Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Student Loans

I Have to Start Paying on My Student Loans I Can’t Afford. – Jessica

“Dear Steve,

In 2010-2011 I attended a private graduate school in Chicago and racked up 70,000 in student loans (including current interest). After the first year I realized that the program was not as reputable as I previously thought and I removed myself from the program due to the fear of going into 250,000.00 in debt with no job opportunities. I originally took a 1 year leave of absence from the program before fully withdrawing so that my loan payments wouldnt start kicking in.

Now a year later I just received the letter that my loan payments will start at the end of this month. My monthly payment will be $1,098.00, and my loan is gaining over $400 in interest every month. I feel like I am suffocating under this debt and I dont know what to do or even what options I have.

For more information my loans are federal loans through Nelnet at interest rates of 6.8 and 7.9. I make $1400 a month.



Dear Jessica,

Well let’s see what we can do here. What you might want to do is see if you can consolidate your loans under a Direct Loan and then put them on an IBR plan to create a payment you can afford based on your income. You can use the links below to find out more and if your specific loans are eligible. I just don’t know about the types of loans to make a more concrete statement.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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.

READ  NELNET, INC. - CFPB Complaint ID 3077193

About the author

Steve Rhode

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.


  • Oh wonderful: here’s how you can AFFORD to be a SLAVE for the rest of your natural life. The education market is a price-fixed conspiracy. You’re country f*ed you; that’s how it is. Expatriate. 

  • i highly reccomend income based repayment. my payments are zero dollars a month, and will be until my kids are older and i go back to work and start earning. i put your info into the calculator, and even assuming you have no dependants you also have a payment of zero.

    consolodate before you go past due, because you cannot rehab loans after consolodation.

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