The Most Depressing Student Loan Stories

depressing student loan stories
By Mandi Woodruff

With total student loan debt long past the $1 billion mark, activists are doing all they can to put as many faces on the crisis as possible.

Their mission is simple: To convince Congress student loan debt should be dischargeable through personal bankruptcy.

"We want the world and our leaders in Washington to see these are not just numbers on a piece of paper," says Robert Applebaum, co-founder of "These are real people struggling day to day with student debt."

Through the end of September, Applebaum's site is running a video challenge asking borrowers to submit their student loan horror stories. Each video is then ranked by viewers.

View the top nine in the gallery below.

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I think you meant to say student loan debt is long past the $1 trillion dollar mark in the first sentence. However, I guess your statement is still accurate.

November 24 2012 at 12:44 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I don't agree with Student Loans being forgivable in bankruptcy or even a reprieve after paying for a certain length of time. If you want your student loan debt to be wiped out then the degree that was paid for by it should be too. Americans don't have to take student loans they are an option; realize the amount you are taking out and plan in the future to pay it back, simple. Just because you have a degree (along with 20 million other people) doesn't mean you are going to land your dream paying job. If you can afford school, then save and continue your education at a later date. Enough with the handouts.

October 02 2012 at 3:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
What Next

I have around $40,000 in student loans from a BS at a state college. Since I have a low paying job and can't afford my student loan payments, I am still in school working on my MEd now. Probably not the best move since I am already in debt, but this should lead to a better paying job after about another year of going part time. At which point, I will put the MEd on hold and then finish it slowly with whatever my employer will contribute to my education.
My husband has about $30,000 in student loans and has an AS and is working on a BS now..increasing that student loan amount. We can't buy a house because we can't get good jobs, we can't get good jobs because we don't have the education, getting the education is killing our debt to income ratio which is preventing us from buying a house.
So what are we supposed to do? Our dreams of owning a home and having a baby are slipping away. We don't know if we will be able to do either. What can we do?

September 29 2012 at 8:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Student loan situation in this country has become unmanageable and is really destroying people's lives. It's all created by laws adopted by Congress, and the government manages the loans on a daily basis. What a shame that a legal government creates and supports a system of servitude in a country that supposedly advocates freedom at home and all over the world.

Now to the point. One of the ideas that might straighten the student loan industry would be to make interest free loans. This way interest would not accrue, and the loanholder would always see the light in the tunnel. With interest accrueing, especially during time of sickness, unemployment, periods of caring for small children, and other contingencies, many loans quite simply become unmanageable. Quite often once they become unmanageable, they are unmanageable FOR LIFE. Which basically means they destroy someone's life. But it is not the purpose of getting educated, going to college, taking loans. You don't do it just to destroy your life. Do you ? That's why I think interest free loans should take care of the problem. Also, why interest free ? Because the purpose of educational loans is not to make money on them, but to educate citizens. A bit idealism won't hurt. It actually can take us a long way ahead ... Also, the loans should be terminated after whatever period of time, say 20-25 years. The government might lose money in the process. But as I said before, idealism should go first, cold calculation second. It should be about education first, money second. Besides, every operation in the world also loses some money in the process. I think most of people would repay if they had access to interest free loans.

Look, some countries in the world provide interest free loans. The entire muslim world functions this way. Yet, they are able to function whereas we subject our entire generations to servitude only because they had the aucacity to be willing to educate themselves.

September 28 2012 at 10:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


September 25 2012 at 7:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's impossible to dig yourself out of the hole they put you in with astronomical interest rates on private loans. I'd love to pay every dime back - I've been meeting every payment for the last 5 years since I've been out of school, even though those payments are 50% of my post-tax income. FIFTY. percent. And, in the past 5 years my outstanding balance has not even dropped a penny - in fact, it's increased by about 10k. The payment "Schedule" they have me on has me paying even higher payments as time goes on - and ends when I'm 51 years old. 51....that means - never buying a house, never having a savings, never starting a family. Sure, I signed up for the loans, but this indentured servitude to Sallie Mae is mentally, emotionally and financially draining. And, I can't help the economy recover, because I can't buy anything other than basic necessities.

September 24 2012 at 10:26 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

Perhaps the Gov't can stop accruing interest for a reasonable amount of time or negotiate the loans in a more favorable way. However, to completely "forgive" the loans and make all taxpayers pay for your short sightedness, lack of responsibility, or shear stupidity is not something the Gov't should do. The gov't is already in debt to the tune of $16 Trillion with a capital "T." Some of you folks, while I feel sorry about your debt and lack of job prospects are just out of your minds, naive or imbeciles. When I went to college I bit the bullet and wound up taking subjects that I knew would help me find a job. I didn't take things that everyone "likes" like psychology or other pretty much overloaded and useless majors (art, sociology, poly sci, communications, etc). I don't think people should go to college these days unless you don't care about money (i.e. your weathy) or if you have a specific major in mind where there is a reasonable amount of demand. Back when I was going to school accountants were in demand. Although, I wanted to be a musician and never wanted to be an accountant, I knew I could at least find a job when I graduated. More people have to understand that a lot of times you may have to do things that many, if not most, people don't want to do. Or, that they have to give up their (often unrealistic) "dreams" of being a successful musician, actor or artist and knowing the odds are against you. Use some common sense and do that stuff part tim. I certainly wouldn't saddle myself with 10's if not 100's of thousands in school debt with no reasonable prospects of finding a job or paying it back. Better off taking that money and going into some kind of business, learn a trade that is in demand, or buy yourself a hot dog cart. The world doesn't need an endless supply of psychologists or political science majors, or even lawyers for that matter.

September 23 2012 at 8:52 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

I was transferred to another reserve unit for deployment last year and had to leave mid-semester and gave as much notice as possible that I was going to be away for deployment training and was told "No problem" I came back and all my professors wanted to know where I was for all that time. I reminded them I was away at military training and wanted to know if I could make my work up so I didn't fail out of that semester.. I was told no and no longer qualify for the Pell Grant. I live with my parents and the only income I have is an Army Reservist's drill check of about $200 a month. Both parents working minimum wage jobs.. I was willing to pay out of pocket until I saw the pricetag for tuition alone (Without the fees).. I'd have to save every drill paycheck for over 6 months to afford tuition alone. I can't get student loans and no jobs here are hiring and say a BS is required and even those positions don't pay well.. I'm broke, unemployable, unereducated and all around not economically viable.. I often wonder if painting the walls with my brains would be preferrable to this, but I'm too broke to afford a gun, let alone bullets. Tried getting food stamps, but got turned down for those for some unknown reason, got turned down for unemployment.. I have survived on selling what little I own for small amounts of money and I barely eat a single meal a day.. I guess I'm fortunate to not feel hunger pains. I have a strong feeling of indignation. What we need are college prices to be regulated, no need for the same education cost to rise annually..

September 23 2012 at 8:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kaity's comment

I was injured during the training and didn't deploy, so I didn't get all the pay deploying brings in.. I also never wanted to join the military, but circumstances dictated it to be my only viable option..

September 23 2012 at 8:32 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I can empathize with all these horror stoties.I'm in the exact situation.A complete waste of time and effort.In debt to student loan vendor.My loan started out with one bank,then sold to another.It was akin to bait and switch,then no job or a career,but left with outstanding debt.I also obtained two absolutely worthless undergraduate degrees.
As long as I live and breathe I won't ever attend another sorry school in America.They're money mills,very few if any get careers' let alone jobs.

September 23 2012 at 7:01 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Say NO to libs!

You freaking goosestepping IDIOTS! We have ENOUGH graphic artists, telemarketers, game creators, computer geeks, lawyers, and nerds in general. What we NEED are auto mechanics, plumbers, electricians ....NON-UNION people who aren't afraid to wrinkle their khakis and actually do a days WORK for a days pay! WHEN did America LOSE our work ethic? Oh, RIIIIGHT! In 2008 with all that hope and change crapolla!

September 22 2012 at 8:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply