Law School Discussion

Poll

How much debt do you think you'll ultimately graduate with?

under 20K
4 (3.3%)
20k-40k
5 (4.1%)
40k-60k
11 (8.9%)
60k-80k
14 (11.4%)
80k-100k
32 (26%)
over 100k
57 (46.3%)

Total Members Voted: 122

Graduating with debt

UFBoldAsLove

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Re: Graduating with debt
« Reply #30 on: April 07, 2008, 08:33:19 AM »
$0-45K. Though if its 45K I plan to throw plenty of my SA money towards it.

Scholarships or parents?

Both.

VirusNY

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Re: Graduating with debt
« Reply #31 on: April 07, 2008, 08:35:45 AM »
60-100K in debt, depending on how economical and how much of my summer job money I can put towards tuition...

Re: Graduating with debt
« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2008, 04:01:25 AM »
$0-45K. Though if its 45K I plan to throw plenty of my SA money towards it.

Scholarships or parents?

Both.

Errr. So fortunate. Unlike us 98%.

Re: Graduating with debt
« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2008, 06:19:33 AM »
Looks like 80-100k depending on 2L summer.

yykm

Re: Graduating with debt
« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2008, 03:56:36 PM »
Just a reminder: school debt provides some tax advantages, which can make the actual interest paid much less than the sticker percentage listed. 

For me, I'll likely have around $120k-130k in debt.  $25k in low interest debt from ug, $57k stafford for ls, and  $40-50k in grad plus.  I figure a 30-year repayment of the ug debt and perhaps the same for the ls debt if I can consolidate them at a rate below 5%.

Re: Graduating with debt
« Reply #35 on: April 10, 2008, 03:58:46 PM »
Just a reminder: school debt provides some tax advantages, which can make the actual interest paid much less than the sticker percentage listed. 

For me, I'll likely have around $120k-130k in debt.  $25k in low interest debt from ug, $57k stafford for ls, and  $40-50k in grad plus.  I figure a 30-year repayment of the ug debt and perhaps the same for the ls debt if I can consolidate them at a rate below 5%.

30 years??? I take it you're not going into Biglaw.

Re: Graduating with debt
« Reply #36 on: April 10, 2008, 04:01:26 PM »
About a 100k for me just from lawschool. No undergrad debt though.

I think its important to note that if your parents aren't paying for your school and your living expenses, or you don't have money saved up then the debt from loans will rack up even if you have a scholarship. Gotta pay for things somehow.

Re: Graduating with debt
« Reply #37 on: April 11, 2008, 06:59:51 AM »
It's very unlikely that you will ever get your interest rates below 5% -- probably impossible.  Your Stafford loans are set by Congress at 6.8%.  The Grad Plus loans are set at 8.5%.  I just don't see how you will ever get that under 5%.  Plus, the tax advantage really aren't that great.  You are capped at interest payments of $2,500 a year and the deduction is phased out once your income reaches certain thresholds -- and the thresholds are not that high, especially for married couples. 

BTW, have you run all of the figures on how much more you are paying in the long-run using a 30 yr repayment plan?  It's stunning how much more in interest you will pay.  Just some food for thought....

yykm

Re: Graduating with debt
« Reply #38 on: April 13, 2008, 04:02:22 PM »
It's very unlikely that you will ever get your interest rates below 5% -- probably impossible.  Your Stafford loans are set by Congress at 6.8%.  The Grad Plus loans are set at 8.5%.  I just don't see how you will ever get that under 5%.  Plus, the tax advantage really aren't that great.  You are capped at interest payments of $2,500 a year and the deduction is phased out once your income reaches certain thresholds -- and the thresholds are not that high, especially for married couples. 

BTW, have you run all of the figures on how much more you are paying in the long-run using a 30 yr repayment plan?  It's stunning how much more in interest you will pay.  Just some food for thought....
My ug debt has a rate below 5%, so depending on how the number crunch out, I'll probably keep those separate from the ls loans.  If you can invest your money and have returns over 8%, trying to repay loans at below 5% interest makes no sense because you're making gains on that loaned money.  Rather than paying it back, you're earning a 3% net gain (if 8% returns and 5% loan rate).  Additionally, earning 8% returns on long-term investing is modest, so holding out on repaying low-interest loans just doesn't make sense.  The Grad Plus loans I'll definately pay back as quick as possible (so long as I don't get an excellent consolidation rate, which I doubt I will).

I agree with you about the modest tax deductions.  However, the phase-outs are adjusted for inflation and based on AGI, so depending on your above-the-line deductions the amounts aren't too bad.  I know a few years ago that the deductions completely phase out at a $160k AGI for married joint filers.  With a spouse starting grad school when I finish, this will allow me to make some deduction.  Regardless, my main focus was on the ability to make gains on the borrowed money rather than paying it back as quickly as possible.  Even if you make $160k+, investing the money rather than repaying it is the wiser financial move.

Re: Graduating with debt
« Reply #39 on: April 24, 2008, 10:09:43 AM »
Looks like 80-100k depending on 2L summer.

Wait, what's so special about 2L summer??