Talking ’bout my student debt

My Debt Story encourages student debtors to talk about their challenges. It was created by EARN, a nonprofit that helps low-income working families save for college, buy a first home, or start a small business.

CNN’s My degree isn’t worth the debt also lets college graduates tell their stories. Michelle Shipley borrowed $140,000 to complete a bachelor’s in political science and international development at Tulane.

Like many, I had no idea what money meant when I was 17. My family is not wealthy. I simply didn’t have the information or knowledge to know what it would be like now.

I had to pay for college on my own and took out loans for everything – rent, food, books, tuition, etc.

. . . I’m now working at a non-profit and I love it — but I don’t make much. I’ve been able to put off the payments through forbearance, but I know the $1,400 a month bills are coming soon. Not to mention, I’ve also racked up about $7,000 in credit card debt. My debt is a life-swallowing, all-consuming, hole in my life. No college degree is worth that.

A single dad in a low-paying job — despite a bachelor’s in biology and a master’s in public health — worries that his son will want to go to college.