Hello AN! Hope I'm posting this in the right section. So 6 months after graduating nursing school, I was finally able to land my first nursing job. It's in LTC and although not my ideal, after being there for almost a month I have grown to love all of the residents and found kinship with my coworkers. The pay is great, but with the extent of my loans, it is not viable for paying them off on a standard plan and being able to live. Now for a little back story: I have kept nursing on the back burner through college and slowly took prerequisites for it while majoring in other things that interested me. I switched my major twice until finally realizing that nursing was what I really wanted to do. After finally completing my prereqs I applied to various nursing programs
around Southern California. I was put on various wait lists, most likely due to the fact that my core science GPA was only slightly above average and not the best as most schools I guess look for. After 3 years of waiting, I couldn't wait any longer and just wanted to start my nursing career sooner. I decided to go private--West Coast University--and ended up taking over $80,000 in private loans (Wells Fargo and Sallie Mae). I know that I should have waited for a more affordable school option but I didn't want to find out how long that wait would be. This is where I could use your guys' advice: I have been looking everywhere in Southern California for any lender, both big banks and credit unions, that can help me consolidate my private loans so that the payments are more affordable. With my private and federal loans my monthly bill comes up to $1500 and that is about how much I make in one paycheck but I also live on my own and have those bills to deal with as well. I'm in the process of lowering the federal loans and hope to hear good news from that, until then I'm in forbearance. My parents are helping me pay one of my private loans while I take care of the other. I really don't want to have my parents have to foot my bill, at least when I know I can take care of it if I can just get them consolidated. Has anybody gone through a similar situation and if so, we're you able to find a lender that would consolidate such a high debt? I've tried with Wells Fargo but got denied with a cosigner. Other lenders couldn't help me because my school made me ineligible for their program, or my debt was too high. Does anyone know a lender in California that would consider consolidating a student loan debt this high? I've been trying to figure this whole thing out during my days off, before work, and after work. With just barely starting my job, I've been stressed out trying to learn my job and figure out my finances. I have found that there is no time to relax. I'm keeping up hope though and am still really excited to finally begin my nursing career.
A little random fact: I was able to get the interview for the LTC facility because I share the same exact name, first and last, with the DONs nephew. I also kind of think that's how I got the job.
Apr 14, '13
by Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, RN Senior Moderator
Quote from CT Pixie
call your current loan company(s) and see if there is anything that can be done. I have a friend who was unable to pay her entire monthly loan bill but she didn't want to go into default. She called and they worked with her. I believe they put it on hold under a hardship thing and then when the monthly payment were to start again they worked with her and lowered the payments.
Do this before you get in too deep. I can't promise they will do anything but it can't hurt to give it a shot.
Loan companies are often willing to work with borrowers if contacted early. It may be possible to negotiate a lower monthly payment or deferment. As already stated, there's no guarantee they'll do anything...but they won't be as willing to work with you if you've missed several payments and are about to default.
And yes to the more hours/second job, getting a roomie, and budget tightening already mentioned.
Also, you want to do whatever possible to avoid defaulting, late payments, etc., as these WILL affect your credit rating for at least the next seven years. And as someone who's had dings to their credit...trust me, you don't want them. Seven years is a looooong time to suffer for your mistakes: bad credit affects you in more ways than you'd realize.
Last, readers should consider this a cautionary tale. I won't tell anyone where to go (or not go) to school or whether they should take out loans, as those are decisions that people need to make for themselves. But definitely consider how hard it is for new grads to find jobs, as well as the fact that the salaries offered in most places are not going to be as high as you'd hope, before
signing on for an expensive program and/or student loans.
Best of luck.
Last edit by Meriwhen on Apr 14, '13