'Hasn't been worth it': Borrowers express regret as student loan debt accrues

Akilah Davis Image
Friday, September 1, 2023
Interest on student loan debt returns, borrowers have regrets
Interest is now racking up and borrowers wonder if they'll ever be able to pay off their balances.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- For many with student loan debt, this is not a day they've been looking forward to. Interest is racking up and borrowers wonder whether they'll ever be able to pay off their balances.

"When I say my heart is pounding in my chest right now, it is," said Jylonda Hill with anxiety in her voice. "If I didn't take the money out, I wouldn't have the education I deserve in the first place."

Hill is conflicted as interest on her six-figure student loan balance is growing. She wonders whether she should have opted out of college in the first place.

"In my genuine opinion, it hasn't been worth it," she said.

According to the Census Bureau, women like Hill bear the brunt of student loan debt. Black women are more likely than any other group to graduate with balances.

"It's going to be inconvenient for a lot of people and cause them to have payments for the next 15 to 30 years," said Arkell Barnes with Prudent Financial Group.

The Durham-based financial advisor told ABC11 that accrued interest on student loans keep borrowers from buying homes, saving and investing. There are many long-term effects.

"They're not going to have funds to take trips, fund their children's college education. They're going to go into more debt getting loans for those things because of their loans," she said.

It's something experts say they believe can be felt for generations.

That's why Hill already feels a sense of hopelessness. She said she feels she won't ever be able to pay back the debt this lifetime.

"I think it's going to be a burden forever and I don't know that I'll live to see the day it's not," she said.