Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

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DaftAndDirect

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby DaftAndDirect » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:38 am

boredtodeath wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Graduated: 2017 - corporate associate in biglaw
Debt: 300k
Payments: $2090
Plan: 20 year (Earnest)
Income: $190k + $15k bonus (Cravath scale firm)

No credit card debt, still renting. Wife has no student loans or any debt.


We're in a similar position. Why did you decide to refinance so soon, if you don't mind my asking? I refi'd the same amount with FRB and partly regret it.


V10 midlevel here. I started BigLaw with $230k debt and am down to about $100k. Monthly payments were around $4k. Best of luck to you both. It is not easy on your psyche, especially if you're surrounded by colleagues who aren't carrying the same debt load.

L_William_W

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby L_William_W » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:25 pm

Debt $119,000 plus $8,000 interest

Yearly salary: I'd rather not say. It's not a McDonald's wage, but I'm definitely not making middle class money

I got a deferment, but I still pay $200 a month.

I'll never own a home or a car and this will hang over me until I'm a senior citizen. I'm so fucked.

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boredtodeath

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby boredtodeath » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:25 pm

DaftAndDirect wrote:
boredtodeath wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Graduated: 2017 - corporate associate in biglaw
Debt: 300k
Payments: $2090
Plan: 20 year (Earnest)
Income: $190k + $15k bonus (Cravath scale firm)

No credit card debt, still renting. Wife has no student loans or any debt.


We're in a similar position. Why did you decide to refinance so soon, if you don't mind my asking? I refi'd the same amount with FRB and partly regret it.


V10 midlevel here. I started BigLaw with $230k debt and am down to about $100k. Monthly payments were around $4k. Best of luck to you both. It is not easy on your psyche, especially if you're surrounded by colleagues who aren't carrying the same debt load.


Thanks. Do you have a plan for what you might do about payments if/when you leave biglaw? I had always thought about staying in biglaw 4-5 years and then making a massive one-time payment when I left so that I could refi the remaining balance out to a smaller monthly payment and open myself up to different job opportunities (i.e. lower-paying ones) but I'm not sure I'll even last that long. You're right that it sucks to know you've limited yourself to doing certain types of jobs solely because of your debt load.

Good luck to you guys as well.

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DaftAndDirect

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby DaftAndDirect » Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:49 pm

boredtodeath wrote:
DaftAndDirect wrote:
boredtodeath wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Graduated: 2017 - corporate associate in biglaw
Debt: 300k
Payments: $2090
Plan: 20 year (Earnest)
Income: $190k + $15k bonus (Cravath scale firm)

No credit card debt, still renting. Wife has no student loans or any debt.


We're in a similar position. Why did you decide to refinance so soon, if you don't mind my asking? I refi'd the same amount with FRB and partly regret it.


V10 midlevel here. I started BigLaw with $230k debt and am down to about $100k. Monthly payments were around $4k. Best of luck to you both. It is not easy on your psyche, especially if you're surrounded by colleagues who aren't carrying the same debt load.


Thanks. Do you have a plan for what you might do about payments if/when you leave biglaw? I had always thought about staying in biglaw 4-5 years and then making a massive one-time payment when I left so that I could refi the remaining balance out to a smaller monthly payment and open myself up to different job opportunities (i.e. lower-paying ones) but I'm not sure I'll even last that long. You're right that it sucks to know you've limited yourself to doing certain types of jobs solely because of your debt load.

Good luck to you guys as well.


I just re-fi'd. With new market salary, I was able to kick my maturity out another 5 years and lower the interest rate, reducing my monthly payment from $4k to about $2k. I'm stashing the extra cash for now, with the expectation that I'll invest after the next major market correction (which I think will happen in 2020). I'm not leaving Biglaw until my effective net debt is ~$50k.

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:24 pm

DaftAndDirect wrote:
boredtodeath wrote:
DaftAndDirect wrote:
boredtodeath wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Graduated: 2017 - corporate associate in biglaw
Debt: 300k
Payments: $2090
Plan: 20 year (Earnest)
Income: $190k + $15k bonus (Cravath scale firm)

No credit card debt, still renting. Wife has no student loans or any debt.


We're in a similar position. Why did you decide to refinance so soon, if you don't mind my asking? I refi'd the same amount with FRB and partly regret it.


V10 midlevel here. I started BigLaw with $230k debt and am down to about $100k. Monthly payments were around $4k. Best of luck to you both. It is not easy on your psyche, especially if you're surrounded by colleagues who aren't carrying the same debt load.


Thanks. Do you have a plan for what you might do about payments if/when you leave biglaw? I had always thought about staying in biglaw 4-5 years and then making a massive one-time payment when I left so that I could refi the remaining balance out to a smaller monthly payment and open myself up to different job opportunities (i.e. lower-paying ones) but I'm not sure I'll even last that long. You're right that it sucks to know you've limited yourself to doing certain types of jobs solely because of your debt load.

Good luck to you guys as well.


I just re-fi'd. With new market salary, I was able to kick my maturity out another 5 years and lower the interest rate, reducing my monthly payment from $4k to about $2k. I'm stashing the extra cash for now, with the expectation that I'll invest after the next major market correction (which I think will happen in 2020). I'm not leaving Biglaw until my effective net debt is ~$50k.


I'm the original anon quoted. If you're a midlevel on the new biglaw scale, won't your end of year bonus this year be basically enough to get you down to ~$50k in debt later this year?

Then again, I guess if you have a low interest rate and don't mind the debt psychologically, investing that cash is probably better long term.

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:11 pm

1st year, 180k / no bonus firm. 116k in debt, all loans at 6.5+ interest.
Going at it aggressively around 4-5k a month, applying all payments to highest-interest loan first (7%).

My plan as of now is to go aggressive for 6-10 months to knock out a large portion, and then reevaluate whether I feel the need to continue or adjust my payments to a lower amount. I just hate having 6 figures of debt and want to get it down to something more reasonable (60k or so) fast.

Any remaining leftover money at month end will be dumped into a vanguard.

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:56 pm

5th year associate here. Checking in to remind people that savings and investments compound, bonuses become meaningful and the really intimidating debt load becomes much less scary after just a few short years.

2013 grad.
$215k debt at graduation

5 years later:

Debt at $140k (refinanced early at 2.75%. Payments around $1800 a month—have never paid more than minimum).

Savings / 401K balance: $195k (enough to pay off loans whenever!!). Saving at a rate of $100-$125k a year now.

Felt much better about everything once my savings crossed over my debt, but the point is that I’m only 5 years out. Still VERY early in my career. All of this is doable.

I never had roommates, I went on nice vacations, and I have a nice quality of life. No income from a significant other. On the flip side, I’m not buying a house anytime soon (though I don’t think it’s a particularly good time to do so anyway). And I don’t have kids—which helps.

Focus on doing well in your career, increase your top line and the bottom line takes care of itself. Treat your first years in big law like you did 1L. Grind hard.

God speed.

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:59 pm

anyone have a SoFi referral code? Looking to refinance

BigLawer

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby BigLawer » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:anyone have a SoFi referral code? Looking to refinance


Here is mine: https://www.sofi.com/share/1570753?src=copy

I get $300, you get $100. If you PM me after you get the loan, I will venmo you the difference so we split the referral once received!

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:29 pm

If anyone is planning to refinance with Earnest, here's a referral code:

https://www.earnest.com/invite/tyler1718

I used them because I got a better rate than SoFi (by a very tiny amount, but every little bit helps).

With Earnest referrals, we each get $200.

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:45 pm

115k loans and 180k salary, SoFi offered me 4.47% 5 year plan; shouldn't it be a lot lower, even with recent % hikes?

Akriant

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby Akriant » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:40 am

Graduated in 2015 from a regional law school.
Capitalized student loan debt at graduation: 75k with 6.25% avg fixed rate
Current debt: 53k.
Started working at a non-profit, but then went private.
Current gross income 65k, which is about avg "early career" income in the city where I live.
Since switching jobs I've been throwing 1.4k a month. Current minimum payment is $798/month, but should go down to $712 by December.
Currently renting a room from my parents - depressing, yet cheap - $400/month.
Other loans - 400/month.
Expenses - varies.
I hope to tackle my student loans to the point where the minimum payment is around $500 a month on the standard 10 year plan and then probably start pouring all the surplus into savings. Should reach this goal by the third quarter of next year.
Any input on what else I can or should be doing?

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:13 am

Graduated from regional law school in CA in 2014
Law school debt was $185k
Took out $30k from house to pay down (mortgage increased $100 per month). Mortgage rate is 3.7% 30 yr fixed.
Used $55k in savings to pay down to $100k
Refinanced at 3.5% ($715 per month)
Current debt is $78k
My income: $110k base. Bonus ranges from $2-10k. Small firm with very low and flexible hours.
Spouse's income: $130k
Investment property income: $10k

Major Expenses:
House; $2,500
Day care: $2,000 (2 kids)
Food/Household expenses: way too much

We just had 2 babies in the last 3 years so I have ZERO interest in finding a higher paying job that requires higher billables.

We are currently paying $5k a month towards loan. I'm starting to see light at the end of the tunnel here!!! F#CK STUDENT LOANS!

anonnymouse

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby anonnymouse » Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:51 am

Graduated T1 in 2015 to NYC
2015 debt: $147k
Current debt: $74k
1st refi before graduation (DRB)
2nd refi 9/2016 (FRB)
Current payment: $2080

Cash: $45k
401k: $93k
Roth: $38k
Brokerage: $129k

Advice to new graduates: use YNAB.

googlyeyes

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby googlyeyes » Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:28 pm

Graduated: 2018 - incoming associate in small practice
Debt: ~90k
Income: 72k

Married w/ one daycare-age kid, own a house (w/ mortgage). Spouse makes ~70k and has ~80k student loans, works in PSLF-eligible job.

Advice re: what repayment plan I should get on (and spouse, if possible) would be much appreciated. Currently file taxes jointly.

lawstudent212

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby lawstudent212 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:14 am

Was able to refi at 1.95% at First Republic. PM for more details.

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:56 pm

I would appreciate any and all advice on how I should go about repaying my loans when I start at the firm later this month:

Debt: $95k
Interest rates: 8k at 6.5%, 87k at ~5-6%
Rent: $1700; All expenses should be $2000.
Income: $165k + bonus (biglaw secondary market). Also, clerkship bonus of 25K on the first paycheck.

Just finished my clerkship and will start at the firm later this month. Curious if you all think I should 1) refinance my loans and 2) if i should focus on paying off loans over investing? Also, should I dump my clerkship bonus into paying off loans?

Thanks!

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:14 pm

lawstudent212 wrote:Was able to refi at 1.95% at First Republic. PM for more details.


This is their standard rate for 5-year terms. Do you mean that people should PM you so you can get a referral bonus?

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:22 pm

2018 Grad
Federal Student Loans: 220K
Salary: 75K
Probably consolidating and going on IBR or another program . . . not sure what else to do. No other debt.

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:39 am

2016 Grad - finished two years of clerking, starting at firm this fall
Current Debt: 114k (most at 5-5.6%, 20k at 5.9%)
Income: Market firm. Starting as a second-year but will bump up in January to third-year. Will receive 70k clerkship bonus after starting. Leaving after 9 months for a year and will take a massive pay cut to about 90k. I plan on returning to the firm after the year is up. (No bonus afterwards.)
Rent: 1900 plus utilities

I managed to pay two smaller loans with the highest interest off while clerking but am now trying to decide how aggressively to pay the rest versus saving for retirement. With the yearlong pay cut in my future, I'm leery about refinancing. Should I max out my 401k (no matching) and IRA (converted to a Roth)? Or focus on aggressively paying off my debt instead?

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:2016 Grad - finished two years of clerking, starting at firm this fall
Current Debt: 114k (most at 5-5.6%, 20k at 5.9%)
Income: Market firm. Starting as a second-year but will bump up in January to third-year. Will receive 70k clerkship bonus after starting. Leaving after 9 months for a year and will take a massive pay cut to about 90k. I plan on returning to the firm after the year is up. (No bonus afterwards.)
Rent: 1900 plus utilities

I managed to pay two smaller loans with the highest interest off while clerking but am now trying to decide how aggressively to pay the rest versus saving for retirement. With the yearlong pay cut in my future, I'm leery about refinancing. Should I max out my 401k (no matching) and IRA (converted to a Roth)? Or focus on aggressively paying off my debt instead?


In your shoes, I would refinance, max the 401k and roth ira, save $10K or so in high interest savings account as emergency fund, and go crazy on the loans with whatever is left, assuming that the $90 K job you're switching to is stable. On third year salary, in 9 months, you can probably save $10K, max the 401k and Roth, and pay $4K month. As a data point, as third year in ny, including period before the pay bump, I've paid $55K to loans jan to sept, saved $10K in taxable accounts, while contributing max to 401k (roth contribution came from 2nd year bonus). That's just what I would do. If you're worried you'll struggle to make the payments on the $90K job, you can refinance again two months before you leave to get the payments down, but you can knock out of half or more of the debt easily with the clerkship bonus and aggressive schedule for nine months, and IMO should be able to maintain the standard payments on $90K (but obviously situation specific). Some people would tell you to save more money and pay down the loans more slowly. If you can save it instead of spending it, this alternative isn't "wrong," it's really a question of how much you hate loans, how much you think you need a cushion, etc.

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:07 pm

Looking for some advice going forward. I'm not sure how IBR/PAYE/REPAYE would work (if at all for me).
Currently a 3L with 30k in loans, planning to take out another 10k for Spring Semester for a total of 40k of law school loans. I will be clerking next year making $50k and my spouse will be making $110k. We also have a child so our expenses are about $5,400 prior to loan repayment.
Should I be front-loading my loans? Pay the minimum while I'm clerking anticipating a better paying job after clerking? Refinance? I don't have a job lined-up after the clerkship.
Please help!

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Looking for some advice going forward. I'm not sure how IBR/PAYE/REPAYE would work (if at all for me).
Currently a 3L with 30k in loans, planning to take out another 10k for Spring Semester for a total of 40k of law school loans. I will be clerking next year making $50k and my spouse will be making $110k. We also have a child so our expenses are about $5,400 prior to loan repayment.
Should I be front-loading my loans? Pay the minimum while I'm clerking anticipating a better paying job after clerking? Refinance? I don't have a job lined-up after the clerkship.
Please help!


Are you saying that your joint expenses are $5400 / month? If so, personally I would just live off the spouse's income, keep expenses as low as reasonably possible, and try as best as you can to make the debt go away in 12 to 18 months, or maybe slower depending on whether you're trying to contribute to retirement accounts. IMO, your combined income is plenty and there is no reason to sit on one of the federal programs with this noose around the neck for 20+ years. (You probably don't even qualify for these programs if you file taxes jointly, which you should do because you'll save on taxes given your disparate income levels.) You're likely to end up paying it all off anyway with a balance that small, and paying way more money in interest if you try to take advantage of gov't programs. For me it's clear: buckle down and pay it off as fast as you can (with wiggle room for some retirement contributions, emergency fund, etc.).

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Looking for some advice going forward. I'm not sure how IBR/PAYE/REPAYE would work (if at all for me).
Currently a 3L with 30k in loans, planning to take out another 10k for Spring Semester for a total of 40k of law school loans. I will be clerking next year making $50k and my spouse will be making $110k. We also have a child so our expenses are about $5,400 prior to loan repayment.
Should I be front-loading my loans? Pay the minimum while I'm clerking anticipating a better paying job after clerking? Refinance? I don't have a job lined-up after the clerkship.
Please help!


Are you saying that your joint expenses are $5400 / month? If so, personally I would just live off the spouse's income, keep expenses as low as reasonably possible, and try as best as you can to make the debt go away in 12 to 18 months, or maybe slower depending on whether you're trying to contribute to retirement accounts. IMO, your combined income is plenty and there is no reason to sit on one of the federal programs with this noose around the neck for 20+ years. (You probably don't even qualify for these programs if you file taxes jointly, which you should do because you'll save on taxes given your disparate income levels.) You're likely to end up paying it all off anyway with a balance that small, and paying way more money in interest if you try to take advantage of gov't programs. For me it's clear: buckle down and pay it off as fast as you can (with wiggle room for some retirement contributions, emergency fund, etc.).


Same anon: and, yes, I would refinance, using highest income person you know who will co-sign (or just your spouse). There is some risk in doing this, namely, that you don't pay it all off, that you don't get a job immediately, and have to make use of the more limited forbearance periods through the private lender until you get a job. However, I think that you can likely pay off at least half of the loan in the clerkship year, and can refinance again before that job is over, and I suspect that your monthly payment would be very small (a few hundred dollars, but do the math) and your spouse's income could cover you through that period until you find a job. This obviously depends on whether your spouse is OK with it, but it's what I'd advocate for.

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Re: Student loan payments: get advice and actual numbers here

Postby playwright » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:26 pm

Just graduated this past summer. Do I need to consolidate my loans to be eligible for PSLF?
All of my loans are either Stafford or Direct PLUS and have different interest rates.



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