Declare Independence From Your Student Loans

Student loans
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When it comes to declaring independence from debt, a lot of us are under the thumb of the same dictator: student loans. In fact, according to a recent report from the Urban Institute, one in five adults over the age of 20 are carrying student loan debt -- and more than half of them are worried about how they're going to pay it off.

Most advice on student loan debt focuses on how to avoid getting mired in it in the first place. For people in college, those tips can be very useful -- after all, it's worthwhile to know that the road to riches isn't paved with psychology degrees, and that private loans are fiscal vampires that will suck the money from your wallet and the joy from your soul. But once you're out of college, the die has been cast, the debt has been accumulated, and the checks start coming due.

Which leaves us with the question: If you're already packing a BA in English and five figures worth of student loans, what can you do to get on top of your debt, and get on track to a healthy economic life?

Bruce Watson is DailyFinance's Savings editor. You can reach him by e-mail at, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.

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Do they hire writers that just make stuff up out of their head without any research???? Student loans are certainly not discharged in bankruptcy.

July 24 2013 at 7:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If you want to rid yourself of a student loan, pay it. Easy stuff here. That's what a loan is. You went and asked for it.

July 04 2013 at 2:35 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Go to work and pay your own way as you go. Do the first couple of years in community college. That will tell you if you have the brains for college in the first place. If you are stuck taking remedial courses because you don't measure up maybe your better off being a plumber, electrician or a carpenter, a truck driver etc, a telephone technician.

July 04 2013 at 12:29 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to jhrooney's comment

Do you know that it takes intelligence to do those jobs. Better to stick to college and you can be paid very well for being useless when you graduate. The saying is those that can do. Those that can't , teach. NEA needs you.

July 04 2013 at 2:46 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to baileygc23's comment

nea is already full of losers they don't need any more

July 04 2013 at 5:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

Dont measure up?? You are an Id. " a plumber, electrician or a carpenter, a truck driver etc, a telephone technician" All these people make great money without huge loans just ask all the broke and in debt college graduates !

July 04 2013 at 4:53 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Sounds like these options are better than passing that debt onto the taxpayers, people re-financing their homes, etc.....

It's about time people actually accept responsibility for their decisions and stop blaming their problems on everyone else....

July 03 2013 at 9:27 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Leb2985's first sentence must be talking about before reid and pelosi got into leadership roles.

July 03 2013 at 9:07 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

There are a ton of young people who began going to college when there were great job prospects, and graduated right when everything went sideways. The damage was done, the loans were made. They work and pay but due to the terms loan companies can get their 2 pound of flesh, and if they can't find a good job there is nothing they can do. Levels of underemployment for recent graduates is at an all time high. You can file bankruptcy on mortgages, credit cards, car loans and a variety of other debt. Corporations walk away from responsibilities and contracts all the time. Student loans shouldn't be some special carve out of debt that is more onerous than others. It should be treated like other debts. If "living within your means" was purely the standard, only 2% of the country could earn a good education. Especially considering the disproportionate cost increase of a college education, relative to the average income of a college age person. Investing on yourself should not be discouraged. Of course people like Marsoracer22 probably couldn't get through college, or had daddy pay for it. Student loans should be like any other debt. As long as corporations can break contracts and ignore obligations when it suits them, so should individuals. After all corporations are people too, right?

July 03 2013 at 3:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to leb2985's comment

It seems today that a lot of kids are quite educated, but lack a lot of common sense. Did 'living within your mean' just go away?

July 03 2013 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to marsoracer22's comment

No what went away was some kind of control on the colleges who have caused the cost of education to SKYROCKET cause after all it isn't the childrens education that is important it is the PROFITS.

July 04 2013 at 5:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

nice if i had known i could take out a loan and now get it wiped away i would have gome to college can i do that with my mortage i should be able to it only seems fair

July 03 2013 at 12:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Right Wing extremist doing everything possible to ensure college attendance is only for the rich. Another tool in their long term goal to eliminate the middle class in America.

July 03 2013 at 12:51 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to safety6737's comment

Student loans are responsible for high tuition. Easy government money allows colleges to charge whatever they want. These people should not expect the taxpayers to pay for their degrees. Work your way through college as your parents did. And before you say, \"there are no jobs, look around.\" Work in a gas station, babysit, flip burgers, mow lawns, clean gutters, wash windows etc.

July 03 2013 at 12:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to crimeslawyer's comment

WORK YOUR WAY THROUGH COLLEGE ! ! ! You have got to be kidding! I did, and am proud of it. I worked 50 - 60 hours a week, went to college (after work) four night a week, and then did my home work on Sat & Sun. Fri nights were for doing my shopping. I did it for three years, and ended my career very close to six figures. The hard part was making $2.35 an hour while studying. I did take out one student loan to the tune of $1,500. I paid it back at $35 an month.

July 03 2013 at 3:05 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply