The Reality of Dealing with Student Loan Debt and How to Make it Better


So you went to college, got your degree or degrees, and now you’re stuck with a bunch of student loans on your plate. It’s a story that a lot of us know all too well. Heading off to college, completing an online program, or whatever way you’ve chosen to pursue your higher education, should be more rewarding than stressful and that’s not always the case. Did you know that 63% of millennials have more than $10,000 in student loan debt as of 2017? Yes, you read that right, more than 60% of us. On the other hand, over 44 million Americans collectively hold nearly $1.5 trillion in student debt.

We’ll give you a minute to catch your breath.

While the numbers don’t lie, neither does the reality once it sets in. You know, you go on a ton of interviews upon graduating, finally land a position after ions of searching, and then your student loan payments start rolling in like wildfire—all while you have an entry-level salary, rent if you’ve moved to a city, and your everyday expenses on top of that loan debt. We get it, and we understand how stressful it can get. We took a deep dive into our C&C audience demographic and more than half of our create & cultivators owe student loan payments.

What’s more interesting is the circumstances in which our audience is managing entrepreneurship and student debt. From business owners to current grad students and women who graduated over a decade ago, they all have student loan debt in common. We broke down some of our most surprising fan responses below.

  • Multiple women have had to delay the launch date of their own businesses because they’ve had to put their money towards student loans before business expenses

  • Women have had to lower their business budget in efforts to still make their regular student loan payments

  • A quarter of our audience graduated college between 9-12 years ago and are still left with student loan debt

  • Roughly 90% of our group participants anticipates that they will be left with payments for years to come, regardless of their graduation date

We wanted to get a better understanding from one of our C&C fans & the founder of a tailored weekend experience business. We tapped one of our readers, Kristin S., to help us get a clearer understanding of what it’s like to have a full-time job and start your own business with student loan debt under your belt.

  • Kristin works full-time in the travel and hospitality industry, in support of Human Resources business partners and the Employee Relations team at her company.

  • She graduated with her MBA five and a half years ago, and has worked at her current company since.

  • She went straight to grad school immediately after earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Business.

  • Her student loans kept her from pursuing starting her own business upon graduating with her MBA.

  • Kristin and her business partner have teamed up to launch a business that focuses on tailored weekend experiences, starting in the West Coast. These events will be geared towards a demographic of 25-36 year old women.

  • Although she’s experienced a financial burden, she says it’s opened her eyes to what financial commitment means and taught her to think critically about using her funds to start something of her own, which she is very grateful for.


It’s a real epidemic and our own C&C dream team is on the same boat as many of our readers. At the moment, 80% of our team is dealing with the reality of student loan debt, and have turned to different ways of managing it all. Here’s how we’re dealing:

  • Freelance Projects: As an additional financial cushion, some of the ladies on our team take on freelance projects. Having extra money has made it easier to save, rather than just having it all go towards bills.

  • Lowering payment: If the initial payment plan was too much for making ends meet, lowering payment was the next option.

  • Student Loan Forgiveness: One of our staffers was welcomed into a student loan forgiveness program, relieving them of debt. However, this is not an option for most.

  • Refinancing: Refinancing your current loan situation to help make it easier on yourself. Refinancing allows you to trade in your old loans for a new one with a lower interest rate. A preferred provider, CommonBond, can potentially save someone money on thousands of dollars of interest and/or time with how long they have to pay off the loan. With CommonBond, what you see is what you get: no fees, no hidden costs, savings from day one. You probably didn’t hear about refinancing from your original loan provider because they didn’t want you to find out about it. It’s usually a much better deal! Better understanding this option was a real eye opener to a lot of us!

What Do You Know About Refinancing?

What does it mean? Is it an option for you? CommonBond evaluates candidates for refinancing based on who you are now (in terms of income and financial status), versus who you were when you first took out the loans. CommonBond will meet you where you are. Checking your refinancing rates with CommonBond is totally free and will not affect your credit score. As people are thinking about big life events on the horizon (getting married, buying a house, having children, starting a business), taking control of student debt helps lay down the foundation for tackling those big decisions.

Interested in the thought of refinancing? To see your potential savings from CommonBond, fill out an application on the site.