I’m 62 and borrowed $12,700 at age 40 to go to a state school and get a B.S. I worked while in school, got job at UMass after graduation, started paying off loans. While working got an M.S. and took in school deferments, got a better job at UMass, made payments, figured I paid between $5-7K on the loan when job funding began to tank. Sporadic work since then; no work or low pay since. Got financial hardship forbearance from Sallie Mae and all the while interest was being capitalized even though I blacked out that part of forbearance form. So now I owe about $28,000–from interest on top of 9% interest on top of interest ad infinitum; maybe $7,000 goes to $28,000 which I will never be able to pay back. Sallie Mae will not send a breakdown of my account or deviate from scripted demand for payment. For 2 years I’ve earned $8 per hour, 20 hours a week, now up to $9.50 an hour. It is pointless to even make small payments because I’ll still be in default and I can’t afford it anyway. NO way out. Boy, do I regret going back to school. I just started collecting Social Security–will Sallie Mae go after that or try to garnish my $237.50 a week pay?
I believe lenders love it when people begin to fall behind or can’t pay because they can just continue to pile on interest knowing the borrower can’t pay it, and they will basically have the borrower in debt for years and years. What a system! No, it’s not financial aid; it’s a dangerous loan/gamble that can be very very costly and destructive.