Student loans killing me!! stressed!

Nurses General Nursing


Hey guys,

so im in a ton of student loan debt about $110k to be exact. Found out last week debt of edu disqualified me from the loan forgiveness program TWO years ago despite turning in all my paperwork. I never got any letter/email stating they were disqualifying me either. I just happened to stumble upon some small print after I logged in to my account last week to make a payment. Needless to say I've been extremely stressed and feel like I'm drowning. I almost made a couple mistakes while at work because I think subconsciously I'm so stressed and distracted about my loans...then that made me even more stressed thinking about how I could've potentially harmed a patient (looking at the wrong patients lab results and almost replacing potassium when it was

already elevated). Thankfully I caught myself before giving it but I feel stuck. Plus I'm a travel nurse so I feel like my license is even more on the line at times. Always wanted to move out of the country or do a mission trip overseas for 6 months, but feel like I can't even do what I've always dreamed about because of my loans.

On top of it my car broke down and my travel agency won't help me out. They said they would take the cost out of my paycheck. So I went and rented a car myself and ended up denting it on a short pole that I couldnt see when backing out of a driveway. 🤯

Any advice on loans, how you deal with stress, etc would be helpful!

thanks all

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia.

You reduce lifestyle, sell things, work a ton of OT and put every possible dollar toward the debt.

I am not trying to pile on- but if you would share where you went to school that a nursing degree cost you in excess of $100k- it might serve as a cautionary tale to students out there who are willing to pay rather than wait for an affordable program.

What are your monthly loan payments?

What sort of privileged life have you lived? I would love for my student loans to disappear so I can travel out of the country. An employer paying for my car maintenance and repairs sounds pretty good, too. I can't imagine those things happening, though ...not even in my wildest dreams.

$110k is a ridiculous amount to pay for schooling. My degree cost less than $10k. And we are both RNs. But, what's done is done.

By spending $110k for schooling, this tells me you might not have the best financial sense. I would recommend reading and listening to Dave Ramsey. He's a financial guru that could possibly help you.

On a side note, you asked your employer to pay to fix your car??? I had to chuckle at that especially because you seem shocked that they said no.

Just graduating out of highschool I had no idea what I was getting myself in to and now looking back regret not going to a school in my state or even a community college. Learning my lesson now so really don't need to be to be lectured on that. No I did not ask them to pay to fix my car I'm a traveling nurse and most travel agencies will help you with a rental car since you are traveling for your assignments. That being said my company is not one of those. In regards to the "what sort of privileged life have you lived" comment makes me laugh because my family grew up with nothing and lived off of food stamps for the first part of my childhood.

I went to school at the university of Arkansas. Most of my family are not college graduates so I didn't have a lot of guidance with what to do with my fianances and college.

Would appreciate some constructive criticism instead of the rude comments from some you. Everyone is brought up differently and everyone makes mistakes. All we can do is learn from them.

My advice is to talk to a financial planner. See what advice they have. Some employers will help pay back your student loans if you have been there for a certain period of time, but I seriously doubt a travel company is one of them. I would work as much as you can tolerate. Don't burn yourself out to the point that you can't get out of the bed in the morning, but do try to work as much as possible to pay back this debt. You can work side jobs that don't have anything to do with nursing to earn extra $$$.

You need to really cut a lot of extras out of your life as well. It isn't going to be easy, but try to chip away at it little by little.

Also let others know of your struggles so they do not fall victim to this as well.

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia.

OP: Thank you for sharing- I have a special interest in helping people like you (first-gen college student who doesn't know what they don't know) avoid the very situation you now find yourself in. I am guessing you borrowed above and beyond the actual cost of the degree and funded lifestyle with your student loan monies as well, right?

I do hope you will become active on AN an help steer others away from making the decisions that put you in this place. But be aware you CAN dig yourself out of this hole. Google "Dave Ramsey" and read some of his books.

In regards to the "what sort of privileged life have you lived" comment makes me laugh because my family grew up with nothing and lived off of food stamps for the first part of my childhood.

Maybe "entitled" would have been a better choice of words. I grew up "poor", too. My father didn't even graduate from high school. I didn't have much guidance either, but I still have to pay my own bills. No one's going to pay them for me so that I can follow my dreams.

It sounds like you're young and may have plenty of time to do what you'd like to do in life. Just quit looking for someone else to do it for you and get it done, yourself.

Specializes in Hematology-oncology.

Do your loans qualify for loan forgiveness after 10 years if you work for a non-profit/public service? Here's a link to a site with a lot of info. Public Service Loan Forgiveness Questions and Answers | Federal Student Aid

If not, as others have said, what is done is done. I'm not judging you. I personally had to crawl out from under heavy credit card debt. Tips that help those with credit card debt or large mortgage payments with high interest will also help you.

~~Make a budget. Take a realistic look at your income. Then determine inflexible outgoing expenses (rent, utilities, debt minimum payments). What remains is income that first must go to food, transportation, and health care costs...then discretionary things like clothes/personal care/etc. This is where you can really get down and dirty and cut corners to pay extra on debt.

~~Advice to work overtime is spot on. There are other ways to make some cash such as uber, babysitting, petsitting, CPR instructor etc. I've known nurses who will even do things like a shift per week at World Market or the like to make extra money but with less stress than OT on their nursing floor.

~~Set aside time weekly to balance your budget and plan expenses for the upcoming week. One of the beauties of a budget is that once you tell your money what to do...stop thinking about it (or try to--it takes time). After a few months you will learn to trust your math. For the rest of the week try to find free things to do on your time off to let off stress. Walk or run in the park, go to street festivals, window shop, learn to love your library.

~~Find an online support group if you like. When my personal debt felt overwhelming, I joined a group on Facebook that helped more than I could possibly explain. It *IS* possible to overcome this. Take one day at a time. Make goals for the month, the year, and 5 years. You CAN do it.

There are a few coworkers in my department who regularly work overtime. For them 4-5 12-hour shifts a week are the norm. Once I asked the group why. The answer was because they were paying off student loans. One nurse has 3 college degrees and six figures in debt. The extra shift pay goes towards the debt.

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine.

Well, as of right now it looks like your mission trip and all other things which are not absolutely necessary will have to wait.

Get someone in your travel company you trust to speak and tell, with no details, that you will be happy to take the assignments nobody else does because you need those $$$$$. Then agree to everything and anything and work your tail off, period. Sacrifice your life. Get as many roommates as you physically can stand. Fish among your family, their friends, their friends' friends so you possibly can sleep on some couch free of rent. Shop Walmart at max. Walk around in scrubs. Make your own food from scratch.

If necessary, change your agency. Some of them provide ultra-short, ultra-****** assignments for $70+/hour.

Call your lender(s) tomorrow, make payment plan which is realistic for you and be compliant with it.

And, I hope, after about 5 or so years of such life you'll get free and for the future won't do this sort of mistake again.

Sourlemon: Confused where you got that I'm asking for people to pay my loans? I'm paying everything myself I'm asking for advice on how to go about things. If you want to continue being negative you can take your comments elsewhere. Seems like you're not having the best day either. If you read my post it isn't crazy for me to expect my travel agency to help with a rental care... most travel agencies supply or help with the cost of a rental car for their employees, but my company is not one of them which I did not know.

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