The average american has a student debt amount of around $30,000. The average auto loan is around $28,000. Why aren't people complaining about the burden of their crippling auto loan debt? Beats the fuck out of me! I took out a $15,000 auto loan when I got out college and I had it paid off in 9 months while making $35,000 a year. I never felt so rich!
Shamefully people are taking out auto loans now for 5 and even 6 years now, which is stupid in its own right, but let's focus on student loans. I'll give you a case study for somebody who I just helped with figuring out their own finances.
I was helping a Floridian who now lives in the most expensive city in the USA and who has been for many years now. He came out of college with $80,000 worth of student loans and had been making the minimum payments on them for years ($500 a month). Even with that said he was able to pay down about half of it in 10 years. The remarkable thing is he could have paid it ALL off probably 5 years ago! Which would put him at the old "suffering" "crippling" "burdensome" age of 30.
His finances looked like this: $180,000 sitting in a money market account. $40,000 in student loans. Not to insult him, but there was nothing remarkable about his finances. The biggest problem that I have to solve is what to with the $100,000 he has left over after the debt is paid off and he leaves $36k as an emergency fund. He went to a public university, not Harvard, Princeton, or Yale so there was nothing remarkable about his education or his job given where he lived. He was saving about an extra $2,000 a month that could have been used to pay off the loans so much faster. When I asked him why he didn't do that he said, "I guess I was hoping the govt would do away with it." Sadly I think a lot of people in my generation are holding out for this.
Now that he's not paying the $500 a month I told him to redirect all of that to max out his 401k. Did I also mention that he is currently putting enough away from his salary to get the employer match? Yep he was doing that also and still managed to get $180,000 in cash and pay off $40,000 in student loans over the past 10 years. Now with a few tweeks, he's going to be debt free and far along his path to early retirement.
QUIT BITCHING AND GET IT PAID OFF! All you're doing is hurting yourself by waiting for a govt bailout.