School Loans

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2003
School Loans
8
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 9:26am
Hello,

I am in desperate need of advice from anyone who may be in the same situation or may know anything about the hardship of paying school loans.

I am 30 years old and have a Master's Degree. However, as luck would have it, I have been unemployed twice in the last 2 and a half years, and yesterday marked one year since my last lay off. My boyfriend and I have begun talking about the future: engagement, marriage, kids, and the issue of school loans came up. Needless to say, I told him how much I owed (in excess of $90,000) and he went into shock. He is from Europe and the notion of this much debt is completely foreign to him. I have explained to him that this is just the way it is in the US, but he doesn't understand and I don't blame him. He is panicking to the point where he says we'll never be able to have kids, we'll never be able to buy a house, etc.

Does anyone out there have any advice for me as to how best to manage this debt? I can only hope and assume that I will be employed again soon and that things will be back to normal. I have called the lenders and they say I have 60 months of forbearance left.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you

Avatar for cl_phocid
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: arugny
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 11:39am
Have you checked out the Student Loans board here on iVillage?

http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-mlschoolloan

Once you get a job, make these loans your #1 debt priority (provided you don't also have cc debt at a higher interest rate). Paying my student loans has been one of my biggest struggles, but when they're finally paid off, they'll be a tremendous accomplishment.

Oh - you might also want to check in with the folks on the Money and Relationships board - http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-mlrelations It sounds like you and your bf need to talk about this - and I don't think "this is just the way it is in the US" is going to cut it. Maybe if you could show him your earning potential compared to your expenses and show that you should have the loans paid off by year X, that will help? It sounds like he's a financially stable person who doesn't want to raise a family with so much debt. If you make these loans your priority once you're employed, perhaps his fears will be put aside?

HTH

Danni

All my best,
Danni

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2003
In reply to: arugny
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 11:57am
Thank you, Danni, for your advice.

I wish it was that simple. Like I said in my posting, I am still unemployed but hopeful (for what it's worth).

When my loans go back into repayment, they will be over $1000 a month. That is scary.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
In reply to: arugny
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 6:10pm
Yes, sweetie, it is scary! But there you are! You have gotten yourself into this debt and now you have to work to get yourself out. At $90,000 it is going to take you awhile. Your bf makes a good point, it is going to be hard for you to make a house payment and come up with funds for children. But I believe you can do this. Just make a plan, take any job you can get, take two jobs, live as frugally as you can and sock every penney into that debt. I don't know about where you are but here you cannot include student loans in a bankruptcy so the only thing you can do is stay the course.

I feel bad for you because I bet you ran those student loans up when you were young and unaware of how it would affect you. I really think that if your bf sees you assuming responsibility (and I don't think it sounds responsible to say that this is the way it is in America - everyone does not do this - you have to accept that you made these choices and will do what you need to to make it right again ) he will find a way to make your relationship work.

I hope you are here often and share your efforts with us. We support you 100% and know you can beat this. I've paid back $52,000 in three years. I'm going to include my welcome letter for you. Keep coming back!

You have found a supportive group of people who have "been there and done that." Here at the DSG we offer lots of emotional support to one another as we struggle to get out of debt. Each person has found their own way of doing this and has much to share to help a newcomer.

We have a weekly check-in on Mondays. Try to be sure that you check-in then as well as posting often and becoming a part of our caring community. Please check out all the other Money boards as well. Many newbies find the Debt Questions and Answers Board to be an important source of information as they are starting out.

I urge you to visit http://www.quicken.com/planning/debt/ and use the Quicken Debt Reduction Planner to calculate how long it will take you to get out of debt with a reasonable payment plan. http://www.debtorsanonymous.org is a valuable website for understanding this affliction of compulsive debting. I have found http://www.flylady.net to be an important source of help for simplifying my life and dealing with the blues and a general sense of depression that I struggled with when deep in debt. And lastly I always ask people to check out http://www.cheapskatemonthly.com, Mary Hunt's website is a source of much helpful information and inspiration.

We are glad you joined our group! We welcome you with open arms and hope that you come back often.

cl-12by10

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: arugny
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 10:24am
I dont know if this will help or not but have you looked into consolidating all your student loans? If you do that you can usually reduce your payment in half. I did it with mine and my payment was cut in half. Go to www.collegeloans.com and check their site out. Thats where I did mine through. Im sure you can do it through whom ever you pay though.

Good Luck

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2003
In reply to: arugny
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 11:05am
Thank you so much for your kind words.

Of course I didn't take out these loans to throw myself a party or to travel around the world! I earned a Master's degree and completed one year in a doctoral program when I finally realized that I couldn't do it financially. I'm glad I did! I found a wonderful job then, and although I have had to go through 2 layoffs, including right now, I have absolute confidence in my ability and my brains that I will get through this period of unemployment.

I tried to contact the Consumer Credit Counseling Service, but they don't deal with secured student loans.

I begged Sallie Mae to help, but the lowest my payments can go is down to about 705 (vs 1050). They are already consolidated in their Smart Loan program at a whopping 8.1% (I was really nauseous when I found out that the rates are now hovering around 3%). The only thing I can think of now is adding an old Perkins loan into the mix. I only have about 2000 left on that, but it's at 5% and if I add it in, they'll average the rates. Would that make a difference?

My biggest heartache is with regards to my boyfriend of one year. Despite all of this, we are very much in love. We have met each other's family and everyone is looking forward to a pending engagement. And now this. He feels wronged. He feels that I wasn't honest with him by hiding it. I am so sad. My heart is broken. And everyone is telling me to let him cool off, to let him absorb it and accept it, and not to call him. But it's so hard. We have known each other, as friends first, for over a year and a half. We are best friends. And not a day has passed that we haven't spoken to each other, no matter where we are in the world.

Please help.

Thank you so much.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
In reply to: arugny
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 11:24am
I totally know how you feel. My debt is over 40,000, but I don't have my master's degree. I have been in forebearance for a while and know that I will have to start paying soon. i am in the social service field, so of course I don't make much $. I am also not in a relationship, and I am afraid my debt will affect any relationship I have. I wish I had some advice, but please know that you are not alone!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
In reply to: arugny
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 8:33pm
I urge you both to post on the Money and Relationships Board! The cls there have tons of good help too. We have to convey to significant others that we are responsible and we will dedicate ourselves to getting those debts paid in full. We had tons of student loans when my husband and I married and he still had to get them for two years after we married. Eventually he had a high income and we paid them all back but it took 13 years. You can do it! You will get better jobs.

I have been utterly amazed as I have worked with the books Debt Proof Living by Mary Hunt and How to Get Out of Debt Stay Out of Debt and Live Prosperously by Jerrold Mundis how the situation began to change when I followed their plan. I also encourage you to go to Debtor's Anonymous Meetings. The information there really helps and your bf can see tangible evidence that you are dedicated to a solution.

I've seen people do lots of creative things. I had a client once who got a second job in the evening and she worked it and paid all that money only on her debts. Once you get a little bit ahead of the situation everybody feels a lot better.

Enough said. Big hugs to both of you! And one final note, marriage involves trust and acceptance. Your bf needs to work to forgive you for being less than honest and risk trusting you. Good luck!

cl-12by10

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2003
In reply to: arugny
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 11:04am
Thank you so much. I will try my hardest to do whatever I can.

Last night, he told me that we needed to take a 2 week break so that I could formulate a plan and he could figure out what would be best in the long run for his career. I don't know what this means. The love of my life doesn't want to see me for two weeks. I feel rejected.