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

posted 9 years ago in Money
Post # 47
3770 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 1999

Depending on where you work, you can get some of your loan reaimbursed once you are a nurse. Depending on what you do for a living now and how much you make, it might be wise to work as a nursing assisntant or something else in the medical field if you can find an emploeyer that will help with tuition costs for continuing education. In my area almost all employers off reimbursement, where I work it covers about 80% of your degree.

I do think that that is a very large amount of loan debt for a nursing program. I can see why your Fiance would be nervous. Hopefully by now the two of you have talked things through and come up with a soution together. It might be wise to pull some starting salaries and see the real numbers of what you would be making when you are done, to show him what you will be making and how the loans will be paid, along with the rest of the blls.

Post # 48
257 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

This is the opposite case for me- I have a smaller amount of loans, while my Fiance has a pretty staggering amount. The amount he pays monthly could easily be a mortgage payment. But I know this and we’re in this together. I love him with or without his student loan debt…and I know we can make it work. We know that for a while we’ll have to live somewhat cheap, but eventually everything will work out!

Post # 49
378 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I know many people will agree with what I’m saying but the WORST possible thing you could do, at least for your debt, is to drop out of school and stop going. If you ever want to consolidate, restructure your loan, etc., you don’t have any rights if you don’t get the degree (that’s what my FH is going through now). With your degree, you will EASILY be able to make what your student loan debt is in a year and more (that’s the common gauge I hear of whether or not a program is worth it).

I think you’ve made a bad move with taking a leave of absence but if he’s really bugging, counseling is the best idea. You have put so much time and effort in to what you’re doing, you can’t give up now.

And I’m going for my doctor of public health degree right now…. Xray techs can only be Xray techs. Ultrasound techs can only be that…. but a nurse can work clinically in ANY field of medicine (hospital, doctor’s office, nursing home) or in a health dept. (check the website of any developed health dept. and they have continuous requirement for nurses all.the.time…. making at least $40k-$50k a year starting).

Good luck – I hope he gets on your side soon. If my FH wanted me to drop out of school, I would break up with him. He knew from the second I met him that school was a top priority to me and I wasn’t going to give it up for anyone…but I’m a hardheaded woman so I might not be the best example to go by!

Post # 50
395 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969


I think your Fiance would be showing a LACK of support if he wasn’t concerned about the massive amount of debt you are taking on, and have taken on, especially considering you had no actual plan to attack the debt after graduation and your history of very poor financial decisions. Also it sounds like you are being unfair to him, saying he knew your financial situation all along when in fact you only told him the exact numbers last week? It is shocking that people still talk about school as an investment, using that as an excuse to be hugely irresponsible and accumulate massive debt, when there are SO MANY qualified graduates unemployed right now. You need to do serious research on exactly what you can expect to make in your field (and I mean actually calling employers, not relying on what your university tells you), and maybe take some of the suggestions above to reduce or illiminate further debt.

The fact that your Fiance actually cares enough about your future together to be concerned about this major issue shows his true colors as a responsible man. You’re lucky you found him!

Becomming a nurse is an admirable goal, but it doesn’t excuse your continued irresponsible behavior. Don’t think of this a “giving up” things for marriage, think if it as learning to reach your goals in a responsible way. You CAN achieve your dreams without being a total little princess about finances! It just takes actual planning, and maybe a bit more time and work. In fact, why go further into debt? With two incomes, you should be able to keep taking part-time classes or night classes and pay as you go. 

Remember: financial problems are the number 1 cause of divorce. This isn’t about him not supporting your school, it’s about him wanting to have a successful future with you! I’m sure it’s been mentioned here before, but I highly recommend Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace university as part of your pre-marriage counciling (so great that you’re doing this, btw!). It will change your relationship for the better, at least it certainly has mine. Good luck, keep us updated!

Post # 51
81 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1996

I feel you on this.  Its so hard to manage debt and get ahead at the same time.  Go to bankrate.com and you can enter the debt amount, the interest rate and the payments and it’ll tell you how long until things are paid off.  You can alse enter scenarios, for example, how quickly could you pay it off if you added a bit to the payment each month.  Maybe that will help him see more clearly.  I’m a lot like him, I need to see numbers and I need to have a plan.  

I dont think he’s being unreasonable, but he does have to be careful that his concerns (read: abject fear for a lot of guys) don’t come across as rejection to you.  It took my husband and me at least 5 years to get on the same page regarding finances (his big thing) and housework (my big thing).  We’ve just rounded year 15 and we can almost chuckle about some of those conversations.  

There are a LOT of growing pains involved in combining two households.  Its unreasonable to think that it will be smooth sailing.  Be sure to be forthright with the marriage counselor and perhaps see a financial counselor as well so you FH will know that you’re taking it seriously and are about the business of coming to an agreeable solution. 

Post # 52
1574 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I graduated in 1996 and I am STILL paying on my student loans! Only 4K more to go, hooray! My student loans did not stop me from doing anything, I got married (and divorced), bought a house, built an animal sanctuary and am getting ready to get married again. It has never been an issue for me or anyone else I have been associated with. It’s not like racking up huge debt because of buying clothes or the newest car – it’s investing in your future! There is no freaking way I would have given up or taken an absence from my education just to get married.

Post # 53
112 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I wish I only had 70k.  I’m looking at over 250k!!!  Luckily, it doesn’t seem to stress out my Fiance too much (although it stresses ME out).   School is important.  It is an investment and is good debt.  You will pay it off if you do it right. 

Post # 54
4044 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Maybe talk to your student loan company, and ask about repayment plans. How much you’d have to pay per month, depending on your income. They should have charts or plans for various scenarios. Show this to your FH so he can get some idea what you’re up against.

i don’t think it will make sense to quit school, at least when you have a degree, your debt will be going to toward a better job and career prospects, right?

Post # 55
72 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

To be honest, I don’t think I could be with someone with tons of debt. My Fiance paid 3500 down on my car and I have car payments, and I took out $1200 in loans my last semester of nursing school which I Can pay off anytime now.. I would definitely stay in school if I were you and work toward paying off my loans even if it meant paying off loans while postponing the wedding. Good luck!

Post # 56
607 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I don’t think asking to see exact numbers on paper and your plan to pay it off is unreasonable at all.  He can’t know how to handle this until he knows exactly what he is signing up for.  I was in a similar situation.  I have zero debt, not even a car payment, and have a nice chunk of change in the bank.  I made decisions (such as getting my masters part time while working full time) so that I didn’t have any debt.  My Fiance is opposite, he did not have much of anything in his savings, but chose to take 2 years to pursue a graduate degree full time, living off of loans.  So now he has about $100k in debt going into our marriage.  Now, I would NEVER in a million years put myself in a situation where I had that much debt.  $5k of debt would be too much for me!  But, that’s just the way I am.  So his debt is very scary to me, and sometimes it does seem unfair that I sacrificed busting my butt for 3.5 years going to graduate classes and doing homework after my 50 hour a week job so that I could have a savings, and he took the easier route of not working but now has debt, and I now have to help pay it off even though I never would have made that decision.  Did I know he was living off of loans while we were dating, yes…but it becomes a lot more real when you are engaged and trying to plan a wedding and figure out combined finances.  My finance was really good though and understood my concerns.  He put together a spread sheet of all his loans, how much he had left after monthly expenses that he could put towards his loans, and mapped out exactly how long it will take to pay them off.  This really put me at ease.  I am still uncomfortable to marrying into that sort of debt, but I know there is a plan, he’s thoroughly thought it through and shared all the information with me.  He updates me with statuses or if he was able to put more or less money towards his loan payments for a month.  They key is making it transparent and having a plan.  Your Fiance can not, under any circumstances, be comfortable with the situation if he is in the dark with the exact numbers and there is no plan to pay it off. 

I do think that his request for you to quit school was a bit much, but if he hasnt’ seen anything from you to show that you are going to be responsible about paying it off, then he’s protecting both of you by making you think about incurring more debt without a plan.  It sounds like you need to get everything in order and show him that you have thought it through so that he feels involved in the process and isnt’ just marrying into a debt that he sees as having no end.  Just because you are engaged and he has known for a while that you have had debt does not mean that he should blindly accept it and assume you have it under control.  It sounds like you don’t have it under control, which is where his concern is stemming from. 

Post # 57
773 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

View original reply
@Tigrrlily04:  I agree.

He want to know exactly what hes going to be dealing with, and if your not working and going to school, the pressure is going to be on him. Since you’ve filed for bankruptcy, hes going to have to apply for any future loans or mortages. Its harder to get approved for things if you already have alot of dept and that on your record. So hes probley feeling mad pressure to be able to provide a home and life for you guys. You shouldnt quit school, but make sure to have a secure plan.

Post # 58
226 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2007

NOOO…don’t quit.  That’s the worst thing you can do, IMO.  Though I question the need/why you would have $70k debt by the time you are done with the program.  I would look into transfering to other nursing programs that are cheaper.  I’m a nurse myself…I got my master’s degree in Nursing 1 year ago.  I didn’t have to pay anywhere near $70k for both my Bachelor’s & Master’s degree because I went to a state university.  I probably paid a total of $20k (rough gestimate – may be a little less than that) for both my Bachelor’s & Master’s degree of nursing.  I find that many people/programs seem to be taking advantage of the desperation of those who wants to become nurses by charging an arm and a leg for their nursing program.  I’ve heard of programs charging $100k or more for RN bachelor’s program and that’s too crazy for me.  I don’t think it’s worth that much…there are so many other programs out there that are much cheaper.

I know they say Medical field is booming and it probably is (and will always be needed) but I know lots of new grad RNs who can’t find a job these days.  I think part of the reason why there are no jobs for new grads is because the older nurses who are supposed to retire decide not to because of the economy AND hospitals don’t want to pay for training new grads because it can be expensive.  Hopefully the economy will be better when you graduate in 3 years but I wouldn’t always count on finding a job right away.  

In a way, I understand why your Fiance is concerned but he knew about your debt before he proposed to you.  He should’ve thought about it before he gave you a ring.  Make sure all of this is resolved before you are married to him.  You don’t want this kind of baggage and/or resentment to mar the start of your marriage.  Good luck and feel free to pm me if you have any questions about nursing.

Post # 59
402 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2020

OP, do not quit school. What PPs have said is right; it’s much easier to negotiate with loans once you graduate than if you didn’t. Plus you have a degree! There are so many benefits of chugging forward, even if it might take you longer than you expected!

I was very honest with my Fiance about my financial situation. My credit went to poop when my ex-husband left me and took our car with him. He stopped making payments although in our divorce we’ve stated that the car was his; the credit company didn’t care. They chased me for the money anyways. This was several years ago. Although it’s still in my record, I still have a pretty decent credit score due to my schooling. Student debt helped my credit in that I was paying off the loans.

However, because I was making such a low income my first two years after graduation, I have been put on income-based and income-contingent plans. Just call the loan officers. They will definitely work with you. I won’t be paying my loans until next year. Even then, my Fiance and I have set ourselves up to be paying my 60K school debt within 10 months (yes, we can).

The numbers should not scare you. KNOW THEM. Because as other PPs stated, it’s not because you have the debt he’s freaking out. It’s the fact that you don’t know the numbers right now. I know graduation might seem far off, but knowing your numbers is a chance to show your Fiance that you’re being financially mature. You need to discuss these things with him. With me and Fiance these numbers have changed 100x throughout our course of combining finances and working things out with the loan companies.

We are doing very well financially because we simply talk. When he told me that his father asked us to repay his parent loan ($15K), we just tagged that on to our current debt. A year of frugality will result in many years of financial stability for us, and maybe that’s what’s in store for you and your Fiance. You have to talk it out with him!

Post # 60
926 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I don’t have much advice, because I’m in the same position. But I found something cool for you.  FI has not asked me to quit school, but I know it makes him CRAZY to be the primary breadwinner at a time in our lives when we should be having babies, buying a house and taking vacations. We split everything 50/50 right now, but I have nothing left over- meaning no vacations, minimal savings, etc.  About once a month or so, he registers a complaint about it, but so far he’s maintained his supportive, understanding stance. He knows it is single hardest decision I’ve ever made and it’s something I’m beyond passionate about.   

*fingers crossed he’ll keep his patience up*

Your post inspired me to find out how much debt I’ll be in when I finish school with a Speech Pathology Master’s (an in-demand field, or so I hear).  I basically looked at the rate per year I’ve been borrowing and stretched it for the number of semesters I have left.

$80,000.  *(&)&*^%(&^*%$#&$%@^$#  That’s Terrifying!!! But you know what?  I’m already 20k in, and I would resent so much if I was made to quit now. 

I found this loan calculator that gives you not only your payments and payment schedule, but also tells you the approximate payments that you’ll be making, as well as what you need to make as a salary to comfortably keep up with your payments.

My payments, on a 15 year span at 6.8% interest will be $692 per month (that’s more than I pay in rent right now!), and I’ll need to make 83k per year to pay that comfortably.  SLP’s make good money, but $83k is stretching it. 

Seeing all of that information just gave me a kick in the ass to work some extra hours during school.  

Anyway, maybe this site will help you to line out some of the numbers your fi needs to see.    If you put this info together with some data from the bureau of labor statistics (and find out where the jobs are), you two will be able to put together a reasonable plan for your likelihood of getting a job and paying off the debt yourself.


PLEASE don’t quit school. If you take the semester off and make money, it will be that much harder to quit again and go back.  I’m honestly worried that he’d try to talk you out of going back once you’re out.

 Another bee mentioned that a primary cause of divorce is finances, and that’s true, but feeling as though your partner has stifled your dreams has to be a close second. There’s middle ground, you guys can find it. 

ETA: Here’s the link: 


Post # 61
240 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Do not quit school!!!!!

I have $70,000 of student loan debt as well. I pay $400 a month…..does it suck? YES!!!! But I have a career I love and i smile at work EVERY day!

Your repayment amount can be income based. You can make smaller payments so you can rebuild your credit and still live a comfortable life financially.

I understand his concern, but chances are, you will come to resent him and your situation if you quit your program.

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