(Closed) Those married with a lot of student debt…how are you managing?

posted 5 years ago in College
Post # 2
Member
613 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

Just 3 figures of debt? I’m going to assume that’s a typo because that wouldn’t be a problem at all. Both my Fiance and I will be bringing student loan debt into the marriage. I had none from undergrad (thank God), but will have close to 6 figures after law school is done. It’s a scary thought, but if you budget and have great job prospects because of it, do it. All of the jobs I looked into before going to law school would start me at a third of what I will be starting with at my firm so that’s what really drove my decision. Just weigh the costs/benefits and good luck!

Post # 3
Member
4239 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I would get a job now and take a couple years to just attack the debt with a vengeance before you go to grad school.  6 figures of student loan debt is NOT a good idea.  Even if you live off his salary and put your paycheck completely towards your student loans, that will knock them out pretty quickly.  Say you set a goal of paying off 50% of your current loans, then once you hit that goal consider grad school.

Full disclosure: I have about $12k left on a $24k student loan.  My fiance has nothing because he served in the military for 6 years and because of the GI Bill they paid his tuition.  Our plan is to get rid of it as soon as we can, so we will be attacking it with a vengeance after the wedding.  Hopefully that will be in a year, maybe two.  In my circle I see a lot of friends going to grad school and who have six figures worth of student loan debt just to get $40k-$50k jobs and I shake my head.  It is not a good financial decision to go into that much debt just for a degree that won’t produce the income to pay it off.  It’s one thing if you go to med school and earn a high salary right out the gate to pay it off, but those who get into six figure debts to be a social worker or something?  Not the best of ideas.

Post # 4
Member
391 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Following this thread as i will also be bringing 6 figures worth of debt with me when i graduate from optometry school.

Post # 5
Member
9126 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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Birdiebaby4:  I agree with your husband. If you’re already living on one salary (mostly) it should be pretty easy to continue doing that. If something happens with his job, apply for income-based repayments asap. Otherwise, sounds like a good plan.

Post # 7
Member
3195 posts
Sugar bee

Well,  my DH and I had well over 100k in debt before I decided to go back for my master’s degree,  and all told total indebtedness was probably around $130k. The only reason I went back when I did was because we both had rock-solid job security at our full time jobs.  

For you,  I’d start living on less than his salary right away and sticking some money into a savings or brokerage account.  Start being really frugal now so that if something goes amiss,  you’ll have a little cushion. However, if it will pay for itself in short order,  go for it!  

Just fyi, we started paying on that debt in 2012 and are down to about $70k and on track to bring debt free I’m 2017, so it can be done!  It takes discipline,  but we haven’t given up everything to do it,  We still travel a ton and eat well! 

Post # 8
Member
4239 posts
Honey bee

I had about $70, 000 worth of debt when I finished school. My first job out of school was OK, salary wise, but I had to adjust my loan repayments to be lower so I could afford them. Once my SO graduated, we moved somewhere and I started making a bit more money. I kept my payments the same, but at the end of each pay period I will put down any extra money onto my loans. My SO did the same and his debt is almost gone. I’ve been a bit less aggressive than he is so I still have about half of mine, but this year I’ve also been saving for the wedding. One of my loans is 0% interest and the other is very low interest so if I take a break from my “extra” payments every now and again, it’s not the end of the world. Once the wedding is over, I’ll go back to putting all my extra money on my loans.

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by  ClaudiaKishi.
Post # 9
Member
3195 posts
Sugar bee

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Birdiebaby4:  Yes,  it is better because paying off $70k would take you  2 years with your future earnings,  but after that you’d be making twice as much that you could put towards house,  family,  car,  retirement etc. You’ll blow your saving out of the water compared to the 25k your making now. 

Post # 11
Member
2803 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

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Birdiebaby4:  I have a student loan that is finally down to $19K, but when I went back to finish my undergrad, we paid cash for a full year. Like you, I also have to get my masters if I want to get a job in my field. We own rental property, which Fiance lets me use the income from to pay on my student loan and for the current classes I take. I just can’t spend more than 3/4 of the monthly income from the rental. He doesn’t believe in keeping debts, so I can only take the amount of grad classes that we can afford to pay for each semester. We have a son, and I am a Stay-At-Home Mom since if I went back to work my income would be miniscule after daycare costs so there is no income on my end. 

Post # 12
Member
919 posts
Busy bee

S.O and I graduate college in a year. He is walking out debt free (his parents were able to pay, which is wonderful). I’ll be walkin out about $35,000-$40,000 in debt (not sure on the exact number). This is a HUGE worry of mine-I’m very consious when it comes to money, so thinking of being that much in debt is honestly terrifying. I also feel awful, because S.O insists that, upon graduating (when we live together) that he wants to help me pay off my loans. He’ll be graduating with a computer engineering degree, so is starting salary is around $60,000, depending on the level of the company he works with. However, I’m just not sure how I feel about that. If we were married, it would be one thing, and I’d be very responsive to his help. But we won’t be married yet (we aren’t looking to get engaged for at least another 2.5 years) so I’m not sure how I feel about him using HIS money to pay off loans that aren’t even his.

Part of me is so thankful that he’s so passionate about helping, but another part of me feels so selfish for even considering it. 

Post # 13
Member
4239 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

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Birdiebaby4:  Well can you work while getting your Master’s?  That’s my other recommendation.

Here’s the thing: even if you don’t get a job in your field, I’ll bet you could still find something that would pay $12-$15 per hour.  Not awesome, but better than nothing.  I’ve heard you should never go into more debt than you would earn in your first year’s salary, which I have to say I agree with.

The other thing to think about is interest.  If you pay down your current loans you will end up paying less in interest in the long run.  If you add on top of that, interest will pile up FAST.  You say you will cap out at $65k, meaning right out of a Master’s you will probably be $40k-$45k.  Which in the grand scheme of things is nothing really, especially when you have over $100k in debt.  Whereas you could earn probably $25k now, pay down your current loans considerably, get your Master’s, and then when you come out the other end you won’t have nearly as much debt.  Just my two cents.

Look into Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover.  That will help you figure out where to turn and what to do.  He’s the king of helping individuals/couples pay off an insane amount of debt.  He’s also very real and tells it like it is.

Post # 14
Member
1228 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

We have a budget and pay an extra $200 toward loans every month. We have several thousand dollars set aside as emergency savings should a cash flow problem occur. We’re going to look into refinancing with Sofi since I think hub’s interest rate is crazy high for student loans – over 9%, when the private student loan I was just approved for is 4.25%. So there’s something weird there. And – we have a life plan. For now we’re staying afloat with the loans and saving $50-60k for a downpayment (we live in LA, houses are expensive). Once we get a house, our priority will be paying off the loans. I hate the feeling of having big ass loans on our back, but having a plan to overcome them helps a lot!

Post # 15
Member
4239 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

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yourhandinmine:  Personally I agree with you.  Don’t let him help you with your loans until you have made a long term commitment (engagement or marriage) to each other.

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