Post # 1
I’ve been fortunate to have my parents pay for the past two years of school but my family situation has changed and though my parents would like to continue to help pay for my school I can’t in good conscience accept their help any longer. My father was laid of last year and my mother’s job will likely end when her current assignment does in a few months. I know when they offered to pay for my schooling they expected to have an actual income for several more years and I can’t let them pay for my college out of their retirement savings.
That being said. I am unfortunate in that my parents are both so close to actual retirement age and saved to make sure they would live comfortably (Unfortunate in regards to paying for school. I’m glad they’ve saved for themselves.) I am not eligible for any form of need based financial aid based off of my parent’s retirement saving alone. I’m of course applying for scholarships everywhere I find them but I’m looking at close to $20,000 of loans I’ll need to take out to finish school.
So I was hoping you guys could give me some insight into how you paid for school and how that is impacting you long run. For instance what institution did you borrow from and how much have your monthly payments turned out to be. Additionally, what is the length of time of the loans you’ve taken out?
Post # 3
$20K in loans is practically nothing. Just take out a loan, finish school, and start working to pay off your loan. You can extend them and consolidate them and do yoga with them. They don’t count against your credit.
Have you tried filing for financial aid separately from your parents?
Post # 4
Man, college was SOOO nuch less expensive when I went, just graduated 10.5 years ago. I paid for the first two years with grants, scholarships and savings from working through high school. My grandmother passed away and left me some money, which I used to pay for my last 2.5 years, while also working during the summer and breaks. I lived frugally, having lots of roommates = cheap rent. I was lucky I didn’t have to take loans.
Post # 5
I WISH I only had $20K of student loans.
And to answer your question – I used student loans to pay for college. My parents contributed nothing.
If you can get a government loan (think Stafford), interest rates are MUCH better than private loans. My private loans are through Sallie Mae and the interest rate is RIDICULOUS. I’m too embarrassed to even say what it is. I’m currently paying my loans out over 25 years.
At only $20K, your monthly payments shouldn’t be too bad. I’m thinking around $200/month on a 10-year repayment plan.
Post # 6
I had to take out loans. You don’t have to start paying them back until 6 months after you graduate. No big deal.
Post # 8
I went to school full time and worked a full time job and a part time job to be able to afford school with no student loans. It was a lot of work but I was happy to graduate with $0 debt.
Post # 9
Im doing my masters, I work full-time and go to school part-time. I have some debt, but it is very little. By the time I am finished I should owe just under 10k on my line of credit for school.
Post # 10
$20k is not that much. It’s like a small car, but all you get is an education.
I had a scholarship that paid for half and my grandparents had set up a trust fund to pay for my schooling. I did get a car since it didn’t have to pay my tuition. I know how lucky I am. I graduated with $3k in one loan that I took because it was interest free (my parents had no money) which I paid back as soon as the interest went above what my savings account was paying.
Post # 11
How old are you? You may not have to include your family’s income for the FAFSA calculation if you meet certain requirements (not sure what they are any more off the top of my head, sorry!)
Also, you should always just go ahead and apply for aid through FAFSA. You’d be surprised at what you can get offered. Even when I had to include my parent’s income (which was sizeable), I was always offered loans.
I was lucky enough for my parents to pay for my undergrad degree, but I was on my own for grad school. I used federal loans for my masters, to the tune of about $30K. And really $20K is NOT bad for education. It’s good debt. Yeah, interest sucks when you realize just how much it will cost you in the end, but it’s worth it.
Post # 12
Loans, both federal and private. My family helped out with book costs every now and then but that was about it. I worked so I could have spending money/book money/buy things I needed. At 7%, my federal loans’ interest rates are almost double what my private loan interest rates are. Of course, I also graduated in 2005, so it could have changed since then.
Post # 13
$20,000 is hardly anything if you have a good job and can pay off the loan by making extra payments directly to the principle. I’m not particularly confident in the economy at the moment though. I’ve been trying to construct my financial plan to allow me to be able to make my payments even in a worst case situation. My worst case plan is to still be able to pay working 30 hr a week at a minimum wage job and allowing for a 4% tax increase over the next two years using only 40% of my income(Which allows for a max payment of $280 a month). And I have a plan that would work but with the 20 year loan I’ll end up paying nearly twice the principle if I don’t pay it off early (Even with the only 6% interest rate).
I would have to legally separate myself from my parents to file for financial aid without them. Even if they don’t claim me as a dependent on their upcoming taxes.
I am just going to do this and get it done but I’d like to be as smart about it as possible.
Post # 14
$20,000 in loans is not very much. Just take out the loans.
ETA: I just read your above statement…you can ask for economic hardship forbearance if for some reason you are unemployed and unable to pay your loans when they come out of deferment. I know the job market is scary. I had to take out loans. It was my only option.
Post # 15
Do not apply for private loans. My roommate in college did that and Sallie Mae has basically ruined her life. They have dragged her to court, garnished her measly paychecks, etc. It’s awful and she has seriously thought about moving out of the country and starting over where they can’t find her. Unfortunately she didn’t have parents to tell her any better so she signed her paperwork when she was 18 and then her interest rates skyrocketed. We graduated in 2008 so we got really screwed with the economy too. I thankfully had a mother that kept watch over my college stuff so I only graduated with $14K of government loans and that’s because I didn’t work in my last 2 years at college (work study) so I could intern. Take government loans, do work-study to pay them off.
Post # 16
I worked graveyard shift full time and went to school in the day for four years and still graduated with $40,000 in debt. I had a line of credit through the bank and paid between $400/month when I first got out and up to $800 near the end and paid it off in 7 years.