How It Feels to Pay Off $70,000 in Debt

By the time I finished my master’s degree in 2011, that "nonissue" undergrad loan had grown to $20,000, and I had $50,000 of brand-new debt to pile on top of it. This felt like a real, burdensome amount of money that I owed now. My first bill informed me that I was saddled with minimum monthly payments of roughly $700 for the next 10 years, with an astoundingly high portion going to interest.

President Obama to Students: Be Smart, Not Cynical

President Barack Obama joined David Karp, the founder of Tumblr, for a live chat about student debt Tuesday. One-third of Americans who applied for an educational loan this year also have a Tumblr account, said Karp, who fielded questions about educational costs submitted by Tumblr users. Here’s what POTUS had to say to today’s students.

My student debt was manageable, unlike yours.

Obama said that when he graduated with an undergraduate degree he was able to pay off his student loan debt in a year with a job that wasn’t particularly high paying. But today student loan balances average about $30,000.

Interview With a Person Who Paid Off $48,000 in Student Loans in Four Years

Marnie Gallowy! The Internets told me that last week—eight years after you graduated from our ol' alma mater—that you paid off the last of your $48,000 in student loan debt. IS THAT TRUE? Are you a wizard?

Making Extra Student Loan Payments So You Pay Down That Principal

It seems like the best thing to do would be to try to apply any extra payments towards the principal of the 9% interest rate loan before moving on to the other two lower interest loans. So, is this possible and if so, how do I do this? — J.

Spending Three Years in College, Rather Than Four, to Save Money

Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is now the president at Purdue University, and rather than raise tuition to make up for state cuts on college funding and rising administrative costs, he's frozen tuition for the first time in 36 years and looking for ways to save (it should be noted that as governor, Daniels cut millions in state higher education funding, so he knows that to keep tuition from rising, he'll have to find savings from the inside). Daniels has started by cutting the cost of student food by 10 percent and consolidating administrative jobs, but according to the Wall Street Journal, Daniels is also considering what students actually get out of college and encouraging departments to devise a program where students can graduate within three years, instead of four.

A Father-Daughter Duo Answers Your Questions: How Generous Can a Medical Student in Debt Be?

My question is this: how do I approach donating money to good causes (friends' marathons, NPR fund drives, projects for teacher friends, etc.) when it feels like my money is not my own? Part of me feels like it's unwise to donate even small amounts of money with such hefty interest rates, but it's certainly not as if I don't spend that money on every other type of purchase (everything from books and gas to happy hour and birthday dinners).

Perhaps My Nightmare Experiences With My Student Loan Servicer Will Finally End

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced recently that it would begin to supervise the seven largest "nonbank student loan servicers." I’m pretty sure I’m not the only student loan borrower who yelled "finally!" at her radio when the announcement was made.

The Lawyer-to-Be (A Poem)

 

Teachers make no money, And for “causes” I lack passion. I simply am too risk-averse For media or fashion. I thought I’d be a doctor, But I failed organic chem. When my friends went off to law school, I thought, “Why don’t I join them? Here is a profession Where you go to school and then You have employment guaranteed Once at the other end.” And so I’ve spent three lengthy years With Latin words and torts, Amassing debt and studying To one day work in courts. But now—thank you, economy— I’m temping and in debt. There’s lots of us and too few jobs, And I’m left with regret.

 

Emma D. Miller vandalized lockers with rhyming poems in high school. Now she works at a film festival in Durham, NC. She tweets mostly about documentaries.

An Accident Paid Off My MFA Debt

Just over a month before I entered the graduate writing program at The New School I was struck by a car as I stepped into a crosswalk on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Along with minor abrasions, my left ear was mangled beyond repair, and as I faced a handful of surgeries in the months and years ahead, I worried how these might affect my expensive education.  I would plan each surgery around a break from school so that I could miss the least number of classes possible. At the time this was how I connected grad school to my accident, along with the knowledge that I would have to get the hell over it; I had an M.F.A. dream to fulfill.

The Student Debt Crisis, State-By-State

Generation Progress (formerly Campus Progress) is putting together state-by-state factsheets about the student debt crisis. They've done six states so far, including California, where I went as an undergrad. State and local funding dropped by 25.4 percent in the U.C. system in the last decade, and in-state tuition has now skyrocketed by 114 percent, according to data from the College Board.