It sits in the mailbox and taunts us: The thin sliver of an envelope, recognizable by the logo in the top-left corner, arrives every month. And my wife and I instantly react with a deep sigh.
It’s the latest statement from the company servicing her nearly six-figure student loan debt, which hangs over our heads like a grand piano on a rope. The sheer size of the number is so daunting that we fear that we’ll never be able to pay it off in full. And the psychological burden is so heavy that it haunts our relationship and our future.
We know that we’re responsible for landing in this mess, and that knowledge consumes us with guilt — for taking on the loans in the first place, for not making timely payments and for negligently consolidating them at an 8.5 percent interest rate.
But we wouldn’t be crushed by the loan debt if tuition had been affordable, if financial counseling had been available, and if the interest rate was not so punitive. This is how tuition fees function in most parts of the western world — except in America. Read more…