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Student Loan Scariness.....What can be done to make things easier?

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I just passed NCLEX and am busy looking for employment. It is very hard to find jobs in NC right now for nurses. I have HUGE private student loans, at least $100,000. I attended a private college and nursing program that was very expensive. I just applied for a private loan consolidation.

My dad was my cosigner and that was a huge help. Are there any tips or advice you guys can give about working on paying these off? Any programs to use? We do not make a lot of money and my dad could never afford these payments alone. I will be getting a job of course ;)

Any advice would be great!

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

OMG - what a huge added burden at the beginning of your career; a time that is already stressful. I'm sorry but I don't have any insight on how to make things easier. However, as a parent of children who also had to rely on loans (none of which I co-signed) I hope that your dad doesn't have to pay ANY of this loan. He is not the beneficiary of this education and should be trying to prepare for his own retirement rather than subsidizing your loans.

It is reprehensible that any college would charge so much for a nursing degree because this amount of debt is disproportional to the expected salary of a nurse. Have you looked into any loan repayment programs such as those offered to nurses who agree to work in IHS (Indian Health Services) hospitals?

I will be looking into loan repayment programs as I hunt for employment. I dont want my dad paying anything on it. My consolidation will help out with things. My school was VERY expensie and did not offer very much financial aid. Tuition kept rising as I attended.

itsmejuli

Specializes in Home Care.

I know hindsight is 20/20, but what were you thinking?

$100k amortized over 30 years at 6.8% interest makes your payments around $650 a month. And if you try to pay it off over 10 years your payments will be $1100 a month.

Perhaps you should look at nursing in the military, Indian health service, or something along those lines that may have student loan repayment assistance.

Or disappear

This is why people need to think long and hard about the school they choose. That amount of debt is just crazy!

ok, any education nowadays is super expensive I myself have a ton of federal loans and private loans and I was subsidized with grant money. Without my parents help with a parent plus loan I never would have been able to go to college at all, let alone go on to the RN program I'm currently in. Most people I know with students loan are paying upwards of 1000 dollars a month. OP, I know for federal perkins, stafford loans you can say you are not making enough money (with a ton of valid proof) and they will allow you to defer (I've done it, and my brother has). I would talk to the bank you have your private loan through about repayment options they may be willing to work with you but technically since your dad cosigned I'm sure they will be relying more on his financial ability to repay than solely on yours. I would be careful about how you cosolidate your loans as this may make you ineligible for loan repayment programs later. Most loan repayment programs work only for the healthcare training portion of your loan, so if you have debt from another degree that won't be repaid through the program. I would double check but my understanding is that you need to keep the costs separate to get the qualifying loans repaid. Good luck!! Let us know how it goes!

Up2nogood RN, RN

Specializes in pulm/cardiology pcu, surgical onc.

My only advice is to get any kind of job and start paying this loan asap.

I do have loans and always pay extra towards the principle monthly.

You might try what previous posts suggested about repayment assistance but I've not seen facilities offering loan assistance since the economy took a downturn.

I really dont need criticism. I am ineligible for the military *I am a severe asthmatic*. I will look into Indian hospitals. Most physicians end up in at least $250,000 of debt and struggle upon getting out of medical school.

I am going to work hard and do what I can to get on top of these loans.

Read Dave Ramsey's books. Any of them. Get out of debt today.

Travel nursing comes to mind, and frankly it might pay similarly well enough to pay off your loans pretty quickly, if you get some marketable experience first.

Kudos to you for expecting to pay off your loans rather than looking to your dad.

Good luck.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

I would also consider living at home with you parents for a few years and saving on rent. (Pay them some rent, but it would be less than living on your own.) Almost every penny you make for the next few years has to go towards those loans -- at least until you get them below $50K. If you defer them, the interest will skyrocket the total amount you owe very quickly.

dudette10, MSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Academics. Has 10 years experience.

I know hindsight is 20/20, but what were you thinking?

My alma mater for my first round of school prided itself on being an "affordable four-year university," and it still does. It's one of the cheapest bachelor's degree-conferring schools in the state.

Based on their website, the "annual cost of attendance" is $20K and change. That's $80K for four years, in-state tuition, at a no-name school.

Education in the 21st century ain't cheap.

Read Dave Ramsey's books. Any of them. Get out of debt today.

Travel nursing comes to mind, and frankly it might pay similarly well enough to pay off your loans pretty quickly, if you get some marketable experience first.

Kudos to you for expecting to pay off your loans rather than looking to your dad.

Good luck.

Thank You for the advice. In no way to I expect him to pay...they are my responsibility and something I want to take care of.

I would also consider living at home with you parents for a few years and saving on rent. (Pay them some rent, but it would be less than living on your own.) Almost every penny you make for the next few years has to go towards those loans -- at least until you get them below $50K. If you defer them, the interest will skyrocket the total amount you owe very quickly.

I live at home now. It is just me and my dad. Oh believe I will be working hard to get them GONE ;)

evolvingrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice.

I assume you have a partner of some support since you said "we do not make much money" so i will suggest live off your partner's salary. I came out with 30 thousand in debt and graduated in may, didn't find a job until july and will have my loan paid off in april . all of my checks for the most part go to my loans. My dh does okay but we don't do a lot of extras, no cable , no smartphones, no health clubs ect..... those things are for people who aren't in debt :) and not paying those monthy bills lets us really hit the loan each month.

. Good luck and Congrats on passing the NCLEX

linearthinker, DNP, RN

Specializes in FNP. Has 25 years experience.

My sons undergrad degree will end up costing more than 100K, and he's a liberal arts major, lol. We believe that college education is the responsibility for the parents, so we saved and paid for it for him (as we will for all his siblings), and I have no regrets. You cannot put a price on education. Lots of young people blow money on stupid things like cars and iphones instead of investing in the best education they can buy, so I say kudos to you and congratulations.

What you can do is consolidate those loans and I have read that the loan reform put into practice this year was putting a cap on the amount you could be charged/month. I think it is also prorated according to income. Call your lender.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

Based on their website, the "annual cost of attendance" is $20K and change. That's $80K for four years, in-state tuition, at a no-name school..

Most of the time, they also figure living expenses, technology expenses, and books in "annual cost of attendance." I doubt $80K is tuition ONLY.

Hey someone who is in the exact same situation as me! I know how awful it is being saddled with this much debt and just starting out in life. If I could do it over, I would have made different decisions, but I can't change it now, so I just have to face the music and accept it. Here are my tips:

*If you dont have a job yet, get a loan forbearance. Contact your loan companies and they should be able to provide you with the paperwork. Most loan companies allow 1-2 years of forbearance, where you don't make payments due to financial hardship.

*Definitely consolidate, and when you apply for consolidation, pick an extended payment plan. This will lower your monthly payment.

*Take 6 credits of classes through a cheap community college/online, especially if you need any classes to maybe get a master's in the future. (For instance, I need stats for an MSN, so I'm taking that right now). 6 credits of college coursework will allow you defer your loans, and you're working on advancing your career anyway!

*Try to get a job at the VA. I'm not sure 100% on this but I was told they have loan repayment assistance for employees.

*Once you have a job, repay your highest interest loans first. If you consolidate you will only have one interest rate. But if you have federal and private loans, pay off the private loans first. Make the minimum payments on the low interest loans, and pay off as much as you can toward the highest interest loans each month.

*As someone else mentioned, if you can live anywhere for free, do it! With a family member or parents etc. This will allow you to pump as much money into your loans as possible. Even if you only could do this for a year or two, it would allow you to potentially take a big chunk of debt away before you have rent/mortgage payments. If you can't live for free anywhere, get an apartment with roommates.

*Don't try to pretend it doesnt exist and not make payments. This only makes the situation worse (which I'm sure you know).

*Don't rack up other debt (credit cards, financing big purchases). It can be tempting to use credit cards to buy things you want when you're feeling restricted, but stay away!

*Live frugally. This is easier said than done and I'm not saying live on ramen noodles, but think of ways that you could cut back. This means things like no Starbucks, manicures, vacations, buying things on a whim etc. Really stick to a budget. I found that I was spending way more of my money than I thought each month on things like eating out, and getting impulse buys at the grocery store or Target. Now I limit how much money I can spend on certain things per month, and when it's gone, it's gone.

Once you find a job it will seem a lot better too, but it's hard in this economy especially, to be looking for a job and feeling trapped and hopeless. I know it sucks, but hang in there and know you're not alone :)

nursynurseRN

Specializes in TELEMETRY. Has 12 years experience.

I just passed NCLEX and am busy looking for employment. It is very hard to find jobs in NC right now for nurses. I have HUGE private student loans, at least $100,000. I attended a private college and nursing program that was very expensive. I just applied for a private loan consolidation.

My dad was my cosigner and that was a huge help. Are there any tips or advice you guys can give about working on paying these off? Any programs to use? We do not make a lot of money and my dad could never afford these payments alone. I will be getting a job of course ;)

Any advice would be great!

I too have about 80000 dollars in school loans... Best best is to pay that first before buying that new car or moving out. Live like you were still anursing student untill u get those loans down.

I assume you have a partner of some support since you said "we do not make much money" so i will suggest live off your partner's salary. I came out with 30 thousand in debt and graduated in may, didn't find a job until july and will have my loan paid off in april . all of my checks for the most part go to my loans. My dh does okay but we don't do a lot of extras, no cable , no smartphones, no health clubs ect..... those things are for people who aren't in debt :) and not paying those monthy bills lets us really hit the loan each month.

. Good luck and Congrats on passing the NCLEX

I did not mean to put "we"...it is just me. My dad told me he WANTS to help me but I really dont want him doing that.

My sons undergrad degree will end up costing more than 100K, and he's a liberal arts major, lol. We believe that college education is the responsibility for the parents, so we saved and paid for it for him (as we will for all his siblings), and I have no regrets. You cannot put a price on education. Lots of young people blow money on stupid things like cars and iphones instead of investing in the best education they can buy, so I say kudos to you and congratulations.

What you can do is consolidate those loans and I have read that the loan reform put into practice this year was putting a cap on the amount you could be charged/month. I think it is also prorated according to income. Call your lender.

Thank you so much and I will give them a call! ;)

Most of the time, they also figure living expenses, technology expenses, and books in "annual cost of attendance." I doubt $80K is tuition ONLY.

Mine was $22,000 a year and that was tuition ONLY!