Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

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jehovasfitness
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by jehovasfitness » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:42 am

Nissanzx1 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:46 am


Once married, I asked her to sign a contract committing to X dollars/month.
:confused that takes some cajones

tesuzuki2002
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by tesuzuki2002 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:49 am

Hikes_With_Dogs wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:17 pm
I would assume that a graduate degree in speech pathology would make a decent salary, I'd wager more than 45k annually.

As long as she is committed to paying it off after she graduates, I don't see what the problem really is. Is her general nature to be frugal, she just has an expensive education? Or does she spend every cent she gets without thinking twice?
Agreed!!! The speech pathologists I know are comfortably above 6 figures.... that $140K in loans should be paid in no more than 3 to 3.5 years.

PNW86
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by PNW86 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:11 pm

My advice would be to listen to her! I repeat, don’t talk, listen!!

Ask her what her salary is likely to be, how she expects to pay off her debt and over what time period, if she sees herself working full time or part time, when she wants to have kids, and if she sees herself renting or owning, living in a home or an apartment.

If what she tells you is significantly far off from your expectations of what you want in life, consider a counselor or not marrying her. You can’t afford to pay off someone else’s debt making $45k per year. She should make $50-70k as an SLP I would think; this is enough to pay off her loans, but you have to decide if the way she is approaching this is compatible with how you want to spend the next few years or decades of your life.

If you expect her to work full time and maybe even moonlight to get rid of this debt in 5 years, and she sees herself working full time for a bit but wanting children and then working part time, or not at all, for example, you won’t know this if you don’t listen to her. So listen! Right now, you don’t have a problem. If you get married and your expectations are significantly out of line with hers, you have a problem. If managing this situation requires a “contract” I would heed the advice of another poster and “run, my dude.” It won’t be your last “contract”

II swore I would not marry someone unless they took the Dave Ramsey course with me. I realized I didn’t need a spouse who would take the Dave Ramsey class; I needed a spouse that had the same mindset I did.

Tracker968
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by Tracker968 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:27 pm

I quickly scanned the previous responses so I apologize if this has already been stated. I would strongly suggest keeping your finances separate. You pay your bills and she pays her bills. You should each contribute to the rent, groceries according to your salaries. For example if you each make 45k then you would split those costs 50/50. If you make 45k and she makes 90k then she should pay 2/3 and you pay 1/3. That way she is responsible for paying back her loans. If she wants a new SUV then it should come out of her money. If you want a new Corvette it should come out of your money.
Once her loans are paid off then you could consider combining finances so simplify things.

jehovasfitness
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by jehovasfitness » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:37 pm

Tracker968 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:27 pm
I quickly scanned the previous responses so I apologize if this has already been stated. I would strongly suggest keeping your finances separate. You pay your bills and she pays her bills. You should each contribute to the rent, groceries according to your salaries. For example if you each make 45k then you would split those costs 50/50. If you make 45k and she makes 90k then she should pay 2/3 and you pay 1/3. That way she is responsible for paying back her loans. If she wants a new SUV then it should come out of her money. If you want a new Corvette it should come out of your money.
Once her loans are paid off then you could consider combining finances so simplify things.
So much for "becoming one".

Can't imagine splitting finances like that. If she makes 2x as him, why should she have to pay 2/3?, if anything split equally and buckle up buttercup and make some more money

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Toons
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by Toons » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:39 pm

The number one reason for divorce?
Differences in beliefs and management of finances.
Just Sayin...
:shock:
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

Thegame14
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by Thegame14 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:40 pm

jehovasfitness wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:37 pm
Tracker968 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:27 pm
I quickly scanned the previous responses so I apologize if this has already been stated. I would strongly suggest keeping your finances separate. You pay your bills and she pays her bills. You should each contribute to the rent, groceries according to your salaries. For example if you each make 45k then you would split those costs 50/50. If you make 45k and she makes 90k then she should pay 2/3 and you pay 1/3. That way she is responsible for paying back her loans. If she wants a new SUV then it should come out of her money. If you want a new Corvette it should come out of your money.
Once her loans are paid off then you could consider combining finances so simplify things.
So much for "becoming one".

Can't imagine splitting finances like that. If she makes 2x as him, why should she have to pay 2/3?, if anything split equally and buckle up buttercup and make some more money
My wife and I do it exactly that was, combined we make $150K, I make 100K she makes 50K, we each put 60% of pay into joint account the rest into our individual accounts. Monthly bills get paid from joint account, personal spending comes out of personal accounts of each person who spends. Suze Orman promotes this method, or she used to when she was on TV

janezoey
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by janezoey » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:45 pm

I married someone who had $190K in law school and undergraduate debt. A third of that amount was probably interest alone. Like your partner, my partner took out loans for tuition AND living expenses while in law school. By the time it is forgiven, it would have ballooned to $210K despite the money he repays every month. Yes, cringeworthy. I, on the other hand, graduated with virtually no undergraduate debt and I got my employers to mostly pay for my masters. My partner and I started off with a similar salary a decade ago, but now he almost makes twice as much as I do because of his law degree. He also has a better retirement plan than me (he has a real pension) and he loves public service. So debt is not a good reason not to marry someone, especially if that person has the potential to outearn you and help you have a comfortable retirement. I think you should be proud of what you have accomplished, but you should also be proud of what SHE has accomplished. There are not many Americans with graduate degrees in this country. She could easily outearn you in a few years.

I remember seven years ago when my partner started a career in public service, the PSLF program was very confusing. There was a lot of conflicting information floating around. But together we looked over the paperwork and kept calling the loan servicer to get the right answers. We had to jump through a lot of hoops, making sure the loans were consolidated under Direct Loans, that his employer was eligible, and he was in the right repayment program. Even though it was his loan, we figured it out together. Since then we've had a memorable wedding, bought a nice home and car, and had kids. We also had some time and money to go on vacations pre-kids and save for retirement. All the while we were paying 15% of his salary (now it's 10% for newer borrowers). We filed our taxes separately, so it wasn't like he was using my salary to pay off his loan. If we had spent the first five years of our lives together just trying to pay off his law school loans, we would have missed out on some of the best years of our youth, had to make unhappy career choices, and would have missed out on a chance to buy a house while interest rates were low.

Anyway, fast forward to the present, and we have less than three years to go before the debt is completely forgiven. And gosh, did it go by fast. I calculated that after 10 years, we would have essentially paid off the principal, and what will be forgiven is mainly interest. So yes, it's a really good deal if you have a large debt but a low salary (especially in your early career). Believe me, it was unnerving sometimes reading the news about borrowers with messed up records trying for the PSLF program. But I don't think Congress will take away PSLF for people who have already borrowed money--at least not before summer 2019. Even if they did eventually change the program in the future, you are likely to be grandfathered in. Your main concern would be if she can have qualifying employers for at least 120 payments (it does not have to be consecutive). So you need to sit down with her and have a very serious discussion about whether she will be public service for that long.

So I wouldn't refinance if PSLF is a realistic possibility. Once you enter a private loan, you don't have the same protections of federal loans. If you insist she refinances into a private loan, don't be surprised if she resists. In fact, she should be having red flags about you, because that's not necessarily the wisest choice if you had to balance life priorities, basic finances, and saving for your futures.

I hope this is helpful. I was basically you seven years ago. I'm grateful for the PSLF program. It made the last seven years more manageable and gave us a lot of breathing space. I'm very sure our loan will be forgiven, but even in a worst case scenario, we are in a stronger position to pay it off because we have our careers, retirement funds, and housing already set.
Last edited by janezoey on Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

hightower
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by hightower » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:57 pm

" I love her, but I agonize about our future. How much of a red flag should this be? If the PSLF program were to fail, it seems paying back the debt would be insurmountable

It's not all that bad IMO. She has some good earning potential and that level of debt is very doable IMO. I would refinance and go with an aggressive, early pay off plan.

I would not let the debt get in the way of your decision to stay with her. People can change when it comes to money and debt, but it's not always a guarantee you'll find another person you love like her. Money is not the most important thing in life and you should view this as an opportunity to grow together.
I would focus on coming up with a plan for maximizing your earning potential as a couple. Her debt is large, but for two young people capable of earning a solid living, it's not THAT bad. Definitely tackle the debt before having kids or buying a home though. This should be discussed with her so she understands why it's important. Show her some of your calculations on what your monthly budget would look like with the debt and without the debt. Crunch some numbers showing how expensive babies and a house would be and show her that things would be really tight if the debt doesn't go away first. Keep it positive. Make sure she understands that you care and her first and foremost and that you want to help her with her debt because you want her to be happy and have an easier life in the near future. You have to be careful how you approach it.
I would look into ways to make more money. You seem very financially competent and as such I would assume you're a very capable, smart person. I would think you could find a way to earn more than you do now. I think living off of one salary until her debt is gone is definitely the right choice. She needs to understand the sacrifice it will take to get rid of that debt and I think it can help her become more acutely aware of these issues moving forward.

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Jazztonight
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by Jazztonight » Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:19 pm

I initially hesitated to jump into the discussion, but I see I'm not the only one who sees a possible train wreck waiting to happen.

I married "for love" the first time around. The love did not survive the financial differences and philosophies that emerged. After my divorce, I was the one who inherited the mountain of debt.

Some mistakes are expensive. And sometimes, one learns an important lesson along the way.

The second time around, I was careful to marry a woman who was both financially savvy and responsible. (We did NOT commingle our assets.This arrangement, though not typical, has worked for us for over 35 years.)

Far be it for me to give marital advice. But my lifetime observation is that people don't change, and if after discussing the situation with his fiancée, the OP hasn't convinced her that greater financial responsibility needs to be part of the foundation of the marriage, he may be looking toward frustration in the future.
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche

aristotelian
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by aristotelian » Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:23 pm

I came from a background where I never really experienced debt and was privileged to graduate college debt free. When my future wife told me about her student loans, I had a borderline panic attack. I never in my life thought I would ever owe anybody any number with that many zeroes. I can sympathize with what you are going through. After we got married, we made it a priority to pay them off, and we are now coming up on 15 years happily married and close to financial independence in our 40's.

You have to realize that in order for people to attend college and acquire professional degrees, going into debt is the norm in our society, not unlike taking out a mortgage on a house. A person can be completely responsible and rack up a decent amount of student loan debt. The alternative would be that she works as a waitress or Uber driver her whole life. As long as she otherwise lives within her means, I think you have to have faith that she will have a productive career and pay off the loan.

She is taking on some debt to bet on her future self. Her approach is most definitely not a "red flag" or sign of character flaw, it is a valid strategy that many doctors and lawyers pursue as well. If she had $140K of credit card debt, that would be a completely different story.

By the way, I am also not sure it is optimal to throw all your extra savings at your debt. If you are not maxing your retirement accounts, it is possible that you are giving up tax advantages as well as investment returns. For the one who wants to be the "money guy" in control of the finances, it's possible you actually aren't making the optimal choice.

delamer
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by delamer » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:15 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:40 pm
jehovasfitness wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:37 pm
Tracker968 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:27 pm
I quickly scanned the previous responses so I apologize if this has already been stated. I would strongly suggest keeping your finances separate. You pay your bills and she pays her bills. You should each contribute to the rent, groceries according to your salaries. For example if you each make 45k then you would split those costs 50/50. If you make 45k and she makes 90k then she should pay 2/3 and you pay 1/3. That way she is responsible for paying back her loans. If she wants a new SUV then it should come out of her money. If you want a new Corvette it should come out of your money.
Once her loans are paid off then you could consider combining finances so simplify things.
So much for "becoming one".

Can't imagine splitting finances like that. If she makes 2x as him, why should she have to pay 2/3?, if anything split equally and buckle up buttercup and make some more money
My wife and I do it exactly that was, combined we make $150K, I make 100K she makes 50K, we each put 60% of pay into joint account the rest into our individual accounts. Monthly bills get paid from joint account, personal spending comes out of personal accounts of each person who spends. Suze Orman promotes this method, or she used to when she was on TV
I don’t understand this method; your wife gets a lot less spending money in dollars than you do even though you are, in theory, equal partners.

How about —

(Joint income) minus (savings, taxes, joint expenses) equals (total personal spending funds available).

(total personal spending funds available) divided by 2 equals (individual spending funds)

In other words, after all bills are paid then you evenly split what’s left between you for personal spending — not proportionally to your individual income.

Thegame14
Posts: 189
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by Thegame14 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:29 pm

delamer wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:15 pm
Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:40 pm
jehovasfitness wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:37 pm
Tracker968 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:27 pm
I quickly scanned the previous responses so I apologize if this has already been stated. I would strongly suggest keeping your finances separate. You pay your bills and she pays her bills. You should each contribute to the rent, groceries according to your salaries. For example if you each make 45k then you would split those costs 50/50. If you make 45k and she makes 90k then she should pay 2/3 and you pay 1/3. That way she is responsible for paying back her loans. If she wants a new SUV then it should come out of her money. If you want a new Corvette it should come out of your money.
Once her loans are paid off then you could consider combining finances so simplify things.
So much for "becoming one".

Can't imagine splitting finances like that. If she makes 2x as him, why should she have to pay 2/3?, if anything split equally and buckle up buttercup and make some more money
My wife and I do it exactly that was, combined we make $150K, I make 100K she makes 50K, we each put 60% of pay into joint account the rest into our individual accounts. Monthly bills get paid from joint account, personal spending comes out of personal accounts of each person who spends. Suze Orman promotes this method, or she used to when she was on TV
I don’t understand this method; your wife gets a lot less spending money in dollars than you do even though you are, in theory, equal partners.

How about —

(Joint income) minus (savings, taxes, joint expenses) equals (total personal spending funds available).

(total personal spending funds available) divided by 2 equals (individual spending funds)

In other words, after all bills are paid then you evenly split what’s left between you for personal spending — not proportionally to your individual income.
It doesn't exactly work out evenly, I pay for all groceries, which is a joint expense, I pay both our cell phones, another joint expense, I pay for most if not all of our dinners out, I also put more into my 401k than she does. But there also needs to be some accountability and reward for earning more. In your scenario husband can earn 200K, wife earns 20K and wife buys a Porsche or expensive jewelry, but only earns 20K, that seems a little off as well. That sounds a little too socialist to me.

InMyDreams
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by InMyDreams » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:36 pm

TwstdSista wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:09 pm
We were a team from day 1 of dating.
Oftentimes, couples have premarital counseling? Has it helped define common goals and ideals? There is also couple's financial counseling - Dave Ramsey recommends it
"Situation: You’re getting married next month.
Need: Marriage Counselor AND Financial Coach

Everyone says that you need a marriage counselor before you get married—just to prepare for life together and better appreciate your similarities and differences. And that’s absolutely true. But you also need a financial coach. So many marital problems start with money. In fact, the number one cause of divorce in America is money fights and money problems. With a financial coach, you’ll be able to dig much deeper into potential money pitfalls that might pop up later on in your marriage."


https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/marriag ... cial-coach

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Mlm
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by Mlm » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:39 pm

delamer wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:15 pm
How about —

(Joint income) minus (savings, taxes, joint expenses) equals (total personal spending funds available).

(total personal spending funds available) divided by 2 equals (individual spending funds)

In other words, after all bills are paid then you evenly split what’s left between you for personal spending — not proportionally to your individual income.
This is exactly how we handled finances. No individual punishments and rewards and we never had a money fight in 25 years. I couldn't imagine telling my spouse that they could not come on vacation with me because they were unable to save enough :oops:

delamer
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by delamer » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:59 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:29 pm
delamer wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:15 pm
Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:40 pm
jehovasfitness wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:37 pm
Tracker968 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:27 pm
I quickly scanned the previous responses so I apologize if this has already been stated. I would strongly suggest keeping your finances separate. You pay your bills and she pays her bills. You should each contribute to the rent, groceries according to your salaries. For example if you each make 45k then you would split those costs 50/50. If you make 45k and she makes 90k then she should pay 2/3 and you pay 1/3. That way she is responsible for paying back her loans. If she wants a new SUV then it should come out of her money. If you want a new Corvette it should come out of your money.
Once her loans are paid off then you could consider combining finances so simplify things.
So much for "becoming one".

Can't imagine splitting finances like that. If she makes 2x as him, why should she have to pay 2/3?, if anything split equally and buckle up buttercup and make some more money
My wife and I do it exactly that was, combined we make $150K, I make 100K she makes 50K, we each put 60% of pay into joint account the rest into our individual accounts. Monthly bills get paid from joint account, personal spending comes out of personal accounts of each person who spends. Suze Orman promotes this method, or she used to when she was on TV
I don’t understand this method; your wife gets a lot less spending money in dollars than you do even though you are, in theory, equal partners.

How about —

(Joint income) minus (savings, taxes, joint expenses) equals (total personal spending funds available).

(total personal spending funds available) divided by 2 equals (individual spending funds)

In other words, after all bills are paid then you evenly split what’s left between you for personal spending — not proportionally to your individual income.
It doesn't exactly work out evenly, I pay for all groceries, which is a joint expense, I pay both our cell phones, another joint expense, I pay for most if not all of our dinners out, I also put more into my 401k than she does. But there also needs to be some accountability and reward for earning more. In your scenario husband can earn 200K, wife earns 20K and wife buys a Porsche or expensive jewelry, but only earns 20K, that seems a little off as well. That sounds a little too socialist to me.
Good thing you and I didn’t marry. A marriage is exactly the rare relationship that should be “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

To reverse your scenario — so the $200K a year husband gets to buy a Porsche and the $20K wife has to drive a beater?

And one partner scales back their work in order to care for kids and manage the household, but other partner should get a “reward for earning more?”

Wow...

Thegame14
Posts: 189
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 11:53 am

Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by Thegame14 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:05 pm

delamer wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:59 pm
Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:29 pm
delamer wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:15 pm
Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:40 pm
jehovasfitness wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:37 pm


So much for "becoming one".

Can't imagine splitting finances like that. If she makes 2x as him, why should she have to pay 2/3?, if anything split equally and buckle up buttercup and make some more money
My wife and I do it exactly that was, combined we make $150K, I make 100K she makes 50K, we each put 60% of pay into joint account the rest into our individual accounts. Monthly bills get paid from joint account, personal spending comes out of personal accounts of each person who spends. Suze Orman promotes this method, or she used to when she was on TV
I don’t understand this method; your wife gets a lot less spending money in dollars than you do even though you are, in theory, equal partners.

How about —

(Joint income) minus (savings, taxes, joint expenses) equals (total personal spending funds available).

(total personal spending funds available) divided by 2 equals (individual spending funds)

In other words, after all bills are paid then you evenly split what’s left between you for personal spending — not proportionally to your individual income.
It doesn't exactly work out evenly, I pay for all groceries, which is a joint expense, I pay both our cell phones, another joint expense, I pay for most if not all of our dinners out, I also put more into my 401k than she does. But there also needs to be some accountability and reward for earning more. In your scenario husband can earn 200K, wife earns 20K and wife buys a Porsche or expensive jewelry, but only earns 20K, that seems a little off as well. That sounds a little too socialist to me.
Good thing you and I didn’t marry. A marriage is exactly the rare relationship that should be “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

To reverse your scenario — so the $200K a year husband gets to buy a Porsche and the $20K wife has to drive a beater?

And one partner scales back their work in order to care for kids and manage the household, but other partner should get a “reward for earning more?”

Wow...
First the assumption is both are working the same, not one SAHM, two like I said it isn't exact. And I drive the beater 2000 camry while wife has the new mazda CX-9. but you cant have husband making 200K wife stays home works part time, doesn't take care of kids, and goes to the spa and gets massages every day while husband slaves away working. - To reverse your scenario. This isn't husband is a slave to the man and trophy wife just stays at home and looks nice, this isn't 1940.

delamer
Posts: 5813
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by delamer » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:15 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:05 pm
delamer wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:59 pm
Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:29 pm
delamer wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:15 pm
Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:40 pm


My wife and I do it exactly that was, combined we make $150K, I make 100K she makes 50K, we each put 60% of pay into joint account the rest into our individual accounts. Monthly bills get paid from joint account, personal spending comes out of personal accounts of each person who spends. Suze Orman promotes this method, or she used to when she was on TV
I don’t understand this method; your wife gets a lot less spending money in dollars than you do even though you are, in theory, equal partners.

How about —

(Joint income) minus (savings, taxes, joint expenses) equals (total personal spending funds available).

(total personal spending funds available) divided by 2 equals (individual spending funds)

In other words, after all bills are paid then you evenly split what’s left between you for personal spending — not proportionally to your individual income.
It doesn't exactly work out evenly, I pay for all groceries, which is a joint expense, I pay both our cell phones, another joint expense, I pay for most if not all of our dinners out, I also put more into my 401k than she does. But there also needs to be some accountability and reward for earning more. In your scenario husband can earn 200K, wife earns 20K and wife buys a Porsche or expensive jewelry, but only earns 20K, that seems a little off as well. That sounds a little too socialist to me.
Good thing you and I didn’t marry. A marriage is exactly the rare relationship that should be “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

To reverse your scenario — so the $200K a year husband gets to buy a Porsche and the $20K wife has to drive a beater?

And one partner scales back their work in order to care for kids and manage the household, but other partner should get a “reward for earning more?”

Wow...
First the assumption is both are working the same, not one SAHM, two like I said it isn't exact. And I drive the beater 2000 camry while wife has the new mazda CX-9. but you cant have husband making 200K wife stays home works part time, doesn't take care of kids, and goes to the spa and gets massages every day while husband slaves away working. - To reverse your scenario. This isn't husband is a slave to the man and trophy wife just stays at home and looks nice, this isn't 1940.
Based on the method described in your post, you get $40K in your individual account and your wife gets $20K.

That’s all I knew, and I think that is inequitable as originally presented.

Whether you do or don’t want a trophy wife is beside the point.
Last edited by delamer on Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

GMacD
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by GMacD » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:18 pm

+1
It has been my observation that when a saver mates with a spendthrift, the saver always loses. Especially in a community property environment. The saver will work extra hard to keep the boat afloat and the spendthrift is oblivious, (sometimes willfully), to the fact that the boat is sinking. I have also observed that it is typically the more productive of the pair who is the saver.

Bolder
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by Bolder » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:21 pm

OP, 30 years ago, I was just like your fiancée. I graduated with a lot of student loans. My husband had none.

When I was growing up, my parents never talked about money and were fiscally irresponsible. Always shopping and going out to eat while our house disintegrated from lack of repairs.

When I got married, My husband and I worked together to pay off my loans. Basically, we lived off his salary and just tried to pay off my loans as quickly as possible while still contributing to some retirement accounts.

Now, I am debt free, making a good salary, happily married and have a better understanding of budgeting and finances.

I make my husband do an annual review with me on our investments, spending, finances and meeting our goals. While he is very responsible and great at tracking budget, he does not enjoy looking at the bigger picture and investment side. So, I learned I had to step it up and educate myself about taxes and retirement.

So, here’s my 2 cents:

1. people can change financial habits. Especially if they are in their 20s and haven’t been exposed to how finances work.

2. Being a speech pathologist ( or teacher) has some financial benefits. -If you work in the schools, access to 403b and 457 plans for retirement along with pension. —School holidays and summers off to take care of kids. While everyone else is paying for expensive camps all summer, you won’t have to.

Finally, there are financially worse things than having student loan debt. As far as we know she doesn’t have credit card debt, she doesn’t lease a Lamborghini
or a own a massive jewelry collection. She’s a 20 something year old who has student loans from a graduate degree.

If you continue to see her and treat her as a liability your relationship will be in serious trouble. She may feel bad enough already about her student loans, I know I did.

sketchy9
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by sketchy9 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:21 pm

aristotelian wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:23 pm
I came from a background where I never really experienced debt and was privileged to graduate college debt free. When my future wife told me about her student loans, I had a borderline panic attack. I never in my life thought I would ever owe anybody any number with that many zeroes. I can sympathize with what you are going through. After we got married, we made it a priority to pay them off, and we are now coming up on 15 years happily married and close to financial independence in our 40's.

You have to realize that in order for people to attend college and acquire professional degrees, going into debt is the norm in our society, not unlike taking out a mortgage on a house. A person can be completely responsible and rack up a decent amount of student loan debt. The alternative would be that she works as a waitress or Uber driver her whole life. As long as she otherwise lives within her means, I think you have to have faith that she will have a productive career and pay off the loan.

She is taking on some debt to bet on her future self. Her approach is most definitely not a "red flag" or sign of character flaw, it is a valid strategy that many doctors and lawyers pursue as well. If she had $140K of credit card debt, that would be a completely different story.

By the way, I am also not sure it is optimal to throw all your extra savings at your debt. If you are not maxing your retirement accounts, it is possible that you are giving up tax advantages as well as investment returns. For the one who wants to be the "money guy" in control of the finances, it's possible you actually aren't making the optimal choice.
Yeah I'm not seeing the problem with the scenario as described by the OP. His fiancee took out 6 figures of loans for grad school that is stacked on top of $25k of undergrad loans-- welcome to life in the USA. She maxed out her loans so that she could have some cash on hand-- shockingly, people of all economic strata like to have the security blanket of an EF, even if that money has been borrowed.

We need more details before I'm willing to declare the fiancee an irredeemable spendthrift. What kind of salary is she projecting once she starts working? How long does she anticipate working before she wants to have kids? Why is OP's salary topped out at $45k at when he is presumably in his late 20s or early 30s?

It's also not clear to me what exactly he expects from her at this point. Obviously she can't quit her program, nor can she graduate faster than the program dictates. She can't hop in her time machine and decide not to go to grad school. It's just vague criticisms of her not taking the finances seriously. Does he want her to sit around all day and be morose about the debt? Rend her clothes? Wear a giant D (for debtor) on her shirt?

Maybe I'm reading things that aren't there, but I got a strong vibe of "well I didn't take out loans, so I judge her for doing so" in OP's post. I'm sorry if I'm misinterpreting things, but at the very least OP should ask himself what exactly his objections are, and what course of action he would like her to take, and then discuss with her.

Thegame14
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by Thegame14 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:29 pm

Bolder wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:21 pm
OP, 30 years ago, I was just like your fiancée. I graduated with a lot of student loans. My husband had none.

When I was growing up, my parents never talked about money and were fiscally irresponsible. Always shopping and going out to eat while our house disintegrated from lack of repairs.

When I got married, My husband and I worked together to pay off my loans. Basically, we lived off his salary and just tried to pay off my loans as quickly as possible while still contributing to some retirement accounts.

Now, I am debt free, making a good salary, happily married and have a better understanding of budgeting and finances.

I make my husband do an annual review with me on our investments, spending, finances and meeting our goals. While he is very responsible and great at tracking budget, he does not enjoy looking at the bigger picture and investment side. So, I learned I had to step it up and educate myself about taxes and retirement.

So, here’s my 2 cents:

1. people can change financial habits. Especially if they are in their 20s and haven’t been exposed to how finances work.

2. Being a speech pathologist ( or teacher) has some financial benefits. -If you work in the schools, access to 403b and 457 plans for retirement along with pension. —School holidays and summers off to take care of kids. While everyone else is paying for expensive camps all summer, you won’t have to.

Finally, there are financially worse things than having student loan debt. As far as we know she doesn’t have credit card debt, she doesn’t lease a Lamborghini
or a own a massive jewelry collection. She’s a 20 something year old who has student loans from a graduate degree.

If you continue to see her and treat her as a liability your relationship will be in serious trouble. She may feel bad enough already about her student loans, I know I did.
VERY well said...

Mjar
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by Mjar » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:04 pm

cmiller0701 wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:40 am
Mon September 11, 2018 9:10 a.m.

"I am frustrated by my fiancee's lack of understanding when it comes to numbers in general. She receives a surplus of money from her grad loans after accounting for her expenses and she then puts it in her bank account and thinks she's saving (7% compared to .01%). She has ballooned to 140k in Federal loans and still has yet to graduate.

How much is this me being shallow vs. a valid problem?"
this is a valid problem IMHO. Right now that is her debt, once you get married it your debt as well. Money is one major factor for divorce, if you are managing within your means and she isn't that is the precursor to arguments to reaching goals set. I would have a serious heart to heart with her before you walk down the aisle and get on the same page.

getthatmarshmallow
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:55 pm

I don't think you're shallow -- finances are important. But I also don't see any reason to think your concerns are valid, at least not from what you've said, because it doesn't seem like you've had an in-depth conversation with her. She has debt, and she didn't do what you would have done with extra loan money (I could see an argument either way), and you're building it up into a worst-case scenario, and it's not clear you've talked to her about it. You need to be on the same page, but it's not clear you've even opened the book.

But in any case, marriage is probably going to require some changes in how you handle your money, because you're going to be a team, however you sort out the finances. It's a lifetime commitment that is going to have unexpected expenses and setback as well as good times. If you're not up to considering that, don't get married. But you probably are, so --- talk to her.

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Watty
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by Watty » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:27 pm

cmiller0701 wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:40 am
.....she took out massive amount of student loan debt (130k+) to pay for her graduate program and she had 25k from her undergrad. ....
.....
I make 45k annually

Just for some prospective I did a quick google search and it looked like a speech therapist might make in the ballpark of $75,000 but that of course could vary a lot.

To put that into perspective over the next 10 years she might have $750,000 in income. You would have $450,000 in income. Combined that is $1.2 million in income. Some of that would go towards things like taxes and living expenses but the debt could be paid off in a reasonable amount of time with no problem

The key will be to live on a modest budget and that both of you would probably still need to work until the loans are paid off if you have kids. If you have kids and want a stay at home parent, which has lots of plusses, then it would make sense for you to be a stay at home dad which is not that uncommon now.

A few suggestions;

1) Get couples counseling to talk over the issues.

2) Have a modest wedding.

3) Another poster mentioned that you might look at your career path to see if you could make more. It was not clear why you felt there was little room for advancement.

mariezzz
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by mariezzz » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:03 pm

Watty wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:27 pm
Just for some prospective I did a quick google search and it looked like a speech therapist might make in the ballpark of $75,000 but that of course could vary a lot.

To put that into perspective over the next 10 years she might have $750,000 in income. You would have $450,000 in income. Combined that is $1.2 million in income. Some of that would go towards things like taxes and living expenses but the debt could be paid off in a reasonable amount of time with no problem

The key will be to live on a modest budget and that both of you would probably still need to work until the loans are paid off if you have kids. If you have kids and want a stay at home parent, which has lots of plusses, then it would make sense for you to be a stay at home dad which is not that uncommon now.

A few suggestions;

1) Get couples counseling to talk over the issues.

2) Have a modest wedding.

3) Another poster mentioned that you might look at your career path to see if you could make more. It was not clear why you felt there was little room for advancement.
My initial 3 thoughts were similar:
(1) You're not being shallow.
(2) How much are you planning to spend on the wedding and are you two in agreement with that? If she's wanting to spend a lot more than you want, you may have financial compatibility issues.
(3) You need counseling to iron out the financial differences between you two.

Now is the time to have the difficult discussions - not after the marriage (divorce is expensive), and not after lots of money is spent on a wedding. From the OP, it seems like you guys are failing to communicate well on some crucial issues, and that is a problem you need to iron out, or it will haunt you throughout your (relatively short, I think) marriage, beyond the loan issue. Love means bringing up the difficult issues - a counselor can help act as a mediator there, to keep feelings from getting hurt. Does she agree that a house is many years in the future?

$140 K - but the interest rate matters as well. For the graduate loans, I'm guessing at least 7% on average across the loans. Undergrad might be lower.

I would suggest you both need to sit down and truly understand all of her loans - which are private? which are through the federal government? What are the interest rates? What is her plan for paying them back? If you get married, both of your income will be considered if she goes on an income dependent repayment plan (assuming she has Direct federal loans, not private) - there is no alternative.

I don't agree that household bills should be paid based on the percentage each of you earns of the total. I think you each should pay the same, unless one of you wants to live more luxuriously & agrees to pay more. But given those loans, frugal living should be a priority until they're paid down by at least half. Of course, target the higher interest loans (particularly the private loans if there are any) to pay down more quickly.

Have you talked about when you're going to start a family? Another issue to discuss: parenting styles. This is another thing that creates a great deal of strife in many marriages and ruins a large percent. The first year with a baby is exhausting and if you haven't discussed how you're going to parent BEFORE the baby, you're both going to be too sleep-deprived to even be rational. What if the baby cries when you put it to bed? How will you deal with that? If you pick it up, you're conditioning to expect it will be picked up when it cries. Some people can't stand letting the baby cry. Couples fight about this very issue. What about when the 2 year old throws a temper tantrum? How will you handle it? There are all sorts of scenarios people who plan to have kids should discuss BEFORE those kids arrive.

inbox788
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by inbox788 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:11 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:40 pm
Suze Orman promotes this method, or she used to when she was on TV
Saw her earlier today plugging a new book. See comments around 4 and a half minutes into the clip.
https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/09/13/s ... r-men.html

mariezzz
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by mariezzz » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:17 pm

One more note: Only Direct Loans are forgiven under PLSF. Be sure you both understand all the details of her loans. Then come up with a plan to deal with them. She should make serious payments before the 2019 wedding, to demonstrate she will carry through on that plan.

Read this page carefully if you think PSLF is part of the plan:
https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loan ... /questions
Are private education loans eligible for PSLF?
No. Private education loans aren’t eligible for PSLF and can’t be consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan.-

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jadd806
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by jadd806 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:09 am

Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:29 pm
It doesn't exactly work out evenly, I pay for all groceries, which is a joint expense, I pay both our cell phones, another joint expense, I pay for most if not all of our dinners out, I also put more into my 401k than she does. But there also needs to be some accountability and reward for earning more. In your scenario husband can earn 200K, wife earns 20K and wife buys a Porsche or expensive jewelry, but only earns 20K, that seems a little off as well. That sounds a little too socialist to me.
Lol it sounds more like you have a roommate than a wife.

bdaniel58
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by bdaniel58 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:59 am

I know every couple is different and what works for some will not work for others. But the idea of his money and her money does not seem right to me. Marriage is about creating one thing from the two of you. Sometimes one person is working harder on the marriage than the other. Then that flips. It is an ebb and flow.

But I absolutely agree that couples need to discuss kids, finances, religion or lack of and how to interact with family. There needs to be some agreement or the marriage WILL fail.

Young people in their 20's have it tough today. My 21 and 23 year old sons worked through college, lived at home instead of on campus, got scholarships, went to community college for 2 years then transferred, had some minor help from me and graduated with no debt. It is hard for them to find potential mates who don't have large student loans. I know the topic of student loans comes up early in their conversations. It is not a deal breaker, but something that has to be discussed openly.

BObby

likegarden
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by likegarden » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:51 am

Your situation is very difficult seen with my life experience. As others said, you need to have a detailed talk with your partner about how she plans to pay off her debt, that is the loans she will have when she graduates, and what salary she is expecting then. You need her financial commitment. In my case we both had no debt when graduating and then marrying years later, and live financially secure and happy for close to 50 years.

6 dollar ribs
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by 6 dollar ribs » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:17 am

Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:29 pm
delamer wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:15 pm
Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:40 pm
jehovasfitness wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:37 pm
Tracker968 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:27 pm
I quickly scanned the previous responses so I apologize if this has already been stated. I would strongly suggest keeping your finances separate. You pay your bills and she pays her bills. You should each contribute to the rent, groceries according to your salaries. For example if you each make 45k then you would split those costs 50/50. If you make 45k and she makes 90k then she should pay 2/3 and you pay 1/3. That way she is responsible for paying back her loans. If she wants a new SUV then it should come out of her money. If you want a new Corvette it should come out of your money.
Once her loans are paid off then you could consider combining finances so simplify things.
So much for "becoming one".

Can't imagine splitting finances like that. If she makes 2x as him, why should she have to pay 2/3?, if anything split equally and buckle up buttercup and make some more money
My wife and I do it exactly that was, combined we make $150K, I make 100K she makes 50K, we each put 60% of pay into joint account the rest into our individual accounts. Monthly bills get paid from joint account, personal spending comes out of personal accounts of each person who spends. Suze Orman promotes this method, or she used to when she was on TV
I don’t understand this method; your wife gets a lot less spending money in dollars than you do even though you are, in theory, equal partners.

How about —

(Joint income) minus (savings, taxes, joint expenses) equals (total personal spending funds available).

(total personal spending funds available) divided by 2 equals (individual spending funds)

In other words, after all bills are paid then you evenly split what’s left between you for personal spending — not proportionally to your individual income.
It doesn't exactly work out evenly, I pay for all groceries, which is a joint expense, I pay both our cell phones, another joint expense, I pay for most if not all of our dinners out, I also put more into my 401k than she does. But there also needs to be some accountability and reward for earning more. In your scenario husband can earn 200K, wife earns 20K and wife buys a Porsche or expensive jewelry, but only earns 20K, that seems a little off as well. That sounds a little too socialist to me.
If you are not a communist in at least some of your relationships (particularly with immediate family) you likely lead a sad and loveless life.

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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by Boglegrappler » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:06 pm

Yeah I'm not seeing the problem with the scenario as described by the OP. His fiancee took out 6 figures of loans for grad school that is stacked on top of $25k of undergrad loans-- welcome to life in the USA. She maxed out her loans so that she could have some cash on hand-- shockingly, people of all economic strata like to have the security blanket of an EF, even if that money has been borrowed.
I did a quick survey of tuition for speech pathologist masters programs and only a few have tuition levels that would put the total annual cost of attendance in the 40-50k range. Most seem to have tuition that would put total annual cost of attendance more like 25-30k. Seems like the debt should be more like 60k to 100k max.

Based on that, its a reasonable question of how the grad school debt gets to 140k a year before the expected graduation. Its a stunning number.

Of course, if there is a near six figure salary coming up, that might help quite a bit. It may be manageable, but it does require some discussion and calculation.

NxNW
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by NxNW » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:39 pm

Her school likely has loan counseling officers. Sometimes financial education (or at least an understanding of the loan burden and payoff options) can start there.

This may also be a case for an hourly financial planner to help discuss and explain options (one with a fiduciary responsibility).

Either of these may help the two of you come to an understanding about what is comfortable for the loans as a couple without you having to lecture (or worse be guilty of “mansplaining”).

My wife and I both have student debt in the 6 figures and a financial planner that helps us negotiate. :happy

You might also want to discuss children. “She wants kids” versus “we want kids” is miles apart...

Tracker968
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by Tracker968 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:03 pm

jehovasfitness wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:37 pm
Tracker968 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:27 pm
I quickly scanned the previous responses so I apologize if this has already been stated. I would strongly suggest keeping your finances separate. You pay your bills and she pays her bills. You should each contribute to the rent, groceries according to your salaries. For example if you each make 45k then you would split those costs 50/50. If you make 45k and she makes 90k then she should pay 2/3 and you pay 1/3. That way she is responsible for paying back her loans. If she wants a new SUV then it should come out of her money. If you want a new Corvette it should come out of your money.
Once her loans are paid off then you could consider combining finances so simplify things.
So much for "becoming one".

Can't imagine splitting finances like that. If she makes 2x as him, why should she have to pay 2/3?, if anything split equally and buckle up buttercup and make some more money
Sure if the OP thinks a straight 50/50 is better why not? My main point was to keep their finances separate until her huge debt is paid off. That way she will feel responsible for her own debt. And he would be less likely to feel guilty about buying some luxury item if they had previously agreed that he wasn't responsible for her debt.

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dm200
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by dm200 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:15 pm

One issue I would be concerned about is if, after marriage, the OP could become liable for any of her debts/obligations (somehow).

Bolder
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by Bolder » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:00 pm

Boglegrappler wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:06 pm
Yeah I'm not seeing the problem with the scenario as described by the OP. His fiancee took out 6 figures of loans for grad school that is stacked on top of $25k of undergrad loans-- welcome to life in the USA. She maxed out her loans so that she could have some cash on hand-- shockingly, people of all economic strata like to have the security blanket of an EF, even if that money has been borrowed.
I did a quick survey of tuition for speech pathologist masters programs and only a few have tuition levels that would put the total annual cost of attendance in the 40-50k range. Most seem to have tuition that would put total annual cost of attendance more like 25-30k. Seems like the debt should be more like 60k to 100k max.

Based on that, its a reasonable question of how the grad school debt gets to 140k a year before the expected graduation. Its a stunning number.

Of course, if there is a near six figure salary coming up, that might help quite a bit. It may be manageable, but it does require some discussion and calculation.
Northwestern university is $16,000 per quarter for tuition for speech pathology graduate school. Students are required to go for 7 quarters. That is $112,000. It does not include living expenses. I am not sure if the $140,000 includes her $25,000 that she owed from undergraduate school.

. In addition, speech pathology is a specialized program that isn’t available at every college. If she lives in a state where there are maybe only 2 grad school programs at a state college and she didn’t get into either one of them, she might go to a private one to obtain her degree.

If she went to a private school, with seven quarters at $16,000 each plus living expenses, it’s very easy to see how she got into debt.

smitcat
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by smitcat » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:51 am

And it appears that the OP placed one post and has not returned.....

SelfEmployed123
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by SelfEmployed123 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:05 am

smitcat wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:51 am
And it appears that the OP placed one post and has not returned.....
True, but hopefully he will be back. Even if he does not read the comments, this is a very common issue. I am sure many lurkers will read the many helpful comments above.

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jharkin
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by jharkin » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:08 am

There is a massive red flag here - and its a relationship red flag. The two of you are not talking to each other, and even worse you are making the presumption that you are RIGHT and she is WRONG and that you have to FIX her.

There is a fundamental issue right there that has to be fixed if you are going to have a future together, but discussion of that is beyond the scope of this forum (and I am probably skirting the rules even to bring it up).

More generally... Not everyone makes their life plan around money, not everyone makes every decision based on money, not everyone (very few actually ) start planning their finances in grade school. Many people graduate with lots of debt, some far more than your future bride, and have successful lives.

This is all easily handled, but the first step is you two have to compromise and get on the same page. Good luck.

ncbill
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by ncbill » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:41 am

NxNW wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:39 pm
Her school likely has loan counseling officers. Sometimes financial education (or at least an understanding of the loan burden and payoff options) can start there.

This may also be a case for an hourly financial planner to help discuss and explain options (one with a fiduciary responsibility).

Either of these may help the two of you come to an understanding about what is comfortable for the loans as a couple without you having to lecture (or worse be guilty of “mansplaining”).

My wife and I both have student debt in the 6 figures and a financial planner that helps us negotiate. :happy

You might also want to discuss children. “She wants kids” versus “we want kids” is miles apart...
Income-based repayment an option?

Don't know if that goes of just her income or household income for married couples.

I have a relative who is on the above, currently deferred due to their low income.

michaeljc70
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:34 am

A lot of interesting responses. I'd be more concerned over differences in financial perspectives than the debt itself. The debt can be overcome. People usually don't change their view of money and are either frugal or not.

That being said, starting out your life together $150k in the hole wouldn't be fun. The median pay for a speech pathologist seems to be around $75k, so starting out in what sounds like a LCOL area it would be less.

five2one
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by five2one » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:31 am

OP,

Lots of good responses here from a variety of philosophies.

You need to ensure that whatever perspective/viewpoint you take that your concerns are ultimately evolved.
There is no "agree to disagree" on finances.

Three biggest decisions a person makes:
1. Where to go to school
2. Who to marry
3. When/where to buy house

P.S:
My spouse and I came from VERY different backgrounds...some good, some bad on both sides and had to calibrate ourselves.
We're doing good but more than a few conversations to sort our differences.

mariezzz
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by mariezzz » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:54 pm

Boglegrappler wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:06 pm
Yeah I'm not seeing the problem with the scenario as described by the OP. His fiancee took out 6 figures of loans for grad school that is stacked on top of $25k of undergrad loans-- welcome to life in the USA. She maxed out her loans so that she could have some cash on hand-- shockingly, people of all economic strata like to have the security blanket of an EF, even if that money has been borrowed.
I did a quick survey of tuition for speech pathologist masters programs and only a few have tuition levels that would put the total annual cost of attendance in the 40-50k range. Most seem to have tuition that would put total annual cost of attendance more like 25-30k. Seems like the debt should be more like 60k to 100k max.

Based on that, its a reasonable question of how the grad school debt gets to 140k a year before the expected graduation. Its a stunning number.

Of course, if there is a near six figure salary coming up, that might help quite a bit. It may be manageable, but it does require some discussion and calculation.
One factor is that for about the last decade, there have been no subsidized federal government loans for graduate students - interest starts accruing from the day the money is received. May have been an internship period, possibly unpaid. But I agree with the general sentiment of concern about how the loans got so big.

mariezzz
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by mariezzz » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:00 am

Tracker968 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:03 pm
jehovasfitness wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:37 pm
Tracker968 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:27 pm
I quickly scanned the previous responses so I apologize if this has already been stated. I would strongly suggest keeping your finances separate. You pay your bills and she pays her bills. You should each contribute to the rent, groceries according to your salaries. For example if you each make 45k then you would split those costs 50/50. If you make 45k and she makes 90k then she should pay 2/3 and you pay 1/3. That way she is responsible for paying back her loans. If she wants a new SUV then it should come out of her money. If you want a new Corvette it should come out of your money.
Once her loans are paid off then you could consider combining finances so simplify things.
So much for "becoming one".

Can't imagine splitting finances like that. If she makes 2x as him, why should she have to pay 2/3?, if anything split equally and buckle up buttercup and make some more money
Sure if the OP thinks a straight 50/50 is better why not? My main point was to keep their finances separate until her huge debt is paid off. That way she will feel responsible for her own debt. And he would be less likely to feel guilty about buying some luxury item if they had previously agreed that he wasn't responsible for her debt.
The only way to completely do this is to not get married.

For direct loans (federal government): Once married, both his & her income have to be considered if she wants to enroll in any income-dependent repayment plan.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by White Coat Investor » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:25 am

cmiller0701 wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:40 am
Mon September 11, 2018 9:10 a.m.

I've been dating a wonderful speech-language pathologist for about 2 years and now we're engaged. she took out massive amount of student loan debt (130k+)....I love her, but I agonize about our future. How much of a red flag should this be? If the PSLF program were to fail, it seems paying back the debt would be insurmountable. How much is this me being shallow vs. a valid problem?
I think you'd croak if you met some of the docs I know of with $1M+ student loans. $500K is becoming commonplace. Granted, a speech pathologist has much lower earning power, but I was expecting a very different number after reading the title.
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by gotester2000 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:57 am

OP,

I am concerned why you are limiting yourself to not making more money at your age?
As for the fiancee, I dont see the debt as massive. If you keep finances separate then why marry at all? Just get a roommate.

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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by JHU ALmuni » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:23 am

t885 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:46 am
Don't do it.

She might change in the short term to make you happy but after the "honeymoon" phase is over she will revert back to the mean

Cut bait and move on.
+1

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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by CyclingDuo » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:02 am

cmiller0701 wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:40 am
Mon September 11, 2018 9:10 a.m.

I've been dating a wonderful speech-language pathologist for about 2 years and now we're engaged. she took out massive amount of student loan debt (130k+) to pay for her graduate program and she had 25k from her undergrad. Her graduation Date is June 1, 2019 and our wedding date is August 4th, 2019 after she graduates. In contrast, I have been working and strategizing since I was 12 about how I would graduate debt free and I have done so with a bachelors in finance. I make 45k annually with life insurance, medical insurance, and retirement benefits. I own everything I have including my car and I have 10k in my savings, 5k for our wedding, and some precious medals. I have 799 credit score and have played the game to earn rewards for a lovely honeymoon. At my current position we could live off my salary and pay all of her future earnings to pay off the debt. Unfortunately, my wages won't increase dramatically at this position, but low cost of living offsets that fact for now.

I am very debt averse. I am frustrated by my fiancee's lack of understanding when it comes to numbers in general. She receives a surplus of money from her grad loans after accounting for her expenses and she then puts it in her bank account and thinks she's saving (7% compared to .01%). She has ballooned to 140k in Federal loans and still has yet to graduate. I have done extensive research and there are 2 options, refinance or PSLF. My only concern is the validity and stability of the PSLF program moving forward and my fiancee wanting a baby or babies during that period. If we went PSLF I would use the excess to dump into index funds as insurance if the PSLF program went awry. The PSLF will save us an extraordinary amount, compared to all other options. With medicare and social security headwinds in the future it seems 50/50 in terms of stability. I already know we won't get a home until our late 30s. Due to this uncertainty, I want to go private refinance. Furthermore, I want to dump savings at her loans asap. I love this woman, but she doesn't seem to comprehend the gravity of the situation. I love her, but I agonize about our future. How much of a red flag should this be? If the PSLF program were to fail, it seems paying back the debt would be insurmountable. How much is this me being shallow vs. a valid problem?
Both of you need to read this excellent .PDF entitled "The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings": https://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg ... payoff.pdf

You have introduced the obvious red flags that concern you:

- marrying into debt
- marrying someone who may have had a different upbringing regarding finances
- marrying someone who at the moment is giving you the message she doesn't understand financial numbers

As many have pointed out, open communication, learning, getting on the same page with each other, etc... can all mitigate the red flags. It is a good and normal time to thoroughly review what it is that attracted you to her in the first place, and thinking about all of the things you point out do come with the relationship. Every relationship is going to come with a few things that we could all label in a negative light, but it is important to not lose focus on the good things that attract you to each other.

I married a speech pathologist. She was the one who graduated from undergraduate and graduate school with $0 debt, and 'twas I that had the student loan debt. I attacked the debt in a very aggressive manner on my own for four years before we actually got married to knock the debt down as far and fast as I possibly could. Plenty of stress and tension is involved with a couple who are not on the same page financially with discussions about goals, spending habits, savings, delayed gratification, and continually having open discussions about it. You both will need to hash it out and come to an understanding to know exactly where each of you are coming from, and that can take years.

Positive things you mention:

- you will be a dual income household
- you have saved some money for the wedding/honeymoon
- you love her, and seem to want to communicate with her about finances
- you, yourself, are debt free, employed, and saving (and even have some precious medals! :mrgreen: )

All the best getting it figured out, but now is the time to get the discussions going so each of you know exactly where the other one is coming from before entering marriage. Joint decisions such as deciding to have children later after careers are going, and debt has been attacked, spending less on the wedding and honeymoon to save money, lifestyle choices you are both going to have to make to stay fiscally solvent - all need to be done sooner, rather than later.

Have you created a joint budget and shown her where the money goes now and where it will in the future? You can anticipate a few salaries for her and plug it into a budget, as well as what her student loan payment per month will be. Living below your means in terms of housing, transportation, food to handle the student loan bills - let alone saving for children, saving for retirement, saving for a home, etc... should be a major part of your discussion.
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Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Post by TN_Boy » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:46 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:25 am
cmiller0701 wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:40 am
Mon September 11, 2018 9:10 a.m.

I've been dating a wonderful speech-language pathologist for about 2 years and now we're engaged. she took out massive amount of student loan debt (130k+)....I love her, but I agonize about our future. How much of a red flag should this be? If the PSLF program were to fail, it seems paying back the debt would be insurmountable. How much is this me being shallow vs. a valid problem?
I think you'd croak if you met some of the docs I know of with $1M+ student loans. $500K is becoming commonplace. Granted, a speech pathologist has much lower earning power, but I was expecting a very different number after reading the title.
I'd agree that "massive" might be a slight overstatement, but at the couple's earning level, I think it IS a lot of money. It's pretty close to what I paid for a house back in the 90s (a basic "starter home" in a MCOL area). And I had a fairly high paying job, I wasn't stretching to buy that house. To me, debt equivalent to the cost of a house is hard to overlook.*

I think that amount of debt is a solvable problem for them, but I don't agree with some of the posters acting like its no big deal. I think it is a fairly big deal financially (I'll skip any opinion on potential relationship issues).

*I know that doctors sometimes have huge student loan debt, but they are likely to have very high incomes. And the last time I checked, the average value of student loans was nowhere near $130k+. She has a lot of debt.

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