Student Loan Debts

<p>I also posted this in the financial aid and scholarship forum. How much did your child owe when they graduated from college? How long did it take or how long do you anticipate it will take for them to pay off their student loans? What are their monthly loan payments?</p>

<p>If they had it to do over again, would they choose a college that was less expensive, or one that offered them a scholarship, to avoid incurring so much student debt?</p>

<p>I was recently listening to a financial radio show. A woman who graduated over a year ago with a BS in English called in. She owed $150K in student loans. She had no job prospects and couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. You seem to hear more and more scary stories like this.</p>

<p>I have alwys heard the rule of thumb on an UG degree, that the max was equal to the REALISTIC expectation of the first yr salary.
It is scary though. One has to wonder if all of society will suffer for the bad business decisions of a few(such as the example in OP).</p>

<p>


</p>

<p>Some have recommended lower limits for total undergraduate debt, such as:</p>

<ul>
<li>The government subsidized loan limit (about $23,000).</li>
<li>Half of the typical entry level pay for graduates of your major (typically $15,000 to $20,000 for majors like biology and humanities, possibly up to $30,000 for the majors with the best job prospects).</li>
</ul>

<p>Thought I would share this story of a neighbor's daughter. She graduated last May from veterinary school. Her mother told me her daughter owes almost $150K in loans for the past 8 years. She hasn't started looking for a job yet and has been sitting at home for the past 5 months. She has now announced that she doesn't want to work as a vet and would like to go back to get her PhD. Of course, this would involve incurring even more debt. Her parents are insisting that she get a job so she can start paying back this huge debt. Their daughter seems to be paralyzed.</p>

<p>I found this story online of a vet student who figures the balance of his student loans will reach $270,000 by the time he enters the workforce. That is four times the average full-time starting salary of veterinary school graduates entering private practice.</p>

<p>"The cost of veterinary education is too high. It is no longer a valuable education; rather, a hole dug so deep for our new grads that they will be slaves to the debt instead of earning a decent living."</p>

<p>I'm sure this can be applied to other majors and careers also.</p>

<p>I'm a believer in limiting to the Stafford amounts ($27K). That's what DD2 will have. I think DW got out with ~$10K in debt which we paid off. As far as being a vet, I have no idea why anyone would go through that for the average salary they have. It's essentially the same as an MD for education and cost, and the salary is about 1/2 that.</p>

<p>According to the Dept of Labor, the mean salary for a vet is $92K. Family doctors and general practioners average $174K. Internists average $189K. The average starting salary for a vet ranges from $41-65K.</p>

<p>Plus, it's much more difficult to be accepted into vet school compared to medical school.</p>

<p>When my H finished med school in 1986, we had $120,000 in student loan debt (a small amount of this was mine for undergrad and grad). When we finally had to start repaying all of it, after his residency and fellowship, our monthly payment towards student loans was $1,200. 25 years later, we still pay $716 a month. My H is 53 now and the loan will be payed off in 4 more years.</p>

<p>Was the debt worth it? Yes, for us it was. We had many big decisions to make because of the debt, including waiting to have kids, moving to a less expensive part of the country, not being a stay at home mom, and spending frugally for many years. We were able to save some money for our kids' college education and have done well with our retirement accounts. I am grateful and fortunate that we have a good life.</p>

<p>So yes, it was worth it, but only because my H is able to make an income that makes it worth it. A $1,200 a month loan payment is a big dent in a starting salary. H and I did it together with two salaries and no kids. Students with big loans have to make sacrifices.</p>

<p>"I was recently listening to a financial radio show. A woman who graduated over a year ago with a BS in English called in. She owed $150K in student loans. "</p>

<p>^^ Though not advisable, I understand how one can rack-up $150K in grad/professional school debt - - but $150 in undergrad debt is INSANE. A student w/ that much undergrad debt has no one to brame but him/herself. Why didn't that student go to an in-state public? Or start at a community college? </p>

<p>(On a similar note, I met a young woman with $150K law school debt - - the result of her decision to pay full-tuition at at T-14 law school rather than accept a full-tuition grant from a lesser law school. Yes, it's a huge debt, but she - -like many of her age peers - -chose to incur the debt for a name-brand law degree. IMHO, what's "scary" is not the amount of the debt, but the fact that the sudents seem oblivious to the debt when they enter school, as if it were not "real" money. Not everyone can afford the best college or grad prgm to which s/he is admitted - - and rather than incur the astronomical debt, the students should be attend a more affordable instiution, or maybe put grad school on hold.)</p>

<p>As for my DD, $19K in subsidized loans.</p>