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I’m So In Debt Because of Harrison College I Need Help

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

Married, mother of 2, 34 years old. Recent graduate of Harrison College via online courses. Upon enrollment at Harrison, I was given the impression that all fees were on par with other area schools which was absolutely inaccurate. I was also never told of the limitations on loans for a bachelor degree, and had to quit before I graduated and switch to the associate program.

Nobody at Harrison ever told me of this until I had met the maximum loan amount so I have wasted time and money. Nonetheless, now I have ~$87,000 of student loans to pay. Half of which are federal @ $236/mo for a 30 year term, and the other half are Sallie Mae @ $567/mo for 9 a year term.

This is absolutely impossible for us to pay on our fixed income. After MANY calls with Sallie Mae to explain that we cannot afford this payment, I was informed that they only offer term extension if you are in default, and have exhausted all of their options i.e. deferral, forbearance, etc. So basically, I have to ruin my credit in order to get to a negotiation point.

This is the most exhausting and frustrating process I have ever been a part of, and I am at a loss as to what to do from here. I have looked into consolidations, but found it isn’t advisable since my federal loans have a lower rate. I’ve looked into refinancing only the SM loans, but found most lenders don’t offer a lengthy term (most I find are only 15 years), and in turn I still wouldn’t be able to pay them back.

If you can provide me a suggestion that would be better, I would be forever in your debt. I do have a cosigner with excellent credit, in addition to my average credit so I would hope to find something with a low interest rate, while still being affordable. Sallie Mae is by far the worst, most inflexible company I have ever had experience with. HELP!

READ  Collectors Keep Calling Me for the Cosigned Sallie Mae Student Loan



Dear Tanya,

Several issues come to mind are if you were defrauded by the school regarding your federal student loans. See Department of Education Serious About Discharging Fraudulent Student Loans, The Borrower Defense Pothole That Will Swallow Many Trying to Forgive Student Loans, and Before You Enrolled in College Did They Tell You Your Degree Sucks?

On the private student loan front you might want to explore if part of your private student loan debt would be eligible for a bankruptcy discharge. Read These Private Student Loans Can Be Easily Discharged in Bankruptcy.

Next, on the federal student loans, you might want to think about an income driven repayment plan. At least it would lower your payment and the balance would be forgiven after 20-25 years. See The Ultimate Guide to Dealing With Student Loans You Can’t Afford.

Lastly, on the private student loan debt, all other options being exhausted, there is always this – Top 10 Reasons You Should Stop Paying Your Unaffordable Private Student Loan.


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.

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