Irresponsible to consider with student loan debt? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 01-19-2008, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am looking for honest feedback.

Currently, DH and I both work full-time to pull in about $4,000 take home a month. DH's salary with double this year to 52K gross and I've been toying with the idea of quitting my FT job (looking for PT or otherwise bringing in some money) to get my health in order and get pregnant. Even without the health/TTC time cushion I want to be a SAHM/WAHM.

My issue is that I have an advanced degree, I spent 7 years ay university and paid for most of it through working but a lot through loans as well. I have about $77K in consolidated federal loans (private loans have been paid off already). Currently, they are in forbearance and come due again in December 2008.

I don't thinking that being a SAHM is a "waste of my education" as I've been told before, and DH and I can live off of his salary, but I still feel, irresponsible? I always thought I would be a single, working woman, not married and wanting a baby, something pretty new for me.
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#2 of 20 Old 01-19-2008, 10:54 AM
 
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are you going to pay the loans? If so then I don't see what difference it makes. Lots of people with advanced degrees stay home.

Not sure I understand why you would quit your job when you're not even pregnant though. Personally that wouldn't sit right with me (to have my husband carry the full household financial burden). Not understanding why you can't work and get healthy?

Anyway just my .02c

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#3 of 20 Old 01-19-2008, 11:06 AM
 
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I don't think I'd quit my job with the loans in forebearance. That doesn't seem like a good plan. Has your husband actually started making the 52K a year? If not don't make any big changes unless that's really happened. Make sure you consider the cost of health insurance through your husbands work if you are used to having it from your employer.

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#4 of 20 Old 01-19-2008, 11:15 AM
 
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When dh & I were married (11.5yrs ago) I knew I'd be a SAHM. I have an elementary/early childhood degree & worked, 5 years in my field, up until the summer before I had our ds. We decided to use my paychecks to pay my student loan payments and savings. We managed better than we ever expected we would and I was/am able to SAHM with the kids. I agree with the pp and don't understand why you can't work and focus on getting healthy at the same time.

Why are you feeling irresponsible leaving your professional career to focus on starting a family. Would you feel irresponsible after having a child or is it just that you're considering leaving work to focus on health and trying to conceive? What plans do you have for the time it takes to conceive and the duration of your pregnancy...work wise, income, paying off your loans, etc. Imho, if you're able to work, you should continue to do so and contribute to the finances/savings while you're ttc.
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#5 of 20 Old 01-19-2008, 02:16 PM
 
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In all honesty, especially with the way the economy is going, 77K of unsecured debt is nothing to sneeze at. We WILL enter a recession (and already have done in some areas) this year.

How secure is your dh's job? His salary HAS doubled or it WILL double? Is that written in stone? Because until you have that money in hand, don't count on it. If times get hard, you can't declare bankruptcy on student loans. You will have to pay for them one way or another. With the economy the way it is, what is your backup plan if your dh loses his job? How much do you have in your emergency fund? How much have you saved for having a baby?

Not sure if you have any other debt, but if I were you, I would get that debt off of my back before thinking about quitting your job. These are troubled economic times right now. I have an advanced degree, too. I quit when my dd was born, but if we weren't debt-free, I'd be back at work in a heartbeat (my dd is school-aged, now, though.)

Good luck on your decision. Oh, one more thing. My dd is in school. I work PT now because to be honest, I would go stir crazy at home by myself all the time. There is a limit to how spotless you can keep your home.
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#6 of 20 Old 01-19-2008, 04:29 PM
 
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From the money perspective, I would continue to work full time and pay down that debt. If the student loan is your only debt then I would keep the present budget when DH gets his raise and put ALL the extra income into bringing down that debt. Live as though he never got the raise, kwim? You could make a goal of, say, waiting six months and then TTC. It might take a few months more to actually concieve, then you can work through at least part of your pregnancy...see how far down that gets your debt. The more the better but of course you can't put off TTC forever!

As for the education part, I have a PhD and was well on my way to a very promising research career, had an amazing mentor who I adore and he put so much into training me. When I decided to leave my career to be a SAHM there were those who thought it a "waste" of my education. I was able to start a home-based consulting business (something that would never have occurred to me before I had kids) so I still bring in some money with minimal work and still use my education that way. But even if I didn't, no amount of money or university can compare with being with my children so much in these early (fast!) years.

There are a million research scientists out there, but I am the only mother to my children. Raising them to be confident, secure, emotionally intelligent, fulfilled individuals is a great a gift to our society and a worthy use of one's life.

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#7 of 20 Old 01-19-2008, 04:32 PM
 
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Start living off of your dh's salaray and apply every bit of yours toward your debt. Nine months of your monthly salary will pay things down very quickly! I would also recommend paying them now before the forbearance date if there is no prepayment penalty.
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#8 of 20 Old 01-19-2008, 04:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Piglet68 View Post
From the money perspective, I would continue to work full time and pay down that debt. If the student loan is your only debt then I would keep the present budget when DH gets his raise and put ALL the extra income into bringing down that debt. Live as though he never got the raise, kwim? You could make a goal of, say, waiting six months and then TTC. It might take a few months more to actually concieve, then you can work through at least part of your pregnancy...see how far down that gets your debt. The more the better but of course you can't put off TTC forever!
:
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#9 of 20 Old 01-19-2008, 04:44 PM
 
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I got pg unexpectedly three months after graduating, so my situation is quite a bit different, but I do have mountains of studet loans. They will be there when my children are in school and I go back to work. They will likely be there for the rest of my life!

Is it financially irresponsible? Maybe. But you know what, I am at home raising my two amazing DDs right now and that's the most important thing in our lives. We get by okay on DF's income. He works his butt off so I can stay home. We'll get to the loans!
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#10 of 20 Old 01-19-2008, 04:50 PM
 
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I have mountains of student loan debt, too (about $48,000). I also had credit card debt from when I was in school (about $30,000). From the time we got serious about our money until I became a SAHM, we paid off our credit card debt, but not the student loans. I still have those.

If your loans are in forebearance, do you know what your monthly payments will be? Are you including those payments in being able to live off your dh's salary?

I agree with the pp that say to start living on dh's salary, use your entire paycheck to pay off loans, and then start TTC. You'll get at least 9 months (the length of your pregnancy) towards paying off your loans, which will help. Any help toward that is good stuff.
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#11 of 20 Old 01-19-2008, 06:03 PM
 
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Also what does your DH think? If my husband had $77k in debt and wanted to SAH (with no guarantee of when kids would arrive) I would be horrified!

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#12 of 20 Old 01-19-2008, 06:18 PM
 
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I'd keep working and put every dime into the loans. If/when you get pregnant, you can readjust after the baby is born.

Unless you have some serious health issues that will take working on full-time during the day I don't see why TTC would be benefited by not working.

Katie, mama to one big boy (6/03) and one little boy (12/08).
It is never the wrong time to do the right thing.
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#13 of 20 Old 01-19-2008, 06:26 PM
 
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I know if I'd waited till my student loans were paid off to have a child, I'd be about 82 years old by that time...too late! But maybe you can pay them down a bit first (unless you're worried about age being a factor or something), at least waiting till your husband actually does get the raise. And I'm not sure what your health issues are, but maybe you can still work while TTC, and even in early pregnancy (and I know some people work straight through but I never could have) which would give you a few more months of paying it off.

If the loans are in forbearance but you can currently afford to pay them, maybe see if you can end the forbearance early and "save" it for later on. If you can afford to pay them now, there's no point in not paying them, and waiting till the forbearance ends to quit your job.
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#14 of 20 Old 01-19-2008, 06:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by velochic View Post
Not sure if you have any other debt, but if I were you, I would get that debt off of my back before thinking about quitting your job.
excellent advice; yout TTC and pregnancy time can be used to get your affairs -- including financial -- in order; I'd try to work as long as I possibly could before Baby arrives and get that debt paid down/off

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#15 of 20 Old 01-19-2008, 07:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by velochic View Post
In all honesty, especially with the way the economy is going, 77K of unsecured debt is nothing to sneeze at. We WILL enter a recession (and already have done in some areas) this year.

How secure is your dh's job? His salary HAS doubled or it WILL double? Is that written in stone? Because until you have that money in hand, don't count on it. If times get hard, you can't declare bankruptcy on student loans. You will have to pay for them one way or another. With the economy the way it is, what is your backup plan if your dh loses his job? How much do you have in your emergency fund? How much have you saved for having a baby?

Not sure if you have any other debt, but if I were you, I would get that debt off of my back before thinking about quitting your job. These are troubled economic times right now. I have an advanced degree, too. I quit when my dd was born, but if we weren't debt-free, I'd be back at work in a heartbeat (my dd is school-aged, now, though.)

Good luck on your decision. Oh, one more thing. My dd is in school. I work PT now because to be honest, I would go stir crazy at home by myself all the time. There is a limit to how spotless you can keep your home.

I agree with this advice, I would not quit my job at this point if you can address your health issues and TTC at the same time. I have 100K in student loans and planned to work but lost my job unexpectedly so you never know what will happen in the future but you can continue to work on knocking out debt now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissLotus View Post
If the loans are in forbearance but you can currently afford to pay them, maybe see if you can end the forbearance early and "save" it for later on. If you can afford to pay them now, there's no point in not paying them, and waiting till the forbearance ends to quit your job.
: Once the baby comes then would be a good time to put your loans in forebearance but pay down as much as you can now.

Shay

Mothering since 1992...its one of the many hats I wear.
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#16 of 20 Old 01-19-2008, 08:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by velochic View Post
In all honesty, especially with the way the economy is going, 77K of unsecured debt is nothing to sneeze at. We WILL enter a recession (and already have done in some areas) this year.

How secure is your dh's job? His salary HAS doubled or it WILL double? Is that written in stone? Because until you have that money in hand, don't count on it. If times get hard, you can't declare bankruptcy on student loans. You will have to pay for them one way or another. With the economy the way it is, what is your backup plan if your dh loses his job? How much do you have in your emergency fund? How much have you saved for having a baby?

Not sure if you have any other debt, but if I were you, I would get that debt off of my back before thinking about quitting your job. These are troubled economic times right now. I have an advanced degree, too. I quit when my dd was born, but if we weren't debt-free, I'd be back at work in a heartbeat (my dd is school-aged, now, though.)
: Too many what ifs for that amount of debt. I'd do as another pp suggested and start living off dh's salary and putting every penny of my own toward the loans. I'd maybe set a goal to get it down by half before I really thought about quitting to stay home. Plus you'll know how far dh's salary really stretches when you do decide to quit.
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#17 of 20 Old 01-19-2008, 09:19 PM
 
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I have advanced degrees and LOTS of student loans to payoff. I became a sahm in 2005 when our youngest was born. We are still paying them off even though I'm home.

I would not have considered staying at home if we were not going to be able to continue to pay all of our bills (including the student loans).
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#18 of 20 Old 01-19-2008, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by velochic View Post
In all honesty, especially with the way the economy is going, 77K of unsecured debt is nothing to sneeze at. We WILL enter a recession (and already have done in some areas) this year.
:

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#19 of 20 Old 01-20-2008, 05:04 AM
 
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That is exactly what I am trying to get through to my daughter. She graduates this year and trying to decide what to do about advanced education. She knows for sure that she wants to get married and be a homemaker. I am encouraging her consider VERY DEEPLY whether she wants to incur a huge amount of student loan debt to then stay home. She will probably qualify for a lot of grant money(hopefully).

Not that I have a problem w/staying home w/advanced degrees, just staying home w/a mountain of debt, ykwim?
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#20 of 20 Old 01-20-2008, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone. My health is one of the reasons I've thought of quitting when DH gets his raise but I've rethought that and will continue to work until I am actually pregnant - at this job or another. DH's raise comes through next month, it's a signed contract but we don't count on it happening until it does, hence me still at my awful job. DH's job is very secure; he's in a secure, always-needed field with major advancement planned.

I love my work, just not this job, and definitely plan to do something with it eventually, I just don't want to do the work until birth and back to work 8 weeks later, especially since I will most likely need to be on bed rest due to health.

The student loan debt is our only debt - no credit card, no personal loans, etc.

Thank you for all of your imput.
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