Do I Have to Repay My Student Loans?

Yes -- low salaries don't get graduates out of debt.

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Dear Alpha Consumer,

I went to truck driving school two years ago with the promise that I could make $50,000 a year. I took out $9,200 loans to pay for the three-week course. But now, I don't see how I will make $50,000 a year. I was hired to drive for 31 cents a mile, which is the going rate for beginning drivers.

It's obvious I won't be able to make $50,000 a year this way. Did I get fooled into taking out these loans? Do I have the right to a refund if I can't earn $50,000 a year? Unfortunately, you are probably on the hook for those loans, even if you can't earn $50,000 a year. Any school that promises you a salary when you graduate, as you say this one did, deserves skepticism -- and a possible investigation into false advertising. But whether the school made that promise or not, you shouldn't have believed it, because no one can promise you a future salary with any degree of certainty.

In extreme circumstances such as disability or unemployment, loan companies sometimes do allow people to temporarily put their loans on hold. But it doesn't sound like you would qualify for such special treatment. So there's only one thing to do: Figure out a way, either through tighter budgeting or increasing your income, to pay off that debt. It's the only way get it off your back.

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