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Bad Credit Score and Nursing School--Need Serious Advice

Posted

Hi everybody. This is long but I would REALLY appreciate your advice. I also posted this on the general student board, but I think advice from the professionals would be more practical.

I am on the verge of starting an ABSN program at a private school...or maybe not. I need some serious advice about financing the school.

I come from a low-income family. My parents were very irresponsible with their money and have bad credit. Over the course of four years, they took out student loans out in my name to cover their living costs. I also have three credit cards that I never used but are under my name. I have a car loan in my name on a car that my parents drive, although payment is almost done. I was young and really uninformed about how this would take a toll in my life. I naively signed and handed my SSN to my parents.

I know this makes my parents sound horrible but I understand their difficulties as first generation immigrants...and I still love them and respect them wholeheartedly. They are paying off this debt with minimum monthly payments.

Anyway with about a total of $40k in debt, low credit history (just graduated college), high debt to income ratio (i work part time and take prereq classes) and a few late payments....my credit score sucks (600).

Here's the dilemma, I have to take out private loans in order to finance for my absn program. First of all, I don't even know if I can get approved even with a cosigner. Honestly, I'm afraid to even do so because this inquiry will lower my credit score more. Even if I can get a student laon (probably very high interest rate), I don't know if going into nursing school with such a bad credit would be a wise choice.

My program allows me to defer for one year. I plan on working my @ss off to save money and pay off at least the maxed out credit card and save money by teaching english in korea (where I am from btw). This will raise my credit score. However, my parents are advising against that. They think its better me to enter nursing school and just get it over with in one year..enter the workforce.

I'm 23. An adult...but I am still very tightly knit with my parents. It's also a cultural thing too. When I mentioned this option of deferment and working to them yesterday, my mom flipped out...my dad was more calm.

There are more complications to this situation but I've tried to simplify as much as possible. Would you start nursing school with bad credit and get done one year earlier, start working earlier...OR...defer acceptance, work for a year, pay off some debt, save money, and raise credit score but graduate one year later? I would appreciate honest answers~ Thank you!

MN-Nurse, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med Surg - Renal.

One year isn't going to affect your credit score that much.

I would advise you to stop taking any financial advise whatsoever from your parents.

I dont think a credit score of 600 is horrible. More like Fair? You can still get loans, but you're looking at a high interest rate like you said. Also, why fly to Korea to teach? What about searching for positions in the hospitals as an interpeter. As far as St. Louis goes, I know someone who worked for a hospital as an interpreter for $20/hr. Also, if you plan on working while going to nursing school, hospital usually offer tuition assistance. You are not out of luck! Most people graduate college with school loans in the 5 figures.

Teaching english in Korea will average around 1800-2000 USD. They give free housing and round trip flight. I also have a lot of family in Korea, so loneliness is not an issue. I think I would be able to save/pay off at least $1000...if not $1500.

I'm trying to stay positive. I'm just glad I have the option to defer..whew.

You cannot rely on your parents for financial advice, you will have to learn on your own, suggest you borrow books on personal finances from your local library, (I recommend Suze Orman's books). As for going to Korea to teach ESL, do you have a written contract? Will the teaching position pay enough so that you will be able to pay off your debt? If so, then go to Korea and work until the contract is finished and the debt is settled. After you return, consider attending a nursing program at your local community college and work part time to pay your way through school. Do not incur more debt.

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 33 years experience.

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subee, MSN, CRNA

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired. Has 49 years experience.

Do not borrow any more money to go to school. Please google "student debt crisis" first and it may help you understand how banks are lending money to people who can never pay these back. The interest compounds quickly. These loans cannot be discharged with bankruptcy - the debt is with you forever. If you've been through this web-site you might also get a sense of how difficult jobs are to find. You can't hurt your credit score if you don't borrow money.

Considering your staggering debt and limited potential future resources for repayment I'd stay away from *any* loans or more credit for that matter.

No offense meant but the last persons you should be taking financial advice from is your parents. Suzie Orman is a great resource but she's not local nor offers personal one-on-one advice, well not outside of her shows/public events anyway.

Gather up all your paperwork and seek out a certified debt consultant to help sort your financial matters out.

Going for a nursing degree one year or not does not automatically mean there will be a job waiting for you upon graduation. A quick look around the postings on this forum is proof of that. In the meanwhile you will be landed with *more* debt that needs to be repaid with interest.

Deferments only stop payments, the interest continues to accrue and when the pause is over you will still have the debt plus whatever unpaid interest added on. Some loans will give you the option of paying the interest during the deferment and or when it is over. Otherwise you are then rolling that interest along with the unpaid balance into a new amount. In short you will then be paying interest on interest.

Finally much as one understands the love and respect you have for your parents you need to sort the SSN thing out *now*. To put it bluntly they are engaging in a form of identity theft, and you are aiding it along. Under US law one is not supposed to allow others to use one's SSN for any reason. The num

If things ever go south and stuff hits the fan you could be landed with vast amounts of debt and other legal consequences that will affect your credit and other areas of your life for decades.

As a low income person there are other options for nursing school than private. State and local colleges and universities offer the same if not better nursing programs and are vastly cheaper.

Thank you for your advice. I have a lot of thinking to do...