The student loan debt crisis has certainly not escaped attention, but what it really look like for the average graduate working to pay off thousands of dollars in loans? Here are some first-hand accounts from real debtors:
“I was always told education would lead to success”
These are the words of Raul Tello, a chiropractor who owes $180,000 in student loan debt. Living in Seattle proper isn’t cheap, but it is very necessary for Raul. He shares custody of his daughter and living near her is a priority for him. In order to do that, he is on a strict budget and drives an older car. Raul paints a picture of a dad with a good job just barely making it month to month. He, along with many others, are looking at another 30 years of financial burden over his loans.
“ … Grants were not enough to cover tuition …”
Rebecca House received her business degree as a 30-something, and one who fought to minimize her college costs. Working full time through her bachelor’s degree to make ends meet and qualifying for grants were still not enough to allow her to graduate debt free. Now owing $56,000 in student loan debt Rebecca is living frugally, often opting out of medical procedures and needs because she can’t afford them. Like many people, Rebecca is forced to find the balance between feeding her family and repaying her student loan debt.
“I did not pay nearly enough attention to how much debt I was getting myself into …”
Unfortunately, many people put their loan debt on the backburner like David Stanton. Having focused too much on his studies over the inability to pay for them, David and his wife are forced to live with her parents while they chip away at their student loan payments. Despite both working full time jobs, the loan payments are still hindering them from having the ability to cover all essential living expenses. This story isn’t unusual, many people are finding themselves in debt over degrees that didn’t take them as far as they should and their loan balances aren’t very forgiving.
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