What's your student loan situation like?

I just want to get a feel for what my debt load is comapred to other people’s.

I currently have loans through three lendors.

Loan #!:
Lendor: Sallie Mae
Balance: $12,545
Interest: 3.5%
Min. Monthly Payment: $115

Loan #2:
Lendor: Direct Loans (consolidation loan)
Balance: $41,698 (~$28,000 is an unsubsidized Stafford loan, the rest is a subsidized Stafford loan.)
Interest: 7.875%
Min. Monthly Payment: $274

Loan #3:
Lendor: Private non-profit lendor
Balance: $15,423
Interest: 3.325%
Min. Monthly Payment: $125
Right now, I have loans 2 and 3 on forbearance until June. I think I’ll be able to afford them when they come back up again. It’s another $400 a month…but I’ll also have my two credit cards paid off by then, which average $200 a month right now. Of course, that assumes I don’t need to use them for anything.

The one that’s killing me the most is the Direct Loans one. It used to be with the private lender at a slightly higher interest (I think 8 or 8.25%,) so I consolidated with Direct Loans and got down to that low, low rate of 7.875% (:rolleyes:) And of course, a couple months after I did that, rates went way down and I could have gotten a lower one. Now they are stuck at that fixed rate. Fuck. :mad:

I racked up about $120k in loans for law school. I wanted to reduce my payments so I did some math and consolidated in 1999 at something like 7%, right around the time I passed the Bar. :smack:

Nobody ever explained to me that I can (realistically) consolidate only once and that rate would be locked in forever despite any lower rates in the future. Sure enough, rates fell, I looked into my options to reduce my rate and have found none. I keep waiting for news that a new law will allow a refi some day.

Does anyone know why this is? I mean…I can understand them limiting your consolidation, so you don’t do it all the time, change lenders, etc…but why not just put like a one or two year time limit on it, and then let you do it again? it seems really unfair to people who might have missed a low interest rate by mere months because they (ironically) wanted to save money by consolidating (before I consolidated, I was paying over $800 a month.)

I never took any out; my bachelors was paid for with scholarship money, and I didn’t continue to grad school. Sorry about the crappy interest rate–I agree that it doesn’t make sense that you can’t refinance that one. Good luck.

I owe precisely 23,000 at the 3.55% Federal Stafford Loan rate. Most of that was subsidized so it was not accruing interest until I graduated in May. The lending company is called ACS but all the Stafford loans are the same. My payment is $269. I plan to pay it off in full this year (I have no credit card debt, auto debt or any other kind of debt).

That’s for law school, I have no debt from undergrad.

I am much, much better positioned financially, vis a vis student loan debt, than 95% of people I know. I am not independently wealthy. I made a lot of careful choices, some of which were very painful to make, but everything is falling together now so it was all worth it.

I undergraduated 5.5 years ago with around $37K in student debt.

Around $12K was at 5% fixed private loan (from my school), and the rest was a mix of Stafford sub and unsub at a variable rate around 3%. I paid off the 5% as quickly as I could (I figured it was a better sure-thing investment than anything else at the time), and consolidated all the others at 3.125% fixed, and set about paying those off as slowly as possibly.

I expected to be paying the ~$180 payment on that for the full 10 year payoff term, but my mom made me several very generous gifts with the express instruction that they be used to pay off my school loans. With her help, I made the last payment in December.

Let me tell you about my student loan story…

I wanted to pay for college by myself because my father is a tad controlling and if he paid for my college I’d have to answer to him about everything. So instead I decided to go it on my own. I was lucky enough to get some scholarships, but because of my parents income I didn’t qualify for grants.

I thought student loans were for people with good credit and I had no credit at all. WHY DIDN’T I TALK TO A FINANCIAL AID REP!?!?? So stupid, stupid me lived eating rice and packs of 79 cent hotdogs while working too many hours and not getting nearly enough sleep. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

I guess it’s good because in the end I had no student loans, but dayum it could have made my life easier.

I have about 15k left at 3.5%, originally was 25k.

As far as only being able to consolidate once, that is the whole point of a fixed rate interest. It is your own responsibility to make sure you understand what you are getting into when you enter a financial agreement.

As far as total loan amount, you shouldn’t be so worried about what others debt load is, but rather how much you owe in comparison to your salary/potential salary. I always cringe when I hear about people racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans for a humanities degree.

At any rate, if you are worried about not being able to repay your loan on your salary, you might look into consolidating all of your loans together. One of the advantages of consolidation is they offer an income based repayment plan where your payment is limited to a certain percentage of your salary. Your interest rate would be the weighted average of your existing loans.

The only other one that can be consolidated is the third one. The Sallie Mae loan is unconsolidatable (is that a word?).

I punched the numbers into a loan consolidation calculator and it seems like a bad idea…the 3.325% would jump to like 6.75%. So yeah, the other loans would go down to that, too, but is it worth it?

I did some very quick, probably wrong, number crunching and if I consolidated the $15,000 loan with the large loan, I’d lower my monthly payment by about $30, but I think I would end up paying more interest in the long run…maybe?

I have about $23,000 of law school debt left at 3.125%.

$11,000 left at 2.125% through SallieMae. My dad is a college loan “seller” and he just told me to keep waiting, keep waiting until the interest rate was that low before refinancing. (Also those 6 years of deferment through grad school were great too- Thanks Uncle Sam!)

No school debt - my folks had put away money for my sister’s and my college educations starting early, I went to a state university and I got my instate residency as quickly as possible. Combined with some summer earnings and a small scholarship my freshman year (they were trying to attract out of state students) that paid for my BS.

I was a TA during grad school and an RA during my grad school summers which paid for the MS.

No student loans - I worked two jobs the whole way through, though there were still times when I was eating crackers and mustard. My partner’s just finished - ten years after graduation.

I don’t know exactly what my load debt is at this point, probably around $70,000 or so… But I’m still in school so it is still going up. By the time I graduate, I’ll have about $120,000 in loans…

Oh, the interest is listed as 6.75% on my loan documents. About 1/3 of that amount is subsidized, the other 2/3 isn’t, and is racking up interest as I speak.

I finished paying off my student loans in, oh, 2001. Man, those student loan people are relentless.

They’re the ones who should be hunting for Bin Laden. We’d-a had him years ago.

I think I’m around 97,000 (“payoff” amount, after a PhD) consolidated at 3.0% fixed, on a humanities-graduate, gradually-sloped graduated plan.

Never took out any student loans. Undergrad was paid for by scholarships, state grants, and my parents’ saving from the day I was born. Grad school was paid for by my employer at the time.

Debt free from college because I applied for every single scholarship EVAR in the 90’s (but in my day, you had to show up and write a paragraph) wheeeee!

Will be debt free from undergrad when I graduate in May. This due to my parents saving to send my sister and I to school, my sister dropping out of school, and me working, but mostly due to scholarships, mostly merit-based*. Plus, since I go to school in a small town, I’m able to pay for all my own food, rent, pizza, beer, gas, and car insurance- my parents haven’t given me money directly since I moved out of the dorms; they just pay the small remainder of the tuition that’s left after scholarships. Had I not gotten one big scholarship in particular my freshman year, I suspect I’d have something like 15,000 or 20,000 now. That would be bad; I’m a theatre major, and though I’m a technician and fairly employable, I’ll never be rich.

Grad school may involve debt. It depends on where I go, how long it takes, and how long before I go.
*Some academic, some artistic, my school has a big endowment, or did before the economy tanked.

How timely. I spent last night doing the paperwork for my economic harship deferrment so I actually know these numbers off the top of my head. I have Direct Loans (consolidation, subsidized and unsubsidized) totaling 184K and change. I have Perkins Loans for 8500. Those are all from med school. I already payed off the Direct Loans from college and my parents payed for the private loan I took out then.