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CRNA School and Debt Advice

SRNA   (2,446 Views 29 Comments)

4 Likes; 246 Visitors; 26 Posts

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I've been a CTICU nurse for 3 years and am getting my application ready for CRNA school next fall, but the whole financial implications are really holding me back and making me nervous! I have 120k from undergrad because I messed around and didn't know I wanted to do nursing until it was too late in the game! If I started CRNA school next fall I'd be done by the age of 30, but I could have upwards of 300k of student debt! I don't think I could willingly borrrow that much and have to live paycheck to paycheck after 2-3 years of tough school! What are everyone else's thoughts ?? 

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2 Likes; 966 Visitors; 24 Posts

Well, if you get accepted this cycle then just go for it, you'll probably end up owing more than 300k after CRNA school though but hey, just think about the med and law students! They manage it just fine...right?..maybe? (trying to be as positive as I can)

But anyway, if you don't make it in this cycle, I'd probably try to pay off as much debt as I can if I were you. Maybe use that time to try to make your application stronger (GRE, GPA) if it's not already. 

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DreameRN has 10 years experience as a BSN.

8 Likes; 3,570 Visitors; 83 Posts

I feel you on this. I had about 60k in undergrad, and did travel nursing for a couple years to pay off most of it. I'm nervous about taking more out, but the salary is that much bigger and if you don't increase your lifestyle to match, you can pay it down. 300K is a chunk of change though, that really can take a while. plus with that amount, i'd bet your monthly payment would be high, maybe 3-4K, so that's a factor. I'd suggest getting as frugal as you can and chucking money at your debt now while you are working. Perhaps take some travel assignments until school (if you get it, and then keep working and doing them if you don't) and max out OT with positions like fastaff--you can make like >2000 a week if you want and either save up for school to live on or put it on undergrad debt. Good luck, whatever you do.

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4 Likes; 246 Visitors; 26 Posts

Awesome, thanks guys for the advice! I will have to look into getting another job on top of my fulltime position. I am so nervous about the application process and wondering if my experience is good enough and the debt just adds fuel to the fire!

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PediatricCTICURN - Do you have any private debt or is it all government guaranteed?  You can check, but most of the government debt will go into forbearance while you're in school but the private debt won't.  If I were you, I would work max overtime, Per Diem and anything else before starting to make sure that most/all of the private debt is paid off before starting CRNA school. Even if it means working an extra year that might be the thing to do.  Otherwise you'll still have to make payments on the private debt while borrowing money and not working.  But you do miss out on the higher CRNA wage by waiting so if you do go ahead you'll just need to be dedicated about paying off the debt fast when you graduate by living cheaply and throwing money at debt.      

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4 Likes; 246 Visitors; 26 Posts

So about half is private loan debt, but the company I have my private loan through offers deferment for those returning to school - so it would get deferred until graduation. But I am maxing my payments to that loan servicer because it is also the highest % with the most interest.

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4 Likes; 246 Visitors; 26 Posts

8 minutes ago, MierKat said:

PediatricCTICURN - Do you have any private debt or is it all government guaranteed?  You can check, but most of the government debt will go into forbearance while you're in school but the private debt won't.  If I were you, I would work max overtime, Per Diem and anything else before starting to make sure that most/all of the private debt is paid off before starting CRNA school. Even if it means working an extra year that might be the thing to do.  Otherwise you'll still have to make payments on the private debt while borrowing money and not working.  But you do miss out on the higher CRNA wage by waiting so if you do go ahead you'll just need to be dedicated about paying off the debt fast when you graduate by living cheaply and throwing money at debt.      

sorry forgot to @ you

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4 Likes; 161 Visitors; 9 Posts

For me, it comes down to earning potential when you get out of school, you could start anywhere from $150,000-170,000 per year (baseline excluding OT, etc). Lets say after taxes, take home  money a month can be anywhere between $6,000-$8,000 per month. As long as you know how to budget, you won't have to live paycheck to paycheck even with almost $300,000 in student loans. Plus, you can also refinance the interest rates. There are many ways to get through them. If you get an opportunity to go to CRNA school and you're sure it is what you want to do, go for it!

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4 Likes; 246 Visitors; 26 Posts

7 minutes ago, i.in2b8.u said:

For me, it comes down to earning potential when you get out of school, you could start anywhere from $150,000-170,000 per year (baseline excluding OT, etc). Lets say after taxes, take home  money a month can be anywhere between $6,000-$8,000 per month. As long as you know how to budget, you won't have to live paycheck to paycheck even with almost $300,000 in student loans. Plus, you can also refinance the interest rates. There are many ways to get through them. If you get an opportunity to go to CRNA school and you're sure it is what you want to do, go for it!

That's an awesome point! Thank you so much for the advice! Now just to try and get in!

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133 Visitors; 4 Posts

Hello!

If you don’t mind me asking, what schools are you applying to that are that expensive? I am starting CRNA school in the fall and my tuition for the program will be somewhere around 70-80K, including books and materials. Even factoring in the cost of living for 2-3 years I can’t imagine how you would be spending over 180K to get you to that amount of student loan debt.... 

Either way make sure to do your research beforehand and see what kinds of financial aid each school offers. Many people go into debt in CRNA school but everyone’s financial situation and financial support at home is different.

Also, all of the schools near me have closed their applications for this next round months ago, so I’m surprised any schools are still accepting applications for fall at this time. You still have some time to be working overtime hours to set some money aside too!

Good luck to you!

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4 Likes; 246 Visitors; 26 Posts

Yess I am apply for Fall 2020, so not this year - next year! Most of the schools haven’t even opened up apps for next year yet! I’m just thinking ahead!! Just thinking mostly about cost of living in the current area that I live and the schools that are around here is really expensive! 

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I would not go into $300k debt.  I would explore all my options to avoid that. Can you move back in with your parents or another relative that is near a school?   You are only in your 20s?  How about looking to see if joining the national guard or other military would help pay for it?   Or as others have suggested, take a year to do travel nursing with the intent to knock down some of your current debt.

A $300k education debt is going to be around for a very long time, and will impact future decisions like starting a family or buying a home.   Just for comparison, my brother in law borrow $250k for medical school, but is making > $400k as a specialist. 

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