Help me make a choice

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glitched
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Help me make a choice

Postby glitched » Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:53 pm

UCLA at $56,000 debt at graduation
NYU at $173,000 debt at graduation
Chicago at $210,000 debt at graduation


I've lived in California my whole life (my friends and family are all here) but I wouldn't mind living elsewhere for the next three years. But most likely, I will WANT to come back to LA, but more important than coming back would be finding a job and maintaining financial security.

I would love your opinion. Thanks. FWIW - I am leaning towards NYU at the moment.


Here are a few calculations I did:

UCLA:
Loan Balance: $56,000.00
Loan Interest Rate: 7.90%
Loan Term: 1.4 years
Monthly Loan Payment: $3,500.00
Number of Payments: 17
Cumulative Payments: $59,369.30
Total Interest Paid: $3,369.30

NYU
Loan Balance: $172,500.00
Loan Interest Rate: 7.90%
Loan Term: 5 years
Monthly Loan Payment: $3,500.00
Number of Payments: 60
Cumulative Payments: $209,225.24
Total Interest Paid: $36,725.24

Chicago
Loan Balance: $210,000.00
Loan Interest Rate: 7.90%
Loan Term: 6.4 years
Minimum Payment: $3,500.00
Number of Payments: 77
Cumulative Payments: $268,047.41
Total Interest Paid: $58,047.41


Basically, is NYU worth the $150,000 difference in cumulative payments?
Last edited by glitched on Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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glitter178
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Re: Help me make a choice

Postby glitter178 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:55 pm

glitched wrote:UCLA at $56,000 debt at graduation
NYU at $173,000 debt at graduation
Chicago at $210,000 debt at graduation


I've lived in California my whole life (my friends and family are all here) but I wouldn't mind living elsewhere for the next three years. But most likely, I will WANT to come back to LA, but more important than coming back would be finding a job and maintaining financial security.

I would love your opinion. Thanks. FWIW - I am leaning towards NYU at the moment.


Here are a few calculations I did:

UCLA:
Loan Balance: $56,000.00
Loan Interest Rate: 7.90%
Loan Term: 1.4 years
Monthly Loan Payment: $3,500.00
Number of Payments: 17
Cumulative Payments: $59,369.30
Total Interest Paid: $3,369.30

NYU
Loan Balance: $172,500.00
Loan Interest Rate: 7.90%
Loan Term: 5 years
Monthly Loan Payment: $3,500.00
Number of Payments: 60
Cumulative Payments: $209,225.24
Total Interest Paid: $36,725.24

Chicago
Loan Balance: $210,000.00
Loan Interest Rate: 7.90%
Loan Term: 6.4 years
Minimum Payment: $3,500.00
Number of Payments: 77
Cumulative Payments: $268,047.41
Total Interest Paid: $58,047.41


you're going to make 3,500$/ month loan payments?

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glitched
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Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 9:50 am

Re: Help me make a choice

Postby glitched » Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:56 pm

i'd like to.

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zonto
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Re: Help me make a choice

Postby zonto » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:08 pm

Are you planning on living with your parents after law school while you make said $3,500 monthly payments on your loans? :?

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Arbiter213
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Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:16 pm

Re: Help me make a choice

Postby Arbiter213 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:10 pm

glitter178 wrote:
glitched wrote:UCLA at $56,000 debt at graduation
NYU at $173,000 debt at graduation
Chicago at $210,000 debt at graduation


I've lived in California my whole life (my friends and family are all here) but I wouldn't mind living elsewhere for the next three years. But most likely, I will WANT to come back to LA, but more important than coming back would be finding a job and maintaining financial security.

I would love your opinion. Thanks. FWIW - I am leaning towards NYU at the moment.


Here are a few calculations I did:

UCLA:
Loan Balance: $56,000.00
Loan Interest Rate: 7.90%
Loan Term: 1.4 years
Monthly Loan Payment: $3,500.00
Number of Payments: 17
Cumulative Payments: $59,369.30
Total Interest Paid: $3,369.30

NYU
Loan Balance: $172,500.00
Loan Interest Rate: 7.90%
Loan Term: 5 years
Monthly Loan Payment: $3,500.00
Number of Payments: 60
Cumulative Payments: $209,225.24
Total Interest Paid: $36,725.24

Chicago
Loan Balance: $210,000.00
Loan Interest Rate: 7.90%
Loan Term: 6.4 years
Minimum Payment: $3,500.00
Number of Payments: 77
Cumulative Payments: $268,047.41
Total Interest Paid: $58,047.41


you're going to make 3,500$/ month loan payments?


Seriously.

I think UCLA is the OBVIOUS choice in this situation.

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glitched
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Re: Help me make a choice

Postby glitched » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:11 pm

zonto wrote:Are you planning on living with your parents after law school while you make said $3,500 monthly payments on your loans? :?


I'm hoping to slave myself in biglaw so i'm shooting for that golden 160k range. at 160k, 3.5k monthly payment is possible as long as i don't live like a king. RIGHT?! or am i not right? I seriously don't know anymore...

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Arbiter213
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Re: Help me make a choice

Postby Arbiter213 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:12 pm

glitched wrote:
zonto wrote:Are you planning on living with your parents after law school while you make said $3,500 monthly payments on your loans? :?


I'm hoping to slave myself in biglaw so i'm shooting for that golden 160k range. at 160k, 3.5k monthly payment is possible as long as i don't live like a king. RIGHT?! or am i not right? I seriously don't know anymore...


And I suppose you can always fake your own death in the event you only make 60k a year.

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glitched
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Re: Help me make a choice

Postby glitched » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:17 pm

Arbiter213 wrote:Seriously.

I think UCLA is the OBVIOUS choice in this situation.


heh if it were for me, then i wouldn't need this thread. I'm clueless my friend. I am clueless. Information clutter + Opinions clutter = Lost in Frustration.

Well, the reason that it isn't the OBVIOUS choice is that I talked to a biglaw associate yesterday telling me (i am going to paraphrase) "regardless of what people say, the law school rankings do mean something, though not everything, and you should make your decisions accordingly. This might sound crazy, but at the end of your career, if you do decide to work in a big firm, 200k+ debt is not that significant (he emphasized this point). Go to NYU." And then I replied "we will see."

And now we are seeing. lol


Edit: Furthermore, if I don't hit 160k gold, then NYU supposedly has a good LRAP program for me to fall back on (lol sorry I am under an ignorant assumption that PI jobs that qualify for LRAP are easy to get). Someone correct me if I am wrong.

dudders
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Re: Help me make a choice

Postby dudders » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:24 pm

IF you make $160k (BIG "if"), your takehome pay is probably less than 9k/month, after federal and state taxes. Theoretically, I guess you CAN make $3500/month loan payments on that salary. $4k to $4500/month is like living on roughly a a $65k salary, which is plenty to live on sure, but certainly not the high life in California big cities by any means.

You'd be a fool not to go to UCLA, period, especially in light of the figures above. If you sacrifice like hell for 1-2 years, you can get the debt paid off and do whatever you want. 5-7 years at $3500/month and you'll hate yourself.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Help me make a choice

Postby JamMasterJ » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:27 pm

Yes, the rankings are a big deal, especially to those with little knowledge of the caliber of student graduating from each specific school. However, as a UCLA grad trying to get a job in California, especially southern California, every big employer will visit your campus, and every big employer will have tons of UCLA grads. If you were trying to work anywhere else I would say "go for the best school you can get into" especially when the difference is between a top six school and the 15th ranked school. But if you definitely want to work in California, there is really no need for you to go to a school across the country for an extra 150 grand, especially if it's not H or Y

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joemoviebuff
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Re: Help me make a choice

Postby joemoviebuff » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:30 pm

Add a poll, OP. I would love to go to UCLA for a grand total of 50 grand. That's what I would pick, especially since you want LA.

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ThomasMN
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Re: Help me make a choice

Postby ThomasMN » Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:24 am

dudders wrote:IF you make $160k (BIG "if"), your takehome pay is probably less than 9k/month, after federal and state taxes. Theoretically, I guess you CAN make $3500/month loan payments on that salary. $4k to $4500/month is like living on roughly a a $65k salary, which is plenty to live on sure, but certainly not the high life in California big cities by any means.

You'd be a fool not to go to UCLA, period, especially in light of the figures above. If you sacrifice like hell for 1-2 years, you can get the debt paid off and do whatever you want. 5-7 years at $3500/month and you'll hate yourself.


This might be coming out of left field for some of you, but I'm fairly certain that you can deduct some/all of your student loan payments from your federal taxes. I'm not really familiar with California's tax code, but I wouldn't doubt if they have something in there along those lines. Plus, most first year associates do not have a life! You are probably better off just working hard for a year or two and then you will have a lot more freedom in terms of employment etc. I would hope that your future firm would not hold it against you for not wearing custom tailored suits or wearing a Rolex for the first year or two.

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glitched
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Re: Help me make a choice

Postby glitched » Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:47 am

hmmmm yeah all these arguments are the same that i keep giving myself.

but three counters that keep coming back:

1. what if i end up being a top 30% student (i chose 30% based on this years nlj)? I'm guessing the difference in difficulty from NYU and UCLA won't be very big.
2. not taking account question number one, what if i wanted to clerk?
3. if i go to ucla, i will be in la for the rest of my life... and will never have a chance to live in NY.

any thoughts on that?

chasgoose
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Re: Help me make a choice

Postby chasgoose » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:09 pm

glitched wrote:
zonto wrote:Are you planning on living with your parents after law school while you make said $3,500 monthly payments on your loans? :?


I'm hoping to slave myself in biglaw so i'm shooting for that golden 160k range. at 160k, 3.5k monthly payment is possible as long as i don't live like a king. RIGHT?! or am i not right? I seriously don't know anymore...


Well with taxes the way they are, you can say goodbye to 25-35% of that 160k (it's close to the threshhold to the next tax bracket so a bonus could bump you up). So that means that you are really earning somewhere between 104-120k. Which means you will have somewhere between 8500-10000 per month to spend. Putting 3500 of that towards loans seems a but high given that you will have other living expenses/if you want to start saving some money. I would estimate a slightly lower monthly loan payment.

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ThomasMN
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Re: Help me make a choice

Postby ThomasMN » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:27 pm

Maybe I'm just too Midwestern and middle-class, but if you are making 9K a month.

3.5 K towards student loans
2-3 k towards rent/utilities (personally I find this insanely high, but hey I live in the Twin Cities and you can find a nice place here for $800 a month)
You still have at a minimum 2K a month there to play with. Even browsing the listings in NYC there seem to be some VERY nice apartments around 2K a month.

that being said, it would be much better to put around 2K a month towards student loans and then put 1K a month away in various savings.

JD2014
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Re: Help me make a choice

Postby JD2014 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:02 pm

You can use this website to estimate your paychecks: --LinkRemoved--

I got a figure of $8,240.22 monthly for $160,000 in California. $3,500 per month is possible, but if you play with the numbers, you would find that by paying $2,000 per month, you're paid in full in 30 months rather than 17, and you only incur another $2,500 in interest over the 2.5 years. $83 per month in interest to lead a more normal life is probably something you'll be willing to pay.

This might be coming out of left field for some of you, but I'm fairly certain that you can deduct some/all of your student loan payments from your federal taxes.


Only interest payments are deductible, and the federal deduction for student loan interest caps at $2,500 per year, with filers that have modified gross adjusted income in excess of $75,000 are ineligible for anything. See page 32 of http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040.pdf

Law school rankings matter in the sense that you shouldn't go to Santa Clara or U of San Francisco, but UCLA is hardly a TTT. Don't pay $150,00 to go to New York to get a job in California.




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