I Make $50K as an Uber Driver But Can’t Afford My Student Loans


Dear Steve,

13000 public student loans @ $165 a month
113000 private student loans @ $500 a month

I have a mortgage and no house just two degrees in my closet while I Uber people around from dusk till dawn 40+ hours a week to make $50,000 a year.

Should I stop paying my private student loans? They refuse to negotiate rehabilitation similar to my public loans. I figure if I stop paying they might be more willing to negotiate.



Dear Matthew,

Depending on where you live, $50,000 a year as an Uber driver is respectable. Congratulations on doing that job. It’s the type of service industry gig job people will see more of.

I have no idea what you got your degree in but as you discovered, earning a degree alone does not automatically lead to a better future.

The federal loans should be on a Direct Loan and then opt for an income driven repayment to lower the payment as much as possible.

On the federal loans, the math is what it is. If you live in an expensive area then $50K may not go far.

If you stop paying will the lender or servicer be willing to negotiate a settlement? Maybe, but it really depends on a wide number of factors like what is the current policy of the lender, will you be able to afford any settlement offered, and are you prepared to face the possibility of being sued over the delinquent debt.

The only way to know what your lenders might do would be to talk to an experienced student loan debt coach like Damon Day. Damon has worked with a large number of students and can advise you what your specific lenders may or may not do.

The options a private student loan lender may offer entirely depend on so many factors that are beyond your knowledge or control. I could write 2,000 words on all the possible variations and outcomes so there is clearly no better option than to speak with an expert like Damon. But you can find whoever you’d prefer to consult with, just make sure they are knowledgeable about private student loan settlements.

Private student loans have very little in common with federal student loans. The private loans are toxic, offer no real payment alternative, no rehabilitation, and no real forgiveness programs.

The private loans were wonderful to sell students into enrollment but unbelievably horrible for the people who took them out.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

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Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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