(Closed) Paying for college: How did you do it?

posted 7 years ago in College
Post # 3
9916 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

$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
2103 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

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
1306 posts
Bumble bee

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
3077 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

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 # 7
4305 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I joined the military.

Post # 8
662 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

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
195 posts
Blushing bee

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
3697 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

$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
2065 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

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
525 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

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 # 14
1695 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

$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
2447 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

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
9053 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

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. 

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