I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, etc.)

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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby TomatoTomahto » Fri May 17, 2013 9:45 am

That's a fascinating chart, YttriumNitrate.
In addition to the income, debt, and time issues, I know very few happy lawyers (tax or other). My sister (who gave up being a lawyer for woodworking!) always told me that I would have loved law school but hated the actual work of most lawyers.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby Bob's not my name » Fri May 17, 2013 9:50 am

All the lawyers I know are happy. I know quite a few.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby TomatoTomahto » Fri May 17, 2013 9:57 am

Happy or unhappy, law school is IMHO not a good choice for OP.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby ieee488 » Fri May 17, 2013 11:13 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:Happy or unhappy, law school is IMHO not a good choice for OP.


Anything where he is going to have to incur even more debt is not a good choice.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby 2stepsbehind » Fri May 17, 2013 11:37 am

OP what was your gpa and how good are you at standardized tests? If your answers aren't above 3.5 and above 95% (for both the higher the better) I would not put law school in your mix of options. Doctors can speak w/r/t their field, but given you didn't come into this thread saying "I want to be a doctor, how can I make this happen?" I would strike this option off your list (long road ahead which really requires dedication).

I believe nurses still make good money particularly if you are willing to work hard and are flexible as to where you work, but others may have more information. I'd be a bit wary about pursing a paralegal career given the amount of attorneys who are out of work (many of whom are applying for paralegal positions) but if you could do a short course for close to free, it might be worth the gamble. No on journalist, no on "investor", see above on tax lawyer. Did you score in the 98% or above on standardized tests? Did you go to a super elite school? If not, you likely won't be able to get many clients for test prep or tutoring.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby volleyballfwtx » Fri May 17, 2013 11:58 am

I Paid Off $90,000 of Debt in Just Three Years - LearnVest
http://www.learnvest.com/2013/01/i-paid ... ree-years/

You're going to have to get creative, good luck.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby StormShadow » Fri May 17, 2013 1:17 pm

bayview wrote:My daughter, who is one of the three most frugal people I know, has $270K in student loans, and that's just from med school. Undergraduate was paid for by her (via scholarships and work/ study) and me, the National Bank of Mom, other than a tiny loan that she paid off long ago. She lived far under the posted budget for med school, or it would have been far worse.

She's in family medicine.

She plans to go into underserved areas (rural and immigrant medicine), because that's what she believes in and wants to do, but she and her husband plan to pay off the loans on their own, because the waiting period is so long before the loan reimbursement kicks in, and they have no faith that the program will still be around by then.

Not to get too far off track, but at least your daughter has some options as a physician. There are many jobs in the country that offer student loan-compensation. And conveniently, most of them happen to be at rural areas of the country. I'm sure she must know about this, if not then she should consider contacting a physician recruiter asap. If she or her husband already happen to come from a small town already, she might just contact their local hospitals and see if they have a similar offer.

She could also pursue a job as a commissioned officer in the US Public Health Service which also provides some student loan repayment. Again, she would be assigned to work in an underserved area. Like the military, if she worked for 20 years she would also qualify for a pension.
http://www.usphs.gov/profession/physician/

Don't underestimate the cost of a medical school education these days, and balance that against what's happening in reimbursement in medicine these days, especially in the primary care areas.

+1
Those of you who do decide to pursue medical school (or law school, or dental school... etc), continue to live within your means throughout your training. Borrow the absolute minimum that you have to.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby whoopsy » Fri May 17, 2013 6:55 pm

So, in conclusion, my best options are: 1. Make more money. 2. Bankruptcy. 3. Remain hopeful.

Everything else has been addressed either in the topic or in replies: 7pm 5/14, 5/16 at 7:45am and 8:15am. And on 5/17 at 1:46am.

Thank you all for your suggestions. I read them all, and will continue to read anything additional.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby Juniper » Fri May 17, 2013 7:17 pm

You forgot - 1a. Reduce expenses.

For instance searching for "studio" and <$500 on Chicago Craigslist returned 193 listings just now. Remember how many months sooner the debt can be paid with $500 extra/month? Freedom about 15 years earlier than your current pace. Just sayin'.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby ieee488 » Fri May 17, 2013 7:40 pm

Juniper wrote:You forgot - 1a. Reduce expenses.

Which is the one thing one has the greatest control over.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby whoopsy » Fri May 17, 2013 8:25 pm

Juniper wrote:You forgot - 1a. Reduce expenses.

For instance searching for "studio" and <$500 on Chicago Craigslist returned 193 listings just now. Remember how many months sooner the debt can be paid with $500 extra/month? Freedom about 15 years earlier than your current pace. Just sayin'.


Budget is listed and explained at 7pm on 5/14. Certainly there are cheaper rent prices that turn out to be more expensive once you factor in: That I am saving money by using a kitchen (not included in most studios), not driving (thanks to location and disability), heat, laundry, air conditioning, and storage are included, no roommates which means I don't have to pay extra rent or pay to move when they move out, have quiet neighbors which means I can work more since I am able to sleep at night (the old $50k was including overtime), and enough space that I can stay at home for days and not go insane or spend money. And that it's not a summer sublet which are usually way below market value but leave you open to peak rent prices come fall.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby tuckeverlasting » Sat May 18, 2013 5:56 pm

Google "permanent and total disability student loans". Note you only have to be disabled for 5 years for this to be applicable.

You can cancel your federal student loans based on a permanent and total disability. All
federal loan borrowers are eligible for this discharge. Parents with PLUS loans may
apply based on their own disabilities, not those of their children.
In order to qualify, you must be unable to work and earn money because of an illness or
injury that is expected to result in death, expected to last for a continuous period of not
less than 60 months (5 years) or has lasted for a continuous period of not less than 60
months. This is a new standard that went into effect on July 1, 2010.


http://www.studentloanborrowerassistanc ... bility.pdf

Good luck OP, and apologies if this does not apply to you or was previously mentioned. I would not give up, there has to be a way.
It's Good To Be A Boglehead.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby lostInFinance » Sat May 18, 2013 6:08 pm

Long term, you might want to move to a state such as Florida or Texas that is very pro-debtor in its laws.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby RyeWhiskey » Sun May 19, 2013 12:40 am

I don't have any solutions for you man, I just want to say that I'm proud that you're making this effort and wish you all the best.

Oh, and you mentioned your diet earlier [OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]

Anyhow. That had nothing to do with your loans. But food is important. And stay hydrated. Good luck. :sharebeer
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby enc0re » Tue May 21, 2013 10:27 pm

Please update the OP so that we don't have to hunt around for information.

For the public debt, you'll clearly want to do some combination of IBR and/or forgiveness programs. Your private debt on the other hand leaves only three options:

1. The frugal of frugalist lifestyles to pay it off. (That always works. So start today.)
2. 'Fleeing' the country. (I love this place and wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Others have an easier time saying goodbye.)
3. [Inappropriate advice removed by admin LadyGeek]
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby LadyGeek » Wed May 22, 2013 4:38 pm

Please remember that new investors cannot tell the difference between actual investing advice and investing humor. I removed enc0re's #3 suggestion assuming it was humorous advice that could easily be misinterpreted by a new investor. If it was serious advice (possible fraud), we don't allow that, either. :wink:
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby harrychan » Wed May 22, 2013 6:34 pm

OP, First I applaud you in making an attempt to improve your situation. I coached someone about 2-3 years ago who was 10 years my senior but decided to quit his job and pursue creating Japanese anime cartoons. Needless to say that didn't pan out and ended up volunteering for anime expos for some 7-8 years until he got his act together. Now, he is making decent money and slowly accumulating wealth. Don't give up. I would 2nd the opinion to start doing private tutoring perhaps to some foreign students. Go to any local universities and request to put your ad up for private tutor. As long as you are able to present yourself professionally and meet in a public area (starbucks, etc) you should be fine. You may be able to charge upwards of $30-50 / hour. I would be very wary of accumulating more debt unless you can go to school for free (community college / state schools).
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby tom0153 » Thu May 23, 2013 12:44 am

Follow this woman on Facebook, look for opportunities to interface with her to ask her how you might find additional information about the status and nature of your loans, and what might be possible: https://www.facebook.com/studentloanexpert?fref=ts She has a lot of good and appropriate links for you to pursue.

SSD has a program called "Ticket to Work." You can explore what those opportunities are, and see how you can experiment with returning to work, without becoming disqualified for benefits. Use the ssa.gov search engine using that term, as well as "Redbook." It is called that because the book that they used to publish was red. Now it is online.

The Ticket to Work program also works in conjunction with the various states' departments of labor, and host employment related assistance at what used to be called unemployment centers. Now, they are more focused on help. You would want a referral to appropriate assistance. For this, it is likely a social service agency that works with SSA that can help.

You are in a position to ask SSA which social service agencies can be of assistance to you. You may not get a great deal of good financial advice, maybe, but you can obtain practical assistance. I understand how such folks may not have been able to properly advise you when you were aging out of the social service system, but I think they can offer practical help that you can easily judge in terms of quality and sincerity. You'll know if you are getting some kind of run around.

I applaud you for attempting to stay current on your loans. You want to continue to explore ways to reduce current outlays, so that at some point, you will not need repay the full amount of what was likely an error in those who were providing you with advice all those years ago. I believe you should have been able to continue on with school without having to lay out all of that debt, and I do not believe that you would have been so directed today - but I know for a fact that depending on the school, etc, there is no doubt that stuff like that was going on (folks here labeled it as a scam). This is why the US DOE had to work so hard to put the for profit schools out of business where they were making money off of the guaranteed loans without ever providing the educational services.

I am happy that you got to meet some kind folks here, and I'm glad that the moderators have stepped in. If folks have the urge to feel important by giving you silly advice, maybe they should take a vacation from the forums for a few days to rest up.
Best, Tom
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