New Orleans rapper Dee-1 used part of the advance for a new album to pay off his student loans, and made a totally joyful music video about it that's now been viewed more than 1.1 million times on Facebook:
Dee-1 - Sallie Mae Back (Official Video)
***New "Sallie Mae Back" music video!*** Student Loans ain't no joke. Used part of my advance to pay em off. SHARE!Posted by Dee-1 on Thursday, February 11, 2016
It's a fun video — his glee at "paying Sallie Mae back" is infectious — that's also pretty accurate about what a lot of people with student loans go through.
Dee-1 raps about being late on his loans after graduating because he "wasn't making quite enough to pay 'em back," and messing up his credit ("Check my Equifax"). (He says he defaulted, but that means missing at least nine months of payments and going through a special process to put the loan back in good standing, so hopefully that's creative license — defaulting on a student loan is a terrible experience.)
What he doesn't mention is that there are options for people with federal student loans who aren't making much money and want to avoid missing payments and multiple calls from Sallie Mae, whose student loan servicing branch is now known as Navient.
"Income-based repayment" is a pain to squeeze into a lyric, but it allows you to pay back a percentage of your discretionary income rather than a set monthly payment, which can help those like Dee-1 who feel overwhelmed by how much they owe.