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student loan debt--repayment plans, more school, action plans?

Started by kim, September 08, 2018, 03:46:25 pm

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I'm in quite a bit of student loan debt. My student loans are over $100,000. Some of that is from taking out private loans, like FEEL loans, when I thought I was taking out federal loans. A big chunk of it came from consolidating my loans so that I could fit them all on an income based repayment plan.

I can't say I was the most conscientious borrower, either, but I had an unusual situation. My parents lost their house to a fire shortly after I graduated high school, and never saw fit to rebuild, so I had to seek alternative living arrangements in the dorms and on campus apartments. My parents did get compensation from FEMA, but I let them keep all of it so that I could continue to get student loans and grants and go to school. I was misinformed. I thought that the aid I was receiving for school was income based, and I thought that if I took the money from FEMA, I wouldn't be eligible for financial aid.

I kept up the habit of borrowing student loans to cover my tuition, room, and board for over seven years. I earned a master's degree in Education, but that's about all I have to show for it.

To add insult to injury, I haven't been able to find and keep employment of any kind. I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and I guess that has something to do with it. It seems I need job support, and I didn't know about this at the beginning or I would have addressed it instead of just trying to survive off of student loans and hoping things would get better.

To make a long story short, I'm drowning in student loan debt because of some poor decisions I made as a college student. I found out that it might be kind of difficult to find and hold a job in my chosen field because I'm mildly autistic and just don't relate to people that well, not good traits for a school teacher. I'm currently on the income based repayment plan, but I would really like to pay off this obscene loan so that I could go back to school and get some training that will actually help me become employed, make money, and take care of myself.


Sounds like you've already made the right choice with the income-driven repayment plan. Stay on that, and any remaining balance will be forgiven.

The only way you're going to pay them off is to substantially increase your income, and keep it there for a long period of time. There's no magic bullet to it.

As annoying as it is, the best thing you can do is stay on your IBR payments, don't miss any, re-certify your income annually, and just stay at it.