$120,000 . . . $177,000 . . . Tales of Staggering College Debt

Barry Lenson

Majoring in Debt, hosted by The Huffington Post, is a blog where students write about the staggering debt that they have taken on to pay for their college educations. To date, about 100 students have logged on and told their stories.

Stories like these . . .

Jennifer Dessinger, who is $177,250 in debt, was the first person from her family to attend college. “I applied for all grants and scholarships that I was eligible for and did benefit from a few,” she writes on Majoring in Debt. “I maxed out my federal loan limit early on and then began taking out private loans.” Then she charged all her final-semester costs to a credit card. She is hoping to start a career as a photographer, but worries that her income won’t cover her $2,000 monthly loan payments.

James Ryan Moreau, who is $120,000 in debt, kicked off his college career by borrowing $30,000. Then he continued to borrow during the rest of his college years. “I really wish I had taken classes at a state school rather than paying the premium costs of private education that didn't get me much more,” he writes on Majoring in Debt..

Charlie Preston, who is $250,000 in debt after attending medical school, worries how he will ever get his loans paid back. “Having so much debt is scary,” he writes. ”But even more frightening is the callous and ruthless behavior of my private lender, which has made a bad situation a whole lot worse.”

How did these smart people get into such terrible financial trouble? They did it gradually, one loan at a time. Could part of the problem be that they didn’t know about StraighterLine’s ability to minimize college costs with online college classes?

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