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Student Debt Stories

Your Student Debt Story Matters

Collecting your stories helps us humanize the issue of student debt relief because it's not just about the policy. It's about the people who will be impacted. Help others understand the impact student debt has on individuals and the Black community as a whole.

Storytelling Tips

Tell your student debt story your way. There are many ways to share your story. No matter how you choose to share, be authentic, be brief, and honest to help others understand the impact of student debt on our everyday lives.


It is imperative that President Biden uses his authority to deliver debt relief promised to 40 million student loan borrowers - or many will be forced to default. 

Senior Biden Administration officials have said it time and time again: resuming student loan payments without first canceling student debt will result in a catastrophic wave of unnecessary borrower distress and default. By codifying the end of the payment pause and restarting student loan payments, borrowers and their families will be forced back into a broken student loan system without providing the relief he promised them. 

My Loans Are Defaulted. Student Debt Relief Means:

Sheila S.

My debt-to-income ratio is so disproportionate that my risk for home ownership is not likely. Who will give us a mortgage with nearly $500k in student loan debt?

Debt: Between $75,000 and $99,000

Treena W.

Owing this amount of student debt is stressful. I'm fearful that my kids may be saddled with my debt when I die. I'm a disabled veteran, and I have to keep a job just to pay my student loan debt. It's hard.

Debt: $81,000

Charlie M.

This is America! Disenfranchised individuals like myself deserve an opportunity to pursue the American dream. We've lived and survived reality. Please give us an opportunity to dream!

Debt: $60,000

Valerie P.

I am currently the primary caregiver for my mother and husband who are both disabled. My husband has been recently diagnosed with lung cancer. I have taken on two jobs in order to make ends meet in paying for my student loans, which has taken time away from me being able to care for my family.

Debt: $200,000

Maryam B.

I wanted to provide for my family. I did not make a sufficient salary and worked 2 jobs. I was the mother of 4 young children and grandma. I have been paying my loans but I was told my last payment would be when I am 95 years old. I am 70.

Debt: Approximately $96,000

Asia M.

I am unable to launch a real estate business. Although my job pays me a decent salary, I usually live paycheck to paycheck and am unable to amass savings. I am afraid to start trying to have a baby with my husband because we are burdened with this huge debt and are not financially stable enough.

Debt: $300,000+

Student Debt Has Drastically Impacted My Life Because...


10 years of student loan compounded interest at 6.7% is criminal that requires $1000 monthly payments is a weight I carry. I had no other choice as a teacher. The only way to earn more was to get a master's degree. It's ironic. To earn more at a government job, I was forced to take out a government loan to attend a government university. This government loan was taken from my taxpayer funds at nearly 0% yet I, the taxpayer, was charged 6.7% compounded interest to borrow it.

Debra T.

The debt never goes away. Once I had it down to $4000, then had a baby, and it went up to $14,000 with interest because they kept deferring me rather than giving me income-driven repayments.

Troy B.

I'm living paycheck to paycheck.

Raquel B.

It is a third mortgage. We have an actual mortgage, childcare so that we can make a living (a second mortgage) and student loan payments become a third.

Rubin R.

I can not afford quality food.

Kesha M.

Lost jobs in the past and could not pay my loans. I've filed for bankruptcy and lost everything but student loans. The government bounces loans around from company to company! Every year my payment goes up even though my income doesn't! Can't afford a home or housing for myself and my child.

Having Student Debt For Me Means...


I'm not able to save for an emergency fund.

Dawn C.

I cannot purchase a home, I cannot establish new credit because my debt-to-income ratio is too high, my credit score is low, and I have not been able to get the things necessary for a better life.

K. Denise

The man I love won't marry me because of the dent we both have. I needed to borrow from family and my retirement fund in order to pay down debt. The impact to my credit has been devastating and I am often saddled with high interest loans for cars, homes, and high interest credit cards.

Erica L.

Each year the payments increase and it seems like the debt is insurmountable. I have not been able to save or invest as I would like.


I delayed having children and ultimately only had 1 rather than the 3 that I planned on.

Farisa J.

My student debt payment being unaffordable, I had to at times roommate with family. I've unfortunately had to exercise forbearance and delayed repayment options. This debt has been my greatest burden, regrettably.

Masked Girl Studying with Computer and Notes - Inside

Sign the Petition: Cancel Student Debt

Student debt relief is the much-needed policy solution in the midst of this economic crisis. Urge President Biden to take executive action to cancel federal student loans at a minimum of $50,000.

Canceling student debt would mean that I could...

Ileen J.

Not live in fear that if I were to die that this loan would be left for my surviving spouse because my name is listed on our home.

Ronald M.

Would be able to push towards starting my business and relieve some stress that me and my face on a daily basis.


Stop calculating how much time is left until retirement age and fearing that at that point, my loans will be discharged in IDR (other than my private loans) which will leave me with a huge tax bill in my golden years.


Start saving some money and dream of having enough for a down payment on a house one day. I

Jonvieve R.

Continue my education. I want to become a psychologist and help others.

James B.

Simply live a normal life and encourage more students to become educated without worrying about student loans.

I Support Free College and No Student Debt Because...

Barbara O.

The many benefits of financial security that overall positively impacts the economy. You are simply held back in other ways when you finally get your education.

T. C.

It yields the same opportunities for the American Dream to all college graduates and gives the degree more meaning.

Natalie G.

Just as with healthcare, education should be a right, not a privilege!

M. Henriques

it will highlight that America is capable of social justice and equality.

Chauntenay Y.

Many of us cannot survive to live day to day much less pay for education to make for a better tomorrow.

Ginger G.

It is the "right thing to do". The underrepresented & marginalized student has a more favorable opportunity to have the very basics at life.

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