Early in Aubrey Plaza’s recent movie, Emily the Criminal, her character is seen calling her student loan servicer, between food delivery shifts, to ask why her recent $400 payment wasn’t applied to her balance. She is stunned by the response: “It was applied to my interest? Sorry, how much interest is being added a month?” The scene cuts to her texting what turns out to be a credit card fraud ring in hopes that she can make extra money, fast.
While most people do not turn to crime to pay off their student loans, the demoralizing experience of making student loan payments month after month only to see the balance stay the same — or even grow — is common.
In an op-ed appearing in The Hill on January 18, 2023, Abby Shafroth asserts that it doesn’t have to be this way and that everyone should have a path to pay down their student debt. And it shouldn’t take a criminal side hustle to do it.