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Messages - antaresvi

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1
Financial Aid / Re: Grad Plus VS Private, let's discuss
« on: May 16, 2008, 01:51:18 AM »
OK, back to topic. I've been approved for a prime -.5% private loan, but I can't seem to get over the possibility that down the road, a variable rate could really hurt. I have seen the Wachovia gradplus loan that refunds 3% and offers 1% off the rate through incentives (on-time payments and ACH). Obviously if Prime stays relatively stable, the private loan makes a ton more sense, but would it be stupid to take the sure thing and pay more?

2
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: General Housing Advice
« on: May 04, 2008, 03:50:39 PM »
I just couldn't get over the prices at Domus - the place is nice, but it's more expensive than CC. University City actually isn't bad at all if you go to the west side of campus. I would say that anything east of 45th is walkable and definitely cheaper than elsewhere. With regard to walking over the bridges at night, it's not great (I walked back from CC the night of ASW just to see what it was like), but the Penn shuttles run from 6pm to 3am.

3
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: General Housing Advice
« on: May 04, 2008, 01:25:15 PM »
I am considering many housing options for the fall and wanted to get a feel for how others have approached the following issues:

1. Roommate or no roommate? Why or why not?

2. If you had a roommate, how did you find one?

3. Is it best to room with a law student or live with someone in a different graduate program (med, business, phd, etc.)?

4. Should you make home as comfortable as possible given the stress of being a law student ( i.e. going for that pretty high rise around the corner because you will want a nice place to come home to after a rough day)? OR, is the stress not worth it/high enough to balance out the cost of living/debt management (this assumes, of course, that you are somewhat concerned with the high cost of attending law school)?

Thanks!

Hey - I figured I'd chime in, seeing as we're going to the same city! I'm going to be living in Center City with two roommates next year. They're actually both going to be Penn Med students - I figure that way, at least they'll be stressed at different times than me. One was a good friend of mine from high school, and the other is a friend of his from undergrad.

It was pretty important to me to find someone to live with that I'm already comfortable with - it'll be enough stress meeting everyone new at school; I didn't want to have to deal with an unknown quantity where I live, too. With regard to (3), I decided that I didn't want to live with another law student. I'm sure it could have been useful sometime during the year, but the added stress from not being able to escape school somewhere would have been too much for me. I like to really focus on school when I'm working, but then be able to leave it behind completely when I'm not - so having a place where I could do that was particularly important.

With regard to your last question, I don't know that anyone who hasn't been to law school yet can speak to the benefits of choosing a relatively nice place over a relatively cheap place. I think that the Penn budget is too low for anything outside of University City, but I don't plan to spend any more than $1k/month on housing (I'm moving the budget numbers around some to compensate). It seems to me that $1k is perfectly feasible when sharing a 2- or 3-bedroom in CC. If I planned to live alone, it probably would have been in UC, simply because I would have a hard time justifying $1k+ on a studio or one-bedroom in CC when I could get a nicer one in UC for a lower price. With the roommates, however, I get to live where I want to for the same price.

Anyway, sorry for the rambling response. Good luck finding a place!

4
Law School Applications / Re: Weirdo Florida Coastal Email
« on: April 19, 2008, 04:41:30 PM »
No, the weird part was this from the bottom of the email

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Confidential Information.
The information contained in or attached to this e-mail may be confidential information subject to protection by law or terms of applicable confidentiality agreements, and is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or the employee or agent responsible to deliver it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you are not the addressee indicated in this message (or responsible for delivery of the message to such person), you should destroy this message and notify the sender by reply email mentioning the code T1214-NO.


Seriously? "Destroy this message" and secret codes? I feel like inspector gadget...

5
Also, is it too early to be doing this? Is there any problem with getting loans out of the way before June?

If you're doing GRADPLUS, no.  If you're doing private loans, then yes.  The rates might change.

They might, but I was under the impression that pretty much every private loan rate is tied to prime or LIBOR, and the only question is what you qualify for relative to those rates. Is there a fixed private loan available?

I haven't seen one - and been looking. What's your take?


Well what I meant there was that it shouldn't matter if the rates change between now and June - the number Citi approved me at isn't going to change. I'm actually more torn between private and GradPLUS today than I was before I applied for the private loan - I got prime -0.5, which is really appealing. Here's a summary of the options I'm thinking about:

PNC GradPLUS loan @ 8.5%
-they refund the 3% opening fee
-rate reduction of 0.75% as long as you make payments on time
-reduction of 0.25% if you use autopay
= effective 7.5% fixed

Citi private loan @ prime -0.5%
-.25% reduction with autopay
-.75% reduction after 48 on time payments
= effective prime - 1.5% two years after graduation

So I'm kind of torn here, although I'm really nervous about taking out a variable rate loan - who knows what the prime rate will be in 5 years? If I could find a variable loan capped at like 9% or something, I'd be much more comfortable, but I don't think such a thing exists.

Anyone know anything about consolidation after graduation? The private loans would seem to make a lot more sense if you could lock in a sub- 8.5% fixed rate in three years.

6
Also, is it too early to be doing this? Is there any problem with getting loans out of the way before June?

If you're doing GRADPLUS, no.  If you're doing private loans, then yes.  The rates might change.

They might, but I was under the impression that pretty much every private loan rate is tied to prime or LIBOR, and the only question is what you qualify for relative to those rates. Is there a fixed private loan available?

7
Also, is it too early to be doing this? Is there any problem with getting loans out of the way before June?

8
I'd take a Stafford before I took a GradPLUS. The terms are better. Why would you want a GradPLUS before a Stafford?

You have to max out the Stafford before you can take out gradplus, so if I do take the gradplus, I'd be getting both. Problem is that Stafford maxes out at 20,500, so I'm like with another 45k or so.

9
Awesome. Never knew bears were so helpful!

10
So just to be sure of what we're doing here - a few questions.

1) Can I apply for a private loan just to see what rate I get, and then if I don't want to take it, can I decline the loan?
2) Should I be applying for any loans now, or should I wait till next month or so?
3) Do I need to apply for Stafford before I apply for GradPLUS or private?

Gracias.

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