What is your student loan bill like?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by emmakate218, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    Well, six years ago, I apparently made a deal with the devil when I began taking out student loans to pay for my education. :eek: I have always been a sensible person, knew the responsibilities, and knew that it would take me approx. 10 years to pay back student loans, but I had no idea that it would be so tough to pay student loans on a teacher's paycheck. I took out a total of approx. $56,500 - half private at 8.5% and half federal at an avg. of approx 5%. I've looked into consolidation and there's not much that can be done...apparently the devil does not like refinancing! When all my student loans enter repayment come this November, I will more than likely be paying around $700 a month for all my student loans. Yikes. :help: I'm making $40000 as a first year teacher and my yearly studnet loan bill eats approx. 40% of my yearly take-home pay. I've been staying with my parents since I graduated in May...until I get a place of my own. Well, things are looking grim now because I don't think I'll be able to afford to live on my own and there are no options for roommates. This is just all very sad when someone that has an education can't afford to live on their own because they had to borrow money to pay for the education...that now has them not able to live on their own.

    Please, someone tell me that your student loan situation after college was like mine. I honestly feel like I made a deal with the devil!
     
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  3. elizak83

    elizak83 Companion

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    I think I owe about 52,000..similar story...I took out about half in private loans and half in federal loans. I just recently started paying it back. They said I can't consolidate the federal w/ the private? Anyways...I pay about 400 a month..its doable, but I know many teachers w/ less student loan debt. I will have to take out loans for my masters and it's stressing me out.
     
  4. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    Yeah, no consolidating private with federal. Did you consolidate your private and then consolidation your federal because what you owe is very close to what I owe, and your payments are low (low compared to what I may pay!). What are your interest rates?
     
  5. ahsila

    ahsila Companion

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    Thank God for my alma mater... My entire student loan bill thus far is a grand total of $6400. I have been able to pay back the loans AND pay out of pocket for the majority of my graduate classes. I can take one grad class and it only cost around $400-500 (depending on book costs and such).
     
  6. lilmisses1014

    lilmisses1014 Comrade

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    After two years, Sallie Mae and I have grown quite close. My student loan debt isn't as high as yours, but it's still sad. I attended very expensive private schools for undergrad and grad, though I (thankfully) have no debt from undergrad. I'm surprised consolidating your loans isn't helping you out at all-- after I consolidated my loans it cut my monthly bill by over 50%.

    My (unsolicited) advice? Be very budget-conscious for the next few years. I like a lot of what Dave Ramsey has to say about getting out of debt-- check him out if you're interested. Is living with your parents an option for you? I know it's not the most ideal situation, but it could help you out big-time.

    My DH is in law school and when he's done our combined debt-- his undergrad and both our grad-- will be enough to make the toughest man cry. When it came to the costs of our educations, though, we both knew exactly what we were getting into. It sucks, but we're preparing ourselves now. Our plan is to live as far below our means as possible (which we do now, though I'm jobless at the moment so it's not saying much) to get our school loans paid off. It requires us to make sacrifices and put off certain things (like buying a house and having kids), but we're fine with that.

    Anyway, that turned into more than you probably wanted to read!! :p Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2008
  7. lilmisses1014

    lilmisses1014 Comrade

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    Okay, I just read that you aren't able to consolidate private with federal. I didn't know that-- I only took out federal loans.
     
  8. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    Luckily I didn't have to take out student loans. I told my parents I will put them in a good home for paying for my $65,000 education.

    HOWEVER, my bf has student loan debt. His tops out around $50,000+. His monthly payments are around $400. His interest rate was locked at 6.7%. It was at 1.8% and then Bush raised the interest rate. He is on the 20 year program. My bf figured that in the end he will be paying Sallie Mae around $40,000 on interest alone. That is ridiculous!!! So I can empathize with you completely.

    We need to be more like Ireland. Free college education for all!
     
  9. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    I owe about 36,000 to Ms. Sallie Mae. I only took out federal loans and have 20 years to pay back. I won't tke that long. This loan debt was for grad and undergrad. I consolidated both undergrad and grad loans when my grace was done for grad. I put my undergrad loan in deferred status while I was doing grad school. I should have continued to pay on my undergrad during that time. But I did not. I am currently in the process of buying a house. I am hoping to get some of that 36K forgiven because I teach in a shortage subject area....But, I am not holding my breath since the rules keep changing. I went to private schools for both degrees.
     
  10. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    Yes, I know of Dave Ramsey. One of my older sisters is such an advocate of him and she has given me the run-down. I plan to do a bit more reading about his advice. The funny and sad thing is that I am very budget-conscious. I'm sleeping on a mattress (that my older brother was kind enough to purchase for me as a grad gift...I had been sleeping on an air mattress) on the floor because I didn't want to spend the money on a bed frame, I buy a few pieces of new clothes here and there, I don't go out very often to save money (and now gas as well), I take hand-me-down cell phones from family members, etc. I am not your typical 24 year young woman...spending her money going out with friends, clothes, cell phones, etc.

    Living at home with my parents is an option because they will always let me stay at home, but after six years of living with good roommates, a horrible husband (now ex), living with my parents after my divorce, and then finally extremely horrible roommates...I have been dreaming of the when my dog and I would have a place of our own. Living on my own sounds like going to a tropical paradise. I am 24 years old and I can only remain at home for so long...my social life is impacted so much by living at home as well so that worries me greatly. Living at home gives me more financial relief from my student loan debt, but I don't want to slip into a depression from not having an active social life and whatnot. Ugh. It's a hard knock life. :)

    So, in the next month, I will be contacting my lender about what consolidation can do for my situation because from the sound of it, y'all that are paying on students loans that have around the same amount of debt I have, are getting a better deal. I don't know what that's about.
     
  11. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I owe 29,000 to Sallie Mae. My payments are high for me right now - about 375 a month, but they're actually going to increase as time goes on :(
     
  12. Poisontipped

    Poisontipped Rookie

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    Wow, 50000 is high. I owe 16,000 (HECS FEES- from the government) and I only start paying back after I earn a certain amount.
     
  13. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    Yep...I too owe Sallie Mae a whole lot of money. I am proud of my education and am glad that I can say I have a masters degree. Yes, I owe them 40,000 for my undergrad and grad degrees, but I'll pay it off eventually. I currently pay about 170 and it will go up to 300 a month next year for my student loan. I did it that way because I will have some other bills paid off then and can easily switch the money to Sallie Mae.
     
  14. MrsCAD

    MrsCAD Companion

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    I owe about 17,000 and pay $140 a month. I consolidated un subsidized and subsidized after I graduated.

    In Arkansas, we have a thing called STAR and basically it is a scholarship program for teachers going through an acredited teacher education program. It gives you about $3000 a sem I think. I did not get it while I was in college, but for your first three years of teaching, you can apply to get up to $6000 a year to help with student loans. The first $3000 you get for teaching in a subject-area with low numbers of teachers, the second $3000 you get for teaching in certain areas of the state. For the past two years I have gotten $3000 each year because I teach mid-level. I can get it for one more year and I really hope I do because it will really help with the principal on my student loan.
     
  15. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    Well, I got lucky because I went to school mostly on grants and scholarships. However, I do have $11,500 in federal subsidized loans (Direct Loans). I don't know yet how much I'll be paying though because I'm still inside of the six months grace period. I'm thinking about paying a little each month even though they haven't come due (Grace period ends after November) so that all the money is going toward the interest.
     
  16. Elm512

    Elm512 Companion

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    I'm in the last year of my undergrad and currently owe 22K, and when all is said and done it will be around $32K. I'm going to get my Masters through Western Governors and hope to finish it in 2 semesters, so by the time I'm done my debt will total near 40K.
     
  17. sophie1

    sophie1 Comrade

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    I hear you, it's horrible. I owe $81,000, $7,000 of that is private. I DID consolidate my private and federal (kind of), they say it is still separate, but allow me to pay one bill a month and combine the loans as one total bill... It works for me. I went through CFS loans, now it is Chase loans. I'm paying $460 a month for 30 years. The thought of paying on my loans for my entire teaching career is scary! So, I pay more, even if it is only $20 or so. I also do other things like: our tax return, last year my husband used it for his private loan and this year I get to have the tax return to pay strictly on my private loan. Hopefully that will knock off about $4,000. We have extra taken out of our pay so that we get a bigger return in January.

    I too make $40,000. I understand with gas prices and such that it isn't fun. It also is hard because we went to school and we can't get a home etc.. I rent and well, it is depressing at times. BUT, you need to take deep breaths and not let the loans consume you. Every time I get a $1,000 off my loans, I celebrate... One day, I may even make a cake if I knock down a lot. Good luck! Keep your head up! ;)
     
  18. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I pay 100 a month now have less than 2k to go! I can't wait until I pay it off.
     
  19. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    I do not have any loans (graduated in "74) but my oldest son has about $20,000 in subsidized and unsubsidized loans. He consolidated in 2006. He informed me last month that his interest rate on the consolidated loan dropped by 1 1/2% points. He is only paying about 3% now. He doesn't know why but those of you who have these types of loans and are consolidated check and see if your rate has decreased. Also, if you are planning to further your education or if your child is entering college try to not use PRIVATE LOANS if at all possible. They can raise the interest rate to whatever they want. You cannot control it. We found this out when looking into loans for my youngest son.
     
  20. dizzybri14

    dizzybri14 Companion

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    I owe/will owe approx. 35,000 or so after Grad school. I was lucky and my gparents paid off another loan I had around 2000. My loans are differed right now due to being in grad school. I am unsure what my monthly cost will be. Before Grad school it was 200 a month.
     
  21. sophie1

    sophie1 Comrade

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    I agree! Private loans are very bad. Do not take them out, at all!! :crosseyed Luckily, the bulk of my loans are federal at 4% fixed. ~Yes, there has been a drop in my private loans and it is 6%, but has been higher in the past.
     
  22. nayelismom

    nayelismom Rookie

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    I have private and gov't loans. Totaling about 50K. :( My gov't loans were consolidated in 06 for a fixed 3.5 but it gets reduced after a period of on time payments and for automatic payments. My private has a fluctuating interest rate (which sux). Avoid these.

    However, look at the stats and these are averages but still...

    High school degree $1.2 million lifetime earnings
    BA $2.1 million
    MA $2.5 million
    M.D., law degree $4.4 million

    It may be a little lower for teachers but on average. It's a good investment for your future!

    Also, look into loan forgiveness programs offered for the gov't. You get these for teaching in high needs areas or schools. You can get up to $20,000. Math and Science can get even more. :up:
     
  23. Teacher2Be123

    Teacher2Be123 Companion

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    Right now I have about 13000 in federal, I have 2 years left which is about another 14000 in federal. And I realized that I need to take out some private loans to survive the rest of school. I'll have close to 40K when I'm done with undergrad My best friend is going to school for her NPA and just took out 32000 for school and housing and bills for one year. I'm so thankful I won't have her loan repayment, 32K for 3 years plus grad school and possibly her phd? No thanks.
     
  24. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Y'all would just HATE me-my mom worked as a secretary at a college during the time both my sister and I went, we both got a $100,000 education for free. I recommend that possible career path to people with teenagers heading off to college, most colleges offer that to any employee who works for them for 2 years or more.

    I wish I was listening better, but a colleague of mine was talking about school loans for teachers being forgiven after teaching for so many years. I have no idea who does it or maybe it's just a Texas thing but maybe that's something to look into?
     
  25. scienceteach82

    scienceteach82 Cohort

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    I owe 6k for my undergrad...interest rate locked at 2.5%

    I will need to take out money for my masters program...about 15k more.
     
  26. WannaTeach

    WannaTeach Companion

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    Ahhh those loans...

    I have about $9000.00 to payoff on my loans. I consolidated with an interest rate of 1.25%. It just dropped from 2.99. I pay more than the required minimum. That is helping a lot. It is like carloan to me. That is how I pay my loans. Take one and pay it off and pay more than minimum on the others and stay within my budget. It goes faster and I still have money for everything else. My payments are less than $100 a month. I hate loans. I try to plan ahead if I can.
     
  27. WannaTeach

    WannaTeach Companion

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    North Carolina does this. The loan is called a Prospective Teacher Scholarship Loan. You have to apply for the scholarship. I received this. It paid $2500 a school year. You teach for the number of years that you received the scholarship and will be forgiven. At the end of each school year, the scholarship office sends out a paper to be completed by the personnel department that you did teach for that year. I received it for 2 years. I had to teach for 2 years and was forgiven. No loan pay backs. Hurray! It sure helped because I attended a private college where tuition per semester was $7200.00 It was worth it. Check with your department of education under scholarships. They may have more than one that anyone can apply for. Good luck! NC also has a scholarship for teacher assistants to go back to school and get their certification. It pays differently but is available. :up:
     
  28. lilmisses1014

    lilmisses1014 Comrade

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    It sounds like you're on the right track as far as a budget goes-- awesome! I'm 26 and feel better knowing that there are others like me when it comes to spending money!!! One of my classmates from grad school is still living with her parents, but she spends her money faster than she makes it and wonders why she can't pay off her debt. :rolleyes:

    I see what you're saying about wanting to be out on your own after your experiences (sorry about the bad ex... :hugs: ) and how living with your parents will affect your social life. My in-laws were gracious enough to invite me to live with them, at no cost to me, while I search and take a job (DH and I are doing the long-distance thing-- he stays up north to finish school while I work in VA), and there are days where I really wish I could have my own place. However, it's expensive to live here and that's less money I can put towards my loans (I owe $37K and I also want to start paying off some of DH's loans when I get a job. We're looking at 6 figures combined when he's done with law school). Ugh... I can't relate to the social life since I mine is non-existent. :p Other than my husband's family and teachers I worked with at my old school, I really don't know anyone.
     
  29. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    The program you're speaking of is a federal loan forgiveness program for teachers in America. An elementary teacher can have 5K of federal loans forgiven after teaching in a Title 1 school for 5 years. I will fortunately being teaching at a Title 1 school this year and plan to do so for the following years to get that 5K of federal loans forgiven. Any little bit helps. A teacher that teaches special edu. at any level and math and science at the secondary level can have up to 17,500K forgiven. All the details are at http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/cancelstaff.jsp?tab=repaying if anyone is interested!
     
  30. lilmisses1014

    lilmisses1014 Comrade

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    Actually, that's why I don't have any debt from undergrad. My mom was employed by the school (my dad was for a while as well, as a professor). With the exception of sorority costs (that was all me), my parents paid for everything else. I only lived on campus for two years, which fortunately made things easier on them. My alma mater, though, was awesome in financial aid. My husband only (hah- "only") owed $15K when he graduated, and when we were students it cost $120K for four years.
     
  31. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    I actually went to the online site and looked at my loan details. I actually owe $10,500 in Direct Loans (the only kind I took out) and I'm in my grace period until 11/09/2008 with my first payment being due on 11/28/08. I'll fixed monthly payments of $120.84 over ten years. I'm definitely going to try to make early payments since I'll receive three paychecks before my loan comes due.
     
  32. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Student loan debt is actually considered a good debt when it is consolidated and you are paying only 1.50 - 3.00% interest. If you have other debt, credit card which is at a very high interest rate or you are behind on mortgage or car payments, you are better off putting extra payments towards that debt. Student loan debt will never, never go away, even if you declare bankruptcy.
     
  33. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    hmm...you're right. I have some credit card debt that definitely needs tackling (got suckered into a "sweet" deal. One card is now delinquent because I lost my job and has a 20 something percent interest rate and the other is just under the limit at a 11% interest rate). I was planning to bring both current and pay a little extra while paying early on the student loan but you might be right about waiting until it comes due. I think I can one of the credit cards paid off before the student loan comes due with the money I was thinking of sending the student loan people.
     
  34. MissWull

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    I think mine are in the mid 20K...haven't started repaying them yet. I have to call for my exit interview sometime this month since I can't take my last two classes until I have a teaching job. I'm hoping the minimum payment won't be more than $300 a month. I don't know how to figure that all out and I'm planning on asking during my interview...
     
  35. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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  36. MissWull

    MissWull Cohort

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    My husband and I both work at a private college right now, it costs about 25K a year to attend. I've been working there for 3 years and he has been there 1 1/2 years...once we work there 5 years our kids can go there for free as well as ourselves. I don't plan on working there much longer, because I do want to start my teaching career. But he has found a nice long term career there, so perhaps our children will be as lucky as you are/were! :)
     
  37. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    Can you tell me more about this program? I have never heard of it. I have heard of income-contingent repayment plans for federal loans, but I've never heard that after 10 years of repayment, the rest of the federal loans are forgiven if you're in public service.
     
  38. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    It is brand new, just started in July of this year. Basically some lawyers petitioned for the law because there are not enough public defenders, the people cannot make loan payments and eat on that paycheck. So this plan was put into place. We all get to benefit, it is for people like teachers, cops, public defenders, social workers etc.

    Here is the link http://www.finaid.org/loans/publicservice.phtml
     
  39. lilmisses1014

    lilmisses1014 Comrade

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    Very interesting.... this program could be a very good thing for both me and DH (unless he goes private sector). Although, unless I read this incorrectly (highly possible as I just skimmed over the page), it might be difficult for me to enter into this sort of program since I already consolidated my loans.
     
  40. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    Thank you so much for this info!
     
  41. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Between husband and mine, we owe $40k. Now that he has a job, we're focusing all our energies into knocking it out of the water.
     

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