July 2012 Moms

Student loans

I don't talk about this much but I am in school right now. We paid out of pocket for my classes this summer but after this fall I'll need to take out another loan. I have a small balance of 4,000 from my first semester at BSU but that's it at the moment.

I took only three classes online this summer and its really overwhelming. I'm keeping up well in two of the classes but I just dropped the 3rd to avoid letting it get worse and have my grades go down. I guess I am just nervous. These first few classes should be the easy ones...this will get harder. I do what I can when my H is home but he works crazy hours and I just can't stay up until midnight doing homework every night. Maybe once Oliver sleeps better this will get easier but I can't plan on that.

The thought has crossed my mind to quit working and devote more time to school, this would only be for about a year and a half or so. We would have to rely on the student loans to make up for my income.

I obviously haven't looked into a lot of details, I am just wondering if this is an idiotic plan. We have no other debt than that 4,000.

I am looking for input from you guys that might have higher debt in student loans, if you think I would regret that decision and I should just try to suck it up and work harder.

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Re: Student loans

  • Is your husband military?  I think you said this, but let me know.  There are a few options there.

     Also--don't do student loans to supplement your income.  BAD IDEA!  My husband did it and it was stupid and put us in debt and he ended up joining the army to get them paid off.  We are finally back on track financially in terms of saving  / debt to income ratio and stuff like that.



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  • I have a lot more student loan debt than that but I am on my 3rd and final degree. I was scared of gathering up this much debt but when I talked to the financial aid office here school I was told this rule of thumb for student loans:

    "If the degree you are working towards has the salary potential to make in one year the total debt of your student loans, then the loans were worth it. However, you should try not to exceed that potential." So, if you have 100,000 in loans (like a doctor) then you have the potential to have a salary of $100,000 and the ability to easily pay your loans. If you have $100,000 in loans but the potential to make only 50,000 a year.. not a good idea. 

    Does that make sense? 

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  • Meow84Meow84
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    If I could do it all over again, I would have done graduate school part-time and worked in order to help with my current loan situation. My suggestion is to take out as little as possible, and that wouldn't really work out well if you were relying on the loans to live. This is just from my personal experience, as I have a ridiculous amount of student loans from my graduate school -- and that was ONLY to pay for school. I lived with my parents for 2 years and had very minimal expenses. I am very disgruntled about it as my loan situation is a major reason why I can't SAH.
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  • I will regret my loans for the rest of my life. You obviously know more about my life situation than most on this board buuuut I have 60K in student loans and what I pay a month could be a MORTGAGE PAYMENT. It's insane.I would take a couple of classes a semester...maybe 2...It will take longer, yes, but you won't be paying THOUSANDS of dollars in interest each year for the next 15-30 years.

    Ugh, it makes me ill. I need a glass of wine. 

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  • I'm no help.  I have Tens of thousands of dollars to still pay...

    When I did graduate school I worked full time and did school part time.  It took awhile, but it just made more sense (and took out less loans).  However, if you have a kid scheduling is difficult.  If you can easily afford it I would just get things done now and pay off later (as a PP said) if you have the potential to earn much more.  

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  • image BubbaJug:

    I will regret my loans for the rest of my life. You obviously know more about my life situation than most on this board buuuut I have 60K in student loans and what I pay a month could be a MORTGAGE PAYMENT. It's insane.I would take a couple of classes a semester...maybe 2...It will take longer, yes, but you won't be paying THOUSANDS of dollars in interest each year for the next 15-30 years.

    Ugh, it makes me ill. I need a glass of wine. 

    While I needed my loans to survive and get my degrees, I so feel you on this! When I graduate next year, I will owe around 85,000! I dread having to make that "mortgage" payment but it was the only way to get my degree to do what I want to do.

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  • Would you keep LO in daycare full time or would your childcare expenses decrease as well?

    Though I'm not generally an advocate of using student loans to live, if you can get through school in a relatively short time and if your degree increases your earning potential... and if you can save on other expenses [examples: fuel costs, work clothes, dining out at lunch, child care perhaps] it may not be a terrible idea. I think a spreadsheet is in order.

    For what it's worth, I did this years ago, I borrowed the absolute minimum necessary. DH and I cut every expense we could. At a nearby community college I took classes that could be transferred, to lower my tuition expenses. I got my degree in a year and a half and had a job at graduation that paid twice my pre degree income. It worked for us, but I know it doesn't work for everyone.

    Good luck!
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  • Wheeler he is ANG. He gets the GI Bill and is going to school, it would be awesome if there were other resources for me!

    Mrsrek thanks for that quote. It would totally be worth it going by that. I have complained here before, but I make barely above minimum wage so with this degree my salary would at least double, make the loan less than potential income for sure.

    Meow I hadn't thought about the SAHM thing. We kind of assumed I would be working PT until we were done having kids and they were school age. But I'm guessing if it was bad enough I'd maybe have to go full time.

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  • image BubbaJug:

    I will regret my loans for the rest of my life. You obviously know more about my life situation than most on this board buuuut I have 60K in student loans and what I pay a month could be a MORTGAGE PAYMENT. It's insane.I would take a couple of classes a semester...maybe 2...It will take longer, yes, but you won't be paying THOUSANDS of dollars in interest each year for the next 15-30 years.

    Ugh, it makes me ill. I need a glass of wine. 

    It is the same for me except I only (ONLY...haha) have $50K in students loans.  The best part is...I'm getting seriously hosed right now salary wise which makes this an even harder pill to swallow.

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  • I went back in 2008 to get my bachelor's degree with the assumption that I would get a raise.  It cost me almost $30 in school loans and that does not include anything besides tuition and books.  I am currently paying back those loans and this is where it gets sad. 

     I have 3 different people I pay to, because at some point your loans will get sold to other borrowers.  I pay a combined total of $325 a month.  This is just on the "graduated plan" which basically allows you to make smaller payments that fit in your income and then every couple years they increase a bit.  The first couple years are basically paying towards interest and then the principle gets increased over time. 

    I called last month to see how long I have left because I've already been paying for 5 years, and I made all interest payments while still in school.  One loan will be paid off in 11 1/2 years, and the other two are set to be paid off later in the year 2019.  This is all if I only make the minimum payments.  Already paying $325 a month it's hard to budget for extra.  Man I'd like to have the money to spend elsewhere.

    I guess what I'm saying is if at all possible DO NOT quit working and pay off as much as you can along the way since you don't carry a lot of debt right now.  Also, Mrsrek makes a good point as well.

    ETA:  I worked 40 hours a week and V was 5 when I went back to school.  Not as demanding as a 1 year old, but I get how tough it can be.  I used a lot of my lunch hours and breaks during the day to work on school loans and stayed up after bedtime.

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  • Thank you all for your input. At least now I know what I need to consider.

    We don't pay childcare so that won't change.

    This is at a community college so the cost is low. My guess is total it would be about 20,000 to finish the degree and living expenses. Though the plan would be for me to eventually become an RN so we would have to consider future costs too.

    Lots to think about.

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  • image jfresh:
    Wheeler he is ANG. He gets the GI Bill and is going to school, it would be awesome if there were other resources for me! Mrsrek thanks for that quote. It would totally be worth it going by that. I have complained here before, but I make barely above minimum wage so with this degree my salary would at least double, make the loan less than potential income for sure. Meow I hadn't thought about the SAHM thing. We kind of assumed I would be working PT until we were done having kids and they were school age. But I'm guessing if it was bad enough I'd maybe have to go full time.

    There are!!!  There is a program that will pay for your schooling as well.  Call the ACS they can give you more info.  I had already graduated when he joined the military, but there is a program that does this.  Also, there is naccrra.org which will help you with child care expenses if you need to put Oliver in day care.  It really helps us a ton.  Daycare in DC (at least where Tyler goes) is 21k / year.  We end up paying 850 a month out of pocket, which is so much better than the actual cost of 375 /week.



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  • When we got married 2 years ago, MH had over $100,000 in law school debt. We have lowered it significantly by using every penny of spare money to pay them off, but they are awful.

    Honestly, I would not recommend taking out a lot of student loans. They have a ridiculously high interest rate (almost 3x our mortgage!) and just cause tons of added stress to your life. tons.

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  • I have been out of college for 5 years now and I still owe over $12,000 in student loans. At the rate I am going, I will be paying for the rest of my life. I try to pay extra when I can, but that hasn't happend since I had the baby.
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  • image dbliesmer:

     I have 3 different people I pay to, because at some point your loans will get sold to other borrowers.  I pay a combined total of $325 a month.  This is just on the "graduated plan" which basically allows you to make smaller payments that fit in your income and then every couple years they increase a bit.  The first couple years are basically paying towards interest and then the principle gets increased over time. 

     

    Have you looked into consolidating your loans and reducing your payment and your interest rate? 

    When I graduated in '05 I had 3 loans totaling a little more than $19K for my 4 year degree, and one was sold to another borrower, then I went ahead and consolidated (aka: had both of them "sold" to yet another borrower, AES:  American Education Services) and essentially combined my loans into one payment and my interest was locked in a 2.5% as long as I was not late with my payments for a full year.  If I was late even once, it would go up to 5%... I sure as hell made sure to pay that on time to keep my low interest rate.

     

    image jfresh:
    Thank you all for your input. At least now I know what I need to consider. We don't pay childcare so that won't change. This is at a community college so the cost is low. My guess is total it would be about 20,000 to finish the degree and living expenses. Though the plan would be for me to eventually become an RN so we would have to consider future costs too. Lots to think about.

    I personally would consider it.  It all will depend on how much your particular education will cost you.  If you're going for a degree that is going to cost you a LOT of money and a lot of time, then it likely won't be worth it, like some of the PP's said.  However, if you can get away with finishing your degree in one year with $20K including your living expenses, I would sit down and make a chart to seriously consider it.  If that's a realistic budget and timeline, then it just may be worth it for you.

    My loans when I graduated were a little over $19Kin 2005 - I pay about $105/mo. now (I used to pay more when I could, even $120 or $150 makes a huge difference) and I am almost down to $8K now.  So in 8 years I've paid more than half of my loans.  One of 3 is completely paid off another is 1/2 paid off and the third I also about 1/2 paid off.  Yes it sucks that I have a ton to pay off still, but it's not technically considered "bad" dept.  And I would be able to pay it off a lot more quickly if I didn't have a car loan, daycare payments, and some CC debt that I'm kicking myself for right now.

    Good luck with your decision!

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  • I don't have loans but as a nurse I can tell you somethings. Around here some hospitals will either 1. Reinburst you when hired. 2. If you work for the hospital while in school ie cna you get checks while working for them and in school for schools. You usually have to sign an employment contract. For example my current hospital use to pay 100 percent of your loans after 3years. Now they pay about 25 to 50 percent. The school I went to was connected to the hospital and they would after 5 years forgive your loans. So may be worth it to look into employment opertunities. Depending on how short nurses they are some hospitals have crazy sign on bonuses.
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  • When I left school I had about 23,000 in student loans. I had one loan worth 5k and the interest was about 5 percent, now paid off, and the remainder I consolidated and my interest rate is like 2 percent. Yes I was super lucky to be able to consolidate at such a record low interest rate. Paying on my student loans has improved my credit rating and my degree has afforded me a lot. I made basically nothing when I started but have been fortunate and worked hard and now make over twice what I did 9 years ago. I am grateful for my loans! But I also understand that loans come with much higher interest rates now, and the cost of school vs the return is not the same. I would definitely look into salary ranges for the job you might get post degree and the current hire ability of that job.
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  • Have you mentioned what your degree is? Sometimes there is loan forgiveness, to an extent, for public service jobs, such as teaching. Of course, there are stipulations that go with that, but it's a thought.
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  • image jfresh:
    Wheeler he is ANG. He gets the GI Bill and is going to school, it would be awesome if there were other resources for me!

    Mrsrek thanks for that quote. It would totally be worth it going by that. I have complained here before, but I make barely above minimum wage so with this degree my salary would at least double, make the loan less than potential income for sure.

    Meow I hadn't thought about the SAHM thing. We kind of assumed I would be working PT until we were done having kids and they were school age. But I'm guessing if it was bad enough I'd maybe have to go full time.


    I can comment on DH being military and you get tuition help. There is a program called MYCAA I believe but it is for active duty ::sad face:: I have yet to find tuition assistance for NG military spouses! What about pell grant as well as student loans? That way you don't have to pay EVERYTHING back!




  • I didn't have much debt from undergrad (thanks to a good financial aid package) but I took on about $25k-$30k for my MLIS. While being a youth services librarian was fun, surprise, surprise, public library work is not so lucrative.

    And then after what, like six years, I resigned to be at home with the baby. So now my husband is paying off a degree I may not ever use again.

    I have mixed feelings about the whole thing.

    I think that if you are certain that you will get a good return on your investment, do it. I didn't know what I wanted to do with myself after college and wound up in library school because it seemed like the best idea at the time. And I hated temping.

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  • It really depends on the area you will be going into and what job outlook looks like. I graduated with my Bachelors and got a job as a RN. The hospital gave me 11k in sign on bonuses. I graduated with 18k in loans and got on the plan to pay them off in 10 years. I also pay extra each month. I currently pay 200 a month and now only owe 8k so I've paid off over half in 5 years. Also, if you sign up for autopay most places will deduct 0.25 interest.

    I will be going back to school in August for nurse practitioner where my salary will almost double. I will be taking loans out again. A lot more loans. But I also know the government is reimbursing loans for these jobs. So I'm taking all I can get because I have a mortgage, car payment, child, insurance, etc.

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  • I just went through a similar student loan / school dilemma. My undergrad loans were about $14K after I graduated, then a few years later I did a year of the MBA program and decided it wasn't for me....yep, there went $10K in loans. Learning is never a waste, right?  After the MBA year, I switched to a different Masters program, which is a lot more expensive too. The end number is going to be huge and scary, but it really has to be done to move up in my career. During the MBA year and my first year of my new program, I went part-time and worked full-time. It was super brutal, and I despised the 6pm weeknight classes and reading all day every Sunday. I always felt like I had NO time ever, and was always stressing about the next assignment due, work, etc.

    After I had Riley, I took the summer off, stopped working and switched to full-time school in the fall. I personally decided it was better for me to get school done in 2 years on a full-time basis, rather than 4+ years of part-time. For me, it ended up coming down to really needing to save time. I need to graduate and get a new job so we can move and get a bigger house before we have baby #2. Unless baby #2 wants to sleep in the basement...ha! And I'm getting older so I can't wait too much longer. 

    To be honest, I still don't have any extra time right now - and am still always stressed about assignments and due dates. I still study at nights and all day Sunday mainly because I have a full-time load and NO daycare this summer. But, that was the sacrifice I had to make this summer to make the budget work. Essentially, I am not any less stressed with the schoolwork going full-time vs. part-time. The light at the end of the tunnel is just coming sooner....

    I'd map out a 5 and 10-year budget in Excel to project loans, future income, living expenses. Good luck with your decision! 

    ETA: Also, adding to my response to answer your original question. No, I don't regret the loans one single bit. I just see it as a necessary expense to move forward. Seems daunting when you think about the final loan number, but I'm doing somewhat of a career change too, so its definitely worth it! 


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  • Also, adding to my response to answer your original question. No, I don't regret the loans one single bit. I just see it as a necessary expense to move forward. Seems daunting when you think about the final loan number, but I'm doing somewhat of a career change too, so its definitely worth it!

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