I hope you are all well. As a bit of background, I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and went to college and law school in the States. I graduated from law school with approx. $140k in student loan debt (as most do) but I took a high-paying NYC law firm job and started to pay it immediately. Most of this debt was through federal funds, but I also had to take out a $25K private loan to cover the gap in need. A year out of law school in 2011, I consolidated my federal loans as that is what I was told I should do. This $117,000 consolidated loan has a 7.25% interest rate. I have paid over $56,000 (almost half the original loan amount) through the years but my balance as of early 2019 was approximately $114,000. Due to health reasons I moved back to Puerto Rico and because I no longer made a NYC salary I applied for an income-based repayment plan. As I went through this process I was baffled to learn that I’ve only managed to pay down $3,000 of my $117,000 loan – Even when I paid close to $900 a month religiously for over seven years. And when I had a high paying job I did all that I was supposed to do. But for health reasons I had to leave that behind and move back home, I had a career change, and I will not be able to afford to live if I had to make a $900 monthly payment just for (one of) my student loans. As I write this, my loan balance continues to grow because, while on an income based repayment plan my interest accrues and gets added to my balance. Soon I will owe more than I borrowed. I feel overwhelmed and don’t know what to do. I feel that I will never be able to pay this off. The loan servicer says the only other option I have is to demonstrate I am fully disabled. This keeps me up at night and i am unable to stop this from getting worse. It is oppressive.
We need to organize to win full cancellation. This is the only realistic option available to us.
Otherwise depending on what version of IBR you are on, your balance will keep growing for another 15-20 years at which point they are supposed to “forgive” the remainder, but as we have seen with PSLF those promises are often broken if some minor technicality happens.
So our otiopoins boil down to organize organize organize. You are not alone, and if everyone in your situation organized together we would have so much power we could change the world.
I feel your pain. I have abkut 169k in debt. I went to Univ. Of Phoenix for my MBA and started my Doctorate. Looking back now, the school just wanted my money. I have a document that told me the avarage of all students in all programs has a graduation rate od 65%. Also, that they were as good as Princeton, Harvard, and other large ivy leqgue schools(i sent that one in) That is complete BS. I never did send the gradustion doc in, but I will for reconsideration. For my masters, I was supposed to take some test at the end, and never did. For my doctorate, I am so ashamed to say that I even attended. The school does not support its students at all. I could not find a mentor for my dissertation and was not able to continue. That was about a 120k mistake right there. One, I will pay for the rest of my life, and wont be able to save for my kids education. I also can 't find good paying job that will allow me to pay back this enormous loan. My payment not on the Income driven payment plan is 1800 a month. Who thw heck can afford that? It is crazy. They need to be shut down. I also got the generic letter to my request to cancel my debt.