Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

8 of 9
Carmela Brader: Debt begets debt
Carmela Brader: Debt begets debt
Carmela Brader (pictured with her husband, Joshua), is drowning in student loans.
Construction project coordinator, 27, Pullman, Wash.

In 2004 I graduated with a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington and $50,000 in debt from student loans and medical bills. After college I was sure I could pay it off.

After working 40-plus hours a week for four years, 2008 has brought me to the conclusion that work will only make ends meet, but never allow me to pay off debt.

To resolve the situation I have no choice but to pay my debt by making more money. A master's degree would enter me into a higher salary (and debt) bracket. With the economy, competitive job market, rising gas prices and high cost of groceries....I had no other choice.

So I work 40 hours a week for $30,000, started a masters degree in January '08 online for $23,000 a year. My husband makes $25,000 a year.

I have no children and do not own a home. I am just a married, 27 year old trying to make ends meet and get an education. I have to work a low-paying state job to cover medical benefits for my type one diabetic husband.

With the rising cost of life, what do you do, where do you turn? And when will it even be slightly affordable to have children? To afford healthcare? To fill my gas tank? To just buy groceries for two people?

NEXT: Your story
Last updated January 29 2010: 2:33 PM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
Designing the workplace of the future: Virtual reality and 3D panoramas As businesses go global and teams are scattered around the world, herding everyone into the same room for a meeting seems quaint. So companies are using technology to get creative. More
Sports teams want you back in the stadium Stadium attendance is down so pro sports teams are using technology to win back fans and get them in their seats. More
Homes in these ZIP codes are selling like crazy Strong job growth, growing interest from Millennials and affordable home prices are attracting home buyers to these cities. More

Special Offer