Author Topic: Loans for College?  (Read 3947 times)

Tacosrocket

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Loans for College?
« on: February 12, 2014, 03:01:08 AM »
This blog has got me under the impression that with the proper mustachienisem applied, paying off expensive student loans is a breeze and I shouldn't worry about graduating with debt. What I'd like to do is Geology, I'm not sure specifically which field yet, but the general profession is pretty lucrative according to the BLS.

Is this true, or should I skip college altogether and find another way to do what I want after I've retired to avoid the debt?

Thank you!
« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 03:45:59 AM by Tobi »

soccerluvof4

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Re: Loans for College?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2014, 03:39:06 AM »
I don't think anyone's intent is to say go in debt with student loans its easy to get out of debt. In fact most mustachians are saying that in going to college try to find the cheapest course to go. Secondly going to college is a choice and doesn't guarantee a job anyhow so it depends really on you. Do you want to be in the trades and try to get an apprenticeship? then in might be good to go to a 2 year tech school. There are alot of options out there but you have to figure out what you want to do first and what it requires to be that. Then research if college is the answer the cheapest way to get that degree and go.  What Mustachians are saying is in going to college try to avoid graduating with a lot of debt if any at all.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Loans for College?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2014, 07:13:01 AM »
what soccerluv said. I wouldn't call it "a breeze" so if you're going to do it, do it as cheaply as possible.

petroleum geology is very lucrative, but you will need an MS. I think other geology jobs are pretty average on the pay scale... not like the high-paying engineering jobs a lot of people talk about here.

RichWard

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Re: Loans for College?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2014, 07:33:14 AM »
It is definitely NOT a breeze, especially if you have to take out some private loans, as I did, which started with variable interest rates at 9% (since I have refinanced and got them to 5.5%). I graduated about a year and a half ago, and was fortunate to land a job before graduating. If I did not have a job after graduating, I wouldn't have lasted more than a couple months before defaulting on my student loans.

At the same time, I know people with fixed interest rate loans at and below 2%. In this case, it might be a "breeze" to pay them off because you are not getting killed by interest.

In hindsight, I would have tried to balance working and studying better. I thought it was a better idea to focus on grades and a social life than working my first couple years. Even if you can come up with an extra $1,000 each semester, it will be a huge savings in the overall cost of your education in the long run.

I always read articles about the horrible struggles of students graduating with $20K of debt; however, that is really not that much to pay back if you are in an industry with decent entry level jobs (I started at $50K which is the norm in my industry). I already paid back over $10K of loans within a year, so I could have been debt free within two years if I had the "average" student loan debt.

For another perspective, my friend went to a private school for the same degree, and is now 6 figures in debt for the same outcome.

It's reasonable that you may need to go into debt to get your degree, but be smart about the amount you are financing with loans vs paying out of pocket by working. Also, don't be tempted to take out more than you need in loans. I had a habit of taking out a little more than I needed because I wasn't working so I needed money for food, beer, etc. Instead, pick up a job on campus for a few hours a week, donate plasma, or anything that will fund your "spending" money.

lackofstache

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Re: Loans for College?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2014, 07:53:37 AM »
Paying student loans back is something most of us do. Not many people I know would say it's easy or fun. Work to borrow as little as you have to. Then you'll be able to make the life you want because you won't be chained to the debt.

AccidentalMiser

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Re: Loans for College?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2014, 08:02:07 AM »
I'm fairly certain they have public universities there in Colorado.  A properly motivated student, armed with a part-time job or an internship, could probably graduate with little to no debt and a shiny new college degree.  In fact, it's likely that one could do two years at a local community college then transfer to that public university and have some bucks in the bank upon graduation.

My son just graduated from college with an Electrical Eng degree.  He left his $18/hour internship on Friday and started his $60k/year job on Monday without even changing desks.  He has 8k in the bank and the only thing I paid for was our family home where he lived (and still does.)  He has about 6k worth of debt at about 2.5% that he intends to retire by July.

You should go to college.  You should be thoughtful about what you major in.  You should be diligent about your finances.

Good luck!

Tacosrocket

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Re: Loans for College?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2014, 06:07:55 PM »
Thank you all for replying, it really is helpful.

I am starting a community college but I still don't see how I can do it all without loans... hopefully it won't have to be too much. Thanks again!

LanceBurkhart

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Re: Loans for College?
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2014, 06:44:54 PM »
You are way ahead of the game posting on a forum like this. Good on ya!

Whatever career path you aim for, make sure to talk to people in the field first before getting into anything. If you want to be a geologist, figure out how to talk to geologists. Find their forums, go to a networking event, etc. They'll have better insight than anyone.


Tacosrocket

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Re: Loans for College?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2014, 10:01:41 PM »
Good point, it's something I've wanted to do since I was a little little kid (well, the dinosaurs part anyway lol). There's also programs at the museum for geology and dinosaur stuff which I could do easily with a good mustache... I have skills I can use in the mean time (building maintenance) but I feel like that's aiming too low.

phred

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Re: Loans for College?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2014, 01:11:44 PM »
Have you tried Googling geology scholarships?  Also, you might consider visiting the geology department of a 4-year college;they may help you with summer internships in geology - at least read their bulletin boards

netskyblue

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Re: Loans for College?
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2014, 01:49:31 PM »
If you're still in high school, see if you can take college courses through a community college and get your high school to pay for them. 

Then in college, take as full of course loads as you can handle.  I did summer & winter courses, too (random stuff, just because you need so many credit hours). 

And brush up on your writing skills, apply for every scholarship you can!

Last thing, live as frugally as you can.  Don't pay for living expenses with loans, get a job to cover those. 

samburger

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Re: Loans for College?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2014, 02:00:29 PM »
Thank you all for replying, it really is helpful.

I am starting a community college but I still don't see how I can do it all without loans... hopefully it won't have to be too much. Thanks again!

If you're not getting scholarships already, find out if your college has any available. Most community college have scholarship funds that sit around, totally unused. They're extremely easy to get.

If you're not sure who to talk to about it, just walk over to admissions or the front desk--or whatever central administrative thing you have--and ask where you should go for scholarship information.