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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    brooklyn
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    284

    student loan insanity

    so, i graduated in december, and now have a pretty well-paying job. this past week i started receiving invoices for my loans and am having a freak out. my sallie mae is almost as high as my yearly salary, and my (i think?) stafford is crazy as well. all in all i will have to pay back almost $65,000.

    naturally, my head is about to explode. i want to be a responsible adult, and pay it back every month, on time. but if i did, it would be about $600 a month for the next 8000 years.

    which leads me to my questions: has anyone here had to deal with this? and if so, how? can you recommend a good consolidation service, or am i destined to have lousy credit and be in debt my entire life? should i start playing mega-millions? wah!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    943
    oh wow.

    This might sound nuts, but I'm SO glad your loan debt was really high, if only because I'm getting tired of hearing people whine abou the 8,000 they might have to pay back. My loans will probably be in the 40,000 range by the time I'm out. I don't know. This is what I keep reminding myself: these are made so that you can pay them back, and they're pretty good about not being cruel to you.

    Well, I don't know what to say. It's not like it's credit card debt. It's student loan debt, and as long as you're not living beyond your means, you won't have to worry that much about your payments. (Remember, half of what I'm rambling here is to make myself feel better. )

    If anything, four years, I'll be happy to complain with you! Right now, I'm trying not to think about it.

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    portland, or
    Posts
    135
    I had about $36,000 in loans when I got out of grad school in '99. My payments were on the order of $475 a month. With my first job, I had a touch time meeting that payment each month, so I consolidated. My payments went down to about $260. I got locked in at a pretty high interest rate, though. Rates are way, way lower now, so if you consolidate you'll be in better shape than I was. I have my loan down to about $17,000 now, so I'm hoping it will only take 5-6 more years to get out of debt.

  5. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    777
    I feel you. It's shocking isn't it. My monthly payment is $575, not that I can pay it. I went to grad school to get a degree in education (which gives you about 100 extra dollars a year for having a masters by the way) and I remember clearly when I first found out my payments, I was on the phone in a hotel lobby loosing it. I kept saying my name over and over like they had the wrong file. "No, it's me!" I cried that day and many more since.

    I only have my commiseration to offer.

  6. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    37
    Make sure you consolidate all of your loans into one loan...it will make your monthly payment much cheaper. I consolidated mine and did a graduated repayment plan. I owe about $36K, and my payments are now $106/month and will eventually go up to about $270.

  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    bay area
    Posts
    183
    eek... sorry for your $$ woes...can't speak from experience, but what i can say is -- make sure you make some sort of arrangements to pay it somehow -- my friend's loan was for about 40k, but he ignored it for a number of years (less than 10) and it's now almost DOUBLED with penalties.
    it's always better to work out some arrangement than it is to ignore it. (not that you would, just saying...)

  8. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Michigan, USA
    Posts
    79
    I too, have some serious student loan debt. I've been out of school for about a year, and my current balance is about $105,000! Basically, I'll be paying off that baby for the next 30 years... with interest, I think it's going to be somewhere in the $190,000 range total. I try not to think of the magnitude of the amount too much, and try to remind myself that the whole process is like taking out a mortgage on your future which I think was totally worthwhile. I never could have afforded to go to graduate & professional school, or even college, without student loans.

    I would second consolidating your loans into one loan. That way, you are paying only one monthly payment, and the interest rate is generally lower. Actually, I just read something the other day about how the interest rates are going to be re-adjusted in July, so you might want to try to do it sooner rather than later.

    Also, as Lulabell mentioned, there are different types of re-payment programs you can sign up for. I did the graduated plan, so my payments start pretty low (I pay $325/month) and are increased gradually, every 2 years. I think this works pretty well for most jobs, since usually your salary increases over time as well.

    Good luck!
    -r

  9. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ontari - Oh!
    Posts
    79
    It is criminal that education is so costly...I think that with more and more people seeking post-secondary education, we're going to have to find a way to make education more affordable. What good is striving for that education in order to rate a good job, and then burning out from money stress 5 years later? I know up here in Canada, there are a lot of kids graduating from university, and finding themselves in jobs that barely make their rent, let alone loan payments.

    That being said, a student loan is an investment in yourself, and it's worth every cent. The loan will get paid, so no worries there. Take a deep breath, and be proud that you made it through the program. Take small bites out of the loan, and start planning that discharge party!!!!

  10. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    719
    It's brutal ...

    My monthly payements are in the realm of $160. WHen I finsihed grad school and got I real job, I was so excited to finally be able to afford new clothes, shoes, and some "fun" things, perhaps even take a vacation!

    I was shocked that taxes and loan payments knocked my net income only up to about $100 more a month than what it was when I was a grad student ...

    Consolidate if you can. Talk to a financial advisor about your "goals". See if you can minimize debt payments and invest elsewhere (like in an RRSP) if that will generate more interest.

    And, no matter what the sacrifice, make those monthly payments. Change neibourhoods or cars if you have to! Having debt doesn't give you poor credit, but not paying that debt does.

    del

    * edited to put my name in the right place ::blush::

  11. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Ferndale is a cowtown!
    Posts
    124
    Ugh. I've been paying mine forever, and it's only down to about 16k from 23k. You all probably know this already, but that interest is tax deductible! Make sure you get it back. Also, any little bit you can pay extra a month really helps. For mine, it's usually 20 bucks or so a month, but that can add up. At least that's what I tell myself.


 
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