Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

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star fox
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby star fox » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:09 am

Anon wrote:
RaceJudicata wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hey guys - reading this thread has been very helpful so just wanna thank the community off the bat. I'm an 0L but I'm very specific circumstances so want to get some feeedback.

I'll be 27 when I start LS a this fall, and I've been working for the past few years since graduating. Because of a great deal of luck and some hard work, I've been able to save up around $600k. I'm not exactly sure what I'd like to do after law school, but I think I'd like to work for the government or clerk and also perhaps try my hand at big law for a few years. Pretty undefined I know but I suspect I'll realize where I'm headed once Im in the thick of it. Now, my question is how should I approach paying for law school. I see several options.

Considering law school will cost somewhere betwee $230-300k before interest (I've gotten no scholarships or need based aid from the schools I'm considering):

1. Invest in some dividend generating stocks. Earn around 6-7% if I can swing it, pay off some off the debt with the dividend income as I go along. I think this is a decent idea.

2. Not pay anything but invest the money wisely and let it grow in the meantime. A lot of assets + a lot of debt when I'm done. This feels scarier.

3. Pay it off in full as I go. This seems like the worst idea unless I absolutely hate the idea of debt and want 100% flexibility when I'm done, which I don't.

I know this is all pretty loose but hopefully enough to get some tips. Thanks in advance.

Edit: if my post is confusing or unclear (likely) I'm happy to clarify.


Why, may I ask, are you going to law school? (It doesn't seem like you have any particular goal in mind). And please - for the love of god - tell me that you are going to a T14 school with this nest egg...

As for advice, I'll defer to others...but I suspect the sentiment will be to skip law school altogether so you don't have to worry about trashing this pile of $$


I appreciate the advice not to go to law school, sincerely. I've noticed it's a prevailing sentiment in these boards. But lets assume I've gone through all the considerations and am committed to going. It will be a t14 and potentially a t6 depending on how things pan out. Thanks again.

Potentially a T6 without any merit aid from T14? That a thing?
Last edited by star fox on Sun Mar 05, 2017 2:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:12 am

RaceJudicata wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hey guys - reading this thread has been very helpful so just wanna thank the community off the bat. I'm an 0L but I'm very specific circumstances so want to get some feeedback.

I'll be 27 when I start LS a this fall, and I've been working for the past few years since graduating. Because of a great deal of luck and some hard work, I've been able to save up around $600k. I'm not exactly sure what I'd like to do after law school, but I think I'd like to work for the government or clerk and also perhaps try my hand at big law for a few years. Pretty undefined I know but I suspect I'll realize where I'm headed once Im in the thick of it. Now, my question is how should I approach paying for law school. I see several options.

Considering law school will cost somewhere betwee $230-300k before interest (I've gotten no scholarships or need based aid from the schools I'm considering):

1. Invest in some dividend generating stocks. Earn around 6-7% if I can swing it, pay off some off the debt with the dividend income as I go along. I think this is a decent idea.

2. Not pay anything but invest the money wisely and let it grow in the meantime. A lot of assets + a lot of debt when I'm done. This feels scarier.

3. Pay it off in full as I go. This seems like the worst idea unless I absolutely hate the idea of debt and want 100% flexibility when I'm done, which I don't.

I know this is all pretty loose but hopefully enough to get some tips. Thanks in advance.

Edit: if my post is confusing or unclear (likely) I'm happy to clarify.


Why, may I ask, are you going to law school? (It doesn't seem like you have any particular goal in mind). And please - for the love of god - tell me that you are going to a T14 school with this nest egg...

As for advice, I'll defer to others...but I suspect the sentiment will be to skip law school altogether so you don't have to worry about trashing this pile of $$


I appreciate the advice not to go to law school, sincerely. I've noticed it's a prevailing sentiment on these boards, and I think it makes sense for a lot of folks. But lets assume I've gone through all the considerations and am committed to going. In short, I have the fortune and luxury of studying something I enjoy, and then looking for a position that fits my interests. It will be a t14 and potentially a t6 depending on how things pan out. Thanks again.

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:02 pm

star fox wrote:
Anon wrote:
RaceJudicata wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hey guys - reading this thread has been very helpful so just wanna thank the community off the bat. I'm an 0L but I'm very specific circumstances so want to get some feeedback.

I'll be 27 when I start LS a this fall, and I've been working for the past few years since graduating. Because of a great deal of luck and some hard work, I've been able to save up around $600k. I'm not exactly sure what I'd like to do after law school, but I think I'd like to work for the government or clerk and also perhaps try my hand at big law for a few years. Pretty undefined I know but I suspect I'll realize where I'm headed once Im in the thick of it. Now, my question is how should I approach paying for law school. I see several options.

Considering law school will cost somewhere betwee $230-300k before interest (I've gotten no scholarships or need based aid from the schools I'm considering):

1. Invest in some dividend generating stocks. Earn around 6-7% if I can swing it, pay off some off the debt with the dividend income as I go along. I think this is a decent idea.

2. Not pay anything but invest the money wisely and let it grow in the meantime. A lot of assets + a lot of debt when I'm done. This feels scarier.

3. Pay it off in full as I go. This seems like the worst idea unless I absolutely hate the idea of debt and want 100% flexibility when I'm done, which I don't.

I know this is all pretty loose but hopefully enough to get some tips. Thanks in advance.

Edit: if my post is confusing or unclear (likely) I'm happy to clarify.


Why, may I ask, are you going to law school? (It doesn't seem like you have any particular goal in mind). And please - for the love of god - tell me that you are going to a T14 school with this nest egg...

As for advice, I'll defer to others...but I suspect the sentiment will be to skip law school altogether so you don't have to worry about trashing this pile of $$


I appreciate the advice not to go to law school, sincerely. I've noticed it's a prevailing sentiment in these boards. But lets assume I've gone through all the considerations and am committed to going. It will be a t14 and potentially a t6 depending on how things pan out. Thanks again.

Potentially a T6 without any merit aid from T14? That a thing?


Op here. I have a unique profile in both good and bad ways. Hard splitter and unusual background. Honestly no clue how admissions/merit aid are determined despite all the information on this board. Just seems like every school is looking for something different and the results don't make too much sense on face value, at least from what ive seen.

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:13 am

Pretty basic question, but I'm starting to look into my repayment options following graduation in May. What is the difference/pros and cons of PAYE and REPAYE?

A little background:
Loan Balance: $250k
Income: $63k
I am PSLF eligible
Single right now but will be getting married in the next few years

It looks like I'm eligible for PAYE and REPAYE and when I do a repayment estimator on on the FSA website, the payments are calculated to be the same. Is there any significant advantage to choosing one plan over the other?

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Nebby » Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:22 am

Anonymous User wrote:Pretty basic question, but I'm starting to look into my repayment options following graduation in May. What is the difference/pros and cons of PAYE and REPAYE?

A little background:
Loan Balance: $250k
Income: $63k
I am PSLF eligible
Single right now but will be getting married in the next few years

It looks like I'm eligible for PAYE and REPAYE and when I do a repayment estimator on on the FSA website, the payments are calculated to be the same. Is there any significant advantage to choosing one plan over the other?

REPAYE is only for people with federal student loans before 2008. If that doesn't apply to you, then you'll do PAYE. They are calculated the same because they are the same in that regard.

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:You can only recharacterize a conversion up until your tax deadline so if it happened before 2016 you're out of luck.

I'm not sure I see the benefit of taking an ira deduction on relatively small summer income now and converting a much larger balance later.

My thinking is that the larger balance from the initial $5.5k contribution will only be $20k at most by the time I am moving it, but I get that the difference will probably be fairly trivial.

Oops. Looked at this again, and you're right. I think I was thinking of it as a credit instead of a deduction, for some unknown reason. My bad.

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Npret » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:25 am

So there is a thread by a super splitter who is looking at debt at repayment of $270,000, $280,000 or $300,000.

Has anyone dealt with this amount of debt? Is it even realistic to assume biglaw can support repayment of this much debt?

I did a quick calculation and the monthly payment on a 10 year standard repayment on $300,000 is $3616. I don't see how repaying $300,000 is feasible so I'm asking the experts here.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=275026

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby bk1 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:14 pm

Npret wrote:So there is a thread by a super splitter who is looking at debt at repayment of $270,000, $280,000 or $300,000.

Has anyone dealt with this amount of debt? Is it even realistic to assume biglaw can support repayment of this much debt?

I did a quick calculation and the monthly payment on a 10 year standard repayment on $300,000 is $3616. I don't see how repaying $300,000 is feasible so I'm asking the experts here.

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 1&t=275026

I pay around that much per month on what was initially close to 270k. If you can't scrounge together 45k/year while making 180k+, that is a bit absurd even in high CoL areas (assuming you aren't caring for kids).

I'm not saying it's smart, but it's at least very doable on a biglaw associate's salary. If the concern is about leaving biglaw, then there are various ways to structure PAYE to tackle that kind of debt.

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Nebby » Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:29 pm

Npret wrote:So there is a thread by a super splitter who is looking at debt at repayment of $270,000, $280,000 or $300,000.

Has anyone dealt with this amount of debt? Is it even realistic to assume biglaw can support repayment of this much debt?

I did a quick calculation and the monthly payment on a 10 year standard repayment on $300,000 is $3616. I don't see how repaying $300,000 is feasible so I'm asking the experts here.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=275026

I know a lot of people in NYC biglaw that pay $4000 month. It's doable, unless you are incompetent

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Npret » Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:57 pm

Nebby wrote:
Npret wrote:So there is a thread by a super splitter who is looking at debt at repayment of $270,000, $280,000 or $300,000.

Has anyone dealt with this amount of debt? Is it even realistic to assume biglaw can support repayment of this much debt?

I did a quick calculation and the monthly payment on a 10 year standard repayment on $300,000 is $3616. I don't see how repaying $300,000 is feasible so I'm asking the experts here.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=275026

I know a lot of people in NYC biglaw that pay $4000 month. It's doable, unless you are incompetent

I guess my thought was the people paying $4000 were paying at a much higher rate to be finished with their loans. I didn't think of people paying that much for 10 years.

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Npret » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:03 pm

bk1 wrote:
Npret wrote:So there is a thread by a super splitter who is looking at debt at repayment of $270,000, $280,000 or $300,000.

Has anyone dealt with this amount of debt? Is it even realistic to assume biglaw can support repayment of this much debt?

I did a quick calculation and the monthly payment on a 10 year standard repayment on $300,000 is $3616. I don't see how repaying $300,000 is feasible so I'm asking the experts here.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=275026

I pay around that much per month on what was initially close to 270k. If you can't scrounge together 45k/year while making 180k+, that is a bit absurd even in high CoL areas (assuming you aren't caring for kids).

I'm not saying it's smart, but it's at least very doable on a biglaw associate's salary. If the concern is about leaving biglaw, then there are various ways to structure PAYE to tackle that kind of debt.


Thanks. I linked this post in the thread.

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Mr. Peanutbutter » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:14 pm

Yeah I probably pay way more in rent than I have any business doing and I still have around $3k/month left over to go towards goals. $4k is definitely doable, if not a little tight.

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Nebby » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:58 pm

Npret wrote:
Nebby wrote:
Npret wrote:So there is a thread by a super splitter who is looking at debt at repayment of $270,000, $280,000 or $300,000.

Has anyone dealt with this amount of debt? Is it even realistic to assume biglaw can support repayment of this much debt?

I did a quick calculation and the monthly payment on a 10 year standard repayment on $300,000 is $3616. I don't see how repaying $300,000 is feasible so I'm asking the experts here.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=275026

I know a lot of people in NYC biglaw that pay $4000 month. It's doable, unless you are incompetent

I guess my thought was the people paying $4000 were paying at a much higher rate to be finished with their loans. I didn't think of people paying that much for 10 years.

Well supposedly some people do, but if you stay in big law, every year you can pay more and more if you want to pay it off faster. Even $300,000 in debt starting on day 1 in biglaw could be paid off within 6 or 7 years if you paid aggressively in lockstep with compensation increases.

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:00 pm

Thanks to everyone for sharing your insight and knowledge about this loan stuff. Im clueless when it comes to all of this and people like me truly appreciate it.

I had a question. I am looking at refinancing 155k of debt with sofi. Started with 227k, all of it is federal loans, my loan servicer is great lakes, avg interest rate is about 6.5%. I live in texas, Sofi is the only refinancing company I've looked at. They've offered me a 3.4% interest rate (with my wife as a co signer). I have 40k right now in savings that I would gladly put towards the loan, and am planning on doing that sometime soon. Would doing that first get me a better interest rate? or does it not matter? does it make a difference to sofi whether I refinance 155k of debt vs. 115k? or does having that money in my savings account, giving me a better debt/income ratio help get me a better rate? does that matter?

Another thing I was wondering, have heard on the news about the fed interest rate hike coming in march. Does this impact my decision to refinance my loans in anyway? for example, should I get this done before the rate hike? this is probably a stupid question....

Thanks for your time

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby bk1 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Would doing that first get me a better interest rate? or does it not matter? does it make a difference to sofi whether I refinance 155k of debt vs. 115k? or does having that money in my savings account, giving me a better debt/income ratio help get me a better rate? does that matter?

I have no idea, but you should just ask SoFi.

Not relevant but to be clear: your DTI ratio does not factor in liquidity (liquidity is generally factored into underwriting, but it isn't part of DTI - DTI is generally just your monthly debt obligations vs your monthly debt income).

I'd also add that, if you get a rate of 3.4%, it may not be the best financial move to put the 40k into your loan. The risk-adjusted return of the market generally beats that (even more so if you are using a tax-advantaged account such as a 401k or IRA). That said, if you just want your student loans gone at the expense of not maximizing your return on capital, that's not entirely unreasonable.

Anonymous User wrote:Another thing I was wondering, have heard on the news about the fed interest rate hike coming in march. Does this impact my decision to refinance my loans in anyway? for example, should I get this done before the rate hike? this is probably a stupid question....

I suspect most lenders have already priced the anticipated rate hikes into the rates they are offering, but it is probably safer to refi sooner rather than later. I know at least some lenders rates have been rising (e.g., First Republic).

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:56 pm

Okay. Fairly newbie to the whole conversation. I'm fortunate enough to qualify for a low monthly (thanks to a low salary) and PLSF.
The question (I realize it may not be so simple) is about potential tax implications upon forgiveness. Are all hit with the TI of forgiveness? Are some hit and some not hit?

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Okay. Fairly newbie to the whole conversation. I'm fortunate enough to qualify for a low monthly (thanks to a low salary) and PLSF.
The question (I realize it may not be so simple) is about potential tax implications upon forgiveness. Are all hit with the TI of forgiveness? Are some hit and some not hit?

If you're forgiven under PSLF after 10 years of public service work, there is no tax hit. All of the other programs that forgive after 20 or 25 years (IBR, PAYE, REPAYE) do come with a tax hit as the forgiven amount is treated as income.

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:04 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Okay. Fairly newbie to the whole conversation. I'm fortunate enough to qualify for a low monthly (thanks to a low salary) and PLSF.
The question (I realize it may not be so simple) is about potential tax implications upon forgiveness. Are all hit with the TI of forgiveness? Are some hit and some not hit?

If you're forgiven under PSLF after 10 years of public service work, there is no tax hit. All of the other programs that forgive after 20 or 25 years (IBR, PAYE, REPAYE) do come with a tax hit as the forgiven amount is treated as income.


Thanks! So if you're in the 10 year program you're good to go?

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Okay. Fairly newbie to the whole conversation. I'm fortunate enough to qualify for a low monthly (thanks to a low salary) and PLSF.
The question (I realize it may not be so simple) is about potential tax implications upon forgiveness. Are all hit with the TI of forgiveness? Are some hit and some not hit?

If you're forgiven under PSLF after 10 years of public service work, there is no tax hit. All of the other programs that forgive after 20 or 25 years (IBR, PAYE, REPAYE) do come with a tax hit as the forgiven amount is treated as income.


Thanks! So if you're in the 10 year program you're good to go?

Yep. Just do 10 years and it all goes away free and clear.

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby zot1 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:26 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Okay. Fairly newbie to the whole conversation. I'm fortunate enough to qualify for a low monthly (thanks to a low salary) and PLSF.
The question (I realize it may not be so simple) is about potential tax implications upon forgiveness. Are all hit with the TI of forgiveness? Are some hit and some not hit?

If you're forgiven under PSLF after 10 years of public service work, there is no tax hit. All of the other programs that forgive after 20 or 25 years (IBR, PAYE, REPAYE) do come with a tax hit as the forgiven amount is treated as income.


Thanks! So if you're in the 10 year program you're good to go?

Yep. Just do 10 years and it all goes away free and clear.


The dream.

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Thelaw23 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:21 am

Hey guys, looking for anecdotal stories about paying off 300k debt upon graduation. I have high debt tolerance, so it's not like I wouldn't be able to sleep knowing I have such a high debt. I am looking at PAYE, due to the fact that I don't want to bet on biglaw the whole time for payment of the debt, and I also wish to gun for judicial clerkships. The $1500 monthly payment seems cool too, I'm okay with hunkering down and chilling for twenty years until the tax bomb hits me. Is that really the way it works or am I missing something?

I know people pay off 4k a month while in biglaw, but my problem with that is I feel like with the high amount of dissatisfaction and work-life balance that biglaw gives, I want to enjoy some of that money I earn. I think it might leave me in a bad emotional state if I'm slaving away in biglaw to fully finance my debt. That's why I'm looking at PAYE even though it might not be the smartest choice if my income stays over 130k throughout the years.

Edit: I thought this was in the financial aid forum, sorry if I'm violating rules by posting as a 0L. I pretty much sent in my tuition deposit already.
Last edited by Thelaw23 on Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby lymenheimer » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:25 am

Thelaw23 wrote:


viewtopic.php?f=23&t=220025

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=170603

Also, there's load of discussion in here about the tax bomb. Search function might be helpful to sift through. Or just read every post because as a 0L it can be very helpful to make the debt real before it is real.
Last edited by lymenheimer on Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Nebby » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:27 am

Thelaw23 wrote:Hey guys, looking for anecdotal stories about paying off 300k debt upon graduation. I have high debt tolerance, so it's not like I wouldn't be able to sleep knowing I have such a high debt. I am looking at PAYE, due to the fact that I don't want to bet on biglaw the whole time for payment of the debt, and I also wish to gun for judicial clerkships. The $1500 monthly payment seems cool too, I'm okay with hunkering down and chilling for twenty years until the tax bomb hits me. Is that really the way it works or am I missing something?

I know people pay off 4k a month while in biglaw, but my problem with that is I feel like with the high amount of dissatisfaction and work-life balance that biglaw gives, I want to enjoy some of that money I earn. I think it might leave me in a bad emotional state if I'm slaving away in biglaw to fully finance my debt. That's why I'm looking at PAYE even though it might not be the smartest choice if my income stays over 130k throughout the years.

Edit: I thought this was in the financial aid forum, sorry if I'm violating rules by posting as a 0L. I pretty much sent in my tuition deposit already.

Please don't go to CLS at sticker

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Clemenceau » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:34 am

Nebby wrote:
Thelaw23 wrote:Hey guys, looking for anecdotal stories about paying off 300k debt upon graduation. I have high debt tolerance, so it's not like I wouldn't be able to sleep knowing I have such a high debt. I am looking at PAYE, due to the fact that I don't want to bet on biglaw the whole time for payment of the debt, and I also wish to gun for judicial clerkships. The $1500 monthly payment seems cool too, I'm okay with hunkering down and chilling for twenty years until the tax bomb hits me. Is that really the way it works or am I missing something?

I know people pay off 4k a month while in biglaw, but my problem with that is I feel like with the high amount of dissatisfaction and work-life balance that biglaw gives, I want to enjoy some of that money I earn. I think it might leave me in a bad emotional state if I'm slaving away in biglaw to fully finance my debt. That's why I'm looking at PAYE even though it might not be the smartest choice if my income stays over 130k throughout the years.

Edit: I thought this was in the financial aid forum, sorry if I'm violating rules by posting as a 0L. I pretty much sent in my tuition deposit already.

Please don't go to CLS at sticker


Also why in gods name would you send in your tuition deposit in early March? You just gave up hope at negotiating for a scholarship? Schools are more generous in april when their feet are getting closer to the fire.

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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:39 am

Clemenceau wrote:
Nebby wrote:
Thelaw23 wrote:Hey guys, looking for anecdotal stories about paying off 300k debt upon graduation. I have high debt tolerance, so it's not like I wouldn't be able to sleep knowing I have such a high debt. I am looking at PAYE, due to the fact that I don't want to bet on biglaw the whole time for payment of the debt, and I also wish to gun for judicial clerkships. The $1500 monthly payment seems cool too, I'm okay with hunkering down and chilling for twenty years until the tax bomb hits me. Is that really the way it works or am I missing something?

I know people pay off 4k a month while in biglaw, but my problem with that is I feel like with the high amount of dissatisfaction and work-life balance that biglaw gives, I want to enjoy some of that money I earn. I think it might leave me in a bad emotional state if I'm slaving away in biglaw to fully finance my debt. That's why I'm looking at PAYE even though it might not be the smartest choice if my income stays over 130k throughout the years.

Edit: I thought this was in the financial aid forum, sorry if I'm violating rules by posting as a 0L. I pretty much sent in my tuition deposit already.

Please don't go to CLS at sticker


Also why in gods name would you send in your tuition deposit in early March? You just gave up hope at negotiating for a scholarship? Schools are more generous in april when their feet are getting closer to the fire.



Through interaction with the adcomms I pretty much got the closest possible to an ED without being binded to an ED contract. I would've went against my word if I didn't send that deposit in upon acceptance. Maybe not the smartest move, but it was a tough cycle lol

Edit: Sorry didn't mean to anon it




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