“looking at a $480,766 student debt load they expect to be stuck with for the rest of their life”
How is this possible? How did this person accrue this kind of debt without someone stepping in and stopping the loans?
From the Business Insider via MSN:
Meet a 52-year-old who has struggled to repay their $480,000 in student debt on income-driven plans and has pushed off retirement: ‘This is an albatross around my neck for the rest of my life’
For decades, Angel’s core focus was making ends meet.
Coming from what they said was a low socioeconomic background, Angel — who requested their last name be withheld for privacy — grew up in the 80s surrounded by the idea that going to college was the key to having a good career and a good life.
Since Angel’s parents did not have the means to fund Angel’s college education, student loans were the only option — and now, at 52 years old, Angel is looking at a $480,766 student debt load they expect to be stuck with for the rest of their life.
“I was told as a kid that you need to get a college degree, you need to get an advanced degree if you want to get ahead in this world, and now I can’t even pursue that American Dream,” Angel told Insider. “I can’t even buy a house. I’m 52 years old. So, I mean, at what point do we say, ‘No, this isn’t right?'”
The reason Angel’s debt load has surged significantly over the past decades come down to several factors. First, to get a good-paying career, Angel pursued two Master’s degrees, but they did not end up actually receiving those degrees until 2012 because they were working simultaneously to save up money. During that time, their student loans from undergraduate school were in deferment, meaning that while they were not actively making payments on their loans, interest was continuing to grow. Angel also said that a customer service representative advised them to stay in school to prolong the deferment period.
And second, once Angel’s loans were taken out of deferment, they enrolled in an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan, which is intended to give borrowers affordable monthly payments based on income with the promise of loan forgiveness after at least 20 years. However, as recent reports have revealed, the plans are flawed due to issues tracking borrowers’ payment progress, meaning actually getting relief through those plans has been difficult.
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