Student Loans: A Love (Hate) Story
July 30, 2013

For most student loan borrowers, dealing with loan repayment is a love/hate relationship. Granted, we love the loans for enabling us to attend college. But let’s be real, student loans can interfere with many aspects of life – particularly those that are enjoyable. Thinking about a long overdue vacation? How about that down payment on a new car? What about building savings for the future? When your student loans take over your life and become an unreasonable burden – your feelings about them can deteriorate to hate quickly. Love em’ or hate em’ student loans are here to stay, but heed these warning signs, because you might be in a dysfunctional relationship with your student loans.

 

It all starts with that first letter from your student loan servicer. Look for first contact to come before you’ve recovered from your graduation revelry hangover.

That first missive may feel like a love letter of sorts that welcomes you and promises great things from your relationship. But wait – there’s more…

 

If your relationship doesn’t get off to a good start and you’re not giving it the attention it requires, subsequent communication will be increasingly less affectionate…

Look for letters to increase in intensity and frequency. This is the point in your relationship that you need to think about how to move forward on better terms.

 

At this point, you may begin to wonder exactly who Sallie Mae is and how you got involved with her. She didn’t seem this cray cray when you first got involved…

Turns out, your loan servicer knows EVERYTHING about you – your birthday, where you live, where you work, how much money you make… but what do you really know about this financial stalker?

 

You soon find out exactly how demanding your servicer can be and no matter what they said to get you to sign on the dotted line, in fact, they only love you for your money.

This is when you realize they WANT WANT WANT you to pay your super expensive monthly loan payment…or else!

 

At this point, you move to the bargaining phase. You promise you can change, beg them for a little more time to make it right and do everything you can to keep your relationship intact.

This is when you start to get an inkling that maybe this isn’t the best relationship for you – but it’s too late, you’re already in it!

 

You now realize that your relationship is broken and that if they won’t be reasonable, you may have to put down your foot, draw a line in the sand, make an ultimatum… You get the idea.

This is when you’re ready to stand your ground and DEMAND DEFERMENT to hit “pause” on your relationship.

 

With room to breathe, you may wonder if there’s a branch of government to help you… some sort of legislative guardian angel to protect you from these aggressive antics… some sort of financial restraining order maybe… 

This is when you realize just how deafening silence can be – broken only by a timely chirp…

 

At this point, you bask in the relief that comes from knowing you’re on a break… at least for now. But don’t kid yourself, it’s a break, not a break-up and a reckoning is coming.

It’s easy to get comfortable in this phase – to forget about your problems – for the memories to fade (just a little) of how crazy it got before you called a time out.

 

But all too soon, the respite is over – not by your choice – and you’ll have to deal with restarting the relationship and it may be on even worse terms than before… Yikes!

If you’re still struggling to make your student loan payments when your deferment ends you may soon be on the downhill slide to delinquency and an even worse relationship with your lender…

 

After months and months of pondering if there’s a way to cut ties and just ditch this relationship that’s making you miserable, you come to realize that it’s just not possible…

It’s no use. Although staring dramatically off into the distance and pondering what life would be like without your student loans is distracting for a moment, you eventually realize you’re in stuck in this relationship – at least for a while longer…

 

Now’ s the time to work out a plan to move your relationship forward… even if you’re unhappy… even if being tormented with hot pokers is preferable… you agree, because it’s unavoidable.

This is the point you realize you must learn to embrace the pain and find a way to live with it… even if it stings a little (or a lot).

 

The sad truth is you may have more than one dysfunctional student loan relationship in your life. Now is the time to realize you need help to get the Cheetos out of your hair and find a better way…

If only there was a free online tool to help you figure out a repayment plan that works best for you… But wait. There is. And you don’t even have to get out of your bathrobe to check it out. Just click here.

 

Then one day – perhaps in a few years – perhaps in a decade – after dealing with the ups and downs of this dysfunctional relationship that has driven you nearly insane – you’ll be done!

This is when you’re ready to relish the vanquishing of your student loans with an epic celebration (pink tutu optional, but recommended…)

 

And after you’re done with this financial relationship – maybe you’ll be ready to move on to a more loving relationship with a nice mortgage lender your parents approve of…

Or better yet….Ryan Gosling. If only he wasn’t in a relationship with Disneyland…

 

Learn to love… or at least stay in control of your student loans so you hate them a little less. No matter what kind of loans you have – public or private – how much you owe or to how many lenders – Tuition.io’s free student loan management tool can help you keep track of your debt in one easy dashboard. Find out what Tuition.io is all about and then read our blog for tips on how to tackle your student loan debt!