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The Student Loan Diaries: Nile Marshall

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The Student Loan Diaries: Nile Marshall

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We're making it personal. Our new weekly series, "The Student Loan Diaries," will feature testimonials from Marie Claire readers in debt, and tell what they’re doing to get rid of it. Check back every Monday to read another woman's story.

My Loans Have Barely Budged

Name: Nile Marshall
Alma mater: Georgetown University, Class of 2010
Loan balance in 2010: $39,411
Loan balance today: $39,715.37

After I graduated in the spring of 2010, I had a six-month window before I had to start paying off my loans. I used that time to save a lot of the money I was making as an analyst as Accenture, a consulting firm in Washington, DC. That November, my first loan bill came, and it was way more than I could afford. I desperately needed another option, so I enrolled in a repayment program that has allowed me to pay a reduced rate of $243 every month for the past two years. The major downside is that my savings account has taken a serious hit, and I haven't been able to put any money away since the loans kicked in. But I had to take what I could get.

This November, my reduced payment plan expires and my bill will jump to almost $400 a month. My budget is already tight—I live with a roommate in Alexandria, VA (about 11 miles outside of DC) because the cost of living is lower. I don't spend frivolously and my social life suffers because of it. I'm already looking for a part-time job for nights and weekends, so that the supplemental income can go straight towards my payments.

If that's still not enough, I'll have to move back home with my family. Hopefully, it won't come to that.

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