|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|
I know this poll doesn't take into account whether you've already finished your degree, have or are working on another degree, went to a state or private school, already had children while you were in school, etc. But as of right now--how much student loan debt do you have? If you want to participate, it'd be great if you'd answer the above questions in your comment.
I'll go first: I have $60,000 in student loan debt from my undergrad ALONE. Despite the fact that I went to a state school. I took a few years off after my freshman year to travel around and "find myself", and I found out I was pregnant right after I went back for my sophomore year. So I took another two years off to raise my babe. After I went back to school again, I relied heavily on loans to pay for daycare for my daughter and to live on, as well, since I didn't want to work AND go to school and squeeze time in with my daughter here and there.
Looking back, taking out all those loans was a stupid, stupid idea. But what's the better solution for someone who already has kids while they're in school? Should I have worked while I was in school to avoid some of that debt? Financially, probably. But I would probably make the same decision if I was in that boat all over again. (The best solution, obviously, is to not have kids until you're done with school, but that isn't a reality for many of us, and not even desired by many of us.)
I'm now working on my postgraduate degree--and racking up more loans (!).
So what about you? If you had children before you were done with your degree, did that add to your student loan debt? What ways did you avoid taking out more loans? How do you feel about it?
I started with ~$50k
To put that in context: DH went to the US Coast Guard Academy, which is a military academy, so that was all paid for and now he's an officer in the Coast Guard. That came with a 6 year commitment, but now we have a 13 year commitment because of flight training. He loves it, though, so that is no problem for us.
I went to a state school. I paid for all but $2,000 of my Bachelor's degree with merit-based scholarships. My parents were able to chip in the remaining $2,000 I needed freshman year. By senior year, I made more in scholarships and internships than I spent, so I could have paid them back if they had wanted me to do that.
I imagine that I will want to go back to school again at some point for a master's degree, but we'll use DH's GI Bill to pay for that.
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I was thinking I might go back when DS2 is a little older, so I can get either a second bachelors or my masters. At least if I do that, I can stop paying the loans back! Actually, I'm in forbearance for hardship right now...I am unemployed.
Also, looks like I'm the outlier at this point. Maybe that statistic was pretty accurate after all!
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
With the Income Based Repayment plan, my monthly payment is currently ZERO and won't go over $100/month unless I completely changed fields and tripled my salary. Plus, after 10 years of working in a non-profit or public service field, all my loans will be forgiven. Student loans do NOT have to be crippling debt! Private student loans, OTOH, not a good idea...
If you want to learn more about the IBR plan, check out this website.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness plan is here too.
raising my two sunshine children.
I didn't have any debt when I graduated from the same college but I knew a lot people had $30,000+ and that was more than 15 years ago.
From what I hear from recent graduates, $50,000 and above is not unusual. A nurse's aid at my doctor's office graduated from the same college I did and she can't get a job in her field (sociology) and pay her loans. She works as an EMT as a second job to pay her loans. In her field, she needs a masters to get any decent paying job.
I was considering some Ivy League schools and ended up going to a state school because it was the only one that would accept me without a HS diploma (I left HS after my junior year) and if I had gone elsewhere or transferred like I planned to, I would've ended up with huge loans (and never met my DH...) and who knows what degree(s) I would've ended up with, since I changed majors about 6 times...
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" ~~ MLK
My parents started saving for college in 1970 when they got married. They didn't even have me until a decade later. In 1998 I started college, and with all their savings they were able to pay for one year.
When DH and I graduated, we owed a total of $87k between us. He had gotten a lot more aid than I did, since his family had a lower income. My family was in between being able to get aid and being able to afford it. So most of the loans were mine.
When we graduated, we lived on the tightest budget possible for years to get out of debt before starting a family. We rented a relative's basement for $150/month plus my labor cleaning for the relative. We never did anything fun with our friends. Our entertainment budget was $4 a month, which was the cost of having a second cable box in the same house. Every once in a while we would splurge on a $10 video game from the bargain bin.
Finally in 2006, 5 years after graduating, we had paid it all off and moved into our own apartment and planned to start a family.
I don't have any debt though because I worked 2 jobs all though school and even though I had my own apartment, I went home a lot for "supplies". Dh went through several years of accounting school and in the end he racked up roughly $10,000 worth of debt. Between our pooled savings and monetary wedding gifts we paid them off shortly after we got married. All this was 10 years ago.
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We each got masters degrees a decade later, but we worked full-time and paid it off as we went.
My DP's school costs are very, very low. He went back to school as an adult therefore his parents income was no longer a factor on the FAFSA. He received financial aid, Pell grant and these, combined with in-state tuition have us at about 8,000 total for a very specialized BS + merchant marine license. We are not using student loans for his schooling.
Then I went to a ridiculously expensive grad school, maxed out scholarships, grants, and work-study, and still walked out $50k in the hole. In hindsight, not my smartest move (especially to go into environmental science, which isn't known for fat paychecks).
FWIW, I knew my parents would not help me pay for school, so I took on all that debt with my eyes wide open and paid it all off (along with my husband's CC debt) in 8 years. However, they did help both my older and younger sibling but not me; that's still a bit of a sore spot.
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DH has about $11,000 left. It was originally around $20,000 for his bachelors and masters (but I think the school was paying him for masters).
Hubby has BS, MS and nearly an MBA-all funded by scholarships or work.
Masters: $0 (teaching assistantship)
Law school: $100k originally but have worked that down over the years (my income level is proportionate to the type of degree I received) (professional degrees tend to cost more but the income range reflects that).
Single mom to 3 boys
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I tell people now that school isn't worth it... By the time we realized that, it was too late to pull out. But having those loans basically means that we will never be able to realize our dreams. For some education may pay off, but it never will for our family. Very sad.
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