Get Out of Debt Guy - Steve Rhode

I Can’t Make Enough Money to Pay My Private Student Loan Debt

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Question:

Dear Steve,

I have over 60K in student loans. Around 30K is with Sallie Mae, 16K is with CitiBank, and 15K is with the federal government. I have been looking for a job and interviewing but I haven’t been able to find anything since I got together with my wife.

We have been living in Orlando for over a year, and I still cannot find a full time steady job. Luckily, sometimes I make some money working remotely as an independent contractor for a television production company.

My wife makes 50K a year and she has her own student loans (around 30K, almost all Federal). She completely supports us. I don’t know how I will ever get a job where I can pay my student loans and contribute to our life together. My BA degree in visual arts is useless. I have been on countless interviews, been offered jobs only to have them taken away (usually for budget reasons). I honestly have to feel lucky if I ever make over $10/hr.

How can I deal with my loans? I am trying so hard to find a job, working on starting a low up-front cost business with my wife, considering any opportunity that I can. I just don’t see how I’ll ever be able to really contribute to our life and start a family with this huge debt hanging over me. We have no family that have the ability to even loan us any money or help us.

Chris

Answer:

Dear Chris,

Everything you say is the horrible truth experienced by many people. They went into debt to go to school only to find the promises of jobs and income was not the reality that was sold.

The good news here is the federal debt can be dropped into a Direct Loan and then into an income driven repayment plan. That will potentially lower your monthly payment but can increase the balance. See this article. But at this point the monthly payment, rather than the balance, is probably the bigger issue for you.

The private student loan debt sounds like it was obtained before you got married so it is probably in your name alone. Depending on where you went to school and what the money was used for their may be some legal challenges you could make.

Chad Van Horn, an attorney in Florida said, “I would recommend not paying your private student loans and one of the following will occur: the statute of limitations will run and the loans will be deemed uncollectible or you could look at your bankruptcy options to see if the loans can be discharged or put into a Chapter 13 plan which can defer payments for 3-5 years.”

So you see there are options.

At the current time, as long as your income is low, and your student loan debt is holding you back, this will be a self-fulfilling prophecy and you will never get ahead.

You’ve got to do something to break the cycle. You can either make more money and let income solve the problem or you can look at out of the box solutions like attorney Van Horn suggested. In fact, maybe you should contact Chad Van Horn since he is an attorney in Florida and talk to him.


Big Hug!
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