My Student Debt Is Causing Me Crushing Anxiety, What Do I Do? Women Weigh In

Anxious woman in bed


Leah Thomas
Leah Thomas866

It’s easy to see why student loans are causing some FGB'ers anxiety. According to Student Debt Relief, 60 percent of college graduates are in debt. There are 45 million student loan borrowers in the United States, and they owe a cumulative $1.52 trillion dollars.

One FGB’er consulted our Community to discuss her experience dealing with her student loans, saying, “the reality of debt is overwhelming.”

“I graduated from college 10 years ago and instead of feeling like an accomplished adult, I moved back home for a year. It was the most anticlimactic graduation story I never envisioned, but I had 90K worth of student loans,” she wrote.

Thankfully, the woman was able to manage her student debt anxiety by regularly attending therapy and paying down her loans.

“It took over 2 years of living at home + therapy every week to get over feeling like I was about to have a panic attack. BTW, I did have 4 panic attacks throughout those two years. It’s been a decade and today I can finally say, I’ve paid off my debt," she wrote. "To anyone who is feeling overwhelmed with debt, you’re not alone. But you’ll also get through this. Hopefully one day, things will be different.”

A few other FGB’ers responded to thank the writer’s honesty and share their own debt stories.

“I relate to this!” one woman wrote. “I'm 36 years old. Combined with my husband, we owe a little over $300,000. Here's the debt breakdown. $150,000 on our house, $40,000 on vehicles, $105,000 on student loans, and $5,000 on other miscellaneous stuff (credit cards, medical bills, etc.).”

Another offered some optimism, writing, “I had $40,000 in student loans when I graduated. I'm debt free as of this year (9 years later). I own my 7-year-old car. I rent an apartment. My credit cards are paid off in full each month. It took a while but things finally turned around for me.”

While suffering from the student loan crisis can seem unbearable, there are ways to make it less so. Finding ways to manage your debt, and ensure yourself it WILL be paid off, can help lessen your anxiety.

Stories of tackling student debt from real people can be helpful, like Forbes' “5 Steps I Took To Conquer $107,000 In Student Loan Debt," or this writer who paid off $60,000 in five years and was featured in Business Insider.

Othertimes, a tutorial may be helpful. The Simple Dollar offers its 15 steps to managing student loan debt, including truly understanding your payment plan options, sticking to your budget, and making a clear plan.

One FGB’er recommended famous financial advisor Dave Ramsey.

“Try Dave Ramsey ‘Financial Peace,’” she advised. “It's helped me pay off $80K, save, and have a better understanding on money.”

The most important step in conquering your student loans is knowing you are not alone. While it can be easy to feel overwhelmed while staring at a large amount of money you owe, remind yourself of the support you have and the resources that are available to you.

Have a money, career, or parenting question of your own? Reach out to our Community and tap into the minds of other brilliant Fairygodboss women.