I have accumulated $180,000 in student debt
COLLEGE can be a truly transformative time for many students.
However, the debt they accumulate can be overwhelming and, at times, overwhelming.
With rising college costs due to inflation, millions of students are feeling the debilitating weight of their debt, some with no end in sight.
For Dominick Bagnato, 37, he repaid his debt the old fashioned way, he writes in Huffington Post.
As high school students across the country and around the world begin their search for the college that’s best for them, Dominick has some advice.
Like many Americans, this New Yorker has racked up extremely high student debt at New York University (NYU) – around $180,000.
By comparison, the average student will graduate with just over $39,000 in debt, according to Credible.
Dominick hopes his story will reach the average 17-year-old who is preparing to start the school application process and should know how the debt process works.
He speaks of his journey as a cautionary tale, but one of great success.
In his Huffington Post article, Dominick explained, “We don’t talk openly about money in our culture.
“We’re asking 17-year-olds to decide whether to spend huge sums of money they don’t have without understanding what they’re getting in return or giving them examples of the burden they attach to their signatures.”
He graduated in 2006, so for 15 years he paid almost $1,300 per month for a total of $186,483.87 for his undergraduate.
“The lowest monthly payment amount on record was $958.87 when rates were extremely low in 2015,” Dominick said.
He was able to make his final payment in December 2021.
Although student loan debt may seem familiar and perhaps inevitable, there are ways to pay it off.
Dominick’s story is more of a warning, but plenty of experts offer real solutions for paying off student loans, suggesting tips and tricks to make the inevitable manageable.
Find a forgiving job
Fortunately, there are jobs ready to forgive your student loans given that you qualify.
the Cancellation of civil service loans (PSLF) is a program that, if eligible, cancels your student loan debt.
- You are employed by a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or nonprofit organization (federal service includes U.S. military service)
- Work full-time for this agency or organization
- Have direct loans (or consolidate other federal student loans into one direct loan)
- Repay your loans under an income-driven repayment plan; and
- Make 120 qualifying payments
Increase your payments
It may seem daunting to add to an already high amount, but it could help you save in the long run.
By increasing your monthly payment, you will lower the cost of your interest, sometimes significantly.
You can also make duplicate payments, which reduces the principal balance and also lowers your interest cost.
Create a budget
Budgeting is great for everyone, but especially helpful if you have high debt.
Planning and understanding how much you earn and need to earn will make your life easier when trying to meet your financial goals.
If you don’t stick to a budget, it can push you further into debt, adding further stress to an already heavy burden.
Proposal to suspend and cancel student debt
If you’re worried there’s no end in sight, maybe there is a solution.
New proposal set to extend student loan payment pause and cancel student loans, reports Forbes.
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) offered a four point plan to help relieve loan debt and borrowers for students.
- Give struggling student borrowers a clean slate.
- The income-contingent reimbursement should be easier to access and even cap the payment.
- Extend PSLF delay.
- Cancel student loans for all borrowers.
“I want a future where people can get a college experience that’s integral to their path to becoming the people they want to be, without delaying their future,” Dominick said.
We cover ways for Americans to receive student loan tax credits.
Also, detail eligibility for student loan forgiveness.
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