Graduated from Colgate University in 1996 and University of Michigan School of Social Work in 1999
Amount owed: $75,000+
Job: intervention specialist for at-risk high school students.
When Jenny Hecht finished her graduate degree in social work, she had nearly $50,000 in student loans. She paid for college and graduate school herself, but most of the debt is for graduate school.
"The University of Michigan was rated the No. 1 school in the country at the time, and I made an investment," Ms. Hecht says. "I didn't know that once I had my [master's degree] nobody would care where it was from."
Hecht expects to pay back the loans, but wishes she were allowed to refinance, as people can with other loans: She's stuck at 8.5 percent interest.
With a family, and a job that pays less than $40,000 a year, her payments haven't kept up with the interest on her debt, and her original loan is now more than $75,000.
"I don't want to sound like a victim, because I chose this career," Hecht says. "We live a modest lifestyle. We're able to pay our bills and stay afloat, except that this student loan debt is hanging over our heads always."