Married…With Debt

posted 3 years ago in Waiting
Post # 3
Member
3570 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I think that is A LOT of debt to marry into.  The legal market is UNDER WATER.  I planned to make 160K coming out of law school.  That was five years ago.  All I really got out of it was 200K in student loans.  Has your BF done any research on law schools?  Because now is really not a good time to go.  The market is completely over-saturated, especially in a small legal community like Boston.   Student loan debt isn’t something you can just walk away from.  They will go after your wages and assets. 

ETA: Most people go into law school with a scholarship.  That’s how they get you there.  Then most people lose the scholarship due to the way the grading curves are set. 

Post # 5
Member
3570 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@nber0815:  I hear what you are saying, but I think getting into a niche is even worse.  Once you specialize like that, you really limit yourself.  I will let other attorney bees weigh in.  I am totally anti-law school.

Post # 6
Member
650 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Though I can understand it and respect it – I do not understand the bees that tell you to not marry someone who has school debt.  Why?  People think they need this perfect clean slate in order to marry someone….maybe to get a good start on the marriage but….life happens and shit gets messy in a heartbeat.   Lives take a 180.   So waiting until you have zero debt or 30K in the bank saved up to get married is silly, in my opinion.

I think you will be fine.   But I will have to be a wet blanket.   The lawyers are a dime a dozen now a days – the field is saturated so though it’s possible to start out of law school with a high salary…..do NOT count on it.   $130,000 starting is extremely unlikely and you might be in for a huge disappointment.  I’ve known specialized Harvard Law students that struggled and they were not making 100K right out of the gates.  Not even close.

 

Post # 7
Member
5932 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

@nber0815:  …there’s a point where you have to stop worrying about the dollars and cents and decide if this person is the one you want to spend your life with….I understand its a lot of debt to marry, but its not like he amassed it betting on horses or weak real estate ventures, he’s got a plan and he’s sticking to it….love isn’t something you find every day….

Post # 8
Member
3570 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@mousepeach:  +1  

I don’t think having debt is a deal breaker, but I think adding law school on top of graduate school is a mistake.  A friend of mine graduated out of BU law school with high grades.  Passed the NY and MA bars on her first try.  After 8 years she never got a job and ended up declaring Bankruptcy.  Boston was just too small and she couldn’t break in anywhere.  She works in a coffee shop now.  This is the reality for a lot of lawyers.   

Post # 9
Member
311 posts
Helper bee

@mousepeach:  AMEN! It is completely unrealistic to wait for the perfect opportunity! Just like a baby! 

If you love him and trust him, then marry him!

Post # 11
Member
11731 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

As someone who married a lawyer with law school debt, I think that it’s not the end of the world.  As long as he pays his debt, it’s not going to hold you back too much.  We still bought a house, travel, and have a comfortable life despite him (and me) paying on expensive student loans.  If you are concerned about other kinds of debt though, as you alluded to, I would be more concerned about that.  Wracking up credit card debt is obviously not good, and viewed very differently than student loan debt. 

I would like to caution you about the salary though — I would not bank on him making that kind of money right off the bat.  DH went to one of the best law schools in the country, and most of his classmates (including ones in IP with the CS background) are not making that kind of salary.  The only ones who are work for the big firms where they work 80-100 hours a week.

Post # 12
Member
26 posts
Newbee

I am in a similar position to your boyfriend.  If you’re crazy, then so is my fiance!Think of it this way- would you marry someone who had a home mortgage? Those are often far larger than student debt.  His debt is because he has invested in himself, and your future together.  Perhaps you can find an inexpensive in-state school or online graduate program that interests you and doesn’t burden the two of you too much. 

I paid for my law school education myself and have significant debt.  I am getting married next month.  Since I graduated from law school five years ago, I have paid off a small chunk of debt, saved a large amount of money for a down payment someday, and saved a significant amount of money for retirement.  Sure, student loans are a lot, but if I had waited until I paid them off to get married, I’d be getting married when I was about 50! If I paid them off right away, I’d be living paycheck to paycheck for many years.

I did, however, delay marriage awhile until I got on my feet.  I graduated when I was 25 and am now 30.  I am glad I did this because it made my financial situation much better and I’m now able to afford a nice wedding.

Another thing to keep in mind is that he may not earn that high of a salary when he graduates.  Most incoming law students think they will make $100K + when the graduate, but usually only the very top of the class does (unless your boyfriend is at a top Ivy League school, in which case he probably will make that kind of money coming out of school regardless).  If he’s at an average school, he would make more like $60K coming out, if he’s lucky.  I hope he does really well, he sounds really motivated, but just keep that in mind!

 

 

Post # 15
Member
5199 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Nona99:  +1.  If he’d run up the debt on credit cards or something else irrisponsible I’d tell you to run for the hill.  However, it sounds like he’s doing this with a well thought out plan and tons of hardwork behind him. (Regardless of what some people have said, there are of course, still lots of lawyers out there making a lot of money.  And software related IP is extremely likely to be a big money area in teh next several decades.)

 

Do it.  Be his partner and work together to support him financially as much as possible.  Go all in and help him become the successful IP lawyer he’s working to be.  Accept that you’ll have some financially tough years, but you are investing for your future together.  

Post # 16
Member
5932 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

@nber0815:  I’m an all or nothing kind of person, and when it comes to marriage, its an investment, and if you want to start seeing returns on your investment, you get in on the ground floor, start at the beginning and build your success together….cause once you’re married there isn’t a yours and his pile…there’s just ours.

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