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

Re: Graduating with debt
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2008, 03:53:52 PM »
Anyone wanna take a shot at how long 80K will take to pay off earning an average salary of like 125k? I seriously have no clue.

Your mileage may vary. How many trips, shows, expensive dinners, weekend getaways, etc etc are you willing to forgo. Are you living in NYC, where your income is taxed 3 times, or are you living in a suburb of Nashville, where it's only taxed once?

I personally am not too concerned about the 60K of stafford loans, but I want to get the 40-60K in grad plus loans paid off pretty quickly (provided I can't lock in a good % on a federal consolidation loan, but we'll see where the market is in three years, won't we?).

I'm personally a modest spender, I grew up in a relatively low-income bracket. All my loans are federal loans, too, so I'm hoping the interest rates won't kill me. I just really, really hate the idea of being in debt, even more than most people I would think (I never even used a credit card in my name, and graduated from UG without debt).

Sometimes I get jittery about taking 80k in loans and later not finding a job that I can earn enough to pay it all back.

Re: Graduating with debt
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2008, 04:02:48 PM »
I am still deciding, but it's either $125K at a very good but non-T14 school, or zero debt at a Tier2 regional school (in a region where I would like to practice).  Talk about extremes in my case!

BTW, I think it's possible to pay off your loans quickly, but realize that most people don't do this.  You hear of a lot of people saying they have to work in Biglaw to pay off loans for a reason.  If it was easy to pay it off in 2 years, everyone would do it.  It's simple to say now that you will live like a student still once you graduate, that you won't make any big purchases, etc. etc., but it's A LOT harder to maintain that sort of attitude once you are out in the real world.  I've been out of undergrad for awhile and while I don't live any sort of luxurious life, things easily come up especially when your married, etc.

That's part of the reason why I am so hesitant about taking out $125K more....

That's so true. Many people can pay off their loans faster than they choose to do. I think it's a matter of personal choice and what suits your lifestyle best. Let's just hope this economic crisis we have doesn't get worse over the next couple of years...

Astro

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Re: Graduating with debt
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2008, 04:09:15 PM »
I am still deciding, but it's either $125K at a very good but non-T14 school, or zero debt at a Tier2 regional school (in a region where I would like to practice).  Talk about extremes in my case!

BTW, I think it's possible to pay off your loans quickly, but realize that most people don't do this.  You hear of a lot of people saying they have to work in Biglaw to pay off loans for a reason.  If it was easy to pay it off in 2 years, everyone would do it.  It's simple to say now that you will live like a student still once you graduate, that you won't make any big purchases, etc. etc., but it's A LOT harder to maintain that sort of attitude once you are out in the real world.  I've been out of undergrad for awhile and while I don't live any sort of luxurious life, things easily come up especially when your married, etc.

That's part of the reason why I am so hesitant about taking out $125K more....

That's so true. Many people can pay off their loans faster than they choose to do. I think it's a matter of personal choice and what suits your lifestyle best. Let's just hope this economic crisis we have doesn't get worse over the next couple of years...


It will.  It's important just to be ready for it and be realistic about it.  If you're a modest spender, I don't think you have much to worry about with 80K, especially if most of that is federal.

Re: Graduating with debt
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2008, 04:18:56 PM »
$80K is nothing to exactly sniff at, but it's not the end of the world either.  If that's all you have from both undergrad and grad, it's manageable.  You would probably need to make somewhere in the ballpark of $65-$70K in order to pay back that kind of debt in a fiscally sane way (i.e., paying interest and principal, 10 year repayment at most, not spending at least 15% of income on loan repayments, etc.)


Astro

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Re: Graduating with debt
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2008, 04:20:58 PM »
$80K is nothing to exactly sniff at, but it's not the end of the world either.  If that's all you have from both undergrad and grad, it's manageable.  You would probably need to make somewhere in the ballpark of $65-$70K in order to pay back that kind of debt in a fiscally sane way (i.e., paying interest and principal, 10 year repayment at most, not spending at least 15% of income on loan repayments, etc.)




<-- necessarily fiscally insane

Re: Graduating with debt
« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2008, 08:11:38 PM »
I am still deciding, but it's either $125K at a very good but non-T14 school, or zero debt at a Tier2 regional school (in a region where I would like to practice).  Talk about extremes in my case!

BTW, I think it's possible to pay off your loans quickly, but realize that most people don't do this.  You hear of a lot of people saying they have to work in Biglaw to pay off loans for a reason.  If it was easy to pay it off in 2 years, everyone would do it.  It's simple to say now that you will live like a student still once you graduate, that you won't make any big purchases, etc. etc., but it's A LOT harder to maintain that sort of attitude once you are out in the real world.  I've been out of undergrad for awhile and while I don't live any sort of luxurious life, things easily come up especially when your married, etc.

That's part of the reason why I am so hesitant about taking out $125K more....

You know my opinion: take money at the T2 school and run!   :D

Seriously, though, I think you should.  And I say it so others see it on here, and might think twice about it.  As you stated, large debt like this is nothing to sneeze at.  For some, it's manageable.  For others, they will be miserable having to live like a student for years.

Re: Graduating with debt
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2008, 09:32:06 AM »
I am still deciding, but it's either $125K at a very good but non-T14 school, or zero debt at a Tier2 regional school (in a region where I would like to practice).  Talk about extremes in my case!

BTW, I think it's possible to pay off your loans quickly, but realize that most people don't do this.  You hear of a lot of people saying they have to work in Biglaw to pay off loans for a reason.  If it was easy to pay it off in 2 years, everyone would do it.  It's simple to say now that you will live like a student still once you graduate, that you won't make any big purchases, etc. etc., but it's A LOT harder to maintain that sort of attitude once you are out in the real world.  I've been out of undergrad for awhile and while I don't live any sort of luxurious life, things easily come up especially when your married, etc.

That's part of the reason why I am so hesitant about taking out $125K more....

I'm from a poorer background and I know the perils of debt, so I know that I will be able to live a less glamorous life at first so I can pay off my loans.

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Re: Graduating with debt
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2008, 09:41:28 AM »
$0-45K. Though if its 45K I plan to throw plenty of my SA money towards it.

Re: Graduating with debt
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2008, 01:35:44 PM »
$0-45K. Though if its 45K I plan to throw plenty of my SA money towards it.

Scholarships or parents?

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Re: Graduating with debt
« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2008, 06:59:15 AM »
Probably 120,000 in debt, half of which is stafford. Unless I decide to go to Northwestern or if I can convince some New York schools to match Northwestern's super-generous offer. I don't see the second one happening though. Ugh, I need to decide so soon! Darn NYU and their grant deadlines.