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It’s a jaw-dropStudent Debtping claim, but one that Alan Collinge, founder of StudentLoanJustice.org, a consumer advocacy group, is confident is true.

The Wall Street Journal ran an interesting piece last week suggesting the federal government collects a hefty portion of defaulted student loans. But Collinge – who was quoted in the story – argues that it didn’t quite paint the real picture. “After paying the companies that actually collect the loans and other costs, the U.S. Department of Education expects to recover 85% of defaulted federal loan dollars based on current value,” says the WSJ, noting that the percentage of student loan collections are relatively huge compared to collections on other defaulted consumer credit. Banks, for example, might retrieve 10 cents for every dollar from past due credit cards.

But what the article doesn’t explain, Collinge tells me, is that the government is collecting 85% on hugely inflated loans. “The current value of the default portfolio includes principal plus interest at time of default, plus a tremendous amount of interest that accrued after default.”

And therein lies some possible profit and perhaps a serious, twisted incentive to offer students six-figure loans they will most likely never be able to repay.  “Given a current defaulted loan portfolio of approximately $60 billion, the amount of revenue this represents to the Department of education is in the tens of billions of dollars,” writes Collinge in his self-published report.

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  • Student loan

    Please don’t kill yourself over this. Believe me, I’ve been there, but you can deal with this. Pray for discernment and wisdom on how to get this issue resolved. Do whatever you can to avoid IBR . The sooner you realize that there is no one out there that can challenge the Govt, the sooner you realize that you have to just deal with the debt . Find out what the exact amount of your loan is and then ask the Default Group what the current interest is – its probably inflated but there is nothing you can do about that if you defaulted. Then send in writing that you would like a settlement . Ask anyone you know to try to borrow money – better to owe them than the Govt who will NEVER forgive the debt. They will sometimes offer settlement based on principle and half interest but again it’s based on their inflated numbers. Do not let yourself feel like a loser for getting into this situation. So many are not just you.

  • Arthur Sparks

    I am blaming the school I attended University of Phoenix they were heartless and did not care about my well being. It was so easy for them to tell me to sign for these student loans and don’t worry I would have all the time to pay it back.
    Credit.com (http://s.tt/1nE4e)

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  • Grayson

    I can’t deal with the stress of my loans anymore. The college that I went to lost its accreditation and I was locked out of my online courses. After two weeks of not being able to log into classes I was expelled from the program. I now have 20,000 in debt that I cant afford and never received the education that I was paying for. Now creditors are constantly calling and refuse to accept a payment plan that is affordable to me. They are demanding their payment in full and threatening me with lawsuits and possible jail time. Because of the current economic crisis I am without a job and just do odd work where I can get it. I don’t know what to do and the stress is killing me. Word of caution unless you can afford it forget about a higher education in America.

  • Dawn

    Collinge’s concept of profit is only accurate if one completely ignores the time value of money. The “inflated sums” he refers to simply amount to what the original principal would be worth (accounting for compounding interest) had it been paid off in a timely manner. If for example, I pay you $110 in 20 years instead of $100 today, you have most certainly not earned a “profit” of $10 in year 20, but rather missed out the $220 that would have been earned on a principal of $100 over 20 years at 6% interest.

  • Roberta

    I agree with those thinking of suicide. I have considered in multiple times. Why? I have nothing left to live for. I hate my job. I’ve applied to multiple jobs and never get them. Why? They never tell me. I suspect I’m failing background checks due to my credit. ALL of my debt is student loans. 100%. How ironic..i went to school to get a good job. Took out loans..and can’t even get a job because of these loans. How much do I have? Around 200k. I’ve never earned enough to even make minimum payments. Hopeless. Completely hopeless and trapped.

    • You don’t know me

      Going to school doesn’t guarantee you a job… hard work, internships, and working in the field of study that you’re attending school for definitely helps though. A lot of complaints about student loans and the process by which they’re handled by the DOE come from irresponsible borrowers. Why would you borrow an amount that could turn into $200,000? You put yourself in this situation.That’s all tax payer money, some from people who haven’t even gone to college, or are even considering it, yet the taxes they pay are going to support people who don’t even understand what they’re doing by singing a promissory note.This is America, nothing is handed to you, everything is earned…for most Americans anyways, and if you mess up, you have no one to blame, but yourself.

      • Kedter

        Graduating from school involves hard work in case you didn’t notice, and unpaid internships only put people even deeper into debt. And as for working in the field of study– do you not think that’s what people are trying to do to take care of their student loans in the first place?

    • Kedter

      Can certainly sympathize with those feelings (my ex-gf was dealing with that sort of debt), but please don’t take your life over it, just plan to head overseas instead. Not to Canada or England either, somewhere further afield, it’s too costly for them to pursue you there.

  • http://GovermentHELPME Denise Carrasco

    I atteneded California Baptist University CA ,. I went back to school at 45 years old. Finished in 2 in a half years.Night School. I got help from grants. When I finished I owed 8 to 9 thousand at the most. I started paying back my loans 3 yrs. ago . 600.00 a month.They first strated garnishments. Then I had to go to a plan which I did. They said I owed 45,000 with that a 20,000 just for interest. I get a letter saying they are no longer garnishing my wages. I guess maybe by the grace of God they felt i paid back enough. Wounderful. Then 2 days after my happy letter, I get another letter from a diffrent collection department tha they are going to garnish my wages if I dont pay. 45,000 is what they want from me. How can they act as if i never paid nothing for the last 3 years and take it back to the one i first got three yrs. aqo. As if I never paid nothing . Please if someone can please help me . There has got to be fraud going on with people . They say they are a federal goverment agencie and there is no way…HELP

  • http://n/a Patricia

    About seven years ago, my daughter came to me, with a promise that if I co-signed a student loan, she would pay it back after she graduated and got that $60,000
    job, well she graduated but did not get the high paying job, she had to settle for less than 25000 a year, her husband lost his job, they rent, and have two children, my daughter is working full time, to make ends meet. About six years ago, I found out I had cancer, stage four, with the chemo, helping me, it also left me not being able to hold a job, And I am on ssdi, I do not recieve food stamps and not on welfare, I do get a social security check. So I pull in roughly 12300 a year. I do have a trailer, with about a lot size property, now the company that bought the loan from the origional company, told me that I would loose my house if I did not pay them the 18000. And they want it in three days. Are they crazy, where in the world am I going to get 18000. I have heart problems, and that sent my blood pressure up and chest pains. The Trailer and .25 acre was a gift from my father before he passed away. I do not know what to do…….I dont want to loose my house. Its not even worth 18000, but its my home.

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  • Diane

    Student loans are a scam. No doubt! I’ve been on disability for twenty years with bad health. I am a legitimately ill person who has desperately complied with the Department of Education in reference to loan forgiveness due to poor health. Each and every time I’ve given the proper loan forgiveness forms to my many doctors. They’ve filled out the forms in detail and in an appropriately and timely manner. However, many months later the DOE will inform me that my loan papers were not filled out correctly and we start the fraudulent DOE process again. My credit is destroyed! I know that I will die before the fraudlent ponzy scheme loans are paid in full or forgiven. It’s a disgrace and a criminal act on the part of the DOE. For those of you who pay partial payments you’re being scammed. Your credit is destroyed forever! I was a workaholic at one time and had excellent payment history. Sadly, the DOE lies and they are not held accountable!

  • Deep T.

    Today, I went to retrieve my credit report which was alarming to me. I graduated from college 2009 with a Master’s unable to use, because I was recently granted social security benefits and because I did not work in the period estimated for my benefits, I was denied SSDI and given SSI. I worked all of my life up until last year, in the between 2002-2011 by jobs have been interrupted by my illness. I was informed by my doctor in 2003, I would have to file SSDI and quit working, but I did not want to appeal instead I found another job til I couldn’t work one day. Then, my doctor said, I need to go on SSDI. I told her you can file the papers, but I cannot afford to stay home. I have a family to support. After my SSDI claim was denied again. I did not want to deal with it, instead I went to an orientation and found myself signing up for an education. Which I regret because the school I attended did not care about my welfare during and after I graduated. They insisted to apply for more loans, to make a long story short, I was appalled at my credit report. I owe $108,000 in debt and 99% were my student loans. If I filed for a forbearance and was approved for ALL my students loans why have they submitted these loans on my credit report? I thought it was only when you default and that I did not want to do. Every year since 2006 I filed a Forbearance form and was approved, until I could get better and find a job to repay all these loans. Yet, even after I graduated I was being charge by the university I had attended. “They said, they made a mistake by sending me an amount that was not correct?” Yet, that is what I was living off of, because my case with SSI was pending another appeal by the second doctor I had. Here is my concern at 53, I am now physically disabled and I am ashame to even speak of my accomplishments because I cannot use them. I am sometimes ridiculed by family about having a Master’s and not being able to use it. I do not know what to do and I have been fighting depression. Yet, I want to pay my loans back, but will I ever get my dream of making at least 60,000-100,000 or was that just another dead end dream? Now, I owe 100,000 plus in student loan for both my Bachelors/Masters. I am blaming the school I attended University of Phoenix they were heartless and did not care about my well being. It was so easy for them to tell me to sign for these student loans and don’t worry I would have all the time to pay it back. Now, I am even ashame to admit to having a degree I cannot even use since I received my Bachelors. I hope using this time to recoop and gain my strength as my attorney stated, “take 2 years off from work” to get better with my health then go back to work. By then, I’ll be owing over 1/2 a million from what I am reading here it is scaring me to death. Making me sick to my stomach because although I gained a 3.84 GPA in my academic studies what is the use? I cannot use them. I have faith and hope it will get better, but I pray the DoE make some changes where the law will help out most of the individuals like myself and others I see on here struggling from paying their student loans. I know with the check I will get from SS I will not survive because I live in Northern California and my rent right now will take most of what I will be getting. Now, it leads me to one solution to find a cheaper neighborhood where I can prevent myself from being homeless. Even asking for financial assistance (GA) at the welfare office is not helping because they do not give me enough for my rent which leads me to owing with my landlord and when I do receive my benefits I will have pay back both my landlord and this GA loan I guess you could call it, because they actually have a notarized copy of this amount to be paid back to the county. I thank you for the information on here it has shed some light for me and help me to figure out what I need to do.

    • DooDah

      Dear Deep T.,

      I have to agree with you 100% regarding the University of Phoenix – they are liars, rip-offs, and heartless! I enrolled into the U of Phx. in 03/08, since I was unemployed at the time and the enrollment counselor, Alicia Jones, informed me that the most she ever had to pay back on all of her student loans a month was $50.00. The reason she told me this is because I was not going to even consider it, since I was not sure if I would be able to pay back the student loans and did not want to have that hanging over my head – especially with the economy in such bad shape. She reassured me that they (the student loans servicers) would work with me – no problem – so I had nothing to worry about and that most companies today (remember this was 03/08) will not even hire someone without a degree. Now here I am facing the repayment of my student loans (05/12) with no job and a worthless piece of paper, since they did not teach me anything much more than what I already knew (from experience) with the exception of the algebra class and possibly two accounting classes – $30,000.00 in student loans for that is a lot to pay – for nothing! I am going to be 51 this year and have worked all of my life but when the economy took a turn for the worse – so did mostly everything else – and let’s face it – companies just do not or will not hire someone around, over, or close to 50 years old – especially – being a female! But there is no age discrimination here now is there?! I have to admit that I regret even saying that I am an American anymore the way our government has taken pretty much all of our rights away and keep taking more and more – and until the American People make a stand – they will continue to keep taking!! Take Ted Nugent as an example – just by the simple statement he made – because he believes Americans have the right to bear arms – he is now being accused of threatening President Obama – give me a break – in my opinion – he was telling everyone to wake up and if anything happens to him – that it was the government that did it to him – how much longer are the American People going to stay quiet and allow the government – which by the way is supposed to be there to serve the people – which we are the people – to keep railroading us?! There has to be something that “We the People” are able to accomplish to eliminate this totally corrupt government and give it back to “The People”! I read an article about a government agency, which is called the GSA, that is in control of all the other government agencies – per say – and how the people in charge used the people’s tax money – $823,000.00 of it – to go to Hawaii for a vacation, to set up a conference in Las Vegas, etc. – they are being investigated and are told they have to pay that money back to the people – I wonder if we could use some of that monies to pay back our student loans – since the government feels so free to use it (our tax money) anyway they want and without having to answer to anyone – or maybe Obama could bail me and everyone else out with these outrageous student loans – which by the way were – in my opinion – considered fraud to begin with – just like he did AIG, the banks, the car companies, etc. – what do you think? Something needs to be done about this and I would love to see some honest – I mean truly and sincerely honest – people within the government – instead of all of these greedy, selfish, power hungry individuals that are there now – which by the way – may God have mercy on all of their souls for what they have done and are still doing to good, hard-working people in a country where once upon a time – we could hold our heads up high and be proud to be called Americans! Not anymore though – so sad! Good Luck!

  • Patricia

    I was a high school graduate who’s guidance counselor was to busy aiding a girl in her cry for attention to help me decide what school was best for me. I was told to “grow up” when I protested that I deserved the time to sit down and figure out my plans for the future. When she finally got around to helping me, she said “what do you like” I told her some interests. She said “here’s a school that has what you like, go there.” I asked if there were any other schools I should look into applying for. She said no, just go there. It was a private school that, with my struggling high school grades, I had no business being at. after 3 years I switched schools. I started attending ITT Tech, who swore they would help with job placement after graduation. After quite a few interviews I was placed with a temp service for a job that has nothing to do with my feild. My assignment is up in November and I will no longer have a job. I have not heard from the career services department of ITT Tech since. Rather than taking out one lump sum for my education, they did the quarters individually. I have 17 different loans, all with different intrest rates. Upon graduation 2 years ago my loans were around 63k. I have just about exhaused the forbearance options on my private loans, which make up 90% of what is now a $103k balance. I was an 18 year old kid, I feel as if I was just thrown into this situation. My parents are co-signers and I feel as my attempt to better myself is going to do nothing but destroy myself as well as them. My Mother makes less than I do, and my father is dealing with a $4 an hour pay cut. They are doing the best they can to help, but I’m still drowning. I don’t see how I will ever be able to own a home or even have a family for that matter. You should not have to do everything short of selling your soul, just to gain higher education. I feel utterly hopeless.

    • Patricia

      To reiterate on this, I had horrible experiences in both schools. I agree with previous comments that even the schools are money hungry and care more about their profit then helping their students to succeed. I am still looking for a job in my feild, but with having no experiance it is difficult. The more time that passes the more hopeless I am as I am not working on a daily basis in my feild, retaining what I learned is getting harder and harder. I’m doing my best to re-educate myself, going back to books and previous prodjects, but there’s no way I’ll ever make enough to pay off this debt.

  • http://www.shoewiki.com/index.php?title=Are_You_Researching_For_Term_Life_Assurance_Plan_Estimates_On_The_Web Rodney Krebel

    Good day! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  • Steve

    I too have a story to tell and it is not encouraging. At the age of 40 I went to school in order to get a degree in computer information science. Seven years later I got my bachelors degree and decided to get my masters in business administration. I got that after considerable time. I now have a total of $94,000 in principle to pay back. That is a staggering amount, but it doesn’t compare with the interest that has piled up. My grand total is $154,000.00 and since I don’t have a job it is likely that I will be having problems with the DOE in the coming months. Like other people I have problems with failing health. I don’t see anyway out of this. I am now 51-years-old and hold no hope of landing the high paying job and my credit will be destroyed. If I could I would go back in time and not put my name on the bottom line. FOR ALL THOSE PEOPLE CONSIDERING GOING TO A FOR PROFIT COLLEGE, BE VERY CAUTIOUS. READ THESE MESSAGES VERY CAREFULLY AND THINK OF ANOTHER WAY TO GO.

  • Rob

    This is all a scam created by the Department of Education in conjunction with Sallie Mae and others that hide behind the Federal Government rules. Sallie Mae is not informing people of problems with their loan on purpose. (But they say they have) Then they hand off the loan to an outside credit collection agency and get you to agree to a rehabilitation program. All you have to do is make 10 payments on time and the loan is back in good standing and Sallie Mae takes it back. But not at 8.25% that they are bound to by federal law on the original loan, now its what over that, whatever the collection agency was charging, usually about 20%. If they ever call and ask you to join the rehab program, ask them for proof of debt, they don,t have it! Because they never really purchased the loan from Sallie Mae they are just temporary muscle. They make money, Sallie Mae makes More money! Federal Gov Makes money. Watch the coconuts your loans under one of them. Time for Congress to investigate this garbage.

  • Shan

    Also..I’m going to add this email I received…no one could use this job more than someone who’s in debt to Sallie Mae…

    Please pass along if you know of anyone…

    FAA JOBS!!!!

    If you have or know kids between the ages of 18-31 with a high school diploma, the Federal Aviation Association is taking applications for air traffic controller school. We all have kids and know kids in the right age group (under 31) and with some effort they could reach a salary of over $100,000 with benefits in about 3 years! You need only a high school diploma to apply and credit… is given for college on the exam.

    Fill out the application immediately – even if they don’t know if they’d want to attend immediately – it’s the federal government and it may take them months to call. The key is to apply NOW… There will be a lot of retirements coming up rather quickly and they need to line up training to accommodate these openings. It’s my understanding that the FAA rarely has an open application such as this and that the jobs are coveted.

    This is a great opportunity and it should be noted that choosing a site like Anchorage or Indianapolis to train is a likely acceptance into the training program – after which you can transfer anywhere in the country that has a tower. I hope you pass this information on to family & friends.



  • Shan

    Sallie Mae has something called the Rate Reduction Program where for a period of time, they drop your interest rate to 1% and your payment goes down as well. This helped me out…but now my payments are back to over $1000. I feel everyone’s pain as I will end up having paid almost triple what I originally asked for in the end due to outrageous interest rates and capitalization. My prayer is for all of us to get some relief…but also that we take a stand and educate others so they don’t follow down the same path. I pray for the best for you all!!!

  • charlie

    I returned to college after graduating the first time back in 1987. I thought that getting a Physics degree would put me in great stead in order to teach hs physics. Was I wrong, there are so few teaching jobs opening up in the US that it made no sense to go on and get the MS in ED needed to go on and become credentialed.

    But what I became aware of was the fact that many unis want little if anything to do with older student returning for a second degree. Many of the late afternoon classes were removed, making it impossible for those of us who had jobs to return UNLESS we went full time and took out loans. And it became more apparent when no scholies or grants were available at my uni for any older students returning again to school. I was told that I had already used up all of my chances for those kinds of financial aide the first time I went through.

    And it makes sense in a perverse way. Older students don’t live on campus, therefore room and board isn’t an option for the unis to gouge you with, they don’t go to athletci events, meaning the unis can’t make money from ticket sales, they don’t do a lot of things which younger, less aware students engage in, and the unis turn into profit centers. The corruption is endemic and profound.

  • LC

    I spoke with a rep from Sallie Mae again today. They dropped my interest rate to 1% and instead of having $900/month payments I have a $250/month payment. This will be for 6 months I believe. I don’t know what will happen after that. My take home is about $600/month as a substitute teacher, sometimes is more, sometimes less and down from$1200 before they took our bonus and cut our daily pay from $110 to $99/day. I studied business Management and I’m 40 y/o in about 2 weeks. I need a job that pays 70K minimum but nobody will hire. I have been offer work oversees as I can work and live there but don’t know what to make of this unshakeable debt I have.

  • jrp

    Why should any institution be able to gain anything when lending money? its ubsurd that you pay almost 3x what a house is worth if you have to borrow the money to pay for it through a mortgage, its disgusting.. Why cant our economy get buy without loans altogether, hmm.

    The only problem might be because too many people seem to have trouble with lending principals or responsible borrowing, or just prioritizing. From my experience very few people in the United States still know what the difference is between NEED and WANT, and that could be the biggest flaw in how we view anytype of loan. We are generally talking about things that someone CANT AFFORD so they go get a loan, and when it comes time to pay it back fewer and fewer people take as much care paying the loans recieved then at the time they supposedly needed it. Stop borrowing money already, and obliterate everytype of loan backed by the tax payer that doesnt require a borrower to have any collateral or an already aqcuired means of even reasonable repayment.

  • Melissa S

    I owed $40K in student loans that defaulted during a long and violent divorce. The loans plus collection costs were more than doubled to $92K. I have been in garnishment for 3 years and they have taken $25K of my pay, but it has all be applied to the interest and fees, and my principle balance has only gone down $2K!! I want to rehabilitate, but they are taking $800/mo in garnishment and want another $550/mo for 9 months on top of that in order to get me out of default. I will be paying these loans unil I die. I don’t understand why the government will negotiate on tax and mortgage debt, but have *NOTHING* available to help with student loans. I want to pay back what I borrowed (as well as appropriate interest and fees for my problems), but $52K in “extras” for the collection agency and government is outrageous.

    • LC

      YOu said til the day you die you will be paying? you won’t have the strength or the income flow to pay this after you are forced to retire by your employer or your body will not let you after certain age. You don’t understand why the government won’t renegotiate? They are into the game as well. They collect billions of dollars this way bc they can go after your paycheck. If I were you I screw them and work for yourself where you can control your money. Talk about irresponsible for you? NO, irresponsible for the suits in Wallstreet who created this mess along with the Bankers that own the Federal Reserve that is a private entity.

    • Good luck to you all

      Student loan debt is a cancer on our young people, and now on the elderly as well. Do not sign up for cancer. It is not pleasant.

  • Alice Metzger

    How does a 65 year old person pay a student loan, which was always paid by her husband when he was alive and working, pay it now without a job and on a “set income”? What happens when I cannot pay my loan because no one will hire me because I am too old?

    I spoke to the organization who has the loan and they offered no solution. They further mentioned that defferments can only go on for a time, not the rest of my life.

    So, there I am with a set income and no resources left to pay the loan and now I see where the Dept. of Education is “profitting” from these same loans. That seems a bit unfair. But, what I have noticed is that the government seems to be attacking the old and the disabled, you know, the ones on social security. It has been two (2) years since we received a Cost of Living increase at all! Maybe the Dept. of Education could shift some of their “profits” over to assist Social Security and/or help “the most vulnerable” group of people. Actually, I believe the government is hoping we all just die and cease to be a problem!

  • http://www.studentloaninterestdeduction.info Reta Allanson

    One other issue is when you are in a circumstances where you would not have a cosigner then you may really want to try to wear out all of your financing options. You could find many grants or loans and other scholarships or grants that will ensure that you get funds to aid with university expenses. Many thanks for the post.

  • Patricia

    I was paying on my student loan, I graduated college at 50 and found a fantastic job at 51…then I got laid off at age 60 and accepted a job in the social service field at a reduction of $35,000 in salary…contacted my student loan place who were less than helpful…should have known what i would face since i consolidated my loan at 6.5% down from 8.5% when i graduated and a month later when the rates went to 3.5% they told me sorry-you had your once chance-anyway, I took forbearance until I could regroup – my interests on this loan, during forbearance, wiped out all the payments i had made for 9 years and put me $4,000 more in debt…I am repaying now, but at $75 more per month that I had originally…I work for the State and make nothing, but at my age, can’t leave this job…would be nice if those of us who work in probation, parole, CPS got the same loan forgiveness that teachers do…after working for $15 per hour, which is what we are paid starting out – no matter what your experience – your loan would be forgiven after 4 years, but no…and the federal government debt program- they say you have to pay 120 consecutive payments, with no misses – hell that’s 10 years…there should be something to help students out…my loan will die with me now and that’s a shame

    • Good luck to you all

      Everything you said is 100% correct. Sadly, the loan will be around after you are gone. The student loan industry is out of control. But there is no special interest group that the govt will listen to to force change.

  • cynthia smith

    My student loans totaled less than 17, 000. I have paid almost $30, 000 on my loans. Sallie mae defaulted my loans in Sept of 2010. I knew nothing about it because they continued to take payments until April of 2011. Sallie Mae never contacted me by mail. I did not have a clue. Now I owe $40.000 on this $17,000. loan that I have been paying on for 20 years. My total cost will be at least $70.000. So is there no relief. This is not fair and like many other I am sick. I don’t know what I am going to do.

  • Brett

    I went to a private school for a teaching degree and borrowed money from Chase student loans and I also have gov student loans. Chase will rip you off and dont have income based repayment plans. All together, I borrowed about $50,000 and after the rates, I owe over $100,000. The starting salary for a teacher around here is 27,000 a year. The only problem with that is that budget cuts are so bad, that I cant find a teaching job anywhere and I have put in for over 100 jobs since Dec 2009 and only had 1 interview. I cant afford to pay a car payment, rent, and $480.00 a month in student loans plus utilities and food for the next 25 years of my life. I would love to go on and get a masters degree but currently unable to because of debt. OBAMA encouraged all of those who lost jobs to go back to school. Thats all ok and everything, but how are we to pay for college without help from the student loans and how are we to pay student loans back when there are no jobs Obama? People who dont have a degree are making more money and in less dept than those who do have a degree. So whats the point in going to college?

    • Good luck to you all

      She hit the nail on the head……..people without a d egret are making more money then people who went to school and got degrees……they can get jobs bc their pay is not being garnished, IRS refund swiped, employers being called by student loan lenders, credit not ruined, etc. wtc. BTW – she mentions Obama encouraged everyone w/o a job to go back to school – I bet alot of the people on here in misery are the same ones who campaigned for/voted for Obama. Just sayin.

  • http://www.xbfits.com/jsmalley jessica

    i think we need to teach people that going to college costs ALOT more than what they think it might. especially if you don’t graduate. i think that student loans should be included in bankruptcy, because sometimes those bills are so HIGH that they cause people to not be able to pay them. also government funded places like link don’t include your student loans as debt so when they say you should have 500 left to pay something a month thats not including the money you have to pay on st loans. this is where our school system has gone wrong they should inform you this is whats going to happen vs here’s how easily we will get student loans for you. just sayin

  • Joey


    If you cant afford the debt and you know the terms upfront I would have no mercy on you. People work hard to actually pay for their child’s education and those who get loans and don’t pay them back(for whatever reasons they deem necessary) are what is wrong with education…..simply put…all govt education loans should end…its discriminatory towards whites and now the whites are the minority. End govt loans, end loans for housing, etc….our way of life would be better off….I have traveled around the world enough to know that other societies pay for things in cash and actually have to work and save before spending….makes sense…….you can only buy what you can afford….

    • Good luck to you all

      That’s how it was in this country back a few decades ago. People had to save up and pay cash for everything (our grandparents time, and our parents when they were young).

      Everything started getting out of control in the 80s with. The creation of “easy credit” and borrowing to finance everything. People started living extravagant life styles they could not afford, houses, cars, furniture, clothes, all on credit. I can see borrowing for a house, but all. His other stuff….even your food and eating out?

      No one explains this better than Dave Ramsey. He has a good handle on it. Banks started offering easy credit, and people started financing their whoe lives on credit cards, and banks made ridiculous money on the interst.

      Now we have the student loan mess.

      The guy above is dead right. We need to go back to cash and carry. And the slavery will end. But people will never do that. Because they want their entitlement and birth right to the good life.

      ‘We gotta have it.’

  • albert sneij

    Was it not Joe Biden who initiated legislation to make student loan immune from bankruptcy process, few years back?

  • lisa

    Student Loans have ruined my life and I cannot pay them and I have been treated like crap for so long. I never knew there were other people like me. I went to school in the 80’s and I had a mentally disabled daughter and my health insurance at that time would not pay for her care since they did not recognize autism as a disorder and would fight with every bill. I could not afford all this and at the time and was very depressed so I did not get them discharged in bankrupcy like I should of. I felt like such a loser and so frustrated. I feel ripped off I owed 25,000 and now it is 100,000 because of all the charges. Now I am 45 years old and have nothing and never will because of this mess. No one cares in this country and I hope we end up in a depression maybe they can live the miserable life I led and feel so cheated GOD BLESS AMERICA

    • Good luck to you all

      Wow. So sorry about everything that has happened to you. Sadly, this post illustrates an important point. In my opinion, after years of seeing people get abused by govt institutions, yu should never try to rely on large govt institutions for anything. Yu will only get hurt and disappointed in the end. And y will be worse off than when you started. It seems like you are better off to make it on your own, even if that means you have next to nothing, than to sign your life over to these big institutions to own and abuse yo. I think of people in the old days living off the land who built their own houses and grew their own food . They did not have these problems.

      No, we cannot build our own houses and grow our own food today, but if I could advise someone starting out, I would say just get a job without any higher education, even a 2 year community college degree with some specialy you pay for as you go.

      Part of the problem is there are no jobs, sending people into impossible debts after default. The other part of the problem is unrealistic borrowing amounts. 70, 80, $100,000 in student loan debt in today’s world? Really? That’s just plain old stupid.

  • Its Not Fair

    Thank you for your response. I guess what I am asking is this. Is there anywhere someone like myself can go ?
    Its 25 years, I have almost doubled principal in payback.
    That amount, doubled is what I still owe.
    Borrow 25K. Pay 40K+ and still owe 55K.
    This is insane ? anyone know of anything to do ?
    Thanks so much

  • Gerri Detweiler

    Its not fair – You may be thinking of the Income Based Repayment program. While IBR IS available for any federal loans in the Direct Loan or Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) programs, regardless of when the loan was taken out, it is NOT available if you are in default. To learn more go to IBRinfo.org. You may also want to check out http://www.projectonstudentdebt.org/.

  • Its Not Fair

    I too am an older ex student. I got a degree in something with which I have no contact.
    I am a grandfather. Supposed to be wondering about retirement.
    I took at 25K in loans in the 70s and 80s.
    The loan defaulted. I have in the past 10 years paid about 40K back. I now have a garnishment of 15%. And it is only interest.
    I have some questions:
    1. I have heard that there was something in the works to limit the garnishment or repayment to 10% of income . Is that real, and does anyone know about this ?
    2. I had heard there was something in the works for forgivness after 20 years . Does anyone know about tis ?
    3. If there are advocacy groups, can someone let me know who they may be.

    • Good luck to you all

      I heard Suze Orman (tv economist/money makeover lady) talking about this on tv a while back. She was talking about reform in the works. That was a year ago or so. Maybe you could contact her? Probably get a pat reply, but who knows you may get lucky and get some real answers.

  • Don Marquez

    Check this out, Got a loan in 1977 for 500.00 , years later actually alifetime my loan is in default after a marriage military drugs alcahol fed prison unemployment homless for last 20 years on and on it goes when i decided i had enough of all this came to the conclusion that unless I went back to school I was going to die living like this, and that woke up this Gulliver except now the origiopnal loan with interest is like 2500 any suggestions out of this mess, also I heard that older returning students as a group do pretty good when they go back to school But I have sure dug a big hole for my self Thanks, Don The Mover

    • Good luck to you all

      Only $2500, you are lucky. Have you not been paying attention to the posts on here????? Do NOT go back to school. Do NOT take out any student loan money. What a dummy. Sure, go take out 50, 60, 70,000 in student loans. Then go out in the workforce only to find there are no jobs, then try to forebear on those student loans. Watch them start doubling with interest on top of interest. Watch them default. Then watch 50 k turn into 150 or $200k. Then start living underground and trying to figure out how to move to another country, like all of the above people are. Or how to commit suicide.

      The only difference between your broke stat now and your broke state after student loans is the slw painful strangulation of the student loans, like an anaconda around your body, squeezing the life out of you. Either way, you still broke.

      Anymore questions?

  • Susan

    Student loans should be granted based upon degree programs. No student should be given more than they have a chance at paying back. Loan officers can predict the earning potential. This is a very sad state of affairs. Either people just plain borrowed too much because it was so easy, or people borrowed reasonably but got beaten up by the bad economy. Either way there are a lot of people suffering. But the universities are building bigger athletic facilities.

  • Phillip Rhinehardt

    I’m glad i paid off mine. Never want to go through that experience again.

  • Dont Beat yourself up

    I think people are punishing themselves. Stop doing that. As for phone calls, cancel your “land-line”. If you get a Skype telephone number (talk $3/month on your laptop or computer) you can make calls anywhere (Panera Bread, Fast food places with wifi) and its easy to BLOCK numbers so you never hear from them again. Cellphones can be gotten cheaply PREPAID (virgin mobile, boost, etc) at Target/Walmart. Don’t have a bank account. You don’t need one anyway. Use prepaid Vista or Mastercard. You can have your paycheck direct deposited to a prepaid card, no need for a bank account – who writes checks anyway? Become invisible, don’t have magazine subscriptions. Look into roomate situations where utilities are not in your name. Try slightly changing your name so if they call your employer its not the same name. GET CREATIVE. Don’t post anything online with your name, get off Facebook and social media where it could help track you down. Put up a fake profile with misleading information to shake them off. Who knows. just be creative and have fun, its your life, they can’t take it away from you unless you LET THEM !

    • Melia

      You have a very great point ..I graduated from College in 2009, and still struggle to find work ..I have 70k in loans,with a private one at 40k and growing..I have decided to start an internet venture in my sister’s name and do everything from her name or my mom’s …The interest on my private loan is eating me alive ..I have friends who fled to foreign countries because of 100k loan balances.

      One thing, they garnish your pay from the IRS, not your banking account..You would need to work under the table.

  • Ben

    If your situation is so bad that it’s beginning to threat career, family, or it’s making you suicidal, you should look for more radical solutions. All circumstances are different, and so are the solutions.

    If you must stay where you are, open several bank accounts. If possible, open one overseas. You can also recruit a trusted friend and keep money in a bank under their name. If you have friends oversesas try to move away. If electronic money transfers to Canada or Mexico are easy, try to open an account there and transfer money, or have it paid there. If you have contacts there, they could help you set this up. This could help you avoid collectors touching your money. Of course, most options are easier if you’re self-employed.
    If you’re salaried and they’re garnishing your wages already, and you cannot live on the remainder, you must leave. Do it before the situation gets so bad that you don’t have the means to do so. Use what you can to implement the move. This might include whatever loan money you may still have, by the way. You can also try to get as many credit cards as you can, and use them to establish yourself elsewhere before those are cancelled.
    If you can attain another nationality, and of a country where you could live, do so. Move there. There are many nice places to live other than the U.S. You can always come back to visit.
    Your possibilities are greatest if you do your move as soon as you realize the ship is beginning to sink. Don’t wait till you find yourself fighting for life-savers. There might be difficulties involved, but you should weigh these against the difficulty of living with a loan that is impossible to pay back, for the rest of your life.

    • Phillip Rhinehardt

      That is a good idea.

    • Boris

      Im so glad i never gave up Croatian citizenship. I was dying to become American citizen just because what America stood for, which is “Pursuit of happiness”. Today, Im still green card holder, have ability to get citizenship but dont want it anymore. I love people i encountered with here, i met very good hearted people who helped me and my family. I payed them back in every way that i could, and possibly over paid, but to me the fact that this people went out of their way to help me mattered more then any money someone could give me. Those people are people who are getting scammed by this thing we call “Capitalism”. I read over the posts above, and i saw people talking about middle class. Well, sorry to break the news to you, but we dont have one. We have super rich, poor and 5th world poor class. Im 24 y.o. with degree in Mechanical Engineering. I still hold on to my engineering internship which pays enough to pay the rent, GW toll which is $12 bucks and gas to get to work. I cant find a job so im not even looking for one. I feel like internship is still safer then any job that i will possibly get in this economy. Hey they kept me for 4 years now. So im doing much better then most people over here i guess, i should be happy, because it can get worse. How bad can it get I ask myself?

      Well for starters, I was in Europe over the summer, my brother is complaining how he cant get a job. I asked him how many resume’s he sent out. 2 years out of job, and he sent out 4 resume’s. It gets better. He spends his days hanging out at home, cutting grass for few old ladys down the block or removing snow in winter time, where he makes enough money to get by with. Every Friday and Saturday night, he goes out for few drinks, has money for cigarettes or buys home grown tobacco when he dosnt. He always has enough gas to get him from place to place. Good thing is, no student loans, no debt at all. O i did not mention one thing, they dont pay for medical. That is something. They dont pay property tax either. Too good to be true. Looks like what America wanted to create for itself, it created everywhere else in the world but in America.

      My apologies if i offended anyone, but i feel that i need to get this out. I have 46k coming out of grace period and i have a choice between living in my car to pay off my student loans or live with roommates and carry a huge dept for rest of my life.

      I have a idea, if we all unite, create movement and stop paying Sallie Mae and other loan sharks, they will be forced to file Chapter 11 a.k.a Bankruptcy. I know, I know, Government has something called “Loan” from tax payers ready to help them out. I have solution for that as well, STOP paying taxes. I know, we all will go to Jail, and yes, that would be a favor to us. We all can hang out in cells, supported by our hard made but taken away tax money and we can hang out together and enjoy life like my brother does. No worries because there is not enough place for all of us in jail. Any generation from 80’s that went to college, most likely is making just enough to pay off student loans if they have a job. So we are generation with no future, lots of debt, and no Social Security the way things are going.

      I think is time for revolution.

    • Good luck to you all

      I disagree with this. It is not so easy to establish as a stranger in a strange land where you will have no family, and will likely never see your family again. No one there will take you in or hel you bc you are a foreigner. You cannot easily come back to visit, bc that will be cost prohibitive – just like he said, yu would need to take out several credit cards to fund getting to the new country. You will need a mini mortgage to come back. You could really get stuck in a situation yo wish yo had not gotten yourself into. I would never, never give up the ability to see, be with my family ever again. Nothing could be worse than that. The only possible place I would ever consider going would be Canada. Same language, just a few hours drive to get back into the country (US), or a bus ticket. Good Luke.

  • Bryan

    I am a thirty year old married man with two children. I am the only source of income in my family. I make 38k a year. I make all my student loan payments and have no problem doing it. I borrowed the money. It is my responsibility to pay it back with interest. Perhaps we should limit college to only the people with the resources to pay it back now.

  • Jimmy

    I am a Father of three teenagers and I have worked my tail off to try to provide a better life for them. My Mom was on welfare her entire life and I swore I would never do this, but as I have grown older I realize she was on to something. The USA is divided into thirds. The rich, the middle class and those who do not earn their keep. In this setup the ONLY people who get screwed are the middle class who work their lives away and the system is setup for them to fail. Bail out the banks who are made of millionaires and billionaires but give the hard working folks a break just once???? Not a chance!! Student Loan debt, property value loss and outsourcing of jobs to other countries……..yeah we are in terrible shape!!! They say that the future of our country is dependent upon the education of our youth……is what they really mean is the future of the US economy the need for todays youth to fund the need for billions of dollars to be paid in interest while trying to make a better life for themselves? Land of opportunity?? I say the Land of the haves and have nots!!!

  • Alberto Vasquez

    Our Government has sold out its people to corporate greed. We need to another revolution, as the world becomes more aware of the truth, we need to remind them of who are the people they represent or force them out.

  • SD

    I am also one of many watching my loan balance balloon with SallieMae. I don’t just have my own that is over 100K, but I also co-signed for a now ex that has now ballooned to about 60K. No other lender would ever dream of letting someone with no job, already has loans with them AND almost no credit history co-sign like that. I take responsibility for my own naive actions, but c’mon! There has got to be a middle of the road way to resolve this. So many Americans’ quality of life and the economy is suffering because of irresponsible lending practices. When will the student loan bubble burst? The housing bubble did, this is the same kind of lending.

  • Shawn

    I telephoned Pioneer Credit to start a payment plan for my defaulted student loans (roughly $6,000). I spoke with a representative and set up an initial payment of $2,500.00 for 3/25. Some event’s transpired and I informed PCR that it would now be impossible for me to make the initial down payment on that date. I asked PCR if I could push the date back rought 2 weeks and I would have no problem making the payment. PCR told me that I there was absolutely no way for them to take the payment any later than 3/25 and that if I did not make the payment they would garnish my wages. Now, I was initially contacted THEM to schedule a payment plan. If I had not contacted them, I would not be in this predicament. Had I contacted PCR, say, the 2nd week of April, I would’nt currently be threatened with garnishment. Oh ya, all the phone operators at PCR are a total group of aggresive *****.

  • rion

    No one that knows the truth will/can help people in defaulted student loans…..big money and many jobs are provided because these loans are taken out….and there is no way out it’s just one lie, scam after the other as you try to “do the right thing” it’s baloney and I am trying to build up enough courage and strength to end my own suffering. Even animals are killed/ euthanized to avoid suffering but god or some unknowing human wanna be hero robot forbid I think about it or ask for someone to help me with that…People with a life rationalize how you wish…I have none…I am living only to deal with this…that’s it because it’s my responsibility …I cant justify anything else….. make your comments on what you think you know say I’m mental, not responsible……..whatever lazy, stupid,,,,,,,blahblah blah
    the ever changing face, voice of the “default resolution group” wants to help…why not sit down have a meeting with me talk things out come up with a real solution….?..oh .wait I have to have income????? NO one will hire me … Delta Management said they have a solution….they want to help me and their fee is only how many thousands of dollars??….what…….oh their solution is pay them and their fee….
    what a great idea thanks for your SOLUTIONS…….your answer is pay ….u really helped me figure this all out!!!!!!!! let me get that right out to you….check or money order?? I never thought of that…. I had it all along and just forgot where I’d put it ….delta management gave me the solution!!! Show them the money!!! It will be in the mail tomorrow…….in fact let me just send you my skull in a box too while we’re at it….

    And yes it’s true I have a bad attitude but can I be blamed…wait the answer is yes …because it was all MY CHOICE….wow I’m smart! It is all fair too. Thanks for all the HELP!

    and now I have been driven bananas thank you again for all your help.

    • Pamela

      OMG, hang in there. Something will give eventually. I am sorry you can’t afford kids.
      I just know that things will change in a year or two. A year can make all the difference.

  • lp

    i still have $13,000 in loans 10 years after graduation. while i was in school, i worked 2-3 jobs at a time, even though i went to an inexpensive state university.

    recently, i have been toying with the idea of grad school. however, after reading your stories, i have decided not to take out any more loans. if and when i can pay off my current loans, i will feel very lucky.

    thank you for sharing your stories. you will be in my prayers…we should all be praying for each other. we are living in a very difficult time for our country.

  • Alaina

    I heard a comedian sing a song the other day about having to take his college bound son to the financial aid office, where the people working there still knew him b/c he was there regularly to pay his own student loans. It was really funny, but sad because I feel that may be the reality of my not so distant future.

  • helen

    So the issue is put before us once again and still no real reaction from our government! Why should they change when this is so lucrative for them? I remember the media ads about Moms going back to school and how excited I was about doing something positive for my family….all I created by finishing school is an unpayable mountain of debt for myself and my family. I don’t make enough to cover the loan payment and pay for the things I need to live. I am in worse shape now than before I got a degree. I got a degree in unaffordable long term debt!

  • Toni

    Floating in the same debt boat. Borrowed 20,000 when I was in my 30s now in my 50’s – recession, they won’t let me have forebearance or deferment – even though I am getting food assistance from the government – calling my work place and boss is trying to force me out by reducing hours to nothing (work at will state). Despite cease and desist letters they still call employment and third parties. Complained to FTC – they haven’t done anything. I would like to get a deferment or set up resonable payments – my income is far below poverty level – I probably should be at the 1 dollar amount per month to rehabilitate. In past years they have taken tax refunds – totally sucks – cause they don’t even put it against the debt. Now there are programs that are income based – and after 10 years – no more payments – why can’t they come up with that option for us. Why not let us file bankruptcy? People are getting help with foreclosures. Companies got hand outs during the beginning of the great recession. Why no help for us? And garnishing just makes us lose our jobs or be unemployable! it goes right on our credit report!. Defeats the whole freaking purpose. When you try to deal with the government ombudsperson – they take your bank accounts and call your relatives and your employer again!

    I know this problem is getting worse – cause people – older and younger – can’t pay back all this money! They won’t listen to reason – they act like money or property is hidden somewhere – and it isn’t.

  • Neil

    I owed about $45K in student loans upon graduation that I would gladly pay if given the chance. I had a hard time finding paying job. I understood that I honestly owed the $45K, which is one of the reasons that I joined the military. “Join now and we will pay off up to $60,000 of your student loans”. After basic training I find that my loans fit into some loophole that prevents the NAVY from paying my student loans. There I was, an E-3 making enough money to cover a cell phone and my student loans, which I had to maintain in order to keep my clearance. I probably don’t need to illustrate the emotional state I was in. I finally gave up on paying the loans. I was tired of not even having enough money to leave base. Fast forward two years and I found myself medically separated from the Navy with a $12K severance paycheck. I wanted to make good on my student loans but to my endless effort I could not find who to pay. I called and called; every company on every document I had in my records. My loan had been so sold many times that I couldn’t find who I needed to pay. I must have spent over 40 hours calling to find out who I needed to pay. Now I get harassing calls every day from people who threaten to take me to court and take away my professional license. Who knows how much they claim I owe by now. I am still waiting to find out the end results of this debacle.

    The NAVY was wrong for swindling me into believing that the student Loan Repayment Plan was worth giving up everything to fight for this country. I lost relationships, was not around when a family member was deathly ill, and demolished my shoulder to the point where I can barely use it; only to be told “Sorry, I know we promised you one thing but we lied… Take it up with your congressman”. Everyone knows the recruiters lie, I should have known better

    The Student lending industry is wrong for practicing predatory lending practices that profit of the defaulting of student loans and forcing good people to become indentured servants. When will it all end? I have faith in this country and hope we can find a way to solve this problem. One thing is for certain, the laws need to change to protect student borrowers, and the people who thought the current laws were appropriate need to be removed from power.

    I will move to another country before I let some fat pocketed swindler garnish the wages that I earn to put food on the plate for my child.

  • SMG

    Mu husband tells me he is going to kill himself at least 2-3 times a month. He has over $110K in student loans and cant even make the min payment because his industry has been in the crapper for 5 years. I have not had children because we cant afford it and now I stand to lose my house that I have worked so hard for because of his student loans. Nice life huh?

  • m

    do the thing that the rich do when they don’t feel like paying their bills…protect your assets in a family trust…much better use of your money to spend crethan flushing it down the bottomless holes that are student lenders and their collectors.

    the only way this is going to change is when there are enough people fed up and are not cooperating.

  • Suelle

    I graduated in 2004, and as the economy tanked so did I fall out of work. I was already struggling to make nearly 900 dollars in payments when I was working, and then it become impossible; I defaulted, the amount of the loan doubled, and I dropped out of society. I will never live a normal life again, never do the things I aspired to do when I enrolled at a university. We need bankruptcy protections restored to all student loans, with no special limits; but it seems like that will never happen…

  • Matt

    My original student loan balance was 40k when I graduated college in 1996. It is still 40k and I have paid them over $27,000! I was unemployed twice and once for longer than the deferment would grant me. Cost me almost ten thousand dollars in interest. The interest rate of near 8 percent on a 30 year loan is outrageous!

  • Memyself

    If being a fire builder was a profitable business they’d create a 4 year degree, licenses and certifications. Businesses would not hire people without 4 year degrees for these jobs, even if you could teach someone in 5 minutes how to build a fire. Thats how most college degrees are created. Its all a game called “INDENTURED SERVITUDE”.

  • Monica X

    I made the mistake of going to a “college” back in 2004…a stupid for-profit “fashion/art” school. They are pretty much just salesmen at admissions. I told them i could not afford how much money in loans they wanted me to get. But they said “don’t worry…just sign the papers and you will have a great job it will be no problem!” I ended up dropping out after only 2 semesters because i started researching what kind of jobs the kids who graduated got….i realized it was a scam….especially when the teachers showed up late everyday and it just got shadier and shadier…
    I took out 13K in loans and now it is 35K and i see no way out. I can’t afford to pay anything and the amount is just going to keep on growing…i am so depressed it makes me sick. What is the point in trying anymore????

  • George Hosay

    I had over $55,000 in student loan debts, Federal, Salie Mae and Perkins. My degree was useless garbage. I had given up until my Grandmother stepped in and paid everything off. I feel like a free person now! I am so lucky and am not burdended by these crooks. It’s not just the private instituations who are in bed with politicians it’s the government who keeps pushing “archaic” overpriced education models.

    Have you seen some of the facilities and gym’s at these Universities? Since when does getting a degree involve a 5 star gym? What’s this even have to do with education? Universities are an “age-old” idea. It’s a useless overpriced system for education. Better of learning on your own. The government should not be in the education business.

  • Troy

    I made the mistake of taking out a student loan from Sallie Mae to go to school for masonry. I started working in the field doing stone-work (which I love doing to this day) and was making very decent money. Then the housing market crashed; I lost my job, the girl I was with at the time was diagnosed with cancer, and I had to move out of state to take care of her at a cancer treatment facility. I’m not going to lie; paying my student loans was surely not on the forefront of my mind and I expected to miss a payment or two. I really didn’t think this was going to be a big deal and it really wasn’t. Until the lies and ignorance came into play… I was told repeatedly I didn’t have a payment for a month (when I did – thus driving me into MORE debt), I had funds taken out of my bank account without my authorization (or after I had EXPLICITLY told them not to), every time I call I am told they close at different hours, I was told – just today as a matter of fact – that the people handling my account at the first of the month, were not as “seasoned and trained” as some of the others, and the “manager” (with whom I was speaking and regaled me with the sci-fi cult classic “Tale of the Untrained Account Managers From the Planet Retard!”) found nothing wrong with the representatives being less qualified than others. Now, call me old fashioned if you will, but I really don’t like the fact that someone who is not “trained” now has the power to completely destroy my credit. In fact, I rather don’t like that at all. In fact, I think I’m going to ACTUALLY write the book, “Tale of the Untrained Account Managers From the Planet Retard!” and I’m going to ship first editions to everyone who works at Sallie Mae with a huge picture of my posterior copied into the back, just for them to look at; ya’ know, give ’em something to think about before going to bed. But, until that book is finished, I would be more than happy to join in any protests, petitions, public speeches, marches – ANYTHING to get the word out and let others know that these professional swindlers and chicken-hawks should not even be considered an option. As a side note: I just realized that every time I get in my car to go and make my payment, the song “Where is My Mind” by the Pixies is always playing on the radio. I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence or not – but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t fit the scenario just right.

  • R. J. Kelley

    My student loan will follow me until the day I die. 58yrs old, disabled since 2004, filed a discharge disability request 4 times, and 3 different doctors signed the forms, now I’m on SSD. The Direct Loan disability office was sent all medical records and they lied about receiving them. We have asked repeatedly what further information they want and they wouldn’t say–just refile again they said. All I want to do now is file a federal appeal in court. How do I do this? All of their payment plans want to include my husband’s income regardless of the fact that we were not married when the loans were made. Usury, corrupt scumbags. I hate this country.

  • http://Studentloanjustice.org Jason

    If this occurs just move to another country and default. The government already owns your life if you live in America so if you lose it in another country by a CIA hitman how are you any worse off?


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  • Barb Dawson

    Tonight the President is saying we have to focus on education. What we, those who are in Student Loan Hell have to do is get the word out! DO NOT TAKE OUT STUDENT LOANS! Tell your family, tell your friends, tell the kid at work that just “Qualified for Student Aid” the TRUTH about this trap that counsler is lying him into! Better to wait until this problem is REALLY FIXED! SHOUT IT LOUD EVERYWHERE!

    • Andy

      Right, I have 3 kids and I am not going to let them take any student loans even if they have to give up college education.
      Anyway what is the point of college degree, when you can’t get a descent job with it.
      This whole thing is fraud and politicians are on “their” boat but not on ours. They won’t do shit about this until this bubble blows. (Until they suck enough money out of people to satisfy their greed)

      When I graduated back in 1995 with an architecture degree, starting wage was about $30K per year. Kids these days who just graduated with same degree, still makes $30K per year (but just got a lot more difficult to land a job for these kids)
      My first car (Hyundai Elantra) in 1995 was priced at around $8,000. Now the same car is priced about twice of what I paid back then.

      See what is wrong? Wages hasn’t gone up for many years but everything else doubled or tripled…

      Something is seriously wrong with this society and definitely America is going down and down fast.

  • Sandra Purdy

    Mia, just wondering, what did Gillenbrand’s office say in their response? We all need to collude and put pressure on the politicians to act. I live New York also. I have years of correspondence starting with NYS Higher Ed Services and Now with Feds. I have reason to believe FRAUD is going on in the collection of these loans. We all need to collude and unite in force. Do not give up even though it sounds like the door keeps getting slammed in your face….heinous. But you are revealing and exposing very critical facts in your attempt to get justice. There clearly is corruption and wrongdoing that is occuring and the politicians have a responsibility to respond and their responses will reveal and expose their intentions as well. Let us know what their responses are.

  • Mia

    I did some digging and I have had government collect on the same loan documents and it has been a battle to accurately decipher the collections. The NYS has wrongfully kept records and has a cozy relationship with the lending institutions. There is a clear kick back scheme that is going on. Private lenders process loans, backed by the government, and government charges collection fees and interests. Coincidentally, the government uses the same lenders or the subsidiary to do the collect practices. Obviously, the longer the collection takes, it racks up.

    Second problem is lack of record keeping. Under the law, government is required to provide debtors ( of any kind) right to examine records so that the repayment is accurate. It’s pretty basic. While this law is recited, it is never enforced. Governor Cuomo when he was an Attorney General , went after Sallie Mae proclaiming that they had predatory lending practices and passed a Sunshine Law which requires “transparency”. In my case, I asked for the “transparency” especially when I had paid off about $70K in lump sum as a settlement. I think I am entitled to more transparency than less and not to have my accounting duplicated. It’s a sham law. What good is the law if there is no enforcement and cleaning up starting with their own backyard?

    I tried seeking information and been stalled and instead, I got a rubber stamped administrative law judgment entering $100K unsubstantiated. I filed a federal case which is now before Judge Richard Sullivan and being sick of it, I brought everyone involved. Attorney General’s office RETRACTED the States’ ALJ order, and proceeded to regular proceeding. It’s obviously not the sexiest case for a judge but I think he felt obligated to provide me with due process rights to a fair hearing.
    The government has provided what they considered to be loan documents. Ironically, they duplicated the loan documents, and had missing info. They had internal records which is pretty nontransparent. ALJ hearing is a sham anyhow. They are government employees and their employers are the State. Why would they render a judgment against their employer? That’s why it rarely happens. They need to have a different process that works. Thus far, these ALJ’s are appointed government hacks that do nothing more than rubber stamp judgments and go home by 4PM.

    I filed a consumer complaint to the Attorney General’s office, with explanation, discrepancies, exhibits, and in 2 days, I received a “rubber stamped” response that they do not take these types of cases. Cuomo’s website says it is ‘transparent, but in actual;ity, it is a dog and pony show, a dramatization to mock the regular person like myself.

    My case is before Art 78 proceeding in Supreme Court and AAG presiding over this case is just another government person, unable to do much than to show up to case.

    I started out fighting my case because a discrepancy of $50K is a huge amount as a principle. As I dug deeper, the law does not work. It is designed to trap a defaulted person from further default. If anyone has signed Rehabilitation Loan document without having seen their loan agreements, over opportunity to see it, they just signed up to triple their loan debts. Government generated these forms because once you sign it, you can never ever go back. It’s a misleading and fraudulent.

    I even offered to pay $38K an unsubstantiated principle but not the fees and interests especially when the documentation was in grave error..and not earned. They dragged it out for 6 years, and had violated my due process rights and interests and fees “earned” on a unsubstantiated principle is also unsubstantiated, but Assistant Attorney General has refused.

    I wrote to Senator Gillibrand and her office wrote me back. I would like to see if the newly elected officials listen to their constituents and do something viable for the people.

    • http://Studentloanjustice.org Jason


      What a battle you have fought for yourself as well as the other students that have student loans in America.

      You have provided a lot of great information for myself and others that may go through the same thing. I’ll try NOT to sign a Rehabilitation Loan document and I plan on looking into this document.

      God bless you Mia and good luck,

      Signing for all students who have loans.

    • Muneerah Crawford

      Mia, I am in New York and I recently filed a federal lawsuit in the Eastern District Court,
      Brooklyn against Citibank Student Loan Corporation, The US Goverment, The Department of Education and California Student Aid Commission. I discovered that the loan guarantee company was stealing money and misusing money and they were allowing large amount of loans to default because they refused to do their job. Citibank changed my loan documents illegally and then refused to correct the mistakes. They illegally defaulted my loan and I am suing to re-instate it. I would like to hear what is happening with you now.
      Please feel free to email me.

  • Karen Lee

    I am a person who only has a BA degree. I paid for it and worked my way through school. I have always wanted an advanced degree. I recently investigated the FAFSA procedure and spoke with multitudes of financial aid departments at just as many schools.

    I was assured over and over again that the schools would approve the money I would need to go to school. I asked over and over what the pay back arrangements would be. It’s not their job to tell you that and they do not know it. They say you have to talk to direct loans about that.

    I read that as of this past year people that now take out student loans have 4 o5 different choices of pay back methods. I have tried to confirm this but do not feel any of the answers are firm and trustworthy.

    I have a prestigious BA degree from a prestigious university. I am self-employed.
    Years ago I was out of work and I was sending out resumes and every so often I was invitied in for an interview. I would talk to people who I felt were more politically astufe than I (like HR people) and I felt it was more BS than I could stand.

    So today I remain self-employed. For 30 years I’ve done this and have always made a higher than average middle income living. Is my work stimulating and so forth? This is how it plays out: it becomes stimulating when I make a commitment of it. When I find I need money I commit. Then I love my work….when I find myself doing it. Otherwise I am somewhat indifferent.

    I cannot find an hourly person to work for me four hours a week. Once in a while I find a few people who actually WORK. I wind up paying them $50 an hour on average for their efforts. The thing is…..when I put an ad up so many people think working on the telephone is not good enough for them. And why should they? A lot of them are surviving in general on student loans as they go to school.

    So as they say in the media—-I—-a mediocre person with only a BA degree have at times found myself employing (at least part-time) aspiring pre-meds, and so forth.

    What to say about this? My work provides me security. I checked out loans and realized taking out $60000 for a master’s degree would be hard based on the old way of having to pay back student loans. However as I understand the new rules—-I could take out the $60,000 and one payback option would be based on my income. Never having to pay back more than 10% of your salary per month. Gee folks. What does THAT mean to me…a self-mployed person WITH NO SALARY.

    So perhaps those who have borrowed under the new system should become SELF-EMPLOYED where the payback is based on your so-called SALARY.

    I still think about getting the master’s degree and taking out the $60,000. Then moving to Chile and teaching at a JC and living off my renewals from my business.
    Sitting in the sun.

    But hey—-today I rise at 5 am, and on the computer to my suppliers until 9, out on appointments most of the day wondering when the money will for certain come in for the sales I have made.

    Dang I do something I don’t groove on every day and I am afraid to take out the money for a master’s degree. So I opted for professional certificates. I have 3 professional designations. The other thing to get is state licenses of any kind.
    And work. But that’s out of style. You people who work at low level jobs are here it comes……gutless. Go out there and get on the phone. Get a job at a fast food place. So there.

    • Lucy

      Fortunately, not everyone is in sales. Some are in education, literature, languages, philosophy, mathematics, arts. If you read their stories you can see that many people are middle aged or older. Working in a fast food place is not an option for them. They won’t be hired.
      “And work. But that’s out of style. You people who work at low level jobs are here it comes……gutless.”
      What an arrogant statement. How dare you judge others so simply because they are not able to sell, like you do? Get off your high horse. You are just a salesman. Nothing grand about that.

    • charlie

      You received ” a prestigious degree from a prestigious university?” Given the quality of your post, you should redo that statement….

  • Sam

    Student loans without consumer protections is slavery. While masking itself as aid, it really only serves to widen the gulf between the poor who need the loans from the rich who do not. Is that what the constitution intended by ‘equality’ and ‘freedom’. Where is the equality and freedom of being indebted while the sons and daughters of the rich get a free ride?

    “An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” – Martin Luther King

  • NS

    Aside from the known hardships facing student borrowers one issue that hinders investigation is the erroneous perception by most that student defaulters are a bunch of whining, irresponsible n’er-do-wells who got themselves in a mess all by themselves and deserve what they get…etc.. This misconception, compounded by lack of published facts and figures, keeps those in higher positions from seriously investigating the tactics of certain lenders and guarantors. One little known fact is that when loans are sold and resold incorrect balances and info continue to be passed along. Letters and calls to try to correct misinformation can get deep-sixed as loans are passed along. Sometimes, when one out of a group of loans are paid off, lenders will come back and again try to collect for the same loan. I know this because it happened to me.

    Student borrowers deserve the same fair treatment and rights of redress as all other consumers. If loan sharking is illegal in this country why is it that policies which are tantamount to this are allowed in the student loan industry? Asking that government police its own may be the main problem. Investigating seemingly untouchable executives requires courage! But only by doing so will the offenses be stopped. Student borrowers must receive the same consumer protections and remedies that other consumers already receive. Those who profit – buying art collections, golf courses, extravagant homes and the like off the backs of student borrowers MUST be exposed and held accountable.

    • http://Studentloanjustice.org Jason

      Sounds like the president of Sallie Mae, he bought a $30,000,000 golf course at the expense of students.

      • Pamela

        30,000,000 on our backs? He is going straight down when he dies

  • Andrew

    Getting an education in this country is too much of a risk. When you’re not able to pay the monthly payments, they tell you they want it all now. Then they’re surprised when you can’t pay the whole thing at once, and send your file to scum-of-the-earth debt collectors. The debt collectors are legally able to harass your family because you have to live with them when you have nowhere else to live. You see the possibility of getting married and starting your own family someday vanish before you’re 30. There is no way out.

    When you begin wondering if suicide is the only option, you realize that it would only hurt your family even more. How then do we begin to rebuild our lives so that we can at least afford to be alive?

    • http://ccomwp.wpengine.com/2011/01/government-profiting-from-student-loan-defaults/ Debra

      Save your money or get a second job and try and pay it off as fast as you can. It is the only thing that I have heard that works. I am 58, and having a lot of health issues. It is making it difficult for me to hold a job. I was an older student. Stupid idea to go back to school late in life and try and get a college degree. It is too late for me to try and pay off the 120,000 in student loans I currently owe by working a second job. I am going to try the income based rehab program and see how that works. It just bothers me that my balance will go up another 20K by doing the rehab. But, my only other choice is to hold out for 100% disability or death. I keep hoping the government will start letting people discharge this debt on bankrupcy but I don’t think that will happen. The elected officials don’t understand the problem and are only interested in helping greedy companies give their rediculously high bonuses to themselves while they lay off thousands of employees who earn a fraction of what they do. Maybe Buffet will save us all, who knows.

  • alice cortes

    In February 2004 a lawsuit was filed against me in NY By Sallie Mae. They claim to have given service to someone they state was a “co-tenant” named Jorge Torres. At no time have I ever lived with anyone by that name. The owner of the house I lived in is Juanita And Julio Torres who are my aunt and uncle. They have since filed in Florida to recognise a this judgment and have stated they sent me a copy at 21609 Sally St SE Palm Bay Fl. My address is 1069. They then sent a summons for a depostion to 31069 Sally st. The process server located me due to her ability to figure out that there is no address as stated on her paperwork. This month they filed for a garnishment with no notice to me whatsoever. I asked their attorney for a copy of the promissory note they claim I signed and while the signature is close it does not appear to be mine.
    Since extrinsic fraud has been practiced in Florida it’s not much of a stretch to conclude that sewar service was used in New York and that in all probabilty Sallie Mae had an unethical relationship with Chubb Institute in New York as was the case with several other schools iin NY as this practice was investigatd by the New York State Attorney.

  • S.

    I too am suffering under fed/private student loan debt. In an attempt to better my options in life, I returned to school at 40. Due to some personal challenges I could not work while attending school, so had to borrow even more to pay for living expenses. In the last year of earning my BA degree, my husband was diagnosed with ALS. I had to drop out of school to help take care of him which left me with mountains of debt and no degree.
    Last year I spoke to a few attorneys who all said don’t bother with bankruptcy, even though I would have a hardship case, as it is rare they pass and we would have to pay alot of money for the trial etc. Currently, my private loan deferments are about to run out and I have no way of paying anything (and never will) since I am my husband’s caregiver. Fearful too of having to deal with the collectors and their impact on the quality of life. I feel screwed over by the Education system, private loan companies and our government.

    The financial violence against all students carrying loans is unacceptable. That other forms of credit, gambling etc. are qualified for bankruptcy just proves the predatory nature of how student loans are written. I really hope and pray that for justice sake at least, the bankruptcy law will be changed to include student loans.

  • http://www.nolalife.com Thaddeus Frick

    For what it is worth, the government has more debt than us. So it naturally wants to put the burden on us in a way that is nearly impossible to get out of. Until our political leaders realize that is destroys out freedom from debt, demoralizes us, weakens our system to the point of possible bankruptcy, fails to motivate payback due to harsh penalties where you never feel good about the progress so why try, etc. I can go on and on. My personal story is it causes me to make bad decisions. Then I spiral downward into more debt. I try my best to fight back with not answering the relentless phone calls. Other strategies include asking for proof of my debt. After that is done, I usually get a new collection agency to start the harassment all over. I used to go as far as getting into arguments, only to have my energy wasted. At my age of 54, I have no hope of getting out of debt. As it is, I fully think my only choice is to live under someone’s roof and pay in cash. Really I think about closing all my accounts to go all cash.

    My point is does the legal system really win by destroying those less fortunate than the wealthy who can afford to pay for an education. Life is hard enough already than to have a government show supports the loan debacle, an education system that works like a business with profit in mind, not an usable education to get good paying jobs, debt slaves we are, protected by our constitution… hey wait a minute we are supposed to live life with a right to the pursuit of happiness.

    I say embrace your debt for what is it. Go out and make more, then let the cards fall. Learn to enjoy the sportsmanship of it. Collectors only win if you let them get to you. Always gain the upper hand. Remain in control. Lessons learned by all the phone calls, their day depends on you giving in. Hold on to your cash.

    Really hopeless!

    • http://www.nolalife.com Thaddeus Frick

      Excuse my typos, really an emotional topic for me. Forgot to proof!

  • http://MSNWindowsLive DQuintana

    i am currently paying by garnishment student loan which was doubled and more by interest and collections added. I had many years of medical problems and had deferred loans. I was compliant and kept up with paperwork and due to address change 10 years prior I ended up not receiving notices(for about 3 months) . To make long story short went into Default and subsequent garnishment. Also am employeed at facility which cares for Veterans and their families. At their whim (the government) some student loans are forgiven for years worked for Veterans care. My garnishment should have been legally 15% of income yet some months equals up to 45%. I tried everything to correct only solution given was to pay additional amount on top of garnished fee(per collectors Financial Asset Management Systems,Inc). I requested information and help from government workers within student loan division and received horrible treatment up to and including being told “would not be in situation if I paid my bills”. At rate of garnishment I should pay off loan in approximately 3 months or more(due to interest constantly compounding). By the way I never received License for school associated degree loans were originally taken out for(so the loans should have been forgiven). It took years of surgeries to correct medical problems in order to work. Was employeed full-time less than 6 months before garnishment applied. My daughter is currently being garnished for student loan even though she is on unemployment and unable to find work in her field or otherwise. To my knowledge at least 2 other co-workers are also being garnished at this time. My advice would be DO NOT OBTAIN STUDENT LOANS FOR ANY REASON…….Government needs to back off and be more reasonable in case by case instances. My heart goes out to those who owe the U.S. Department of Education a dime as given time it could bankrupt them. Oh no cannot Bankrupt on the loans…..only way out is to pay or to DIE!!!!!!!

    • Mary

      When I saw the last line as the only way out of student loan debt is to pay, or die, it really struck home. I have actually heard some young people say that they are doing what they can and did not know the ins and outs of the forms they signed for student loans. Now, they see no other way out than death??? This is a sad commentary on a system which is by the people of the people for the people.

      Just a hedge before the very “responsible” people, who will say, u should have saved for childrens education, ur children should have known what they were signing and above all else, you as the parent taking out Parent Plus Loans should have researched. Fewww; had to get that out.

      Going through consolidation 4 years ago, when the blathering started about student loan rates going up, I did research, have records from conversations and consolidations and it is still fd up. Went through 3 different agencies; last was Chase Bank,?? did not apply through them but they bought the loan. Sound familiar? This is a very serious problem and I do now believe that conserving your money and saving, (under your mattress; or in a good safe); will help with the costs of education in the future. I cannot prove to the big guys that Chase was charging 8% when paperwork said 6.2%; or the fact that, they Dept of Ed does not care about the notes I have from 5 years ago regarding the consolidation. (I believe; the reasons Chase recently sold the loan back to the former holder of the loan; a company Allied Computer. They manage the loan and collect the payment. Sounds like the mortgage market and the brokers who dangled the carrot and we took it. Snarly. I believe Chase got out because they could no longer charge outrageous fees due to some new legislation.

      Just a few other thoughts. We get old too soon and smart too late. I am not degrading anyone of use who has these “mobster” loans. I do say that in a perfect world, I would have heeded the advice to save. Also, keep trying to get this all worked out because it is a sad state of affairs when young and old are contemplating suicide because of student loan debts. God help us. Maybe a peaceful, well attended march on the capital would help. I know we still have our freedoms, those same freedoms that our government was promising the people of Egypt.
      Best wishes to all us and remember there is power in numbers.

  • Studentloandrefugee

    We would be better off offering systemic critiques of the system, rather than complaining about our own loan situations. Student loans are like broken heart stories: everyone’s got one. What we need to do is build a systematic critique of the system and go beyond the personal level; otherwise we will just be attacked as “irresponsible” borrowers looking for a bailout at taxpayer’s expense.

    • Gary

      Your are right. Critiques, suggestions and SUCCESS STORIES would be more useful that sad experiences. I think, just by being here, we have all had our horrific experiences with this exploitive system. The question is, what do WE do?

    • charlie

      Keep in mind that there are few, if any, venues for people to vent or share stories of what is taking place in their lives. It does help to be able to find out you’re not the only one with a horror story, so it is valuable to include that aspect.

      • Good luck to you all

        Yes – this website has given me QUITE an education, reading these hundreds of stories I would otherwise have never known, never.

    • keepinitreal

      File chapter 13 bankruptcy. For 60 months the student loan debt collectors won’t be allowed to contact you. When your 60 months is up, file chapter 13 again for 60 months. Rinse, repeat.

  • Kimberly

    Like Ross who commented earlier, I also went back to school for a Master’s Degree to make myself more marketable and earn more money. Because of the bad timing and the fact that my husband has been out of work for much of the 4 years since I graduated, I am actually ending up with less money than ever because I am paying loans back that accrued a ton of interest when I had to get defer my payments. So now, I work harder, make less money because of the economy, end up with even less because of loan payments and cannot contribute positively to the economy in any way, because I can’t afford it. I feel like I’ll never be out from under this!

  • Pamela

    After a few bad years, Katrina and some low-paying jobs, my $21,000 loans have become almost $60,000. In order to get into a (bogus) rehabilitation program in which they try to sell my loan and can tack on whatever additional fees and penalties they like, I’d have to pay close to $900 a month for ten months. I can’t afford that, first of all, and second, there’s no guarantee my future payments would be affordable, either. The folks at the DOE lie to your face and have no motivation to try to help. I’m a 54-year-old social worker who will never be able to retire. I’ve been unable to buy a house, and luckily I don’t have children, or I wouldn’t be able to take care of them, either. Lawyers won’t touch this, even if I could afford one. I think about leaving the country every single day. The only ways out of this are death, unemployment or becoming a fugitive.

  • Nicholas S.

    After graduation my loans between Sallie Mae, my bank, and the federal government came to 155,000 that number including interest. I have been working two jobs for the last three years and Sallie Mae has told me my payments are nearly 1000 dollars a month and the only other option I have is to pay interest only for two years at almost 700 dollars a month. While I was in college I made some payments with a little bit of the money I was making at a part time job between classes. This was to try and bring down the principal slightly while I was still in school. Sallie Mae responded that no principal would be touched until all my interest was paid even before repayment. So at that point even if I had sent them a check for 20,000 dollars if my interest was 20,001 dollars nothing would go towards principal. I was advertised I would have the rest of my life to pay this loan back and it looks like its going to take me that long to pay it back. I’ve had every intention to pay back my loans and pay for the education I was given. With only an income of about 1000 a month how is any of this suppose to be relatively realistic to think I will ever get ahead? If the government doesn’t open its eyes to this problem we are going to be right back where we were with the housing crisis.

  • Lynn

    Borrowed 12k, owe over 36k…work in the nonprofit field trying to build better communities for others, while I am employed I have no health, dental, or vision insurance, can’t afford it…not offered by my employer. My loans were in default as I was unemployed and way underemployed at times, making min. Wage with at times. My bank accounts were frozen, federal returns held, that were never applied to loa balance and wages garnished. Premiere credit was collecting on behalf of department of Ed. And harassed me, left messages on my bosses voicemail about MY loans, they refused to accept a payment plan I could afford, had noted in their file that I refused to work with them to rehab my loan when it was them refusing to work with me. I was finally able to work out a payment plan, when one shark at premiere gave me a rehab offer of $250 a month….this was as low as they could go…so I moved in with my bf…rehabilitated and consolidate my loans but their was one held by the university that they would not include, a 1200 loan now@8K…..this is really the only loan that matters….as I try to get a better paying job, the university won’t release my transcripts as the loan is in default….and I have no means to rehab this separately….when I asked premiere for income contingent plan, they said I was only eligible for standard repayment, when I inquired about loan forgiveness since I work for a nonprofit, they said, I couldn’t be eligible for that until I started repaying my loan. Yea, I’d love to go work for the government, make good money and have health insurance, but can’t verify I went to college…..should have never went. The only reason I needed loans to go was because my parents died when I was 11 and 12…..evil inlays squandered any inheritance due me and the Reagan administration stopped social security support for dependents of deceased parents. I worked three jobs at times to get through college. Nothing to show for it……nothing!

    • Pamela

      sounds awful, I am sorry that happened to you. We have been preyed upon by an evil government system . It really sucks

  • Danielle

    Indeed, we are drowning. Thanks to student loans, bankers have made the primary decisions of our lives: we can’t afford to have children, buy homes, or get married, as we are indebted for life to this predatory system. I could do a number of “dishonorable” things such as racking up a gambling debt, or use my credit card to pay for illicit activities and the government would discharge such debts in bankruptcy court quite easily. But, going to school to become a more well-rounded member of our society is not dischargeable. And this isn’t just happening to 20-year-olds, but to senior citizens who co-signed on loans for their children, to middle-agers who have been working for 20 years to pay, and cannot get ahead due to the pathetic salaries we get paid in America. To individuals who became disabled, and no longer were able to pay on this so called “investment.” We are drowning, and not rising to this challenge fast enough. An absolute disgrace.

  • http://www.clicker.com/tv/morning-joe/-Price-of-Admission-Ameria-s-college-debt-crisis-1255957/ Kyle

    The fact that money is being made on our suffering is so sick. Hopefully part of my story will compel others to come forward and share as well…

    My wages are being garnished. I feel as though I was forced into default. My paperwork has been lost more times than I can count and I suffered a serious injury a couple months before I was to start paying off my $72K of student debt. I have attached a clip of an individual in tears that can barely collect his thoughts from the CNBC documentary, “Price of Admission: The Student Debt Crisis”. That individual is me. I think it’s important for people to see how it really affects young people everyday of their lives. When I wake up, the first thing I think is $72,000. I get on the bus and it’s $72,000. I think that I have to hang on to my job so I can keep my health insurance (since I have a pre-existing injury) and I think $72,000.

    Never once have I said I would not pay back my money, and to this day I intend to pay back my money. My issue has always been with what I view as blatant fraud. The morning I woke up to interview with CNBC, I woke up not to the sound of my alarm clock, but two hours earlier than my alarm was set to got off to the sound of General Revenue Corporation/ Sallie Mae calling me at 5:10 AM. This is a common occurrence. Thank goodness the film crew for CNBC took pictures of the missed calls and the time-stamp on my phone blatantly violating the law. And there’s so much more…

    This is an ethics issue. Why is the Speaker of the House accepting so much money from this company? Why does his daughter work for this company?

  • John Boyd

    The loans I had were at a manageable amount and than it happened. I was unemployed and very transient looking for work and my wife was in here post doctoral stage. The loans were defaulted because they could not locate me. So, instead of owing about $25,000.00 I owe about $98,000.

    • Good luck to you all

      Defaulted loans are quite profitable for studen loan owners….especially the owners of private loans. This is the last bastion of mafia style loan sharing, usury, gouging shysters operating legally in the US. no protection ford students. Hate to say it, but poor Miguel up there has the only answer if you can’t pay …. Just let it go……not good for your credit…….but kinda puts the kabash on the mafia student loan holders. I guess if they ballon up the debt to 4, 5, 10 times the original debt, and the debtor defaults, I guess the govt picks up the tab? So they make out either way?

  • http://avsa.hypermart.net/Muir/updates.shtml Justup247

    Until the Department of Education comes “clean”, tells the truth, and ceases teaching the “lessons” that it is alright to be corrupt, cover up mis deeds by Lil sis “Sallie Mae” and conspire to be a bully with other gov. agencies/departments, we do not have a chance.
    PEOPLE this IS the Leaders of our Education system, the supreme power that approves the teachers, materials and educations of our children, and we allow them to lie with immunity? Cover up misdeeds? Extort money by bullying? Not be accountable to the taxpayers for their behavior while operating “FOR PROFIT”.
    I say: SHAME on you Depart of Ed. SHAME ON YOU! You are the example that you are teaching our children and young people to follow? SHAME, SHAME on you!!!!
    May the powers that be, yank you over their laps, pull down the back of your pants and blister your greedy, self centered, obese ASS! Then wash out your mouth for the lies you tell! May you stand in the corner with a very large dunce hat that reads “I’m a liar, thief and I don’t have any honesty, integrity or self respect”
    Oh btw yes I do have a problem with Depart of Ed..see my website

  • Miguel

    I borrowed almost 240,000 dollars between the ages of 18 and 21. I understand I am responsible for borrowing this money with my grandmother as co-signer, but don’t the student loan companies hold some sort of accountability for having the audacity to lend an 18 year naive student who was desperate to leave home so much money? It’s unethical, irresponsible and downright ridiculous. My loans have increased to almost 300,000 and I’m still unemployed after having been hit by a drunk driver as a State Trooper in Florida. Even public service does not disqualify or forgive private student loans (90 percent of my loans are private). They cannot collect my grandmother’s social security, and they can’t collect anything from me, so at this point I just ignore them and default away. If they want to spend money on a lawsuit to collect nothing, then be my guest. Consumer protections being restored will be the only way I get rid of this debt. Thank you America and American Education Services.

    • Sorry Miguel

      Hate to add to your misery, but they absolutely can take a portion of your grandmother’s social security. It happened to my day with my brother’s loans. A $3000 loan that my brother never told my dad about that had ballooned to $18,000. My brother didn’t have a job, so they were able to garnish $100 per month from his social security check. The only way out of it after a year was to file a law suit against my brother for forgery since he tell my dad about the loan. As you can imagine…it’s just a terrible situation for all involved.

  • Dan

    Something definitely needs to be done (i.e. changing bankruptcy laws) to help those who are in the middle class and went to school (to live the so-called American dream) and who are then swamped with student loan debt (federal and private) because there is absolutely no consumer protection on the books to help us. Chase, I might add, is the worst company I deal with. Despite the fact of me being unemployed and having zero income, I could not even be given a temporary hardship forbearance. They call me 5 times a day and are NASTY to deal with. Why should student loans be “exempt” from bankruptcy? The laws need to change!!!!

    • Sorry Miguel

      Hate to add to your misery, but they absolutely can take a portion of your grandmother’s social security. It happened to my day with my brother’s loans. A $3000 loan that my brother never told my dad about that had ballooned to $18,000. My brother didn’t have a job, so they were able to garnish $100 per month from his social security check. The only way out of it after a year was to file a law suit against my brother for forgery since he tell my dad about the loan. As you can imagine…it’s just a terrible situation for all involved.

  • Alric

    I didn’t finish college with a real degree (I have an associates from one of those for-profit colleges that hand out two-year degrees), but I left my academic career with about $21, 0000 in debt. Today, that debt is $85,000. There’s no way I’ll ever pay it back, as it is impossible. I’ve never made more than $13 an hour, and that was a very brief period. The rest of the time, it’s been about $10 an hour. This amount of debt is inconceivable to me, and there’s no end in sight. I’m now 58 years old. My best earning potential is behind me. Unless this country suddenly gets a conscience, I’ll be dunned for this until I’m literally in my grave.

  • WI Will

    It is a sick system. It really is no different than loan sharking. You take people, poor, lower middle and middle class. Families that live pay check to pay check. You give their kids hope by offering a loan for something they cannot say no to, a chance to maintain a middleclass or better life. In fact it is getting to the point that you have to go to college and beyond to have any real hope of holding your own. Yet, you create a loan system where if something bad happens, and YOU KNOW something bad is going to happen to a solid percentage of them, you rig the system so that their interest, fees, and penalties are so huge, that they have no chance of ever paying the principle back in their life time. Wa la, you have created a whole class of people to just keep hammering for money – is that not something out of a bad mafia movie. The guy gets a small loan but then the interest is so high the loan never abates for the rest of his life?

    Without consumer protections like bankruptcy there is no incentive for the lenders, government or private to negotiate a far deal when the person tries to get back on their feet. This is not how things are suppose to work in our great country.

  • Mark

    After graduating in 2006, I found a great job for $50k and was able to afford to pay my $800 per month on student loans, but 2 years later, was laid off due to crappy economic condition, never fully recovered from the lay off, lost all my life savings up to this point and had no way to pay my student loans. I did everything I could at this time, deferments, forbearances just to avoid default, also been trying to find a job with no success for almost 2 years. Right now, my student loans have ballooned to almost $200k from $103k, they are calling me and my cosigner 10 times a day demanding full payment. I am very depressed and I don’t see anyway of exiting this hell, I am a slave to AES and Sallie and so is my poor cosigner who is also depressed and afraid that they will throw him outside and reposses his house just to pay for my student loans that he has cosigned. Something has to be done or students will rise and overthrow those in power, it is very depressing to live in ever growing debt, nobody will stay silent anymore, people are desperate and can do anything, I hope that somebody in government better listen to these stories.

    • http://Studentloanjustice.org Jason

      Amen Mark. Thank you for your story.

  • Doug H

    I was turned down for Voc Rehab even though I was qualified for assistance. I ended up having to borrow money for school. My new career required a Ph.D. as a terminal degree. I borrowed $135K and cannot find a job that will allow me even to make a payment; thus, interest has been compounded and I now owe over $200K. I’m not in default, and I’m one of the lucky ones so far; but there is no hope of retirement or ever achieving financial security unless I can sell some of my writing for a windfall. It’s a rigged system, especially when one realized that many countries subsidize citizens’ educations.

  • Donna

    I never worked before or during college and yet I got (student based) student loans, not plus loans (parent based). I shouldn’t have gotten the loans in the first place, since I had no job or credit history. No one ever explained student loans to me or alternative ways to pay for my education. I had no idea of what I was getting into.

    I originally borrowed $38,000 and consolidated with Sallie Mae back in 1996 at 8.5% interest. Due to health problems, under-employment, father dying and now unemployment the balance has ballooned up to $142,000. They are charging interest on the accrued interest, not just the principal amount. For $142,000 I could have gone to Harvard, not just the state university that I attended. My degree is worthless to me now, because I can’t find a job in my chosen field.

  • RJ LeGrow

    189,000.00 for Undergrad and law school. 1,500.00 per month and the best job I’ve been offered? 34,500.00 thats thirty four thousand five hundred dollars per year.

    Should have invested the 189k in to a bar. WOuld have at least been happy.

    Thanks Obama for at least allowing people who HAVE existing loans to get forgiveness.


    • aahliyah2000

      wtf does Obama have to do with YOUR stupid loans?

      Ask your republican friends WHY they went to bat for the student loan not to be discharged in bankruptcies?……smfh

      • Deanna

        republicans went to bat so they could make more money and take their 2 times a year vacations with their families out on their 50 foot yachts in the bahamas!

  • Barb Dawson

    I will try to make this short. I graduated 11 years ago from a Community College with a 2 year degree. $7,000 in Federally subsidized student loans. I couldn’t find a job. During my first year. I was late with a payment and offered a deferment. Took it. Got a job. Made payments. Lost job. Missed 2 payments and was put into default. For the last 10 years since then I have made every payment and paid over the amount due. I have paid over $12,000 and according to my records was done. However I received another payment book. When I called Great Lakes they said they “discovered” another loan I had. When I emailed, called, handwrote Great Lakes and asked them to send me copies of my original Fed. Student Loan papers they sent me my payment history which I have already. I called Gateway Tech. College (my school), and asked for copies of my Federal Student Loans and they told me they don’t keep that information. I have no idea what I owe, and no one will tell me they just blow me off. I have no rights, no way to make them show me what I owe. It is endless…

    • If you want them to pay attention to you, you have to sue them of course. I’ve dealt with many collection agencies. None of them will communicate with you other than saying, “You owe me because I say so”, UNLESS you sue them.

      Request them to send you your signed contract that shows a different account number that you have paid already. If they don’t then probably they don’t have it. If they touch your credit record without providing you with any proof of the loan, then sue them.

      And don’t be afraid to go to court. There are thousands of people like you there everyday. Nothing to be scared or shameful.

  • jennifer

    Its been a very painful 20 years with the way things are right now. There is no way out of this debt . The whole sysytem sets you up for faliure. It’s a crime. I feel like Im the one who is being STOLE from. 20,000 paid back borrowed 16,000 and still owe like 40,000 CRAZY!!!

  • Ron

    The student loan system is a rip-off. Student loans should absolutely be dischargable in bankruptcy just like other consumer debt. The government and private lenders have created a class of life-long debtors who can never pay off the loans, while interest continues to increase exponentioally, even during the so-called “deferments”.

    What a scam. While schools continue to increase tuition and fees, the student loan system gives students the idea that they can pay these inflated charges, by fooling them into believing they can earn more than enough to cover it. This is fraud, pure and simple.

  • Sandra

    Oh Yes….THIS will be a huge Bubble/Problem Next – No DOUBT about it!

  • MH

    Im so glad this is come to light. Im middle aged, a recent graduate with a huge student loan debt that has gone to default. I owe over $95K in private and over $17K in federal along with $60 in credit card debt. I had to take a underpaid job after college when nothing else was available. I was force to give up my apt and live with a roommate I barely knew. Because I made so little in wages, I filed bankruptcy. I recently got a threatening garnishment letter from my private loan lender who sent it to a collector. Now I’m losing my job and have no prospects for another. I have never owned a house or anything and probably never will. Ive had many sleepless nights wondering if I will ever get out of this. My dream and so-called art school degree is worthless. I pray I dont take my life soon.

    • WM

      I sincerely hope you are not feeling so hopeless now. But I do understand; this oppressive student loan debt, combined with 2 decades of poor employment prospects and stagnant wages can be too much to bear, especially alone.

      Our government is continually claiming to value education, but that is a blatant lie. They penalize those of us who are intelligent enough to be accepted to(and graduate from) accredited colleges, but are from middle class families, who could not pay out of pocket and weren’t “poor enough” to qualify for government subsidies. Maybe if the government showed they actually valued higher education, by not keeping student loan debt the most oppressive type of debt available, then society as a whole would value education. This would trickle down to school children seeing that it is beneficial to go to college, which many do not now. Until children see most educated citizens, not just lawyers and plastic surgeons, succeeding and earning viable incomes, they will not value their free public education.

  • Antoni

    They are making money of student debts in a way that they are making people go in debt forever. They need to give the option of forgiveness or otherwise this is going to be worst because we cant consume due to the debts

  • ART

    my original loan was 15K, now its up to 45K!. I’ve been sending letters to get an explanation, But as expected, i have not received any response! I feel like i’m dealing with Loan Sharks!

    • Good luck to you all

      You are. Here is how I got out from under the shysters, and now have almost paid these suckers off – I severed the private loan amounts from the federally subsidized loans. Then I did a reconsolidation of the subsidized federal loans only. I paid off the private ones on. Y own. The one reconsolidated fed subsidized one, any forbearance or deferment -the interest was subsidized by the government – so the principle did not keep doubling and dbling. Then I refinanced the fed subsidized for a lower interest rate when the rates dropped – I got a 4.25 rate. I go another .25 percent off the 4.25 rate for signing up for auto draft – which I set up a separate bank account for – the draft was about $335.00 a month. Then every tax return I got every year, I dropped the entire amount on the loan balance. Only thing I had going for me was a steady, stable job that I almost was sure not to lose. I got it down to under 10,000 now – expect to be able to finish it off with my upcoming tax refund. Good luck to you all. I could not have done this w/o a steady job and without the reconsolidation of all fed loans only, which that new loan was federally subsidized. Good luck to you all.

  • Cameron

    Sadly, seeing this helps me to understand how SallieMae was able to buy off congress and strip away both consumer bankruptcy protections and statutes of limitations for private student loans in the 90’s. It looks like it’s because both SallieMae and the government are making enormous profits from students trying to achieve the American dream, but instead defaulting on loans sometimes exceeding six-figures and forcing the co-signing parents to lose their homes during the worst job market since the great depression. Even with two years of absolute power, the democrats failed to restore consumer bankruptcy protections with HR 5043. Hopefully not, but this may be for the same reason. Please copy and send this article to your congressional representatives and Senators immediately, and demand the consumer bankruptcy protections be restored to student loans immediately. Having young graduates live their lives as indentured servants in this country is not acceptable. http://www.congress.org

  • Rita M.

    My original loans that were supposed to be paid in my divorce. I was a single mother of three small children. Long story shirt, $32,500 in student loans that went into default are now 150,000 and wages are garnished and interest still accruing. I am 56 and understand that my Social Security will be taken. There is no hope.

    • John

      Us older folks should look at other options. Think I will start a community overseas for people like us. I make a good living now, but will never be able to pay back a quarter million. I’m serious about this. We could have a nice life and make a decent living to enjoy this life as ex-patriots. It’s only getting worse here, and being Chinese or some nice beach resort in Vietnam may be a better option. Hell, theAsians have all our money anyway, and consider student loans a human rights issue (ironic, I know)

  • DDG

    My origional loan amount was $40,000. Ten years later and after having paid about $40,000 I owe about $80,000 because my wife was ill for 3 years and I had to defer. I was told that they wouldn’t even look into a hardship case until all of my deferments are gone. Now my wife is better and I owe $80,000 and can’t pay it. When will the government and other wake up and realize that the system is broken. If banks loan money to make a profit (government backed or not) they assume a certain amount of risk via bankruptcy protections, or they should in the case of student loans, just like all other debt.

    • Bob Big Arms Ronzio

      whah ha ha How does a college graduate not understand a loan document. In my neighboorhood I used to break legs with my big arms if the vig wasnt made on time. perhaps uncle sam needs to hire me as a leg breaker. I will get you to pay.

  • Chloe

    This is a great article. My grandfather said he would pay my loans and I was not worried. Now he died and he did not have money for my loans and I did a forbearance for to years. I just got the new numbers from SallieMae and the interest is about as much as a year of college.. I can not find a job, and I can not pay $1400 a month for the rest of my life. I am desperate and see no way out. I am reaching out for help.

  • Scott

    This is disgusting. I guarantee that the issue of student loan debt will be on par with the subprime mortgage crisis. Thank you for helping bring this to light, Alan. The entire country is going to get another kick in the nuts when the ugly reality of this situation can no longer be ignored.

  • Ross

    A top bankruptcy attorney told me that student loans are the worst loans to get. He indicated that I would have been better off getting ten credit cards and maxing them out to pay for my college education. I’m 59 years old and went back to school after losing my job in 2003. I thought increasing my skills and marketability by getting a Master’s Degree was a wiser decision over collecting unemployment. IT WAS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE I”VE MADE IN MY LIFE!!! I received my degree and was making all my $1000+ monthly Sallie Mae payments. Then I lost my job and have been diagnosed with a rare debilitating disease. My loans are in default and have skyrocketed. The bankruptcy attorney won’t even accept the case because it’s student loans and he won’t waste my money trying, until the laws change. I’ve had excellent credit all my life, and now my credit rating is ruined, and there’s no way out. There should be a national movement to BOYCOTT STUDENT LOANS!!! And maybe our banks and other financial institutions will begin to offer students college loans that include consumer protections, in the event that some unforeseeable crisis prevents you from repaying.

    • Bob Big Arms Ronzio

      The crying on hear makes me want to vomit. i hope you get hired at my company so that I can fire you. I run a 10 man team and have fired 40 people in the last 15 months and management loves me. my job is secure and I love firing college grads. It makes me feel big like my arms.

  • Frank Crow

    So what is this article saying? The claims made by StudentLoanJustice.org are only “jaw-dropping” if you are still so naive that you won’t let yourself believe that people actually do make major money on the misery of others.

    The government stands to lose nothing on these student loan deals. There’s no consumer protections. Simple as that. So conversely they stand everything to gain. They are in a win-win situation.

    Seeing as this article provides no evidence, or even suggestions to the contrary, it appears as though it is actually in support of Mr. Collinge’s claims. Albeit in a rather round-about way.

    Remove the words “Jaw dropping” and the article becomes in support of the referenced WSJ story and StudentLoanJustice.org claims. Perhaps Ms. Torabi is very new at this?

    • http://avsa.hypermart.net/Muir/updates.shtml Justup247

      What is “jaw dropping” is that from the 1990’s when Depart of Ed “bought out” HEAF the biggest “guarantor” of student loans (that was going under) and allowed Sallie Mae to “administer” those accounts for three years (who was submitting fraudulent loans to HEAF for payment), the Depart of Ed has INTENDED and STATED that they would recover all of their costs at 100% plus more! Depart of ED paid HEAF 100% of the value of defaulted student loans at that time, when they only owed 80-90% of their value. This is all documented at ERIC “worlds largest digital library of education literature”. Since I can NOT post the link here, do a search of ERIC, its a ED gov website… Search HEAF and Sallie Mae and it will bring up several senate investigations and studies… the information is within those files…
      So, yes the ripping off of students was well planned from 1990.. when Depart of ed chose to become a “for profit” at taxpayers and students expense…
      Our education system is a miserable failure because Depart of Ed chose to devote its time, resources and energy into making money from students, instead of doing its job of providing a quality education to those that sought one….

  • Rhonda Page

    I have two children with over $100,000 of private loans each. My husband and I fully inteneded to pay these loans, and we have now both been unemployed for 3 years. We are 60. My son deferred his loan for two years, and we come to find out that he had another $30,000 in interest added to his loan. This is another year of college. One is working and making $35k a year, the other is an unemployed graphic designer doing freelance work. My daughter has a strong work ethic, and works 78-80 hour weeks. When she is not working she is clinically depressed because she does not have a penny left over. My sons loans are due, and he he has no money. The future that had been so carefully planned is gone, and they are despondent. Ii feel like I have ruined their lives and failed them, and think about it all the time. At least let students pay10%n of their income like the federal loans. I think that not only do they not have equal protection under the law, but they are being discriminated against. I spoke to my son last night and he is hopeless, and I had to ask him if he was suicidal. He feels no matter how hard he will work, this will never go away. We were not informed, and loans were predatory, just like the housing crisis. Our legislators care more about tax deductions for the rich, then taking care of the generation that is out of college and just starting out.
    Our family is stressed to the limit, and this is destroying us.

  • JFB

    Correcting the corrupt student loan process is going to take time. I urge everyone to write your Congresspersons, (handwritten letters), support groups on the internet that are involved with bringing this issue to the media, to the forefront, and never give up on the rights of citizens to be heard. Write to President Obama, and Arne Duncan, and all your congresspersons in the state you reside. Request a response. Let your Representative know about the groups that are gleaning hundreds of thousands of persons like yourself in debt or once abused by the corrupt lenders and lending process, including the Dept. of Education. It is vital to work diligently with groups and others as one individual can do very little due ot the nature of the political process in this country. Bailouts belong to the American people who have been swindled, manipulated and abused by the corrupt lending practices of the Sally-Maes and Freddy Macs. The government of We the People has betrayed our trust and we must let our representatives know that we realize what has happened and we will vote them out at the poles!

    • biddie

      I have written to Arnie Duncan numerous times – he has this cold hearted woman respond – her name is Brown- she does not even read my letters but states I should have read the laws at the library pertaining to student loans I had no right to any disclosurs- and she quotes the laws- I voted for Obama he does not give a damn about the hard working honest people obviously-

    • Sharie

      This is not the only problem that is being faced by those who owe student loans! Those of us who are trying to get our loans out of default are currently still sitting in default despite having completed the loan rehabilitation program. Since October of 2011 no one who has completed the rehabilitation program has been moved out of default status! for over 6 months they have been telling us that they are upgrading the system and it should be done next month. this is said every month! So even when you do try to repay your loans you are still screwed.

  • http://groups.google.com/group/student-loan-justice-california Cindy Warner, Student Loan Justice California

    For help with your student loans, find resources at


  • http://groups.google.com/group/student-loan-justice-california Cindy Warner, Student Loan Justice California

    The Department of Justice fought me energetically for eight months in an adversary proceeding, trying to collect on thirty year old loans that I had a bill dispute over back in 1985. My loans totalled $44 thousand and they now want $124,000. I am 51 and single and unemployed or virtually unpaid. I was in the article entitled Top Ramen for Life–The Student Loan Crisis. East Bay Express, November 2010 by Charlie Mintz.

    The loan program I was in was discontinued and the USDoE itself sent me a notice saying I should apply for discharges. They then denied or reneged on the discharges. This is the Federal Family Education Loan program, which includes SLS loans. Ask for the forms for what they call a discharge based on false certification of ability to benefit. Bureaucratic jargon yes but the form is at 50 Beale Street, San Francisco at the discharge office. Yes there is a discharge office.

    • Steve

      I,d like to know more about this “discharge office”.

    • Where’sRepublic

      Oh my sounds just like my case. Is there a class action lawsuit against the Department of Justice, yet?

      My doctor submitted discharge request corrections until he told me he didn’t want anything else to do with the government on this issue. One correction was the date of when I got sick didn’t fit there tricky system or something. Second, they had to have a full explanation which they got. Third, they didn’t like how my doctor wrote his name. Fourth, they allowed my doctor’s license to elapse to require addition submission.

      Currently, the DofEd take my $250 refund or rebates on my Social Security if I put it for it via taxes. I do not accept this debt, what is the recourse to this slavery abusive activity.

      Wake up Americans!

      China’s Ant Tribe (will they take your job?? think?? via the each State Free Trade ZONES???)

    • Diane Riley

      The DOE has a discharge office, but I don’t think that anyone works in this department that has a college degree with any compassion for anyone. I applied for a discharge on my remaining student loan from graduate studies. I seemed to “fit” with their specification to apply for a student loan discharge so I did so. My reason was a health disability due to a chronic illness that affects my ability to work more than twenty hours a week. My application was denied with no reason given in the letter that this department sent me. Eventually, DOE sent me a letter requesting a re-evaluation of my loan and repayment plan. They proposed three different plans, which were unattainable for me with limited income. I proposed an alternative monthly payment amount. It was accepted after negotiating with them in writing for several months. Meanwhile, the interest on the loan kept going up. My feelings about this is that DOE needs to accept any amount of monies that a person can pay at any given time, and consider forgiving the remaining loan amount balance after 10 or 15 years.
      This is not only a fair practice, but one that can be expanded beyond their current criteria. I say that military, civilian government workers for the military and other service agencies, and those who are legally disabled be forgiven for their school loans after a certain period of time of 10-15 years! That’s reasonable!

  • Dustin

    Its a shame that in this country our own govnt is againts us…..wow alan u must have your hands full…think about it where do you run for help….can’t rjun to the highest power they are the profiting from all this…I wonder how far the line this is happening and who all the people /companies that are makibg money watching peoples life fall apart over this. I just did some research and found that they can even take the money from your saving account w/o a court order…..so screw if they have a family to feed…this country does not have long to survive…the ethics and morals are all but gone

  • Steve

    I’m retired, and I still owe money on student loans. I originally borrowed about $20,000.00. I paid back half of that over the years. But now the Dept. of Education says that I owe $44,000.00. What a travesty. Half was paid off and I owe twice the original amount, and I can’t bankrupt it?? Yes, I recently declared bankruptcy. What can I do?

    • Michae l

      How is it your retired? I assume that you must have done fairly well as a college graduate. Did you not learn the meaning of dept. You spent a lifetime working and only paid half you dept back. This is precisely Americas problem and the problem with those who feel they are entitled to let everything slide including their responsibility.
      I do not know your situation, but since your retired I will assume you never felt the need to pay back your loan. Maybe you should have made that your first priority.
      I’ve lost 100,000s dollars to this government. Money I worked a lifetime to save just to have it given away to Union workers and allowing bond holder to carry the burden of a government ripe with power. Pay you dept…..I seem to be paying everyone else’s.

      • Roger

        It’s ‘debt’ – I’m surprised you have earned over $100,000 grand without knowing that…Interest accrues on these accounts as well; I’m certain the individual tried paying back the loans reasonably, but rates are horrible…

        As a ‘self-made’ trapped individual involved in my own student-loan mess…I pay upwards of $900/month on my education…

        There are tons of individuals who will still retire, who will still have this burden: it’s getting worse for the younger generation as well…

        You talk of ‘individuals feeling they are entitled to everything’ – you’re wrong on that statement: we want dreams…As well, when the ‘big guns’ have a profit going on with this, you should also be reminded that THEY have a responsibility to humanity…This is an epidemic my friend…

      • http://student-loan-truth.blogspot.com/ Ben

        Michael, how is it you have lost $100,000 to the government that you worked a lifetime to save.

        Are you aware that UNION WORKERS don’t get money from the government? They get paid by their employers. Sometimes those employers are managed poorly and the government steps in (GM for example) or banks get robed by the sr management and need to bailed out. but none of this is UNION WORKERS getting GOVERNMENT MONEY.

        If you have paid $100,000’s in taxes then you have earned 10’s of millions in income and I applaud you on your financial success. Perhaps you would be willing to share some of specifics on how more americans could share in your prosperity and be in a in a better position to repay their financial obligations. Infact, I’m willing to donate 50% after taxes of anything I can earn from this knowledge to helping others better their financial position.

      • John

        People who denigrate those in troble with student loan debt are ignorant of the situation. I pay taxes too, plus $1895.00 a month on an education that cost 130,000. The rest is interest making it 253,000. Now, I have paid $48,000 in interest the first two years of my debt and still owe the same amount. I WANT to pay it back, but at 52 will never be able to do so. Tell how if you are so smart. I will be homeless and more likely my best bet for any freedom is to leave the country. I served 14 years in the military and do not get a dime for education or disability. I don’t need bankrupcy rights, though I think the removal of them is criminal. I just like to refinance my loan, another right they removed. Student loans in this country is the biggest scam and when they can take someones disability money who was injured and can’t pay back thier loan, you should realize it’s a problem. I will continue to pay my loan, but I see no light at the end and only darkness. I’d rather live in a country that is considered 3rd world, then to stay here and be on welfare (course they would take that too, or just deny it)

      • Pamela

        you are not following the argument properly. these people are borrowing small sums, then getting balloon payments asked of them, like 500 a month or more, with smaller payments being refused ( I tried to pay what I could they refused it) then the default occurs, then then the interest is added to the principal, which causes the whole thing to spiral out of proportion. I borrowed, 12,000. I paid on it two years. I defaulted because my income reduced and they refused a smaller payment. Then the whole thing turned into being considered debt, interest, so the interest accrued interest, get it? I now owe 88,000 dollars. Tell me how that happened, friend. Shysters, that’s how

        • Michele In Wyoming

          EXACTLY !!!!! I borrowed less then 10,000 and paid…and paid…and paid. it was bought from one loan place to another and another and another. I continued to send payments to original lender for 6 months before I knew it was bought from a lender out of state. All of a sudden -no one had any consistent record of payment so I could even half-heartily try to figure out what was going on. All refused my request for one consistent payment record from each new lender so i could see who got what. Gen Rev took it over…began calling me and threatening me at my workplace daily…

          NOW here is the kicker…I borrowed this money off a Staff loan and another small finance amount loan in 1997…I still owe more then $3,000 after all this time and the more I push to get records and try to get it all sorted out…(even one consistent answer or copies of my recorded conversations that Gen Rev Corp keeps to prove all the different things they told me (which they refused) the larger my amount increased due to them.
          I threats became more extreme and they informed me they were not liable to give me any copies of any loan paperwork from my file even though I had requested it in writing to all parties including USA Funds.
          I bet i have paid them triple what I borrowed and triple the interest just because I have pushed the issue of accountability with all of them. They don’t care if they ruin your credit, threaten you at work even though you are paying what you agreed to…IT’S AWFUL!!!!!

        • Bonnie

          Exactly- I borrowed 34,00-defaulted, HEAF added 10,000 to principal. At 10% interest it compounds every month-I have paid back in monthly amounts I can afford- Have always been willing to pay, but the collection agencies would never agree to any amount i COULD AFFORD. Finally got on a schedule of what I could afford, according to DOE, in 2009-90.00 per month. Now, DOE (Default Resolution Group) has decided to bill me at 1,200.00 per month-FOR NO REASON-and my income has gone DOWN since DOE originally determined I could only afford 90.00 per month. DRG completely ignored my pay stubs, tax returns and bills-(claimed cancelled checks were not proof of expenses). I now owe 120,000.00 due to compounding interest. There is no way out except to drop out, move to another country, or jumpoff a cliff!

      • TT

        I am always amazed when wealthy people accuse poor people of being opportunistic or when they accuse poor people of having a sense of entitlement. When you are rich you have no concept of what it is like to live pay check to pay check, or how difficult it is to lose your job and continue to put a roof over your head, put food on the table, or acquire the basic necessities. The rich don’t understand that when you are poor you have very little if any extra money to put into an emergency fund or a savings account, and if life happens to throw you a curve ball such as an accident, illness, divorce, or the death of a spouse that you have to decide what bills you are going to pay. The rich do not understand that if your parents didn’t earn enough money to save for your college education that a student loan may be the only way that you can go to college, and that even though you have the best intentions of paying your loan back, things can happen that prevent you from doing so. Sense of entitlement, really? If you are poor you usually live in crime ridden neighborhoods in substandard housing. You usually take a bus or public transportation because you cannot afford a car. You cannot afford health insurance or health care. And you certainly cannot afford to go to college with out financial aid. The poor cannot drop $10K on a birthday present or walk into a store in Beverly Hills and purchase an $800 pair of shoes, or live in a million dollar pent house. So, don’t talk to me about sense of entitlement. I think that it is a disgrace that the rich see the poor as opportunistic, lazy, or lacking motivation when most of them were born with a silver spoon in their mouth. How many houses does one person need? You can only live in one at a time. How many Porches, Bentley’s or BMW’s do you need? You can only drive one at a time. If you have made it in life that’s great, but you should all consider paying it forward.

        • RO

          well said!

      • LUIS

        Michael, do you think many of us have 100K around to give? If you lost 100K is because you make a lot more than us. It is probably peanuts for you what you would have to pay for a private student loan.

      • jellobiafra

        Pssst…hey Michael – interest compounded daily, all consumer protections removed, variable repayment rates that can be bumped up at any time, loans that can be sold and repackaged by other lenders – perhaps you should pay attention to what is going on in our increasingly fascistic country and stop ripping strangers new ones. They already have a giant pain in the a** in the form of our lawless government. Therapy would help that rage problem.

        • Michele In Wyoming

          EXACTLY- RIGHT ON THE “MONEY”- pun intended – and they don’t tell you if you do all that’s asked -they will still sell you out and ruin your life because they can. And “we” peons do not have the money to fight them

      • Sheree

        How DARE you assume such a thing??? I am 50 years old. I went to cosmetology school when I was in my early 20’s. The education that I received was not good enough for me to obtain a job anywhere. The test to get a cosmetology license after schooling is strictly a written test. I had none of the technical skills that were needed. The school was ripping people off, conning them into signing up for loans and taking their money. After years of low paying jobs, I finally started to move up the ladder within a company and started to make (minimal) payments. Soon after that the company closed and I was back to square one. I’m now 50 years old and working for $8.25 per hour because it’s the only job I can find. So please Micheal, tell me how you think that I’m so entitled, and tell me with what part of my $8.25 an hour I’m supposed to pay this debt with. I can’t even buy food half the time.

  • Amy

    Thank you for accurately printing the information. It’s frustrating to see this issue minimalized in the media. People are literally taking their own lives to get out from under this crushing debt. All we’ve ever dreamed of was a better life through education. What we’ve ended up with is debtor’s prison and a virtually worthless degree.

    • Patricia

      I strongly agree with this.

      • Mike

        I strongly AGREE with it. Saddled with debt that can’t be paid off in a lifetime.

  • Frank

    Profiteering is worse on the private student loans. After a default they double or even triple the amount owed through higher interest rates, fines, and fees. The companies offer no option to rehabilitate the loan or even to resume monthly payments. Consumer protections’ having been stripped away from these loans leaves the borrower with no leverage to negotiate a fair amount or decent terms of repayment.

    • Patricia


      • josie Taylor

        However, since it is a Private Loan and in default, the guarantor must sue the borrower in a timely fashion to get the money back. Unlike a Public Loan from the US Dept of Ed (which never would expire on a default), if the Private Loan Gurantor does not sue and collect withing a proscribed time, they can no longer collect from the defaulted borrower (unless, it says differently in your own States Statutes.

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