Post # 1
So after reading through a thread from the other day regarding loan debt, I got curious. How many of you Bees have or had student loan debt? Was it worth it – literally and figuratively, I suppose. Literally, as in, do you have a job that’s good enough to pay them back and figuratively, do you use your degree?
I’m 95% sure I’m going to go back to school (Grad School for an M.Ed./Ed.S.), but the loans scare me. I know I would have to have them to pay for the expenses, but the economy is kind of ridiculous.
Post # 3
I have a small student loan and do not regret it. I definately use it today as couldn’t have become a teacher without a degree!
I don’t know if it is different or not, but here in NZ but student loans are interest free and the repayments are small and come out of my wages before I get them so are not really that noticable!
We are actually in a position where we could pay mine off but have decided not to, purely because we can keep that money in the bank and gain our own interest on it!
Post # 4
I REALLY regret it. My life is miserable now because of them, and I oly got my bachelors (and the scary thing is that I owe so much, but I graduated in 3 years instead of 4… I shudder to think of what it might have been if I took all 4 years).
I was also really stupid and went to an expensive private school, when I should have just went to a state school.
Post # 5
@nzgirl: I wish it was like that! But no, mine definitely would accrue interest.
Post # 6
@nutMeg13: Oh wow. :/ Do you use the degree you got? I was lucky enough to not have to get loans for my Bachelors, but I definitely can’t afford Grad School without at least some debt.
Post # 7
I feel the opposite of nutMeg. I went to an expensive private school, but I was able to get some scholarships. I did have some loans, but I had the best experience of my life there. Looking back, if I had gotten no scholarships and had to get loans for everything I would do it all over again. Of course, it wasn’t perfect 24/7, but the skills I gained and the person I have become because of those four years are priceless. When it comes to grad school though, definitely shop around for programs. For grad school (I’m a grad student now) it is less about the experience and more about the degree. I am going in-state and sought out additional funding in addition to loans. I think like everything it is a risk, but I think education is really important and while it might not affect you job wise right away (because of the economy) you’ll be glad you did it.
Post # 8
I’m still in undergrad (looking at possibly taking out a loan for my last 2 years), but I’ve researched grad school also… a lot of programs will offer fellowships or large scholarships. One of my TAs last semester said the reason she chose my current university for her Master’s is because it offered the largest fellowship, and she was able to pay the rest of her tuition by working 2 jobs, including TAing. She told me that she’d never take out a loan for grad school and if she had to she wouldn’t have gone, since it’s expensive and often doesn’t pay out in the end.
Is there any way you can work another year or two to save money to at least reduce the money you’d need? Or would you not make enough for it to matter? (I can relate to that, haha.)
Post # 9
@galloway111: I wouldn’t make enough for it to matter, lol. My Bachelors is in Psychology. Yeah…… 😉 Just glad I didn’t take out loans for THAT one. The Grad Program I’m looking at is a combined M.Ed./Ed.S. in School Psychology at a state school. The projected income is really good, but like I said, with the economy being all amazing, you never know.
Post # 10
@AmeliaBedelia: I got a Bachelors in French. there are not many jobs in my area that require this (and here I thought there would be more since I am right on the border of Canada), and the few that do exist want you to know it at native level fluency (which my French program, unfortunately sis not give me – and even then I got the best grades in the French class!)
I could probably get a teaching degree to teach French, but honestly taking out MORE loans for that scares the hell out of me.
Post # 11
I refuse to get them – I generally pay them off with the cash I have at the time, bit by bit through the semester – usually they’re done by the 8th week of classes. I find it way less stressful than knowing I have $6000 of debt each year.
Post # 12
I have A LOT of student loans from law school, (non from undergrad), and I would do it again. It’s inabled me to have an income way beyond what I could have had just with my undergrad degrees, (double in poli sci and criminology). I work in the field of my degree and make enough money to pay off the loan without it being a burden to my life. I’m also able to maintain the type of lifestyle I could only have with this kind of degree.
I think student loans are worth it if they are in a field with good prospective income. You really need to do your research though before taking on that debt.
Post # 13
I also am in law school and have taken on debt from that, but not from undergrad. As a lawyer, I will be able to pay off the payments that will be required over the next couple decades of my life. I have to agree with others that you need to research your earning potential in the field of study you are looking at. As a future teacher, student loans may not be a good idea. As a lawyer, they may be worth the trouble. Also, are you planning on working for a couple years then leaving the profession to be a mom? If so, it may not be fair to leave your student loan burden on your husband. I am a big supporter of education and making something of yourself, so I say go for it, if it makes sense.
Post # 14
I went to a big university for two years and then a state school for the last two years. I have $40k in student loan debt and only make $20k per year with my B.S. They want a $450 monthly payment from me. It just isn’t happening. I’ve gotten deferments every year since I left school because I just can’t afford the payments at all.
In retrospect, I wish I had gone to a 2-year college for something useful (computers, like my SO, or nursing for an LPN) instead of going to a 4-year for a useless degree (psychology). Grad school is totally out of the question right now — there’s no way I’m adding any more to my already-considerable loan debt. So, no, not worth it in my eyes.
Post # 15
I did the opposite of you – I took out student loans for my bachelor’s degree but got a full scholarship for grad school (actually it was a fellowship and they PAID me to go to grad school – gotta love that!) Anyway, I graduated with about 17K in loans and could have paid them off in full many, many times over by now but instead choose to keep making monthly payments, although my payments are well above the minimum payment amount each month. As the interest rate is so low on my student loans, it doesn’t make sense to pay that off in full and have a bigger mortgage – I’d rather make a bigger down payment on a house when we move and keep my loan payments for another few years.
Now I graduated from grad school 9 years ago so I don’t know if it’s the same or not, but when I graduated, I had 6 months after stopping full-time education before I had to start paying them back. It was also a graduated system so the payments for the first two years were about $50 per month; it increases every two years, taking into account that most new graduates aren’t going to be making a stellar salary right off the bat, but by the time you’re ten years out of school, you’re probably fairly established in your career and better able to make a bigger payment.
I think your plan to get a master’s in School Psych sounds like a good one, especially as a Bachelor’s in Psychology is a fairly ‘useless’ degree without advanced qualifications – I use the term ‘useless’ lightly! I have a Bachelor’s in Sociology (a similarly useless degree without advanced qualifications) and went right on to get my master’s in School Social Work. That led to other social work opportunities, which took me to a position overseas and all led onwards and upwards from there.
Student loans have one of the lowest interest rates you can possibly get and they also have the added benefit of building up your credit rating. If you’re like me and pay off all of your bills in full every month, it’s good to have a loan that you make payments on monthly to show that you are responsible and capable of doing so, thereby making you a lower risk to lend money to in the future.
I’d say do it – you won’t regret it and like I said, the amount you have to pay back in the beginning is generally not an exorbitant amount, so even if you haven’t landed an awesome paying job yet, you will still be able to pay them back without TOO much stress! Good luck! 🙂
Post # 16
@Soon.to.be.Mrs.Freeman: I agree with what you’re saying. Supposedly the market for School Psychologists is going to be pretty good, but you never know I guess. The projected income is from 60K-100K+, so even on the low end I am comfortable, assuming I can find a job in my area. Based on what I’ve seen, there are openings in the field right now, but of course, who can predict 3 years in the future? Also, I plan on having kids before or while in Grad School, so I can start working after I graduate and have already had my kids. Just posted a Grad School + Pregnancy thread the other day. 🙂
@nutMeg13: Ahh, I see. My brother is in college right now getting his French & Teaching degree. Scary. :/
@HeyKaraoke: I definitely understand that. My Undergrad is Psyc too. My Fiance went to a 2-year and makes more than me, and will continue to unless I go back to Grad School. Which was the plan the whole time, for me.