While I was in school we didn't "talk" a lot about our debt, but I would guess it's not uncommon. If you have school loans (debt) from undergrad going into a CRNA program, I don't think it's much of a reach to be at or over $100k in debt by the time you finish.
I would encourage you to do a search of past discussions where financing school and managing school loans has been discussed. You will find some very good advice and help in figuring out how you can do this. It is definitely "do-able" and I would NEVER let the money (or school loans = debt) stop you.
For a quick example of what you might expect trying to decide whether or not CRNA school is worth it:
Currently = $60k/yr ??
Let's say - you're an RN working in (???) Memphis, TN in a unit making what - $60k a year? Hopefully that's on the low side, but for an example, we'll use it.
You go to CRNA school for 27 months or so and have no income during this time. Your school costs might be around $35k during this period (?? depends on program) and your living costs are maybe (?????????) $2,400/mo during school for a family of 3 (is that possible?). That is about $100k you spend for the time you are in school. We are assuming you have a "little one" where the other spouse can't work (much, if at all). If you have more savings or a spouse working - you're even better off! I like to assume the "worst case scenario" - thus my figures.
After you graduate CRNA school, you start at a minimum of $120k a year plus benefits. You can do MUCH better... but just to be on the conservative side....
Your $100k in school loans can be managed very easily. After I graduated (last year) I realized that there are many options for repayment. You can pay it back in a short period, or take up to 30 years! Before anyone freaks thinking about such a long time to pay it back, I just want to make a simple point:
Let's say you owe that $100k and consolidate all/most of it. At the present time, you can get the interest rate down to about 2.5% (and even lower, depending). If you take 10 years to pay it off - you're down to about $900/mo payment. You CAN do "just interest" for the first 2-4 years if you want to build up cash/savings for yourself (something I would recommend) - that would give you a payment of about $200/mo for the first 24-48 months. If you're now making $10k/month, can you afford that extra $200/month payment? Or even the $900/month (10 yr payback) payment?
Is it worth it to make $5k/month (or MORE!) extra if it "costs" you $900/month school loan payment? Try to remember - you can do MUCH better than $5k/month more than this, but I'm trying to be "conservative" with my numbers. Also, please notice you will be making this amount more every month for the rest of your working career! Plus, if you do your taxes right, you should be able to deduct your school loan interest.
This is a no-brainer for me! I wouldn't give the school loans too much of your attention at this point. If you believe you have what it takes, you should go for it!
Sorry so long of a reply, but I'm a firm believer in encouraging others to focus on the goal - and in this case especially - the money WILL follow! Happy studying. :hatparty: