Home > 2016 > Students

13 Things People Without Student Debt Will Never Understand

Advertiser Disclosure Comments 0 Comments

Having student loan debt is like being a member of one of the country’s saddest, least-exclusive clubs. More than 43 million Americans have student loan debt, and the share of college graduates who finish their degrees in debt is steadily rising. Twenty years ago, less than half of people with bachelor’s degrees had student loans, but that increased to about 64% of graduates by 2005 and 71% by 2015, according to an analysis from student loan and financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz.

Sure, those education loans helped people get college degrees they might not otherwise have been able to afford, and doing a good job managing debt can help people build credit, but for the most part, there’s not much to love about student loans. They’re mostly just a huge pain.

Here are 13 things that the lucky minority of debt-free college grads will never understand.

1. There’s that falling-off-a-cliff feeling you get when letters start rolling in after you’ve left school, telling you it’s time to pay up.

2. You quickly realize your disposable income is also going to fall off a cliff.

3. Then there’s the confusion of dealing with a loan servicer whose name you don’t recognize, because you borrowed money from the Department of Education.

4. Once you log in to set up your account, you see your loan balance and think, “Holy crap, that’s way more than I borrowed.” Interest is a soul-crushing beast.

5. You stress out every month about your payment arriving on time, even though you set up automatic payments.

6. But when the payment goes through, you’re pissed because you just gave away another couple hundred dollars you could have saved for a down payment on a house, or to replace your run-down car, or for that emergency fund you know you need, or to take a vacation or a million other things you don’t have the money for.

7. And if the payment gets screwed up, you get to frantically make phone calls to try and fix the problem, get late fees waived and hope a late payment doesn’t end up on your credit report.

8. There’s the sad familiarity you have with your student loan servicer’s phone number, because you’ve probably saved it in your phone so you know who’s calling you incessantly about paying your bills.

9. And even if you’ve been making payments for years, you feel like exploding at the sight of your account balance — because that pesky interest and decades-long repayment plan seems to keep you from making any progress toward getting out of debt.

10. But you keep paying anyway, because it seems like there’s no way out of repaying your student loans, even if the rest of your financial life collapses around you.

11. Then, after you’ve gotten used to sending your payments to one place, your loans are transferred to another company and you have to set up everything all over again.

12. Then there’s that moment each month when you’ve forgotten about how much you hate your student loans, only to get an email about when your next payment is due, or there’s a message you have to log in to read, or some other annoying bit of communication that’s probably meant to be helpful but you’re certain it exists solely to torture you.

13. And, eventually, there’s the ridiculous joy you feel when you make your last payment and you’re finally free of student loan debt.

If you’re having trouble paying your student loans, it’s important to find a workable solution so you don’t default on them. For the most part, student loans aren’t dischargeable in bankruptcy, and falling behind on your payments can hurt your credit and may even lead to wage garnishment. (If you want to see how your student loans are affecting your credit, you can get a free credit report summary on Credit.com.)

More Money-Saving Reads:

Image: DigitalVision

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Our Owners

Credit.com is owned by Progrexion Holdings Inc. which is the owner and administrator of a number of business related to credit and credit repair, including CreditRepair.com, and eFolks. In addition, Progrexion also provides services to Lexington Law Firm as a third party provider. Despite being owned by Progrexion, it is not the role of the Credit.com editorial team to advocate the use of the company’s other services. In articles, reporters may mention credit repair as an option, for example, but we’ll also be sure to note the various alternatives to that service. Furthermore, you may see ads for credit repair services on Credit.com, but the editorial team isn’t responsible for the creation or implementation of those ads, anymore than reporters for the New York Times or Washington Post are responsible for the ads on their sites.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team