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Get Out of Debt

Signs that You’re Drowning in Your Student Loans

Student loan debt has reached unprecedented heights in the U.S. More and more young people are entering adult life with massive debts on their hands.

Some college grads are in hundreds and thousands of dollars in debt even before they have landed a first job. Still, certain segments of college grads believe that they will be able to cover the debts with their income, even when they clearly cannot. To know for sure if your life has become too consumed by student loan debt, look for these signs:

More Than 50% of Your Income Goes Towards Debt

You should not spend a good majority of your income towards paying back student loans. According to financial experts, no more than 30% should be spent on rent, about 10% on savings, and the majority on everyday living expenses. If more than half of your income is used to repay loans, then you have a debt problem.

You can Only Afford to Eat Ramen

When was the last time you ate out? Have you been making major cutbacks on groceries so you can afford to pay your bills? If you are still buying 10-cent Ramen packets like in college because buying a 5-dollar meal is too much, then you have a debt problem. As explained above, the majority of your income should go towards essential living expenses, like, you know, eating well.

You Can Only Dream about Owning a House

In the past, people could start families soon after graduating college and landing a job. Nowadays, owning a house is only a dream to many. If you are nose deep in student loan debt, no bank will be eager to offer you a mortgage. Even if you do get approved for a housing loan, the amount you receive might not be enough to buy the house you want. Thanks to student loan debt, you are probably forced to rent.

You are Thinking about Selling Your Car, or Never Buying One

If you own a vehicle, you might think about selling it or leasing it out to get some extra cash to reduce the student debt load. In your parents’ generation, this would have been unheard of. A vehicle is necessary for modern working life. Because of excessive student loans, many entry-level workers are forced to waste time on public transport, or completely forgo buying a vehicle.

How to Remedy the Situation

Your life shouldn’t be spent drowning in student loans. Paying back student loans can seem difficult, but there are several things you can try to remedy the situation.

Some people flee to Europe. Others call the creditors and ask to extend grace periods. If your income is far below what you intended to make, you may be able to come to settlement terms with the creditor. You can also seek help from debt relief non profits. It’s possible that, considering your income, you might be able to file a legal appeal to reduce or completely eliminate the amount you owe. Entering government service or a nonprofit profession might also help you relieve some of the debt burden via legal or settlement means.

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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The content on is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not financial advice and we are not certified financial advisors. strives to keep its information accurate and up to date, but it may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with companies listed on our site. We may receive compensation for the placement of sponsored products or services. We work hard to write authentic and accurate articles.