Our nation’s approach to adult co-signers and retirement-age borrowers of student loans is broken.

A Sea of Papers

Stacks of crumpled, dusty paper smothered my mother-in-law’s worn dining room table. We sat scrunched shoulder-to-shoulder, squinting in the dim light at hundreds of pages of tiny text.

Somewhere in this vast ocean of paperwork lived the answer to her simple question: Do I still owe money on my son’s student loans?

You are probably wondering why the answer to such an important question is so difficult to find. Then you remember that we are in the god-forsaken world of American Student Loans, which immediately accounts for the confusion. …

Refinancing is such a beautiful, mysterious word, isn’t it? It exists in the foggy crossroads of “adulting” and personal finances, vaguely connected to something about mortgages, interest rates, and risk. It’s a fear-tinged decision, as with anything complicated and important that can have such a huge impact on your life. (If only we felt as undecided about taking out education loans in the first place… but I digress.)

Clearly professional-quality image by The Angry Grad.

At its heart, refinancing is simply an attempt to get a better deal for yourself on a loan repayment plan, either by reducing the interest rate, readjusting the repayment period, lowering the…

The Ugly Facts

Here’s the scoop:

As it’s currently set up, income-based student loan forgiveness is, to be frank, a ruse (see also: sham, hoax, jig, and shenanigans). Contrary to all common sense, it will not save most borrowers from crushing debt.

I’ll shamelessly take any excuse to reference an Archer phrase. Clearly professional-quality image by The Angry Grad.

To clarify, I am not referring to the narrowly applicable Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, which does legitimately seem to conform to the average human’s sense of what “loan forgiveness” would entail… although it is also not without its problems.

No, I am referring to the more common income-driven repayment plans available to most federal loan recipients, which include such…

The 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction may seem like a convenient perk that loan servicers are offering to you, but if you are trying to pay off your loans rather than aim for PSLF 10-year-forgiveness, you will run into some sneaky traps. I learned the hard way so that you don’t have to, and while navigating those perilous waters, discovered a few hacks that you can use to ensure you get the best out of AutoPay.

Clearly professional-quality image by The Angry Grad.

Newsflash: Your Loan Servicer is Not On Your Side

There are, conservatively, a million examples of how student loan servicers coax, nudge, and trick graduates into staying in debt for as long as…

Welcome, fellow sufferers, to my stories, where I will regale you with infuriating stories and hard-won lessons learned when it comes to repaying crushing federal loan student debt. Some of you may already be all too familiar with this current state of affairs. Some of you may know someone who is. And still more of you may be pondering joining the club of Angry Grads, god help you.

Clearly professional-quality image by The Angry Grad.

Our Sorry State

According to The Federal Reserve’s official numbers, by 2017 there was $1.48 trillion of outstanding student debt in this country. $1.48 trillion. How does one even begin to wrap one’s head around…

You may be wondering who The Angry Grad is, and why she wants to bring together a ranty community of fellow victims of the Great Student Debt Con of the millennium. Before I dive in to the heart of the matter, allow me to share a little bit about how this angry grad became The Angry Grad.

The Angry Grad’s spirit animal. Clearly professional-quality image by The Angry Grad.

The Angry Grad’s Story

My student debt woes are largely self-imposed. Sure, there was the economic and social pressure to obtain an advanced degree, and the crash of 2008 pretty much drowned the job market… but still, a choice was made. My choice was to attend a…

The Angry Grad

One woman’s journey into the terrifying, punishing world of student loan repayment. Follow along at https://www.angrygrad.com/.

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