Got first nursing job but can't afford loan payments

  1. 1 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.
  2. Visit  venousr3tuRN profile page

    About venousr3tuRN

    Joined Apr '13; Posts: 12; Likes: 7.

    30 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  marycarney profile page
    Never dealt with student loans (thankfully) but from the sounds of it, you need a second job. Is moving home an option, temporarily, until you can get the loans paid off? It sucks, I know, but it is more fair to your parents it seems, than having them pay back one of your loans.
    MBARNBSN, tnmarie, RNperdiem, and 1 other like this.
  4. Visit  wish_me_luck profile page
    I agree with mary. See if you can live at home for a while until you can save some money.
  5. Visit  CT Pixie profile page
    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.
  6. Visit  venousr3tuRN profile page
    Thank you for all the advice. My parents unfortunately live in central California which is over 300 miles away from me. I live close to where I work and wouldn't be able to move back. I'm in the process of calling the lenders and seeing what I can do. So far they have just told me to go through forbearance and have yet to offer any help other than that as of now. I'm gonna call them again to see what else can do.
  7. Visit  Stephalump profile page
    I agree, you may end up needing a second job. I know it isn't ideal, but you wouldn't be the first nurse to work her tail off! :-)

    Hopefully you can get some help with consolidation! Getting out of over-your-head debt is a tough lesson to learn, but you'll never forget it. I beg people to stay away from those schools for all the reasons you're experiencing.
    gonzo1, MBARNBSN, and tnmarie like this.
  8. Visit  EMEddie profile page
    Venousr3tuRN I tried to send you a private message but you dont have that option. Send me an email
  9. Visit  elkpark profile page
    I agree you should be looking for a second job and a roommate, and cutting down whatever of your expenses you can. The money was loaned to you in good faith and you entered into legally binding contracts agreeing to repay it. If you happen to find some way to lower the loan payments, great, but I've read that some of the "consolidation" programs are more or less scams, so I would be v. cautious about going that route. Have you talked to a legitimate, non-profit, credit counseling agency? The local United Way typically has contact info for legitimate credit counseling organizations.

    Best wishes for your journey!
    HouTx, HM-8404, MBARNBSN, and 4 others like this.
  10. Visit  venousr3tuRN profile page
    Elkpark, thank you for your suggestion. I'm looking into the United Way in my area and will definitely call their hotline for credit counseling.

    I actually haven't stopped looking for another job ever since getting this one. I'm only PT at my current facility and was hoping to also get a FT position somewhere else, preferably a hospital. I live with a roommate right now so that does help with some of the finances.
  11. Visit  Baubo516 profile page
    I don't have ideas about cutting the loan payments that haven't already been mentioned, but here are some additional ideas to cut your personal expenses: get rid of cable, downgrade your cell phone to a NON-smartphone, no internet type phone and either get added as an additional line on someone else's plan or go down to the smallest plan you can get. I don't have internet on my phone, and my husband and I are added onto my sister-in-law's plan. We pay $30 a month for BOTH of our phones and we have unlimited minutes to talk to family, who are also on Verizon.
    ktwlpn, joanna73, Dazglue, and 2 others like this.
  12. Visit  seanynjboy profile page
    I am (almost) right there with you. I will be getting out of school in 2 weeks and will have $70,000 in loans to start paying off in 6 months. I am planning on working 2 jobs and throwing as much in my loans as possible. I am considering moving in my boyfriend's parents and renting out our house when we move back to Jersey (we live in AZ) so we do not have to pay for our mortgage.

    Good luck with your loans, I hope you find something that works out for you!
    tnmarie likes this.
  13. Visit  redhead_NURSE98! profile page
    Can we put this post as a sticky in the pre-nursing students section? I hate to see people do this to themselves.

    Now that you're stuck with it, I'd consider taking on a roommate and get used to it for awhile, unfortunately.
    salvadordolly and somedaypeds like this.
  14. Visit  Meriwhen profile page
    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 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

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