Student Loans-ugh

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drghost
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Student Loans-ugh

Postby drghost » Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:33 am UTC

Hello, everyone.

Last month, I read up on the horrors of student loans (what happens when you default, etc.).
I didn't default or anything, and my first payment is due next month, ~$220.
Does that seem right, or do you guys think it's a private loan?

Anyway, the point of this thread:
What type of degree did you get?
How much debt did you rack up?
Did you get all federal loans, or some private ones as well?
How long did it take to pay it off?

And last but not least, when you finally pay it off, you should get something in the mail saying you payed it off, right? I'm paranoid after hearing those stories of people who paid and then they get a letter saying they didn't.
tips for documenting payment progress?

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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby wing » Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:39 am UTC

Overall, I'm very displeased with how the student loan "industry" conducts itself. There is VERY little communication with students about what happens next other than scary warnings about what happens if you fuck up. And I'm not even to the "Graduating" part of the process yet, which means I'm even farther from the "Paying" part.

Do the same thing you do for any other loan - keep copies of everything you send them, and keep everything they send you. If you're paying electronically, print everything that looks even remotely important.
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:58 am UTC

Associates Degree

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Reason Why: I live in Canada :)

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wing
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby wing » Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:07 am UTC

I just had $3300 more charged up to my loans 2 hours ago. *sigh* Another semester on the way.
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby drghost » Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:11 am UTC

wow, are you going to a private school?

my (condensed) story:
went to a shitty tech school; when i graduated, i was still at square one, but with 30K in debt.
As long as I can consolidate my loans with the feds and get them out of Sallie Mae, I'll be able to relax.

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wing
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby wing » Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:18 am UTC

drghost wrote:wow, are you going to a private school?

my (condensed) story:
went to a shitty tech school; when i graduated, i was still at square one, but with 30K in debt.
As long as I can consolidate my loans with the feds and get them out of Sallie Mae, I'll be able to relax.

Penn State University. About $3k in loans a semester, plus $1-3k in aid I don't have to pay back, plus $2-6k out of pocket. The poor SOBs at the main campus are even worse off than that by about a factor of two (three if you count additional living expenses)
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby null » Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:33 am UTC

Aerospace engineering masters (4 years)
£4400 x 4 = about $35000
Government loans
We will see...

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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby hyperion » Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:45 am UTC

Can someone fill me in on student loans? Is it purely an American thing, will I need it etc

I've never borrowed money before and I'd rather not do it ever.
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby drghost » Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:07 am UTC

wing wrote:
drghost wrote:wow, are you going to a private school?

my (condensed) story:
went to a shitty tech school; when i graduated, i was still at square one, but with 30K in debt.
As long as I can consolidate my loans with the feds and get them out of Sallie Mae, I'll be able to relax.

Penn State University. About $3k in loans a semester, plus $1-3k in aid I don't have to pay back, plus $2-6k out of pocket. The poor SOBs at the main campus are even worse off than that by about a factor of two (three if you count additional living expenses)

ouch. good luck with everything.

this coming year and a half i'll be juggling student loans and finishing up an associate's degree that's actually worth something from the local community college.

hyperion: in the u.s., people can take out federal loans, or private loans, or both.
federal loans aren't so bad, because even if the interest rate is raised to the maximum, it's capped at around 8%, unlike private loans, which can be raised to insane rates.
example: a girl i know from work has a private loan with an interest rate of 16%, and her monthly payment is $600.

sallie mae is the biggest student loan company in the u.s., and sometimes they do shady things, although nothing has happened to me (yet).
avoid sallie mae at all costs.

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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby williamager » Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:30 am UTC

HYPERiON wrote:Can someone fill me in on student loans? Is it purely an American thing, will I need it etc

I've never borrowed money before and I'd rather not do it ever.


I believe it to be a mostly American phenomenon. There are sometimes ways to make taking them a good and profitable idea if one is clever, but in general I would advise against taking them unless absolutely necessary. I've seen a number of cases of student loans causing much trouble.

You might, however, want to reconsider your opinions on borrowing money, as there are situations where it can be a good idea. Our investments, for example, generally have a much higher yield than the interest rate on our mortgages, so it really isn't in our interest to be out of debt.
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby tazeat » Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:48 am UTC

Full time job
Full time student

No loans, paid in cash ;).

It's hard though :( University of Washington is about $2k a quarter...

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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby Berengal » Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:53 am UTC

Indeed, without moneylending the world would be much closer to the dark ages.

As far as student loans go, I apply for loans with the Norwegian Lånekassen, which is a federal institution. This nets me a total of 80k NOK (1$ is about 5.5 NOK) a year, of which about 35k can be made into federal grants, depending on how many exams I pass etc. The rest of the loan is interest-free as long as I study, and has very reasonable interests when I'm done. I'm also working, saving up money, and thus far I'm in the pluss as far as paying back the loan go, and the plan is to pay it back as quickly as possible. However, because of the very reasonable terms, it's better to not pay it back rather than take up a new, more expensive loan.
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby Heather » Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:59 pm UTC

I am part of the "massively in debt" club. I went to RPI, in Troy, NY. $30k USD a year (at the time, graduated in 2002). I came out with about $50k of debt at the end of all of it. I've still got quite a ways to go. Been paying them off for 5 years so far. I did end up consolidating my federal debt, which was good at the time because I locked in a pretty low interest rate (generally what I find is that most consolidation loans have fixed interest.) I chuck many Australian dollars into my US bank account to pay them off every month. The US education system is so fucked. :(

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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby Gelsamel » Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:27 pm UTC

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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby Endless Mike » Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:51 pm UTC

Move to Florida before high school, don't be an idiot, and you'll have no problems with paying for college! I got money back after everything was paid for each semester and got my BS from one of the top programs in the nation. I ended up taking $1850 for a summer semester since we were required to take 9 summer credits which was a terrible idea, but whatever. I'll be paid up in April.

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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby hipp5 » Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:04 pm UTC

I go to school in Canada for a BSCH, currently in my 3rd of 4 years.

I expect to have about $40k in federal and provincial student loans by the time I graduate. This will be paid off over 10 years at roughly $350/month. By the time I've paid it off I'll have spent another $15k in interest. It'd be even worse if I had to get a line of credit from a bank.

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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby daydalus » Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:47 pm UTC

-BS in CS from public engineering school
~12K in student loans in my name (my parents took some out as well)
-down to $400 in 4 years. will have them paid off this year.

one tip - if you pay a big chunk up front >$1000 you can defer payment for a while. This way you dont need to pay every month in case you're between jobs or want to do some traveling. Right now I don't have another payment until 2009. Alternatively, you can your payment go 100% towards principle, which doesn't extend your pay period, but does reduce the amt of interest the loan is accumulating every month (by a few cents)...

another tip - live with your parents for a few years after college! put whatever you'd pay in rent towards those loans.

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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby cypherspace » Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:00 pm UTC

williamager wrote:
HYPERiON wrote:Can someone fill me in on student loans? Is it purely an American thing, will I need it etc

I've never borrowed money before and I'd rather not do it ever.


I believe it to be a mostly American phenomenon. There are sometimes ways to make taking them a good and profitable idea if one is clever, but in general I would advise against taking them unless absolutely necessary. I've seen a number of cases of student loans causing much trouble.


It's a British thing now as well. I don't know what the figures are like your side, but over here the average university student now graduates with about £13000 ($25000) of debt. I am very lucky in having amazing parents who chose to support me, so I didn't get into that kind of debt.
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:22 pm UTC

When you do get the loans paid off, after you graduate, be sure to keep all paperwork indicating you have paid off the loan. If possible, make the final payment in person, and be sure to ask for a receipt. You should keep all documents for your entire life, plus 20 years.

A company my mom had student loans through hounded her for repayment for five years after she had graduated, and she had paid them off two years prior. She finally wrote them a letter, telling them to bugger off, and I think she provided a copy of documentation to prove that the loan was, indeed, paid off.
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby Marvin » Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:52 pm UTC

geee... now i'm glad to live here... the government pays all my education... so i'll graduate with some 1000$ debt (and that just because i'm a lazy student...) that i'll pay in two months top, and then i'm a free man :D

we have student loans here now (2 or 3 years) but he interest is something like 5% of which 3% is paid by government...
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby Akula » Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:29 pm UTC

$160,000 at about 7%

Fortunately, flying airplanes is lucrative business, and enlisting in the military knocks a big chunk out as well.

Still sucks ass though.
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby aetherson » Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:38 pm UTC

what williamager said.

I borrowed the money I would have needed to pay for grad school. The money I would have otherwise had to use, I invested. I have student loans running around 4-5% (it would have been even less if my loan company hadn't sold the loan to a different company prior to consolidation...) but I have investments running at about 5-15% returns depending on the type and risk. I put the minimum down on the student loan so that I can maximize money elsewhere.
It seems to work.

rtrgrrl: how did you like RPI?
I'm thinking about grad school again, after being out in the working world...(what's with me being an indentured servant?!...)
Anyways, thoughts?
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby Elenion » Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:20 pm UTC

I think my studentdebt is at around $19000 (but in Norwegian kroners ofc) atm, after 2 1/2 year @ Uni. I pay only $100 each semester for school, but I use the rest of the money for food and stuff:) The interests does not start running before after I finished my study, so I just applied for maximum loan and save up what I don't use. I actually have saved up more than I owe right now because I've had part-time jobs. In Norway it's the state that give you student loan.. and if we pass our exams we get some money also, that we dont have to pay back, like a scholarship:)
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby TheTankengine » Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:00 pm UTC

I'm in my fourth year of engineering at the moment (out of hopefully about 5.5 years for a master's of eng.) and I've racked up $17,500 in federal loans, $4,000 in a private loan, and about $7,000 in credit card debt (can't just pay tuition, gotta live too). I get about $15,000 a year in scholarship, but paying for out-of-state and going year round is killing me. Kentucky's colleges are very cheap for in-state, but I missed that boat by about 10 miles. The University of Louisville only costs $3,470 per semester in-state, but $8,867 out. Multiply that by 3 and it equals "I'm poor". Hopefully my potentially lucrative business proposition will pull through very soon here.

Hopefully I'll be making around $60k per year or so in just a short couple years. That will be nice :D
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby williamager » Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:35 pm UTC

rtrgrrl wrote:I am part of the "massively in debt" club. I went to RPI, in Troy, NY. $30k USD a year (at the time, graduated in 2002). I came out with about $50k of debt at the end of all of it. I've still got quite a ways to go. Been paying them off for 5 years so far. I did end up consolidating my federal debt, which was good at the time because I locked in a pretty low interest rate (generally what I find is that most consolidation loans have fixed interest.) I chuck many Australian dollars into my US bank account to pay them off every month. The US education system is so fucked. :(


While it isn't a particularly honest thing to do, if you're living in another country and don't plan on moving to the US, it's quite possible that you could simply default on the loans, and depending on the legal situation there might be no way for anyone to do anything about it.

I know one major bank executive who has at least $50k of US student loan debt, but as he lives in another country, he is apparently almost entirely immune from any collection attempts.
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby spi » Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:29 pm UTC

After a 4 year BS in CS I had ~$15500 in debt. My parents also had about $3000 in debt and that doesn't count what I paid for out of pocket(some tuition, books, and living expenses). I have now paid my parents back.

Now I am making minimum payments of $178 for ten years. Since I have no other debt at the moment a portion of what would go to savings is going to go towards getting that outstanding debt down.
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby d3adf001 » Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:55 am UTC

~35k a year times 5 years. what ever that comes out to is what ill have

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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby elminster » Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:01 am UTC

Currently sitting at £15k or so.
I went to pay off some of this years payment, the other day and just over £2k came out of my account. I was like "Ouch..."
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby Popidge » Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:14 am UTC

Student loans in Britain aren't too bad, you only pay them back oncee you're earning a certain amount (above £15k p.a i believe), and then it's charged on a sliding scale, depending on how much you earn (as little as a couple of pounds per week). If you drop under the minimum pay line, you don't pay, and after 25 years, the debts are written off.
And their interest rate is set at the rate of Inflation, so that's not bad either.

Don't know how they work it in Yank-land...
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby Icaruse » Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:20 am UTC

Endless Mike wrote:Move to Florida before high school, don't be an idiot, and you'll have no problems with paying for college! I got money back after everything was paid for each semester and got my BS from one of the top programs in the nation. I ended up taking $1850 for a summer semester since we were required to take 9 summer credits which was a terrible idea, but whatever. I'll be paid up in April.


Indeed. A BS in Math (well, 6 credits from) and I've accumulated $0 in debt. I ended up taking 8 hours of summer courses for my foreign language requirement, but I did it at the Community College my dad teaches at, so I got that for free too.

My parents, on the other hand, are still nowhere near paying off their student loans some 20 years of college teaching later.

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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby firer » Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:27 am UTC

Oh, man... Studying in the US is so freakingly expensive, comparing with here. The best universities in Brazil are the public ones, and you don't have to pay anything to study (there's a pretty difficult test to get in, though).

30k in debt with student loans? Holy shit, I can't imagine how would I manage such a big debt...

How many years do you average paying the loan after finishing college?
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby Yakk » Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:31 am UTC

I did a coop program -- 4 months of work 4 months of school alternating -- and graduated with basically 0$ in debt, and a small amount of net worth.
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby TheTankengine » Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:08 am UTC

I did 3 co-ops totaling 1 year of work. I made pretty good money I suppose. 1st semester was $15/hr with overtime, then $16.15/hr with no OT and finally $16.89/hr no OT. I bought a car (old one died) for $3000 and spent all the rest on tuition, rent and beer. It was fun though (having money that is)! Hopefully I will be able to get a part-time job with the company I co-oped for the last time. That would be suhweet. :D
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby Seven » Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:26 am UTC

williamager wrote:I know one major bank executive who has at least $50k of US student loan debt, but as he lives in another country, he is apparently almost entirely immune from any collection attempts.

What does this do to a person's credit rating?

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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby TizzyFoe » Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:31 am UTC

firer wrote:Oh, man... Studying in the US is so freakingly expensive, comparing with here. The best universities in Brazil are the public ones, and you don't have to pay anything to study (there's a pretty difficult test to get in, though).

30k in debt with student loans? Holy shit, I can't imagine how would I manage such a big debt...

How many years do you average paying the loan after finishing college?


I think i have 30k in debt. I hope to pay it back in a little around a year and a half. I'm sure it takes ages if you only pay the minimum payments. I live on about 15k a year, i should be able to continue to do that after i graduate (if i find a cheapish place to live and dont buy lots of nice toys). I stand to make around 40k a year. So that comes to exactly 1.5 years.

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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby drghost » Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:41 am UTC

After checking my loans on the financial aid site, I only owe 17K.
Thanks, 12K in grants.

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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby Yakk » Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:11 am UTC

Seven wrote:
williamager wrote:I know one major bank executive who has at least $50k of US student loan debt, but as he lives in another country, he is apparently almost entirely immune from any collection attempts.

What does this do to a person's credit rating?


Here is a secret: credit ratings are national beasts, not international beasts.

If you move to the US from elsewhere, your credit is nearly blank -- and if you move from the US to elsewhere, your credit is nearly blank.

Now, having access to one of the world's most mature credit systems (the US) is a useful thing to have, so throwing it away isn't all that smart...
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby aetherson » Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:22 am UTC

Tizzyfoe:
don't pay it off if you don't have to!
the interest rate should be fairly low (hopefully). Invest the money that you would have paid over and above the minimum payment in something that gets a higher interest rate in return...
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Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby Heather » Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:22 am UTC

aetherson wrote:rtrgrrl: how did you like RPI?
I'm thinking about grad school again, after being out in the working world...(what's with me being an indentured servant?!...)
Anyways, thoughts?


I absolutely loved it. Being a geek it was the perfect place for me to end up (and they also gave me a year's education free, so that helped). I met some really good friends, got a Cisco certification through them, etc etc etc. Plenty of nerdy things to do on campus. Troy itself is a bit of a shithole, but there is nearby Albany if you're looking for more things to do outside of the campus. (I spent countless hours at Crossgates mall being the shopaholic I am.) Not that Albany's perfect, but it's something. If you have any more questions about it, feel free to PM me. :)

williamager wrote:While it isn't a particularly honest thing to do, if you're living in another country and don't plan on moving to the US, it's quite possible that you could simply default on the loans, and depending on the legal situation there might be no way for anyone to do anything about it.


True, but I'd rather not jeopardize things if I do end up wanting to go back to the states someday. I'm not a permanent resident here; I'm only sponsored by the company I work for. If for some fucked up reason I get deported, I'd rather not have collection agencies with big sticks in their hands eyeballing my ass at customs. :P

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Endless Mike
Posts: 3204
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:04 pm UTC

Re: Student Loans-ugh

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:28 pm UTC

aetherson wrote:Tizzyfoe:
don't pay it off if you don't have to!
the interest rate should be fairly low (hopefully). Invest the money that you would have paid over and above the minimum payment in something that gets a higher interest rate in return...

Yep. Depending on the lender, it can be REALLY easy to do this too. My one loan is a federal one and I pay 2.5% interest on it. My savings account earns more than that.


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