Becky Gaul holds $96,000 of student loan debt. Her salary as a public school teacher for Nevada’s Clark County is about half that amount. Becky was raised in a household of little means in Ohio, but her single mother encouraged her to dream big. Becky qualified for scholarships, but when they weren't enough to cover her tuition at the University of Akron, she turned to student loans.
Ten years later, Becky, now 32, is still struggling under the crippling weight of those loans. She manages to make payments with the help of her husband, who works in construction, but recent job cuts at his company have terrified the couple.
“It’s a huge burden,” she says. “I can see it on his face every single day.” If he loses his job and she fails to make payments, the government could begin garnishing Becky’s wages. She doesn't think she’ll be able to keep a roof over her seven-month-old son’s head.