Poll

How much student loan debt do you have?

$10k or less
$20k or less
$30k or less
$40k or less
$50k or less
$60k or less
$70k or less
$80k or less
$90k or less
$100k or less
$150k or less
$200k or less
$250k or less
$300k or less
0 student loan debt

Author Topic: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???  (Read 13332 times)

thurston howell iv

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Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« on: October 16, 2013, 07:46:14 AM »
Since I was on a Poll roll, I thought it might be interesting to see how many of us are bogged down by inordinate amounts of student debt.  Since my other half and I both have advanced degrees I will combine our total debt for purposes of this poll in order to accurately reflect the total debt of the household.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 08:51:59 AM by thurston howell iv »

olivia

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2013, 08:58:48 AM »
I have about $5k.  I'm tempted to pay it off for the sake of it but the rate isn't terrible and the payment is only $70/month.  I'll probably pay it off next time we have a 3 paycheck month and/or come into some other type of "free" money.  (I sell stuff on eBay in spurts and usually end up with a few thousand dollars.)

panthalassa

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2013, 09:07:35 AM »
I have about $15000 left that I removed it from my RRSPs under an educational plan.  It is money I borrowed from myself to pay for school.  It's 0% interest so I'm not planning on paying more than the minimum (1/10 of the remaining total for 10 years).

nawhite

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2013, 11:10:02 AM »
Are you looking for how much I have now, or how much I had when I got out of school? I put how much when I got out of school because its a really freaking big number ($220k ish, stupid, stupid, stupid). Nowadays its just under $100k and I'm pretty darn proud of that difference

MooseOutFront

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2013, 11:31:24 AM »
We're at about $60k left out of an original $80-90.  It's all 3% or less and the cost is about $350 per month (which I hate), but I've opted to invest instead of pay extra on this.  Once we retire and my old person number is "enough" then I'll plan to pay it down with whatever extra income comes in at that time. Though it will still come after the mortgage is gone under the same plan of paying it off with extra income above needs in retirement.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 02:41:21 PM by MooseOutFront »

thurston howell iv

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2013, 12:52:44 PM »
Are you looking for how much I have now, or how much I had when I got out of school? I put how much when I got out of school because its a really freaking big number ($220k ish, stupid, stupid, stupid). Nowadays its just under $100k and I'm pretty darn proud of that difference

First of all Congrats on the huge reduction. It's inspirational!!!

Second, I was just curious what folks were currently carrying. I'm down to 48k or so with a monthly payment of $269 but the "boss" is graduating with a doctorate in May and it's going to add over $100k to the tab... So, here I sit looking at all the hardcore MMM practitioners saving tons of cash and I lament the fact that I have saved nothing and have a huge debt mountain to overcome before being able to buy my freedom...

While I was thinking about this I wondered how many of us MMM readers were facing the same thing or similar.

I also saw this thread and figured it is also relevant: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/which-year-did-you-graduate-in-and-how-much-debt-did-you-end-up-with-if-any/

I like the idea of the poll because it gives us all a quick overview of what is what.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 12:56:24 PM by thurston howell iv »

livetogive

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2013, 12:56:41 PM »
I'm coming into $150k through marriage,  but we should be under 100k by the time we tie the knot officially next spring and depending on bonuses,  hope to be clear in a couple year s.

thurston howell iv

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2013, 02:11:44 PM »
Damn! It looks like there's only a few of us in the deep end of the debt pool.  :(

nawhite

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2013, 02:35:21 PM »
Damn! It looks like there's only a few of us in the deep end of the debt pool.  :(

US median student loan debt is around 10-15k and the average debt is around 36k. I'm not too surprised.

HappyHoya

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2013, 05:32:45 PM »
Damn! It looks like there's only a few of us in the deep end of the debt pool.  :(

US median student loan debt is around 10-15k and the average debt is around 36k. I'm not too surprised.

Where are you getting these stats? Is it per student or per borrower? Some students borrow nothing, which skews the stats that are based on numbers of graduating seniors, for instance. Also, a recent education poll on this forum revealed a lot of us have advanced degrees (I have three, personally), which increases the potential for having more student loan debt.

Mazzinator

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2013, 07:36:30 PM »
Are you looking for how much I have now, or how much I had when I got out of school? I put how much when I got out of school because its a really freaking big number ($220k ish, stupid, stupid, stupid). Nowadays its just under $100k and I'm pretty darn proud of that difference

Congrats to you!! Didn't you just hit $0 net worth (or i may have you and someone else mixed up)

Anyways, we started with $150k and now under $90k. We have a B.arch, M.arch and JD. One undergrad was paid for via GI bill.

bikebum

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2013, 08:38:29 PM »
I really don't intend to rub it in, but I think there are people other than me that got a degree with no debt. This would be "less than $10,000" but it might be interesting to see how many have 0. Apologies if it would be too much trouble to revise the pole.

thurston howell iv

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2013, 05:36:50 AM »
I fixed it just for you Josh!

I think it would be more beneficial to see how many people got to zero and with what sort of degree... For example I managed to get my BS with no student loan debt because I had some GI Bill assistance and I paid the rest out of pocket. My Grad school is what gave me a mountain of debt.

rubybeth

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2013, 07:12:22 AM »
I selected $0 with no student loans. We *had* close to $53k between DH and I when we finished school (second undergrad for him, master's for me) in 2009, but we paid that off in September. DH also started grad school in September, but we paid tuition on a sweet cash-back credit card and paid the bill when it was due. That felt really weird and awesome. We'll keep doing the FAFSA just in case he qualifies for anything, but I am hopeful that DH will keep working through school and going part-time so we can keep just paying the bill when it's due. His grad school credits at the local state university are HALF what mine were at a private college, but his degree program is 58 credits whereas mine was 36. We are hopeful that we won't need to borrow any more student loans and get his degree done for under $25k including fees and books.

ioseftavi

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2013, 08:04:23 AM »
None for me, fortunately.  Fiancee graduated from law school with about $110,000 at rates ranging from 6.5% up to like 8.5%.  One year after she started working, we've reduced it to about $66,000. 

Even after staggering progress made over a VERY short period of time, can't believe what an epic battle it feels like.  We just paid off the 2nd of 4 loans last week.  We're snowballing them, of course, and we've also upped our payments a few times by reducing our non-essential expenses.

Our journal's got more details here for anyone who wants to see the nitty gritty, as well as our ramblings.

We should have it kicked within 18 months, possibly sooner.  Can't wait to be done with them!

MrsPete

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2013, 08:39:48 AM »
I just today used an article on student loan debt with my high school seniors, and that article says that only 3% of all borrowers borrow $100,000 or more.  I was a little surprised to see this figure (and I don't know that it was accurate, but the article came from The Washington Post).  The media likes to spin stories of social workers who borrowed $250,000 -- perhaps they're not quite so common as the liberal press would like us to believe? 

mgreczyn

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2013, 09:51:24 AM »
We have none but the no student loans button also says no debt and we have a mortgage so I don't want to feed you ambiguous data :)

We have two undergrad and two advanced degrees in our household: 1 BA English Lit, 1 BA Fine Arts, 2X MBA.

For the BA's, I had a variety of military and civilian scholarships and went to a cheap state school, so I actually made money on the deal when my parents gave me what was left of my college fund.  I promptly spent it on stupid things in a diligent effort to not be the exception that proves the rule.
My wife got through her undergrad with less than $5k in debt and paid it off immediately. Note that we both started on opposite sides of the zero but ended up in the same place because, well, she's a lot smarter than I am. 

For the MBAs I took on $55k at 6.8% for the first MBA, paid that off in 3 years and just in time for DW to get rolling on the second one. For that one we used Sallie Mae as a source of short term zero-interest financing by paying the loans off in full before interest accrued after each semester closed. It felt good taking Sallie Mae to the cleaners instead of the other way around, let me tell you. I experienced a nigh unethical level of joy each time I sent in a payment just before the interest got capitalized. We accomplished this by doing a number of non-MBA-ish things, for example driving a 12 year old beater, not becoming ski aficionados upon moving to Colorado and living in an 850 sf house. My one luxury post-MBA was good beer. Hell, I didn't even upgrade my now 10-year old mountain bike, something I swore I would do as soon as I had money.  Were I to do this over again, not sure I would get an MBA, but financially it's all more or less worked out. Now we're finally starting to save some serious dough, just in time for my industry to contract so I need to go job hunting.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 10:03:06 AM by mgreczyn »

dude

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2013, 11:32:37 AM »
Oh, student loans.  Started out with @$80k about 15 years ago, all racked up in law school (no undergrad debt; that was covered with combo of savings, part-time earnings, and a scholarship).  Started out as a very low paid government lawyer. Deferred payments for a year (stupid, I know, but at $450/month, I just couldn't afford them at the time). Qualified for a 25-year payment plan, and took it.  With interest rates coming steadily down the past decade, my payment is now at an all-time low of $175/mo.  I was able to knock decent portions down with a loan repayment program at work (requiring consecutive 3-year commitments to stay) and had $7500 worth of Perkins Loans forgiven after 5 years because of public service.  Now stand at @$26k, and I'm dropping $500/month on them to have them paid off in 5 years.  All along, however, I contributed to the 401k, and as my income grew -- it's more than enough now -- I upped those contributions until I was maxed out a decade ago.  I'm fine with that decision, especially in light of my 401k growth.  I may drop additional money on them to pay them down quicker, but not sure if I need to do that given their very low interest rate (2.15%).

But man, I CANNOT WAIT to send that last check.

thurston howell iv

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2013, 11:48:47 AM »
Ok, maybe I should have thought more clearly about the parameters of the poll.

Just curious about the amount of student loan debt we carry.

Sorry for any confusion I may have caused.

bikebum

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2013, 06:14:51 PM »
I fixed it just for you Josh!

Aww, thanks man!

I think it would be more beneficial to see how many people got to zero and with what sort of degree... For example I managed to get my BS with no student loan debt because I had some GI Bill assistance and I paid the rest out of pocket. My Grad school is what gave me a mountain of debt.

Good point. I got a BS in civil engineering, no advanced degrees. I was able to do it without loans by starting at a junior college while living with my parents, transferring to a lower cost state university with a fairly low cost of living, working part time, being frugal, and getting grant money my last year because I was old enough to not have to count my parents' income on the FAFSA.

legacyoneup

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2013, 08:03:00 PM »
I really don't intend to rub it in, but I think there are people other than me that got a degree with no debt. This would be "less than $10,000" but it might be interesting to see how many have 0. Apologies if it would be too much trouble to revise the pole.

No student loans. Scholarship covered most of the college costs; rest was paid by mom. I somehow hate the idea of paying interest. I could have fun with that money instead :-)..stamps, aquaponics....

MrMook

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2013, 05:32:42 AM »
Graduated 9 years ago with $30K. Still sitting on $27K.  :(

I've been TERRIBLE about paying that back, but I'm working on changing that very quickly. It's a huge pile, but compared to my wife's $200K+ Law School bill, mine feels manageable. Throw in $8K worth of credit card debt, and thats pretty much what we're facing as a family.

Mrs. Mook and I are formulating a plan to get rid of ALL of our combined debt within 10 years. Its scary, but not doing anything is finally scaring me more.

bokonon

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2013, 06:02:22 AM »
Wife and I graduated physical therapy school in 2010 (doctors of physical therapy) with I'm guessing around $138k in student loans.  We got married a year ago, combined finances and I added the numbers up and we were at $135k.  Found MMM and began aggressively paying them off, down to $87k now.

I've found 0% balance transfer offers on credit cards to be helpful.  I have $28k of what was 6.8% interest loans at 0% for 18 months with a 3% one time fee... saving me almost 2 thousand dollars as long as I pay it off :).  Might be a good idea for some of you who are throwing large amounts of money at your loans (you need to be confident you will be able pay the balance transfer off).

MoneyCat

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2013, 06:40:35 AM »
Between completely financing my BA in English and MS in Teaching with student loans, I owe about $72,000.  Yeah, I know that those degrees were a bad idea now, especially since I didn't have scholarships and took out loans, but I grew up in poverty and went off to live on my own at the age of 17, so it is what it is.  Currently, I'm back at school on full scholarship getting a second teaching endorsement and my loan are deferred, so I'm still making regular payments while paying no interest on my subsidized loans.  I'm really glad that I didn't take out private student loans.

abhe8

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2013, 08:49:03 AM »
185k and growing. paying on IBR for another year, then will hit it with the big shovel. but, even now we are able to keep all our expenses to $3500 per month...for a family of 6. i can't wait to start paying it off. 2 years is our goal, and i think we can do it.

impaire

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2013, 09:00:53 AM »
I think it would be more beneficial to see how many people got to zero and with what sort of degree... For example I managed to get my BS with no student loan debt because I had some GI Bill assistance and I paid the rest out of pocket. My Grad school is what gave me a mountain of debt.

I'm currently in a PhD program, and the stipend is high enough that I would not need to go into debt even if I was by myself (with a working husband, this is obviously even less of a concern). I got very lucky--I come from a country where my BA was basically free, but you don't get sponsored for graduate studies, so by moving to the US between undergrad and grad, I inadvertently hit on the cheapest way to get a higher education.

Zaga

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2013, 11:11:35 AM »
DH - I don't know the original total, but it was at $115K when we married, for an undergrad and master's.

Me - originally $15K, but paid off by my dad right after graduation as per our agreement

Now - $64K remaining, 54 payments left at the current pace.  This is our only debt remaining, we have a paid off house.

drg

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #27 on: October 19, 2013, 11:41:34 AM »
0 at the moment, about to finish my PhD. Lifetime max was somewhere about $2200 on a student line of credit.  But my parents paid 2/3 of my tuition (and 1/3 scholarship), I lived at home for free during my undergrad while holding a part time job, and have been given a tuition waiver and stipend for all of grad school.  I was very lucky.

Charlotte

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2013, 05:32:46 AM »
None!

But I finished grad school in 1999 with $120k. Those payments were fun...  :/

sassy1234

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2013, 07:40:37 AM »
I currently have $30,000, but a year ago it was $60,000!  Progress!!!

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2013, 07:55:41 AM »
I had about $4,500 in student loans when I graduated. My undergrad was 100% funded through scholarships, and grad school paid me $15,000 a year to be a teaching assistant, plus free tuition. I worked all but one year of college, and every summer, so the $4,500 loan was just really just beer money if I'm being completely honest. It was at 2% interest, so I just paid the minimum until it was down to about $800, and then I finally just killed it.

My wife had $36,000 in grants that would have been fulfilled if she worked as a teacher in South Carolina for 4 years after graduation. She only worked in SC one year, which left us with $27,000 to pay back. I think the interest rate was 8-9%. We paid those back in full right after deferment was over, before a single dime of interest was charged.

Mayan

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #31 on: October 24, 2013, 12:33:29 PM »
None now.  I graduated with a little over $28,000 and put every spare dollar towards them so that they were paid off 9 months after graduation.  I benefited from the fact that they were all subsidized, so I paid no interest in the first 6 months. 

jrhampt

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #32 on: October 24, 2013, 12:54:05 PM »
This is probably largely a function of age, but you're right that with the large number of people with advanced degrees around here, most of us have had loans at some point.  I had about $10k from undergrad and maybe another $25k from grad school, but it's all been paid off for a few years now.

ScienceSexSavings

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #33 on: October 24, 2013, 02:50:43 PM »
6 years of undergrad for a B.Sc and a B.Ed left me with a little under $20k. I'm currently in grad school, and planning to stash that $20k before I graduate so I can bitch slap it as a lump sum :)

HappyHoya

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #34 on: October 24, 2013, 04:53:21 PM »
I fixed it just for you Josh!

I think it would be more beneficial to see how many people got to zero and with what sort of degree... For example I managed to get my BS with no student loan debt because I had some GI Bill assistance and I paid the rest out of pocket. My Grad school is what gave me a mountain of debt.

I got a BA with no student loan debt and started taking graduate courses in undergrad to save money, once I realized I was going to graduate school. I had a scholarship that covered the cost of undergraduate tuition for four years, so all I had to pay was the difference (about $300/credit) between the graduate classes and undergraduate classes. My parents paid for my dorm and other misc. living expenses for the first part of college, and I started working after my freshman year, as soon as I was allowed to have a car that let me get off campus (I didn't qualify for on-campus jobs because I wasn't work-study eligible, at that point).

I do have significant student loan debt, but it's from professional school, which I am completing this year. The most frustrating part about my debt is that I tried to do everything right in terms of educational cost. I went to a school where I got a scholarship, worked so that I graduated college with money in the bank, took time off before committing to an expensive professional school education. Unfortunately, I finished school in the summer of 2009, when unemployment was at the worst it had been since the great depression. People were getting laid off all over the place. I was always able to find work, and worked multiple jobs, but there was no way I was going to advance without my professional education. People were so concerned about their jobs at that point, there was no mentoring, no on-the-job training to improve my skills, nothing.

My DH and I are paying back our student loan debt aggressively and are confident we will be in a great financial situation once we are out of debt. We both got the expected increase in income out of professional school (he makes 6 times what he made before, I already make 3 times more and I have not graduated yet), so I can't say I regret it. While I don't like to make excuses or justify our situation (because it doesn't help as much as MMM's tough, face-punching love), I am concerned for my peers and the consequences of the student loan crisis on society. Our loans are at an average rate of 7.2%, after a deduction for using auto-debit. The same people who got hit with the worst job market got the worst deal on their student loans. It's really going to hit the fan in 15-20 years when we're still not contributing to the consumer economy our society is built on. Then we'll all be in a Mustachian utopia, and we'll be the best prepared :)

RoryCK

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #35 on: October 24, 2013, 06:00:32 PM »
As I live in Europe, I was always curious of the situation for students in the US. So I was glad I found this topic and I have a couple of questions.

How much student debt is considered average. And how much is the tuition fee for universities per annum? Are any students eligible for scholarships? And from what I hear most people don't go to grad school, is it usual not to get a master's degree?

Thanks a lot!

randymarsh

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #36 on: October 24, 2013, 09:56:39 PM »
Average debt now is around $25,000. Tuition is around $8,000 a year in Ohio (midwest US). It's the room and board that gets you. Add another $8,000. Fees can be a few hundred a year. Books, even frugally purchased, will probably be $500 or more a year.

Scholarships are widely available. More so if you're female or a racial minority or have other non-merit qualifiers. Really depends on how much effort you put into applying. Many have GPA requirements or a certain minimum test score.

About 8% of Americans have master's.

RobertBirnie

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #37 on: October 24, 2013, 11:46:11 PM »
We have a little more than 40k right now (I put 40k as I just send in a 6k payment :) ). We've been paying $1200 a month on it, so should be gone in less than 3 years, and I can't wait!

weston

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #38 on: October 25, 2013, 07:02:05 AM »
I had 0 from the start due to the sacrifices my parents made for my sister and I to get our educations. All 4 of my kids got their undergrad degrees with 0 loans because my wife and I felt the same way.

I routinely get resumes from recent grads who can not get started in our field for a fair but moderate salary because they have 6 figures in undergrad and grad school student loan debt.

I get enormous satisfaction that (even though I sacrificed early retirement) none of my kids have to endure that kind of crushing debt upon first starting out.

maryofdoom

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #39 on: October 25, 2013, 09:07:10 AM »
Zero for me, although I never had any to begin with. I have a BA and an MA, both in writing. I attribute my success to choosing a super-cheap state college for undergrad, while my sisters all chose expensive colleges, so when it came time for grad school, my dad told me I could go anywhere I wanted and that there was still money to pay for it.

Heck, I still have savings bonds that were part of my college fund that I didn't have to use. The first savings bond I ever got just matured last year.

The husband had about $20k from a technical degree, but he paid it off before we even met.

We are lucky people.

ctaardvark

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Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #40 on: October 25, 2013, 11:07:12 AM »
Zero.

I did the math and was surprised to see that in today's dollars I graduated with nearly $38,000 in debt.  Since my first job paid $35,700, I figured it would be easy-peasy -- save half each year and pay them off in just over two years!  (I had a lot to learn about taxes).  It took four years instead and was aided by my salary nearly doubling during that time.

Kipp

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 56
  • Location: Greater Grand Rapids Area, Michigan
Re: Student Loan Debt--- How much do you have???
« Reply #41 on: October 25, 2013, 11:22:15 AM »
My wife and I had totaled to about $30k in loans (5k mine, 25k hers).  Down to about 21k right now, I graduated in August of 2011 and wife in May of this year.  The remaining 21k is currently on interest free deferment and payments will begin with Jan 3rd.  So I have been focusing on other debt in the mean time (I was stupid and got a car loan a year after graduation).