The young woman from northern New Jersey graduated from law school in 2019, then found her first job as a law clerk this year, at a starting annual salary of $52,000.It would be a good start for a promising career, if not for the $425,000 in student loan debt that she had accumulated in earning the bachelor's and law degrees she would need to qualify for it. She is about to begin payments on the debt of nearly $3,000 a month, 69.2% of her monthly pre-tax income.The debt has dictated many of her important life choices, including moving back in with her parents and when she can get married."You expect that you're going to graduate and be able to go out into the world and be a real adult, be a functioning member of society," she told Newsweek. "But meanwhile you can't really do anything because you're tied down to these student loan payments every month."Students protest the rising costs of student loans for higher education on Hollywood Boulevard on September 22, 2012 in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, California. David McNew/Getty Her situation is far from typical. She has 16 loans—one for each of her semesters in higher education—in a ...read more...