Of course, life didn’t go as smoothly as I had envisioned as an 18-year-old. Fortunately, I had a six-month grace period before I had to start repaying my loans after graduating and I was confident something would turn up.This became glaringly apparent 10 years later, when I received an email from the HR department at my company: We are commanded to immediately remit 15% of your disposable pay to the U. But six months later, the only career-related job I’d found was an unpaid internship at a small literary agency.
The money first goes to pay collection costs and fees, and then when that has been paid off, towards the principal balance and interest.I’d thought about rehabbing my loans, but I managed to talk myself out of it every time. She gave me the numbers for the three agencies that were in charge of collecting my federal student debt and what I currently owed for each loan.The voluntary fees would probably be too high for me to afford. For the first time in years I knew the exact amount of my student loan debt. I still owed more or less what I owed before I had gone into default: ,000.When I began taking out student loans for university, I had a fool-proof five-year plan for paying them off. Although being a server in New York City can be wildly lucrative at the right establishments, I was working at the kind of restaurant where breaking 0 during a weekend shift was considered good money, and a “raise” meant helping ourselves to as much beer as we could handle without getting caught by the manager.I was going to go to graduate school, become an elementary school teacher, work in a high-needs public school for five years, and have the rest of my federal debt forgiven. If I stuck with the plan, I didn’t need to worry about those loans at all. We cannot reduce, amend or discontinue the deduction without written authorization from the U. Between paying for both my rent and living expenses, and saving a little bit of cash for going out, it felt like I had nothing left over for my student loan payments.