Student Loan Trap: A decision that could 'ruin your life'

An Oyster Bay man who took out student loans more than 15 years ago says not only is he still paying them back, but they

OYSTER BAY - An Oyster Bay man who took out student loans more than 15 years ago says not only is he still paying them back, but they have ruined his life.

John Koch says he originally borrowed $69,000 back in 1996 to attend college and become a lawyer. However, after failing the bar exam three times, Koch gave up on his dream and the reality of his student loan debt started to sink in.

Koch says despite taking other jobs, the payments made it impossible for him to pay other bills. Then, while between jobs Koch defaulted on his loans, triggering a huge default penalty that added somewhere between $40,000 and $50,000 to the balance.

Koch is now enrolled in a federal plan that allows him to defer loan payments based on his limited income. However, it also adds $2,000 of extra interest to his balance every month. He says he now owes around $304,000.

If you'd like more information on student loans and new ways to repay them, check out Amy Lauren's blog.

For an extended interview with a debt reform advocate, go to Channel 612 on your iO Digital Cable Box and select iO Extra.

Learn about student loansLearn about Federal loans and the benefits of consolidationNew repayment programs that allow you to pay according to your income and include loan forgivenessAlternative ways to fund college without relying solely on loansLearn about the difference between State and Private Colleges

Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

Nassau Police say a Hempstead man has been 1 Police: Man arrested for sex assault of child, stabbing 2 women
Police officers stand guard on a road leading 2 UK Parliament resumes, holds minute's silence after attack
The arena in Uniondale opens April 5 with 3 Rebuilt Nassau Coliseum to feature express parking lanes
During World War II, Sophie Sarro, from Huntington 4 Long Island's 'Rosie the Riveter' turns 103
A growing number of Long Islanders are jumping 5 Goin' Vegan: National trend growing on LI

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

Members of the Brentwood Class of 2012 celebrate 1 in 10 student borrowers default on loans

More than one in 10 borrowers defaulted on their federal student loans, intensifying concern about

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.