Student loan payments: Actual numbers

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:59 pm

Void wrote:What are these savings you speak of? Paycheck to paycheck up in here.

Ha, this was my response as well. (One-income household for the moment doesn't help.)

so ambivalent
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby so ambivalent » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:51 am

currently unemployed 3L here
i expect to get a govt or small firm job. so i am looking at a worst case scenario of $50,000. no debts except law school. no responsibilities (no kids etc). but my partner works an hourly wage job with no benefits so it will be me paying for our house, kids etc down the line.
all up i'll have about $90,000 in loan debt which includes my undergrad loans. i did not get biglaw jobs or get paid both summers. i went to some of the most expensive undergrad and law schools ever. how did i do this?
1) chose a school with a scholly over a slightly higher ranked school. and am so so glad i did.
2) the school i chose is in a city with an incredibly low cost of living.
3) i live cheaper than my peers: didn't choose $$$ apt, no car (only bike), limited social life, started growing my hair out because the salon was so $$$$, stopped my gilt groupe addiction, no spring break trips etc... don;t get me wrong, live well and comfortably, but there is no need in law school to, as many classmates do, go to mexico every spring break and some other exotic locale for each vacation and buy tickets to concerts and go out to dinner and buy new clothes. you can budget and figure out what your big ticket items are and eliminate them. those will likely be transport, travel and rent.
4) avoided those fed plus loans like the plague which i suggest people should do if possible.
5) i was lucky to get family to loan me $20,000 each year at 2% interest. the way i put it was that, if they felt like i had a good shot at being an employed attny, then they would get a better and more dependable return on that investment than letting it accrue interest (always less than 2%) in a savings acct or leaving it to vagaries of stock mkt. that $$$ is more useful to them when they retire and need an extra cash infusion if their investment accts go sour.
6) i also worked before law school and although i only made $50,000 living in nyc, i managed to save a couple hundred every month which ended up getting me around $20,000 to put towards my cost of living
7) i didn't take out loans during the summer. i chose jobs in places where i was already paying rent or could live for free with family.
i realize i was LUCKY to have low debt. and i know this is not the case for everyone. even so, i agonized about spending the $$$ for law school knowing i probs wanted to do PI and having lived in the firm world through the nightmare of 2009-2010 law firm layoffs. but i posted the above so that ppl going in can see that even with luck you still need to plan to keep your loans below six figures and those loans will still be high. i feel ok about my debt cuz i ran the number with an economist who specializes in this and at $50,000/yr and PI loan forgiveness i'd be ok if i stayed in a low cost of living area and held off on kids.
bottom line: if you don't think you can get a big law job or don't wanna do big law get that scholly and save however you can. take out the minimum loans you need. i have friends who worked law jobs every summer and they still had to take out loan from their parents for their first big city apt security deposit. that boggles my mind.

Void
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Void » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:24 am

so ambivalent wrote:currently unemployed 3L here
i expect to get a govt or small firm job. so i am looking at a worst case scenario of $50,000. no debts except law school. no responsibilities (no kids etc). but my partner works an hourly wage job with no benefits so it will be me paying for our house, kids etc down the line.
all up i'll have about $90,000 in loan debt which includes my undergrad loans. i did not get biglaw jobs or get paid both summers. i went to some of the most expensive undergrad and law schools ever. how did i do this?
1) chose a school with a scholly over a slightly higher ranked school. and am so so glad i did.
2) the school i chose is in a city with an incredibly low cost of living.
3) i live cheaper than my peers: didn't choose $$$ apt, no car (only bike), limited social life, started growing my hair out because the salon was so $$$$, stopped my gilt groupe addiction, no spring break trips etc... don;t get me wrong, live well and comfortably, but there is no need in law school to, as many classmates do, go to mexico every spring break and some other exotic locale for each vacation and buy tickets to concerts and go out to dinner and buy new clothes. you can budget and figure out what your big ticket items are and eliminate them. those will likely be transport, travel and rent.
4) avoided those fed plus loans like the plague which i suggest people should do if possible.
5) i was lucky to get family to loan me $20,000 each year at 2% interest. the way i put it was that, if they felt like i had a good shot at being an employed attny, then they would get a better and more dependable return on that investment than letting it accrue interest (always less than 2%) in a savings acct or leaving it to vagaries of stock mkt. that $$$ is more useful to them when they retire and need an extra cash infusion if their investment accts go sour.
6) i also worked before law school and although i only made $50,000 living in nyc, i managed to save a couple hundred every month which ended up getting me around $20,000 to put towards my cost of living
7) i didn't take out loans during the summer. i chose jobs in places where i was already paying rent or could live for free with family.
i realize i was LUCKY to have low debt. and i know this is not the case for everyone. even so, i agonized about spending the $$$ for law school knowing i probs wanted to do PI and having lived in the firm world through the nightmare of 2009-2010 law firm layoffs. but i posted the above so that ppl going in can see that even with luck you still need to plan to keep your loans below six figures and those loans will still be high. i feel ok about my debt cuz i ran the number with an economist who specializes in this and at $50,000/yr and PI loan forgiveness i'd be ok if i stayed in a low cost of living area and held off on kids.
bottom line: if you don't think you can get a big law job or don't wanna do big law get that scholly and save however you can. take out the minimum loans you need. i have friends who worked law jobs every summer and they still had to take out loan from their parents for their first big city apt security deposit. that boggles my mind.


Pretty confident for someone without an offer. You "expect" to make $50k, worst case scenario? Bold words. I recommend adjusting your worst case scenario income to $0.

Anonymous User
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:58 am

This is an interesting thread to read. I had a complete different profile from most posters here, which may make some of you feel not that bad about the debt issue.

2L with a big law SA offer.
Total Debt: $0 (used my savings since I have worked for about 10 years; spouse is working; one kid in school)
Total Household Income: $140k (mostly spouse's income now and my 160k job won't start until 2015)
Living expense: kind of frugal for me, but not for my family. My rent is $400/month for one bedroom in a 2-bedroom apartment. Since my apartment is only 5-minute-walk away from the law school, I cook for myself all the time for nutritional purpose only. Attend most seminars at school with free food (in most cases the talk is more attractive than the food). Wash my clothes at home every weekend instead of using the laundry facility at the apartment complex. I drive a 13-year-old car but my wife drives a 2010 Volvo XC- 90. We bought 5 Northface coats for our child but I wear the same coat I had worn for the last ten years. You get the picture.

The way I see this financing issue is that either you mortgage against your future or you use your piggybank from your past. Either way it costs you about 10 years of time. Therefore, cheer up. Your future is brighter than mine!
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

so ambivalent
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby so ambivalent » Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:18 pm

Pretty confident for someone without an offer. You "expect" to make $50k, worst case scenario? Bold words. I recommend adjusting your worst case scenario income to $0.
Post Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:24 am


this is the sort of unhelpful negativity that makes people say tls is full of douchebags.
i'm under no illusions about how tough finding a legal job; i attend networking functions and apply to new jobs or interview almost every week. but the idea that ppl start forecasting doomsday scenarios because they didn't get a biglaw 2l SA is absurd.
do i expect to land comfortably in biglaw next year? no. do i expect to have no job and be bringing in $0? absolutely not. about 1/3 of those at my t15 have a job right now. the other 1/3 will have a job by the time they graduate because smaller firms and PI jobs have a later hiring cycle (and i'm currently interviewing in that cycle). the others will get paid through the public service initiative and will find jobs through that or through other means. half a dozen may just give up on the job search, but the idea that you would graduate jobless and just sit around earning nothing is unrealistically negative and defeatist. you don't earn nothing, you man up and find SOME job, even if it's not a law job. if you go to a good law school and have some work history you can find a job to pay your loans. finding a law job you like that allows you to pay your loans and live comfortably is difficult (as is finding a job that fits those criteria in almost any field). but, welcome to adulthood.

Anonymous User
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:28 pm

so ambivalent wrote:
Pretty confident for someone without an offer. You "expect" to make $50k, worst case scenario? Bold words. I recommend adjusting your worst case scenario income to $0.
Post Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:24 am


this is the sort of unhelpful negativity that makes people say tls is full of douchebags.
i'm under no illusions about how tough finding a legal job; i attend networking functions and apply to new jobs or interview almost every week. but the idea that ppl start forecasting doomsday scenarios because they didn't get a biglaw 2l SA is absurd.
do i expect to land comfortably in biglaw next year? no. do i expect to have no job and be bringing in $0? absolutely not. about 1/3 of those at my t15 have a job right now. the other 1/3 will have a job by the time they graduate because smaller firms and PI jobs have a later hiring cycle (and i'm currently interviewing in that cycle). the others will get paid through the public service initiative and will find jobs through that or through other means. half a dozen may just give up on the job search, but the idea that you would graduate jobless and just sit around earning nothing is unrealistically negative and defeatist. you don't earn nothing, you man up and find SOME job, even if it's not a law job. if you go to a good law school and have some work history you can find a job to pay your loans. finding a law job you like that allows you to pay your loans and live comfortably is difficult (as is finding a job that fits those criteria in almost any field). but, welcome to adulthood.


Image

Void
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Void » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:40 pm

so ambivalent wrote:
Pretty confident for someone without an offer. You "expect" to make $50k, worst case scenario? Bold words. I recommend adjusting your worst case scenario income to $0.
Post Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:24 am


this is the sort of unhelpful negativity that makes people say tls is full of douchebags.
i'm under no illusions about how tough finding a legal job; i attend networking functions and apply to new jobs or interview almost every week. but the idea that ppl start forecasting doomsday scenarios because they didn't get a biglaw 2l SA is absurd.
do i expect to land comfortably in biglaw next year? no. do i expect to have no job and be bringing in $0? absolutely not. about 1/3 of those at my t15 have a job right now. the other 1/3 will have a job by the time they graduate because smaller firms and PI jobs have a later hiring cycle (and i'm currently interviewing in that cycle). the others will get paid through the public service initiative and will find jobs through that or through other means. half a dozen may just give up on the job search, but the idea that you would graduate jobless and just sit around earning nothing is unrealistically negative and defeatist. you don't earn nothing, you man up and find SOME job, even if it's not a law job. if you go to a good law school and have some work history you can find a job to pay your loans. finding a law job you like that allows you to pay your loans and live comfortably is difficult (as is finding a job that fits those criteria in almost any field). but, welcome to adulthood.


You said that your WORST CASE SCENARIO would be making $50k/year. I was just pointing out that your worst case scenario is to have no job at all. I'm happy that you're optimistic about your chances. Good luck.

rad lulz
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby rad lulz » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:42 pm

m
Last edited by rad lulz on Sat Sep 10, 2016 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:42 pm

Yeah this thread is not for you bro


To be sure, this thread is for people like him to read, not post in.

Anonymous User
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:00 pm

The funny thing is that in my case whether I am a 1L, 2L, 3L or 1st year associate has no bearing on my debt status: it is always ZERO. Why insert the arbitrary and capricious condition when it changes nothing about the outcome?

Further, I hope those who read my previous post will notice that there are ways to hunker down and avoid the DEBT attack.

rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This is an interest thread to read. I had a complete different profile from most posters here, which may make some of you feel not that bad about the debt issue.

2L with a big law SA offer.
Total Debt: $0 (used my savings since I have worked for about 10 years; spouse is working; one kid in school)
Total Household Income: $140k (mostly spouse's income now and my 160k job won't start until 2015)
Living expense: kind of frugal for me, but not for my family. My rent is $400/month for one bedroom in a 2-bedroom apartment. Since my apartment is only 5-minute-walk away from the law school, I cook for myself all the time for nutritional purpose only. Attend most seminars at school with free food (in most cases the talk is more attractive than the food). Wash my clothes at home every weekend instead of using the laundry facility at the apartment complex. I drive a 13-year-old car but my wife drives a 2010 Volvo XC- 90. We bought 5 Northface coats for our child but I wear the same coat I had worn for the last ten years. You get the picture.

The way I see this financing issue is that either you mortgage against your future or you use your piggybank from your past. Either way it costs you about 10 years of time. Therefore, cheer up. Your future is brighter than mine!

Oh so you're a 2L who hasn't started makin payments and all you have is a SA position and not even a permanent offer?

Yeah this thread is not for you bro

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Further, I hope those who read my previous post will notice that there are ways to hunker down and avoid the DEBT attack.


Your advice to people with debt is to go back in time, work for 10 years, and then dump all of their savings into getting a JD? Thanks.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The funny thing is that in my case whether I am a 1L, 2L, 3L or 1st year associate has no bearing on my debt status: it is always ZERO. Why insert the arbitrary and capricious condition when it changes nothing about the outcome?

Okay so your participation in this thread is even more useless then. We're happy for you that you don't have any debt, and your personal finance skills sound truly exemplary, but this is explicitly a thread for (1) graduates who are (2) talking about their actual repayment schedules. Everyone knows what the payments on "zero" look like whether you're on the five or ten year plan.

Void
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Void » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:arbitrary and capricious


Outed as taking admin law this semester.

rad lulz
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby rad lulz » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:54 pm

m
Last edited by rad lulz on Sat Sep 10, 2016 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:04 pm

This thread is intended for law grads who have actual total debt numbers and loan payments (even if those payments are $0) to post their actual numbers. It's not for people who aren't done yet to post speculation (and it's also not for commentary by 0Ls, even if anonymously posted).

Anonymous User
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:04 pm

Q: How to solve the aftermath after I committed a crime?
Best answer to the defendant: Hire an attorney quickly.
Best answer to those defendants-to-be: Do not commit the crime in the first place or downgrade your crime from first degree murder to assault if you HAVE to commit a crime anyway.

Since OP claimed that this post is for the benefit of 0L or law students, the fact that the second answer does not apply to every viewer or poster of this thread does not remove the legitimacy thereof.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:07 pm

My comment wasn't really up for debate. The point of the thread is to provide hard numbers, not advice - there are plenty of places for that elsewhere on this site.

rad lulz
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby rad lulz » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:11 pm

m
Last edited by rad lulz on Sat Sep 10, 2016 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Void
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Void » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:35 pm

rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Q: How to solve the aftermath after I committed a crime?
Best answer to the defendant: Hire an attorney quickly.
Best answer to those defendants-to-be: Do not commit the crime in the first place or downgrade your crime from first degree murder to assault if you HAVE to commit a crime anyway.

Since OP claimed that this post is for the benefit of 0L or law students, the fact that the second answer does not apply to every viewers or posters of this thread does not remove the legitimacy thereof.

I cannot believe you talk like this

You are the worst


Seriously- wtf is this? Get out of here with that nonsense.

Sorry to have contributed to this thread going off the rails, but Nony is right- this has become like a weird back door for 0Ls (and 1Ls and 2Ls and 3Ls) to post stupid shit anonymously in the employment forum.
Last edited by Void on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:36 pm

I'm the one who moved it here, so don't worry about that. Hopefully it will get back on track.

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Summerz
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Summerz » Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:28 am

Going back to when this thread was about paying off debt. Seemed like the average debt was slightly north of $150K. However, on TLS there are numerous claims that +$250K is a normal debt, but I just don’t see it on this thread or IRL. I am not suggesting that no one has a high ticket tuition, but I doubt if it is as widespread as many claim it is.

IMHO: Since TLS lives in the land of a million rules, adding one more shouldn’t matter. When a topic starts off in a non-anonymous section, can we please not move it to an anonymous thread? It’s confusing to follow a topic when nearly every poster is named anonymous. Thanks.

Anonymous User
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:00 am

Summerz wrote:Going back to when this thread was about paying off debt. Seemed like the average debt was slightly north of $150K. However, on TLS there are numerous claims that +$250K is a normal debt, but I just don’t see it on this thread or IRL. I am not suggesting that no one has a high ticket tuition, but I doubt if it is as widespread as many claim it is.


Speaking for my T14, 95%+ of the young peoples' parents clearly pay for either all or a good chunk. The few old people either have Yellow Ribbon or banking/consulting savings or something. Then scholarships.... Seemingly all the K-JDs on TLS are just sooo independent from their parents but that is definitely not how it is irl. I mean shit half of em live in $1500-2k+/mo. apartments, loans would not even stretch far enough to do that

Anonymous User
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Summerz wrote:Going back to when this thread was about paying off debt. Seemed like the average debt was slightly north of $150K. However, on TLS there are numerous claims that +$250K is a normal debt, but I just don’t see it on this thread or IRL. I am not suggesting that no one has a high ticket tuition, but I doubt if it is as widespread as many claim it is.


Speaking for my T14, 95%+ of the young peoples' parents clearly pay for either all or a good chunk. The few old people either have Yellow Ribbon or banking/consulting savings or something. Then scholarships.... Seemingly all the K-JDs on TLS are just sooo independent from their parents but that is definitely not how it is irl. I mean shit half of em live in $1500-2k+/mo. apartments, loans would not even stretch far enough to do that


I'm a 3L, received no help from my parents, and barring some disaster this spring will have ~150k upon graduation. I suspect the 250k number is overblown for several reasons.

First, if you look up the calculations used to arrive at that figure, it assumes significant undergrad debt (I'm looking at Paul Campos' calculations, to be specific). If you saved on undergrad debt, already you are better off.

Most students also don't live alone, cutting rent payments significantly (as well as other expenses, like internet and utilities).

Many students get some kind of part time job, even if it's from the school itself (such as a TA/RA position, or even just sitting at the library circulation desk). Even if these are low paying, say just $300/month, the job will cut your debt by $10k+ over a 3 year period.

If you score a biglaw SA you can use the proceeds to fund living expenses your whole third year, again cutting 15-20k off your debt (just remember to get the tax refund). Granted, this is less relevant outside of the T14, but TLS basically says only go to the T14 anyway.

Also, just because you weren't offered a grant/scholarship upfront does not mean you never get one. I know someone who worked for 2 years between undergrad and attending S. Her salary kept her from getting any need based aid her first year, but when she reapplied her second year, the calculation was then based on her nonexistent 1l income and she suddenly qualified for a huge grant (30k range). I've had a similar experience (not at S), with my grant increasing each year, though not nearly as dramatic.

Finally, Campos' calculation also involved compounding interest on loans while you're still in school, so if you can save money your 1l year (from a roommate, post-college summer job, whatever), you will come out with even less debt because there is no interest to compound on money you never borrow.

Now, I'm sure that 250k in debt happens, but you need to keep in mind that roommates/summer jobs/part time jobs/grants/scholarships/etc. mean this won't be the reality for many people, even without parents footing the bills.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:12 am

Summerz wrote:Going back to when this thread was about paying off debt. Seemed like the average debt was slightly north of $150K. However, on TLS there are numerous claims that +$250K is a normal debt, but I just don’t see it on this thread or IRL. I am not suggesting that no one has a high ticket tuition, but I doubt if it is as widespread as many claim it is.

IMHO: Since TLS lives in the land of a million rules, adding one more shouldn’t matter. When a topic starts off in a non-anonymous section, can we please not move it to an anonymous thread? It’s confusing to follow a topic when nearly every poster is named anonymous. Thanks.

The point of moving it was to get more information, since for whatever reason Americans aren't fond of broadcasting their incomes/debt. So it can be non-anonymous with few people participating, or anonymous with more people participating and therefore more information provided. The goal of the thread wasn't actually to start a conversation that needs to be followed, but to provide data.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Student loan payments: Actual numbers

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Summerz wrote:Going back to when this thread was about paying off debt. Seemed like the average debt was slightly north of $150K. However, on TLS there are numerous claims that +$250K is a normal debt, but I just don’t see it on this thread or IRL. I am not suggesting that no one has a high ticket tuition, but I doubt if it is as widespread as many claim it is.


Speaking for my T14, 95%+ of the young peoples' parents clearly pay for either all or a good chunk. The few old people either have Yellow Ribbon or banking/consulting savings or something. Then scholarships.... Seemingly all the K-JDs on TLS are just sooo independent from their parents but that is definitely not how it is irl. I mean shit half of em live in $1500-2k+/mo. apartments, loans would not even stretch far enough to do that
oh cool which T14 is it that's all rich people and veterans and ex bankers? Sounds really cool.




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