Friday, March 18, 2011

Student Loan Blues.

Sean and I learned this week that we have to start paying back some of his loans.

*screech* what? Isn't he still in school?

Yea, yea he is. And he's still a full time student. Which, by federal loan standards, means that he's eligible for deferment. Except. Oh except my wonderful husband doesn't have just federal loans. Oh no. He had to go and get private loans for school. Which, ladies and gents, only have to defer for a mere five years. This would be fine at all, if he had gone into the workforce after a bachelor's degree. But it doesn't account, or help, those students like him going for graduate degrees.

Big. Fat. UGH.

Sean ran into the problem during undergrad that his parents made too much to qualify him for standard federal loans, but they were only willing to help him part of the way through school. Which means he had to find a way to make ends meet for tuition purposes. Because he was still classified as a dependent, his parents' earnings affected him 100%. Though we're grateful that they did help quite a bit (they paid for about 1/2 his education), that still left the other half...funded by private loans.

The loan is about $25k, which is chump change is student loan world, but it's still another $169 a month we have to figure out. And because it's a private loan (once again, I HATE the word private), it's not eligible for income-based repayment plans (like my awesome federal loan). Thankfully, it has a ridiculously low interest rate, but it's still painful. (oh, and did I mention that if we pay extra, it doesn't go to principle? EFF!)

Basically, at this point, we have a few options. We have enough with savings and loan extra to make it. But we don't want to rely on that. I'm looking for a new job. I've come to actually enjoy my current job, but it just doesn't cut it bill-wise. I need a job that actually, you know, requires a degree, and maybe a touch of critical thinking. If I can't find a new full time job by the end of April, I'll be applying for second jobs (preferably at a place that gives employee discounts too!). Over the summer, Sean will have both class and hopefully a job/internship at a local law firm. He'll be really busy, so us not having as much time won't be as much of an issue, because we already won't be having time together.

In order to live comfortably, we need to bring another ~$500 a month. It can easily be done with his student loans, but we'd rather avoid that. I know that next year we'll get better loans and all (though not grants, because it's graduate school), but we have to make it through this year too. If he takes two classes this summer, he's full time, and gets loans at that point too.

It'll work. I mean, clearly, we have to make it work. There are thousands of people that are far more in debt than we are. But neither of us ever want to get behind on bills, and we want to have decent credit to buy a home in a few years. So work our tails off we will. We're getting rid of this debt dammit!!

1 comment:

Ryanne said...

Oh that sucks!!! my loans are in the grace period right now, but that ends in June.

I completely feel you on wanting to get rid of this debt. We have about 25-30K right now between student loans and my needs to GO!!!