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Messages - DTEJD1997

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Incoming 1Ls / Re: LOANS: Your debt load? Normal debt load?
« on: June 09, 2010, 01:07:02 AM »

I would caution you to think twice about having $175k in student loan debt.

I graduated from law school in 1997 and did not get a good job for several years.  My debt eventually went up to just over $100k. 

Eventually, I got back on track and I have had a VERY good job for the last several years.   So far, I have paid about $60k towards my loans & interest, but I still owe about $75k.

Lets assume you can make $100k a year after graduation.  Take home pay will be in the neighborhood of $60k.  You will most likely have to have a place to live , vehicle, food, clothing, etc....That is certainly going to be at least $2k a month, but probably will be at least $3k, maybe even more...That will leave you with $24k a year to build a retirement account, build a down payment for a house, AND PAY DOWN YOUR LOAN BALANCE.   I forgot to calculate interest on your loans....interest will probably be around 5% or so, which equates to $8k a year.

REMEMBER, for all intents & purposes, student loan interest is not tax deductible.

If you have a job earning $100k a year, you will probably be able to pay down your student loan debt by a maximum of $12-16k a year.  It will therefore take you a MINIMUM of 10 years to pay off your loan.  Probably a more realistic expectation is 12-14 years.  That is also assuming that you make AT LEAST $100K a year.

Of course, if you are making $125k or more, you will probably be OK if you are aggressive about debt repayment for 5-6 years.

Please be careful, and GOOD LUCK!

U of Toledo / Re: thinking of Toledo 2010 any help?
« on: June 09, 2010, 12:37:38 AM »

I graduated from Toledo in 1997....

It was a VERY difficult job market back then. 

Toledo is an OK town.  There are lots of things to do near the University.  UT has a world class recreation center, with excellent pools and work out equipment.  There is also a tremendous bike path that goes through UT.  I really miss these two things and would recommend them highly.

I would recommend that you have your job/exit strategy planned out BEFORE you go to law school, OR AT THE LATEST IN YOUR 1st year of school.  If you don't have a job lined up, you are in trouble.  Most of the people I graduated with, that actually practiced law, wound up with relatively low paying/high stress jobs.  A couple of them got OK paying jobs, but nobody I knew was making "good" money.  I would question the veracity of 80% employment.  That was not the case in my day, and I doubt that things have gotten any better.

Making money is going to be VERY, VERY, VERY important to you if you have taken on student loans.

Student loans are a terrible, terrible burden.  My advice is to not take out MORE THAN 1 years income in student loans.  Please be realistic about that 1st year salary.  Most UT attorneys that I knew were making $35-50K 1 or 2 years out of school.  NOBODY that I knew had a glamorous or even "nice" job.  Most people were slogging it out in government positions, small firms, or hanging their own shingle.

Think about this....If you have taken out loans for 3+ years of school, and you have ANY DIFFICULTY AT ALL getting a job after graduation, you are really going to be "behind the 8 ball".  If you have $100K in student loan debt, that is going to be difficult to pay off, EVEN IF YOU HAVE A GOOD JOB. 

YOU MUST HIT THE GROUND RUNNING AFTER GRADUATION.  I can not emphasize that enough. 

Also remember, a lot of the interest that you pay on loans IS NOT TAX DEDUCTIBLE.  The tax deduction starts dropping away when you are making $50k & over.

Career services was not much help.  HOWEVER, I can't fault them too much, as there was not much that anyone could do...

In the end, if you work hard and apply yourself, you will get a good education.  HOWEVER, the question you have answer is:


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