woman calculating student loan interest payments


TikTok of woman crying while talking about her student loan debt goes viral

Holly Polly did not hold back.


Kahron Spearman

Internet Culture

Posted on Aug 31, 2020   Updated on Aug 31, 2020, 8:21 am CDT

A TikTok favorite going by Holly Polly (@swankysquirrel1) has gone viral with a video of her simultaneously laughing and crying over the amount she still owes on her student loan debt. 

The video commences with her saying she simply needed to get information from her loan; but the clashing emotions in seeing what was already paid, and what she still owed, became too much.

“What the fuck?” she exclaims. “I started with $80,000, (that) I’ve been paying (on) for 10 years. I paid $6,000, lump sum, because that’s the only way I could get it low. That took me to $76,000 after I’d been paying for nine years.”

Then came the doozy where she noted she already paid $120,000, but still owed $76,000. “How the fuck is this possible?” she half screams, hands balling fists.


“I think I might be late to the game learning about this,” she continues after a pause. “Student loans are really messed up.” 

She whispers, “$120,000, what am I supposed to do with this?”

In the caption, she wrote: “Should have stayed stripping #studentloans #fanniemae #fuckcollege.” She also made sure he had the 7% interest rate she’s apparently paying overlaid onto the video.

The video has garnered many reactions on Twitter, mainly regarding possible practicing of predation by student loan holders, and from those who believe student loan debt is about personal responsibility.

@feedmewoke, tweeted, playing out a condescending, hypothetical conversation:

“I’m poor my job doesn’t pay enough” WELL GET A SPECIALIZED DEGREE STOP WHINING. “I have a degree and I am working my way in rank but I’m drowning in student debt.” WELL MAYBE YOU SHOULD PICK A BETTER DEGREE. “I picked a good degree. Now market is oversaturated.” WELL.”

Others noted why younger generations aren’t able to attain previous generations’ common markers of success, collectively pointing to their loans.

“Why aren’t more millennials buying houses?” wrote @azurebowie. “Why aren’t more millennials having babies and starting families? Why do they fucking think?


Calls for canceling student loan debt have grown louder recently, with a chorus of congresspeople and senators raising the flag for forgiveness.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tweeted in support on Friday: “Abolish student loan debt.” 

Omar echoed comments by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), who called for universal student loan debt cancellation earlier this summer.

“The average borrower has $30,000 worth of [student loan] debt — [canceling that] will jump-start the economy,” Pressley told Yahoo! Finance. “Black student borrowers borrow and default more than anyone else because of our inability to build generational wealth. I see that as a racial justice issue.”

Over 100 entities, including civil rights groups, consumer rights organizations, and progressive think tanks sent a joint letter to congressional leaders requesting consideration of widespread student loan amnesty for all borrowers in the next economic stimulus package. 

Student loan debt, and how to manage the current $1.6 trillion debt load being held by tens of millions of Americans, will be an important topic during the run-up toward November’s presidential election.

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*First Published: Aug 31, 2020, 7:52 am CDT