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As Government Shutdown Drags On, Her Student Loan Interest Swells


We're going to start the program discussing the partial shutdown of the federal government, which is entering its third week. It's now tied for the third longest in history, with the president demanding billions for the border wall he once said Mexico would pay for and Democrats refusing. There is little hope for an end to the shutdown soon. President Trump said today that federal workers will, quote, "make an adjustment because they want to see the border taken care of" - unquote. Throughout the program today, we're going to hear from some of those federal workers and also people who rely on federal services.


GABRIELLE LOPEZ: My name is Gabrielle Lopez (ph). I work for a technology company over in Pennsylvania. The shutdown has been really, really stressful for me. I've recently finished college, and I'm trying to enroll in an income-driven repayment plan. But that requires information from the IRS. Obviously, I can't get that. So, in the meantime, the interest is just rising and rising.

This is also putting a damper on me trying to purchase my first home. I'm looking to see if I can find maybe a part-time job to try to make up the interest because I need to have that debt to income ratio at a certain level before I can purchase my first home. I thought, you know, I graduated. I'm going to get my first house early and do what I have been told will make me successful. Now I feel kind of deflated, like everything I've been told, everything that I'm supposed to do still equals out to the wrong thing.

So now I'm just at this point where I'm checking every day to see, when are they open? When are they open? I'm feeling really uncertain. I feel like I'm a huge planner, and, like, I make plans about planning. And I feel like I've followed my plan. I've graduated and have my savings together and did all the research to figure out housing loans, and now I'm being punished. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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