Maxed out student loans??

  1. Hi all,

    Is anyone else out there lucky enough to be a part of the "I capped out the student loan limits" club? I took out loans for my undergraduate and gradutate non nursing degrees (which have certainly not paid off), and now that I've been accepted to my first choice accelerated BSN-MSN program, I need to borrow $50,000 despite receiving a 50% tuition scholarship. Although I gasped when I first saw that number in my financial aid package, I came to the decision that since I would be able to work as an RN within a year, and receive tuition reimbursement either through my employer or the government, it was worth it. But when I applied for the signature loan, I was rejected. They haven't yet told me why, but I saw something about aggregate loan limits on the Sallie Mae website and figure I probably maxed out my borrowing amounts. But I have never been able to make a payment on my prior loans because in the jobs I've held, I never make enough and qualify for debt-income ratio forbearance! However, if I was able to begin working as a nurse in a year, I would finally be able to pay back some loan money! But I can't begin working as a nurse in a year because I owe too much money to go to school! Going to a traditional program would take much longer, I would only be able to afford going part time, there are waitlists, etc. So I would be missing out on a decent salary during those years. I know I got myself into this mess by taking out so many loans in the past, now I'm just at a loss. I'm ready to throw in the towel...
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  2. 31 Comments

  3. by   purplemania
    how about working part-time somewhere and getting the ADN? At least you would be earning a nurses' salary a lot sooner. Even if you have to work a year before returning to school that would be better than accruing so much debt, plus you would be working towards a goal. Our facility pays unit clerks and aides tuition reimbursement for nursing school. They learn a lot of stuff along the way, as well.
  4. by   gerry79
    I agree with purplemania. Dont give up, you may need to take an alternate route, but your goal is well within your reach! It may take a bit longer, but you wont incur so much dept, and you will be earning money in the interum.
  5. by   tennyson
    Quote from purplemania
    how about working part-time somewhere and getting the ADN? At least you would be earning a nurses' salary a lot sooner. Even if you have to work a year before returning to school that would be better than accruing so much debt, plus you would be working towards a goal. Our facility pays unit clerks and aides tuition reimbursement for nursing school. They learn a lot of stuff along the way, as well.
    Thanks...It seems like going to school for the ADN would take as long as getting the BSN for me since I have all pre reqs and all other classes other than nursing courses. Please correct me if this is wrong! I live in NYC, and spent all of 2003 looking for a job in a hospital, which seems to be impossible here to get without a license or connections. The only job I could find was one (not in a hospital) that doesn't even cover my rent at 20 hours a week, and no tuition reimbursement. I'm practically living off of credit cards and the Stafford loans from my community college where I'm doing pre-reqs. If I moved back to California, I could rehired at the psych facility I worked at, and get tuition reimbursement, but I would need a car, and the funds to afford to move. I could get the loan I need with a cosigner, but with no family, that's not a possibility. I think I'm gonna have to start full time at my job once school's out, scrape by paycheck to paycheck for the next year, and do some serious scholarship applications and apply to another school. I'm just really bummed because I was so excited about the program I thought I would be starting in May.
    Last edit by tennyson on Mar 11, '04
  6. by   nurse1day
    Most Community Colleges Are Definitely Cheaper So You May Want To Consider That. I Attend A Community College And Owe About $40000 From A Previous Degree And I Work While In School So It Definitely Helps Allthough While You Are In School Loans Are Deferred. It Will All Work Out In The Long Run! Good Luck!
  7. by   275Main
    Does the school offer just the accelerated BSN, then the amount that you would be projected to take out over the course of the program would be less and you could get your masters later. Also maybe you can defer for a year and get a job as a research assistant at one of the major hosiptails, and begin paying off some of the loans. I would advise you to also call the loan provider and ask why you do not qualify and what you can do to qualify.
  8. by   bmw804
    I am also in the same situation. I'm finishing my master's in a non nursing area, and my loan limit is almost maxed out. I really wanted to get into an accelerated ND program, but the school is very expensive. What I have decided to do, since there is a waiting list for the ADN program, I have decided to pursue an LPN certificate. And I am hoping that I can find a job and get tuition reimbursement to go back for the RN. Or even still the community college is much cheaper. I wouldn't max out if I do the ADN program, its when I want to get my master's or ND in nursing. I think by taking small steps, eventually the aid will come in once I'm in the field.
  9. by   crp2000
    If I'm not mistaken - the Sallie Mae Signature loan is an actual loan based on credit and debt/income ratios. I don't believe they hold current student loans against you. The only time I think the amount of school loans you have falls into play is when applying for the Stafford Loan - and that's only because there's a limit of approx. $140,000 that you can borrow from Stafford total (i.e. all degrees combined).

    Anyone else know where I'm coming from?
  10. by   kellilou3
    If I were in that situation, I would put off school until I could pay off some of that debt. Or at least go for the ADN while working as much as possible to keep my head above water, especially considering that you're currently living off of credit cards! I just couldn't justify racking up that much debt with school/living expenses on credit cards when you know it will still take you YEARS to pay it off once you get out of school. At least you could get your ADN or BSN in Nursing, and try it out for some time while simultaneously paying off your debt. Maybe then you'll work somewhere that may reimburse you for any further degrees. Do you ever listen to Dave Ramsey's radio show? It has really helped me to learn how to deal with debt and planning for the future. He really puts things into perspective--you should call in to his show and see what he says! http://www.daveramsey.com
  11. by   tennyson
    Thanks for all your replies. I talked to Sallie Mae, the rep there said that I was denied based on some recent delinquencies on my credit report (I missed payments for 3 months on 2 cards because I'm broke). There is a cap on how much you can borrow, but it's only counting the signature loan money, and while I do have some of those loans, I'm not capped yet (although this loan would do it).

    So now I'm wondering if I clear up the delinquencies and reapply within the next 2 months if I would be approved for the loan then. I asked Sallie Mae what range of credit score I would need, and if they would approve me if those two items listed as denial reasons were cleared, but the rep just kept repeating "I'm not allowed to give you any more information."

    Anyone got any idea on whether clearing up recent problems on credit would increase my chances of getting the loan? I have to put down a $500 nonrefundable deposit on the nursing program tomorrow, and don't know whether or not I should gamble like this with my grocery and bill-paying money for the next 2 months!

    But if I don't go to this program, I really need to figure out a way to survive. With this program, I would have a BSN and be eligible to work as an RN within 1 year. There is no faster option. Even an LPN program would take longer than that, especially with the waiting lists at the community colleges here. Every other school is too expensive as well and all would take longer to finish. Research job would be great, but half the 50 resumes I sent out last year were for research jobs, with no success (I did follow up with phonecalls). Competition is fierce here in NYC for any job, and even with an ivy MA I couldn't find anything that would enable me to pay my current bills, much less my debt.

    Has anyone applied for the Health Service Corp scholarship from the government that covers tuition and living expenses for regular undergraduate nursing programs? I qualify since my EFC is 0, but was wondering how competitive it is and what kind of facility you get placed in after graduation, whether you have any choice in location or not, etc..

    Thanks again for all your suggestions!
    Last edit by tennyson on Mar 14, '04
  12. by   BrandyBSN
    I really doubt that clearing up "recent" credit problems will really do that much for you, as they look at patterns over extended time periods....

    School is going to be stressful enough without having to worry about creditors knocking on your door, plus if you default on student loans that sticks to your credit report for years and years.

    Do yourself a favor and get your debt paid down before this next adventure. It will put less stress on you, and increase your chances of success.

    JMHO,
    BrandyBSN
  13. by   Agnus
    get a job. get ADN go to work as RN. You will make as much as a new ADN grad as you would as a new nurse with any other degree.
    Last edit by Agnus on Mar 14, '04
  14. by   tennyson
    It seems like the problem is only this recent difficulty in making payments, since I received 2 Signature loans on my own credit during the 2002-2003 & 2001-2002 schoolyears.
    I would love to pay down my debt, but right now I can't even make ends meet. Which is part of the reason I accrued credit card debt over the past 6 months. The grant I was supposed to get from school won't be coming in until the end of the schoolyear. That's how efficient NYC community colleges are. And Stafford checks don't get disbursed until after the first month and a half of the semester! My credit was fine until this school year at a community college...

    Quote from BrandyBSN
    I really doubt that clearing up "recent" credit problems will really do that much for you, as they look at patterns over extended time periods....

    School is going to be stressful enough without having to worry about creditors knocking on your door, plus if you default on student loans that sticks to your credit report for years and years.

    Do yourself a favor and get your debt paid down before this next adventure. It will put less stress on you, and increase your chances of success.

    JMHO,
    BrandyBSN

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