In The Interest of Lowering Future Student Debt, My Loan Situation

by Kate Lowry

I went to a public university for a bachelor’s degree and have almost $50K in student debt. I graduated in 2009. It took four years, with a full load every semester and summer school. I also worked at Starbucks 25–30 hours per week. When I graduated, like everyone else in 2009, I couldn’t find a job. For a year after college, I worked full-time at Starbucks. Needless to say, I fell a little behind on my student loans, detailed below:

Federal Direct
Original amount: $20,301.07 at 6.8%
Amount I owe now: $22,645.45

Sallie Mae
Original Amount: $13,125 at 8.25%
Amount I owe now: $14,460

Original Amount: $12,753 at 3.96%
Amount I owe now: $12,565.72

Total Amount I Owe: $49,671.17

I’m 26, and thankfully, I have a job now that allows me to live in New York City and pay my rent, bills, and student loan minimums — I can even save a little bit. I feel very fortunate, but also, should college cost this much? My mom helped as much as she could, and I went to college knowing I would be paying for it for a long time. But if I pay just the minimum ($348) every month, these will be paid in full when I’m 41 years old. I hope it’s much sooner than that!

Kate Lowry lives in NYC. (“Initially, I was going to not use my real name, but then I thought more about it. Debt is nothing to be ashamed of! [This is hard to remember.]”)