|
Law

So who else here has over a third of a million in student loan debt without a steady job? 😏

likefunny
Arrow Icon
Posting as :
works at
Highlighted IconHIGHLIGHTED

I left law school after attending 2.5 years, without graduating (long story involving divorce and then generally just breaking down for a few years). By the time I got back on my feet, after all the capitalized interest, penalties, fees, whatever, from not paying for about 3 years, had about $250k in loans. I refinanced in a federal program for a 30 year loan. I’ve worked in a variety of law office jobs since then, with income ranging from about $20k-$65k over the years and my husbands jobs have been similar earnings. Been able to keep up with loan payments and live a reasonable life, but feel pretty sad about what our family could have otherwise done with that money all these years. It was definitely a factor (but not the only factor) in our choosing to have only child. I’d been out of school so long by the time I investigated going back, schools told me the credits were so old that I’d just have to start over. I couldn’t see taking out MORE loans, so I’ve just worked to get highest paying legal support roles as I can and tried to use my skills as much as I can in the role I have. I investigated bankruptcy, but the standard seemed to be that you were living in poverty with no reasonable expectation the situation could improve. I talked to a few bankruptcy attorneys many years ago who all told me it would be a lost cause. I certainly think my situation is one that would be fair to discharge in bankruptcy, at least partially, so I’d like to see the laws and standards around discharge changed. I will end up paying my student loans my entire working life, looks like I’ll end up paying off about my retirement age.

likeuplifting
Arrow Icon

I see a lot of moralizing, here and elsewhere, regarding student loans. 'you knew (or should have known) what you were getting yourself into' 'I paid back my loans, you should too.,' etc. While I understand and to some extent respect those who have sacrificed greatly (ie, the posts here talking about gaining weight working 70hr weeks, not buying a home, not saving for retirement, etc.), those too were "your" choices, and not ones that everyone wants to make. Regarding the argument that those who are refusing to pay their SLs are passing off this cost to taxpayers, while true to a certain extent, that argument is rarely applied to other areas. To those making this argument, do you pay as much in taxes as you possibly can? Do you advise your clients to do the same? Or are you normal and do you attempt to minimize your taxable assets? I'm a government employee currently with 90k in debt making 65k a year; for the first year out of school, I put all of my discretionary income into my loans (30% of my take home pay) and reduced my debt significantly. However, that was when I was a private employee; now that I am in government, I see no reason to continue. I am on IBR, pay $0 each month (and I will keep my payment at $0, despite raises, by simply increasing my retirement contribution to keep my taxable income down), and intend to have it forgiven in 10 years. While I could continue to pay off my debt, and probably pay it all off in 10 years (the same amount of time as PSLF), I see no reason to do so. A) that's 10 years of wealth I could put to better use, B) the way the government is acting/spending, who knows what the value of the dollar will be (why pay back an entity that itself is financially irresponsible; is the U.S. gov't paying back it's debt anytime soon? Didn't think so), and C) similarly, a blanket student loan forgiveness seems far likelier now that it does in the past; I don't want to be among the bitter/salty group of people saying, 'not fair, i paid my debt...' Could you argue this is self-interested? Certainly, but then again, so is (legal) tax avoidance. I didn't make the rules, I'm just playing by them to maximize my advantage, which is no different than how many people and businesses act.

like
Arrow Icon

Defaulting on loans effecting your credit score happens to be part of the system we have now. Just saying... EDIT: And I haven't seen anyone here suggestIing that people that just stop paying their loans without being foregiven shouldn't have their credit scores impacted. The fact is, the people defaulting probably don't care enough to even mention it because the effect of a low credit score is trivial when compared to the debt.

like
Arrow Icon
Recent IconRecent

Okay, I’ll be “that guy.” What I view as a lack of accountability that some people on this string (not the OP) demonstrate is surprising to me. We all signed on the line to borrow the money we borrowed, but it sounds like many don’t want to pay their loan balances not because they cannot cover the cost, but because it’s burdensome to do so. The end result of that is that you are simply spreading those costs to other borrowers or taxpayers.

likesmart
Arrow Icon

I borrowed that money fair and square, quarter of a million I owe...but I also earned the right to complain about it from time to time. At least give me that haha.

like
Arrow Icon

I’m at $299k and holding. Jesus help the government cuz they’re never gonna get it from meeeeeee!!!!

likefunny
Share this 🔥 comment
Arrow Icon

▫️▫️😂😂▫️▫️▫️🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

likefunny
Arrow Icon

I'm lucky to have a good job, but I'm close to half a million. Compound interest during several years of IBR has absolutely killed me. Just socking money away to pay the tax bill after 25 years and hoping I have enough. Hang in there, and I hope you find steady work soon!

like
Arrow Icon

I have no either either, I’m absolutely baffled, along with my alma mater career services office and my mentors. I’ve had them involved A to Z in my job search and they told me there’s nothing wrong with my experience, application materials, interviewing, etc. I’ve just become one of the unfortunate statistics you read about but never experience. The main issue is I’m several years out competing on the same level as fresh grads now so I’m not very desirable by local firms.

like
Arrow Icon

Use income based repayment. I fully intend to die before I pay back my loans so, jokes on them.

likefunnysmart
Arrow Icon

Can't do IBR with private loans. I started work with $248k in debt and about 2/3rds was private loans from undergrad. Paying it off is my only real option given my salary.

like
Arrow Icon

I feel for all of you. I had about 70k after law school and was mortified by that. I can’t imagine having a mortgage’s worth of student loan debt. The incentives in higher ed have been grossly misaligned for a long time. Law school especially. I’m bitter about it on your behalf.

like
Arrow Icon

sounds miserable. why would i live a miserable life to pay back the government of all people? i guess i just don’t care enough.

like
Arrow Icon

Doesn’t make sense when mortgage rates are at 3-4% but student loans are double the amount at 7-8%.

like
Arrow Icon

What REALLY doesn't make sense is that you can deduct so much from your taxes for interest paid on a mortgage but the cap on student loan interest deductions is laughable (and non-existent if you make above 90k or so). I'm over here paying almost $4,000 a month (post-tax) towards my student loans without a single penny in tax relief. I wish our society would prioritize education a little more.

likesmart
Arrow Icon

I’ve started at 260k in 2009. I’ve been on an IBR. It took me three years to find a steady job and 3 more to crack 100k. Less than a year later, I took a job with the AGs office for 75k for 2 years before finally transition for a below market rate of 135k. Then COVID, pay cuts and I’m back down to 108 for the foreseeable future. My loans have since ballooned to nearly 400k and in 10 years I’ve earned more than 110k for about 2 of those years. Can someone tell me what the return on investment at this point is in my education? I’m pretty sure it’s somewhere at -300%.

like
Arrow Icon

Associate 12 - PSLF is not a viable solution as it currently stands, not just for the reasons A9 detailed, but because the program is and has been almost completely dysfunctional. I have paid off my loans. My partner, who has been a public school teacher for almost a decade, has not. He was expecting to be able to discharge his student debt (including for the graduate degree that was essentially required for him to continue in his profession) through PSLF. He made payments on an appropriate IBR plan for all of the time that he has been working as a teacher. But only about 2 years of all those payments count towards PSLF not because he wasn’t paying as he should, but because the loan servicer that happened to be assigned to his accounts by the federal government was the “wrong” servicer, and so his other 6-7 years of payments don’t count. Now, he has to do almost double the amount of years of payments to get forgiveness (hopefully, if something else doesn’t screw it up) because of something the Dept of Ed did. And he’s not the only one in this situation. 99% of PSLF applicants were rejected, many for the same reason. And while the government created a TEPSLF fund for a short while to give forgiveness to people who had made payments that didn’t count properly, this also had a high rejection rate (90+%) and did not provide nearly enough funding to help all of the people who had been screwed. So PSLF is not a viable option until and unless something seriously changes.

like
Arrow Icon

I went to law school with the intention of doing public interest. I researched the loans and forgiveness options available to me. I turned down a better ranked school than the one I went to and opted for the one with better scholarships. I still left with $150K in loans. I have no undergrad debt. I now owe around 200K because I’m doing the income based repayment plan. Even then the payments are high. I make $67k a year as a prosecutor. I wanted this job. I enjoy this job. This job is necessary for our society. This job requires a degree that costs far more than the salary can ever pay for. I’ve done everything according to the plan to have them forgiven so I’m now just hoping the government gets its shit together before I am ready to apply for the forgiveness. I would not have gone to law school of this program didn’t exist and it drives me crazy when people think I’ve somehow been irresponsible for taking out loans I can’t pay back with my job. That is literally the point of the PSLF program.

like
Arrow Icon

https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertfarrington/2019/09/20/public-service-loan-forgiveness-pslf-numbers-are-improving-but-is-it-enough/#6d2a93277431 This is a good 100 ft view of the problems of which there are many. However the single biggest factor in the rejection rate is that an overwhelming number of people applied who do not meet the guidelines. Why? Because it is an opportunity to discharge an enormous amount of debt.

Arrow Icon

Owed 200k out of law school together with my atty spouse. We’ll be done paying it by the end of this year (3rd year out of law school). It’s possible. You have have to be very disciplined and sacrifice in other areas of your life. We’re both govt attys in a high cost of living city.

likesmart
Arrow Icon

for the record, you were right😂

likefunny
Arrow Icon

This thread is why I did not go to the highest ranked school I was accepted. Instead I went to a T30-40 school and have no debt and get paid Cravath scale. I do feel for you all though.

like
Arrow Icon

Wow, here comes freedom!

Arrow Icon

Real talk someone needs to pull a Mr. Robot on those student loans

like
Arrow Icon

I’d love my $360,000 to go away.

like
Arrow Icon

We were so close with bernie sanders to be freed from the chains of student debt! We should continue to advocate for leaders who push for real student debt relief!

like
Arrow Icon

A6, respectfully, do you believe Bernie has a chance this year, had he won the nomination?

like
Arrow Icon

205K JD. Going back for a tax LLM. Add another 70k to my name. Hopefully cancelling student debt is a thing during our life time. If not, what’s the quickest out of this debt? Contingency cases? Or big law salary?

like
Arrow Icon

A11 you’re missing the point and you’re conflating the issues. I’m not arguing for the proposition that there shouldn’t be student loans, I’m arguing that loans and their interest rates are at predatory levels. Congratulations to you both for overcoming a difficult situation. Evidently, these student loans have pushed you back financially many years. There needs to be legislation to address the uncontrolled rise in tuition rates and the interest rates. For example, many universities won’t reduce their tuition even during a time where in class instruction is not possible. Are students going to forego an education? Yes, some will. But most wont because an education is the staple of upward mobility in this country. Universities understand this. They also understand that students do not have leverage to negotiate tuition. Last, do us all a favor and resist the urge to insist that colleagues that don’t hold the same views as you are somehow lazy. We all have worked our ass off to become lawyers. This profession isn’t for lazy people.

like
Arrow Icon

Had about 80? Almost paid off..only 12k left or so..which I could payoff now but want to remain liquid. Paid this in about four years and no biglaw job...first job I was only making about 55k. It’s possible to pay down debt...but it takes quite a bit of discipline.

like
Arrow Icon

Thanks!! It took a lot of willpower. Basically no trips, no bar trip, drove a 20 year old junk car that I maintained personally from YouTube videos, eating non lavishly even when eating out, looked for cheap as rent as possible, Netflix and no cable, put away most of my paycheck to pay loans and learned how to compound and play the market a little bit. So basically paid off 80k in like three years ... but I have about 12 remaining which I want as an emergency fund. It feels very good but I had to Endure seeing friends buy new cars, take cool trips, and eat very well. You all can do it!!! Let me know if you have questions. I’ve also employed strategies such as moving over like 20k of student loans to a 0 interest credit card which helped on interest.

likefunny
Arrow Icon

Personal finance should be a mandatory course in high school, undergrad, and 1L year based on many people’s responses (Not OP).

likefunny
Arrow Icon

A5, it’s not clear who you’re responding to but my post provided a path to a no cost bachelors for good students. Do you have an issue with that?

like
Arrow Icon

currently at HYS, my parents have paid for everything, and I have a v10 big law job lined up after I graduate. But it wasn’t until I read this that I realized how fortunate I am and how F up the system is!

like
Arrow Icon

That’s silly. The parents didn’t do it as a gesture of generosity, they did it because rich people spend money on themselves and their children. Instead of sending a thank you gift to the parents, donate it to a scholarship for underprivileged youth.

like
Arrow Icon

I know a young woman who went to law school on a full ride scholarship created to support students who intended to devote their careers to a particular area of public service. The documents creating the scholarship were drafted long ago and assumed the best intentions. So while they stated that scholarship recipients who fail to fulfill the public interest requirement had a “moral obligation” to repay the scholarship, they didn’t make repayment a legal obligation. So this young woman took more than $200,000 in scholarship funding, completed her degree at a T5 law school, and went directly into practice at a major national law firm. I learned about all of those when we interviewed her as a potential lateral. When asked about her moral obligation she replied that it wasn’t a legal obligation, that other recipients did the same thing, and that her pro bono work somehow counted. When we passed on her -- entirely because of this issue — she was aghast. She clearly had rationalized her way to feeling good about her decisions. Just like you. The fact that it’s technically legal doesn’t make it right. And the fact that you’re an assistant attorney general — who in that capacity has some law enforcement responsibility — makes me want to puke.

like
Arrow Icon

Reasonably.

Arrow Icon

I have a steady job but had about $150k debt post graduation. Recently refinanced most of the private loans. One good thing about COVID was a great refinance rates. Should look into it. I used a site called credible that compared different companies, fixed v variable rates, 5-25 year options. I’ll be saving over $40k in the long term by refinancing with a 4% interest rate versus previous 7%

like
Arrow Icon

Mine are all fed loans using IBR since I can’t afford repayments. Can you refinance with no income?

like
Arrow Icon

As my tax professor once said: buy, borrow, and then DIE. Applies to loans as well as taxes.

like
Arrow Icon

In that particular order? Seems like borrowing should come first.

likefunny
Arrow Icon

Additional Posts

I have spent almost all vacation time at home, trying to go out in the few days left.....what are your top sites to visit within Manhattan???

Arrow Icon

Find it so rude when a firm is unresponsive after the final round of interviews. If you're going to reject me say no, don't just go silent...

like
Arrow Icon

Does anyone regret leaving consulting/Big 4? If so, why?

like
Arrow Icon

Did you work on projects where you and clients terrible relationships ? Working on this project for more than a year but almost everyday we just argue with bunch of different people (clients, or vendors, different IT teams like testing, deployment teams etc). Feels like never ending saga, and reduces morale. Just want to see similar or better perspectives

like
Arrow Icon

When did PwC remove the visa gift card option from real time recognition?? 😡

like
Arrow Icon

Do I stay at Deloitte and become better at the biz dev side of things paired with my tech background, or try and get a role as a Solutions Architect at AWS? I’m thinking about long term career growth, exit opps, and future salary potential

like
Arrow Icon

How does experienced hire interview process for MBB differ from on campus MBA process? I made final rounds of on campus but made silly mistakes with math. Are cases any easier out of school?

funnylike
Arrow Icon

What are some productive and fun hobbies to pick up during covid? Need ideas!

likehelpful
Arrow Icon

If I want to switch careers out of accounting but stay in business field, would MBA be the better route or would applying for jobs in the areas I'm actually interested in be worth a shot?

like
Arrow Icon

What is the typical base/bonus for a new AP at ClearView?

like
Arrow Icon

So MBB consultants, do y’all also have heavy bench time ?

likehelpful
Arrow Icon

Any ladies learn how to golf or take golf lessons? If so, did it help your career development?

like
Arrow Icon

Does anyone have any books recommendations on personal or career development? Anything that helped shaped you for a leadership position down the line? Thanks!

like
Arrow Icon

Best recognized (brand, prestige, etc) 1 year MBA program? MBB and tier 2 consulting opportunities?

like
Arrow Icon

Harvey cancelled my father-son trip. I'm so majorly bummed. Thank goodness I didn't tell the little monkey. So, he's none the wiser.

like
Arrow Icon

My team lead wants me to get work done by "instilling fear" in the team 😕 whatever happened to those business chemistry lessons

like
Arrow Icon

"You're going to sit around a lot, eat like crap and put on weight." Must have missed that lesson in portfolio school.

like
Arrow Icon

Never believed in the meme of “entry level job: needs years of experience” unit it happened to me. After a month of interviewing, an IQ test, and a modelling test, just got rejected for my dream job in the final round. Absolutely devastated and ashamed. I feel like I’ll never be good enough.

like
Arrow Icon

How many credit card points do you have?

like
Arrow Icon

4 weeks on the bench. Reached out to 15+ MDs and SMs to help with proposals and/or staffing opps. Radio silence. Guess no one needs help then.

like
Arrow Icon

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’s 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 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.

Please enter a valid number