I have a ridiculous $150,000 in student debt. I'm now going into a field that will probably pay a mediocre salary (I'm going to be a professor at a university). That wasn't the plan, but it's the reality. Considering all the programs and help that's out there, in the WORST case, what is the most they can ask me to pay per month from my salary? What percentage of my income can the demand?
--Rich in debt, poor in future income
You could try to get your federal loans under the income based repayment plan. If you have private loans, you could try extending the life of your loan to 25 years to help lower your monthly payment. If you can't afford your minimum and you end up defaulting, the gov't can garnish your paycheck up to 15% for your federal loans. Private lenders have to get a court order first. There is a recent bill that was introduced, called The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 (H.R.4170), click the big red box over on the left column of the page to sign the petition and if you're on FB, join the ForgiveStudentLoanDebt.com group for more information on ways you can help raise support for this new bill (proposes 10 years of repayment at 10% of your discretionary income).