Share Your Story of Student Debt

Share Your Story of Student Debt

August 5, 2022 - According to our AFA census, it’s likely that up to sixty-five percent of AFA members have taken out student loans.

Nearly 45 million Americans are caught in a debt trap. And the burden isn’t carried equally. Women hold two-thirds of all student debt, and Black and Latina women typically have the highest balances. One in five who hold student debt are older than 50—and the government is currently garnishing Social Security benefits for more than 200,000 Americans to pay student debt.

The numbers are shocking, and we’ll share more below. But behind the numbers are real people’s stories—stories about dreams deferred, painful choices, and opportunities lost. The banks have pushed loans out to students as fast as possible because it was a guaranteed return from the government.

In response to significant advocacy for working people struggling under this debt, the White House is considering cancelling a portion of it.

What is student debt costing you? Share your story.

Maybe you’ve delayed buying a home or having kids. Maybe you’ve put off a big dream. Maybe you decided not to take on more debt to become a pilot. Maybe you’re struggling just to pay your loans and your rent. Or maybe you’re paying off loans for a family member who couldn’t pay because they got sick, hurt, or lost their life.

Student debt isn’t a burden that students created. Since 1980, the cost of college has nearly tripled. In the same time period, real wages have barely moved, which means the “investment” in college didn’t pay off. It only increased debt. And at the same time, a 2005 law made it almost impossible to discharge student loans through bankruptcy.

All of these are likely reasons that cancelling student debt is wildly popular. Polls consistently show that more than 60% of Americans support ending this debt sentence for tens of millions of people struggling under its weight.

Share your student debt story. We know it’s hard and personal, but it’s real and your story will benefit workers, our economy and our country.

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