Well, six years ago, I apparently made a deal with the devil when I began taking out student loans to pay for my education. I have always been a sensible person, knew the responsibilities, and knew that it would take me approx. 10 years to pay back student loans, but I had no idea that it would be so tough to pay student loans on a teacher's paycheck. I took out a total of approx. $56,500 - half private at 8.5% and half federal at an avg. of approx 5%. I've looked into consolidation and there's not much that can be done...apparently the devil does not like refinancing! When all my student loans enter repayment come this November, I will more than likely be paying around $700 a month for all my student loans. Yikes. :help: I'm making $40000 as a first year teacher and my yearly studnet loan bill eats approx. 40% of my yearly take-home pay. I've been staying with my parents since I graduated in May...until I get a place of my own. Well, things are looking grim now because I don't think I'll be able to afford to live on my own and there are no options for roommates. This is just all very sad when someone that has an education can't afford to live on their own because they had to borrow money to pay for the education...that now has them not able to live on their own. Please, someone tell me that your student loan situation after college was like mine. I honestly feel like I made a deal with the devil!