(Closed) My FI is stressed about my student loan debt.

posted 9 years ago in Money
Post # 17
602 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I guess I’m biased since I’m saddled with a lot of studen debt but honestly the way I see your scenario is that you can stop now with 35k debt and probably not make nearly as much income as you would as a nurse or you can go for another 35k and make a salary that can easily support it.  I think either way your payback is going to be the same because there will be an obvious difference in your salary (unless you get really lucky with a non-nursing related career).  I think getting your degree and being able to support yourself without your finance is a necessary safety net… you never know where life is going to take you and I wouldn’t want to be stuck 20 years from now trying to figure out what I’m going to do with half of a degree.

For reference my debt is significantly higher than yours and while I hate and resent the fact that higher education is set up this way,  the payments aren’t overwhelming.  I pay it more aggressively b/c I don’t want it hanging over my head for 30 years but it is managable. 

Post # 18
1572 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I agree that you should not give up your goals, and you should not leave school unless YOU really want to.

I have been married once before, and my ex was not a good person for me. He was very emotionally abusive and used money against me. When I met him I had less than $10,000 in debt (primarily medical bills – I think it was around 6 or 7k, but I can’t remember so we’ll stick with under 10k), and the year before we married I took out a student loan for $4,000. This “extreme” (haha, his wording!) amount of debt was enough that he wanted a pre-nup, even though our lawyer explained that in teh state we lived in that was MY debt no matter what. The debt was in my name, and would never be his responsibility. I was in the process of paying off that debt, and in our first year of marriage I was able to do so (I will say that was with his help). When I started graduate school I had an assistantship that had a tuition reimbursemen and a small stipend (if you just looked at the stipend, it was living below the federal poverty level). I was constantly told if I lost my asstship or if they canceled it (TONS of budget cuts), I would not be able to go to school b/c “only idiots pay for grad school” (his sister is apparently an idiot then? even when she told him that was crap, he wouldn’t stop). I can’t say no one should live like that, but it was awful for me. Also, when we divorced I found out how much money he made and how much was in the 401k. I almost threw up. I sold my things on eBay to buy my parking permit and books and… we had money. He took vacations but I was not allowed.

If you are okay with this, and he is still very bothered by your debt, I suggest contacting an attorney. Many attorneys will do a consultation for free – but otherwise an hour appointment should not be too much. They can let you know (or you can google for this portion) if your debt becomes his responsibility in any manner. It’s important to find out if it would impact his credit rating, or if you divoced if it would be his responsibility at all. If he is very concerned, you can get a pre-nuptial aggrement. (I personally was really upset that my ex husband suggested this, but some people are very okay with it).

I am not bothered by student loans, and not bothered by most debt – it depends on what the debt is, what it was incurred, and how the person currently feels about it (have they learned from it if it was “frivolous” debt, etc). My fiance has a ton of student loans (he is currently an RN and in graduate school to be a family nurse practitioner).

IF you really want to be a nurse, go for it!! Is it possible to go to school part time, so that you may not get as much debt all at once?

Post # 19
26 posts
  • Wedding: August 2010

I would not recommend you take a leave of absence to put his mind at ease! How long are you going to be out of school? You know that after 6 months your loans are going to go into repayment and you’re going to have to start making monthly payments on them.

I do understand where his appprehnsion comes in though, my husband was in the same boat as your fiance. I was the one coming into the relationship and eventually marriage with debt (both credit card debt and student loans). My husband too was at first worried about having to make payments on the loans I took out to get my Bachelors degree. However, he made the choice to propose to me while knowing about my debt situation and he does not hold it over my head. I now have my credit card down to just one card and for the past year had to use his paycheck to pay down my debt as he is the only one working at this time.

One thing that has been a help is that Ive been putting my loans into unemployment defferment as a search for a job. My husband is military and with the frequent life changes its a little hard to find a job at the moment. I spent half of this year with my parents while he was deployed and I was working so I took my loans out of defferment and made payments while I worked. I think that is something that you can utilize once you graduate and are looking for a job. With a nursing degree Im sure you’ll have a ton of prospects.

Post # 20
111 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I’m coming from the opposite side, and while loans may “stress” some of us, I don’t think thats a valid reason to suggest you postpone school or take a leave of absence.  I actually think that makes things worse – then you have loans, and what degree or job opportunity do you have to show for it?

I will be marrying my FH with plenty of investments, 401(k), an IRA, mutual funds, etc.  My parents set me up well and I’ve never had to take out loans.  My FH will have over $50,000 in school loans when we get married.  When we talked about getting engaged, we laid it all out on the table – what each of us has, what each of us want in life and how we want to manage our finances.  I never for ONE SECOND felt upset towards him because I will ultimately be “paying his debt.”  Because once we marry, I consider it ours, no longer his.  And I’m okay with that, because our life together will hopefully be long and ever changing.  Maybe there will be times I can’t work, and won’t be able to contribute as much  Maybe i will want a career change, or to stay home with our children.  Its too easy to say “this is mine, and your debt is yours.”  I consider my marriage a partnership, right down to the penny’s we owe.

My point: I think the big issue here is that you discussed it previously, were open about your situation, and now he is overwhelmed by it.  I absolutely think counseling will help get you both on the same page at how you want to view things financially.  But I would not quit school to do so.  One semester worth of loans will not make or break this when you already have 34,000 behind you.

Post # 21
6109 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Well, I would also be concerned as well.  I’d need to see various scenarios ON PAPER (well actually a spreadsheet) to have some piece of mind.  Scenarious, I mean 1) inancial plan while in school, 2) financial plan after school, but no nursing job yet (at your current income), 3) financial plan with a nursing job.  Then throw in before marriage and after marriage game plans.  Show them all to him.

I certainly would keep a wedding very inexpensive as well.

I paid off all my student loans within 4 months of being engaged.  I did sell my house to move in with him (only generated about $6k), but for the most part, I had saved up a huge portion of my student loans so that I coud pay them right back.  Then I worked 75% time (I also went part time to get my Master’s) so I could pay the tuition and my mortgage on my home.  I know this is not a scenario everyone can do, but the point is to use as little of your student loans as possible. 

My sister and her H have $250,000 (quarter million!!!) in debt, but they each bought new cars and took countless fancy trips on these loans.  They are going to be making almost $300,000 in their new jobs (already lined up) but still that’s 2 years to pay off that debt with nothing going to retirement!  They are really hoping that their jobs will pan out and their new baby will remain healthy.

So, get a game plan together, imagine up various scenarios, plug in the numbers and show your Fiance the hard numbers.  It’s only fair.  

Think about how you are spending your student loans and if you can be doing anything differently (working more hours, paying a bit of the tuition with income, etc).  Can you two lower your monthly expenses (ie rent for cheaper, cut out household bills, etc)?

Have you been together 14 months total or 17 months total?  Regardless, I hope the wedding is in another 2 years.  Maybe it will be good to let more time pass to see how much this debt is really going to bug him before you get married.

If you want spreadsheet help, you can message me.  I had many scenarious drawn up for myself.

Post # 22
740 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

The debt will get paid off and go away. The fact that you gave up your dreams and potentially a more fiancially stable situation for yourself as a nurse might stay with you forever. 

I’m about 40K in debt as well from getting my MA degree. I pay about $50 a month, it’s not like I’m paying it all off at once. Plus I am in a much better position to get a higher paying job. 

Post # 23
688 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I have the same problem. I got an undergraduate degree that put me in debt for 50k and I was working dead end jobs so I decided to go back to school to get my mba. This lovely MBA is going to cost me another 50k. My Fiance and I argue about me going back to school but I told him its my choice and I refuse to let go of my dreams. I work for a company that sues people for student loans. It all depends on the State you leave in. Once you are married your debt does become his but I know there is a loop whole that you can use to get out of that. Like the 34k from your previous loans should not affect you guys since it was a debt you had before marraige. I live in NJ and I know that when we sue people we try to go after the spouse but it all depends on the agency and the state you live in. I have learn one of the best States to avoid debt collection is PA…just saying. I have lost many bfs because they could not handle the idea of me having so much debt due  to school. The Fiance now still worries but he has learn that my debt is part of me and he can’t change that. I told him that if he was the one with the debt that it would not stop me from wanting to marry him. My Fiance also ask me to leave school and I told him nope because I will hate him down the road for making me stop. Good luck and I think you should go talk to a financial person in your state on how the laws see your debt once you are married. Good Luck!

Post # 24
1794 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Like some of the PP, I think you should take a minute to understand where he’s coming from. Even if you keep finances separate after marriage, he will be affected by your financial situation. You say that he wants to see everything on paper, and I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing. Pull together your loan statements, figure out your debt and interest rates. Based on your current tuition and the increases over the past 3 years, estimate your total debt when you graduate. Using the government economic data (Bureau of Labor Statistics in the US), estimate a realistic starting salary and employment prospects. Pull all these things together in a spreadsheet and talk to your Fiance about them. It is important that both of you plan for your future together.

From a financial perspective, it probably makes more sense for you to stay in school and get the degree than to drop out of school and pay the debt without the benefits of the degree.

Post # 25
2441 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Do not quit nursing school for him!  It will be a problem in your marriage for sure.  Besides, once you become a nurse, that income will pay for student loans.  And… if you quit school now, you’ll have to start paying those loans after six months!

You can research what nurses earn in your area.  Then you can use that information to show him on paper what the finances will be like.  (I have to agree with him.  Saying “Things will work out.” is just waaaaay to vague.)  Anyway, find out what nurses earn and draw a up a plan and show it to him.  

“In three years I will earn $X annually.  I’ll bring home $X monthly.  My student loan payments will be $ X monthly.  I’ll be able to pay $X on the student loan and $X on the household utilities.  At this rate the loans will be paid off in X years.”

Again, DO NOT drop out of school for him!  You will resent him in the future.  Heck!  You’re obviously starting to resent him now.


Post # 26
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but as I’m sure you’re aware, new grad nurses are in a rough spot right now.  You used to graduate with any job you want, now you can go a year or two without a nursing job.  Or, one that pays significantly lower than expected.  I’m not sure where we’ll be in 3 years or what the statistics are in your specific area, but I just wanted to alert you to this fact.  Talk with your instructors, talk with HR folks at hospitals near by, and read the thousands of articles bemoaning the massive shortage of new grad nursing jobs. The market’s rough right now for every field.  This news isn’t to scare you, but I just want to make sure you factor in the “what if the market remains bad when I finish and I won’t make 60k right out of school” very real scenario. 

Good luck!

Post # 27
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

I think you two need to sit down and discuss “partnerships” in terms of finances. You seem to think, as well as many others on this board, that your marriage partnership is a “what’s mine is yours,” we share everything mentality – which is fine. He may be thinking that a partnership is 50/50 – in which case you may not be able to cover your portion of the finances – especially given that you’ve filed for Chap. 13 BK. You didn’t indicate how much of your paycheck is currently going to the BK and when that will be paid off. If it is a significant amount of your paycheck (which it probably is), he is already going to have to cover most of the household expenses – not including any of your student debt.

If you were single and not getting married and you wanted to complete nursing school, you should go; but you are getting married. It is a partnership – regardless of how you look at it. Your personal goals (especially a $35K expense) are going to be now “family” goals which need to be discussed and agreed on by you AND your husband.



Post # 28
772 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

View original reply
@longdistanceco_ca:  THIS!  I won’t even address the Fiance issue, but have you realisticaly looked at what you make now, and what your ACTUAL job prospects are coming out? 

I say this as a fellow graduate student who has seen countless other grads in my program quit 50k+ jobs to take five years to attend grad school, while the job prospects in my field are very few and most will be lucky to start at that same rate they enjoyed before.  They all expect to make 75 or 90 k coming out, but this is just not realistic.  Some will be lucky to make 35K.  This may sound like a lot to some bees, but this is in one of the most expensive areas of the country after over a decade of total schooling and likely student loan accumulation. 

Nursing is also in a very tough spot right now.  You need to ask your program for the names and numbers of some recent grads and ask them about their experiences and those of their cohort in 1) time to get a job; 2) actual vs. expected pay; 3) hours and work environment/experience.  

Higher ed is in the same type of bubble real estate was in only a few years ago. It’s a racket, so if you won’t be drastically increasing your pay or living the life dream, it is not worth it.  Getting job experience helps more, since if you make very little due to lack of experience, graduating with a fancy degree and no experience almost makes you less employable since you will be both under and over qualified simultaneously.  

I think your Fiance needs to support your life ambitions.  But you need to make sure they are truly what you WANT and not just what you think you SHOULD do. 

Good luck!


Post # 30
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

I’m bringing debt into our marriage…. I also have some assets I share with family (my name is tied to some of their accounts) I brought up the idea of a pre-nup that would say all assets and debt we have BEFORE the marriage STAYS with us.   Until my debt is paid off (at least) it is my choice to keep our bank accounts separate … perhaps forever…. money is a big cause of issues so I’m nipping it in the bud before it becomes a problem.

Post # 31
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

View original reply
@AJA1128:  I was thinking of you the other day, as my husband and I were making our budget for the new year and my massive student loan debt.  If you’re serious about nursing, see if you can get a job as a CNA or even just in a local hospital.  Some hospitals will do some sort of tuition reimbursement; but you’d have to know the specifics of that hospital.  But even if you can get in as a unit secretary, your chances of getting hired as a new grad are significantly better than just randomly applying.  Also, if you know you want to be a specific area of nursing (peds, stroke, rehab, etc), try to get into those sorts of hospitals.  Good luck!

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