Here are a few of the stories told. I really have to wonder WTF were some of these people thinking. Alot of "oh poor poor me" going on.
1) I'm 37 years old and I owe over $200,000 in education debt. I went back to college after dropping out when I was younger. I completed my bachelor's at age 30 (2006) and my master's at age 32 (2008). I have yet to find a full time job in any field. The only jobs available would not pay enough for me to live in my area. I have done volunteer work after volunteer work to keep up skills, but no one will hire me. My self-esteem and confidence has taken a nose dive, and my anxiety about my future has become a disorder. Now I'm in a self-fulfilling cycle of lack of confidence, messing up an interview, then reaffirming my poor self-image. It's extremely frustrating. I have all these skills, and no one will give me a chance. I just want to be self-sufficient. Is that too much to ask?
Heather June 14, 2013 Rhode Island
2) In my 30's after paying off my undergrad degree I returned to University to become a Chiropractor. I met another Chiropractor and married a year before I graduated. My first child was born a week after graduation. After my wife graduated we moved overseas to Australia her home. Twins came shortly after. Due to poor exchange rate and income not growing as fast as we wanted, we were unable to keep up regular payments. A fourth child arrived in 2002. A divorce, in 2005, hit hard and several years later I went into personal bankruptcy- I was unable to write off my debt. I have been living on edge, paying for my children, and unable to borrow or pay off my loans which now have hit 150,000.00. I find it absurd that I was not able to write off my loans with banckruptcy . Now age 55 I wonder if I will ever be able to pay off these ratings and retire. I am incensed when I hear that the children of politicians do not have pay their loans. I would have paid off these loans if I had been able. MLL
Anonymous September 11, 2013
3) I am a single 57 year-old woman who went back to college when I was 48. I decided to go back to earn an education in a career that would help me fund my retirement as I spent most of my adulthood as a single parent and working as a counselor in the mental health field. I enrolled in a technical school who told me the average amount of time it took to finish the course was 2-3 years. I and fellow students found out later that the average time it takes is 5-7 years. Now, after 4 years in the program, I not only ran out of student aid to pay to finish the program, I am $65,000 in rating with Federal Student Aid loans and $15,000 in debt with private education loans and still working in the human services field getting paid $12.82 an hour. I have devoted my life to my kids and working as a care giver in the mental health field and will not even be able to support myself in retirement.
Anonymous September 12, 2013
4) My daughter went to an expensive school - NYU - Being the first in our family to obtain a 4 year degree was quite the reward for hard work. We knew it would be expensive and the school advised that she was not eligible for Government backed student loans but I was eligible for the Parent Plus Loans to cover her costs. As a single parent, I was not about to dash her dreams. She has now graduated, working at a job that pays minimum wage. I had to take my Social Security at the earliest age so that I could pay back the Parent Plus Loan. My entire Social Security check (with $50 leftover) goes to the loan. The 8% interest rate (after the .25% reduction for direct pay) means that even after 3 years of payment, the principal barely moves. I can not hope to pay this loan off in my lifetime, with never having the life enjoyment my SS may have provided. My daughter had hoped to relieve me of at least some of this debt, but she too has Perkins and Stafford loans to pay. The interest rate is sooo unfair and made 10 times worse that it is my Government who is taking it, after having worked 30 years for my State Government.
Kathy October 14, 2014 Schenectady, NY
5) I attended college as a single father with two young sons. I took out student loans while in college to help raise my sons. I used the money to pay for rent, utilities and groceries. That was over twenty years ago. I graduated with approximately $62000 in debt. I offered to make affordable monthly payments but the amount that I could afford was not enough for the lenders. They put my loans in default and began garnishing my wages. Since that time, more than 18 years ago, I have paid back over $130,000 on my $62000 debt and I still owe nearly $60,000. It is criminal what they do to us. I have made a student loan payment every two weeks (albeit a garnishment) for the last 18+ years. I teach at a community college and make an average living as a result of my education. I am thankful for what my education has afforded me, but my loans remain in default because I cannot afford the payment that they expect. It is a helpless feeling, one of being completely trapped.
Bruce Myers January 20, 2015 Illinois
6) I wanted a job as a physical therapist. The job requires that you get a doctorate now (this however does not mean you make more money as its field that pays based on years of experience). So I owed $167,000 in unsub and $47,000k in sub loans at graduation. The interest at 7% has accumulated to about $40,000-so I owe over $230,000. I am on IBR repayment and pay $600/month. The interest that accures every month is over $1000. So everytime I pay $600, $400+ gets added on to my loan. I will never be able to touch my principal at this rate. Why is my hard earned money going into someones pocket and making them rich instead of paying off my debt that I so desperately want to get rid of? Why am I being punished for trying to have a career and help the economy? Which max I may make $65k/yr in take home. Why is my boyfriends mortgage interest rate only 3.75% and I have 7% on my student loans? These equations just don't add up. I'm working towards public service loan forgiveness but now I understand that the amount forgiven may be capped, so the light at the end of my tunnel is disappearing :/
Geanna January 24, 2015 Salt Lake City, UT
7) I am more than $100,000 in school debt. My dream to ascertain a Ph.D in Organizational Behavior and become an Administrator in higher education is no longer viable. With my current student debt so high, I can't afford housing, a reliable car or everyday things like going out to dinner with my girlfriend. This is not the American dream, this is a nightmare. My Mom always told me getting a College degree will increase your earnings potential in the job market. This has not come to fruition. The only thing pursuing a degree in higher education has got me is: saddled in debt and stress. My dream is gone, the thing that remains is the collateral damage called school loans.
robert needles March 27, 2015