Author Topic: Reader Case Study: $180,000 dollars in student debt  (Read 34369 times)

WiseGuy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Reader Case Study: $180,000 dollars in student debt
« Reply #100 on: July 06, 2014, 08:56:53 PM »
first off welcome to the forums. A lot of the people here are much more aggressive then most other forums, but you seem like you can handle it.

I graduated in 2010 with $130,000 in private student loan debt and a music degree with very little potential of making a lot of income. I married that summer, and was faced with the same prospect you are now. I decided to freelance programming before trying to get a job with my degree that doesn't apply to any field, and I made around $900 / month for the first few months, my wife, despite her pregnancy, worked and made around $1000 / month. I was determined to make it work and become "stable", and I spent every waking hour prospecting and working the freelancing gig to stave off a crappy job.

in 2011 my wife stopped working to be a stay at home mom. In 2012 we bought a house, and in 2013 we had our second kid. I now live right on the bay in California making six figures programming for a startup because one of my clients happened to like me.  Throughout the hardship of finding a job on top of that we had a minimum debt payment of $16,000 a year (why taxes don't take this into account I don't know.) and we were still fairly happy. Now that I have a decent income we are making headway on the debt, we have around $105,000 total $95,000 of which is the original student loans. I'm hoping to be debt free by 2020 regardless of whether or not this job is around for another 6 years.

Don't give up you can make it. My first year I made $25,000 freelancing. You just never know where your next big windfall will come from.

I am always looking for good techies, you should drop me a line and show me what you got - BradSpark.com

best of luck

This is a great example/story.  It can be daunting to tackle huge debt with a small income.   But with creativity and some luck you could find a high paying job.

To the OP: since your education is in product design, I'd look to see how you set yourself on a path to make a very high income.  It might mean moving cities.  It might mean adding skills.  But look around and find examples of people who started out with similar skills as you but are making very high incomes (over $200k/year) and find out how they did it.  If you are open to learning programming, then that could be a very valuable skill to add to your design skills.  In Silicon Valley you could probably find a decent ply high income job if you had programming and design skills.

zenandtheart

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Reader Case Study: $180,000 dollars in student debt
« Reply #101 on: September 03, 2014, 12:12:57 PM »
Good product designers are in high demand, and a good education should open doors for you that aren't available to the "average" applicant. A cursory Google search tells me that the median for PD is closer to $50K, and some sites have an average of $75K. That's more like it.

Are you looking at design jobs that pay well?

If you are going to attempt to help, at least try to get your head out of the clouds yourself.  You don't start at the middle or the top of a salary range fresh out of school.  This person needs cash and they need it now.  Any position that needs a breathing human will do for the time being.

That's an absurd statement. Was it a good education or not? If not, then sure, OP is probably screwed. If so, there's nothing stopping them from obtaining the median or higher for your target position. I didn't say senior product designer or product manager, I said product designer. That's easily achievable straight out of college. I beat the median salary for my chosen profession after graduation, as have other people who shared their stories on this very thread. It happens all the time.

Confidence isn't going to pay the bills and a kid that walks in with the "I'm so special" syndrome is going to have a hard time of it.  She needs a bite of a reality sandwich, not more coddling.

Coddling forums exist somewhere, but not here.

Confidence has nothing to do with an "I'm so special" attitude. You are thinking of arrogance or entitlement, which are completely different things. As several others have observed, advising the OP to take whatever menial job that comes their way is potentially the worst course possible. Minimum wage, while better than nothing as a stopgap, will not even put a dent in $180K unless it's a short-lived stepping stone. I was reacting to the OP's perception that their job prospects were extremely poor, which suggests either that they don't believe in themselves, or that there are underlying issues with their described educational background.

zenandtheart

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Reader Case Study: $180,000 dollars in student debt
« Reply #102 on: September 03, 2014, 12:31:36 PM »
To the OP: since your education is in product design, I'd look to see how you set yourself on a path to make a very high income.  It might mean moving cities.  It might mean adding skills.  But look around and find examples of people who started out with similar skills as you but are making very high incomes (over $200k/year) and find out how they did it.  If you are open to learning programming, then that could be a very valuable skill to add to your design skills.  In Silicon Valley you could probably find a decent ply high income job if you had programming and design skills.

Totally agree. Dealing with the situation requires quick moves, but you should always build on the assets you have to get the assets you need. $200K/year is obviously very ambitious, but there are lots of ways to make $180K of debt manageable. Moving in with the rents may be a viable step as long as it is only step 1 of a more ambitious plan.