Woman Owes $555k in Student Loans

spiraling staircaseWhile it’s not morally right to feel better because of another’s misfortune, this story may have students across the country feel just a bit better about the amount of money they will owe in student loans upon graduation.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Michelle Bisutti, a 41-year-old woman from Columbus, Ohio borrowed $250,000 to pay for medical school in 1999. The debt has since increased to $555,000.

Part of the spiraling effect is the result of her deferring loan payments while she completed her residency, default charges and relentlessly compounding interest rates, according to the Wall Street Journal. While in school, her loans accumulated interest with variable rates ranging from 3 percent to 11 percent.

While Dr. Bisutti’s case is rare, it is an increasing risk for many students, particularly in the wake of rising tuition costs, which forces many students to borrow more money just to pay for their rent, college textbooks and food. Add to this, the notorious nature of student loans, which make them very challenging to get out of, and this case sends a strong warning to many students who don’t exercise extreme consumer caution and read the fine print of their loan contracts.

Dr. Bisutti admits that much of her half a million dollar debt is her onus to bear and regrets taking out so many loans, two of which came from Wells Fargo, to pay for medical school. And for now, her plans for buying a house, a car, getting married to her boyfriend of three years and having children have all been shelved until she gets her debt under control.

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