poll re: student loans and income after - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 02-27-2008, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi ladies

This will be a personal question, so I hope no one gets offended by me asking. I am wondering how much student loans one would have to aquire in order to make a decent living in the future. I see some people on here say they have over 100k in SL's and am wondering if their current incomes are able to pay them back at a good rate. I have a little boy and I've started putting money aside for him since he was born for his college/first house fund but it seems like we could never save up enough, especially if rates of tuition just keeps rising.
also I'm wondering what other mom's have set up for the child's college fund.

Thanks for any replies
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#2 of 11 Old 02-27-2008, 10:17 PM
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I graduated with about $20k in student loans - all federal subsidized. I went to a $$ private school but had lots of grants/scholarships and lived off campus for 2 yeras where I paid rent/food out of my paycheck (work study job). TO me this was worth it 100%. My repayments are $75 on one loan and $91.40 on another per month, and my interest rates are 5% (perkins) and 1.65% (stafford). My salary is enough to live on and pay the loans easily- I set up direct debits for the loans straight away so I don't even miss that money really.

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#3 of 11 Old 02-27-2008, 10:25 PM
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It's really going to depend on an area of study--kwim?
If your kiddo goes to medical school, it's loan time unless you're somehow loaded. It gets over the 100 mark when grad school is figured in. Most people who graduate with over 100 aren't going to make a lot of money at first (typically, I mean). If you're saving for the BA, it's also going to depend on private/public university, and a lot of other factors. I'm putting away only around 500/year for kiddo so far, and counting on the fact that I'll be near retirement age when she hits college. heehee. Maybe I'll quit work for a year before so she gets a whole bunch of grants. Who knows though, maybe in our lifetimes higher ed will be FREE. mmmmmm, wouldn't that be great...
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#4 of 11 Old 02-28-2008, 02:50 AM
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It totally depends on what you get a degree in and what your skills are.

I could attend Northwestern University and accrue 100k in loans and get a degree in Art History and not be able to find a job.

I could attend my community college for a nursing degree, take out 5k of loans, and have a very high earning potential.
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#5 of 11 Old 02-28-2008, 01:36 PM
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There are so many variables. My parents did not save for my education, but they helped as much as they could when I actually started school (neither makes a lot). I graduated with about $8k in student loans from a private school. My first company out of college paid for my master's degree.

I'm currently not working, but my potential income is about $70k. I'm an engineer. So obviously, the loan was well worth it. However, it is a relatively high-payoff field.

I have two friends (a couple) who will graduate (with PhDs) with at least 1/4 million in debt between them. He will go into scientific research and may make $100,000 eventually. She hopes to counsel disadvantaged teens and will be lucky to make half that. They will have a hard time paying off those loans.

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#6 of 11 Old 02-28-2008, 02:35 PM
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Dh has $7k and makes ~$40k now

I have $18k and make $0. But dh's family helped him and he lived at home. I had no help and was a single mom.

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#7 of 11 Old 02-28-2008, 03:35 PM
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It totally depends.

I graduated with no debt

Sister 1 went to med school (huge debt)

Sister 2 went to Ivy League, art degree (huge debt)

Sister 3 went to very expensive private school, art degree (huge debt, but not as much as sisters 1 and 2)

I am a SAHM, so you know my salary , but then again I have no debt. Sister 1 is obviously loaded. Sisters 2 and 3 have very low-paying jobs; one in her field, one not.

So you see it only made sense financially for one of us to take on that debt . . . Sister 1, the doctor. I don't know how sisters 2 and 3 are going to pay theirs back, honesty. I really don't think it's worth it financially to take out huge loans for degrees in fields where you will have a very difficult time making enough money to pay it back without the debt severely impacting your life.

That said, I'm saving as much as I can for DD. I'd love to pay for it for her. But I am also going to do all I can to help her make a wise choice based on reality when the time comes.
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#8 of 11 Old 02-28-2008, 03:54 PM
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My dh and I both have large loans.

For me, I was able to pay for undergrad with less than $5000 in loans. Lots of scholarships, grants, etc. My parents weren't able to help with school, but I lived at home for the first 3 years. However...I went to a private grad school, and that cost me about $50,000. When I got out of grad school, my salary was not enough for me to pay the minimums on my loan and my rent, too. I definitely over-estimated what I would make fresh out of school.

My dh needed loans for undergrad and grad school. His parents paid for his first year of school, then announced that was the end of their funding. Because of their income, he didn't qualify for any grants, and he wasn't in a place for scholarships, either. He owes about $50,000 in loans as well.

I am now a SAHM; my dh is an outside salesman. He makes okay money. Not 6 figures, but okay. Our minimum payments are $660 a month. We pay on our loans easily. The interest rates are low. They'll get paid off eventually.
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#9 of 11 Old 02-28-2008, 05:30 PM
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Combined, DH and I have slightly over $150K in student loans. That's for one private school BA, one public school BS, and one law degree. Neither of our parents contributed to our educations, and since DH had to wait until he was 25 to go to school so as not to be considered a dependent of his parents and be eligible for financial aid, living at home wasn't a possibility.

Yes, it was expensive, especially the BA which I only got because it's necessary to go to law school in the US (and not anywhere else in the world, which sucks). But I more than doubled my hourly salary and I work in a low-paying job for an attorney (corporate, in-house), and have a decent expectation of some nice raises in the next 5 years. The payments are painful, at about $700/month, but that's mainly because of daycare costs. They are getting better under the new student loan program that starts next year which will limit them to 15% of our disposable income. But the student loan payments are only a quarter of my take-home, which doubled because of my degree, so I feel like I got a good value.

As far as saving for kids college, we put away what we can. I'm not worrying too much about it at this point, because my kids are little (2 and 2 months) and I have to pay for daycare. When they're old enough to be in school and our daycare bills go down, we'll put that money into college and retirement. But while I want to give my kids s good chunk of help, I'm not trying to pay for everything for them.

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#10 of 11 Old 02-28-2008, 05:33 PM
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Dh and I decided to pay our way through school. It may not be the best choice for everyone, but that's what we did (your ds may need to do internships during the summer, or it may be faster to get through school if he takes loans).

Dh's brother did loan him $1000 for his Junior year which we paid back on graduation day. We did qualify for a few scholarships and grants, but also spent alot of time working (animal control, bakery, etc).

Our parents helped by:
allowing us to live at home rent/board free during the summer
providing free transportation to summer jobs
helping with airfare to/from college so we could work
providing health insurance throughout year

Dh is a computer programmer and I am an insurance regulator.

We don't have kids yet, but when we do, we hope to set aside a little bit for their college expenses. We'd like to be able to help our kids, but realize that we won't be able to cover everything. I wouldn't wait until his Senior year to announce that he will need to help pay his way through college. That happened to a friend of mine, not good.

me, 28 & dh, 32.
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#11 of 11 Old 02-28-2008, 11:33 PM
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I agree, there are so many variables. DH just took out some loans for school (for living expenses, since his schooling is paid for through scholarships), and when he's done next spring we'll have about $15,000 in loans. That'll be a teaching degree. We all know teachers don't make a lot...BUT, SO many schools offer loan forgiveness! The one we're planning on being at does, so we may get our entire loans paid off FOR us! I know a lot of hospitals around here that do the same for RN's.

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DD (9.5) ~ DD (7.5) ~ DS (5.5) ~ DS (2.5)

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