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About to take out my first loan for college

by Winzer
Tags: college, loan
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quark80
#73
Jun15-07, 01:19 AM
P: 61
Therein lies the cultural difference between the US and Australia. In Australia it's more common than not for kids to leave home once they finish high school, be it their own choice, or being kicked out by their parents. I know almost nobody who stayed living at home after high school.

Here you're just expected to grow up and get on with life and not mooch off your parents. I personally see it as "you're an adult, act like it". Again, it's just a cultural difference and I have a hard time reconciling with some of the comments made in this thread about the expectations of financial support from parents.
JasonRox
#74
Jun15-07, 06:12 AM
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Quote Quote by gravenewworld View Post
Alright I didn't read all of the posts in this thread but I will post my experience with my student loan debt.

First off, I owe about $42,000 in loans that I borrowed for undergrad.

Second, I landed a job that pays $45,000 (roughly $52K if you want to count all the stock options and 401K matching) a year which is pretty good for a begining position in the science industry.


Currently I pay the minimum on the loans every month (that is all I can afford right now), and I pay roughly $350 per month for all the loans. I'd say $225 of the $350 per month just goes to paying of the interest, the rest to the principal. The loan company that owns my loans expects that I will pay close to $15,000 in interest over the lifetime of the loan and at the rate that I am paying it off now, I won't be done paying it off until the year 2047 .


Get as many grants as possible. After that go to the government. Then after you have exhausted everything else, get a private loan.


On the plus side, there are some good reasons to carry some student loan debt. Carrying and paying off student loan debt will give you a better credit score. Also, the interest that you pay every year on your debt is tax deductible, so I get a fat tax deduction every year from my student loan interest payments. You really want to pay off all your other debt that has higher interest like you car loans or credit card first since you student loans will most likely be very low interest and are tax deductible.



IT IS NOT EASY PAYING OFF STUDENT LOANS. I make more than the average American already with my starting position and I still struggle to make ends meet sometimes. Anyone who has lived out in the real world for a year will tell you that it is not easy paying off more than $20K in student loan debt.

Take my income and subtract 33% for income tax- $1000 for city tax-$800 state tax-$418 every month for car payments-$125 every month for car insurance-$433 every month for rent-$250 for utilities-$400 for groceries-$200 for gasoline

once you subtract all that out, then tell me it would be easy to pay off my $42K of student loan debt
TTTTTHHHHHAAAAAANNNNNNKKKKK YYYYYOOOOOUUUUU!!!!!

This is what I was saying earlier. Everyone says it's not so hard, but again, it's easier said than done.
JasonRox
#75
Jun15-07, 06:16 AM
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Quote Quote by quark80 View Post
Wow! The expectations of some people in this thread amazes me! Possibly it's a cultural difference between the US and Australia, but my parents more or less kicked me out of home as soon as I finished grade 12 (I was 18). Their opinion was that after compulsory education was finished, it was my choice what I wanted to do with my life, and if I wanted to go to university I had to do so on my own grounds.

I was never eligible for the Australian equivalent of student loans as my parents earned too much and they were expected to support me. However they never gave me a cent towards my university education. And still I've managed to successfully put myself through 4 years of undergrad and 3 years of grad school, and am about to finish grad school with no debt. Get a job (I have worked as a TA since I was a 2nd year undergrad and worked fulltime in all the holidays as a research asst. and in industry), apply for academic scholarships...It can be done. Just stop whinging about it. Really, you can't expect your parents to support you forever. I find it kind of sad that people would expect that.
How much is tuition in Australia? That can make a big difference.
quark80
#76
Jun15-07, 06:51 AM
P: 61
Depends. International students pay about Au$18000 a year in tuition. Domestic students pay anwhere between $2000-$10000 a year in tuition. That's just for undergraduate. Graduate school is $18000 a year regardless of you being an international/domestic student.

There is NOTHING available in terms of student loans to cover living expenses while you're an undergraduate, unless you get a scholarship (which are more or less non-existant at Bachelor degree level), unless your parents are more or less at/below the poverty line. Grad school is slightly easier given that there is more funding available for tuition/living expenses scholarships. We have to work our way through uni, it's just a fact of life here :-)
Astronuc
#77
Jun15-07, 07:51 AM
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Quote Quote by Defennnder View Post
That's quite amazing. Where did you live and what did you work as when you left at 17? How did you sponsor your studies?
I started at a private university in the city where I lived. IIRC tuition was about ~$2000/yr (kept increasing about 10%/yr) and living expenses (dorm - I lived on campus - books, supplies) ~$2000 - in 1975. I received a small grant of ~$600, and a loan offer ~$800. I rejected the loan. My parents contributed about $1000, which is what they could afford. I paid the rest.

I had worked during high school and had saved up several $1000's. I also worked part-time during university - first at a grocery store near my parents, where I had worked my senior year of high school - then at a museum near the university. That took care of the first/freshman year at uni.

Then during the during the summer (2 months), I returned home (to save money), take care of my younger siblings, help my father replace the roof on the house, and I took a full time job in the maintenance department at the university and learned plumbing and mechancial maintenance, and some electrical and A/C work. I spent the summer repairing plumbing in all the dormitories, and doing the annual maintenance in many of the equipment rooms of most buildings on campus. I kept that job part-time during second year of university. I also took a second job working in the food services of the university - which paid my room and board. I washed dishes and kitchen ware.

During second summer of uni, I got a job at an oil refinery, which paid very well. One of the men in the university maintenance department had a father who worked at the refinery, and he gave me contacts to get the job at the refinery.

Third year at uni - I got my own apartment - and worked in the food services of university and also worked part-time as a janitor - usually at night.

During this period one of my younger brothers started university, and I actually helped my parents financially - and did so for the next few years, as my sister started university.

I took one semester (2nd) off in my third year of university - to work and think about where I was going in life. I took a construction job.

During my 4th year - I decided to change universities and course work from physics to nuclear engineering. I started a new baccalaureate program (with some transfer of credits) in NucE, which took 3 years. During that time I worked summers and holidays doing iron work. I got onto to some well paying sites and made enough to pay my way through school and occasionally provide additional support to my parents and siblings.

In graduate school, I obtained assistantships in teaching and research, and I landed a full time job in a local municipal water department. I married my wife at the end of my undergrad program. We both worked and we earned enough to pay off her school loans and pay for two Master's programs.

Back in 10th grade, my mom started telling me that I needed to get a job if I expected to go to university. So I did. I got all my jobs because I went looking and gradually built up work experience.

There is nothing amazing about it - it's just life. Some people have huge amounts of wealth - others have to work to pay for basic living - and there is a spectrum in between. One plays the hand one is dealt, and do what one has to do. It is what it is.

I prefer to earn my way, and I don't need, nor do I want, great wealth or luxury. I also do not begrudge those who have great wealth.
bartieshaw
#78
Jun16-07, 11:31 AM
P: 51
Quote Quote by quark80 View Post
Wow! The expectations of some people in this thread amazes me! Possibly it's a cultural difference between the US and Australia, but my parents more or less kicked me out of home as soon as I finished grade 12 (I was 18). Their opinion was that after compulsory education was finished, it was my choice what I wanted to do with my life, and if I wanted to go to university I had to do so on my own grounds.

I was never eligible for the Australian equivalent of student loans as my parents earned too much and they were expected to support me. However they never gave me a cent towards my university education. And still I've managed to successfully put myself through 4 years of undergrad and 3 years of grad school, and am about to finish grad school with no debt. Get a job (I have worked as a TA since I was a 2nd year undergrad and worked fulltime in all the holidays as a research asst. and in industry), apply for academic scholarships...It can be done. Just stop whinging about it. Really, you can't expect your parents to support you forever. I find it kind of sad that people would expect that.

....

Depends. International students pay about Au$18000 a year in tuition. Domestic students pay anwhere between $2000-$10000 a year in tuition. That's just for undergraduate. Graduate school is $18000 a year regardless of you being an international/domestic student.

There is NOTHING available in terms of student loans to cover living expenses while you're an undergraduate, unless you get a scholarship (which are more or less non-existant at Bachelor degree level), unless your parents are more or less at/below the poverty line. Grad school is slightly easier given that there is more funding available for tuition/living expenses scholarships. We have to work our way through uni, it's just a fact of life here :-)

I dont understand where you are coming from on this one quark. Im studying undergrad in Aus and tuition is covered by HECS (from my understanding all aus citizens are eligible for this). In terms of living expenses, I get youth allowance and rental assistence from the government, so i have to work very little...and i dont think its too hard to get those benefits, ive got mates who are still living at home getting youth allowance while working and spending it as the weekly drinking budget.
quark80
#79
Jun16-07, 06:52 PM
P: 61
Yes, there is HECS for tuition, but newsflash, you still have to pay that back!!! I racked up $32000 worth of tuition debt in 4 years for undergrad. And have paid off all but about $2k, which will be paid by the time I finish my PhD in September. This thread was about whether it was possible to leave uni debt free was it not? Well in my experience, it is.

But it's VERY difficult to qualify for youth allowance/austudy/whatever they call it these days. To qualify, it is basically entirely dependent on how much your parents earn. And the cut-off for being eligible isn't that high. I commend you and your mates for finding a way to get it :) But for most students, they can't, at least they can't without blatanly falsifying income levels and stuff on the forms.
bartieshaw
#80
Jun20-07, 11:24 PM
P: 51
First off, yes i know you pay HECS back, my point was that it is much the same as a student loan from the US, but for tuition only. And, in my experience, MOST (not all) people who simply say they do not qualify for the government benefits because of their parents earnings have assumed that is the case rather than investigating it.

There was no falsification of income levels in mine or my friends' case, it just turns out that rather than what the tone of your posts implied (at least to me), the government is doing everything it can to encourage higher education here...

In fact, one of the requirements to qualify for youth allowance is that you have earned a MINUMIN amount in the past 18 months, not a max.
Astronuc
#81
Jul12-07, 08:28 PM
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Pastor's Plight Shows Burden of Student Debt
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=11837081

Morning Edition, July 10, 2007 The vast majority of students pay back their student loans on time. But one of every eight falls into debtor's hell or default.

They're branded as deadbeats. It's no surprise that many of them have low incomes.

This week, lawmakers in the House will vote on legislation to overhaul the student-loan program.

One change would make sure students can manageably repay their loans no matter how paltry their paychecks.

The bill is aimed at helping borrowers like Dan Lozer. Twenty-five years ago, Lozer borrowed $15,000 in student loans to attend divinity school. He has paid back much more than that, yet he still owes nearly twice as much.
If one can, avoid excessive debt. Work, even part-time, if possible.
JasonRox
#82
Jul12-07, 08:34 PM
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Quote Quote by Astronuc View Post
The bill is aimed at helping borrowers like Dan Lozer. Twenty-five years ago, Lozer borrowed $15,000 in student loans to attend divinity school. He has paid back much more than that, yet he still owes nearly twice as much.
Reminds me of what we do to third world countries.
physics girl phd
#83
Jul16-07, 04:49 PM
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Quote Quote by cyrusabdollahi View Post
Yes, it is easy. If you cant pay off $50k in one year living at home you dont know how to manage your money.
First -- I personally question living at home after you graduate from college.... and even if someone IS okay with that... what if their dream job is in another city, region, or even country?


With regards to salary and meeting living expenses -- it also depends on the field... if you are working for academia, a government research facility, or industry... etc. and: What if you meet and marry someone who has children (or if you quickly have childern together!) -- They aren't not cheap!

I couldn't pay off 50k in one year, but then I've done things like teach high school, work part time for a national lab while they paid for a grad degree, and then finally attend grad school with normal student stipends and tuition waivers... not exactly your "well-paid" jobs, but things that were, for me, more enjoyable and have gotten me to where I am.

I'm only just now going to BE employed for a respectable wage... and my husband has two children from a previous marriage... so we have their school, heath-care and living expenses (the eldest uses a wheelchair and has several other non-medicare covered expenses now that we are in a state with a long medicare wait-list -- and medicare doesn't transfer across state boundaries).

I'm glad my loans are smaller... and I took those out (tax-defered loans ONLY) mostly to cover moving expenses to/from grad school (moving can easily be ~2k or more if you don't own a truck to attach a U-Haul to...). I'm chosing to pay off my loans quicker than required... but I'm also giving some pad room for doing special outings with the boys a few times a year, to do things like get them real beds and a real dining table here they can learn to use silverware, and in case some emergency expense strikes.
mike07
#84
Aug3-07, 01:46 PM
P: 1
Quote Quote by quark80 View Post
Depends. International students pay about Au$18000 a year in tuition. Domestic students pay anwhere between $2000-$10000 a year in tuition. That's just for undergraduate. Graduate school is $18000 a year regardless of you being an international/domestic student.

There is NOTHING available in terms of student loans to cover living expenses while you're an undergraduate, unless you get a scholarship (which are more or less non-existant at Bachelor degree level), unless your parents are more or less at/below the poverty line. Grad school is slightly easier given that there is more funding available for tuition/living expenses scholarships. We have to work our way through uni, it's just a fact of life here :-)
I think it's unfair the student loans will not cover living expenses if your an undergraduate. They should cover everything as many students can't afford to pay for living expenses while in school. I hope some companies can offer loans to cover those expenses soon since I will be a student next fall.
ice109
#85
Aug3-07, 01:58 PM
P: 1,705
Quote Quote by JasonRox View Post
Reminds me of what we do to third world countries.
IMF, worldbank i hate em


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