How much student loan debt do you have? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: How much student loan debt do you have?
$0 - $10,000 117 49.58%
$10,001 - $20,000 35 14.83%
$20,001 - $40,000 34 14.41%
$40,001 - $60,000 16 6.78%
$60,001 - $80,000 15 6.36%
$80,001 - $100,000 9 3.81%
$100,001 or more 10 4.24%
Voters: 236. You may not vote on this poll

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#61 of 93 Old 10-28-2010, 02:26 PM
 
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I have about $30K and I had a scholarship that paid for tuition. The catch was that it didn't pay for fees (and my school had some crazy ones) or books and it would only pay for room and board IF you bought a meal plan from the school. Those things added up to thousands of dollars each semester.

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#62 of 93 Old 10-28-2010, 04:00 PM
 
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I graduated with $5000 in debt and paid it off in full the day it went into repayment with money I saved from my internship my senior year.

I majorly lucked out with college tuition, I went to a private college that cost about $20000 a year (freshman year was 19K, by my senior year it was over 22K), but half was paid with am academic scholarship. I got about $8000 a year from my grandparents from a college account they set up when I was born, plus they covered books. I also got about $1000 a year from the state via a student choice grant, another couple hundred in grants from the college for being low income, and $2000 my last two years as part of the federal Smart4 grant program because I was a science major. I also got a Pell grant my senior year. I took out about $2-3000 a year in unsubsidized student Stafford loans (first three years, subsidized the last year b/c my dad was out of work) to cover the rest.
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#63 of 93 Old 10-28-2010, 04:41 PM
 
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We're still paying for my hubby's which was $28k last time we checked

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#64 of 93 Old 10-28-2010, 05:14 PM
 
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Well, when I got my BS degree I always did work study and got financial aid that was not loans. I was lucky. After I had DS I went back to school and took out loans for that. This also paid for the PT daycare at the university I went to. Well, DS got kicked out of daycare there and then we got a dx of autism for him. Life was so high stress that I never was able to complete what I started (Radiography), and now I am paying $125 per month and am only working 26 hours per month.

I am still looking for some forgiveness program for parents of children with disabilities. It's so ironic; I had to quit school b/c of the life change and am not able to work a regular job b/c of it. Yet, I still am paying more than I really can afford.

Anyone have a similar situation?
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#65 of 93 Old 10-28-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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None. I paid it off about 2 years after graduating. I had paid for most of it as I went through school and I went to an inexpensive state school, so there wasn't much debt to begin with. DH also has none. His parents paid for most of his BS outright, and he had an assistantship for his MA and PhD, so those were free.
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#66 of 93 Old 10-28-2010, 08:26 PM
 
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0 here. I went to a community college and recieved two associate degrees before joining the military. I paid for the books/turition by the merit based scholarships I recieved and a small amount of help from my father (I lived at home, he paid for my meals and all but says he doesn't count that since I was 16 when I graduated high school and legally he had to He would have anyway but don't tell anyone that).
I want to return to school soon (when Im looking at going back I will be trying to figure out how to juggle school, with a husband that works to much, a 4 year old, 2 year old and newborn.. oh and we homeschool so next school year Ill have to report DD1 and do school for her.. yea) but it will be all paid for by the GI bill.

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#67 of 93 Old 10-28-2010, 09:08 PM
 
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I never had any student loans. My parents paid for my undergrad schooling. I used money from relatives to pay for grad school.

My DH had a two small loans from his undergrad. IIRC, the total was about $12K by the time he graduated from college in 1997. The loans were paid in full by 2001.

ETA: both of us attended state universities for undergrad.

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#68 of 93 Old 10-28-2010, 09:11 PM
 
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none, and I've been own my own since I was a teenager.

I went to university part time while working full time in a bar. I only took that classes that I could afford each semester.

When I graduated, I got a real job and the company I worked for paid 80% of tuition for my MA.

It took longer, but I did it all on my own and never had any debt.

My DH never had any either. He lived at home and worked nearly full time while being in school full time.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#69 of 93 Old 10-28-2010, 09:23 PM
 
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Not a dime of debt! I managed to get all of my BA amd MA paid for with scholarships. It helps to be poor, sometimes.
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#70 of 93 Old 10-28-2010, 09:30 PM
 
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I win. Or lose. $168,000 when I graduated med school- up to $192,000 by the time I finished residency and was able to afford to make payments. Now down to $163,000 after 7 years in repayment. And these were just loans for med school. I had a full scholarship, including room and board, for undergrad.
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#71 of 93 Old 10-28-2010, 09:51 PM
 
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With undergrad and grad school, my debt was about $54,000 when I graduated in '98.

We've paid it down significantly ahead of schedule, so we're less than $20,000 now. If I paid it down on schedule, we would have ended up paying over $100,000 in payments by the time we were done.

I didn't have much choice other than taking out the loans - I wish though that someone would have explained that these would haunt us so long. SO many people (including financial aid office folks) kept assuring me, "Oh, you'll hardly ever get a loan at such low rates again, your student loan rates are so low" etc. Not True.

Also, my high school guidance counselor was a bust. I was a National Merit Finalist. I should have had dozens of schools offering me scholarships/tuition - I know where I went to grad school, the undergrads who were NMFs received free tuition. My guidance counselor didn't explain this to me, or my parents, my parents didn't know. I would have significantly less debt if I'd known to advocate for myself like that as an incoming freshman. I could have gone to many good colleges/universities for free as an undergrad, if anyone would have told me about this.

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#72 of 93 Old 10-28-2010, 10:50 PM
 
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Neither me nor my husband have any school debt. We have generous parents, had jobs, and in his case, had scholarships. We are very lucky.

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#73 of 93 Old 10-28-2010, 10:57 PM
 
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None. Dh had a full scholarship because he was a National Merit Scholar. I worked two jobs to pay the rent... he put me through school with his first real job. No debt at all.
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#74 of 93 Old 10-29-2010, 01:12 AM
 
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I voted $0-10,000 because the first message said to vote as of right now. We paid off our student loan debt around ten years ago.

I don't recall how much either of us had, either, but it wasn't crazy high.

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#75 of 93 Old 10-29-2010, 05:15 AM
 
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Is this for the original principle or the current amount? DH and I had 30k together when we graduated in 98. We paid that off by 2001. I chose $0 but not sure what I should have picked.

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#76 of 93 Old 10-29-2010, 08:46 AM
 
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None! I paid it off But I only had like $5000 to begin with, half of which was used to buy a car and the other half was used to study abroad. Went to cheap in-state college in my home town, lived with my sister and paid tuition mostly via scholarships I cobbled together. There was some money from the parents, too, but my mom did her best to not pay for it :P

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#77 of 93 Old 10-29-2010, 09:57 AM
 
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I wasn't sure how to answer. I had about 18,000, but it's all paid now. I paid off some of it with two years in Americorps, and the rest I paid off steadily-- it took me ten years, but I did it. DH didn't have any undergraduate debt-- his parents paid his way-- but he did borrow for some of his graduate school. Fortunately we were able to get his district (he works for the schools) to reimburse him, so that's paid off too. So we have no student loan debt now.
But we used to.

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#78 of 93 Old 10-29-2010, 10:10 AM
 
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Thankfully, none. But my husband did have around $20,000... It has been paid off, though.
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#79 of 93 Old 10-29-2010, 10:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elanorh View Post
Also, my high school guidance counselor was a bust. I was a National Merit Finalist. I should have had dozens of schools offering me scholarships/tuition - I know where I went to grad school, the undergrads who were NMFs received free tuition. My guidance counselor didn't explain this to me, or my parents, my parents didn't know. I would have significantly less debt if I'd known to advocate for myself like that as an incoming freshman. I could have gone to many good colleges/universities for free as an undergrad, if anyone would have told me about this.
I feel your frustration. Not only did my guidance counselor totally fail me, but he also didn't agree with my plan to leave high school a year early (that decision was complicated but the best decision I could have made at the time, and he knew staying at that school another year was not an option!) So he kind of just didn't bother helping me after that. I did manage to get some great scholarships on my own but not half as much as I could've gotten with help, and not nearly as much as the average person in my situation would normally get. And my SAT scores were like 8 points shy of granting me a free ride (so if I retook them instead of using just the junior year scores when I was too sick to really function, I definitely would've scored higher & ended up with zero loans )

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#80 of 93 Old 10-29-2010, 12:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
No, my total debt load for undergrad and grad school is over 100K. I went to school in my late 20's early 30's and while I wish I had not racked up the debt the fact is my degrees have opened doors.

I know plenty of other folks with high debt levels, most of us don't talk about it so I doubt you are an outlier. It's just that people tend to think gee, you spent that kind of money and you aren't a doctor or lawyer? lol
LOL. I AM a lawyer, and I still find my debt stifling. I have approximately $140,000. It is absolutely no fun, although my earning potential without law school was certainly much less than it is now.
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#81 of 93 Old 10-29-2010, 12:26 PM
 
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I've never known of anyone in real life who had more student loan debt than the 87k that DH and I had. The people I know who went to med school and law school were from wealthy families, so they didn't have to borrow.

Selesai, I know what you mean about feeling stifled. That is why we did nothing but pay it off until it was gone. We would have loved to start a family right away, but not under that pile of debt. So we worked and worked and lived very carefully to be done with it. We were finally able to start that family about 8 or 9 years later.

I can't imagine what the wait would have been like if we took turns going to school so that one of us could work to pay for the other. Or if we did it part time so we could work. 8 years of waiting was long enough! If we had had to wait to start a family at 40, we never would have had children.

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#82 of 93 Old 10-29-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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We are down to about $95,000.

Half of that is from my grad school degree. My dh's half is about half undergrad/half grad school.

I graduated undergrad with about $3000 debt. I paid it off easily and quickly. Then, went to grad school. I underestimated the amount of money I needed for school, so I had $50,000 in loans and $30,000 in credit card debt (OMG) when I finished. I overestimated how much I'd make on graduating, so it didn't get paid off immediately.

I got married 6 months after graduation, and I thought we were on track to start paying stuff off. My dh was laid off our first year of marriage. He decided to go back to school. I worked and paid our living expenses (which were fairly high because at that point we owed $50K of my loans, $25 of his, and $42K in credit card debt--cause he had some going into the marriage, too), but we put his tuition on loans. Cha-ching! Another 25K in loans.

When he got out, we started paying stuff off. We got the cards paid off, then had a baby. And I stayed home. And his salary got cut. And the big house that was at the top of what we could afford with his (bigger) salary was impossible to sell because of the marke. And, his salary got cut again (it's been cut by 1/3 since 2007). And our ARM adjusted. And we had 2 more babies. So, now, we live on less than 1/2 of what we made together, with a large (for us) mortgage payment, and we just make it. But, not a lot extra to throw at loan payments.

So, that's our story of why we still have most of our student loan debt 10 and 6 years out of school. We've struggled to survive at times. We're doing okay now, but not great. He's working hard to change industries (he's in building materials; it ain't coming back anytime soon), and hopefully a raise will help us pay them off.

Would I do it again? NO!!!! I would figure outa way to get the degree cheaper, absolutely, 100%.
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#83 of 93 Old 10-29-2010, 03:29 PM
 
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When I graduated I had about $2500 in loans. Everything else was scholarship, financial aid, or paid for by my parents or by me (I paid about half and my parents paid half of the balance). My school had a great program that turned student loans in to grants (that didn't have to be paid off) if a certain GPA was earned. Luckily I was able to study hard, work hard, and graduate with nearly no debt. This was from a private liberal arts school.

DH had a similar circumstances and graduated with $8000 in loans.

To be honest it wasn't until recently that I even realized how much debt most people have after graduating from college. I feel very grateful for having so little debt starting out.

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#84 of 93 Old 10-29-2010, 05:03 PM
 
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Wow, I'm kinda surprised, I thought more ppl would have higher debt.

Right now, I only have about $200 left on my loans, but DH just graduated a year ago and has just under $40k in debt. He went to a small, private school that does not offer scholarships. Supposedly, the financial aid dept sent our info for grants etc, but after further dealings with the school and how much debt we've ended up with, I don't think they actually did. So basically, we are $40k in debt for a *^%$#*#@ associates degree and we found out afterward that he could've gotten the same education at a community college nearby for much much less. The school actually has a class action lawsuit against it because it doesn't does not do what it claims it will (job placement, grants etc). Wish we had known that before DH started there.

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#85 of 93 Old 10-30-2010, 02:13 PM
 
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I had no undergrad debt. I lived at home one year and attended community college one year and attended a relatively cheap state school the three years. Worked several jobs and had some parental support too.

I ended up with about $22,000 in grad school debt. I am old and it has been paid off for almost ten years. I was pretty hardcore about paying it off. It took me about five years.

I had grad school paid off before I started a family.
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#86 of 93 Old 10-30-2010, 09:17 PM
 
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None so far. I was in the military and used my GI Bill to pay for my Associates. When I go back to school next year for my Bachelors I will be using the newer 9/11 version of the GI Bill which will pay 80% tuition and the rest I'll have to cover with grants and/or loans.
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#87 of 93 Old 10-30-2010, 10:45 PM
 
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$0. DH has a PhD and I will have mine in May. We're minorities among our friends. Most of our peers have between 20-100k.

My parents paid for my undergraduate degree. DH had scholarships for his undergraduate degrees. I worked and had various assistantships during graduate school and DH had a fellowship. We chose the graduate school that offered us the most funding (both of us had tuition, stipend and health insurance) and lived very frugally during graduate school. We also waited to start our family until DH had a full time job and was done with school.

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#88 of 93 Old 11-01-2010, 01:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pumpkin View Post
I've been out of school for 13 years so mine was paid off quite a while ago.
Posted via Mobile Device
Haha, pumpkin, I got my BS in 1997, too, but still have around 25K in debt. I don't think the original amount was much more than that (maybe around 30K).

I went to a private school, stupidly. I had no money, no parent support, I worked alot but that funded things like living expenses and books, all my tuition and such was scholarship or financial aid - so some grants but certainly loans, and the school was pricey (For the time, it's pricier now, too). Way pricier than I should have gone to, in retrospect of course. But that was not something anyone told me about back then - counselors just talked about getting into school and all I wanted to do was move out of my abusive home.

I could have gone to a state school and still done ok and made out with less debt. After college I had a string of "i don't know what to do with my life" jobs and so didn't make squat with which to pay down bills.

The job I have now is decent, but as my signature testifies, we've got enough family to keep us from rollin' in the dough. My job also has nothing at all to do with my degree. I learned it from my then partner, now DH.

IMO, degrees just aren't worth the money we pay out for them. I mean I enjoyed college, but I didn't do anything career prep during college, really. I enjoyed it socially and academically, but what to do with that experience was the biggest question. I didn't know what avenue I wanted to take for a graduate degree, which left me floundering after graduation.

I know lots of jobs where the degree is not exactly neccessary or just any degree will do, so long as you went to college. If I could do it over again, I still would have gone to college, but gone to a state school and had less debt to deal with.

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#89 of 93 Old 11-01-2010, 01:42 PM
 
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zero debt

My parents paid for all of housing and classes my first year, then I transferred to community college.

They paid for classes and books for the rest of my degree at community college and local college to get both an Associates and Bachelors degree.

After the first year at an "away private school", they paid for classes and I paid for living expenses. (I lived a home as well as in a condo, but paid rent at both places, and when I lived at "home", I had chores and duties in running the house as well as paying rent).

I worked full time after the first year as well.
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#90 of 93 Old 11-01-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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As of right now, less than $4000. When I graduated, around $25,000. Then a certain amount was forgiven and I was left with $16,000 and change. It was in interest relief for a few years, and then I ran out of interest relief and started repaying it. I was repaying at the amount set when interest rates were higher but repaying while interest rates were/are at all time lows, so having variable interest rate loans with set payments has worked out very well for me and they'll be totally paid off well ahead of the 10year repayment timeable set with the original interest rates
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