Get Started By Telling Your Student Debt Story

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?


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?




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.

I guess under those terms I am already on Strike as my IBR is $0 a month. It appears to be pretty easy if you have kids as one requirement is you must provide more than 50% of your child’s support. At least with my loan company, I just had to write an email stating that my two boys receive more support from me than their moms. My loan company did not check and did not ask for any proof. In my case this is honestly the circumstance (I have my boys just under 50% of the time, but provide more than 50% of their support). I think just about anyone can claim this (married or not) as long as their spouse/partner is not claiming the same amount of support.

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Hi Michael - Yes you are. Please join the campaign!


Hi everyone,
Thanks for this space and conversation. I am from Canada, am 30 years old and have about $90,000 in student loan debt ( federal loans) and $17,000 in credit card debt. I come from a small northern community where secondary education rates are low and people are encouraged to skip school in order to work in oil and gas. Despite years of industry representatives giving presentations in our education system about the drawbacks of further education and the benefits of industry, I still knew from kindergarten I wanted to go to this thing called “university”. I come from a very low income and trauma affected family but found school a place of gratification and safety.
I got by on federal loans, bursaries, scholarships and service jobs. I decided to do my masters in Counselling Psychology on student loans. After completing my masters and working for over 10 years in non profit frontline work, I was officially burnout and needed to step back to start processing my own childhood and examine myself in order to truly help others again.

I worked in cafes, a lobster boat, travelled the east coast, and began my own trauma work in that year of letting go and healing. I would often have small heart attacks when I used my credit card for basic things, but knew it was for my overall health to do the emotional work that was needed, much of my debt now comes from healing and therapy.
Though intellectually I have always been extremely critical of our current financial system, and would refer to my student loan debt as “monopoly money” (could be flimsy pinks and greens if I cared), as an activist and idealist for alternative ways of living, I still really have struggled at times with the shame of this debt! I can feel dominant narratives seep in, I am caught comparing myself to my peers, and I can feel like quite a failure though I intellectually know none of this is true and our system is so broken. So the shame is real, and as I continue to grow and learn about my old shame stories this debt has so much of a lessened grip.
I have had positive experiences here in Canada, calling a non profit debt agency who actually helped me understand my real problem has nothing to do with money but with my own right to basic needs, which I think rings true for our western economic system. Thanks for listening and sharing, I am so thrilled to connect to this community.


Hello, and thank you for creating and offering this space for me and others to share our troubling stories of a flawed system.

My preferred name is Samantha Lochs, and I live and go to school in New York City. I moved here to get away from my very emotional abusive and controlling mother, as well as my very depressive and suicidal life in Florida. I am very close to graduating; but I’ve been struggling with wanting to drop out for years now. I’ve accumulated 35K in federal loans and 15K in private loans, and 4K in credit card debt. My mom helps me with half of my living expenses, but refuses to pay my tuition. My dad is co-signed on my private loans but I doubt he will actually ever help me pay them off. All me and my mom do is fight over finances and honestly, I hate her. I want to drop out so badly because what’s the point in me graduating and putting myself in so much debt if I’m just going to be stuck working a restaurant job my whole life trying to pay this shit off.

I have worked my entire time thoughout college, I’ve even taken some unpaid internships which have led to jobs. But my boss does not pay me enough money for me to pay my bills (I barely earn $300 a month), and he refuses to give me a raise despite him owning his own animation company, and just recently buying a new apartment in Manhattan. I’m constantly spending my money on bills and it feels like a never ending painful cycle.

I don’t know what to do anymore, I wish all the time some financial miracle would come along and make it disappear. It’s so hard for me to stay motivated in what I want to be doing when this debt seems to be the only thing growing in between my wallet and me achieving my goals.

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Hi everyone!!!
Just want to say thanks again to those that have shared their story here.
Each voice matters and ever story, IMHO, reflects the crisis we face. Please remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE and YOU ARE NOT A LOAN.

At this time, we have a real chance at changing the fate of every single current and future student debtor.

So!!! Please get warmed up and ready to tune into the platform more. We are going to :fire: announce our campaign to win College 4All, in just days.

here is a sneak peek :eyes:


RIGHT NOW, we are building our social media team. You are all invited to join us. If you are interested, please follow the link to our community thread- SM Team



My name is Steve, and I have been struggling with student debt for a while.

To begin, it was technically my parents that had taken out a parent plus loan for my schooling, in addition to me taking out federal loans that I paid off recently. The private loan is still alive and thriving ($30,000) from my schooling 12 years ago.

I paid the minimum on the loans because I couldn’t afford much more (without an actual job I thought I would get), and when the loan company said they would jack up my loan payments to double to be able to pay this loan off in my lifetime, I had to make a move, go broke, or risk defaulting on a loan under my parents’ names.

To make the debt more manageable, my parents (not having a mortgage) took this debt on as a home mortgage. This drastically reduced the interest and payments, but now that it is not in its original form, I fear that I would never have a chance of getting anything out of it, despite still suffering the effects.


Hello, My name is James and I haven’t personally had to much issue with maintaining my student debt, but the real problem lies with my mother.

I started with $23,000 in loans and then she had to take out an additional $27,000 (if i recall correctly) herself. There was a point where we both defaulted when Sallie Mae had our loans, but since working with Navient’s IBR Plan I have been able to maintain my loan payments (more on that later) however my mother has once again defaulted on her loans. She is now in her 60s and unable to retire because of these loans.

I have always felt personally responsible for her situation and have been trying to take them on for her for a while now but no such luck with any lenders is to be found. I would need to make them my loans so I could consolidate them and begin a new IBR plan because just giving her the money for the payments is far too expensive for me. They have garnished her wages, destroyed her credit score, harassed her at work (thankfully her boss is understanding in that department) and have even called outside family members to try to get her to make payments she can in no possible way afford.

As for me, my IBR has been approved for $0.00 payments and has been that way for a few years now because I make so little income to begin with as a freelancer. I freelance because the last full-time employment opportunity I had I quickly realized that although I have a bachelor’s degree from NEIA in Brookline, MA (closed now, granted bankruptcy) I still very much lacked the education it took to perform in my career. So much so that my last employer bumped me down to an entry level job so i could learn everything over again and I could still get minimum pay for my time. Unfortunately, after three years they let me go because they were down-sizing and had no extra room for me. I survived the 1st wave of layoffs, but not the 2nd.

I have been freelancing Web Development services from home ever since, making a modest $700- $900 a month, where my girlfriend pays all the rent on her own. So although my personal loan situation is not nearly as bad as it can be (or as my mother’s is right now) I need to get these loans discharged for both of our sake, but mostly for hers, she shouldn’t be saddled with this responsibility.

Hi James, Welcome to the debt collective. Thanks for sharing your story. Sorry to hear about your mother’s situation. This is infuriating on so many levels. This should never have happened to her or to you. It is not your fault. The system is rigged against us.

Since you are paying $0 on your loans, you are officially on strike. We have a strike campaign that is about to be launched to the public.

I hope you join the strike and share the word with anyone you know in a similar situation. Once you join, you will receive a list of actions that you can take to help us win student debt relief.