We have $650k of student loan debt. Actually, we have just a touch over $400k now. I guess if we are willing to publish a blog about it then it is not like we were trying to keep it a secret. Sometimes I forget the magnitude of our student loans. Because how could I cope with life if I let the weight of owing more than half a million dollars in debt crush me? Anyway, sometimes when other people first learn how much student loan debt we have, they are shocked to say the least. This is a real list of actual responses we have received from people when they’ve learned how much student loan debt we have. A list I’ve been compiling over the last two years. I forget sometimes that it is quite shocking , especially to those with no or very little debt. We get the best responses from those guys.
- **Spits out beverage into my face**and said “WHAT???” Yep. Just like a movie.
- “Are you stupid?” I never know exactly how to respond to this. Stupid is as stupid does?
- “Holy sh**.” [Note the intentionally foregone exclamation mark] [Also, this is by far the most common response.]
- “Are you both doctors?”
- “Did you buy a lamborghini?”
- “Did you lose a bet?”
- “Have you thought about leaving the country so you don’t have to pay it back?” (Yes. People actually do this. But it’s not without consequence. Student Loan Hero has some good things to consider before you do this).
- “You should file bankruptcy.” (Just my quick two cents here. There is a federal law that says student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule so under some circumstances, they can be discharged. One thing you may have to show (depending on where you live and what law is applied) is “undue hardship” meaning you have extenuating circumstances as to why you can’t repay and you’ve tried to repay, among other things. So obviously, not everyone can just file bankruptcy and have their student loans disappear. Not to mention all of the other reasons why I wouldn’t want to file bankruptcy. Also, please kindly do not consider this legal advice. I’m not a bankruptcy lawyer 😉 ).
- “Oh wow. You guys are f–d.”
- “I don’t know why anyone would want to be a dentist.”
- “Good luck paying that off for the rest of your life.”
- “You guys are screwed. You’ll have to do something different to get rid of that.” (said by a teacher from the school in which the majority of our debt came from, so it stung but was true).
- “Oh my gosh. How do you sleep at night?” (We used to not sleep at night. But once we came up with a plan and learned how to get started paying off our debt, we’re sleeping much better).
- “What happens if you just don’t pay them back?” (I mean it’s a fair question, it just surprised me that this was someone’s very first reaction to how much we have haha).
- “Did you know lawyers actually don’t make that much money?” I do know that. Now. Also, not that helpful of a comment to make *after* one has already finished law school.
- “Wow so you guys account for like a big chunk of the national student loan debt.” (True kind of? Except that number is $1.5 trillion).
- “Why did you guys have a kid then?” (This is the only comment that actually made my jaw drop. But you can read why we had a baby even though we’re in debt here.)
- “Well, that sucks.” It does, indeed.
- “Eh, somehow they’ll probably just disappear.” (What? How? I think that’s what many students think starting out school only to discover that they don’t actually disappear when you graduate. Rather, they accrue interest and ruin your life. Of course you can seek student loan forgiveness on one of the many income driven repayment plans, we just don’t know what that looks like for us 20-25 years from now).
- “Need to borrow a $20?” (Yes please. Oh… I guess borrowing is what got me in this mess in the first place so nevermind).
So far those have been my favorite reactions to our student loan debt. My personal reaction was to lay comatose in my bed for a few days when I first understood how much interest had accrued and that we really owed well over half a million in debt and didn’t have jobs or the first clue about how to pay it off, haha. If you’re struggling with student loan debt (or any other crushing debt) make sure you grab a copy of my FREE Debt Payoff Starter Kit here!— it’s helped thousands of people get started paying off debt.
What about you? What’s the most shocking thing someone has said to you about your debt? Drop a comment below.