I got the letter and have 30 days to accept or decline. The Pell Grant of $925 a term is just enough to cover 6 or 7 credits and books. So thus far I have not accepted a loan.
I have been offered $875 a term for a total of $2,625 of Fed Sub Direct Loan, and $2,000 a term for a total of $6,000 for Fed Unsub Direct Loan. If what I found is correct, the Subsidized loan is at 3.4% and the Unsubsidized loan is 6.8%.
$2,625 @ 3.4%
$6,000 @ 6.8%
Payments starts 6 months after enrollment drops below half-time.
The only reason I am even considering a loan this year is to get over this hump. I cannot say that a future job would result in a higher hourly rate. Currently I make $16.50 an hour, 3% goes into retirement (which is matched) and employer pays health and dental premiums for entire family. Long-term my hopes is for a good salary and to retire from a job I love (I am 44 and do not forsee retiring young), but right now with only an associates or transfer degree on the immediate horizon, I have to be realistic.
I am well aware if I can't live within my means, a loan, in the long run, would be fruitless.
My CC is currently at 13.7% (aprox. $14,000. I am up for review in August, so still crossing my fingers to get that lowered.) Monthly payment around $300, of which $150 is interest. Sickening, I know.
Auto loan is at 7.99% (approx. $2,850 principal) Monthly payment of $177
Transmision loan is at 17% (approx. $2,400 principal) Monthly payment of $83
Medical bills, interest free - $970 to 5 providers plus guessing around $500 for physical therapist so far. Have not recieved a bill yet. Been sending in $25 a month to each one. PT wants $50 a month. That would be $175 monthly for a minimum of 6 more months. Of course, will probably always be some kind of medical bills.
Letter is dated July 18th, so I do have time to see what my CC company does with the interest.
My income tax refund has been around $5,000-$6,000. So could estimate even as low $4,000 - $5,000.
Up until a year ago, I was able to get by with my tax refund. Surgery, transmission and new insurance policies is what has put me over the edge. BTW, I am not trying to get out of increasing my income.
The silver lining in this dark cloud? With a maxed out CC you can't overspend!
Maybe I am delusional and just want a quick fix. Even so, it helps to put this kind of stuff out there for clarily. It is either makes sense, or I am insane. Either way it makes a decision easier.