Who else can't pay their student loans???


Just curious what solutions people have come up for paying their student loans??? I am feeling a bit down today because I just can not make enough money to live and pay my student loans... I am actually working but only make about 1400 a month... with 750 in student loans and 500 doallr rent....

that ivey league education is DEFINITELY not paying off... it is actually giving me a nervous breakdown! BLAH..

any ideas?

May 18, 10 4:01 am

If you live in China, what about becoming the toy boy for some rich widowed Chinese woman?

May 18, 10 4:28 am  · 

that would require me to have a sex change... although appealing in the profession is most definitely not a viable option :) But I would consider a handsome foreign sugar daddy... I just can't stomach the thought of touching a native chinese dude...

May 18, 10 4:59 am  · 
Ms Beary

Get a second job, and do it now before you start to accumulate more debt.

May 18, 10 9:55 am  · 
prairie school drop out

if you have federal loans (stafford, perkins, etc) consolidate and get on a payment plan

May 18, 10 10:05 am  · 

I can't. Bad times.

May 18, 10 10:39 am  · 

I started a 2nd job and now my feet are going to fall off

May 18, 10 11:05 am  · 

1327, I don't have any advice you've not heard before, probably, but the important thing I've heard through all this economic turmoil is to stay in touch with your creditors. Call them and tell them you can only make a partial payment this month and ask if they can help you get on a payment plan. Don't just blow them off - stay in contact.

Then stock up on ramen and as Straw suggested get a second job bartending or something that will pay you in cash. I had a friend after grad school who got up at 3am every Wednesday morning and delivered the alt-weekly newspaper in our town.

May 18, 10 11:42 am  · 

Can you deferr your payments due to economic hardship? If you can, maybe that is an option for just a couple of months. I did that when I moved across the country. I deferred payments for 3 months until I got settled and everything was back in order. It might help create a little bit of a cushion until you can possibly find a second job, move to a place with cheaper rent, get a raise, meet your sugar daddy, etc.

May 18, 10 12:06 pm  · 

Are you on the extended 30+ year payment plan? If not, you should be.

Also, get a higher paying job. You're only getting paid $350/week = $8.75 per hour. Burger king pays more.

May 18, 10 1:37 pm  · 

By the post wasn't meant to be disparaging. I realize times are tough. But the reality is that you're getting vastly underpaid if you're paying off student loans from an ivy league school. My 2 cents.

May 18, 10 1:38 pm  · 

read up on your student loans. the NOLO press used to do a good book written by a pair of student loan lawyers.

For your Stafford and Perkins loans, you can ask for a debt burden income ratio forbearance (your loan payments total more than 20% of your taxable income). you have to ask in 1 year increments, and that typically involves calling them repeatedly and going through a lengthy documentation process. Document your calls and your request process, but that gets you three years.

A regular forbearance gets you another three years. They compound the interest while you are in forbearance, so I'd focus on paying off higher interest rate loans with what you can afford. There are other forbearance and minimum payment programs that are also available. Thanks to the recent changes, if you drag out payments over 20 years without consolidating to a 30 year plan, you may be able to get the balance cancelled.

May 18, 10 2:23 pm  · 

work on side jobs and hustle... coffee shop/store gigs will burn you out quick... if you are good at graphic design/etc. use that as your hustle and land some work that can put a few hundred dollars in your pocket at a time...

look at it as a per project basis and not per hour basis...

May 18, 10 2:41 pm  · 

While living in Beijing and willing to change careers you should find opportunities.

And that's where an Ivy League degree would open you doors (whether it is in Architecture or Martial Arts).

Have you tried teaching English as a foreign language? Just placing adds with "Harvard-graduate" or similar would be a boost, you probably know how obsessed Chinese are with the education of their kids.

And maybe you will even get some comission from some wealthy client!

May 18, 10 2:43 pm  · 


I'm technically past due on all my loans even though I'm working. My federal loan payments alone are around $1,000/month over a thirty year term. This doesn't include private loans and other debt.

I honestly have no idea what to do.

I'm considering bankruptcy, settlement, or consolidation at the very least. Unfortunately, bankruptcy doesnt clear student loan debt as far as I understand.

Good topic.

May 18, 10 5:47 pm  · 

'Get a second job, and do it now before you start to accumulate more debt.'

Brilliant. You must be from Colorado Springs.

I know the response was aimed at the OP, but it may as well have been me. Maybe I could go find a job at Chipotle working the 7-close shift..awesome life for the next decade or so. Maybe this is an option for some, not me.

May 18, 10 5:51 pm  · 

hence why i dont understand why folks get in crazy debt in the first place.....

they can foreclose your house but they can't foreclose your brain

May 18, 10 6:19 pm  · 
zen maker

My friend couldn't pay for his private loans and ended up in default, he couldn't get those loans discharged or even get a LOWER payment from the lender during his bankruptcy, so they went after his cosigner. They sued him and his cosigner, took away the cosigners home, now they live in apartment. This is disaster, this industry is evil!

May 18, 10 6:22 pm  · 


reason I want to release my co-signer, asap. i tried applying for a release several months ago but the lender denied the request because of one late payment. it might depend on the lender but mine requires 2 years of on time payments to qualify for release of co-signer. i'm trying to avoid forbearance also because that will be another reason for the lender to deny the release.

i switched my loan to 30 years and that helped. all of my unemployment checks go toward the loan...

May 18, 10 10:59 pm  · 

Teach on the side - maybe a studio or pick one of those super hot 3D modeling/rendering platforms. Cash in on the multitude of poor(er) out of work recent grads looking to make themselves more marketable.

May 19, 10 2:05 am  · 
zen maker

strlt_typ - you must have a good lender, usually there is no such thing as cosigner release, its not really profitable for the lender. I want to release my cosigner somehow too before I end up like my poor friend, who is now really depressed and thinking about leaving the country for good. I am thinking about loan consolidation with a different lender, but not sure how it works, do they also transfer the cosigner automatically to the new lender??

May 19, 10 2:31 am  · 

What was that thing Obama was talking about....after 10 years if you didn't pay off your loans they will be forgiven or something????

May 19, 10 4:08 pm  · 

only if you work in the public sector, your loans are serviced through the government direct loan service, and you remain current on your payments.

unless you work for the government or state or a NFP as an architect, we are not eligible for the student loan forgiveness that just passed.

i want to know how you accumulate so much student loan debt that your monthly payments are 1g. that is completely... totally... absurd....

May 19, 10 4:18 pm  · 

What happens if you get sent to prison while you have a student loan? They cannot reasonably expect you to make payments on it earning $0.23 an hour in the license plate factory?

May 20, 10 7:10 pm  · 
Cherith Cutestory

Been sitting on deferment since sometime last fall. I try not to think about the interest that is collecting on an already unfathomable amount. Thanks graduate degree! You are awesome!

May 20, 10 7:28 pm  · 

the 10 year forgiveness plan is only if you work non-profit. for everyone else, there is the 25 year forgiveness, income-based payment plan. for all loans through the gov, you are held to 15% of your income annually, and after 25 years, your remaining balance is forgiven (the amount forgiven is taxable income for that year)

i just consolidated all my federal loans through the only consolidation service available and immediately went on the 25 year IBR plan, and i save 0.25% on my interest. the application process took about 6 months.

so if you're making 20k, you are only held to $250 a month instead of $750. it doesn't save you any money (net), but it does help during tough times like these.

i would advise this over deferment since you only have 36 total months of forbearance after you deferment period is over.

May 20, 10 7:53 pm  · 

lletdownl, 1k a month is not that absurd and is actually pretty common. the average 75k grad loan, usually means you had to go through 4 or 5 different loan holders, even if you only took out federal loans like me. each of those lenders usually require a monthly minimum that could easily add up to 1k a month.

May 20, 10 7:58 pm  · 

If you have Federal or Direct Loans you can apply for the Income Based Repayment plan. Your loan provider will send you an application and you fill it out and send them your 2010 tax return document and proof of your current income (paystub).

There is also a calculator on the website to get an estimate of what your payment would be under the IBR based on your income.

Currently, I have a survival job that doesn't pay very much. Under the IBR plan, I don't have to make payments for a year. Every year you have to update your income information.

After 25 years under the IBR any loans you have are forgiven. You can make extra payments if you wish while making reduced payments. There is also no penalty for getting out of the IBR program.

If you work for a non-profit full-time for 10 years and make 10 years of qualified IBR payments, all your remaining loans will be forgiven

I highly recommend this program for anyone who is having trouble making payments under the standard repayment plan.

May 20, 10 8:09 pm  · 
On the fence

You need to find a women with a really good job and marry her.

Or switch careers which does not require more debt, err I mean education.

May 21, 10 5:30 pm  · 

dot, it might be common, but that doesnt mean its not absurd...

May 21, 10 5:40 pm  · 
zen maker

I sold my soul to the devil (student loan companies), how can I merry a goddess (girl with money)?

May 24, 10 10:36 am  · 

1k a month is fairly common among people who had to pay their own way through school. I know it's difficult to understand for those who haven't gone through the process.

Just to help put the dilemma in perspective--I have something like 23 loans through more than 5 lenders, or maybe vice versa, just in federal aid. I also have private lenders. I worked in school, but took the full award each year to help pay rent, bills, and food. Looking back, I took out more than I should have, but that doesnt mean the system isn't a racket.

Recent grads with nearly any student loan debt right now are pretty screwed.

May 24, 10 12:15 pm  · 

'hence why i dont understand why folks get in crazy debt in the first place.....

they can foreclose your house but they can't foreclose your brain'


Have you been unemployed during this recession or previous recession for any length of time? With a mortgage, student loan debt?

The reason I ask is because you seem a bit out of touch with the current situation which is that everyone and their mothers cousin has been doing what you mentioned since the dawn of this profession. Why would you think there is ample opportunity now for all of us to go out and 'hustle' like no one thought of that? Just saying.

May 24, 10 12:19 pm  · 


Great info there! Thanks for the link.

I went through the calculator and entered my information which returned an estimated monthly payment based on my income and a 6.8% rate over 25 years of about $300/month.

Thats a much easier pill to swallow.

I think the problem lies mainly in the confusing nature of the student financial aid system. Like I said I have 25 differnt loans through more than 5 lenders that Direct Loans can see. I also have a handful or private loans which I can basically only track through my credit report to find out which banks I need to contact. In my mind, that is a very broken system. The whoel credit reporting system is a sham as well.

May 24, 10 12:27 pm  · 


well, I have been self employed for 10 years and have had my ups and downs in the business (construction/design/build). I've managed to pay 90% of my undergrad degree off in 3 years after undergrad due to me 'hustling' in work and paying off these bills. I didn't buy a house because I seen the economy for the past 10 years and refused to get myself into a bigger situation. Both of my cars/trucks have been paid off for over 5 years also and the only bills I have are rent/cell/gas/food. I'm also in graduate school and took a few loans on that, but I also received a few scholarships to offset the costs. I have no kids and I'm single.... once I become finacially stable, I will then find a lady friend and move ahead with a family/etc. But for now, I'm changing careers and looking into other avenues that are related to architecture but not as under paid/long hours/etc as the field is now.

Some call it work, others call it a 'hustle' all depends on which side of the fence you are standing on. Also learn to diverse yourself to bring in money.

Also, out of the 10 years of being self-employed, I collected un-employment for 6 months since I moved out of state for a full time job only to get laid off 4 months later..... but I have enough talent/skill sets to look into other fields and bite off work here and there.

I also refused to take on more loan debt than I could/should have. learning to LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS is a life lesson and everyone should do it......

You can't rely on a company to hire you to make a check. Some folks are just lazy and others bitch about it..... then you have others that get up and make it happen and do what they have to do to eat. I wouldn't rely on architecture for anything right now.... just saying

May 24, 10 3:07 pm  · 



Now that we're down to comparing length and girth of our ermm...experience, let me share where I'm coming from.

I also owned my own business for three years. I did design-build after working as a foreman for four years and learning enough of the trade and teaching myself how to draw plans, write contracts and keep my books at night, moonlighting if you will while working full time as a construction foreman to make a few extra bucks on the side. Believe me, I know the meaning of the word 'hustle.'

Basically, you're preaching to the choir friend. But what's your point anyway? We should all work more and harder? The rest of us are idiots for not being as multi-talented as you?

I'd like to see how grad school goes for ya with all that 'hustling' you're supposedly doing these days. What are you even doing in this discussion? ...Hannity is on RIGHT NOW!

May 24, 10 11:42 pm  · 

thank you for sharing that link!

May 24, 10 11:47 pm  · 

"Basically, you're preaching to the choir friend. But what's your point anyway? We should all work more and harder? The rest of us are idiots for not being as multi-talented as you?"

to each his/her own..... you don't work harder or more... you work smarter and faster, hence why i mentioned picking up side work doing quick graphic work/etc per project than working at a coffee shop on an hourly rate.

no one is an idiot either... it's just life and another lesson... we all get burned some how in a variety of ways, it's a matter of seeing what went wrong and how to avoid it later, hence why i'm in grad school for a different degree.

i was down and out a few years back and went through a lot of shit, but managed to pull myself out of it, I would just suggest folks to take a look at how far in the hole they are with debt and ask if all these 'extra' things are worth cars/homes/clothes/etc.... some folks are quick to pull out the credit card (in which i've never own one and don't think i will) and buy it now, pay it later.

if i'm preaching then i will stop, but all i can say is that i have been on the outside looking in and vise versa and just glad that i managed to pick up some different skill sets that were useful outside of the architecture industry.... it wasn't that hard...

May 24, 10 11:56 pm  · 


I agree with you on some stuff. When I got laid off last year (only lasted few month before rehired back), but I freaked out a little bit and cleared all my credit cards off and will stay from credit for a very long time. If I can't afford it, I will not be buying it. If I really want it, I will save up and then will see if I want it after saving for a period of time.

When it comes to cars...I'm picky and will spend money, but I drive my cars for a long time instead of buying some Taurus or Pontiac that will start breaking down after you pay it off....

I had something else to say, but forgot. I'll be back!

May 25, 10 12:03 am  · 

"When it comes to cars...I'm picky and will spend money, but I drive my cars for a long time instead of buying some Taurus or Pontiac that will start breaking down after you pay it off...."

Honda Accord all the way!! Before that I had a Saturn.Bought it for 3k and paid around 10k for the repairs! O_0

May 25, 10 12:30 am  · 

All I'm saying is that there are a number of circumstances that occur in a person's life which make can lead up to significant financial debt. Not everyone has a rich uncle, but on the other hand not everyone who goes into debt has been burning funds on clothes and luxuries.

I don't have a credit card, car, or fancy clothes. I, like a lot of people probably in this thread live in a modest apartment doing what I gotta do to get by, which for me means driving 80 miles plus a day for work on a meager wage.

The larger problem at hand is the higher educational system bubble and the quagmire of banks and federal lending programs which make it very easy to take loans to get through college, but very difficult to actually pay back. Then there is the quantitative value of a college education in the 21st century versus market absorption of new grads, many of whom admittedly never really knew what they were going to college for in the first place.

May 25, 10 11:41 am  · 

I would assume most people on this thread have a degree having pursued an advanced I architecture, where, before the recession, afforded most people an above average salary doing work they enjoy.

Architects are not the only ones who struggle with student loans. I know many doctors lawyers who have quadruple the debt of most architects I know, and even though they have the promise of higher salaries far down the road, it's proportionate to their debt and is not that far off from architects. For this reason, I get really tired of architects complaining about their debt.

Larchinect, I think you raise a point, but the problem is not professionals getting a second degree from established institutions (as is the case for most on this thread). The problem is the university phoenix and other for-profit schools luring would be community college or vocational students with aggressive lending and the promise of jobs when they come out. This aspect of the education is in fact a scam, and may create a lending crash much like the mortgage crisis.

May 25, 10 6:32 pm  · 


You may be right.

Between universities I attended a 'for-profit' community college for a little over a year for drafting. I think I stated earlier that the comm college grabbed me pretty good. I can see how much my sensibilities have changed from my early to late twenties and now that I'm approaching thirty the decisions I made as an individual with little guidance in my early twenties seem pretty dumb. I can see how a lot of people can make a few mistakes like I did, especially when they're just starting out.

i dont know about the doctor thing. I'm pretty sure even an intern gets more than an average junior architects salary. I'm in landscape by the way and I would say things are certainly bad, but not as horrific as architecture. In either case I would attribute the problem simply to an oversaturated job market. There's no jobs, even if you're hustling and willing to work 24/7. Students I talk to tell me professors are still telling them things are turning around and everything is rosey. Meanwhile maybe 4% of my graduating class is working.

May 25, 10 10:40 pm  · 

Larch - it's true with some doctors. my bud that i graduated high school with told me how much he made as a neurologist (same age as me), and surprisingly, it was less than what I was making at the time as an architect. Granted, he has a higher earning potential and will be making 200k 5-10 years from now, but starting off, it's not a lot of money, and his medschool debt was triple mine for my MArch. My point is all professions have a rough and challenging path, not just architects.

May 26, 10 11:10 pm  · 

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