{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Just curious how people have decided to respond to their student loans from law school. Do you all just pay the minimum and live comfortably or are you aggressively paying? What are the pros and cons?", "post_id": "6126e5de98a937002c87ea87", "reply_count": 101, "vote_count": 17, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d052", "bowl_name": "Law" }

Just curious how people have decided to respond to their student loans from law school. Do you all just pay the minimum and live comfortably or are you aggressively paying? What are the pros and cons?

like
Posting as :
works at
You are currently posting as works at
Highlighted IconHIGHLIGHTED

I didn’t have a particularly low interest rate when I refinanced (around 5%), though it was much lower than before. Paid the minimum and made a couple lump sum payments around bonus time at first. Then increased payments until I was paying nearly double. Then lowered it back to minimum during the uncertainty of the first 6 months of the pandemic. With all the special bonuses, I finally made a lump sum payment on the remaining $75k this past month (5+ years into my career). Just waiting for the final payoff letter now. I’d been saving that money for a down payment on a house, but the real estate market is nuts and I wanted to buy myself freedom. I took out my first student loan 15 years ago when I started college. This is the first time in my adult life that I’ll be debt free. Edit: Also, I don’t think I particularly deprived myself on lifestyle doing it this way. I chose to stick with less expensive housing, but lived alone for almost 4 years, ate out and ordered takeout regularly, took nice trips, bought a new car when the old one gave out, and bought myself things that made me happy. And even now, my savings are in a good spot. I do wish I’d invested more intelligently, but otherwise this strategy worked well for me.

like

The amount of stress that I have knowing the student loan balance is out there is enough for me to try to pay as quickly as possible. Went to a good school (top 30 but not T14), and had to take out a lot of loans the second and third years after not making anything over the summers in between. Ended with about $180,000 combined grad and undergrad loans. Looking back the amount seems insane. But at the time I believed that I’d be among the upper 75% of income earners for reported grads of the school (hubris based on the LSAC numbers). First two and a half years out of law school never broke $50,000 a year, and that number ballooned to about $210,000. Now I’m five years out, with a 6 month old son, and finally making enough to pay a substantial amount and I will do it as quickly as possible. Got the total down to $140,000 during the pandemic freeze. I know it will be painful, but eliminating that monthly payment and what seemed like an amount of debt that could never be paid off will be such a stress reducer it will be worth it. Plus, no investment I could make would likely match my 6.5%+ loans.

like
Recent IconRecent

Paid it all off in 3 years (sticker, $280k). Everyone gave me the whole spiel about putting my cash into investments instead, and maybe I’d be better off today on paper if I did that. But the freedom to be able to walk away from biglaw whenever I want, and to take any job I want, without having to think about loan payments, is to be invaluable.

likesmart

I paid mine off in 3 years, too. I’m so grateful not to be straddled with debt. All my extra money now goes into my IRA, savings account, and my condo down payment fund. Having lived through several recessions, when Covid hit, it was nice knowing I had extra $$ in the bank. The only exception is if you work in public interest and will have your loans forgiven in 10 years. Then pay the minimum and get the rest forgiven. For everyone else, if you can afford to pay them off, do it!

like

Pay minimally, live comfortably & try not to think about it. They’re a future me problem. I know people will tell me I’m an idiot for this but I really don’t care.

likefunnyupliftinghelpful

Also, if all your loans are federal, they are forgiven when you die, so if you want to build wealth for kids/others, it's better to direct your money to investments. None of us know how long we have left. Can you tell I'm an estate planner?!

like

I met a junior partner at a deposition who told me to just keep paying the lowest amount and enjoy the extra money in your pocket. It’s going to take forever to pay off anyway but the loans are not inheritable. So if you die early, you come out ahead. All of you are still thinking inside the box.

likefunnyhelpful

Also, it’s no longer a student loan, so I suppose in a terrible worst case scenario situation if there were health issues or something else it would be dischargeable.

I’m on an income based payment program paying the minimum. I haven’t made a payment since the COVID student loan pause. I’m riding it out until my 20 years are up. The interest on my loans are ridiculous and the aggressively paying it down would result in me having no life.

likehelpfulsmart

Can someone pls explain to me this not paying federal loans/tax bomb strategy? My federal loans are about 140K

Refinanced it to a 15 yr, 2.95%. I pay slightly more than minimum each month and invest the savings. Makes more sense to than aggressively paying it off for two reasons: (1) I think I can earn more than 2.95% on the money I’m not using to pay it down, and (2) I can use the cash on hand in case of emergency to keep paying the loan if I lose my source of income rather than take monthly payments off the backend. And, if I ever wanted, I can just take the money I invested and pay a giant lump sum towards the loan, essentially catching me up on not aggressively paying it off, but keeping some from the extra ROI I gained in investments.

likehelpful

A12 — mine is First Republic too. Should have done it in 2017! 😃

I graduated with $65k in debt and paid it off 18 months after graduating (15 months of working). During that time I lived just like I did in law school. Very glad I did it this way.

like

This is me! I had $80k in loans, made $85k starting out, and lived on $30k (which felt like a lot tbh because my rent tripled moving from a rural law school to a city post-grad). I know some people don’t mind paying on their loans indefinitely, but I just didn’t like feeling like an indentured servant and once I paid them off, I was able to start throwing thousands into savings/investments each month which felt awesome. I’m still learning how to enjoy spending money (yesterday my boyfriend looked at my shoes, sighed, and said, “...I can see your socks.” 😬) and I didn’t need to be as aggressive as I was but I’m definitely thankful that I’ve been very conscious about avoiding lifestyle inflation and that’s where most of my classmates’ money seems to go (rather than the investments that they point to as the opportunity cost of paying my loans off early).

like

Live comfortably on and on IBR. Whatever I pay I pay. Rest will be forgiven. 10% of my AGI is not going to kill me.

likesmart

I do this too - just remember the forgiven amount will be taxed as income after 25 years.

The debt keeps me awake at night because I associate wealth with being debt free. I use mint for budgeting and as long as I’m in the red I will never sleep well. I can understand both thoughts about it that have been discussed here. But debt free = freedom to me. So I guess it’s more of an emotional thing for me.

like

Same

Rates are still low. Refinance with sofi etc over fifteen years. Keep payments low as possible and invest instead.

like

Started with 209k and paid it off in 5 years. Never had a big law job - actually crap law pay. Just put head down and did some serious budgeting. Biggest mistake - deferring payments for first year. That was a total crock and all those deferred payments were tacked onto principal. I was in my 20’s and didn’t think it through carefully. Being debt free is amazing and worth it even though there may be other financial strategies like investing in stocks.

like

🤔

like

Rolled mine into a HELOC for the low interest. When we sold our first house, there was enough value gained they were wiped away.

like

Love this strategy!

Paid the minimum for 5 years until I made Partner and settled a case big enough to pay them off.

like

Kudos!

like

Combination. Refinanced, paid aggressively, and live below our means, but still spend money, take nice trips, etc. Set to finish them in 2-4 years (10 years total) depending on how aggressive we are each month and what vacations we want to take. It’s all about balance for us.

like

Paid it off during CoVid. Rode the no interest, invested money/saved up, once I had enough to pay a full loan off paid the full loan instead of putting money towards all the loans I had.

like

Planned on paying mine off in two years. Then the pandemic hit, interest froze, paycut happened (firm paid us back later but it wasn’t guaranteed at the time), and I diverted that money into liquid savings and investments. Then, weirdly, the opportunity to buy an apartment came up because I had those savings. Now who knows when I’ll pay them off. Maybe two years from now.

like

Pay minimally, especially if you can refinance for a low rate. Or right now I’m paying nothing because my federal loans are suspended because of covid. Take whatever you would have used for aggressive payments and invest that money instead. Preferably index funds.

like

💯

I also highly recommend Dave Ramsey. We did the financial peace university and that set me off on the right path toward financial freedom.

likefunny

You can’t listen to everything Ramsey says, but if you read his book there are certain tidbits that will help you in the long run. The one thing I took from him was the snowball loan advice. Pay minimums on all loans but choose one (either lowest amount left or higher interest loans) and throw the money into it to get rid of it quicker. Then use the funds from that loan (once paid off) and attack another one.

like

I’m a first year in biglaw and have paid $80k this year. Want to pay the rest ($50k) off after refinancing in Jan 2022 when interest freeze ends and then I’ll worry about building a nest egg for the next couple of years. Peace of mind is worth it for me even tho I could probably be maximizing the value of my capital more

like

I started in Jan actually. My rent is cheap (~$1k) and I made a big play on Dogecoin (lol) that helped out a lot too haha. Thankfully I had a contract gig while I was deferred so that helped out with getting by

like

A few years ago I refinanced to a 15 year plan with 3% interest but now I wonder if I should have stuck to IBR instead and let it ride the 20 years. On the 15 year plan it was only 150 dollars more a month or something so I figured I might as well for the low interest rate.

like

Related Posts

I know there has been similar discussion here recently, but how is WSGR PA Corporate's culture? I've been perusing forums and hear really conflicting accounts with some people saying that it's horrible, while others saying it's good. Also, there was talk on people leaving WSGR en masse to other firms (especially Cooly) and WSGR not being in the best place (although that was pre-covid and I guess things might have changed since then). Is it true that WSGR is/was declining?

like

Celebrating a zoom birthday tonight with some brown-drink friends. Second-to-last friend to have a COVID birthday. Can’t wait until we can celebrate in person again with some really special bottles to make up for lost time.

Post Photo
likeuplifting

Does anyone have any thoughts about a company terminating an employee within the HR team for testing positive for COVID 19 and further accusing the said employee of being the one that created the entire team to become infected by not answering the health screening questions accurately? The week prior to employee being tested the entire team was in the office sick. The company in question weeks prior wrote the employee up referencing sexual innuendo due to an accusation of a preferred name.

Anyone know of any good black financial advisors/ wealth managers? I live in the DC area. During all this COVID-19 related stuff it feels like a good time to make sure my finances are in order.

like

My 4 YO takes riding lessons at a small barn outside of the city. I hopped on a horse there recently for old time's sake, but haven't really ridden in years. A casualty of the legal profession, along with the rest of my hobbies from my former country life. His instructor asked me if I'd be willing to get back in the saddle. Part of me is like, this is the change I need. It will help me lose this COVID-15lbs. But I'm also terrified and I have no idea why. (cont)

like

Help — would love to get into production but I have 0 experience, besides the occasional talent + competitive research for a brand’s series. How do I get started? Really just want to help out on set* and see how things work! *Covid pending / future aspirations

like

Simple question hopefully.. do you prescribe albuterol or duonebs for stable outpatient covid patients?

like

Tested positive for Covid-19. Can’t smell or taste much and some sore throat for few days but no other symptoms. How long does this usually last?

like

Just tried out the Apple Fitness +, loving it so far. The Apple Watch integration makes the exercises feel more customized to you. Wish this was out during the earlier days of covid! You don’t need equipment to use it, but if you get a cheap bike or compact treadmill from Amazon, it’s will be way cheaper that peloton. 🍎🎄🍎

like

What do you all do to make non-professional / personal connections? Particularly with the Coronavirus, and being in domestic relations, I wake up, go to work, work out, go home. So outside of law, my interactions with people are only at the gym given that my area is draining— particularly at the moment. Probably a good thing for now; but if we take coronavirus out of the equation, I’m interested what others in the community do to develop personal connections.

People who have made a job switch to another state in US (H1b transfer) in last 1+ years (since covid) with most companies being remote temporarily the Uscis rule that the employee should be in commutable distance from@office location within 30 days - how is this being taken care?

like

Got a consulting job offer from Deloitte and Kpmg. Can I reasonably negotiate remote work from home or is this just not going to happen despite covid?

like

Anybody aware of any recruitment agencies (at senior levels) in the APAC region (Singapore, India) for life sciences? Currently in the US and thinking of moving to another geography for personal reasons post covid

like

I joined the team less than a year ago and have been finding it difficult to meet people outside of my team/billable projects during covid. I'm new to consulting and want to meet people outside of my team and learn about their experiences. I've attempted to schedule coffee talks/intro chats with colleagues and joined different groups. What more can I do to stay connected? How do you engage with your broader team?

like

Moved to Atlanta about a year ago and haven’t been able to build my social circle yet. With Covid it hasn’t helped as well. Indian born desi, I am F and happily married! Would love to meet some like minded individuals. Looking forward to making some friends :)

like

Has any other school made vaccination mandated for all employees? Do to me no welling to be vaccinated I will no long have a job after Christmas break. What is everyone’s thoughts on this??

likehelpfulfunny

Additional Posts

Has anyone ever reported repeated micro-aggressions from a partner that were taking a toll on your mental health to HR or otherwise? If so, what approach did you take? Would doing it during an exit interview be a good idea? Or is it perhaps better to just leave the firm without saying anything to avoid burning bridges?

like

What do typical exit opportunities look like for supply chain consultants? Exit opportunities themselves do not necessarily need to be supply chain related

like

I know there has been similar discussion here recently, but how is WSGR PA Corporate's culture? I've been perusing forums and hear really conflicting accounts with some people saying that it's horrible, while others saying it's good. Also, there was talk on people leaving WSGR en masse to other firms (especially Cooly) and WSGR not being in the best place (although that was pre-covid and I guess things might have changed since then). Is it true that WSGR is/was declining?

like

Best Holiday gift from vendor / what was it? Bonus question: does this still exist?

likehelpful

Hey Fam. Spouse & I have been planning to start trying to conceive this year & specifically this month (27 and 28). Has anyone else felt very ready to start a family but when it’s time to start trying, start second guessing if you’re ready and thinking about all of the pros and cons. Should we wait another year? What if we have trouble getting pregnant and kick ourselves for waiting? Will people see us more as just parents and not as much for our successful careers we work so hard for?

like

Does anyone knows if companies are hiring foreigners right now?

like

Facebook is hiring 10k ppl in EU to build its metaverse. The future is now...

like

D. 🐠🐠 When is annual enrollment? Need to upgrade my health plan.

like

Looking for an ergonomic desk chair. Any recommendations? Has anybody heard of the "Capisco Chair by HÅG"?

like

Celebrating a zoom birthday tonight with some brown-drink friends. Second-to-last friend to have a COVID birthday. Can’t wait until we can celebrate in person again with some really special bottles to make up for lost time.

Post Photo
likeuplifting

Does anyone know how insurance work when you leave a company? Say I leave on day X, does my insurance ends on day X as well or it will last til the end of the two week period after my last paycheck (because insurance premium is still held from paycheck)? And does medical insurance reimburse / cover based on the date of treatment or the date of they processing the claim? Thank you so much!

like

You took away our contribution awards, reduced bonuses, and now you're looking to take away the best medical plan in exchange for a shitty one. "Happy Easter kids"

like

Hey I am a Software Engineer with a experience of around 3 years. I am looking for a switch to a Data Engineer position. Any refferals would help. Referal from Rakuten , Tredence , Tiger Analytics, Lowe's , Legato , GE and other healthcare and Data Analytics will be helpful for me. Thank you

like

In Tech at D. Over my past 4 projects they seem to really burn us into the ground overwork us. Is that just my bad experience? Other Big 4 have a similar issue?

like

Does anyone have any materials they can share to best prep for a case interview for deloittes human capital?

like

Can you trade options while working at MBB?

like

Hi. How do I ensure tax savings on my joining bonus? It will be paid with first month salary but I definitely don't want everything to get deducted as tax. Pls help

like

Senior Product Manager (remote) salaries 👇

like

McKinsey & Company currently consulting and I’m looking at an internal/non-consulting manager role there. Anyone know comp ranges?

like

New to Fishbowl?

Download the Fishbowl app to
unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.
That was just a preview…
Sign Up to see all discussions
  • Discover what it’s like to work at companies from real professionals
  • Get candid advice from people in your field in a safe space
  • Chat and network with other professionals in your field
Sign up in seconds to unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.

Already a user?
Login here

Share

Embed this post

Copy and paste embed code on your site

Preview

Download the Fishbowl app

Get realtime notifications and see
what's happening in your industry
from the palm of your hand.

{ "isSet": true, "allowed": true }

Sign up for free to view this conversation on Fishbowl

By continuing you agree to Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Already have an account? Log in

For account settings, visit Fishbowl on Desktop Browser or

General

Legal