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Perhaps this is not the best place to post this but I am not sure where would. I was wondering what you all thought about my situation and how I should going about paying off my debt.

I am in a two year MA program and have accumulated a bit of debt (though ceratinly not a substantial amount) and I am hoping to immediately matriculate into a PhD program after I graduate with my MA. I am not going to enter a program without funding, but that still leaves the issue of these loans which I am accumulating debt on. I was wondering what you all felt the best or usual course would be in terms of gradually paying down these debts?

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  • 1 month later...

1- set aside an equal amount every month that you can afford to pay on the debt.  Start at $25 a month, and if you go more than that, make sure that you can maintain that payment consistently throughout your PhD program should you go that route.  Not sure how to do $25 a month?  Take away your starbucks or other unnecessary expense.  Start a pocket-change jar.  When you have an extra $5 in your wallet, instead of spending it at the local fast food joint, put it in an envelope or jar labeled "debt relief" or something like that, so you don't touch the money.  Carry snacks with you instead of hitting up the vending machine.  Pay a little bit on your loans once you have accumulated the extra $25.  The satisfaction you feel from making even that small payment one time will help you to keep it going.  And you'll save hundreds or more in interest down the road. 


2- once you have income from a part-time job, or start working full-time, create your budget and try the Dave Ramsey "snowball" debt plan.  Pay as much as you can on the lowest debt that you owe, and when that is paid off, roll that payment into the next lowest debt that you owe.  Google search for 'Dave Ramsey total money makeover' to learn more about it.  I know a lot of people that find success with this plan, and my husband and I are also having a lot of success with it.  We have already paid off several debts that would not have been paid off until 2016 if we kept the payment amounts that were scheduled.  


3- remember that you're still in school and if you go to the PhD program, you will STILL be in school for some considerable time.  Pay what you can, but remember that the full-time job that supplies you with the income to pay your loans will eventually come.  :-) 

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If you have private funded students loans, you can always declare bank ruptcy .Private student loans are not protected and can be dismissed as part of abankruptcy filling.Asuggestion if schools offer legal help to people who could not otherwise afford hiring a lawyer.Seems it may be worth looking in to based upon your post.


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No, you can't. Private loans are protected as well.

Eta: I should add you can, but its VERY difficult. You would have to prove undue hardship which is rarely granted. I doubt going to graduate school would qualify. You pretty much have to prove you have no way of making a decent salary or have a major medical issue preventing you from working.

I have substantial student loans... I will be putting my private student loans on forebearance but will continue to make at least payments on the full interest so they don't grow. My federal loans will go to income based repayment and I will have a $0 payment. But I will continue to pay the interest on those as well. After I graduate I will hit them hard with any extra income I have at that point to pay them as quickly as possible.

Edited by misskira
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