On Wednesday's episode of the WNYC podcast "Death, Sex and Money," Dr. Alyssa Savage reveals to host Anna Sale that she owes more than half a million dollars in student loans, a debt she feels she'll never be able to repay.
Savage is a practicing vet in Pennsylvania who took out loans to go to school and then more to cover her bills after a divorce. Her total now comes to $517,000.
"It starts to feel like Monopoly money," she says. "$350,000 in debt and $400,000 in debt — it starts to just feel a little unreal. Of course now I think about the shame I feel."
Part of that shame, she says, comes from knowing she's privileged, that she makes a great living and seems to be doing well: "I earn more than 90 some percent of people in this country and here I am going, 'Oh my gosh, I'll never retire,' or, you know, 'I'll never be able to buy a home' and who am I to think that having a fulfilling career is that important?"