My student loans are almost $42,000 dollars. I pay almost $260 dollars per month and all but $12 dollars is interest and the principal continues to go higher. I am 47 years old and working as a Nursing Assistant. I work very hard! I had graduated in 1997 from two years of Legal Assisting with Honors. I did not get a job in that field and I found that there were not many jobs in that field and the pay was low-a lot lower than what I had expected. I thought that I was doing a good thing by going to school but now I wish very much that I had not; it made my life a lot worse than what it had been.
What is my best hope? I frequently think about suicide; thinking about my son is the only thing that has so far kept me from committing suicide.
First off, suicide does nothing to resolve the problem. There are other options. Lots of them. I know it can feel desperate, overwhelming, suffocating and depressing being in your current situation. When I was living through my money troubles years ago, they were the darkest days of my life. The irony is that they were only dark because I emotionally made them so.
Since the loans are old you may have a slight chance to seek some relief with bankruptcy. It is worth getting a free bankruptcy consultation with a local bankruptcy attorney to discuss this. It costs you nothing and you’ll walk away knowing exactly what the status of the loans would be in bankruptcy.
Outside of that, the ICRP (Income Contingent Repayment Plan) might be worth pursuing if you are struggling to get by. Read this previous article for more information on repayment options and the ICRP.
It is unfortunate that you spent all that money to enter a field that paid less than you thought it would. Simply jumping back to school for some and getting on the hook for student loans is not necessarily a formula for financial success. If you are an adult and thinking of going back to school, be sure to check and see if the starting income in your new field will be enough to pay for your current obligations plus you new student loans.
Of all the debts you can incur in life, student loans and IRS debt are among the nastiest.