Well, first off I feel that I cannot place blame on anyone but myself. I haven't been the greatest of a student, and it is taking me much longer to get my degree that it should have. I have borrowed too much money in student loans to pay my tuition and to live off of while in school. I know this is all my fault, but it was so easy! They pretty much just handed me a check. I am about $60,000 in debt right now including the $11,000 in federal loans,and still have to go another year. I want to work in the social services field, but I know that I will not get a good enough job in that field to pay for this big of a loan. It was so easy to get the loans! I remember in my second year of school, I called the loan company which is Chase, and I asked them if I could take out another loan for $5,000 and they asked if I was using the same co-signer, and I said yes. It was over the phone! They didn't ask for proof of income from the co-signer or anything they just approved it. I'm not placing blame on anyone but myself because I wasn't realizing the consequences but why will they just mail a $5,000 check to a 19 year old kid? It's crazy and I hope that things will change, I don't want to see the student loan debt forgiven for my sake, but for my grandparents sake because they have co-signed most of my loans. I just want to give up. I have been fighting depression and trying to get though school, and wonder if it is even worth it anymore!
It all started went i went to University of Toledo for my bachelors in nursing, I took out Sallie Mae loans which I thought at the time were federal, I had been living on campus so you had to have a 2300 meal plan per semester if you were a freshman and live on campus, I had been working at bob evans as a waitress to pay my bills and get by. I also had a fiance who became abusive emotionally, physically and mentally, I became very depressed and eventually that led to me dropping out of nursing school in may of 2006, after I left him that summer I wanted to pursue my life long goal of becoming a nurse, so in November of 2006 I started going to Brown Macki in Findlay for nursing, I took out Sallie Mae loans again and thought they were federal, I was still workign as a waitress but had to work less and less as the classes became more difficult, i finally decided to go to the astrive website and take out private student loans so I could graduate, I finally finished nursing school in Septmeber 2008 and had no i dea what i was in store for. In march-April 2009 I started getting bills for my loans, i owe Sallie Mae $56,000.00!, Plus what i took our through Astrive which ended up being $25,000 plus intrest. I had worked at a hospital as an aide while I was waiting to take boards, I took boards in November and got my license and finally got a decent payong job at the end of February of 2009, while i was job searching I tried to defer my loans but i had no options with Sallie mae or the Astrive, The only thing I could do with Sallie mae was pay $50 per loan to defer for 3 months, which I did and that took me to July, as for the Astrive I had to pay somehow. I Have some other debt and medical bills, but I feel I have no options and no way out! So I thought I would go back for my RN like I planned so I met with a rep from The College Network and she made it sound great that I could take classes at my own pace and I just take the test at a testing center and when I passed I got the credits, the rep said it was an affiliate of excelsior college out of New York and I was guaranteed acceptance, She said if the program wasnt going to work I could cancel, but if I didnt cancel in 3 days i wouldnt get my $200 back, this was on July 8th, I wrote 2 checks for 100 the first was to be cashed on july 18th the other 100 was the 30 of july, so I started reading the material and decided this wasnt for me, I had worked 4 6p to 6a shifts straight and called them on the 16th of July before any checks ere cashed and they said sorry you cant cancel you owe $12000.00 regaurdless if you take any of the classes. So here I am with over $76,000 in private loans debt plus $12,000 from the college network plus everythign else! I dont know what I can do, I spoke with a lawyer and she said I may be able to discharge my loans in bankruptcy as long as they are not government insured, that was her suggestion. So thats my story, I am strapped tight as can be, with no way out, meanwhile all these people who rack up $100,000 in credit card debt and they get out scott free....and here we are with college educations cant find jobs and cant pay loans and get our wages garnished and tax returns taken away.
Sallie Mae is the worst company I've ever had to deal with. I graduated over a year ago and cannot find a job. I'm on unemployment trying to make ends meet and I'm having a hard time, and Sallie Mae just adds to the stress. I've been called 10 times a day, all day, every day, and have had to deal with their very unprofessional operators who apparently don't know how hard it is out there. They are making me physically ill. They all have different stories. One person will tell me to send what I can, another will tell me that's unacceptable. I have been given fake names and extension numbers after being threatened and harassed, and they have basically told me that I just don't want to pay my loans and that I make no efforts in getting a job. These people are unbelievable. I've gone over my finances with them, what I make and what bills I pay, and when they realize that I don't have enough money for their payments every month I'm told I have no options. I can't defer, can't lower my amount any more, I don't qualify for a "no fee" forbearance or for an income-based repayment plan. So, basically, there is no way out. I owe them over $50,000, and half of that is interest alone. They won't accept anything less than my monthly payment, even after I explain my situation and tell them it's just until I can secure employment. I'm trying my best to make ends meet with what I have...I don't know what else to do.
**Like the saying goes, don't spit in the air because it'll come right back in your face. These people are lucky to have jobs, and to speak to us and treat us the way they do is unacceptable. One day it'll come back to them and they'll be on the other end of the phone, and hopefully they are dealing with a company more flexible and understanding than they are**
I did a 2yr degree at community college and original loan was 10K. I paid regularly on it for 2-3yrs then life took a turn and eventually I went into forebearance and defaulted. I basicly took the ignore approach. Well they did track me down and when I started to pay back to get out of default (Was 9 months) the loan was at about 15K. I have since paid and got it down to 11K but is still 1000 more than my original balance. I'm in information technology as a network engineer and I taught myself to get where I am not college. The college instructors were morons that actually held classes on how to clean keyboards, stupid things like that. I'm 38 now and only have 2500 in 401k and about 3000 in savings. I am hoping the 3000 will carry me through an emergency and I am going to start paying 800\month on the loan. I did manage to consolodate at 4.25% which in my case means if i make a 200 dollar payment about 160 goes torwards principal. I make 50k a year and I know my story is not as bad as most here but I still feel just as angry and violated as you do. Do you guys think I should use the savings and close out the 401K and put this torwards the loan?
I thought about what you said and what I am going to do is pay couple hundered a month on the student loans. Then I will bank the rest and when I get enough in the bank to pay the loan in full I will call them and try to buy the loan out at a lower sum of what is owed. I heard from someone that they may except an offer from the borrower. For example if the borrower offers 6500 as a payoff on an 8000 loan balance the lender may accept that lower amount as final payment. Is this true?
I went back to college a little later and only borrowed $42,000 over 10 years, which is rather low in comparison today...but after I graduated, work in my field was hard to find and I taught part-time with no guarantees for each semester that you'd have a job.
So, I paid "income contingent" payments (low) and eventually consolidated the loans. Well, with 8.5% interest and forebearance and deferments, I now owe 72,000!!!!
I'll be paying it off for the rest of my life!
Why don't student loan debt quality for federal bail-outs is a question that's been on my mind for over a year now...I'M SO GLAD SOMEONE IS ADDRESSING IT TOWARDS WASHINGTON NOW....LET'S GET SOME HELP!!!
EVERYONE contact Oprah Winfrey show do as a group, everyone, I did it never received a call back but, if EVERYONE call now and give show ideas and Everyone forward this blog site to her and maybe they will respond.. Do It loudly and often.. " A Slave tO Sallie Mae" do it do it!!! I support all of you Diana
I'm not trying to make sweeping generalizations about parents who claimed their legally adult children on their income tax. I'm simply pointing out that there are those parents who have the mentality of "I got mine, now you get yours" and refuse to support their children in any way when they decide to go to college, yet claim them as dependents. In my opinion, if a legal adult is living in their own apartment, working one or two jobs and also studying full time they deserve the right to be independent when it comes to financial aid. Mom and Dad are not supporting them and should not have the benefit of claiming them.
The bigger problem with this clause is that it doesn't matter if your parents claim you or not.. Until you are 25 years old you can't get extra funding by removing your income from you parents. The only way around it is if you are married, and then you go by your sposes income as well-- It is simply rediculous...
All of these stories and information on private student loans make me sick to my stomach. I had a dream: to go to a good college and get an even better education. I don't come from a wealthy family, so being the independent and persistent girl I am, I found the "private student loan". They lent me money, with no cosigner. To my absolute amazement, I was able to finance my education on my own and attend the college of my choice. Two years after I have graduated I find myself regretting my choice to do so. I was uneducated about this "private" loan and what it would mean to me in the future. There is no forbearance... no way to make payments even POSSIBLE. They were asking for way more than I could handle, and therefore, my loan became "defaulted" last week. Freaked out, scared and unsure of what could happen to me... I searched for answers. I was shocked at the information I DIDNT find. I knew I wasnt the only one... but I couldnt find any information that let me know that. That is, until I found the group on facebook. FINALLY I am not alone and the numbers show. Thank you! Now, what can I do? What they did was WRONG. What they are doing - is wrong. I'm crossing my fingers for change to happen NOW and am willing to do what it takes to get our voices HEARD! Please, let me know how I can help. You have my support - 100%.
I was approached in my senior year by a representative of the Massachusetts College of Communications in Brookline, Mass. They quickly signed my up and "guided" me through an extensive loan process. By the time, I literally ran out of money, the name of the institution had changed twice. The debt I incurred getting my undergraduate degree from a ligitimate university was comparable to the amount I borrowed for absolutely worthless credits from the enterprise currently calling itself AI Art Institute of Boston.
Why is it so easy for these "schools" to get government money when they are so obviously scamming the public?
I graduated in 1997, and was very frugal, only borrowing enough for books and tuition. My total debt was less than $14000. After paying for almost 10 years, the balance is a little over $10,000. I thought it was only financed for 10 years, but apparently not. Of course this is not a nightmare amount like the other stories, but a manageable amount. It has never bothered me to pay back extra, as I thought I was contributing to future students that needed a loan. What a crock of shit! Why bother to do the right thing, it always backfires. My son wanted to go to college, and I co-signed the loan, back in 2004. I assumed that I was only co-signing the first disbursement of cash, since my son had to sign for each disbursement. There were never any statements to me. Now three weeks ago, I receive a notice that my son is defaulting and I'm responsible for over $77,000 of debt. Sallie Mae wants over $700 a month. Add all the late fees, etc., and you can guess the rest. Even the credit card companies have credit limits and send out monthly notices. How could they lend so much? It feels like such a scam. No longer can I hope for a house, I'll just keep living in this 70's trailer. My credit is shot, after 30 years of perfect credit. I love the idea of wiping out the debt, but at the same time, I realize that my son should take some responsibility for all this debt. From all the research that I've done, there is no relief from Sallie Mae loans. How does this happen when there is so much regulation of lenders??? Just let me know who to write to in DC! How can my voice be heard?
I went to community college for the first 2 years of my Bachelor's degree. At that time my mother was still single and since the cost was so low I didn't qualify for any federal assistance. I was able to get a private $500 dollar scholarship during that time. Then when I went away to school to finish my bachelor's degree my mother re-married and their income was too high for me to qualify for anything more than $3,500 the first year for a federal unsecured loan. They we not paying for my tuition/room/board but their salaries worked against me anyway. And I could not claim myself as independent on my taxes. So now I owe around $45,000 in mostly private variable rate student loans and I will be paying on them for the next 20 years. When I applied for the loans I wasn't worried because the interest rate wasn't terrible and I was going to consolidate all of my loans. When I graduated no one was offering Private Student Loan consolidation and the interest rate was over 12%. Now I am a Engineer working full time (thankfully I have yet to be effected by a layoff, even though my company just let go 10% of the workforce) and family/friends think I should be rolling in money but I am actually pinching pennies more now then when I was in high school. I am trying to keep up with all my bills and every month after everything is paid off I don't have ANY money to put in savings. I do not know what I would do if I was laid off right now. I would have to file for bankruptcy.
I decided to go to a culinary school in my home town it 2002 a few months after I got married. I believed their sales pitch, hook line and sinker. So I signed up at 31k for an accelerated course, of course hind sight is 20/20. I graduated in 2003, and soon discovered that the degree was worthless. Employers in the area don't even look at education they only look for experience. As the grace period on my student loans neared I was forced to settle for a customer service position paying barely minimum wage. Over the years I have diligently paid on my loans, or put them in deferment at those times where financial need was too great. I got other debt as well, a personal loan to consolidate some credit card debt, a line of credit to buy a computer, and eventually sprung for a car. I tried my hardest to pay, and was doing all right but could never get my husband to try at all. Earlier this year, do to multiple problems in our marriage I left, and am facing the true slavery I am in. I am seeing a guy in canada who I love with all my heart, but as the impending divorce looms and I am faced with the reality that I have no options and no rights. I will of course be assessed child support because I will be moving, and that on top of the debt I currently owe will leaving me with 200 a month for food, rent, and utilities. I keep seeing all these adds for bankruptcy..."start your life over, get debt relief". There's mercy for people who screw around on their credit cards or house loan, but none for those who wish to better themselves. It's really sad when you have to face the reality that at least financially speaking everyone would be better off with you.
I graduated from college owing over $70,000 of government and private debt borrowed at high interest rates in 2001. I had no other way to finance the cost of my Yale University education other than borrow from private lenders in addition to the federal government.
Maybe if my parents had been more savvy they could have convinced Yale to lower the sticker price or to otherwise make money available enabling me to graduate with more manageable debt, but sadly they did what they could and it was not enough to break through the unsympathetic front lines of Yale financial aid in 1997-2001.
Painfully, the year after I graduated, Yale instigated a new approach to financing students' education resulting in much lower overall education debt incurred by students in my situation. Yale took such steps as they recognized inequity and hardship and wished to address it. Thus, had I matriculated a year later, I would have graduated with minimal, government funded and protected debt as opposed to the hellish $70,000 behemoth of private and public lending I unhappily called my own.
After college I began repayment and took advantage of consolidation opportunities when and where I could. My parents helped with payments on one of my smaller loans which was all they could afford to do. I had made some progress by the time I began law school in the fall of 2005, having made steady payments for several years. However, I was not able to fully consolidate much of my private debt, as such debt is unregulated and offers little or no protections for student debtors. despite paying off tens of thousands of dollars, I began law school still owing around $50,000 which could be deferred, but would continue to accrue interest at high rates.
Furthermore, I was only able to borrow private loans for the first year of law school, resulting in over $60,000 of private unregulated debt offering no consumer protections. I was able to borrow a combination of private and government money to fund the final two years of law school, resulting in an additional $120,000 of debt.
Despite working hard and making what I thought to be responsible decisions, I find myself in a terrible job market with over $230,000 of debt, most of it providing little or no consumer protection, and a firm job that has been deferred until the economy improves.
Since lenders have financial incentives to encourage default - at least in the short term- as this results in higher interest rates, they go out of their way to NOT contact you or keep you updated on the status of your loans and/or inform you of their existence until after you default. Therefore, it is very difficult simply to track down the many loans borrows like myself have incurred over the past 12 years, amounts due, and individual terms of repayment.
With so many creditors and so many loans - each with its own complicated systems- simply amassing a list of all loans incurred and the amount due on what date and to whom is an utterly overwhelming task, much less making any sort of payment on said debt without any income or foreseeable income in the midst of this terrible economy.
If any other Yalies are in a similar position - missing out on Yale's overhaul of their financial aid packages by a year or two and would like to join forces to brainstorm ways to alert Yale to the resulting inequity- please post on this site!!
As for other new attorneys finding themselves with a lot of time on their hands and a slew of student loan headaches, I say we do what we can to help Robert Applebaum educate the public and galvanize the legislators and policy makers. Maybe we can reach out to Oprah? After all, the NY State Bar Association has already denied at least one applicant admission due to the amount of student loans he had incurred in order to obtain his JD... If that doesn't terrify those of us who had to finance our own legal education, I am not sure what will.
Hopefully President Obama will take note of our stories and this egregious situation we find ourselves in. Hopefully he will care whether today's middle class becomes tomorrows paupers- if not for us, then for the economy and the future of our country generally. And hopefully, he will be able to overcome those who insist on the trickle down approach benefiting the rich and further eliminating the middle class.
To help President Obama do this, we must follow Robert's lead and draft letters to our representatives and leaders en mass. We must continue our appeal to the media and to celebrities (like Oprah)- so if anyone has her direct line, get on it!
hello everyone. i got my student loans from sallie mae when i went to school called gibbs college in va. it was my first time getting loans didnt know what i was getting into at the time if i did i would have backed away. anyway i went to the school for 2 short terms didnt learn a thing. i saw people go the first week and didnt come back until the last week and got the same A's i got. when it happened again on the second term i withdrew and no i have about 15000 worth of student loans and didnt learn a damn thing. ive tried to repay for a few months in the beginning but when i moved to az i couldnt pay the 150 they wanted and instead gave them about 50 a month. things went downhill when i became pregnant and chose to pay for rent and bills my family needed since im a single mom. now one of my loans is in collections agency and they are demanding i pay them 150 a month but i talked him down or so i thought and now they want 75 a month. even though they threatened to garnish my wages im working part time then and 75 a month is a bit much. these days i feel like since everyone is getting a bailout people with student loans, credit card debt should get a break. if you think about it all the money we spend trying to pay off these bills go right into their hands and yet they still get money from the government. the president who i did vote for should say you know what fuck it. we taking money from hard working people and people who cant even get a job now so just erase our balence. you know if he said everyone is at 0 this is second chance for everyone then maybe we wouldnt be in such a hole anyways. with the market being the way that it is i would love to buy a house for my family. but knowing that my credit is shot to hell thanks mostly to the loans i cant pay stresses me out sometimes. when will i ever get out of this hole. and you know i decided and fuck them im going to pay them what i can afford and if they have a problem thats on them. i cant live trying to please them. i know i signed it but you know what instead of them being so damn nasty they need to accept the fact that im trying to pay it back. if anyone out there has any information on any grants that i could use to pay them back or anything, feel free to let me know. i also hate that we have come to this point where no one gives you a break because of the economy. everyone has a attitude we are all suffering. i wish those collectors get it through their heads that we shouldnt have to deal with their shit and we shouldnt accept it either and put our foot down.
I have always had the desire to serve my country, and for much of my life I knew that even coming from a poor family I could be the first to attend college because my ultimate goal of joining up should result in help with my student loans. I have discovered the hard way that this is not always the case.
Working hard, I was accepted into a prestigious private university for undergrad followed by one of the best graduate programs for my field. Attending these schools was expensive, and despite my mother being disabled and my family having the lowest income, I was offered very few government loans; thus I accrued large private loan debt.
I began my active duty service immediately upon graduation, believing (as so many soldiers do) the hype I was told about loan repayment programs for the military. While it does happen for some people, there are many loopholes, exceptions and downright errors in the process that I now find myself spending my time worrying about how to pay off $2200 a month minimum payments and still have enough left over for silly things like buying a house, car, starting a family, and so on, instead of training and execution of my job.
Outside of the military, my salary might barely be enough to compensate for my loans. However, I strongly desire to spend my life in service to my country. Very soon I will have to make a decision that I never thought I’d have to make in my life: Leave the military and live a financially stable life in the private sector, or continue to serve and hope that in 10-20 years I may be student debt free.
All people with private student loans, regardless of being in the military or not, need help with a system run amok; I just didn’t expect to find it so pervasive in an organization that prides itself in helping Soldiers with their education.
What would I do with extra money in my pocket if I didn't have my loans? I would take leave and actually go on vacation somewhere far away for the first time ever, instead of hanging around base because I can't afford a plane ticket.
I am really sorry to hear that...I have been reading all over the place that there is a military exemption.
Is that another SCAM? Maybe it depends on what field you went into? Does anyone know about the Pace Corps, or teaching or the medical field? I hear they are exemptions as well. What about working for a non profit?
this is scary....
Hi, guys I compliment all of you to see the extreme efforts in what all of us are going through.. those that carry a huge financial burdens and yes it can be very emotional. I too can understand I'm always for the underdog as I 'm one of you. Your voice is awesome, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Just keep saying, telling your stories, BCH why of all the people including me as you know that I too have huge medical issues and you pick on me.. that your sympathetic to her emotional and not others. I many times regret my decision to attend college on the horrors I personally are going through. I think that you are a wolf in sheep's clothing. Where do you encourage us to fight.. all of us deserve a chance to get out from under predatory lenders, since we cannot file bankruptcy or get lower payments, or re-financing or our credit is ruined.. even to the point of people trying to enlist in military , Army,Navy, Air Force and turned down by credit scores and now job /employers look at credit score and deny hiring you. That job might be perfect for that person but because of the ding on credit report can't get it . That means he/or she could have started to re-pay on the debt. They want a huge amount each month to pay back..it is not stimulating the country it is inhibiting it. So we are all "A Slave To Sallie Mae". I'm addressing their courage not yours. As Robert has told you, it is not Bail out is is to immediate stimulate the nation.. Diana
For those of you I have M S and can work a telemarketing job, physically nothing else.. However other problems have come and being tested for more things.. so I know that parents pleas on having co-signed, I hear those that are not in their 20's but my age 60 and I know that in my lifetime I will never, ever afford to pay them off, and to face a portion of my SS going to Sallie Mae/ they allow pennies on the dollars to back, back income taxes owed over many years, you can even file bankruptcy on them, but student loans are until you die!!!! Is that fair, and don't give that tax payers are the bail outs for us, we are tax payers. Think again. Diana
Another aspect I had forgotten when I was taking loans out was that they always went by my parents income. I couldn't get any extra money through Federal loans to cover all the costs because my mom made too much money. This being in despite of the fact that I was living in an apartment by my college paying for all of my own living expenses and for all of my own college-- she had nothing to do with any of it. When I fought for hours on the phone and with my college's federal loan staff, I was told that it didnt matter-- it would always go by her income until I was 25 years old!!! Even though she wasn't supporting me financially in any way. Hence came the Private loans I had to rack up to make up the difference.
I was reminded of this when my little brother went to re-enroll in college, now living on his own, but since he is only 19 he was told the same thing- No extra financial aid or money through federal loans because you are not yet 25...
Anyone else see the problem with this clause? People this day in age should not be living off their parents at age 25... Due to this recession and these loan debts this has become a reality, but Im beginning to wonder if this clause has, in itself, further saddled us in debt by making financial Aid harder to get for those whose parents make money but didnt use it to send their kids through school.
There are many stories about how parents still claimed their kids on their income tax, but never gave their child a dime to help them get through college. These same parents enjoy a comfortable life while their kids struggle to make ends meet paying off huge student loans. Then Mom and Dad wonder why you can't afford to come visit them...
"These same parents enjoy a comfortable life while their kids struggle to make ends meet paying off huge student loans."
That's a sweeping generalizations and not fair to the parents who perhaps need to claim their barely adult children whom they still support on some level.
There are plenty of parents out there that could not afford to put their children through college. If push came to shove, I am happy with the fact that my parents gave me a good life as a child and did not go into debt to put me through college. If they had, I'd be financing their retirement rather than my education.
I am the first one on either side of my family to earn a Graduate level degree. When I went back to college as an adult my first goal was to be a probation officer knowing what the career track could be for someone who had multiple degrees. I earned a Bachelor degree in Criminal Justice and applied for probation jobs with several counties. It was contstantly being hinted to me that I would not get hired because I would be taking a pay cut (which I was fully aware of and acknowledged during all steps of the interview process). When becoming a probation officer wasn't looking likely I decided to continue my education and earned a MPA (Master of Public Administration) with an emphasis in Human Resources (my current profession). I had a great job as an HR Manager while I was completing my graduate degree and thought that things had finally turned around. I earned my MPA in February 2008 and was laid-off by my employer March 2008 (at the beginning of the recession). I was out of work until December 2008.
During that time I was told by a staggering number of recruiters and business owners that my extensive experience and education make me unemployable in today's economic climate. During the period of unemployment I incurred a large amount of credit card debt - because you cannot live on unemployment in So. California. I did not have the option of moving home with any of my family and had been on my own since I was 18 years-old. It is quite disheartening when you can support yourself from the age of 18 and then when you are 32 you can no longer afford groceries.
My student loans are currently in deferrment except a small $3500 personal loan that I must start paying in October. However, due to the large amount of credit card debt I incurred while being out of work for 9 months I know I will not be able to afford to pay my student loans when they come due.
While I have been working as a long term temp employee since December 2008 - I do not have sick/vacation/health benefits or any other protections provided regular employees. I am also being underpayed by approximately 25k annually. I am not just making this up; I understand the employment market because I have spend the majority of my career as a HR Manager and Recruiter. Because of all of this I have recentlty consulted a bankruptcy attorney about filing bankruptcy... the catch-22; I am filing bankruptcy because I cannot get a decent job because I have a graduate degree and I do not make enough money to pay my bills... but cannot afford the $1500 it will cost to file bankruptcy.
If my student loans were forgiven I would try to get a job in the public or non-profit sector and help those less fortunate because that is what I am destined to do. But until my student loans are paid-off (hopefully before I die) I will be a pawn in the private sector trying to keep my head above water.
I think you can apply for a lower income based loan, and pay based on your income, so if you want to help others, you can do that...the new law passed on July 1, 2009.
I have not seen anything about this on this site.
Anyway, the economy is bad, so we all have to hang in there...What gets me, is that this seems to be as bad of a SCAM as what caused the economy to fall. The banks have not been making life reasonable for anyone, including those who had/have homes to pay on.
What I don't get is that why is there not a revolution?
How come we all sit around and do nothing? Writing is not enough, look at how many people have lost their homes, and are living in families homes now?
Have we not had enough?
I saw an article on CNN.com about student loans and it mentioned this website, I'm so glad someone is trying to do something about it! I graduated in May with my Master's degree, thinking foolishly that a higher degree would mean a better chance at jobs. Instead I spent the next four months being told I was overqualified for minimum wage jobs, and not qualified enough for everything else. Over these four months I couldn't pay any of my bills, am now behind on the credit cards I needed to use to survive in college, and havent been able to pay my privately funded student loans (my federal ones haven't started billing me quite yet). My privately funded loans alone are $240/month and started billing me TWO weeks after I graduated! My federal loans, I believe, will be another $200/month on top of that. I just found a job as a secretary, but I'm only making $13 an hour, and with a newly unemployed husband to support, 2 cats, and rent and bills, I don't know how on earth we're going to make it through. I think people need to be more realistic about telling high schoolers the reasons to go to college. Degrees do NOT neccessarily mean a better job. It sounds like a lot of us could attest to that.
I'm a parent of a college student. My husband and I co-signed a huge amount of loans for our son to attend college. Most are private with no opportunity to consolidate. We had to co-sign because we claimed our son on our tax returns so we would not owe taxes. Our income, while rather good, counted against us. You know the lenders, always look at gross income, not net income and debt. Like credit card companies, they just approve, approve, approve. Well like millions of other Americans, our income to debt ratio has tripled over the last 3 years. My sone does not have his degree. Why? Two classes short of a degree and no financial capability to pay for them. We can't co-sign without collateral.
It gets better. My husband and I are both retired, disabled veterans. We still work full-time but don't know for how long. We both have degrees and both have Montgomery GI Bill benefits.
The government passed the Post-911 GI Bill. It is retroactive to 9/2001. My husband was still active duty. Post 9-11 GI Bill can be passed to dependents to which both my son and daughter were dependents that year.
We contact the VA to see if my husband is eligible to roll over from MGIB to Post-911 GI Bill. The website (www.gibill.gov), says to contact the VA to determine eligibility. We call the VA and they say, "We can't determine eligibility". "Contact your career center". The Air Force does not have a "career center" for retirees. They send me to the local VA. I've left 4 voicemails for 4 different reps. That was a month ago. No returned calls. Sure would be nice to have some of my husbands $36,00 in benefits that will be lost with 1 year go towards my son's/our school debt.
My son tries to get deferment. His loans don't qualify. He just got a job as a host at a restaurant, making, now hold on to yourself, $2.00/hr plus shared tips. He's making about $100 a week. Rent with utilities is $430. Then we pay his private medical insurance, his car insurance and any other incidentals in addition to the school loans.
So now our house, cars that get us to work, and everything else we own are subject to anyone who wants to send the sheriff to our house to survey our assets for collection.
It just gets better each week for us.
Any parents out there choking financially because they wanted their child to have a college education?
Personally, of the two different banks I had to take private loans out of im paying a total of $197 a month.. of this $197, only about $20-$30 is actually paying off the principle because they both have jacked up interest rates.. so every month Im basically barely paying any money off the principle balance and the interest that accumulates during that month cancels out the $20-$30 that was previously paid off the principle...
Barely makes sense to me, and the banks surely didnt take the time to explain that I could end up in a situation such as this. Im not looking for a free ride-- our banks were bailed out and they didnt call it a free ride-- they called it a bailout-- I would like a bailout
I went to school believing a bachelors degree meant an entry level job with a SALARY making more than a highschool graduate.. The only jobs i can find within my field offer to pay me 12/hr- 14/hr-- same as highschool grads with 5 years of experience, which i could have had now if I just started there without going to college--I feel as if I was lied to and duped into thinking college was the right choice when I was too young to see the reprecussions...
**And to who said they didnt want Gvn't money being spent on clothing, appliances, travel etc-- notice how the majority of the poll says housing.. Thats the majority of recent grads who are now living back at home because they can't find jobs worth shit and they can't afford to live on their own b/c of their debts due to school, and thats if they have a family home they can go back to, if theyre lucky..
I don't understand how they can increase the interest rates, legally? Has not any lawyers looked into this, so we can do a class action law suit?
I don't get it...how are the loans doubling?
In middle school, I started saving money. By graduation, I had accumulated about $3000. In high school, I worked as hard as I possibly could. I qualified for the highest achievement award available, and chose a University I could afford.
As an undergraduate, I worked nights and weekends. I studied hard and kept a high GPA. I did not drink or eat out. I cooked nearly all my own food, and lived in a 4-person apartment. I did most of my own service on my car. I did not buy an iPod, Blackberry, or anything of the kind. I paid $50 for my cell phone, and $25 for my MP3 player.
Now I am pursuing a PhD at the same University. Thanks to my efforts as an undergraduate, I am on an assistanceship. If I keep my grades up and work as a TA, I will graduate with $80,000 in award money to keep for myself, and no student debt. If I screw up, I'll be back here asking the government to throw me a rope. ;-)
And about my "rich" parents (an AC technician and a school teacher)... they'd have mortgaged their house if that's what it took to put me through school, but so far, they've picked up my car insurance and cell phone bill. And they just paid off that house by the way.
i tried to find the same avenues that you did, but I suppose that my university was not helpful enough to place me in the student jobs...so...I owe, and at least people are short listing my applications.
I just finished, and from reading this site, I am scared.
Scared about the future. I have not had any bites for work.
Yes, I was offered a full paid ride at a university in Italy, with a monthly salary.
After reading all this, the offer seems a bit sweeter.
I just wanted to get on with my life, and start doing what I love, not continuing with my education...
but the way things are looking, at least my current loan will be on hold for a while longer.
How wonderful that you are the exception to the student loan crisis. Some people have had life circumstances which have placed them in a situation where it would be impossible to pay back the student loans in their lifetime.
How about my sister who was diagnosed with stage three cancer at age 25?
The student loan industry is designed to be a black hole for those who didn't have "perfect" lives for ten years after college graduation...
Perhaps a decade or so of living in the real world outside of college will give you some perspective.
Perhaps a decade or so of living in the real world outside of college will give you some perspective.
Patronizing those that oppose you will not help your cause, nor does it make your argument stronger. I could attack your position the same way - by saying that your emotion has clouded your judgment, and you lack the ability to evaluate the proposal using logic and reason.
But rather than go after each other, why not discuss the issue intelligently in the thread where that debate is going on:
BHC, you are in fact the one who has been condescending all over the board.
You seem to enjoy telling people in your own special way how they should be living their lives:
Let's see, if we all just ate Ramen Noodles and worked since the age of twelve we would all have no problems at all with student loans! I wish I hadn't gone out to those five star restaurants while I was in college...
And bhc, you have no idea whether I am "emotional" over the subject of student loans. You must have read something into my post that you felt was emotional? I simply stated a fact about my sister being diagnosed with cancer years ago, only a few years out of college. She beat cancer, but not those student loans hanging over her head accruing astronomical interest while she was trying to get well.
Go live your life your way... and stop worrying about what's fair and unfair. Life's not fair, something my parents let me know long before I entered Kindergarten...
You should be proud of your success! It sounds as if you have had some real good guidance in life as well as in school. You are a role model and inspiration for those who are thinking about college. And your parents should be proud that they have been able to pay off their house.
I have learned to live in a similar manner since incurring so much student loan debt. Hindsight is always 20/20. For me, I took out student loans to help with living expenses, pay babysitters and daycare, and pay tuition, because I still needed to raise my children while working at a low paying job. It is not as if I was driving around in a corvette or out at the clubs partying instead of working. I regret it now. Unfortunately I did not have an option to live in a four person apartment nor did I have parents that would help with ANY bill - car insurance or cell phone.
I wish you could target those high school students just getting ready to go off to college and give the benefit of your experience. My children have learned from me to not get into debt for school. Both children lived at home,taking classes, working and saving.They both went on to the military where they furthered their education and taken advantage of the GI benefit for which they proudly served their country.
I don't think that every on this forum wants the government to "throw us a rope." Nor has everyone just "screwed up." However, it seems as if some of the loans were given by predatory lenders. And as I have stated, were SO EASY to get. People need opportunities to resolve these situation in a way that makes sense. Some people were just poorly prepared for life's hardships. I am glad you have been able to get through school without debt. You certainly will be prepared for any hardships that may come your way.
weezie, Thank you for your kind words, and for being one of the few in this forum who has not mistaken my position for a personal attack.
Good luck to you and your family. The one upside I can see to this proposal is that its discussion may spread awareness to those thinking about getting a student loan without knowing all the facts.
I was encouraged by all I knew to "get an education to better your life." I was a single mother and thought that I needed to provide a better life for my children. Wanting to go into social work, after I finished my undergraduate degree, I needed a Masters to be considered for any decent employment. Taking out students loans was so easy to do. I thought, stupidly, paying them back would be easy. I am now 150,000 in debt after all the charges, fees, interest etc. Poor job prospects, failed relationship, the terrible salaries for social workers put me behind in payments. I tried to rehab the loan last year, got through 7 of my 9 payments at an exorbitant payment that nearly killed me each month when I was layed off. Collection agency would not work with me at all and threatened to raise the amount, take me to court, seize my belongings.
In my State, they can deny you a license in your profession if your are in default - then what? I will never own a home, get a decent rate on a car loan or be able to retire at this point. I am 52 and I am not sure what the loan comapnies were thinking of in the first place lending me money when I was 40 in the first place. What was I thinking - if Ionly knew. I understand how some others on this site feel: I feel hopeless and in despair. I often think that this will all be over when I am dead. I spend my days helping others. I am very dedicated to what I do. I work a second job to help with the student loan expenses when at my age I should be thinking about retirement and starting to slow down a bit.
I don't believe that anyone should be given a free ride. I signed the contract. But for crying out loud, these loans are dangled in front of us. I remember a professor in my economics class talking about how cheap it was to borrow student loans. In fact, he said it was cheaper to borrow student loans and invest any cash (for those who have cash to pay for school) because the return on your cash would be greater and eventually a tax write off on the interest, blah,blah, blah - as wide eyed and dopey as I was I bought into this. Student loans to me equaled cheap money and the promise of a brighter future.
We have provided support to those that were sold a bill of goods on bad mortgages. All I am asking is for a reasonable way to pay back the loans, perhaps forgiveness of the interest, fees and other "charges" and a way to clean up my credit so I can survive and maybe have some quality of life. I would have been better off working retail in the local mall and never racking up this debt. I now have an Ivy League degree with no promise of a "better future."
I want to comment here, as others have, about how much I owe, how little money I make, and how desperate I have become.
Instead I want to ask all of you and the site administrators, what programs are available for student loan forgiveness?
Are there links to applications anywhere?
Do we have any success stories yet?
I received a $5K payment from my school to my student loan for working in a non-profit public interest job... leaving me with a mere $180K left to pay ;)
I want to apply for as many loan forgiveness programs as I am eligible. I think we should use these boards to help each other find ways out of this black hole.
Yes, I am a victim too. I just had 15% of my income garnished by one my student loan creditors who also garnished my $4000 income tax return this past year. I am getting 4 calls daily by my other student loan creditor even when I pay. It is obvious they get off and truly enjoy harrassing people. The call my home, they call my cell, they call my place of employment, they call my co-signer, they call my mother, they call my church, they are plain and simple driving me insane.
I empathize. I actually had a loan officer (i defaulted in 2004 and it has been transferred to various "companies" about 7 times, i've been on 4 different repayment plans and then i got laid off...) tell me "i should marry a rich man", and that i was "refusing to ask my parents for money" (this was A MANAGER i had been transferred to), to the tune of $800 a month. I can't even borrow that much from my parents a year. They are in their seventies, one is retired living on social security, and the other is volunteering in africa for $200 a month and does not have a home to come back to.
I want to die.
I can't take this anymore. No end in sight. In debt forever. No mercy, no justice, no where to turn. No one can help. And the problem keeps growing.
How about stopping interest on student loans once the 8% percent on the principle has been reached?
If we are going to tie debts to people forever, how ethical is it to let them grow bigger and bigger by capitalizing interest?
I don't know how long I can keep pushing the rock.
Robert, I work for Web site company and in one of my calls out bound, I got caught live on a radio station in Cincinnatti Oh, and they asked for live interview on the spot and I told about you and b logspots, a brief tale of my student loan ills, and they were like WOW! My point is I said publicly that anyone hearing me can see the blog and add their stories. I was so excited that I even put out a loud call out to the public in regards of student horror stories and asked for support?? I Hope all that heard me made a ruckus at the station.. I ', loud and persistance.. "A Slave to Sallie Mae"
It has been 23 years since I signed my life away. I remember going to the local bank with my father to get my first student loan. If I knew then what I know now I never would have signed that promissory note. I would have delayed getting a degree by going one or two classes at a time and paying cash for my education. But that's not what society wants...you are expected to be a high wage earner at 22 years old and pay off your exorbitant loans. You can guess that I wasn't one of those "lucky" people who graduated with my liberal arts degree and got a high paying job. These loans became an instant burden to me. Throughout my life I have put these loans in and out of deferment, forbearance, anything to survive... My husband and I finally consolidated our loans and opted for the extended repayment plan through Direct Loans. It would take 120 years to actually pay off the loan. Talk about predatory lending...
To top it all off, the Department of Education contacted me several years after I consolidated my loans and said I owed them even more money. After investigating, I learned that they are trying to charge me for a loan that was never disbursed to me. I took a semester off for medical reasons, signed all the withdrawal papers in time in order to have the loan returned to the original lender, yet I'm still being hounded for this money. Well, you know what they say...you can't get blood from a stone.
I am currently in debt around $120,000 for a teaching degree that I am never going to use. I had to meet requirements that due to the economy in Northern New York were unachievable to keep my certification. I went into elementary education because the college said this was a great field and given the number of people getting ready to retire would be a booming area. They lied. Now, I am trying to get a degree in Nursing, a field that actually is booming, and I am out of finicial aide from everyone and I can't get a loan due to the high debt I have. I order to continue, I will have to work 2 jobs to make the almost $700 a month payment and never see my three kids. Even the Wells Fargo company has denied my loan request!!
My wife and I were told that architecture was a good career with wage expectations commensurate to the risks of taking out unusually large student loans. It has been ten years since our freshman year. My wife was laid off in January. We have mortgage payments, a utility payment, and student loans. Our mortgage payment is below the national average so even renting would be more expensive.
I seem to earn a lot but not enough. I make $16.30 per hour. I take home $2289 every month. My wife estimates that she would need to make $700 in addition to my income in order for us to break even. She has looked for a job for six months. Nothing. She isn't eligible for unemployment benefits because she started a personal business and lost money on it. But the fact that she was self-employed at a considerable loss makes her in-eligible. We are $700 in the hole every month. Our savings is almost gone.
We have already cut every corner. We own our car free and clear so there is no way to save money there except riding our bikes. I ride six miles a day to work and back. We never eat out. I skip 7 or 8 meals per week, as in I don't eat. We have never had credit cards or cable or satellites.
We are already living like we are in poverty, only difference, we don't qualify for any welfare programs to help us eat. I heard that credit card debt can be negotiated and forgiven by debt relief managers. I called them and they said our kind of debt doesn't qualify. I called a bankruptcy lawyer and he said the same thing and then hung up on me. Senator McCaskill's office hung up on me too. We need help.
It makes my wife angry. She says that we took out these loans responsibly in good faith and don't get any assistance even though we do without while people with irresponsible debt get it forgiven and they eat three meals a day and have satellite TV and two cars. It isn't fair and I don't know what to do next.
I even thought of temporarily moving to California to get a job as a solar panel installer to make more money. It wouldn’t have paid any more than I have now and I was rejected. They didn’t tell me why. Maybe there was a native California resident or a minority competing with me for that job. Maybe as a college graduate I am over qualified. I thought of becoming a soldier and then maybe my wife would be taken care of after I die. We are desperate and confused.
I would have never gone to school to become a ADN RN and take out student loans to pay for my schooling. Granted I'm not like a majority of you that have taken out large sums of money to pay for education, I too am still in the same boat. I owe 9,000 plus penalties at this moment. My original loan was was around 7,500 which I took out 15 years ago. I began paying my loan when I landed a job right out of nursing school. I had every intention of paying them but, somehow life always seems to throw curveballs at you. Life happens with medical issues and surguries, unemployment due medical issues, nasty divorces with an even more nasty custody battle that has sprawled over 8 years, lay offs(yes, even RN's get laid off) and Nursing burn out. I have ruined my lower back working as a Geriatric nurse all these years. I'm currently unemployed and the job situation in rural Kansas for nurses isn't all that great..two choices hospital or nursing home which pays better. The nearest major city is 90 miles away. I was terminated from my last job in February, which I have no clue why I was and my ex-employer had no evidence to support the termination. I instantly won my unemployment case. As for future employment..I'm very limited in what jobs I can take in regard to location and hours due to custody issues and a ruthless ex-husband. As for moving out of state or out of town for employment, I can kiss my hard work of battling for custody out the window and that's NOT happening.
I have been garnished for my student loans with past employers, which was scary since I was a single mom for a while. I have remarried. I was called a "liar" by the student loan collectors in a phone call 3 months ago because I told them I was drawing unemployment and my finances where more than what I was drawing..imagine that! They refused to work with me and called me "uncooperative". I asked the guy on the phone, when did being broke constitute being uncooperative? Or they want me to pay an unholy amount for a monthly payment which I can't afford. I don't see a tax return either. My credit is ruined.
Something has got to give. I agree whole-heartedly with everyone about the gov't bail outs given to the banks, car makers and what ever industry with a sob story. It is time to see some laws and policies changed to help lower and middle america families trying to make it with student loans. Living paycheck to paycheck is not the answer!!! Unresonable interest rates and penalties has got to stop! As for the removal of professional liscenses. I was behind on child support at one time and was threatened by the state of Kansas of wanting to take my RN liscense away. First of all...what right does any state or Federal gov't have to take away someones livelyhood??? Secondly, do they think that taking away someones career only to send that person to the minimum wage market is really going to get them their money any faster???? It's a catch 22.
My heart goes out to all those who have it worse than I do! Keep looking up everyone!
Does anybody think the loan companies are aware of how much pain and psychological trauma these sky-rocketing interest rates cause? I already suffer from anxiety in my everyday life, and knowing that my loans are increasing each minute I continue to breath, and receiving derogatory comments on the phone (at home and work, which means I can lose my job) definitely does not help. Since the only option for me is now death or "complete, permanant disablilty" it certainly feels like they are edging me towards the "death" door. I know this post is melodramatic, and I don't give much background info, etc, but they called me at work again (after I explained multiple times that personal calls are grounds for termination @ my job) and started with the incredulous "You don't have $187,998.45? Why not? What have you been doing since you graduated?" and I'm super frustrated & need to vent to someone before I seriously lose faith in all humanity & chuck in the towel for good. So, thank for listening to me bitch - I will post later with my actual information/ story.