It is back-to-school time for students of all ages, and that means that both university students and their parents may be looking for last-minute ways to pay that college tuition bill. One popular payment option available is the student loan. While student loans may be a blessing for some families, they can be a nightmare for others. Before you rush to take out a student loan, check out these student loan horror stories.

$555,000 in loans

Let’s face it, medical school is expensive. When Dr. Michelle Bisutti graduated, her student loan balance was about $250,000. After a series of unfortunate events, Bisutti’s loans ended up ballooning to a staggering $555,000 balance. Yes, more than a half of a million dollars in student loans — more than the average mortgage in a good portion of the country.

Private school tuition

CNN Production Assistant Samantha Hillstrom discussed her student loan woes with Anderson Cooper on a 2009 episode of "AC360."  At $115,000, Hillstrom’s debt wasn’t anywhere near Bisutti’s, however Hillstrom’s career field may not draw in a doctor’s salary.

“I chose to go to a private school and I chose to work in a field where the starting salaries are low. Does that mean that I chose to live a life of struggle, wondering how I am going to pay my rent, afford the basics of living and still stay in my chosen career field … all while putting up with high interest rates and an amount of debt that brings me to tears?”

Creative repayment

When Kelli Space began her college career at Northeastern University, she had something to be very proud of — she was the first person in her family to attend college. A few years later she was the first person in her family to graduate from college and her graduation gift was $200,000 in student loans. Yes, $200,000 in student loans for an undergraduate degree. With monthly payments rivaling a mortgage, Kelli decided to launch a website to solicit donations from the public to help her pay for her questionable college funding choice. As of now, she has raised nearly $12,000.

Do you have a student loan horror story that you’d like to share?