If you're having trouble paying off your enormous student loans you're not the only one. According to the financial website, WalletPop.com, the typical college grad leaves school with over $20,000 in loans, loans they have to start paying back as soon as the ink's dry on their diploma. It typically takes 15 years to pay it off. That means most grads will be pushing 40 before they’re free from that debt. Right now, about 60% of college loans are in deferment or default. Why? Because jobs are scarce and employers are hiring older workers with tons of experience over recent grads with no experience. So cash strapped students across the country are taking extreme measures to pay off their debts.

One grad mentioned in the article, with more than $100,000 in debt, had to move back in with his parents to pay his $1,200 a month student loan payment. He eventually found a good-paying job after about 2 years and moved out, but still struggles with the payments. Another woman had to ask her parents for her inheritance to pay down her loans. Now, ten years later, she still has about $30,000 left to pay off. Even worse, only $20 of her monthly payment goes toward the loan – the rest is interest. The most shocking story is of a young woman who contacted a brothel to auction herself off to pay her student loans. As “out there” as that may seem, the article says it’s not uncommon.

According to The Project on Student Debt, an organization that teaches students how to deal with loans, students are so overwhelmed that they’re filing for bankruptcy in record numbers, and some even consider suicide to escape their loans! So how can you make sure your student loans don't get out of control? Avoid getting private loans for school. With a federal loan you can get on an income-based payment plan or defer payment if you can't find a job. This might mean not going to that expensive out of state school. To get more advice, check out www.ProjectOnStudentDebt.org.