I asked this in the career thread so before ti gets pointed out I would like to note I realized this, but since this forum may have a different set of respondents who read these forums, i figured I would ask it here too. So more about my situation: I am now in the process of completing a Physics PhD and am now fully funded and supported. However, two years ago I had an advisor who who I was having clashes with and so decided to finish a M.S. in his group and then move on to the PHD [ it was a lengthy clash involving personality disputes and political problems within the department which I could probably explain privately if anyone is interested]. However, my PhD advisor I currently have is a theorist who did not have funding at the time and the department could not give funding for one semester, so I had a 8,000 loan for that one semester. I have been funded for every other semester with the typical stipend and am currently fully funded now. But I did have one semester where I could not be funded and so ended up using the loans - my parents also presumed this was the right thing to do so I could finish the PhD that I started. Now I know that generally, Physics PHDs are not supposed to take out any loans of any kind, and I would never have done this more than once and would for sure have used loans on a regular basis. But do you think that even using one loan was necessarily a horrible thing to do to finish a PhD and was the exact wrong decision to make? Have there been situations where that has been done before in a physics PhD program?