan is coming after me requesting one thousand plus monthly payment which I can't paid. I had send requests and budget to prove i need to lower the payments but they said I do not qualify. I have not be able to make payments and the debt keep increasing. I heard they can garnish my salary or bank account. I am just surviving with my income.

Ricardo    December 31, 2017    Loma Linda   

When I decided to go to college to better take care of my family I was told that even though I had an income of only 1000.00 a month I did not qualify or fafsa because I made too much, so I was forced to take put student loans that I can't pay back because I still can't get a job doing what I went to school for and I feel the school I went to did not do all they could to help me, other people who went to the school got their loans wiped clean, but I don't know how they did it so now I am 15000.00 in debt to the loan company who actually changed hands a couple of years ago, I was told because of that I could get mine wiped clean because they never informed me but how I don't know.

Pam    December 30, 2017    Hartwell   

I was a single mother who wanted to set a good example for my children. Finishing my degree and moving on to my Masters was for no to require a lot of work and balancing demands. My $30,100 in student loan debt was primarily used for daycare and school tuition, books, fees and to help pay bills. It wasn't frivolity or irresponsible. It helped me provide for my family.
I have made payments, worked in on profit sector for 6.5 years. I do not qualify for Public service loan forgiveness bc my nonprofit years were before 2007. In addition, the rate of interest before consolidation was between 3% to 12%, from Perkins loans to supplemental loans. My loan balances when I consolidated in 1998, ballooned to $54K. My loan balance even as I pay on them, are at $90K today. Why? Because my daily interest rate is $7.37 and accrued monthly interest is $237. My payment is $300, which means a mere $70 goes to principal (which is mostly interest).
Great Lakes isn't transparent with their payment application and really, there is nothing in it for them to help students enter any loan forgiveness or decreased interest bc that's how they make money. They are snarky when asked about the payment application process, will increase payments and change payment due dates arbitrarily. It's unreal! The government has help d these businesses make money from hardworking Americans who went to college to become better citizens and tax payers. Would the government order to have its citizens dependent update upon the government? Perhaps because I should have this amount of my new in a retirement fund. Instead, I will be padding Great Lakes Higher Education' pockets. Single mothers beware... student loan debt can create thenopposite of your gial for career satisfaction and financial security.

Lauren Sims    December 30, 2017    Naples   

I graduated with a joint PhD and 90k+ of student loan debt 15 years ago (some of it from undergrad). I had a partial scholarship in college and a graduate stipend and tuition remission in graduate school, which was not enough to live on after taxes (and not taxed before Reagan). This debt has more than doubled in 15 years, but the IBR has helped in the short term (I pay 15% of my salary in monthly payments instead of the previous 38%, which was impossible and only caused me to accumulate credit card debt). But I am counting on Public Service Loan Forgiveness; otherwise, I will be paying for the rest of my life and probably only see the debt grow. This has shaped my career and the careers of many people I know in a variety of fields. We have chosen lower-paying jobs (or chosen to stay at such jobs) specifically for this benefit. I have never been able to purchase a home, and this has also affected my choice not to have children. I have sacrificed quite a lot for my chosen profession (in the field of Humanities Higher Education), and I will be devastated if the income-based repayment plan is dismantled or Public Service Loan Forgiveness is eliminated. Thank you for your consideration.

Jennifer Purvis    December 29, 2017    Tuscaloosa   

With $120,000 balance on my loan, and at 50 years old, if this program goes away I am dreading what my senior years will become. I've been in public education for 18 years. I am currently 5 years into this program. If they take it away it would be a devastating blow.

Nancy L    December 26, 2017    Lompoc   

Your Story* I was fortunate to be able to pay off the student loans I incurred for my Bachelor's and Master's degrees some years ago. Though one thing stands out in my recollection of the student loan experience, The final bill for one of my loans was for one cent. Yes, one cent. The loan company created a bill and paid postage to send it in the mail. I, in turn, afraid of ignoring even a ridiculous bill for one penny, wrote a check for one cent and paid the postage to send it to them, That is how they do business, folks -- way beyond nickle and diming you.

E Kross    December 21, 2017    Madison   

I am a retired teacher who is still paying off loans for my Masters degree and at the same time the older of my two children has begun accruing her own student loans and the younger child will be headed to college and getting those loans in another year and a half. I foresee helping pay these down until I die...death, taxes, and student loans are now inevitable.

Kathleen Crader    December 20, 2017    Sikeston   

I was 32, a single mother working part-time, when I knew something had to change. I needed to better myself financially, and the only way to do this was to go back to school and get a degree. I also, took time to repair my credit score so that I would be able to get approved for a mortgage. I took my credit score from a 510 to a 725 in the matter of two years. things were looking great. I enrolled in an online courses through Ohio Christian University. I was going for an associates degree in agriculture business. I couldn't have been more excited. When I initially signed up I specifically told financial aid, I DID NOT WANT DEBT. So if my financial aid did not cover a majority of the costs, I would not be interested in attending the college. She assured me because I was a single mother, with low-income, I would have no problem getting financial aid. I was sold. I was told in needed to sign a promisary note and take entrance counseling. This is where I signed my life away unknowingly. $30,000 in debt later, I am unable to get financed for a home, I live in constant fear and anxiety how I am ever going to be able to afford to pay for this, my life is over. Also, I could not tell you one thing I have learned about my area of focus. All the classes were general education. I could have went back to high school for that. I am not equipped for a career in this field any more than I was going in. I am $30k in the hole and unable to even put a dent in this debt. I payed a chunk of $1,000 and not one penny went to principle. Its the worse feeling. I never thought I would say this but going back to school was the worst mistake I have ever made in my entire life. If I could do it all over again, I would have just kept working my job and not would still have great credit,

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Amy Myer    December 20, 2017    Jackson   
Amy Myer    December 20, 2017    Jackson   

I was 32, a single mother working part-time, when I knew something had to change. I needed to better myself financially, and the only way to do this was to go back to school and get a degree. I also, took time to repair my credit score so that I would be able to get approved for a mortgage. I took my credit score from a 510 to a 725 in the matter of two years. things were looking great. I enrolled in an online courses through Ohio Christian University. I was going for an associates degree in agriculture business. I couldn't have been more excited. When I initially signed up I specifically told financial aid, I DID NOT WANT DEBT. So if my financial aid did not cover a majority of the costs, I would not be interested in attending the college. She assured me because I was a single mother, with low-income, I would have no problem getting financial aid. I was sold. I was told in needed to sign a promisary note and take entrance counseling. This is where I signed my life away unknowingly. $30,000 in debt later, I am unable to get financed for a home, I live in constant fear and anxiety how I am ever going to be able to afford to pay for this, my life is over. Also, I could not tell you one thing I have learned about my area of focus. All the classes were general education. I could have went back to high school for that. I am not equipped for a career in this field any more than I was going in. I am $30k in the hole and unable to even put a dent in this debt. I payed a chunk of $1,000 and not one penny went to principle. Its the worse feeling. I never thought I would say this but going back to school was the worst mistake I have ever made in my entire life. If I could do it all over again, I would have just kept working my job and not would still have great credit, great income to debt ratio and a bright future debt free. I am in financial prison and shackled to this debt, and a life sentence. You get punished to try and better your life for you and your family! Not right.

I'm 32 and was told from a young age, going to college would equate to a well paying job. I have 120k in student debt and I'm a substitute teacher. I've been told "you're overqualified" more times than I can count. I live with parents because I can't afford rent let alone to touch the mounting debt. Where are all the good paying jobs I was promised? I'm educated, hard working, and the most promising jobs in my area won't hire me because I'm over qualified. I could get hired on permanent at the school district but it would mean going back to school for another year. Another year of mounting debt, more schooling, and 3.5 months without work (something I can't afford to do). I spend all of my free time volunteering for a not for profit organization which hopes to help writers succeed and redistribute books for free to people who can't afford them. I work all the time, but can't afford to live. I'm surviving. But only just.

Miranda    December 12, 2017    Oak Harbor   

I'm 27 and married to my 29 year old husband. He went to Devry and got a masters degree there. They got in trouble for defrauding students and he didn't get any of the settlement from the FTC. We filed for borrowers defense and haven't heard back and it's almost been a year. I've been single handedly supporting both of us for four years while he repays his debt so he can get rid of it faster. He just lost his job and has no permanent position. I'm now having to insure him. I'm insanely stressed and though I'm prepared, constantly on edge and stressed. I used to cry every night in bed after he fell asleep. I'm tired of worrying about debt. I want my life back. I want my husband to feel like he can provide for me, his wife. He feels emasculated and people in our lives sometimes point out that he should be contributing to our bills. He wants to. He wants to give me the world and take me on trips and take care of me like I've been doing for him. We thought the borrowers defense would help. But so far it is fruitless. I'm frustrated and have so many questions. It feels good to have a place to go that understands how I and other supporters of student loan debtors feel. It's a horrible feeling. It's crippling and makes me nauseous. It's no way to live.

Caroline    December 12, 2017    Mesa   

I am a returning undergraduate student at the age of 38. As I must also support myself through school, I can only take part-time classes while I work. It has been difficult, but I know the opportunities that having a degree will open. I have a tedious eight to ten year plan to complete a master's program that will make a huge difference in my life as well as the clients I wish to help. My dream is to become a licensed sex therapist and will be working primarily with sexual assault and rape victims.

It is very difficult working and attending classes. I can barely work enough to cover my expenses, and I am at a Community college right now. California offers a grant that covers the costs of tuition at community college, so I have been taking advantage that, but money is still extremely tight. Once I transfer to a University, I will have to take out loans and grants to continue my education and with the upcoming bill counting loans and grants as income, I just don't know how I'll be able to afford it, especially once I start attending graduate school.

College is the only way to better my current situation, but with the upcoming "tax reform" I honestly do not know how I will be able to afford it. It will pull education out of many people's reach, further displacing low income families. I'm afraid for my future and the future of all the children living here.

Salina Kinney    December 11, 2017    Los Angeles   

I make $36,000 each year, and my student loans amount to nearly eighty thousand dollars. I'm going to grad school and paying out of pocket because I'm terrified to take out another loan. Working full time and going to grad school sucks, but I can't afford to reduce my hours or quit my awful call center job. I've been offered better jobs, but the money was less consistent, so I couldn't take them. I have great grades, but I don't have the time to pursue internships or scholarships or any other resume builder because every minute I work on that is a minute I'm not working to pay my loans. Last month, I had $28 in my bank account after paying basic expenses. My student loan company signed this contract with a seventeen-year-old kid who literally didn't understand the difference between one thousand and ten thousand dollars. I wish I could use my degree, but I can't afford to. I wish I could move to a cheaper state, but I can't because the loan relief I get is tied to my residence. $80,000 isn't all that much when you compare to other students in my situation, but when you're living it, it's oppressive.

JD Cooper    December 9, 2017    Albany   

I went into a medical program because it was always my dream to help people. I had to pay for it all with loans and grants. Even as a physician assistant I am on income based repayment because I can’t afford the staggering cost of my loans. I watch the interest capitalize on itself and now owe more than $20,000 than I did when I graduated. My only chance of getting out of this debt is for student loan forgiveness. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel hopeless.

Dawn    December 9, 2017    Pine Grove Mills   

Back in 2010 when I was applying for schools and got accepted, I have no memory of ever filling out loans or signing anything, it was all done for me, just like I was forced to go to college or be kicked out of home. I was on a 504 plan in college and my advisor stood me up every single meeting and I did not get the help i needed, I ended up having to MEDICALLY WITHDRAW from school after a year an a half and now I am unable to work full-time because of my disability...yet I've begged and pleaded for help to forgive and nothing.

Taylor    December 8, 2017    Essex   

I was the first person in my family to graduate from college. My mother dropped out of high school in the 10th grade. I was the victim of verbal and physical abuse. I thought education was the way out. So I fought and worked hard. I went to a prestigious college and graduated with top grades only to find myself in the midst of the 2008 recession with little job opportunities. Employers wanted more education or experience. So back to school I went. When I was accepted to an Ivy League graduate school for my masters I cried. I thought; finaly this little girl, who against all odds, was not supposed to succeed- did. The salaries I have earned have capped out at 75k and at this point the original 89,000 I took out to finance these degrees is up to 239,000. I use to swear that I'd never be like my mother. Watching her at the kitchen table struggle to write the checks to pay the bills, and now, here I am, 30, in the same situation. Despite all the hard work. I don't want pity. I want a solution. My future has been mortgaged away with the millions of others in this country. It's absolutely disgusting what they have done to our generation! I use to work for a senator on Capitol Hill. I had the privledge at one point of fielding the calls and emails coming in from the American public. Some couldn't afford to feed their children, some were disabled vets who couldn't eat. Do you know who was replying to them? Interns, and staffers. The people thought their voices were being heard. But they weren't. I truly believe they won't hear us unless we make our voices lound enough. They will continue to serve their own interest and servicers will continue predatory lending.

Ashley    December 6, 2017    Miami   

I am a 60 year old DISABLED single mom since my son was 10 years old. Father has never given a cent. My son is in his SEVENTH YEAR of college, still trying to obtain a Bachelos degree, as the loan situation, these Navient and Sallie Mae rip-offs will not help us. We have had to make payments the entire time he has been goinng through school, even thoughthe loans we did apply for and obtain were suppose to be deferred loans - we have to pay almost $300 per month in inerest and the interest still continues to accrue!!!??? He needs 3 - THREE - more classes in order to graduate. Even though we are paying interest payments WHILE HE IS STILL ATTENDING SCHOOL, the interest grows!!! How is this possible? How is anyone suppose to get any type of degree and make a living when they have to live to just PAY the freakin' loan interest? SO UNFAIR AND no one gives real true accurate advice. My head just spins around in circles trying to figure it out and help him to just be able to live, work, get married, etc. Very disturbing and depressing.

Eleanor Reichel    December 2, 2017    Warminster   

I was enrolled at itt technical institute in 2009 and 10, I had a newborn baby and a wife, I had to take some time off from school to work and began to make payments to keep my loans in deferment. Later on down the road my father passed away and it led to me making some bad decisions that led me to prison for 4 plus years. When I got out and attempted to get back into school I found that ITT technical institute had closed down. Now I'm stuck with debt and can't even finish my schooling.

Jacob campbell    December 1, 2017    Cityindpls   

I went to school 40 years ago. I never finished college because I couldn't afford it. Whatever loan I got I had paid 4 times I believe, and still they keep harassing me for less than $300 that I never finish paying. So I gave up because a difference of credit cards that send you monthly statements with your payments and balance due, they don't and take months to credit your payment. As consequence keep charging you interest over unreal principal balance. What are they doing now? I only get as income tax return $63 from state, and guess what, they (Sallie Mae) appointed the treasurer department to keep it. I offered them a while ago, to give $100 and get over with it, because my SS was less than $900, they not eve answer me. On top, still they keep harassing me with collection agencies that send me letters all the time.

Now I have to advise my children an other students who are just starting working, if they don't plan seriously to pay monthly until they finish, don't do it. They will get lost and confused and pay more interest. Better if you pay a big chunk at the time or all, if not, wait. Don't wake up the monster.

So, I understand Ms Mangino, There must be something to stop this greediness. At my time started working at $10.000 a year as secretary, and after 20 years end up with $35000 for retirement. Shame of the system.

Regi    November 30, 2017    New York   

Paying my daughters student loans as a co-signer. My daughter was allowed to borrow 140,00 k in student loans and she has decided that she will not pay off the loans. Instead as a co-signer I am paying over 1k a month from my pension income which leaves very little for my living expenses. I live from direct deposit to direct deposit every month. I will never see the end to these payments. The loans have been put under my name and I have no alternative but to pay. Is there anyone out there with any suggestions to my situation? Is there any legal way that I can have my daughter take responsibility for her student loans? Please help.

Mother of Student    November 29, 2017    Evanston   

I grew up in Wheeling, WV and college was not an option for a child that came from multiple social service systems due to a homeless mother and murdered father. With the help of a high school counselor, I had the opportunity to apply for college. 7 years and 3 institutions later, I earned my Masters degree in Social Work. Such a fitting place to build my career given my low expectancy to even reach a higher education. My life is my work and I pour my heart into it. I love my work and having the opportunity to change lives and making an influential differences in the systems that help our most vulnerable populations.
I only borrowed $160,000 for 7 years of college, only to come out of college making $32,000 a year. I have been faithful with my payments every month since graduation and somehow, 5 years later, my current balance is now at $216,000 and it is continually increasing every year. In 5 more years, I foresee my balance being near $500,000!! I wasn't aware of compounded interest and the impact it would have on the life of my loan. I understand interest rates and borrowing money, but the compounded interest that I will never pay off seems like predatory lending in some form. Regardless, I am deeply dependent on the PSLF program as it will help me with paying off my loans and if it is cancelled, I am unsure of my capability of ever getting out of debt. I didn't sign up to just work for 10 years in social services. I signed up because I will always be working in social services and wanted some relief for the incurred and unfair education costs associated with working in social services.

Samantha J Mangino    November 28, 2017    Pittsburgh   

When I was 17 I started college to pursue an early childhood education degree. I went to Ohio State where at the time you were not licensed after you completed your undergraduate. You had to go back for your masters in order to be licensed to teach. I was young and I didn't understand how the interest rate worked. I did not have a family that was able to pay for me to go to school so I began taking out loans. Some semesters I would take out more than my tuition cost in order to buy books, pay living expenses, while I went to school full time. I also worked part time the entire time I was in school. I knew I would owe that money back which was fine, but I had no idea that the interest was going to double and triple what I owed. I graduated 30k in debt. Since I was unlicensed I could not find a job teaching. After being 30k in debt I didn't want to go back for my master. I took a job in insurance and made an honest effort to pay. I married a police officer and we decided to start our family while I was still paying on my loans. After I had my second son I left my job to stay home due to him being born with a medical condition that left him hospitalized for 1/2 a year, and ongoing medical treatment. While I have been staying at home I put my loans in forbearance. That was a big mistake. My 30k debt has more than doubled to 73K. At this point I don't know how I'll ever pay off what I owe. I'm terrified they will start garnishing my spouses wages, suspend my license, and/or whatever else they do to punish those who can't pay off their debt. This stress terrifies me. It keeps me up at night. It isn't the money that you took out that overwhelms you, it is the interest that kills you. Some of my loans carried 8% interest rates. At 17 I had no idea how bad an 8% interest rate was.

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Adrienne    November 22, 2017    Newark   
Adrienne    November 22, 2017    Newark   

When I was 17 I started college to pursue an early childhood education degree. I went to Ohio State where at the time you were not licensed after you completed your undergraduate. You had to go back for your masters in order to be licensed to teach. I was young and I didn't understand how the interest rate worked. I did not have a family that was able to pay for me to go to school so I began taking out loans. Some semesters I would take out more than my tuition cost in order to buy books, pay living expenses, while I went to school full time. I also worked part time the entire time I was in school. I knew I would owe that money back which was fine, but I had no idea that the interest was going to double and triple what I owed. I graduated 30k in debt. Since I was unlicensed I could not find a job teaching. After being 30k in debt I didn't want to go back for my master. I took a job in insurance and made an honest effort to pay. I married a police officer and we decided to start our family while I was still paying on my loans. After I had my second son I left my job to stay home due to him being born with a medical condition that left him hospitalized for 1/2 a year, and ongoing medical treatment. While I have been staying at home I put my loans in forbearance. That was a big mistake. My 30k debt has more than doubled to 73K. At this point I don't know how I'll ever pay off what I owe. I'm terrified they will start garnishing my spouses wages, suspend my license, and/or whatever else they do to punish those who can't pay off their debt. This stress terrifies me. It keeps me up at night. It isn't the money that you took out that overwhelms you, it is the interest that kills you. Some of my loans carried 8% interest rates. At 17 I had no idea how bad an 8% interest rate was. I am begging our lawmakers to please find a way for those like me to include student debt in bankruptcy or provide relief in some way to those of us that will never be able to pay off our debt. I'll continue paying on it because I don't have a choice but all I'll ever be paying is interest. I want to be able to contribute to our economy but at this rate I'll be paying until the day I die. Something has to change.

Back in 2010 I was in a place where I wanted to better myself for my children, I was working at McDonald's and was employed there for 11 years at the time I decided to go back to school. I didn't think I was good enough or smart enough to attend the local community college here in town, so I heard about a new career school that opened up called ATI Career Training and when I walked in I spoke to an advisor and I had wanted to go into the medical field but since they had just opened up a few months before I started, I was told that the medical field was full and there wouldn't be anything available until February, mind you it was around November when I went. So then the advisor insisted that I take the dental field and although in my heart I didn't want to I got information on the field and I was just so desperate to change my life for my kids, I decided I would. I started the dental field in November and I attended, I believe it was 11 months but I never graduated. That is right, I never graduated, my grade point average was a 4.0 I had the book smarts and my technical skills were on point. There were times where we were not taught a full course because there was never enough time. So when it came to my clinical training I had to drive an hour away and let me tell you that what we were taught in class did not prepare us for what it was really like. Well I did my clinical for two weeks before the dentist made me feel so small about my height (4'10) that she called the school and she didn't want me back, so I went in the advisors office and he told me that they would find something in town. So weeks went by and then it came time for graduation, which no one ever contacted me about graduating or to give me information about it. Then about a month and half later,

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Jacqueline Renobato    November 13, 2017    waco   
Jacqueline Renobato    November 13, 2017    waco   

Back in 2010 I was in a place where I wanted to better myself for my children, I was working at McDonald's and was employed there for 11 years at the time I decided to go back to school. I didn't think I was good enough or smart enough to attend the local community college here in town, so I heard about a new career school that opened up called ATI Career Training and when I walked in I spoke to an advisor and I had wanted to go into the medical field but since they had just opened up a few months before I started, I was told that the medical field was full and there wouldn't be anything available until February, mind you it was around November when I went. So then the advisor insisted that I take the dental field and although in my heart I didn't want to I got information on the field and I was just so desperate to change my life for my kids, I decided I would. I started the dental field in November and I attended, I believe it was 11 months but I never graduated. That is right, I never graduated, my grade point average was a 4.0 I had the book smarts and my technical skills were on point. There were times where we were not taught a full course because there was never enough time. So when it came to my clinical training I had to drive an hour away and let me tell you that what we were taught in class did not prepare us for what it was really like. Well I did my clinical for two weeks before the dentist made me feel so small about my height (4'10) that she called the school and she didn't want me back, so I went in the advisors office and he told me that they would find something in town. So weeks went by and then it came time for graduation, which no one ever contacted me about graduating or to give me information about it. Then about a month and half later, they closed down. I feel that I should have to pay back for an education I truly didn't get to accomplish. Is there anything I can do?

My daughter and son-in-law live in Hudson NY where expenses are high. They both put themselves through grad school and have huge education loans that they will likely be paying off forever. My son-in-law works for an amazing not-for-profit organization that does much good in this country and the world and my daughter works full time in her own company, which is about to hire more people. They are frugal but neither will be able to continue their work and educate their children without debt forgiveness or at least a fair tax deduction on these loans.

Paris Coffey    November 10, 2017    St. Louis, MO   

I was the first one in my family to go to college. I was the first (and only) one in my family to get a doctorate degree. My family could not afford to send me to college, but I knew it was where I needed to be so I took out loan after loan (including private loans) to help pay for the tuition. I went on to get my doctorate and accumulated more student loan debt. I was lucky enough in graduate school to have a loan counselor speak to me about PSLF and different repayment plans in order to make my astronomical monthly bill manageable.

When I graduated I knew the only thing I could go was go into public service and work at a not for profit company. I absolutely love my job and the people I serve, but it is tough to make ends meet on the pay. I still pay $900/month in loan payments even on the IBR plans because of private student loans. If PSLF is taken away it will not be possible for me to continue working in a place I love because I would not be able to make my student loan payments. It's frustrating to listen to politicians speak about student loan debt and eliminating programs people rely on, since they have most likely never experienced what most of us go through on a month to month or even daily basis.

Sara D    November 3, 2017   

After leaving the hospital after attempting suicide at 18, I was convinced by a friends mother to pursue a degree in Psychology. This degree typically requires that you pursue a masters degree to get a job out of school. In my family I was the first to go to college and we knew nothing about what the impacts of taking loans would be and we were told by all these organizations "It's such a great investment and you'll make so much when you get out of college so no worries!" My parents and grandparents signed countless loans to help me through school. Because of my family's lack of education, and me being the naive child I was, I now find myself currently with $240,000 of debt with a masters degree I don't even use. By the time I took my internships I found I had no passion for the work. I learned a lot about myself, but I think that just being 10 years older has taught me of myself more than this crippling debt. At this point in life with my current income I have roughly $200 dollars a month to use on food and toiletries. I would give up on making payments if I knew it wouldn't take my family down with me. I warn everyone I can against getting a degree, only because the debt almost never is worth the "education" you may get.

Too Young to Know    November 3, 2017    San Diego   

In America you can't have a career without experience. You can't get experience because you're in school. You can't support your family without a degree. You can't get a degree without loads of student loans.

I graduated with a bachelor degree 7 years ago. I've made payments every month. I owe more on my loans today than what I borrowed. At this point the only thing my kids will inherit when I die in 50 years is my student loans

Peter    November 3, 2017    Riverton   

I had wanted to go to this one specific college and study music since I was 13. After two years at the college, my parents (who pay for part of it) told me that I couldn’t go back because of the debt. They couldn’t pay their part knowing I would be tens of thousands of dollars in debt upon graduation. So now I take online classes with the college, but I’m miserable studying for a different degree and trying to balance everything so that I can possibly go back Next fall. But but then, I’ll be behind in my music degree while my peers, that I went through two years of music classes with, are all prepping for graduation. It’s a difficult decision to make, and I may not even get a say because of debt.

Rebekah    November 3, 2017    Hilliard   

Thanks to a benefit my father received for serving in the military, I was able to attend undergrad and emerge with zero student loans/debt. However, I had the bright idea of going to law school and now have over $200k in student loans, all accumulated over the short span of three years. With law school tuition costing anywhere from $30k - $45k per year, students attempting to further their education in this realm walk in knowing that they very well may have to pay their student loans for the rest of their life. It gives me great sorrow knowing that I'll have to repay student loans for the rest of my life. I wish I had thought more carefully before deciding to go to law school; the starting salary for fresh graduates can range from $45k - $60k, which, in my opinion, is absolutely not worth the student loans and interest I'll have to pay back.

Lawyer Loaner    November 3, 2017    Chicago   

I went to Westwood college. I think that alone says a lot. The classes weren’t as good as they made them out to be, and they sell you on how fast you’d be able to finish, and get a job. I went through some things, and took sometime off. When I came back I was in class, and I was pulled out and told if I didn’t pay $1400 on the spot I couldn’t go to school anymore. Obviously I didn’t have it so I had to stop going.
I wanted to still get back into school , but the school closed for the scams they were doing, and all the credits I had are not accredited. So I’m stuck paying this crazy amount of money for a school that doesn’t exist, and starting all over.

Jenavi *    November 3, 2017    Denver   

I started college in the Fall of 2007 at the age of 17. My parents didn’t attend college so it was a new experience for us all. I was excited and thought that it would benefit me in my future, it was just the thing to do during that era. I graduated in 4 years with a Bachelor of Science degree (majored in psychology). Upon graduating I found out how difficult the job hunt was even with a degree. Employers wanted experience rather than education which turned out to not work in my favor. 6 months after graduating I had to start paying back student loan debt. I come from a middle class family so I didn’t get any help with paying for college through grants so I used loans. Currently I still owe $65,000, my monthly payments amount to $550. I am in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program but only $25,000 count towards that. I had private/extra loans that I just will have to pay back. The job I have now I have from gaining years of experience, not my degree. The older I got I found that experience and maybe the popularity of a college is more important to employers than the actual degree at times. At this point I’d rather give the degree back and erase my debt. It’s hindered me from living a normal life, getting approved for a home loan, and building my savings account. What I always tell young people is that college is great but don’t go by any means, make sure you won’t damage your life with student loans, you’ll be told they won’t effect your credit and they won’t to a certain extent but lenders will look at it when you want to borrow for a home loan. It is depressing to think that a decision I made at 17 is still taking a toll on me at the age of 27. Please to all young people looking to taking out student loans PLEASE consider other options because this can definitely become a trap to keep you from thriving. And if you do decide to take out student loans make sure the school you attend will be n attention grabber on your resume because unfortunately that matters when applying for jobs.

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Shanae W    November 3, 2017    Richmond   
Shanae W    November 3, 2017    Richmond   

I started college in the Fall of 2007 at the age of 17. My parents didn’t attend college so it was a new experience for us all. I was excited and thought that it would benefit me in my future, it was just the thing to do during that era. I graduated in 4 years with a Bachelor of Science degree (majored in psychology). Upon graduating I found out how difficult the job hunt was even with a degree. Employers wanted experience rather than education which turned out to not work in my favor. 6 months after graduating I had to start paying back student loan debt. I come from a middle class family so I didn’t get any help with paying for college through grants so I used loans. Currently I still owe $65,000, my monthly payments amount to $550. I am in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program but only $25,000 count towards that. I had private/extra loans that I just will have to pay back. The job I have now I have from gaining years of experience, not my degree. The older I got I found that experience and maybe the popularity of a college is more important to employers than the actual degree at times. At this point I’d rather give the degree back and erase my debt. It’s hindered me from living a normal life, getting approved for a home loan, and building my savings account. What I always tell young people is that college is great but don’t go by any means, make sure you won’t damage your life with student loans, you’ll be told they won’t effect your credit and they won’t to a certain extent but lenders will look at it when you want to borrow for a home loan. It is depressing to think that a decision I made at 17 is still taking a toll on me at the age of 27. Please to all young people looking to taking out student loans PLEASE consider other options because this can definitely become a trap to keep you from thriving. And if you do decide to take out student loans make sure the school you attend will be n attention grabber on your resume because unfortunately that matters when applying for jobs. Hope this helps someone...

Despite paying more than the minimum balance, my remaining balance somehow increases every month due to interest. I am getting absolutely nowhere wth my payments, and can’t afford to pay anymore. I’m literally just throwing my money away with zero progress. I have looked into countless consolidation options, but the monthly payment is more than what I’m paying wth Income-Based Repayment, and these options eliminate federal protections. I don’t know what else I can do.

Andrew    November 3, 2017    CT   

I chose the university I'm at right now mostly because of the amount of scholarships and grants I received, and those covered most of my tuition and fees, but I needed a little less than 2,000 to cover the rest. My widowed mother could not afford it, even if she worked every day endlessly. She is still taking care of my two siblings and I still need money to pay for daily necessities. So I had to take out that loan and I know that I'll have to take more to get me through undergrad, and especially grad school. I'm working now, and I received grants and scholarships so I am definitely blessed, but I just wish I didn't have to stress as much about paying these loans back when I should be stressing more about my assignments and exams.

Texas Student    November 3, 2017    Dayton   

I started taking out loans for school during my sophomore year of college. I had no idea what I was getting into, no idea about the difference between federal v. private loans, and knew absolutely nothing about interests rates. All I "knew" (i.e., what I was told) was that in order to continue my education, I would need to borrow money, and there would be reasonable options to pay the money back. I borrowed around $75,000 in private loans. By the time I graduated in 2009 with my B.A. in Communications, the amount was already over $100K. My first job out of college, I was making $11/hour, and my monthly loan amount was at $980/month.There was no way for me to pay that amount and support myself. I was not offered any income-based payment plans or any other payment options to make the burden easier and prevent me from defaulting and ruining my credit. I spend several years in forbearance and using in-school deferment. I recently ran out of options in May, and as a result, my loans are now several months past due and delinquent. I currently owe a balance of $213K. I am worried, afraid and disgusted that it has come down to this. My only option is to try and settle and to hire an attorney to help, but most attorneys seem to be money-hungry and the end result wouldn't be much different from where I am now in terms of being burdened with large payments to some sort of institution. I currently earn $70,000 as a Marketing Manager, and have the potential to make much more as I progress in my career, but I also live in a city with a very high cost-of-living. My rent alone is half of my salary. Unless I start making 6-figures soon, I'll barely have enough to take care of myself, let alone even think to start saving to go toward a settlement. I feel doomed. My credit is in the pits, and I'm sure it will have a lasting impact.

Elle W.    November 3, 2017    Los Angeles   

I graduated undergrad with a minor in psychology and a major in criminology. With owing $40k+ in student loans I tried desperately to find something in or close to my field so I can start building experience for what I really wanted to do, but of course with only a bachelor’s degree and little experience it was hard to find a job. I was able to start at a group home, then moved to a substance abuse facility and now i am working at a non-profit mental health agency. I love what I do and I make alright money but i still have trouble from time to time paying my student loan (even with the income based payment plan) due to all of the other bills I have. And now I am in the process of going back to school to earn my masters so that I can further myself in my career, however, I’ll be in even more debt, but, in order to get to the position that I want I basically don’t have a choice but to go back to school.

Shae    November 3, 2017   

I decided to go back to school in my 50s and while I was able to take out loans, the time I spend on school on s part time basis, and working has taken a toll on my retirement fund. I have $80k in student debt and I won't be finished until 2019. The tuition rises annually so there's a race to finish but it's impossible to take more than 2 classes per semester. Its frustrating and sometimes I consider quitting but at the same time I'm in too deep and invested too much to have nothing to show for it. I was counting on the loan forgiveness for working on the public sector. Its unsettling not knowing what is going to happen.

Teri Gee    November 3, 2017    New york   

I am a senior student at a private liberal arts school in Ohio known very well for their education department. Since teacher programs usually require a large amount of courses to receive a license, I have to attend school for a 5th year. With tuition around $40,000, by the time I graduate I will be over $80,000 in debt. I have four hard-earned scholarships, which lowers my tuition to around $20,000 a year.

Being on a teacher’s salary will mean it will be difficult to pay back the $80,000 in undergraduate debt. I hope when it comes time to pay my loans, America will have implemented laws that will help students like me get an education to teach the future of America.

Emma    November 2, 2017    Berea   

It seems almost absurd to call myself lucky, but I am. Coming in at just about average for total debt for undergrad class of 2012, I started my career with roughly $30k in debt. I was unable to find a job until 6 months out of school, and therefore could not start paying back my loans until the payments came due (therefore interest was rolled into the principal on my unsubsidized Stafford loans). I was lucky because I was able to leave school a semester early, because I was able to fund my private college education with just federal loans, and because, somewhat ironically, I came from a family with a low enough income that I received grant money. My hard work in high school paid off with a large scholarship that renewed each year at my college, but the cost of college still ended up at least 10k over what I was expecting going in.

After 6 months without a job, I started working as an accounting temp making roughly 34k/year; I lived with my parent (again, lucky). After 6 months of that, I was hired full time at 50k, was able to make extra payments on my loans and live on my own, but was supporting a second adult. I am now within a few months of paying off my loans because I continued to pursue a lucrative career in operational finance, despite my lack of interest or passion.

My loans stopped me from pursuing graduate school in biology or medical school, for which I need to take further undergrad courses. The feelings of economic insecurity from the debt hanging over my head have been severely detrimental to my life. I fully appreciate how lucky I am - I've been able to purchase a house, a car, and save for retirement. If you think the student debt crisis isn't stunting our economy, you are very wrong.

Amanda    November 2, 2017    Minneapolis   

After graduating with s bachelors in Psychology I worked as a full time mental health counselor at not-for profit. I along with my co-worker provided mental health group therapy to children between the ages of 5 and 17. My salary allowed me to make payements on my loans. Unfortunately, due to illness I had to leave my job;could no longer afford payments. I’m still dealing with health issues that effect my day to day and currently unemployed. I’m at my wits end. The interest is killing me, I feel that I’m back to square one with my student loan; never ending. Not sure if this story applies.

Wits End    November 2, 2017   

I have been out of college for 8.5 years. I originally borrowed about $70k to attend a state university. I currently owe about $46k. I graduated with my BA in Communication in 2009. I don't know about anyone else, but I feel the degree just doesn't equal the amount of debt I accumulated during my time in school. The job market in the St. Louis area is horrible. I have spent the last 8.5 years earning between $8 and $13.47 an hour. I work in insurance now, and the insurance company I work for actually paid for me to get licensed. Having the insurance license is the only semblance of job security I have been able to obtain. I am 31 years old, and this year will be the most money I have made since graduating from college. My total gross income should be $28,000. It's a shame because my $700 per month student loan payment would be manageable if I could get into a job that paid about $50k per year, but I don't feel those jobs exist in this area anymore. Navient has been the biggest financial burden. I have an immaculate repayment history, yet they still won't release my cosigner. I have actually paid back more to Navient now than what my cosigner originally cosigned for. With Navient, I originally borrowed $32,535.00, I have paid back $21,798.84 but I still owe $27,604.29. My cosigner originally cosigned for $20,167.00. I just don't know how or why Navient has only applied $4,930.71 of the $21,798.84 I paid back to the principle. It's all a racket. It's a shame because I cannot save money or put money into a retirement fund. I drive a 14 year old vehicle, buy my work clothing from the good will, and take my lunch to work every day. There are no more corners left to cut. There's nothing left over at the end of the month. Every penny goes toward these loans that don't go away. I pay and pay and they wont disappear. I am also frustrated at the job market and the ATS portals companies use now to make it nearly impossible for any educated,

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Abby N.    November 1, 2017    St. Louis, MO   
Abby N.    November 1, 2017    St. Louis, MO   

I have been out of college for 8.5 years. I originally borrowed about $70k to attend a state university. I currently owe about $46k. I graduated with my BA in Communication in 2009. I don't know about anyone else, but I feel the degree just doesn't equal the amount of debt I accumulated during my time in school. The job market in the St. Louis area is horrible. I have spent the last 8.5 years earning between $8 and $13.47 an hour. I work in insurance now, and the insurance company I work for actually paid for me to get licensed. Having the insurance license is the only semblance of job security I have been able to obtain. I am 31 years old, and this year will be the most money I have made since graduating from college. My total gross income should be $28,000. It's a shame because my $700 per month student loan payment would be manageable if I could get into a job that paid about $50k per year, but I don't feel those jobs exist in this area anymore. Navient has been the biggest financial burden. I have an immaculate repayment history, yet they still won't release my cosigner. I have actually paid back more to Navient now than what my cosigner originally cosigned for. With Navient, I originally borrowed $32,535.00, I have paid back $21,798.84 but I still owe $27,604.29. My cosigner originally cosigned for $20,167.00. I just don't know how or why Navient has only applied $4,930.71 of the $21,798.84 I paid back to the principle. It's all a racket. It's a shame because I cannot save money or put money into a retirement fund. I drive a 14 year old vehicle, buy my work clothing from the good will, and take my lunch to work every day. There are no more corners left to cut. There's nothing left over at the end of the month. Every penny goes toward these loans that don't go away. I pay and pay and they wont disappear. I am also frustrated at the job market and the ATS portals companies use now to make it nearly impossible for any educated, well qualified candidate to be considered. These big insurance companies...I really don't know how anyone gets hired on at them let alone an interview. I have applied for dozens of jobs with major insurance carriers and can't even get an interview. LinkedIn just feels like one big popularity contest. The internet ruined people's chances of having a fair shot at getting a job.

I went to graduate school to get a master's in social work. After graduating, I started a job at a public hospital in New York City that provides patients treatment regardless of their ability to pay. In my first position, I made home visits to patients living with HIV/AIDS to provide health education and help keep them engaged in their treatment.

During that time I was paying $800 a month in student loan payments (and $800 a month for rent out of a $40,000 annual salary). After realizing that there were better loan repayment options for me than the standard plan, I enrolled in the PAYE plan and my monthly payments went down to $170. At the same time, I learned about the PSLF program and started tracking my payments in the program.

Learning about the PSLF program made me feel so proud to be working a job that was clearly valued by society as demonstrated by the loan forgiveness that would come along with it. During times when I started to feel burned out or thought about switching professions, I remembered that the Dept. of Education and the government had my back and were providing a way for me to stick with my profession without becoming bankrupt. I have loved the social work positions I have held for the past 5 years, my only hesitation to continue in the field is financial concern.

When I heard about the proposed cuts to the PSLF program, I was devastated. The message that I really hear is "we don't care about the people who are suffering in this country, we don't care about people of color or LGBT folks or people living in poverty AND we don't care about the people trying to work to make their lives better". That isn't the message I want to be hearing.

Katie Madges    October 26, 2017    New York   

I received an M.A. in Psychology in 1984. My total student loan debt at the time was around $30,000. In 1985 I became seriously ill, I was underemployed, and I had no health insurance. I pursued alternative medical treatments and was able to bear a child in 1993. I raised him by myself in affordable housing, developed a career in child care, and lived partly on public benefits. I made an attempt to locate my student loan providers but could not. (This was before the Internet became publicly accessible.) I began to clean up my finances in the late 90s. I received several Earned Income Tax Credits retroactively. I was running a small daycare out of my home, caring for 2 toddlers and one infant, as well as now homeschooling my now 9 year old son, one day when I tried to have a telephone conversation with a student loan creditor who had called me. I asked for help with a discounted payment plan. She was abusive. There was a toddler emergency in progress. I hung up on her. Sometime in 2003 I was expecting a $2500 tax refund to be deposited into my account. I never received it. I was told it had been taken by the student loans. This prompted me to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (on approximately $5,000 worth of credit card debt) as I had been counting on this refund to purchase supplies necessary for upgrading my daycare. Along with the Chapter 7 I appealed for forgiveness for my now 20 year old student loans, which was denied. I closed my daycare. At some point I negotiated with my student loans and got into an income contingent repayment plan with payments of 0. My total debt was now closer to $100,000 due to penalties & interest. In 2009 to 2010 I enrolled in an online teaching credential program. Due to continued issues with my health I was unable to complete this program. I have been enrolled in school off and on for my whole life, taking classes at a local community college where I pay no tuition.

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Anna Wolfe    October 26, 2017    San Francisco   
Anna Wolfe    October 26, 2017    San Francisco   

I received an M.A. in Psychology in 1984. My total student loan debt at the time was around $30,000. In 1985 I became seriously ill, I was underemployed, and I had no health insurance. I pursued alternative medical treatments and was able to bear a child in 1993. I raised him by myself in affordable housing, developed a career in child care, and lived partly on public benefits. I made an attempt to locate my student loan providers but could not. (This was before the Internet became publicly accessible.) I began to clean up my finances in the late 90s. I received several Earned Income Tax Credits retroactively. I was running a small daycare out of my home, caring for 2 toddlers and one infant, as well as now homeschooling my now 9 year old son, one day when I tried to have a telephone conversation with a student loan creditor who had called me. I asked for help with a discounted payment plan. She was abusive. There was a toddler emergency in progress. I hung up on her. Sometime in 2003 I was expecting a $2500 tax refund to be deposited into my account. I never received it. I was told it had been taken by the student loans. This prompted me to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (on approximately $5,000 worth of credit card debt) as I had been counting on this refund to purchase supplies necessary for upgrading my daycare. Along with the Chapter 7 I appealed for forgiveness for my now 20 year old student loans, which was denied. I closed my daycare. At some point I negotiated with my student loans and got into an income contingent repayment plan with payments of 0. My total debt was now closer to $100,000 due to penalties & interest. In 2009 to 2010 I enrolled in an online teaching credential program. Due to continued issues with my health I was unable to complete this program. I have been enrolled in school off and on for my whole life, taking classes at a local community college where I pay no tuition. I have been turned down both for job retraining and for assistance with the exorbitant cost of textbooks due to the fact that I already possess an M.A. degree. In 2012 I applied for SSI for mental disability which I began receiving in 2015. I am ready to return to work and I am eager to return to my former profession working with children, as I am good at it, enjoy it, and feel that it is my calling. It is not a high paid profession. However, it does make me happy, which is critical to personal health, both physical and mental. I am 59 years old and I feel that I could easily work for another 10 to 20 years. I would like to be a teacher. We need teachers. We need experienced teachers who are dedicated to teaching. (I do not qualify for a Teach Grant, as I already possess an M.A.) My total student loan debt is well over $100,000. I am currently living on $800 a month. When I return to work my SSI will be reduced, my rent will go up, and my student loan payment will go up. I have to re-certify for all of these programs --student loans, SSI, housing, and medical care, on a continual basis, and I find Navient, the new student loan website, difficult to navigate. Nonetheless I do, as I have no alternative. I have spent most of my working life working in churches, schools, daycares, and after-school programs. I expect I will continue to do so. I am universally loved and appreciated for the care I provide to children. I expect I will continue to be.

I switched careers so that I could work for justice and equality through the law. Without Public Service Loan Forgiveness, I wouldn't have been able to feel confident drastically changing my life to attend law school and to work for the non-profit organization that currently employs me. My federal student loan debt is over $100,000, and if this program is eliminated, it would be untenable for me to continue doing the work I do as an attorney, which involves providing free legal representation for people who have experienced discrimination. I personally value PSLF so much, and know it is so vital from my fellow attorneys working to fight against the injustices and oppression in our society, as well as so many other professionals who are dedicating their lives to public service. PSLF should be a priority for this country, and is really the only way that many of us are able to pursue higher education and nonprofit work.

Amy H.    October 26, 2017    New York   

I work for a non-profit mental health agency, which means my pay is dependent on what the government and insurance companies pay for our programs and services. I doubt increasing spending on medical assistance and pressuring insurance companies to pay more is at the top of the list for Trump and DeVos. I care about my clients it's just a shame that those in power don't care. I have already given up on having children because of the debt. If PSLF goes away, I will be screwed!

Krissi    October 25, 2017   

I graduated from college in 1995 (got married in 1994). I couldn't make any payments on my loans for many years due to not finding a decent job, sometimes the student loans were hurting my credit which prevented me from getting certain jobs in the business world. Now skip ahead 10 years and I stayed home to take care of a disabled child (permanently disabled and intellectually challenged). Went back to the workforce in 2007 but in 2004 my husband and I consolidated our loans together and got on one of those repayment programs. For many years since we only had one income due to our disabled child, we didn't have to pay anything. Now as of last year (2016) the government thinks we can afford to make high payments because both of us are working. Problem is I work for a non-profit organization and rarely get a pay increase but government thinks I should still make a huge payment each month. Then this year (2017) they decided since my daughter (not disabled) isn't living with us anymore that we can afford an even bigger payment, which we can't. The government does not take in consideration those who have a disabled child or their own medical needs, they just want money. I have worked in my job for 10 years but the government does not recognize my years in service, not sure why, can't get any clear answers. Now I am having my own medical problems so I have to choose whether to pay student loans or my medical bills, either way if one doesn't get paid there goes my credit!!! There needs to be programs for people who take on the care of their disabled children, he will not be leaving our home because he can't live on his own. There needs to be more help for people like my family. We love our jobs even if they don't pay much. The government needs to take in consideration when figuring payments the cost to own/rent a home, utilities, medical insurance costs along with medical bills, vehicle costs (insurance, payments and repairs,

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Michelle Lane    October 24, 2017   
Michelle Lane    October 24, 2017   

I graduated from college in 1995 (got married in 1994). I couldn't make any payments on my loans for many years due to not finding a decent job, sometimes the student loans were hurting my credit which prevented me from getting certain jobs in the business world. Now skip ahead 10 years and I stayed home to take care of a disabled child (permanently disabled and intellectually challenged). Went back to the workforce in 2007 but in 2004 my husband and I consolidated our loans together and got on one of those repayment programs. For many years since we only had one income due to our disabled child, we didn't have to pay anything. Now as of last year (2016) the government thinks we can afford to make high payments because both of us are working. Problem is I work for a non-profit organization and rarely get a pay increase but government thinks I should still make a huge payment each month. Then this year (2017) they decided since my daughter (not disabled) isn't living with us anymore that we can afford an even bigger payment, which we can't. The government does not take in consideration those who have a disabled child or their own medical needs, they just want money. I have worked in my job for 10 years but the government does not recognize my years in service, not sure why, can't get any clear answers. Now I am having my own medical problems so I have to choose whether to pay student loans or my medical bills, either way if one doesn't get paid there goes my credit!!! There needs to be programs for people who take on the care of their disabled children, he will not be leaving our home because he can't live on his own. There needs to be more help for people like my family. We love our jobs even if they don't pay much. The government needs to take in consideration when figuring payments the cost to own/rent a home, utilities, medical insurance costs along with medical bills, vehicle costs (insurance, payments and repairs, gas), I can can on with the list. We need more help for real people of society who are not a burden on society and actually contribute to the economy. People who are disabled can get their loans forgiven but those who take on the care of a loved one can't, just not fair.

I have worked in non-profit and the public sector all my working life. I studied urban policy in graduate school so I could gain the education I needed to excel in my career in public service. I had to take out loans to go to school and I am working towards paying them off every month but I am counting on the PSLF program. I am half way towards forgiveness and then my new family and I can begin to think about buying a home. Our future and our future plans depend on the PSLF program. If it goes away buying a home will likely not be in our future, nor will growing our family, saving for retirement and my child's education will be a challenge. I am happy with my current public sector salary, we don't need a lot of money, we don't need large paychecks but we do need to be able to provide for our family and the forgiveness I and many others signed up for needs to be honored. The cost of getting an education has become so exorbitant in this country, student loans are in crisis and if this program goes away it will just add to that crisis and the individuals who benefit from the PSLF program and who are doing important work all across the country will face needless struggles and hardships. The PSLF program is not where the federal government should be looking for cost savings. It is counter-productive and detrimental to the society as a whole. Maybe the program isn't perfect but it should be adjusted, not scrapped entirely and those who are already working towards forgiveness certainly should not loose the program.

Lauren Z    October 24, 2017    Jamaica Plain   

As a single person working in the non-profit sector giving my life to working with at risk and low income families. I understand how much more difficult is to get ahead. I truly do not understand why take funds ways from those working hard to do better for themselves. I do not earn a lot but still love my line of work and want to pursue a career to improve my skills.

Irene    October 23, 2017    Jacksonville   

My GI bill expired before I was actually able to attend college. We paid on my student loans for years while trying to keep a steady income in this terrible job market. We've raised two kids that now have their own student loans to pay. We joined the Income Based Repayment program 5 years ago. My interest rate is 8.25% on more than $40,000. We are both on Social Security - my wife is disabled. That is our only income. We must have IBR - we've paid forever! We want to out live this debt. Thanks for your good work!

Doug Brown    October 22, 2017    Otis Orchards   

My husband and I are both teachers in a public school. We work long hours because we are committed to our students and their families. We are also committed to our own family. We spend so much time figuring out how to make ends meet considering that we are both highly educated and employed. We spend more than our mortgage every month paying off student loans with a hope that we will be able to pay them off before our own kids start college. It is our dream to be able to save some money eventually so that maybe we can help our own kids someday so they don't have the same issue. PSLF is our only hope of doing this as educators. My hope is that our current administration can see the value this program could bring to our economy and education system, if not only because it is good for individuals and families.

Katie    October 21, 2017    St. Louis   

Financial aid advisors urged me to take loans every semester. No one ever said, “You’re going to teach? You may not be able to pay these back.” I have been teaching for 23 years with a Master’s degree, have had to defer quite a few times for financial hardship, and almost defaulted. After default rehab and refinancing to lower payments I still owe 48,000—10,000 more than I borrowed, thanks to accruing interest, fees, etc. Sometimes I just want to throw up my hands in despair.

Mary Gonzales    October 21, 2017    Granbury   

After graduating law school during the financial crisis of 2008 with $120,000 in student loan debt the future was frightening. Fortunately I secured a Federal job and learned about the PSLF. 106 monthly payments later I only have 14 left before my loans are forgiven. Without the PSLF I wouldn't have been able to stay doing the good work I do with the Federal government helping people with their pensions and health insurance issues.

Chris    October 21, 2017    Swampscott   

I have worked as a public educator for 42 1/2 years . Both of my children have student loan debt that at times seems unmanageable. Education should be a ticket to a better life and the cost of it should not handicap one for eternity .

Joe Dye    October 20, 2017    Janesvillr   

I completed my graduate degree in social work approximately 8yrs ago and came out with a debt of around $75,000. Growing up in a working-class, single-parent household and being the first generation in my family to complete college, it was not an option for my family to finance my education. I did my best to keep costs low by serving as a Resident Advisor, applying for scholarships, and holding work-study positions. However, student loans were still necessary to meet my tuition requirements. I have been making income-based payments on my student loan debt monthly since graduating and have never missed a payment. I have delayed things such as purchasing a house and having children based upon the student loan debt that I currently have, while operating under the assumption that I would postpone these things until my debt is waived in about 2.5yrs. News that Public Service Loan Forgiveness may be ended has caused me to panic and feel physically sick about what I will financially be able to do if the program goes away, especially since my loans have accumulated a significant amount of interest in these past 8yrs. It is not equitable to take away a program that people have been planning their lives around.

Adrian Griffin    October 20, 2017    Lakewood   

I am 69 years of age and have outstanding parent loans which started out at $110,000 and now with interest and default is up to $250,000. I will be dead before I pay these off. My wages are being garnished, but interest keep compounding. I asked the NYS Education board on how this can be resolved, but no satisfaction. I work for governmental agency (HUD) for the past 8 years, but not able to pay enough into the balance to reduce it any. I need help!

Richard Dowe    October 20, 2017    City Whitesboro   

I got my degree as an older student, in my 40's, and the amount of loans needed to cover school costs plus the cost of making ends meet with two children was much more than the average student. Without the possibility of student loan forgiveness, my quality of life is very low, and seems hopeless. That is crushing debt.

Todd    October 20, 2017    Silver Spring   

My daughter has student loans from her bachelor's degree and her law degree but is working in downtown Chicago to represent battered women and children for a Public Interest not for profit law agency. The Income based repayment plan and Public Interest Loan Forgiveness Program together make it possible and the only way she could ever think about continuing the work that she does for so little pay, but it is her passion and she is rewarded by the help she gives to those who cannot afford it. Who will help those who cannot afford it if these programs are discontinued??? How can someone who never attended public school, never had to worry about student loans, never had her children attend public school or have to take out student loans ever understand the difficulties low and middle income families face in trying to educate our children to pursue degrees and careers that contribute so much to our communities for so little pay? Not all of us can come from millionaire families who contribute so much to a political campaign which allows incompetent people to be placed in these life altering positions. But we have a voice. Hopefully we will be heard.

Kim    October 20, 2017    Jerseyville   

When my children started school, I decided to go back myself. I finished my BS in Biology and an MA in Teaching. I have been teaching middle and high school ever since. I borrowed $52,000. School teachers do not make a lot of money and when my own kids were ready to go to college, I could not help them. They had to get their own loans. I have been faithfully paying my loans since 2006. I now owe more than I borrowed and I am afraid I will never retire because they will take my social security away from me. In 2008, I was eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,000; but, was only allowed $5000. And, I still owe more than I borrowed. Because I have an FFLEP loan, I am not eligible for any other relief. If I had to do it over again, I would not do it. My over 1500 students that I have taught over the years would have never met me and I may never have an impact on anyone. I now have several students applying to medical school, including my own daughter. According to them, it is because I have inspired them. I will never get out of this hole and I really don't see any incentive to do so at this point. I guess it will go away when I die. Sad, sad, state of affairs.

Audrey    October 16, 2017    Beaufort   

I took out about 80k to go to a good school. Had every intention of using my life and passion for knowledge to contribute positively to society.

When I graduated the interest had brought it up to around 120k. So I started looking for a job in my field. A significant number of the entry level jobs that interested me were looking for 5 years of experience or a masters.

What followed was a decade during which the vast majority of my productivity was completely consumed by my monthly payment plan.

I can't adequately describe the cost to my quality of life in terms of lost time, crippling reduction in income, stress, and total derailment of anything resembling a life plan.

After nearly 10 years of 90+ hr work weeks the ultimate goal was within sight. A zero balance of both wealth and debt.

But I burned out and lost my job with 30k left to go. Two years and thousands of applications later I've started to realize that my career as an engineer is probably over.

I'm 35 and to say that I'll never be able to afford a house or have the money to consider having children is a laughable understatement.

My car broke down last month and I wasn't able to get to my manual labor job. Now things are starting to get canceled and the fridge is empty. My student loans are still up to date for now so I guess that is something.

In conclusion, I assert that it's a trap designed to consume our lives. If you can't afford to go to college don't go. It's not worth it. Why waste your life paying interest to a bank?

With experience a skilled tradesperson can not only earn as much or more per hour as an average engineer, they also get over time.

Case    October 14, 2017   

I am a 34 year old single mom who graduated in 2008 and graduated to the "real world" during a double recession. I was unable to find a job even though I left with cumlaude honors and 2 degrees. I decided to go back to school and get my Master's Degree and continue to bartend in the interim. During this time I got pregnant and decided to work in sales, I feel that has been kind to me and has given me the ability to support my daughter on my own. However, I am unable to pay the ever-mounting minimum payment and should not have to choose between feeding my daughter and paying an overwhelming amount of student loan debt off. This is a crisis that affects Millions. I can only pray that something is done about it. In the meantime my credit is destroyed and I continue to rent an apartment rather than build a future and stability for my child.

Briana    October 11, 2017    Castle Rock   

I LOVE my job as a children's librarian! I work in a public library teaching children about the joy of reading. I have a master's degree in teaching, and I get to use it in my work every day. I chose this job because I am passionate about helping people and I see my work make a real difference in people's lives, especially for the poor and marginalized. I got a lot of student loan debt through my Master's program, and at the time I didn't realize the ramifications. I am a single parent, and without PSLF I will be stuck in debt forever. My debt is currently twice my yearly salary. I live simply and try to do my best to take care of my son, but I am terrified about how we will make it if this program is taken away.

Sarah Pool    October 10, 2017    Staunton   

I have worked in the nonprofit sector serving my community for nearly 20 years now. I chose this field because it is my passion. I knew that it would mean a lower income and I was fine with it because I love what I do. I chose to live a modest life. I knew pursuing higher education was in my best interest and the only way I could afford it was through loans. I cannot advise low income students like myself on how to use education to get out of poverty if I hadn't pursued the higher education degrees that I did. When PSLF was introduced, it was such a bonus and incentive to give more of my time to others! I felt like I would be earning a reward for my years of service. To think that someone who has never been in a public school, never had to take out a loan or get a scholarship, never had to do work-study, never had to scrape for books, and never done research or even become an expert in her field could take that away from students like me makes me really angry. So misguided! So uneducated! So biased and bigoted against low income and first generation communities and graduates who use student loans and PSLF to bring our communities up.

Nancy    September 30, 2017    Denver   

I borrowed 42K, and I now owe double. I've paid back nearly 20K.

Since January, I've made every payment. I looked down and noticed...that I paid over $2200 in interest and $80 towards the principal. And now I'm fighting with @FedLoan Servicing because they misplaced my recertification paperwork for PAYE-Revised, jacking my bill twice my rent payment; additionally, they keep telling me that I didn't begin working in public libraries until 2015 ...despite my taxes telling them otherwise. What makes matters worse, Mohela never sent them the ICBR plan information, so NONE of my payments from 2009-2013 count towards PSLF. I'm told it's because it was the "wrong plan."

Now, not only are they not counting 2009-2013, they refuse to acknowledge that I changed companies in 2013 and have not calculated 2013-2015 towards PSLF. This whole thing has me completely defeated.

I feel like this is NEVER going to end. I can't afford to buy a house; I have excellent credit, but my debt to income ratio is so disproportionate that I cannot get a loan. IF PSLF is lost, then I'm destitute. If interest rates aren't reduced, I'm just another statistic.

Ashley Biggs    September 30, 2017    Brandon   

I went back to school because I wanted to get ahead in my position. I went to school online, worked 40 hours a week, took care of my three young children. Killing myself for years in hopes of furthering my career. Now, I make $16/hour and the pay back on the student loans is over $500/ a month. Which, obviously, I can not afford. My bring home pay is $2000 a month, rent is $1250, which leaves me with $750 a month to pay electric, gas, water, cell phone, car insurance, and food. I make too much to qualify for any assistance programs or loan forgiveness programs and saying I live paycheck to paycheck is a gross understatement. I screwed up thinking I would be able to get my family ahead, or even be able to one day buy a house. By going to school, I have destroyed my credit and ruined any hope I could ever have in buying a home. So much for living the American dream. I will never be able to put my kids through college, I will never be able to buy a house, and I will die endebted to the Federal Government for student loans that did not help me or my family in the slightest. It only made our lives worse.

Brooks Dozier    September 26, 2017    Peachtree City   

I knew when I went to law school that I wanted to help people and provide services to those who truly needed it. I work with victims of domestic violence and I need the PSLF program to pay my student loans which are close to 200k. There is no way I could pay that off in my current position. Our lawyers provide a valuable service to those who need it and we need to help graduates who go into public service with their student loans.

Elizabeth    September 22, 2017    Glenwood Springs   

I took out $14,882 for my Master's of Special Education degree. After paying for 6 years, I was able to get Teacher Loan Forgiveness on the remaining $10,000 balance. I feel releaved and free, I'm strongly advocating for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program because I benefited from a version of it.

Katrina Umana    September 20, 2017    Capital Heights   

I took out over $60K in federal student loans to pay for my Masters in Nursing which allows me to improve health care for hundreds of patients across my hospital instead of just the few patients I could personally care for. I would not have made this decision if it weren't for the PSLF program; which I was promised would forgive my loan debt after 10 years working for a non-profit. Getting rid of PSLF would be not only broken trust, but a disservice to the other students who would love to use this opportunity to make a bigger difference in their world.

Jennilee St. John    September 18, 2017    New Orleans   

My passion in life is to help eliminate the death penalty. I worked for years as a litigation consultant in the private sector which was a very lucrative field. I left the field to follow my passion to fight for those facing the death penalty. If I didn't have the PSLF I never could have switched fields. It profoundly saddens me to think of how many people wanting to go into fields they have a passion for that pay very little won't ever follow their passion if they don't have help with their student loans. We should help those who choose to go into fields where they make very little money to follow their passion by helping others.

Joanie    September 17, 2017    Atlanta   

I wish I had never become a pharmacist, I'm lucky that I escaped retail. I pay $2300 a month. I have 2 young boys and a mortgage and we can't afford a car payment. I want my boys to be educated but I have to say, I don't want this to happen to them. I wish I had never bought into school=success. All I have found is depression, debt, and the prospect of indentured servitude. Forget saving for retirement or even my kids school. I'm locked in, if they pull PSLF they might as well put me in in the dirt.

Matt    September 17, 2017    Erie   

I always thought being well educated was important and learning was a focus. However, if this program goes away I will never buy a house or retire.

Stephanie Rosch    September 15, 2017    Thornton   

When I garduated from college in 2010, it was not exactly the best economic climate to get a great job as a creative/designer.
I feel like im just now finding my footing. If it werent for income based repayment, I dont know what I would do! I wish there was a way to do community service on weekends to help pay off the interest atleast.

Hannah    September 14, 2017    decatur   

I graduated in 2007 with $25,000 in Bachelors Degree debt and $68,000 in Graduate school debt. I was fortunate to start my career a little more than 6 months later but immediately began Income Based Repayment due to my entry level position in Higher Education. I had to remain on Income Based repayment and Interest Only Repayment for the Undergraduate loans and when I had my son and quit my additional part time job I went on forbearance for my graduate loans for 3 years. My loans went up to a total of $122,000. Now going through a divorce, I was able to sell my house and pay off my undergraduate loans ...$23,000 after paying for 10 years.....and with over $98,000 left in Grad school loans. All of my payments to Navient did not qualify for Federal Student Loan Forgiveness so instead of having 80 payments I have 15. It feels like starting over from the beginning. If PSLF remains I will pay an additional $34,000 total and I've already paid so much for a decade. If it is taken away I will go back to feeling like it will never be paid off, because it just keeps growing. I am a single mother with a masters degree and a good stable career but I can't even move out of my parents house at this point in my life. I don't know how I'm supposed to pay off $98,000. I could have gotten on my feet a lot quicker if I didn't pay off the undergraduate loans but I couldn't have this hanging over my head any longer or afford the payments for both sets of loans. This was a necessary evil and I just hope that PSLF remains in effect because I'm on year 2 and I really feel like its the only way I'm going to ever be debt free.

Lisa Dimone    September 14, 2017    Selden   

I currently owe over 52k on an original loan debt of 23k. I may never pay the debt off before I die, & I'm not eligible for Student Loan Forgiveness, but I want others with crushing student loan debt to have the opportunity. The student loan industry has become a racket & a terrible burden on people. We need relief!

Debra    September 14, 2017    Bremerton   

I'll start with the numbers. I borrowed a total of $89K in private loans for school because i chose to study overseas. Due to my own ignorance I did not understand that private loans would not offer any assistance in repayment once i completed school or that Sallie Mae would due away with consolidation option by the time i graduated in 2007, which my financial aid adviser assured me of as I was signing my life away. Due to increasing interest rates as of today that number has increased to $234K. As I write I almost want to cry. I was forced into file bankruptcy to alleviate my co signer who is my 85 yr. old grandmother who was being stressed out with Sallie Maes abusive collection practices. My bankruptcy has now ended and I'm sitting on pins and needles waiting for Naviant to come after me again with my monthly payment which I assume will be over 2K a month. As you can imagine there is no way in the world that I can afford that and pay to live even the simplest way of life, which I do. I'm sharing this not because I seek sympathy. But, I want to deter people from getting trapped in the private student loan racket. I accept full responsibility for my impending financial ruin which will hinder my ability to move forward with life meaning buying house, new car, or any other things that people are able to enjoy who aren't a quarter of a million dollars in debt. To all those suffering with private loan debt, stay strong. I have faith that one day there will be help for us all. Thank you Student Debt Crisis for all that you do to help us unfortunates stay hopeful that one day this nightmare will end.

Naomi Belt    August 31, 2017    Houston   

I graduated in 2007 with 3 yr BFA degree and now owe 180,191+ in 2017. This will never be paid off. It rises every day. I'm an american citizen that has been penalized for getting an education that should have bettered my situation. Not garnished my wages and my life.

shayne    August 31, 2017    DOUGLASVILLE   

My husband and I were both outstanding students in high school (he was even valedictorian!) and received some scholarships which paid a good portion of our first year of undergraduate tuition at a state school. Unfortunately, we both have parents who did not have the means/were not willing to help us pay for school at all so any costs not covered by scholarships/grants are on us.

We both graduated with B.S. degrees in Architecture right around the time when the Great Recession was in full swing. No one was hiring anywhere.

Already saddled with debt, we knew we couldn't afford to take low paying jobs outside of our field and pay back our loans. We decided to further our education with graduate degrees in Structural and Mechanical Engineering - which appeared to be a more promising field than architecture at the time. We both worked throughout grad school (one of us even had two jobs while being a full time engineering grad student!) For one of us, graduate tuition was paid for entirely by the school, but despite all of this we still had to take out some loans to cover living expenses.

We've now both been working at pretty well paying (albeit stressful) engineering jobs for several years now and have been trying to pay as much as possible on our student loans, but it has still been a struggle even with good jobs.

The principle balance sum of all loans we took out totaled in at about $163,000. So far we've paid over $93,000 back in student loans in just a few years, and yet our balance is still nearly $170,000!!!

And one of the worst parts about it is that almost all of our loans were from the federal government.
How can our country's leaders do this to it's people? It's a way of keeping the rich rich and the poor poor. Economic mobility is practically a myth in this country. It is just wrong.

I am thankful that we are at least able to pay our bills and know things could be far worse in our case,

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Anonymous    August 26, 2017    Canton   
Anonymous    August 26, 2017    Canton   

My husband and I were both outstanding students in high school (he was even valedictorian!) and received some scholarships which paid a good portion of our first year of undergraduate tuition at a state school. Unfortunately, we both have parents who did not have the means/were not willing to help us pay for school at all so any costs not covered by scholarships/grants are on us.

We both graduated with B.S. degrees in Architecture right around the time when the Great Recession was in full swing. No one was hiring anywhere.

Already saddled with debt, we knew we couldn't afford to take low paying jobs outside of our field and pay back our loans. We decided to further our education with graduate degrees in Structural and Mechanical Engineering - which appeared to be a more promising field than architecture at the time. We both worked throughout grad school (one of us even had two jobs while being a full time engineering grad student!) For one of us, graduate tuition was paid for entirely by the school, but despite all of this we still had to take out some loans to cover living expenses.

We've now both been working at pretty well paying (albeit stressful) engineering jobs for several years now and have been trying to pay as much as possible on our student loans, but it has still been a struggle even with good jobs.

The principle balance sum of all loans we took out totaled in at about $163,000. So far we've paid over $93,000 back in student loans in just a few years, and yet our balance is still nearly $170,000!!!

And one of the worst parts about it is that almost all of our loans were from the federal government.
How can our country's leaders do this to it's people? It's a way of keeping the rich rich and the poor poor. Economic mobility is practically a myth in this country. It is just wrong.

I am thankful that we are at least able to pay our bills and know things could be far worse in our case, but we are pretty much only okay because we chose to shift our entire ideas of "what we wanted to be when we grow up" and because we were capable of completing very rigorous academic programs.

If I could go back knowing what I know now, I'd keep waiting tables like I did in high school instead of going to college. I would have had a more comfortable life financially without the stress/responsibility that my current jobs requires.

I was certified for PSLF by FedLoan. My monthly payment was nearly doubled to meet qualifying payments. Since the payments were too high I opted for standard payments, which cannot be applied to loan forgiveness. The whole thing seems like a lecherous scam.

Trisha    August 25, 2017    CitySayreville   

I was unemployed not able to find employment a single mother who needed to find a way to make to make myself look like I would be a good hire. I spent 4 years and than a term because the University made a mistake with my degree plan and my credits. I was full time and held a 4.0 for all of my terms. The state I am in showed the University as an accredited school. However, while applying for jobs when it came time as I finally meant the required degree requirements my University did not come up and I often could not apply for the job. I have contacted the board of education and the sent me a letter say they would forward my complaint to someone who could help me. no one has helped me. I have been out of the university senses June 2015. I am still under employed and I have no health insurance not retirement. I am on the student loan repayment plan and I qualify to pay nothing back. This does not change the fact that my loan payment would be over $800 a month to pay back and that the interest is still accumulating. The University that I attended has been sued and others have won their case against the University. However in my state no one has sued the University that I know of. My child is now going to school out of fear of being like me. A independent who is not able to be independent and now most likely will end up a state property in a home for the elderly where someone is waiting for me to pass. My fear is the my child will seek out and work hard to be appealing for a job that will never make ends meet because of student loan debt. Pell grants do not cover it. The university used all of mine and still had loans and payment out of pocket. If I question them it was me who was always wrong. I only made $300 a month and the state of Maryland told me I was not poor enough to have a scholarship it did not even go into consideration that I had a 4.0.

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C R in MD    August 21, 2017    odention   
C R in MD    August 21, 2017    odention   

I was unemployed not able to find employment a single mother who needed to find a way to make to make myself look like I would be a good hire. I spent 4 years and than a term because the University made a mistake with my degree plan and my credits. I was full time and held a 4.0 for all of my terms. The state I am in showed the University as an accredited school. However, while applying for jobs when it came time as I finally meant the required degree requirements my University did not come up and I often could not apply for the job. I have contacted the board of education and the sent me a letter say they would forward my complaint to someone who could help me. no one has helped me. I have been out of the university senses June 2015. I am still under employed and I have no health insurance not retirement. I am on the student loan repayment plan and I qualify to pay nothing back. This does not change the fact that my loan payment would be over $800 a month to pay back and that the interest is still accumulating. The University that I attended has been sued and others have won their case against the University. However in my state no one has sued the University that I know of. My child is now going to school out of fear of being like me. A independent who is not able to be independent and now most likely will end up a state property in a home for the elderly where someone is waiting for me to pass. My fear is the my child will seek out and work hard to be appealing for a job that will never make ends meet because of student loan debt. Pell grants do not cover it. The university used all of mine and still had loans and payment out of pocket. If I question them it was me who was always wrong. I only made $300 a month and the state of Maryland told me I was not poor enough to have a scholarship it did not even go into consideration that I had a 4.0. Now I am faced with knowing I will most likely never be able to buy a home. I will most likely not have social security because federal student loans can take them. I filed for Bankruptcy because I have been chronically under employed. I have found no help an big University are not providing a future they are robbing people of one. The local University are starting to do the same thing as I am seeing with my child going to collage. I have asked my child to consider a different avenue. But again she is afraid of not being qualified for a good job. I have to say that there are more good quality people than there are good jobs and how as this not caused the cost of continued education to go down. Supply and demand the jobs are not here to justify the education programs. The marketing is here to make you think the jobs will be there when you are done. Why is there no fight back, Education is suppose to improve the people and the people improve society and we grow. The education is not even quality education it is said platform of must have that do not apply to a real working world. empty knowledge is just that empty with no return. Now I have nothing but a BS degree that is not what I enrolled into originally due to the University's mistake and a 4.0 on a paper that is still in the envelope it came in that cost me $65,000 and climbing. Who lets this continue ? Why is this okay? The University is using a business platform to get be money and the federal government is allowing it because it is a continues income that they will one day come in an collect even if it puts you on the street or in your grave. why is this call the land of the free? my government owns me and I will never be able to see my dream come to pass. I have a better chance wining a lottery . Universities are the new mobsters and our federal government is okay with it.

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

Jessica Wardlaw    August 14, 2017    Saint Paul   

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

Kelli Martin    August 14, 2017    Carbon   

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

Pamela Raditsch    August 14, 2017    Aptos   

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

Yolanda Taylor    August 14, 2017    philadelphia   

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

Haley Andersen    August 14, 2017    Havertown   

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

Diane McMahon    August 14, 2017    Pittsburgh   

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

Ted T.    August 14, 2017    Tampa   

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

Daphne Chakurian    August 13, 2017    Roseville   

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

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

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

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

Tanya Akel    August 13, 2017    Los Angeles   

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

Stephanie    August 13, 2017    Warwick   

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

Andy    August 13, 2017    Alexandria   

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

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

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

Kelley Breidigan    August 12, 2017    Newark   

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

Melissa    August 12, 2017    Seattle   

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

Lisa Krauss    August 12, 2017    Las Vegas, NV   

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

Deevy    August 12, 2017   

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

Rachel Hendrickson    August 12, 2017    Fremont   

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

James Guldin Jr    August 12, 2017    Pine Grove   

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

Mindy Peterson    August 12, 2017    Portland   

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

Joy Schroeder    August 12, 2017    West Bend   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reginald Tucker    August 12, 2017    little rock   

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

Shannon Manigault    August 11, 2017    Bunnell   

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

Suzanne DeMarinis    August 11, 2017    Missoula   

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

Karen Beshears    August 11, 2017    Sherrard   

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

Michael    August 11, 2017    Charleston   

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

Sharri    August 11, 2017    Vancouver   

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

Katherine Howard    August 11, 2017    Newport   

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

Logan De La Noche    August 11, 2017    San Leandro   

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

Evelyn Mallery    August 11, 2017    West Sacramento, CA   

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

Karin Molnar    August 11, 2017    Bordentown   

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

Mario Parra Sr.    August 11, 2017    Lutz   

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

Jamye McDonald    August 11, 2017    summerville   

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

Johnny Satterwhite    August 11, 2017    Converse   

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

Linda St Claire    August 11, 2017    Napa   

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

Ebony Yarger    August 11, 2017    Twin Falls   

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

Dolores Klasek    August 11, 2017    Westchester   

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

laura Scotti    August 4, 2017    Boston   

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

Jorge Cardenas    July 28, 2017    Irvine   

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

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

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

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

PBW    July 21, 2017   

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

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

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

Elizabeth Mullin    July 20, 2017    Sterling   

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

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

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

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

Julie Richards    July 14, 2017    Lancaster   

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

H. King    July 1, 2017    Syracuse   

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

Aubrianna Abbema    June 27, 2017    Corpus Christi   

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

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

Thank you for your time.

johnburgos    June 22, 2017    Manassas   

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

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

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

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

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

NA    June 16, 2017    NA   

In February 2016 I shared this story:

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

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

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

Carolyn    June 8, 2017    MASSAPEQUA   

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

Jeffrey Britton    June 5, 2017    Waikoloa   

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

Sandra M Geiger    June 4, 2017    Brookings   

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

Betty K    June 2, 2017    Bristol   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anna Obek    May 30, 2017    Austin   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amanda    May 29, 2017    Schenectady   

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

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

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

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

Amanda Blalock    May 26, 2017    Washington   

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

Scott Chappuis    May 26, 2017    Bowling Green   

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

Amelia Frank    May 25, 2017    Austin   

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

Brandon    May 25, 2017    Blue Springs   

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

Kathleen Kaiser    May 24, 2017    Waipahu   

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

Sarah Dionne    May 24, 2017    Middleboro   

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

Marc    May 23, 2017    Albuquerque   

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

Debbie    May 23, 2017    Norton   

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

Christopher Mathews    May 22, 2017    Rancho Cucamonga   

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

william Martin    May 21, 2017    San Antonio   

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

Nicole    May 20, 2017    Kailua   

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

Mike    May 19, 2017    Derry   

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

Marc Arnold    May 19, 2017    Tacoma   

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

Author *Harry Cooper    May 18, 2017    Columbia   

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

Author *Kristen    May 18, 2017   

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

Sheila    May 16, 2017    St. Louis   

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

Marvin Arts    May 13, 2017    Little Elm, Texas 75068   

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

Sam    May 11, 2017    Cranbury   

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

Angela Mateman    May 9, 2017    Scottsdale   

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

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

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

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

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

Kyle    May 5, 2017    Derby   

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

Mike    May 3, 2017    lenoir city   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author *Brittany    April 26, 2017   

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

Connie    April 26, 2017    Cuyahoga falls   

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

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

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

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

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

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

Donna Alanis    April 23, 2017    San Jose   

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

Sharon Bottoms    April 21, 2017    Madison   

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

cindy conn Reece    April 21, 2017    centerville   

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

Roseann King    April 15, 2017    Chicago   

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

Debbie    April 14, 2017    CityNorton   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tim    April 11, 2017    Mansfield   

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

sharon    April 10, 2017    New York   

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

Christine Scott    April 5, 2017   

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

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

Danielle Sparks    April 5, 2017    East Thetford   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laura    April 4, 2017    albuquerqur   

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

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

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

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

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

Christopher Amos    April 3, 2017    New Haven   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meryene Nolan    April 2, 2017    Sunrise   

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

Anonymous    April 1, 2017    CityColumbus   

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

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

Being able to provide is relative.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I've never felt so lost and upside down.

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

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

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

Being able to provide is relative.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Natalie    March 31, 2017    New Lenox   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amanda Wood    March 31, 2017    Paducah   

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

darrell mcneer    March 31, 2017    Montrose   

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

Stephanie Karl    March 31, 2017    Litchfield   

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

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

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

ghines-kent    March 31, 2017   

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

Mark Herbert    March 31, 2017    Sault Ste. Marie   

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

Robert Smith    March 31, 2017    Bells   

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

Mike    March 31, 2017    great neck   

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

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

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

Michael    March 30, 2017   

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

Marshon    March 23, 2017    Stockton   

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

RICKANTHONY621    March 22, 2017    grand rapids   

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

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

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

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

Janet Horn    March 15, 2017    Potomac   

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

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

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

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

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

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

Magdalena Carolan    March 12, 2017    Kenosha   

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

Feliz Molina    March 11, 2017    Chicago   

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

Danny    March 10, 2017    Tacoma   

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

June    March 7, 2017    Edgewater   

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

Angela    March 3, 2017    Perrysburg   

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

Mrs.Rivera    February 28, 2017    Waianae   

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

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

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

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

Paul    February 22, 2017    Seattle   

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

blanca    February 21, 2017    San diego   

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

Courtney    February 14, 2017    Levittown   

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

Margaret    February 14, 2017   

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

Wendy    February 11, 2017    Quincy, MA   

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

Nancy    January 28, 2017    Lemon Grove   

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

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

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

Louise Renas    January 27, 2017    Minneapolis   

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

Scott    January 24, 2017    State College   

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

Annette Loos    January 24, 2017    Kansas City   

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

Author *Linda    January 23, 2017    Garnet Valley   

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

Donna Castelblanco    January 22, 2017    Edison   

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

Keri Wyckoff    January 20, 2017    Walla walla   

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

Katherine Plamondon    January 17, 2017    Vancouver   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chevonda    January 9, 2017    Jonesboro   

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

melanie    January 4, 2017    NEW York   

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

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

Author *Brandon Palmer    December 31, 2016    mobile   

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

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

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

It is crushing.

anthony w    December 31, 2016    Brooklyn   

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

Sulwen    December 30, 2016    Cityboone   

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

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

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

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

...more
James C    December 29, 2016   
James C    December 29, 2016   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crysemp    December 29, 2016   

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

Matt    December 28, 2016    pittsburgh   

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

Katie K    December 27, 2016    De Pere   

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

Marie    December 24, 2016    Seattle   

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

Author Anne    December 23, 2016    Hammond   

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

Author *irene bermudez    December 21, 2016    Chicago   

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

Kimberly    December 16, 2016    Modesto   

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

M. l. Jackson    December 16, 2016    Chicago   

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

Mariah    December 13, 2016    Buckhannon   

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

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

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

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

Author *Kimberly    December 11, 2016    City El paso   

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

Author *Ronnie Proudfoot    December 10, 2016    Portland   

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

DS    December 8, 2016    CityLemont   

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

Renee    December 8, 2016   

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

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

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

Maryann    December 8, 2016    Enfield   

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

Jahdai    December 7, 2016    Orlando   

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

Author *Randy    December 3, 2016    Coldwater   

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

Todd    December 1, 2016    Akron   

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

Gigi    December 1, 2016    Bloomington   

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

Brighton    November 29, 2016    chintwo   

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

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

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

april    November 26, 2016    Phoenix   

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

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

That was officially ten years ago.

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

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

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

Phillip L.    November 17, 2016    Philadelphia   

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

DJP    November 13, 2016    Muncie   

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

Total = 96.5% of my income

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

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

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

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

Robin    November 10, 2016    Culver City   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michelle P.    November 8, 2016    Cambria Heights   

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

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

Gina    November 5, 2016    Geneva   

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

Author *April    November 5, 2016    CityMcMinnville   

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

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

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

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

Corina    October 31, 2016    Ft lauderdale   

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

Joe Rodzinak    October 28, 2016   

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

Dallas Pollei    October 27, 2016    Roswell   

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

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

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

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

david meyer    October 26, 2016    Columbus   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rant over! Let's end this mess!

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

Author *Lisa    October 25, 2016    New York   

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

Lydia    October 24, 2016    Phoenix   

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

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

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

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

Samantha    October 19, 2016    Libby   

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

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

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

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

Sandy Oconnell    October 19, 2016    NEWINGTON   

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

Tina    October 19, 2016    Newburgh   

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

Linda    October 19, 2016    Ogden   

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

Defi Chandrawati    October 19, 2016    Los Angeles   

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

Matt    October 18, 2016    Goldendale   

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

Christina    October 18, 2016    Milwaukee   

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

Tiana Buford    October 18, 2016    los angeles, ca   

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

Khoerle    October 18, 2016    Ferndale   

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

Tammy    October 18, 2016    Hopatcong   

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

Al    October 18, 2016    West Chester   

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

Dennis Kitchen    October 17, 2016    Houston   

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

Abigail Hohenstreet    October 17, 2016    Post Falls   

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

David Marks    October 17, 2016    Hull   

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

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

Melanie    October 17, 2016    Fairbanks   

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

MJ    October 16, 2016    CULVER CITY   

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

Shonta    October 16, 2016    Atlanta   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Susan B.    October 10, 2016    Preston   

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

Harriet    October 4, 2016    Eagle Creek   

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

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

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

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

Xavier B    October 1, 2016    Montreal   

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

Sarah    September 30, 2016    Raymore   

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

Monica S.    September 28, 2016    North Port   

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michelle    September 28, 2016    Vinton   

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

Michelle    September 28, 2016    Vinton   

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

Cheryl Butle    September 27, 2016    Grapida Rapids   

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

Author *Kiki    September 25, 2016    City Milford   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michelle Miller    September 23, 2016    Nashville   

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

Author *Yolanda Rodela    September 22, 2016    Fort Worth   

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

Author *Jorge    September 22, 2016    Providence   

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

Lindsey    September 21, 2016    Westerly   

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

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

Dre    September 20, 2016    Atlanta   

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

Vanessa    September 20, 2016    West Palm Beach   

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

Sonam    September 20, 2016    San Jose   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanders    September 18, 2016    San Diego   

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

Dean R.    September 16, 2016    Massillon, OH   

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

Author karen    September 15, 2016    Fort Myers   

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

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

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

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

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

Ukiah Miller    September 13, 2016    NC   

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

Alan Mamzueta    September 5, 2016    New Jersey   

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

Molly Adams    September 4, 2016    CO   

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

Author *Evelyn Palen    September 2, 2016    Illinois   

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

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

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

Beth Cioca    August 29, 2016    Massillon, Ohio   

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

E Lambert    August 29, 2016    Little Rock, AR   

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

Author *lucia santiago    August 28, 2016    Chelsea, MA   

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