Grad’s student loan debt hits $555,000!

Imagine waking up one day and finding that your student loan bills were more than half a million dollars.

That is what has happened to Columbus, Ohio family practitioner Michelle Bisutti, according to the Wall Street Journal. She signed on for about half of that bill; when she graduated from medical school in 2003, she had taken out about $250,000 in loans to get her degree. But a deferment while she did her residency, default charges and relentlessly compounding interest have added the rest, and the balance even includes a $53, 870 fee from a collection agency.

“Maybe half of it was my fault because I didn’t look at the fine print,” Dr. Bisutti says. “But this is just outrageous now.”

Dr. Bisutti has found that ditching a student loan is virtually impossible, especially once a collection agency gets involved. Although lenders may trim payments, getting fees or principals waived seldom happens.

Sallie Mae, the nations largest private student lender, supports reforms that would allow student loans to be dischargeable in bankruptcy for those who have made a good-faith effort to repay them, says spokeswoman Martha Holler.


By Doug Beaton

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