Get Started By Telling Your Student Debt Story

Yes, they are private loans through Navient. They were sure to hammer my credit for a decade before offering it!

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Hi, my name is Ches. Graduated college in 2012 and currently have about $55k in student loan debt and over $6k in credit card debt. My wife has over $65k in student loan debt as well. We live paycheck to paycheck. I don’t even make $30k a year. I defaulted on my loans because they stopped letting me defer. I leave my phone on do not disturb because debt collectors won’t leave me alone despite me telling them I literally have no money to spare after paying bills. My car got repossessed because of my financial situation. The government began to garnish my wages. I’m severely depressed and believe a fair bit of it is due to my financial problems and feeling as if there’s no way out. I’ve even tried killing myself because I saw no way out, but that just ended in hospital bills. I’m probably going to die with student loan debt.

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Hi Chelsey. Thank you for writing and sharing your story. Very sorry this is happening to you. We are organizing here to win debt cancellation.

I wanted to mention that our organizing team can try to work with you to stop the garnishment you are experiencing. We have a garnishment dispute tool on our DISPUTES page. Check it out. Using the tool will put you in touch with an organizer.

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Hi there,
If you want to have a call and discuss your situation. I would be happy to help you as much as I can.

Here is a link to the dispute tool Ann mentioned.
https://tools.debtcollective.org/wage-garnishment-dispute

My name is James. Together, my partner and I took out about $175,000 in loans to pay for our graduate and undergraduate programs. With a price tag like that, you might assume at least one of us works in a profitable industry. Unfortunately, no. I am a teacher and she is a librarian. To date, we have paid $178,662.19. I am 33 years old. No house. No children. My life savings is $3,220.90. I do not have anything for retirement, and we still owe $76,213.91.

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I don’t see a way out.

I am not looking for debt-cancellation; I am just looking for some kind of hope.

I recognize that I made some poor decisions, and that those played a role in why I find myself in my current indebted situation.

I wrongly thought (if I thought at all) that it would be relatively easy for me to pay back student loans.

I wrongly thought that having university degrees would make it easier for me to find a stable job with decent pay and benefits.

I wrongly thought that I would be able to escape the intense financial hardships of my childhood with education.

I wrongly thought that I could free myself from the fetters of poverty if I could just free my mind from the psychological limits it imposes and that I could do so by following my intellectual and creative desires instead of dollar signs.

I wrongly thought that pursuing a career path in a field for which I had deep passion and interest would help carry me through and past difficult times, and that I would ultimately find myself in a better place.

I wrongly thought that moving from a very conservative, rural area to a large metropolitan area in search of greater opportunity and creative and intellectual stimulation, not to mention greater freedom to be who I am and freer from the threat of violence and humiliation, was not the solution it promised to be as it is far more expensive.

I see that those misconceptions among many others are part of why I have a huge debt now, and that as everything, I must live with the consequences of my decisions.

I also see that my debt has more than doubled since I finished graduate school due to the high interest rates of my loans.

I also see that my debt increases each year because interest capitalizes and compounds because I don’t make enough money even to pay just the interest on the loan.

I also see that unlike other debt, I cannot discharge it anymore due to laws passed by Congress more than 20 years ago.

I also see that I cannot re-finance my loans to a lower interest rate if I want the meager protections the government provides.

I also see that if I wait out the entire loan term that although the remaining balance will indeed be discharged, that it will nonetheless therefore be counted as income for which I will be responsible for income tax; and that I will have to enter into some sort of payment plan even more harsh than the current one.

I also see that if I make it through to the end of my loan term that I will be a senior citizen in retirement without a pension or savings and over 1 million dollars in debt.

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We built this platform to join together with others and build power to challenge creditors and change the current reality/dynamics. Do your friends have a similar experience to yours? Will you ask them to join this platform so we can begin to coordinate a campaign for full debt cancellation and tuition free edu? We have power in numbers and there are masses of people experiencing what you’ve just described. We need to build a robust debt resistance campaign. We are getting ready to launch this effort and each new person who joins tilts the balance in our favor.

I am here for the organizing. What do we need to do? How many people?

I am +50K in debt doing the pay-as-you-earn option on federal student loans. My debt is increasing because the monthly payments that were calculated based on my income are not covering the interests, but I won’t put a penny more. I am hoping to get the debt cancelled after 120 payments as I work for a non-profit, but see that only 3% of people that qualify for this option get their debt cancelled.

I am here because I heard Astra talk on the Intercept podcast and believe in collective bargaining. I can bring more folks, but it would be good to know what we can do.

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Hi there,
I would suggest you begin here.

Find your state, district…and post there to see if there are members in your area. We need to pressure local representative to support the College for All Legislation that will wipe out all 1.6+ Trillion in student debt.

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Hi Astrid, Welcome! We’re so glad you’re here. As @Dawn_L mentioned a good way to get started is to contact your rep if you haven’t already. We are also going to launch a strike campaign here soon, so stay tuned for that. It’s important we be bring as many people onto this platform to help push Bernie Sanders’s bill which would cancel ALL student debt. Can you help by encouraging people you know to join?

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Thanks, Dawn! I just did.

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I am in a very similar boat! I have just over 200k in federal loans. I am literally going crazy from all of this and seeking a mental health discharge–although this really won’t do much as my husband co-signed on my Grad PLUS loans. I am beyond stuck and am disgusted with it.

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Hello everyone,

I have $5,501.91 worth of student debt from Sallie Mae a private bank. I had to collect this debt to complete my graduate school as the international rates in my home country more than doubled during my program. I have been stuck with this debt for over a year now since graduating in Spring 2018.
Can anyone share their story or offer any advice on how to reduce or possibly clear student debt from Sallie Mae. The interest rates are very high & its taking forever to be paid off. Thank you for your help in advance.

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Last time I check my Student Loan debt was almost $70,000. Ten years ago my Federal Student Loan was about $55,000. Disturbing the amount of interest that has been applied. I do not make enough money to support myself and my two boys, so I am not currently paying on the loan, but the interest continues to grow. For more on my story, you can read my Blog - “Student Loan Reform Now” as there is so much to my story I can’t possibly write it all down here. Good luck to you all! I know the focus of this site is to push for forgiving all Student Loans and making college free for all, but I think we should also consider pushing for the ability to declare bankruptcy on our loans. Everyone tells me this is not possible. I think it should be.

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Hello! Welcome to the Debt Collective. I read your blog and am impressed with your work trying to help people. So many people go to college to train to help others, and then they can’t make a decent living in those professions. Many more people WOULD go into social work or similar professions if they didn’t have to fear going into debt. As for bankruptcy, we support returning bankruptcy protections to student loans - of course! But the possibility of cancelling all student debt and winning free college are on the table now in a real way. So we are setting that as a goal.
Hope you will bring more people onto this site.

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Hello, Have you tried the private student student loan tool? Go to DISPUTE YOUR DEBT and check it out. This is an experimental tool, but it’s worth a try. It can help you learn whether your lender has all the paperwork to legally collect your debt.

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Thanks for the info! I have submitted a dispute on the platform & I’ll continue to follow up.

Thanks again!

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Hello Ann-

Thank you! Finally I have found a community. I thought I was all alone in my plight. I agree that the focus should be on forgiveness and free college for all. I am hopeful we will get what we need to survive. Thanks to y’all. I can’t possibly express my gratitude in words, however, I think (as is my style) I can show how grateful I am by providing y’all space on my Blog to bring attention to the movement. What do you think of my Blog? I have made some changes. Thoughts?

Peace-

Todd

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Hello Folks!!! :wave:

:loudspeaker: Who here is READY TO TAKE ACTION to win #College4all and Full Cancellation of all 1.6 Trillion in student debt??? We are working hard behind the scene getting the platform ready to launch next steps and actions… in the meantime we do have an easy and simple call to action for those willing to participate.

Who is on STRIKE and NOT MAKING PAYMENTS on their student debt?
• You are actively refusing payment. Loans are delinquent or in default.
• Your loans are in Forbearance or Deferment Status.
• Your IBR is $0 a month.

If this is you, can you send me @Dawn_L :camera_flash: picture of yourself and :thought_balloon: 1-2 lines on why you are on strike.

For example,
My name is Dawn L. and I am on strike because I know we have a right to education without this reckless burden of debt. I am fighting for full cancelation of all student debt because I know we all have been defrauded, regardless of what school we went to.