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I'm trying to figure out some sort of plan to pay off the $95K of debt I will owe after SLP grad school in NY. So I'm very interested to know how some of you plan to do so or how some of you already have done/are doing so. Some pointers would be greatly appreciated since that number is daunting to me every time I see it ?☹?

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Try and 'live like a student' for a few more years. In essence, rent a more affordable room vs renting a more expensive studio or 1 bedroom. Maybe set aside a budgeted amount of money of fun/wants, but don't go overboard. 

Budget and prioritize spending to pay more than the minimum on your loans.

Snowball your loan payments- if you have multiple loans. So make the minimum payments on all your loans, but pay more (what your income/budget will allow) toward the smallest loan.  Once that Loan is paid off, pay the minimum payment on all the loans, but add the payment you were making on the loan you just paid off toward the next smallest loan in a snowball effect until your loans are paid off.

 

 

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There are a lot of really inspiring articles on ways to pay your debt on pinterest which I read frequently to keep me sane!! Haha. I'll owe about the same as you when it's all said and done. I agree with what Poor_salieri said, try to live below your means and devote as much of your income as you feel comfortable with to your loans instead of just paying the minimum payments. Just remember that generally we want a lot of things we don't need! Like, I really want an apple watch, but I just had to make a payment on my student loan... so yeah, no apple watch for me. :P 

Another method in contrast to the snowball method is the "avalanche" method, which is paying off your loan with the highest interest rate first. I personally want to try this because some of my interest rates are crazy! Also refinancing to get a lower interest rate can help in the long run.

Make an account with StudentLoanHero. I did, and it's very helpful!

Lastly, check out Public Service Loan Forgiveness if you have federal direct loans! :) 

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With this level of loan debt the "snowball" method will end up costing you more in the long run. AND it assumes that all of those interest rates are fixed - which if you took out private loans, they may not be. The snowball method is a stupid one overall, it just makes you feel good that you are closing out accounts when all it does is increase the amount of interest you pay over time. One of the (many) reasons I cannot stand Dave Ramsey.

First thing to do is take an inventory of the loans that you have, figure out what your monthly payments will be, and match that to your take home pay and budget. If there's a way to increase this (like through additional clinical certifications, PRN work or a second job/hustle, do it). I paid off a similar loan burden with a second job and a side business.

When it comes to loans, consider the following:

1) If your employer offers a match for IRA/retirement funds, contribute only the amount necessary to receive the match. Otherwise you are leaving free money on the table.

2) Build up an emergency fund of 3-6 months' worth of expenses.

3) Make the minimum monthly payments on all loans. If you have "extra" money to spare, for example, if your emergency fund is large enough and you're considering upping your 401(k) contribution, don't. Every dollar you pay down debt is a guaranteed return on your money. Pay down the loan with the highest interest rate FIRST. 

3a) #3 has a wrinkle in that if you have a mixture of private and Federal loans, the Federal loans have protections like deferment if you're laid off, Federal loan forgiveness, discharge on death, whereas the private loans generally do not have similar protections and you owe money regardless of your job situation. The Federal loans are also fixed interest, whereas the private are usually variable. You'll have to weigh the pros/cons of this if you have a mixture of loans. For example, the private loans might be lower interest than the Federal, but since they have fewer consumer protections, if might be in your interest to pay those off first even if they are lower interest.

If you can, consider relocating to an area with a lower cost of living. I moved from the NE out west to a more rural state and was able to slice my rent payment by 50% and expenses by a significant percentage. Some agencies like Indian Health Service and the VA offer tuition reimbursement in exchange for several years of promised service, and you find similar deals with rural non-profit hospital systems as well. Not sure what the market is like for SLPs in this regard, though, and that assumes you are a clinical SLP. 

Edited by FoodDoc
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So.. I actually came to the most JARRING reality today. I just went on myLIU to accept my loans (which I thought were 25K/year) and they are instead - 25K per TERM! Therefore, I will not owe 95K as I originally thought. Somehow I overlooked the actual cost of attendance, so in addition to the 45K i have already, 100K will be added once I'm done... making it a whopping $145,000+ worth of debt!!!!!!!! I'm about to cry and throw up all at the same time. I live with my husband who pays all the bills (except my credit card bills). My income which is less than 25K a year which is NOTHING can not pay for my monthly necessities AND the interest of these loans. I had to put my loans on deferment/forbearance recent;y for that same reason. I couldn't afford even the lowest monthly payments. I have never been a reckless spender, so I don't have the issue of having to budget and prioritize because I already prioritize. I don't even spend money on eating out more than once a month (if that). I don't go clothes shopping more than like every 5 years. SO when I say I can't afford this... I REALLY CAN'T! 

This is so disheartening though. I have no idea what to do now. Does this mean that I now have to apply to schools all over again and only apply to CUNY's/SUNY's? UGHHHHHHHHH ?????????????????????

Edited by SpeechLaedy
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@SpeechLaedy That is an insane amount of debt! Which gives you a really hard decision to make :( Do you actually need the full amount of the loans they're offering to you or will you get a refund? For example I take the full amount to get a refund to pay my rent/cost of living. If your bill is less than the amount of loans they awarded you you can elect to only accept part of it.

I know that the CUNYs can be super competitive, but I'm going to a SUNY and my tuition for fall semester is like $6,500. Is moving out of the city an option?

I hope everything works out for you! 

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Hello! I was in a similar situation when u started. Look and see if there is any kind of tuition waiver or GAship type thing you can do to help reduce the cost. Like the previous poster said, do you have to take the full amount or can you just take out the tuition part? I think you can only take out 120k max, so I would definitely look into other options before you apply again. Good luck! 

 

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9 hours ago, JcSLP said:

@SpeechLaedy That is an insane amount of debt! Which gives you a really hard decision to make :( Do you actually need the full amount of the loans they're offering to you or will you get a refund? For example I take the full amount to get a refund to pay my rent/cost of living. If your bill is less than the amount of loans they awarded you you can elect to only accept part of it.

I know that the CUNYs can be super competitive, but I'm going to a SUNY and my tuition for fall semester is like $6,500. Is moving out of the city an option?

I hope everything works out for you! 

I just spent a bunch of time scouring through the financial aid page and you were right. I actually don't need the full 50K for the year. I will need 37K of that to pay for tuition. Which brings it down slightly but it's still well over 100K ?. Moving out of state is no longer an option for us, unfortunately. So it's NY or nothing. I went to CUNY schools in my undergrad so I am much acquainted with their refreshingly low tuition. I'm wondering if transferring out of LIU's program would be an option, but from what I can tell, it's not a common thing to do since most institutions do not have a section in their faq addressing graduate transfer students. I'm trying to think of everything I can in order to escape this mountain o'debt so hopefully something good will come out of all of my digging. Sigh... Thanks a bunch for your input!

8 hours ago, Speechster said:

Hello! I was in a similar situation when u started. Look and see if there is any kind of tuition waiver or GAship type thing you can do to help reduce the cost. Like the previous poster said, do you have to take the full amount or can you just take out the tuition part? I think you can only take out 120k max, so I would definitely look into other options before you apply again. Good luck! 

 

I already interviewed for the GA position in the speech clinic at LIU. They should be getting back to me sometime next month. But it's nothing special monetarily, though. It's basically a terribly paying on-campus job ($10/hr with no effect on tuition) that is more beneficial for your experience as an SLP and networking. And after looking further into my financial aid page, I discovered I will be owing $120K instead of $145K. Still a lot but it meets maximum loan amount. I will have to call FedLoan to find out what the max is for sure. Thanks for mentioning that

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On 7/31/2017 at 11:13 PM, Speechster said:

You don't have to work in the speech department you can do one in like the library or something

Hmm! Okay I never thought of that. Thanks!! Hope it's not too late 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/4/2017 at 4:19 PM, SpeechLaedy said:

Hmm! Okay I never thought of that. Thanks!! Hope it's not too late 

Look into other jobs! I joined care.com and got a job babysitting. In big cities, I know they pay $15-20 an hour babysitting or more, depending on location. I know in NY it has to be big pay, too!!! Also, I don't know your background, but you can make even more if you are a teacher or come from a school based job and find a tutoring job. Much better pay and fun job :) 

Edited by SpeechGal1234
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6 hours ago, SpeechGal1234 said:

Look into other jobs! I joined care.com and got a job babysitting. In big cities, I know they pay $15-20 an hour babysitting or more, depending on location. I know in NY it has to be big pay, too!!! Also, I don't know your background, but you can make even more if you are a teacher or come from a school based job and find a tutoring job. Much better pay and fun job :) 

That's a great idea as well! I don't know how I never signed up for care.com yet. I used to get paid $20+ per hour for one child I babysat in the city (big money + no tax deducted!) from one family that hired me off of teachercare.com - similar site. I'll look into that right now! 

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Look into applying for GAs and apply for everything , even things you don't think you're qualified for. I ended up getting a GA last minute and it saved me so much money for out of state tuition. On the downside it's a 20 hour Ga but on the positive side I have a free ride for 2 years. I guess it doesn't come without hard work! Don't be discouraged. Have you tried to talk to the dean or your director? Sometimes they know about othed GAs on campus 

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I will have about 10k more than you, I plan to use PRN jobs to pay off my loans for the first few years and hopefully I can get the teacher loan forgiveness which is 17k. I don't have any kids and I don't plan on having any in the next few years. I say use any extra income once you get your CCCs and put that towards your loans. 

Edited by prettyspeechy
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  • 4 weeks later...

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