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 Cash » Thu May 16, 2013 7:26 am

Bob's not my name wrote:
wander wrote:With 7% interest, $1,000 a month should not make any progress at all since what you are paying is less than the interest.
whoopsy wrote:Half of that is non-federal at about 7% interest variable.

I am currently paying around $1000 a month on student loans and am making little progress. About half goes to interest.
This is a math-challenged thread. Mostly because we don't know the OP's true situation so we're all guessing.


+1. I also have trouble figuring out why the OP has $200k in debt from 5 years of college 15 years later. What has the OP been doing for the past 15 years? I agree with Emergdoc that your major 15 years ago should not define what you are doing now unless you decided to make a career of it. There's not much of a career to be made in English, but an English major can certainly find jobs and move up the career ladder over 15 years. Undoubtedly, some poor decisions completely unrelated to an English major have been made in the interim.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby ProfessorX » Thu May 16, 2013 7:28 am

whoopsy, or the OP, has two total posts on this forum. Both of them in this topic. And he has not come back to this topic since two days ago?
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby whoopsy » Thu May 16, 2013 7:45 am

ProfessorX wrote:whoopsy, or the OP, has two total posts on this forum. Both of them in this topic. And he has not come back to this topic since two days ago?


I'm reading.

I think my 2 best options are either: 1. Bankruptcy (even though I only have student loan debt), or 2. Finding a higher paying job, or better yet a career track, which will probably require a graduate degree. (#1 might prevent #2. And maybe #2 would prevent #1?) I considered teaching and the pay would NOT cover the private loan bills. Private student loans don't seem to be eligible for any kind of loan forgiveness so I would still have to pay that every month. My best way of making money so far has been with overtime, which means working for the same employer in a higher paying field. The loan forgiveness jobs that I found were low-paying and would not cover my private student loan bills. I am more than open to suggestions should there be anything I overlooked.

I really appreciate the suggestions so far. I am reading every single one of them.
Last edited by whoopsy on Thu May 16, 2013 5:23 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby RobInCT » Thu May 16, 2013 7:55 am

Some more information might be helpful here if you are looking for specific advice beyond making more money. For example:

Student loan 1: $xx,xxx, private, Sallie Mae, 7% variable
Student loan 2: $xx,xxx, subsidized Stafford, 5% fixed, currently in deferment
Student loan 3: $x,xxx, Perkins, 6% fixed
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby whoopsy » Thu May 16, 2013 8:02 am

RobInCT wrote:Some more information might be helpful here if you are looking for specific advice beyond making more money. For example:

Student loan 1: $xx,xxx, private, Sallie Mae, 7% variable
Student loan 2: $xx,xxx, subsidized Stafford, 5% fixed, currently in deferment
Student loan 3: $x,xxx, Perkins, 6% fixed


Roughly,

$100,000 at 7% variable - Sallie Mae Signature (non-federal) private student loans
$100,000 at 3% fixed (now) - Stafford consolidated (in school deferments are still available on all of my loans)
Last edited by whoopsy on Thu May 16, 2013 8:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Thu May 16, 2013 8:11 am

Why is Sallie Mae unable to adjust the 7% variable to a lower fixed rate? It's done for mortgages all the time through use of a swap. There is a cost for the swap, but that is usually nominal <$1,000. Have you tried to obtain a refinancing of the variable rate loan with another provider, say Discover or someone else?
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby whoopsy » Thu May 16, 2013 8:15 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:Why is Sallie Mae unable to adjust the 7% variable to a lower fixed rate? It's done for mortgages all the time through use of a swap. There is a cost for the swap, but that is usually nominal <$1,000. Have you tried to obtain a refinancing of the variable rate loan with another provider, say Discover or someone else?


I don't know why Sallie Mae won't adjust that. Their customer service is awful!!! Maybe I don't know how to request an adjustment correctly.

And yes, I have been trying to refinance. So far, despite my >700 credit score, no company has approved me for a consolidation. I'll keep trying. That would be ideal.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby HardKnocker » Thu May 16, 2013 8:17 am

Whoopsy,

Where did you go to college?
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby Valuethinker » Thu May 16, 2013 8:21 am

whoopsy wrote:
ProfessorX wrote:whoopsy, or the OP, has two total posts on this forum. Both of them in this topic. And he has not come back to this topic since two days ago?


I'm reading.

Since college, I've been making between 30k and 50k and paying about $1000 a month toward the private non-federal loans. The federal loans have been in a lot of deferments and forebearances. My financial scenario has been what I described in my last post, 7pm 5/14. I stayed at the 50k job for years trying to build an emergency fund before moving on. Then the disability happened. Hopefully that will subside by the end of the year. And that's another story.

I think my 2 best options are either: 1. Bankruptcy (even though I only have student loan debt),


Bankruptcy with US student loans does not protect you, AFAIK. You need a good lawyer here- -see the comments about 'onerous' loans. You'll have to persuade the courts this is onerous. A lot to rest on the mercy of one judge.

I would consider the bankrupcty route but only with good legal advice. If it is not going to significantly reduce your debt, then it is not a good option.

Another option is simply to accept in life you are going to be servicing this debt-- like an additional tax.

or 2. Finding a higher paying job, or better yet a career track, which will probably require a graduate degree. (#1 might prevent #2. And maybe #2 would prevent #1?) I considered teaching and the pay doesn't look like it will help the private loan problem where there's no loan forgiveness.


I am all for finding a better job, but don't take on more debt to do it. Qualifications don't teach you to do a job, they just get you a chance with an organization to learn how to do that job. At your age an MBA or whatever is not necessarily going to lead to a better job. Some kinds of certification (eg on CISCO or Microsoft software) might directly lead to higher paying work. Or start something in your spare time like a tutoring business, or fixing peoples PC problems.

If there are US Federal categories where you get loan forgiveness it is something to look into. Peace Corps is too stressful for someone of your age.

To be honest if you could get a secure government job (recognizing there are none such now) even at a relatively low income that might be your best alternative. The loan interest would be a tax on you for the rest of your life, but you would have civil service benefits, pension, healthcare etc. You would never create any wealth in your life, personally, but you would always have an income, a modest roof, enough to eat.

Despite what posters here suggest, the life of an international English teacher is low wages and difficult. Do not go to Dubai (in Dubai there is no bankruptcy law, they throw people in prison for undischarged debts). The international Cambridge TESL qualification is challenging, but recognized (you get a report book that you take with you from school to school). There may be others.

Expat life is anything but a breeze. We tend to see the high end, the people who have significant capital and/ or a home country income (eg pension-- police retire at 50) and move to Spain, Thailand, Goa or whatever. But there are always a set of desperately poor, often quasi-homeless foreigners living in these places, often 1 step ahead of the police. Think Humphrey Bogart in Treasure of Sierra Madre, begging from American visitors.

I want to express my sympathy to you. You basically got screwed by the system at a time when you were young and very vulnerable. In a way, as if someone had sold you off to a brothel or indentured servitude. Many of the posters here will be or are unsympathetic, but that is your situation and I do believe we cannot hold people overly accountable for ill informed choices they made when they were 18*. With more information presented (and a slightly less rueful or defensive tone) you might get more practical help than I can give (that's almost certainly the case re my thoughts).

Lay it out flat 'I am in a jam . Do you have any constructive suggestions'.

But this is how the system works, and you've got to work with it.

* the number of people who told me they were 'saved' at 18 from a life of crime and or poverty. Either by a mentor figure that steered them into some area where they found a calling, or by military service. Almost always there is a strong parental figure (parole officer, army sergeant, family friend, local shopkeeper who gave them an afterwork job) who substituted for what was not given by the real parents or the system.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby Bob's not my name » Thu May 16, 2013 8:53 am

Valuethinker wrote:You basically got screwed by the system at a time when you were young and very vulnerable.
Nope. The OP did not take out a $200,000 loan when he was 18 and the most expensive college cost $20,000/year and a homeless orphan could get financial aid.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby TomatoTomahto » Thu May 16, 2013 9:02 am

Bob's not my name wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:You basically got screwed by the system at a time when you were young and very vulnerable.
Nope. The OP did not take out a $200,000 loan when he was 18 and the most expensive college cost $20,000/year and a homeless orphan could get financial aid.


I have stayed off this thread because I have no advice, although I have some Valuethinker-style sympathy. I have a sense that this was a for-profit school that probably arranged loans for the OP, the higher the loan amount the more profit for the school. Many people, the financially unsophisticated armed forces member, the undereducated, the homeless without good counsel from family, etc. can fall victim to this (or, on a smaller scale, payday loans). The fact that someone in your family wouldn't have fallen for it does not mean it did not happen.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby Bob's not my name » Thu May 16, 2013 9:08 am

Scams are not "the system". "The system" sends people to college for free.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby Juniper » Thu May 16, 2013 9:49 am

whoopsy wrote:
Roughly,

$100,000 at 7% variable - Sallie Mae Signature (non-federal) private student loans
$100,000 at 3% fixed (now) - Stafford consolidated (in school deferments are still available on all of my loans)


Running the numbers with the 7% as fixed on Sallie Mae, and the Stafford not being paid but accumulating interest at 3% until private loans are paid, I get the following repayment times at various monthly payment levels:

Payment / Months to pay SallieMae / Months for total payoff
$1,000.00 151 332
$1,250.00 109 230
$1,500.00 85 178
$1,750.00 70 145
$2,000.00 60 123
$2,250.00 52 106
$2,500.00 46 94
$2,750.00 41 84
$3,000.00 38 76
$3,250.00 35 70
$3,500.00 32 64

So essentially, at your current rate you are looking at this debt until you collect social security, but if you could somehow trim expenses and/or increase income by $500 you will be debt free in your early 50s, and then have a lot of free cash flow to go back to a more conventional standard of living and/or save for retirement. Easier said than done I know, but not entirely impossible ... right? Alternatively, if you can't significantly increase your payment immediately maybe you can increase your payment by a nominal amount each month from the $1000 starting point. That would look like this:

Starting Payment /Incremental increase /Months to pay SallieMae / Months for total payoff
$1,000 $2.50 124 233
$1,000 $5 110 193
$1,000 $10 92 154
$1,000 $15 82 132
$1,000 $20 74 108
$1,000 $25 69 108
$1,000 $30 64 100
$1,000 $35 61 94
$1,000 $40 58 89
$1,000 $45 55 84
$1,000 $50 53 81

I also included the time to just payoff SallieMae, since at that point you probably could switch to an IBR on the Stafford loans. And remember to keep exploring refinancing every couple months, as progress is made more opportunities might come up.

I thought seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, however distant, might be of some help.

And please don't take on any more debt for graduate school!
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby chicagobear » Thu May 16, 2013 11:17 am

I would call up the lenders and say they have to reduce their balance and interest rate, and if they won't I would simply stop paying and not worry about it. Blood and turnips.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby EmergDoc » Thu May 16, 2013 11:37 am

So half the loans are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Incentive Based Repayment, no? I'd pursue that and try to increase your income to get rid of the rest.

I also have "Valuethinker-style" sympathy, but agree that all mistakes weren't made at 18, and besides, isn't 18 the age at which we become responsible for ourselves? I also have "Valuethinker-style" sympathy for a family practitioner with $500K in loans and don't see it as all that different from the OP.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby mmmodem » Thu May 16, 2013 12:14 pm

Emotion often gets in the way and clouds your judgements. Echoing others, it's a pretty simple 3 step course.
1. Look into bankruptcy. This is not likely to work. Talk to an expert.
2. Live way below your means. Rent a room from someone. Use prepaid cell phones. No Internet or cable. No eating out. Shop at goodwill. Use the bus or buy a clunker. You get no luxuries until the debt is repaid.
3. Pay it off. You don't state your current income whether you're working or not but assuming you can find a $50k job again, you can EASILY pay extra on your student loans. I have a $280k loan. I don't just make the minimum $1300. I plan to pay it off in 10 years. The loan is for my home and I make more than $50k but I also have 3 extra mouths to feed. I'd say being single with a $200k debt making $50k a year is cakewalk compared with the expenses I have making $70k a year.

And that's it. Don't take on any more loans. Don't use credit cards. No vacations. No gifts. When I was single making $50k a year I saved $20k in my 401k and Roth. Basically, I maxed out my retirement plans. That's about $1500 after tax dollars a month. People laughed at my beater car. People merrily went to lunch while I sat at my desk with a sandwich. The den I used as a bedroom at my parents house was loud at dinner time but it was free. I sent a gift instead if traveling to my friends far off wedding. So I see you easily paying off your debt by your late 40's which is still enough time to get married have children, buy a home and live the American life. It's not a dire situation at all.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby DVMResident » Thu May 16, 2013 1:04 pm

market timer wrote:In this situation, I'd probably move overseas to teach English.


+1 First thing I thought of too.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby Jack » Thu May 16, 2013 2:10 pm

EmergDoc wrote:I also have "Valuethinker-style" sympathy for a family practitioner with $500K in loans and don't see it as all that different from the OP.

How does a family practitioner acquire $500K in debt? Is that considered making irresponsible choices?
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Thu May 16, 2013 2:32 pm

[quote="EmergDoc"]I also have "Valuethinker-style" sympathy, but agree that all mistakes weren't made at 18, and besides, isn't 18 the age at which we become responsible for ourselves? [quote]

Where's "letsgobobby" with his frontal lobe analysis about immaturity of the mind until age 25? 18 the age of maturity? Ha! Just take a look at the first year babies in college - do they look mature to you? perhaps physically, mentally - a totally different story.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby Nahum » Thu May 16, 2013 2:37 pm

For the OP to move to another country would be the most extreme decision. I can only speak of El Salvador. Airfare is about $600 roundtrip. You would need a work permit, since you know english you can get a job at a call center, I think Dell operates one in San Salvador. Get yourself an A+ Certification, impress them with your english and you got $400 dollars/month which is pretty good over there (paid in US Dollars since that is the national currency). You can buy a nice house in the burbs in a gated community and pay no auto insurance because there are none. Gas prices are pretty much the same as here in the US, beautiful beaches, beautiful women or hard working men. Only cons are that there is a gangbanger problem in most of the country but if you don't travel too much at night and avoid marginalized areas you will be fine. Costa Rica or Nicaragua are better bets.Of course you would have to learn Spanish but if you apply yourself it is an easy language to learn. Eventhough there are now cellphone services, internet and cable services. Third world countries can limit electric and water usages

Stay positive, be hopeful. You need hope to pull you through this mess. Go to church or surround yourself with friends you love and trust. In life you meet unexpected surprises. Debt should not disqualify you from marraige, you may meet a very rich spouse, create a side business clean offices during the night, live on rice and beans and go extreme this situation may make you a stronger better person. Your not the only one who has over $200k in debt there are those who have no debt but struggle to find a $50k and up job but one would rather be in the latter situation. Wish you the best, stay hopeful
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby StormShadow » Thu May 16, 2013 2:59 pm

EmergDoc wrote:So half the loans are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Incentive Based Repayment, no? I'd pursue that and try to increase your income to get rid of the rest.

+1 this

Only thing is, OP needs to get a job at a non-profit to qualify for the PSLF. Can still do Income Based Repayment and eventually have the federal loans forgiven after 25 years.

More difficult is dealing with the private loans. I'd try to consolidate those and hopefully lock them into a lower interest rate. Then pay this down as aggressively as possible.

In the meantime, take whatever cost-cutting measures you can to pay down those private loans.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby guitarguy » Thu May 16, 2013 3:30 pm

StormShadow wrote:More difficult is dealing with the private loans. I'd try to consolidate those and hopefully lock them into a lower interest rate. Then pay this down as aggressively as possible.


Not to high-jack the thread, but what sort of options are even out there for consolidating private loans? I have $35k in variable rate private loans (currently 3% and under) and I'm worried about rates potentially rising before they're paid off.

Is it possible to lock in a similar low rate by consolidation??

From looking online, it's tough to find an actual answer to that question.

OP: Best wishes with whatever direction you decide to take.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby nonnie » Thu May 16, 2013 4:01 pm

EmergDoc wrote:I also have "Valuethinker-style" sympathy, but agree that all mistakes weren't made at 18, and besides, isn't 18 the age at which we become responsible for ourselves? I also have "Valuethinker-style" sympathy for a family practitioner with $500K in loans and don't see it as all that different from the OP.


Some of us have a more fortunate upbringing and history than others. Some of us have parents to teach us values, have our backs, etc; some of us have parents to live with at 18 and don't become homeless teenagers. I've done volunteer work in the foster care system for just these reason-- way too many of the kids in the foster care system not only are not well taken care of when in the system but are then kicked out at 18. Period. No help, no support, no place to eat or sleep, no nothing. Put yourself in those shoes--and the thinking you use is not the thinking you acquired with your upbringing, it the thinking and mindset you acquired in the foster care system.

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

Postby Patchy Groundfog » Thu May 16, 2013 4:05 pm

Do you have to live in an expensive city? In my city you could have a perfectly nice apartment (with a kitchen, even) for $800-900. If you have a roommate, paying $400 in rent frees up $600 a month towards the loans.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby EmergDoc » Thu May 16, 2013 4:19 pm

StormShadow wrote:
EmergDoc wrote:So half the loans are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Incentive Based Repayment, no? I'd pursue that and try to increase your income to get rid of the rest.

+1 this

Only thing is, OP needs to get a job at a non-profit to qualify for the PSLF. Can still do Income Based Repayment and eventually have the federal loans forgiven after 25 years.

More difficult is dealing with the private loans. I'd try to consolidate those and hopefully lock them into a lower interest rate. Then pay this down as aggressively as possible.

In the meantime, take whatever cost-cutting measures you can to pay down those private loans.


If he'd gone to work at a non-profit 10 years ago they'd be gone now. Given that he's presumably already made 15 years of payments, it's all the same going forward whether the forgiveness comes at 25 under IBR or 10 under PSLF.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby StormShadow » Thu May 16, 2013 5:25 pm

guitarguy wrote:
StormShadow wrote:More difficult is dealing with the private loans. I'd try to consolidate those and hopefully lock them into a lower interest rate. Then pay this down as aggressively as possible.

Not to high-jack the thread, but what sort of options are even out there for consolidating private loans? I have $35k in variable rate private loans (currently 3% and under) and I'm worried about rates potentially rising before they're paid off.

Is it possible to lock in a similar low rate by consolidation??

From looking online, it's tough to find an actual answer to that question.

To be honest, I don't know.

But one way to sort of do this is to via a HELOC. Take a home equity loan at a fixed rate and use this to pay off the private loan (assuming your private loan rate exceeds the going HELOC interest rate) .
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby whoopsy » Thu May 16, 2013 5:42 pm

EmergDoc wrote:
StormShadow wrote:
EmergDoc wrote:So half the loans are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Incentive Based Repayment, no? I'd pursue that and try to increase your income to get rid of the rest.

+1 this

Only thing is, OP needs to get a job at a non-profit to qualify for the PSLF. Can still do Income Based Repayment and eventually have the federal loans forgiven after 25 years.

More difficult is dealing with the private loans. I'd try to consolidate those and hopefully lock them into a lower interest rate. Then pay this down as aggressively as possible.

In the meantime, take whatever cost-cutting measures you can to pay down those private loans.


If he'd gone to work at a non-profit 10 years ago they'd be gone now. Given that he's presumably already made 15 years of payments, it's all the same going forward whether the forgiveness comes at 25 under IBR or 10 under PSLF.


As much as I wish this were a solution, I explained IBR was too expensive with my non-federal student loan payments of $1000 a month. I extensively looked into federal loan forgiveness which doesn't seem to pay enough to cover non-federal student loan bills.

I do not drive because of my medical condition. I do not own a cell phone (too expensive), or even a land line other than magicjack. I do not have cable. I do not eat out (because I have a kitchen now thankfully). And I really do live on re-hydrated beans, mac & cheese, rice a roni, ramon noodles, etc. I shop at a second hand store where I buy t-shirts for a dollar a pound. I've even gone to a financial adviser and a counselor, sat down with my budget, and asked for help finding additional items to cut or save money on. (My budget is listed on 5/14 at 7pm)

I am willing to put as much effort into this as it takes.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby awval999 » Thu May 16, 2013 5:51 pm

Whoopsy---

What is your opinion of teaching English as an ex-pat and never returning to the United States---- well for visits only?
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby nonnie » Thu May 16, 2013 8:28 pm

Bob's not my name wrote:I am currently paying around $1000 a month on student loans and am making little progress. About half goes to interest.
This is a math-challenged thread. Mostly because we don't know the OP's true situation so we're all guessing.

Could you elaborate on what we don't know about the OPs true situation? Do you mean all the details on why he hasn't paid the loan sooner?

I'm not talking directly to you "Bob" at all --only those responders to whom it applies. I sometimes find it quite irritating that posters don't take the time to read the original post and/or subsequent answers by the OP so they can formulate an intelligent answer and in this case I find it particularly egregious given that the OP has answered each and every question (except, I guess, where he went to college If you want to respond, take the time to read the OP and followup answers and don't say, "frugal living" or "you must pay $1300 per month" or " grow your income" to someone who it appears has cut his expenses to the bone and is on disability. Yes, he could have done a better job in his OP but he's new and he's tried to respond to all questions. Yes, he probably could have done better things between the ages of 18 and 37 but he's asking for help now. I'm pretty sure he didn't ask for a seizure disorder and I'm pretty sure he can't apply for very many jobs, esp. Peace Corp. or teaching overseas...

To sum up--
1) his loans:
$100,000 at 7% variable - Sallie Mae Signature (non-federal) private student loans
$100,000 at 3% fixed (now) - Stafford consolidated (in school deferments are still available on all of my loans)
He's currently paying $1000 a month on these loans-- He called Sallie Mae and other lenders and that is as low as he can get his payments.

2) his income situation-- $1400 per month from disability for a seizure disorder. He hopes to be off disability within a year. He cannot drive.


3)Budget- "Normally my monthly income goes: + $2500 - $1000 loans - $1000 rent for tiny studio - $50 internet - $30 utilities - $200 food - $100 savings = $100 est. misc" I don't believe he said what he's doing on just $1400/month disability.

OK- off my soapbox now, you'd think it was my kid :-)
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby market timer » Thu May 16, 2013 8:35 pm

EmergDoc wrote:If he'd gone to work at a non-profit 10 years ago they'd be gone now. Given that he's presumably already made 15 years of payments, it's all the same going forward whether the forgiveness comes at 25 under IBR or 10 under PSLF.

These programs are not retroactive. You actually have to say you are paying under PSLF or IBR at the time of payment in order to build forgiveness credits.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby market timer » Thu May 16, 2013 8:38 pm

whoopsy wrote:I do not drive because of my medical condition. I do not own a cell phone (too expensive), or even a land line other than magicjack. I do not have cable. I do not eat out (because I have a kitchen now thankfully). And I really do live on re-hydrated beans, mac & cheese, rice a roni, ramon noodles, etc. I shop at a second hand store where I buy t-shirts for a dollar a pound. I've even gone to a financial adviser and a counselor, sat down with my budget, and asked for help finding additional items to cut or save money on. (My budget is listed on 5/14 at 7pm).

Then I guess my question is, why are you paying anything? Why not continue on disability in the US and let the lenders garnish what they can? From what I've read, hardly anyone on disability ever gets off disability.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby lostInFinance » Thu May 16, 2013 9:11 pm

EmergDoc wrote:All these people are giving this dire advice to someone with a college degree and $200K in loans but no one seems to think it an issue that docs are now coming out with $5-600K.



My guess is that doctors with $500-600k in loans are 1-2% of doctors. It looks like $170k is the median.
https://www.aamc.org/download/152968/data

As far as the OP, either file bankruptcy or just don't pay and see what the creditors can actually garnish.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby enderland » Thu May 16, 2013 9:18 pm

(Normally my monthly income goes: + $2500 - $1000 loans - $1000 rent for tiny studio - $50 internet - $30 utilities - $200 food - $100 savings = $100 est. misc.)


Maybe I'm missing something but is there a reason you are spending $1000 on rent? Do you have to live in your current location or could you move somewhere considerably cheaper? Additionally, you must be in a very high cost of living location considering $200 for food only buys you And I really do live on re-hydrated beans, mac & cheese, rice a roni, ramon noodles, etc.

For reference, my two roommates and I spend around $300 and eat much much better than that (additionally, our total monthly rent, food, and utilities average a total of $450 per person each month). This is nearly $850 a month less than your current spending. Combined with the $100 you are spending on savings you could nearly double your loan payments each month.

Clearly you are working given your monthly income of $2,500 vs disability of only $1,400 - what are you doing currently? What are your work experiences which could be applied for other jobs?
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby Bob's not my name » Thu May 16, 2013 9:19 pm

nonnie wrote:Could you elaborate on what we don't know about the OPs true situation?
I sometimes find it quite irritating that posters don't take the time to read
Answered your own question :D
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby nonnie » Thu May 16, 2013 9:57 pm

market timer wrote:Then I guess my question is, why are you paying anything? Why not continue on disability in the US and let the lenders garnish what they can? From what I've read, hardly anyone on disability ever gets off disability.


Why on earth would you say that and what are your sources? First, staying on disability is not a choice one way or the other--- it's depends on your medical condition and doctor's certification-- on or off.

Here is some info on duration of long-term disability:
http://www.protectyourincome.com/educat ... disability age 35, 3 yr, 1 mo.

https://secure02.principal.com/EfpFrame ... 222#label4
"The average long-term disability absence lasts 32.1 months.
- 2010 Gen Re Disability Fact Book"

http://www.insure.com/articles/disabili ... ility.html
2.5 years
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby nonnie » Thu May 16, 2013 10:08 pm

whoopsy wrote:
Roughly,

$100,000 at 7% variable - Sallie Mae Signature (non-federal) private student loans
$100,000 at 3% fixed (now) - Stafford consolidated (in school deferments are still available on all of my loans)


Have you consulted legal aid or some other non-profit legal help group in Chicago?

Have you inquired into IBR-income based repayment? For a family size of one with a monthly income of $15K, the payment is $0; monthly income of $20K, monthly payment is $41 and see the quote below and the website link below that. Also see the pluses and minuses as listed on the website:

"INTEREST PAYMENT BENEFIT: If your monthly IBR payment amount does not cover the interest that accrues on your loans each month, the government will pay your unpaid accrued interest on your Subsidized Stafford Loans (either Direct Loan or FFEL) for up to three consecutive years from the date you began repaying your loans under IBR."

http://studentaid.ed.gov/sites/default/ ... ayment.pdf

For those suggesting default, unless somehow discharged this debt will stay with him forever and under current law SS checks can be garnished. Social Security Disability can even be garnished. However, one can apply for relief if disability will last more than 60 months and Sallie Mae has a similar program.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby market timer » Thu May 16, 2013 10:27 pm

nonnie wrote:Why on earth would you say that and what are your sources?

I don't follow this closely, but according to one article, 1% of Americans who were on disability in Q1 11 have left: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-03-2 ... nimum-wage

It's possible that when well-paying jobs were easier to obtain, more people exited disability.
Last edited by market timer on Thu May 16, 2013 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby momar » Thu May 16, 2013 10:33 pm

market timer wrote:
nonnie wrote:Why on earth would you say that and what are your sources?

I don't follow this closely, but according to one article, 1% of Americans who were on disability in Q1 11 have left: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-03-2 ... nimum-wage

It's possible that when jobs were more plentiful, more people exited disability.

Disability is what people do when unemployment runs out and there are no jobs. So yes, fewer people went on it and more people left.

Note: I am not claiming people are gaming the system. My belief is that most people want to work and will do so even when they could qualify for disability.

Also related to aging population.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby Jack » Thu May 16, 2013 10:46 pm

market timer wrote:I don't follow this closely ...

So you quote Santelli? Via ZeroHedge? Have you no pride?
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby market timer » Thu May 16, 2013 10:59 pm

Jack wrote:
market timer wrote:I don't follow this closely ...

So you quote Santelli? Via ZeroHedge? Have you no pride?

If you're saying it's false, I'd be curious to see the source. These numbers certainly don't jibe with nonnie's stats, but maybe her stats are conditional on the person exiting disability.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby 2stepsbehind » Thu May 16, 2013 11:46 pm

OP what were you considering getting another degree in? Unlike others I actually think returning to school for something like a nursing degree could be valuable. There's another thread that suggested graduates could command close to 100k with overtime, bonuses etc. However I don't necessarily think you need to rack up more debt to obtain such a degree. Apply for scholarships/work part-time etc to keep costs low.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby EmergDoc » Fri May 17, 2013 12:19 am

lostInFinance wrote:
My guess is that doctors with $500-600k in loans are 1-2% of doctors. It looks like $170k is the median.
https://www.aamc.org/download/152968/data


They might be 1-2% now, but give it 5 years.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby bayview » Fri May 17, 2013 1:05 am

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.

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.

Surely we don't want everyone to become plastic surgeons and dermatologists and so forth, just so they can make more money to cover their loans...
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby whoopsy » Fri May 17, 2013 1:46 am

2stepsbehind wrote:OP what were you considering getting another degree in? Unlike others I actually think returning to school for something like a nursing degree could be valuable. There's another thread that suggested graduates could command close to 100k with overtime, bonuses etc. However I don't necessarily think you need to rack up more debt to obtain such a degree. Apply for scholarships/work part-time etc to keep costs low.


Yeah, as long as there is very little additional monetary investment, that might work. I could choose a career where people typically have over or close to $200k in debt. Then attempt to earn myself a scholarship to cover the cost of graduate school so that I come out even. In summary: $200k undergraduate - very little paid for graduate = about $200k total debt. Now to make that realistic.

Careers (brainstorming): maybe doctor (37 too old? I took prereqs as electives), nurse (do they make $), paralegal, generic manager (how's the job market), lawyer (a gamble?), journalist (do they make $), investor (whatever that is and I didn't take prereqs), tax lawyer (always employed?), give private lessons in test prep or tutoring (do they make $), (not computers since I can't stand them), hum... I have researched this, continue to research this, and can use any help available including ideas. It seems logical to try this step before bankruptcy.
Last edited by whoopsy on Fri May 17, 2013 1:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby StormShadow » Fri May 17, 2013 1:49 am

2stepsbehind wrote:OP what were you considering getting another degree in? Unlike others I actually think returning to school for something like a nursing degree could be valuable. There's another thread that suggested graduates could command close to 100k with overtime, bonuses etc.

Before that, you'd better be 1,000% sure you want to be a nurse. Volunteer at a hospital. Or get some other job at a hospital where you can observe what they do on the floors.

My wife is a nurse. Even though she only works 3-4 days per week, it is one tough demanding job. Certainly much more difficult and stressful than nursing schools would have you believe. There's a reason why 1 out of 5 nurses quit the profession in the first year.
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/hea ... titialskip

As for the frequently mentioned nursing shortage? Don't believe the hype. Right now, competition for jobs as a newly graduated nurse is fierce.
http://money.cnn.com/gallery/news/econo ... index.html
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby TomatoTomahto » Fri May 17, 2013 7:18 am

whoopsy wrote:Careers (brainstorming): maybe doctor (37 too old? I took prereqs as electives), nurse (do they make $), paralegal, generic manager (how's the job market), lawyer (a gamble?), journalist (do they make $), investor (whatever that is and I didn't take prereqs), tax lawyer (always employed?), give private lessons in test prep or tutoring (do they make $), (not computers since I can't stand them), hum... I have researched this, continue to research this, and can use any help available including ideas. It seems logical to try this step before bankruptcy.

SAT prep people make decent money; if you're doing it as a second job, I recommend it. $70/hour is reasonable (in NYC, some agencies charge up to $500/hour but that's lunacy). The hours make it a good second job (after school, weekends).
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby HardKnocker » Fri May 17, 2013 7:40 am

StormShadow wrote:
2stepsbehind wrote:OP what were you considering getting another degree in? Unlike others I actually think returning to school for something like a nursing degree could be valuable. There's another thread that suggested graduates could command close to 100k with overtime, bonuses etc.

Before that, you'd better be 1,000% sure you want to be a nurse. Volunteer at a hospital. Or get some other job at a hospital where you can observe what they do on the floors.

My wife is a nurse. Even though she only works 3-4 days per week, it is one tough demanding job. Certainly much more difficult and stressful than nursing schools would have you believe. There's a reason why 1 out of 5 nurses quit the profession in the first year.
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/hea ... titialskip

As for the frequently mentioned nursing shortage? Don't believe the hype. Right now, competition for jobs as a newly graduated nurse is fierce.
http://money.cnn.com/gallery/news/econo ... index.html


Good information to have about nursing.
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby Colorado13 » Fri May 17, 2013 8:56 am

nonnie wrote:
Some of us have a more fortunate upbringing and history than others. Some of us have parents to teach us values, have our backs, etc; some of us have parents to live with at 18 and don't become homeless teenagers. I've done volunteer work in the foster care system for just these reason-- way too many of the kids in the foster care system not only are not well taken care of when in the system but are then kicked out at 18. Period. No help, no support, no place to eat or sleep, no nothing. Put yourself in those shoes--and the thinking you use is not the thinking you acquired with your upbringing, it the thinking and mindset you acquired in the foster care system.

Nonnie


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

Postby Snow Boarder » Fri May 17, 2013 9:29 am

Don't know much about it my self but worth looking into. The government has a program caled 'pay as you earn'.

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exch ... 41665.html
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Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Postby YttriumNitrate » Fri May 17, 2013 9:34 am

whoopsy wrote:Careers (brainstorming): maybe doctor (37 too old? I took prereqs as electives), nurse (do they make $), paralegal, generic manager (how's the job market), lawyer (a gamble?), journalist (do they make $), investor (whatever that is and I didn't take prereqs), tax lawyer (always employed?)


Before adding another $120k onto that mountain of debt to become an attorney, please consider the bi-modal distribution of attorney starting salaries. If you go down that path there's a decent chance you'll end up with a salary on par with what you were making before you went to law school.

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