Oblomov wrote:The simple answer is that you're never going to.
Assuming the income based repayment program continues to exist, you'll pay a reasonable chunk of your income for the next ten to thirty years to have the rest of the debt forgiven. Any other time a person would be wise to declare bankruptcy, but that's not going to fix the situation, is it? Welcome to indentured servitude.
This. I will owe in excess of $200k, and I'm never going to pay it back, but then I knew that before I even matriculated. Emphasis here on "reasonable chunk of your income," even without the assistance of your school's LRAP. IBR is the reason many of us can go to law school in the first place. Payments are capped at around 10% of your income (this varies depending upon income bracket and number of dependents), and this is an insanely good deal even for people who won't be doing PI. FYI, debt is forgiven for everyone else after 25 years. At present, there is still a tax penalty for non PI folks, but this may be eliminated by the time we actually need to invoke forgiveness.
It's not ideal to have to borrow like this in the first place, but I believe our education is a privilege that we're seriously lucky to have. I didn't think the price was too great. If I'm unemployed two and a half years hence, maybe I'll think differently, but I expect to make around $40k/year at a nonprofit, and hopefully this expectation is in line with reality.
Note to the above: I'm paying sticker at Fordham, and wouldn't be anywhere else for the world, but then I've been a NYC resident for some time, and know how to live happily here on a modest income. I've calculated exactly what I'll be paying under IBR after my LRAP kicks in, and I'll pay back somewhere in the neighborhood of $25-30k all inclusive, before my loans are forgiven. I've managed to defy the law student stereotype by being a pretty happy (run up to finals excluded) 1L. I'm living on student loans, and do not have a ton of extra money, but I'm surrounded by friends, and I live six blocks north of my school. I would love to be eligible for a 2L scholarship, and I'm trying for a summer PI grant, but those things would be icing at this point.
Is this for real????
I know a lot of law school students get badly into debt but I don't think I have ever seen anyone do it so knowing they do not plan on ever paying it back and yet so willingly and unashamingly pleased with her decision.
How can a 22-year old have any idea what they want to be doing in 10, 15, or 25 years from now? It sounds like you have removed any chance to get ahead or try something different for yourself.
What if you discover you don't like law? Or don't like PI? Or wish you could take a few years off to have a family?
Maybe I'm just missing something here about LRAP or IBR, but it sounds like an awful yoke around your neck during the most productive earning years of your life.