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My Life Didn’t Turn Out Like My Student Loans Wanted

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

I attended a private college and felt super confident I’d have no issues finding a job after college with an AA, because of everything I was told at the school. I had a difficult time finding a job, I had to return to my old job, which had NOTHING to do with my degree. I then learned that most jobs were looking for a Bachelors, so I decided to go back to the same school to further my education.

When I finished school, I was able to find a job but then got pregnant. Due to a few complications, I was put on light bed rest while being pregnant which meant I couldn’t work.

After having the baby and the short amount of maternity leave we as new moms get, I realized that we wouldn’t be able to afford day care and if we did, we’d still be struggling, so it made more sense to become a stay at home mom.

At this point, my student loans still had room for deferment, so financially we were okay. Fast forward, we were basically kicked out of our apartment due to ridiculous rent increases. Now, I’m still a stay at home mom because I can’t afford to move back to the area where there are more job opportunities, and if I did move back, the industry I’m in doesn’t seem to offer any perks for parents which means we still wouldn’t be able to afford daycare and student loan payments.

My student loan payments are CRAZY! About $1800 a month for a stay at home mom with one income that pays all the other bills, there is NO way we can make payments. My federal student loans is willing to help us only if we file our taxes separate, which means our tax return can be much lower (we are waiting to find that out for sure) but my private loans have absolutely no sympathy for me. As if none of them have ever had hard times. I tried to tell them that I’m willing to pay something to show that I’m not just trying to ditch my payments but they don’t care at all.

There’s just no way we can live at all if we paid all my loans. We have a young child, my husband commutes 4-5 hours a day to work because we can’t afford to live closer to his job and we have day to day expenses and many other bills, as anyone does.

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I am currently working on starting my own business in hopes that it will help us pay our debt but at the moment, we just can’t do it and they won’t stop bothering me. After I’ve cried to them on the phone explaining my situation and asking if theres anyway I can just pay what I can afford and they said no. There’s absolutely nothing they will do for me.

What will happen to my co-signers if I can’t afford to pay for a while?

How will filing for bankruptcy effect my credit?

Is it okay to stop paying my private loans?

Can they take my husbands wages or our tax returns, or is that just federal student loans?

Can they go after my business, i’m registering my business as an LLC.

Can I go to jail for not paying my private loans? (I know this may sound silly, but i’m not sure what banks are capable of doing)

I’m begging for any help you can give me, I want to provide a good life for my family, which is why I tried to further my education. I wish I could go back in time and not go to school, the financial state I am in has made me regret working hard and getting my degrees. Thank you so much for reading my story and for any help you are able to provide me.



Dear Amrita,

Your story is a good example of how life is always unpredictable but the terms of loans are rigid and don’t allow for life to happen.

On your federal loans you should look at an income driven repayment program like the IBR. Click here for more details. If you are filing separate tax returns then only your income would be considered towards repayment for your federal loans.

You asked:

What will happen to my co-signers if I can’t afford to pay for a while?

It will hurt their credit and the collectors can go after them for payment. But then again, that’s what the cosigners agreed to when they guaranteed your loan.

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How will filing for bankruptcy effect my credit?

In the long run, not much. In fact, those who file bankruptcy do better financially than those who don’t. Don’t believe me? Read this. Most all the things you assume about bankruptcy are just wrong. Get the facts. Read “So You Are Going to File Bankruptcy. That’s Good News. Congratulations.

Is it okay to stop paying my private loans?

I don’t know what makes it okay or not okay. It’s more a question if it is a reasonable or logical things to do. You should read, Top 10 Reasons You Should Stop Paying Your Unaffordable Private Student Loan to better understand the pros and cons.

Can they take my husbands wages or our tax returns, or is that just federal student loans?

Federal student loans can intercept tax refunds and garnish wages but there is no reason to let things get that far with the federal options available. Private student loans can sue you over your debt, get a judgment and then a garnishment if allowed in your state.

Can they go after my business, I’m registering my business as an LLC.

No, as long as your LLC or incorporated business remains a separate legal entity.

Can I go to jail for not paying my private loans? (I know this may sound silly, but i’m not sure what banks are capable of doing)


Let’s not forget that one strategy is to ride out the collections effort and take a chance on being sued. If you make it past the statute of limitations in your state you could be exempt from repaying the student loans through a suit. But you really need to understand this specifically before you launch into this option. I would urge you to meet with an attorney who is licensed in your state, first.

And let’s not forget, there are private student loans which can be instantly discharged in bankruptcy right now. Read this article for details.


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.

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.

1 Comment

  • Considering bankruptcy to clear the student loan debt is one option, I was successful in doing so without an attorney. But I must tell anyone who is thinking of filing a chapter to spend the time to learn ALL you can about what is involved. I discharged nearly $130,000.00 of Federal Student Loans under 11 U.S.C. §523(a)(8) without an attorney. But I researched and studied nearly a thousand cases and spent nearly a year preparing my Adversary Proceeding BEFORE I filed a Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy. Steve has shared my story here on Get Out of Debt.Org. Perhaps you can get into a repayment plan, BUT BEWARE! Not all plans are equal. In fact the REPAYE is a very dangerous plan because of the fact it combines the income of the spouse so the spouse actually becomes co-owner and co-debtor of your student loans. My two cents worth. Oh and by the way proving undue hardship in my situation was simply a matter of asking the Department of Education to honor their July 7th, 2015 Policy Directive and discharge certain loans under §523(a)(8) when the debtor’s (me) circumstances met the test of undue hardship. (In my case the three-part Brunner Test). My precedent setting case was settled in less than 120 days and without a trial. In fact the Department of Education did not fight me at all, they issued a “Consent Order” to discharge my loans. And the date has passed for any anyone to appeal. I am no longer being garnished to pay my student loan, and now have a real FRESH START! Richard Allan Precht, Alexandria, VA. My blog is called Undue Hardship – Poverty Required.

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