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College loans

  1. Mar 6, 2008 #1
    I'm sure most of you have college loans to pay , with the exception of a few students who were offered scholarships or grants. Without getting into specifics , how long does it take most of you to pay off your college loans. tuition at my school cost at least 10,000 dollars a year. I know I won't graduate in 4 years, maybe 5 or even six years. Should I go ahead and attend grad school after I've completed undergrad in the projected years or should I take some time off to pay for college loans and then apply to grad school?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2008 #2
    Everyone in my school gets financial aid at least up to their tuition.

    The ones with lots of scholarships end up going home with $15,000 or so for their expenses.
  4. Mar 6, 2008 #3
    what about the ones without scholarships?
  5. Mar 6, 2008 #4
    They get work-study, live with their parents, have their parents pay for their dorm fees...*shrug*
  6. Mar 6, 2008 #5
    College loans usually have very low interest rates. So don't fret on getting them paid off. Concentrate on your studies and pay them off slowly over the next few years after you graduate if you have to.
  7. Mar 6, 2008 #6
    Graduated with ~$40,000 in debt, at the rate I'm paying it off now I won't be done paying it off until about ~2030 (started payments in 2006).

    What do you want to go to grad school for? Master's or PhD? Masters degrees are extremely attractive if you just want to go to work in industry. PhD is not necessary. If you do decide to get a masters you could simply find a job first, and work full time while studying for your masters and have your company pay for it. Don't forget that interest never stops building on your student loans. I expect to pay almost $40,000 in just interest alone on my loans, so yeah that $40,000 loan I took out really cost $70,000-$80,000. I moved back home to my parents house (yes lame I know) to save money and pay off my loans faster. Having a large amount of student loans makes it extremely difficult to save for a down payment on a house.
  8. Mar 6, 2008 #7
    I think I am just going to go for my masters and then phD.
    Well I don't want a house right after I graduate from college. Other than having trouble of borrowing money for a payment on a house, Will having a large amount of loans affect your graduate and postgraduate education if you immediately want to go grad school after college?
  9. Mar 6, 2008 #8
    My undergrad grant only covered a third of my tuition. I graduated with about $60,000 in student loan debt, some of which are low-interest government loans, but the bulk of it are evil Sally Mae loans with a higher interest rate that compounds even while my loans are in deferment.

    I'm actually in the process of paying off my student loans while I'm in grad school. I don't make much money, but I budget well, so I make payments on the evil loans even though I'm not yet required to. Unless I go through a terrible unemployment period after grad school or some unforeseen major expense pops up, I should be able to pay them off within 6 years or so after graduating with my bachelor's. *crosses fingers*
  10. Mar 6, 2008 #9
    I intend to declare bankruptcy when I graduate. My credit will be wiped clean after seven years which is better than trying to pay off the loan over twenty.
  11. Mar 6, 2008 #10
    1) I don't think that means what you think it means.
    2) Student loans are exempt from bankruptcy proceedings anyway.
  12. Mar 6, 2008 #11


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    Not in the US.

    Recent bankruptcy reforms prevent this type of activity in the US. You'll still have to pay it back.

  13. Mar 6, 2008 #12
    Haha. Good luck :smile:.
  14. Mar 6, 2008 #13

    Vanadium 50

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    To add to the previous messages, taking out a loan with the intention to declare bankruptcy instead of paying it back is called "fraud". People can be imprisoned for it.
  15. Mar 6, 2008 #14
    Pay off 60 grand in 6 years? I would like to know how. That is $10,000 per year completely ignoring the interest. Assuming you make $80,000 right after school is over (which is most unlikely), you will take home would be ~ $60,000 after taxes (assuming too that you don't save in any 401 (k)s, or pay for health insurance etc). $10,000 per year would be almost 20% of your disposable income. I hope you don't have any rent, car payments, utilities, and insurance payments.

    I plan on paying off $38,000 in hopefully 3 years, but the only possible way I am able to do it is by living at home rent, utility, and food expense free. Lame and free loading yes, but student loans were just suffocating me when I was living on my own (BTW I make ~$52,000). My parents understand and I plan on paying them back somehow in the future.
  16. Mar 6, 2008 #15
    I currently pay about $10,000 a year towards my loans on a grad student's salary, and I have a relatively low stipend. It's all about budgeting. And cost of living is low where I currently live.
  17. Mar 6, 2008 #16
    I plan to have about $30k loans after I graduate with my bachelors.

    Does anyone know how I could make it work so that I go to school (I'm from the US) to Europe for my graduate degree (hopefully Ph.D.) without being harassed for loans payments? Would the school defer my payments or what?

    Do I just have to suck it up and get a job first?
  18. Mar 6, 2008 #17
    Nah as long as you are getting and education you should be able to defer your loans, no matter if you go to school in the US or not. But you have to eventually pay off your loans.

    I know of 1 kid who skipped out on paying his loans by moving to Europe. He is currently never allowed back on US soil ever again to visit his family.
  19. Mar 6, 2008 #18
    You should double-check this (don't take my word), but I believe that the student loans are deferred for as long as you're a student, no matter where you attend university. You just need to ensure that your grad school sends notification of your enrollment to the correct offices.
  20. Mar 6, 2008 #19
    I don't plan on coming back to the US, but I'd still payback my loans.

    I figure by the time I graduate with a Ph.D., I could easily find a job worth $70k/year.

    Knowing me, I could easily live off of my Ph.D. stipend +50% for comfort, so if I made ~$20k/year (I'm using all dollars, even though I'd live somewhere else obviously, this is just for ease of comparison) as a grad student, I could live off of $30k comfortably.

    No, I'm serious. I'm one of those "where I lay my head is home" people. As long as I have my bass, some sort of gaming console, and enough to eat and wear, I'm fine. I don't even drink alcohol or go on dates.

    So after taxes let's say I get $55k/year, I can devote $25k/year towards the loans. Maybe progressively less and less.
  21. Mar 6, 2008 #20
    What the hell!!!
  22. Mar 7, 2008 #21
    I don't understand how its going to take you until 2030 to pay them off when you make 52000$ a year while living at home.
  23. Mar 7, 2008 #22
    That's because I just moved home.

    $52,000 after tax, 401k, and health insurance is only about $35-40,000 of disposable income. Plus I have to pay off loans on a car.

    When I was living on my own I had the expenses of rent, utilities, food, gas, and car insurance.

    Student loan payments are about $400 per month, 50% of those payments every time end up going to just the interest. Some months I pay $180 on just 1 of my loans and only $80 of that goes towards the principal (which is $33,000). When you are just paying $80 towards the principal on a $30,000 loan, you can understand why it will take so long to pay it off.

    That is why I moved back home, to save money so that I can afford to pay more than just the minimum on each loan.

    When you factor in interest that $40,000 loan I took out is going to really costing $70,000 at the rate I am paying it now.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2008
  24. Mar 8, 2008 #23
    From what I understand excessive student loands = state owned slavery.

    So be very, very careful how much you borrow.
  25. Mar 8, 2008 #24
    I was merely joking on my previous statement. I am well aware that student loans cannot be defaulted.

    My suggestion to those worried about graduating with large debt is to negotiate a significant signing bonus on your first grad job that will allow you to pay off your loan. Take a drop in starting salary if need be. Then quit the job after several months and pursue graduate studies if that is your goal. If you're unable to do this, well then you either don't have the guts to negotiate or your degree wasn't worth the thousands of dollars you spent on it.
  26. Mar 11, 2008 #25
    A single person should be able to pay off ~10k on loans each year (easily) with proper budgeting if they make anything close to 50k (take home), in my opinion.
    I belong to a family of 6, living in California (crazy cost of living), with less than 50k of total earnings... so it shouldn't be too hard to save 10k a year if you're single, as long as you don't buy a nice big house, a bimmer, and eat out at fancy restaurants each night.
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