Nathan realized he couldn't pay his rent and his monthly student loan payments. Beth* collapsed in tears while doing yoga because she couldn't stop worrying about money. Jordan set a calendar reminder to force herself to finally make her first payment.
In 2017, hundreds of you wrote in to tell us about how you're feeling about student loans, especially the mix of frustration and shame you feel about it. But we also heard stories of turning points—when something changed that redefined your relationship with your student loans.
For Beth, that meant radically changing her spending and allotting close to half of her taxable income toward student loan payments. Nathan converted a van into a mobile apartment to save on rent while he chips away at his $200,000 debt. And Jordan, after first telling me how she's dodged her student loans for two years, finally set up regular monthly payments.
"It started becoming something that was consequential but inconsequential at the same time. Something that can be controlled and doesn't control me," a listener named Krista said about finally getting help managing her student debt. "That was a huge revelation."
Go to deathsexmoney.org/studentloans for more stories and to see how your debt compares to national statistics and to other Death, Sex & Money listeners.