CRNA debt load, plus mortgage, kids, single income - page 2

I've been reading many of the threads here re: tuition debt load, but I still feel compelled to ask - is anyone else in this situation? I'm speculating about CRNA school. I'm an ICU nurse with four... Read More

  1. by   gabookworm
    The Nurse Corps scholarship program is available to CRNAs. Same website, different scholarship.
  2. by   gabookworm
    You're not alone, @denver nurse. Between my husband and me, we have ~125K in student loan debt, and I haven't even started my BSN yet. (( Also, childcare for three children (younger than school-age) would cost about as much as one of our incomes, so we choose to be a one-income family out of necessity as much as anything else. I'm dealing with schoolwork when he's not at work, so opposite schedules aren't an option either. It's a tough juggle, but I'm blessed to have a supportive partner.
  3. by   jakeb
    I worked full time nights shifts for five years through my undergrad education so I wouldn't ever be chained to a giant ball of debt. I would contemplate shooting myself if I had a couple hundred grand tied up in a nursing degree. Those nights shifts were absolutely worth it now.
  4. by   NurseLay
    Quote from simvee
    I've been reading many of the threads here re: tuition debt load, but I still feel compelled to ask - is anyone else in this situation? I'm speculating about CRNA school. I'm an ICU nurse with four years' experience.

    I have a mortgage (not much equity). We're a single income home and we have kids. Everything depends on me. I have no other debts - no car loan, no tuition debt (thank God ADN programs still exist), minimal credit cards. Probably entering an RN-BSN program this year so we're talking at least two years before entry. Living in the Chicago area, it looks like school costs between $50k to $78k. I would need cost of living loans, I'm sure, for at least one to two years. That would be, I don't really know - $50,000 a year?

    So I'm looking at $150,000 to $170,000 in student loan debt before graduation. Looking at loan calculators, paying off that much in ten years would be $1700 a month or more! That's a mortgage payment! An SRNA friend tells me that his school maintains their new grads earn about $170,000 in Chicago. I don't know if they're just feeding him a line.

    Honestly I don't know - is the investment worth it? It's scary with everything hinging on my income - to go without income for two years, and accumulate that much debt. I'm pretty certain, barring tragedy, I'd graduate.

    How's the job field looking in 2013?


    It's possible. I am going back this Fall, I have a car note, I have a two year old and a spouse who has a year left before finishing school. I already have about 40k in undergraduate loans. Do I think it is worth it, absolutely.
  5. by   denver nurse
    Quote from chudder
    If you're going to try for tuition reimbursement and a high salary, might as well get out of Florida now instead of later...
    I will be exiting florida the second i graduate...hopefully find a private practice or something that supports the hrsa loan repayment program and start hacking at the debt. I am really interested in working for myself eventually and figuring out the billing and such.
  6. by   CPhT2RNstudent
    Quote from detroitdano
    Yeah, it's nauseating to think about. But I try not to think about it too much. I'm working two jobs right now before I start school and I'm finally stashing away enough to be comfortable but I still need loans.

    Make yourself feel better and go check out job postings on gasworks. Minimum starting seems to be about $140K. Even taxed to death at 30% or 35%, you're still looking at a nice salary, enough to throw plenty at your student loans and enough for a mortgage and reasonable living expenses. I plan on tossing $3K at bare minimum each month towards loans once I'm out, and hopefully picking up some OT and getting them knocked out quickly.

    Some food for thought. Government loans are not a bottomless pit you can keep going back to. Aggregate limit for independent graduate students is ~$139K, with no more than $66K being subsidized (Stafford) loans.

    Alternative loans exist, albeit not many of 'em. Wells Fargo Medcap is a good program and I have a friend using them right now and she had no issues with getting the money she needed to move away for school. Stellar credit is a must, so make sure you've got all that in order.

    Don't let money discourage you. I don't know how anyone can be deterred from such an awesome career when the alternative is being at the bedside for another 30, 40 or 50 years LOL. It's totally worth every penny!
    You can still get grad plus government loans beyond the stafford limits. They are credit based though.
  7. by   CPhT2RNstudent
    What about food stamps and other assistance? You know you will be paying a ton into those programs after you graduate. The student may not qualify, but the spouse and family might.
  8. by   nursejilly2005
    I am in the same boat with loans already. I didn't work during my ADN program and am just finishing up my RN to BSN and total debt will be around $75000 probably. With CRNA debt added in it will equal about $225000. I ask myself if it is worth it all the time and I think it will be. Just hoping I can live modestly and not go crazy once I graduate!
  9. by   Spoiled1
    This is off topic, but how do you manager to still work PRN? Just curious. Thanks.
    Quote from Rd2CRNA
    Thinking about what you will owe in loans once done with school is definitely a scary thing! I will be around $160,000 when done. It's almost nauseating to think about. But it is worth it in the end. I have days where I think, "What am I doing to myself?" Then I go back into my ICU prn to work a 12 and say, "Oh yes, this is why I'm in anesthesia school." You realize that you don't want to be that old grumpy ICU nurse that has been there for 25 years and is stuck there being miserable while all the young nurses go off to school. Honestly, it is a large chunk of change, but you can still live comfortably even if your loans are a mortgage payment. With what you make per month, you can pay down your loans quickly. Also, some hospitals will pay back some of your loans if you sign a contract to work for them. If being a CRNA is your ultimate goal, go for won't be disappointed!
  10. by   naptime14
    I was very PRN! I mostly went back on holidays and worked some 12 hours shifts here and there. Didn't work much at all. Got to be nearly impossible by senior year. I eventually ended up re-signing in my unit.