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Lately I've been stressing a lot about my student loans. I went to college for about 6 months and ended up with about $9,000 worth of student loans to pay off, with an 18% interest rate. I'm currently paying $163/month, roughly $120 of that is pretty much going to accrued interest alone, which means I'm only paying about $40 toward my actual loans (if I did my math right). In the end I'll end up paying nearly $20k (I think)!

When I first applied for the loans, I was told I only had to pay about $50 a month, what they failed to tell me is that I would have to pay about $50/mo PER loan! So now I'm stuck with a repayment plan that will probably last me until I'm on my death bed.

Is there anyone else struggling with their school payments? I'd love to hear your story, perhaps it'll put me at ease knowing that I'm not the only one!
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My dad didn't finish paying off his debt until a few years ago. And he graduated 20+ years ago.

If you're employed, then live cheap and throw as much money at the student loan as you can.

You get a student loan interest deduction, but if you can get a credit card for less than 15% you should move the entire balance to that.

If you find a card with a low introductory rate, say 12 months at 3% (just an example). Transfer in an amount that you KNOW you can pay off in that time period. For example: Transfer in $1,250 at 1.03% = $1,290 / 12 monthly payments of about $108.

If it makes you feel any better I had between 80-100K of student loan debt that I've paid off in full in the seven years I've been out of college, doing it on an average salary of 50k.

Recently my mom told me that between her credit cards and school loans, she's a hundred thousand dollars in the hole.  I have NO idea how she'll pay that off.  And it wasn't even used for her school.  These are school loans she took out for my dad 'cause he was so convinced he could finish building a house, sell it for even more money, and everything would be fine and dandy.  He never thought he'd go psycho and would be too sick to work, then end up a greedy jerk.

My school loan is 1,500 dollars, and my fiance paid for the class for me.  He borrowed the money from his grandfather, so we don't have to worry about interest or rushing to re-pay it.  We're actually not re-paying it yet.  We weren't financially stable for a while there, and just moved so we're hoping to start paying it back in February.

I got lucky. Alex's school will be paid for the same way.  Get him as many grants as possible (we're hoping he'll get a full grant, or at least half) and then borrow the rest from his family or his bank if I'm still for some reason not working by then.  Hs bank, a credit union, is amasing with loans. :D
Guessing you did the private loan thing?

Review your terms. You may be able to ask for a reduction in rate or payments. Also talk to a non-profit debt consolidation place. They may be able to adjust it for you. I did this with part of my loans. I wouldnt put it on a credit card. You miss a payment and you can be really screwed and paying a prime rate of 22% or more. If you have a job and a good credit score talk to your bank about taking out a private loan to pay this off. You may not have qualified for it before. But with timely payments on this account your credit score may have gone up.

Also review your personal credit score. You get a free report once a year for free based on your location. There might be mistakes on your report that will affect what you pay in interest on anything like this.
p.s. 9000 is really nothing compared to what some people have.

The highest debt amt I know from a friend.....80,000

still upset?

;)


my payments are about 150. But most of it federal debt. 5% intrst. Love fastweb.com for scholarships ;)
I need to comment on Alex's school loans.  He was an arsty fartsy kid and when he went to those high school college recruit dealies, he was convinced to go to some amasing, private school just outside of Chicago.  He was told if he was determined to go, the recruiter would find the funding for him someway and somehow.

Well, the recruiter did find the funding through Sallie Mae, but Alex ended up not liking the school at all and left after a semester.  Sallie Mae took the liberty to charge him for two more semesters, sending him into twelve hundred dollars in debt (for three semesters!  Imagine if he'd stuck it out for all five years!).  They reversed the charges, but Alex still has to pay interest on the two years they screwed up on. 

He, after returning to Toledo, went to a community college and shelled out 1700 dollars that financial aid didn't cover because he dropped out before a semester was over.  He used his Christmas money to repay that seventeen hundred, made the last payment on one of his Sallie Mae loans, and only has about four thousand dollars left of the second Sallie Mae loan.

It's not horrible, and there are people in far worse debt, but he never finished either school and isn't going into career that's even art-based so he feels pretty cheated in life.
my brother is a good 80,000 on debt, and i havnt graduated yet and i'm at about 40,000. 9,000 is nothing. 

i would recommend paying off as much as you can each month.  9k isn't a lot, but you only got 6 months of school out of it, so i'm guessing you didn't graduate either?

i just finished paying off my 22,000 in loans about a week ago.  i managed to do it in 6 years by paying more than the minimum amount.  i'm glad it's all paid off, but i'm applying to graduate programs so i'm looking forward to accruing at least 50k over the next two years. 

$27K and sadly, no degree.  Pitiful!!!  I've got it down to under $20K by paying as much extra principal as I can every time I get paid.  I get depressed if I think about it, so I don't think about it.   (LOL @ living in Denial)  I'm just grateful that I have a job so I can keep paying it down.  You'll pay it off eventually - remember, with each payment you make, more will go to principal on the next payment.  Just don't underestimate the POWER of even small extra principal payments, especially early on.  If you search for "Extra Payment Calculator"  (bankrate.com has one) you can see what paying a little extra will do through the life of the loan.  That's what gave me the incentive to pay more, knocking almost ten years off the 20-yr loans!  I plan to have it paid off in three more years by powering down principal.  Good luck!!!!!!

Paying off student loans definitely sucks. I'm here teaching english in Korea because you make decent money and you're housing is free. A lot of recent grads come here to put a major dent in their student loans. In just one year here you can pay off $15,000 on your student loans...

Just an idea for anyone graduating university soon (and Korea pays the most for ESL teachers... all you need is a bachelor's degree)

By the time I'd finished with school, I'd racked up $77,000 in student loans ... and my monthly payments totalled more than the mortgage on my condominium! I consolidated and deferred and 10 years later (because of interest), I still had about $58,000 left to pay. Between my mortgage, my car payment, my student loans ... it was a bit of a financial struggle for me ... for years, actually.

Then I got engaged to the wonderful man I ended up marrying ... and as an engagement present he paid off my student loans and my car loan ... because he wanted me to be "debt free" when we entered into marriage. It's been almost six years since he did so, and I'm still overwhelmed and amazed by such generosity ... he is just over-the-top wonderful.

And he was the very first and strongest supporter to encourage me to quit my job in 2005 and just focus on being a happy housewife for a while ... even after paying off those loans for me!

=^..^= MOLLY

I'm at 40k now and I won't even graduate until April of next year. That's another 7500$ tuition + books + living expenses. School is not meant for those of us who aren't rich, I swear!

So, I'll be graduating with about 50k in debts, but I'll have a nice diploma which will get my future career rolling and hopefully it'll take less than 5 years to pay off, as long as I continue living a very humble life until the loans are paid off in full.

EDIT: fixed a ton of grammar / spelling... the original post was barely english! 
After undergrad & grad school I am now paying back my loans and pay over $400/month. When I asked for a reduction they told me that was the bare minimum I am able to pay.  It sucks.
I started out w/about $32k, now 10 years later down to $21k. When I bought a new car, I consolidated all of the loans into one and changed the term to 20 years so I hardly notice the payments. Sallie Mae lowers your interest rate if you let them take automatic payments and also when you pay on time for 3 years. I'm down to a silly-low interest rate, something like 2% so I've got no problems w/Sallie Mae. For crying out loud, inflation is higher than that and even my bank pays more than 2% so what the heck...

If you're paying 18% are you having some repayment issues? The key is paying on time. But all isn't lost. You may be able to consolidate at a better rate. 18% is terrible! And if they don't let you consolidate right now, be patient and try again after you've been paying on time for 3 years. It WILL get better.

For whoever said that Sallie Mae charged somebody for an extra 2 semesters: There is no way that happened without some funny business going on. You can't get a loan unless the school is actually charging you and either you or your parents have to sign for that loan. So unless your friend quit school and didn't tell their parents and the parents went ahead & signed for the loans, well, it just can't happen. Either that or it was the school at fault, not Sallie Mae. Sallie Mae doesn't disburse the money unless the school sends a bill. Sallie Mae would certainly not have a legal leg to stand on for charging interest on loans never taken, so if your friend really is paying interest for false loans, he needs a lawyer.

Well, let's see. I have $85k in loans for just my undergraduate degree, and if I go to vet school like I'm considering, I'll get out of school with approximately $300k in student loans. My brother is graduating art school in two months with $200k in loans and they only job he's going to ever be able to have with his art degree is pretty much working at Starbucks.

So you are not in much trouble, believe me. My monthly student loan payments are over a thousand dollars per month (more than two weeks' pay for sure) and by the time I finish paying off just my undergratuate loans they will have added over $100k in interest to the original $85k.

Just pay back more than they ask for per month, even if you just add in an extra $25 dollars per payment. Make it a priority, not an option. If that means giving up going out to eat once a month or to the movies, then do it! It's the best thing you can do for your finances. After all, why give them even more money in interest over the long run, especially at that hugely high rate? You should also look into consolidating, because you can probably reduce your interest rate by at least half if you do that.

I am 50 years old and going back for my degree in Psych. I think I will stay in college until I die just so I don't have to pay my student loan back! I am not sure what I will do owing all that money! I don't even want to think about it! Help!!!!
ah this thread is scaring me to death haha.
My family's never been poor, but we surely aren't well-off enough to not have to worry about money. So, I adopted the strategy that if I worked really hard in school, I'd get scholarships & it won't really be a problem.
Well, it worked, & I have a full-ride offer [& other schools' offers range from $12,000-22,000 a year]. But, the problem is that the full-ride wasn't to my number one school. I've been considering rejecting it & going where my heart is, but it's really a testy issue for me.
I don't want to be paying off college 20+ years after I'm out =/
So, I should take the full-ride, right?
starcrossdlovex: well, it depends. I have mixed feelings about whether the school I went to made a difference in my career path or not. Maybe, maybe not. I've found that mostly it's about who you know, not necessarily what you know. Each time I've moved up, I got my job from somebody I knew or a through somebody I knew. So if you go to a high profile school, you may make some contacts that could prove valuable later. Or not.

I wouldn't worry too much about student loan debt and I certainly wouldn't let it stop me from going to a school that I thought would be in my best interest. The payments hurt a bit at first but once you're out of school for a while and you're on your own, you'll likely find the student loan is just a drop in the bucket of your budget compared to rent or a mortagage, car payments, insurance & not to mention heat & food. Sure it would be nice to be debt-free but the fact is most of us live in debt nearly all of our adult lives. And as long as you stay in good standing with your student loans, the interest rate will be much lower then the rest of your debt. Like I said in an earlier post, my interest rate on the student loan is lower than what my bank is paying me for interest on my savings so I'm in no hurry to pay it off at this point.
Original Post by sachapp464:

starcrossdlovex: well, it depends. I have mixed feelings about whether the school I went to made a difference in my career path or not. Maybe, maybe not. I've found that mostly it's about who you know, not necessarily what you know. Each time I've moved up, I got my job from somebody I knew or a through somebody I knew. So if you go to a high profile school, you may make some contacts that could prove valuable later. Or not.

I wouldn't worry too much about student loan debt and I certainly wouldn't let it stop me from going to a school that I thought would be in my best interest. The payments hurt a bit at first but once you're out of school for a while and you're on your own, you'll likely find the student loan is just a drop in the bucket of your budget compared to rent or a mortagage, car payments, insurance & not to mention heat & food. Sure it would be nice to be debt-free but the fact is most of us live in debt nearly all of our adult lives. And as long as you stay in good standing with your student loans, the interest rate will be much lower then the rest of your debt. Like I said in an earlier post, my interest rate on the student loan is lower than what my bank is paying me for interest on my savings so I'm in no hurry to pay it off at this point.

I'm not sure I would call $1000 a month a drop in the bucket... and since these days interest rates are about 12% on most student loans without a cosigner (it increased drastically three years ago, so if your loans are from before then, you don't have the correct perspective to apply to today's loan situation).

I had a full-ride offer to the local state school. Would I be working at the great company I am if I had gone to the state school instead of the private school? Who knows. Impossible to tell, because I agree that it's who you know more than what you know. But I would also not have the huge student loans making it necessary to have such a competitive job just to pay off my debts. I imagine I would have been just as happy at either school.

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