As with any issue, there are many sides and also just as many possible solutions. In 1983, newly divorced with two children to support and few factory jobs available, I leaped into the old *promise* that a good education = a secure future. I graduated in 1989 and by 1997 I experienced no less than 5 layoffs, periods of unemployment, several moves (homeless at one point), and the loan went into default. Got a job at Walmart (cashier) and paid my loan for the 10 years I was there. I have paid back almost $17,000. but still owe $16,500. on that $12,000. loan. Frankly I'm tired and can't jog through quicksand anymore. Promise? No.. It's a Nightmare!! There is no light at the end of the loan tunnel... no wonder people just give up.