danr2040 wrote:Patrick Bateman wrote: 1st Lt Bateman here. I am about $83,000 and change in the hole. I consolidated and am under the Income Contingent Plan until the IBR comes out 1 July. Though I'm still a newly minted JAG, I anticipate going Fed after 6 years active duty. USAO would be my dream shot but that will turn a lot on how much military justice exposure I get.
Your numbers add up fine though our AGI is probably going to be less. Your first year active duty (6 months 0-2, 6 months 0-3) will have you around $38,000 before deductions. Between deducting student loan interest and everything else, you should be well under $35,000. IBR is going to save people like us a fortune.
Keep in mind that you will also qualify for LRAP at all of your schools. Some schools have excluded military service from their LRAP "public interest" positions (really classy move) so you may want to check on that before you decide to enroll somewhere.
There are also provisions in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act that may allow you to bring that 8.6% interest rate down to 6%. I am not 100% where GradPlus loans fit into the statute but that may be worth looking into.
Best of luck,
Thank you very much for the quick reply. This is a week that first deposits are due at a lot of schools, so I really need to sort out this "T-14 with little money vs full tuition scolly at T-30" issue quickly while I am out visiting schools.
With your confirmation, I think that the IBR program will make me comfortable enough to turn down those full rides and go to the best school I can get into. Don't know what the future will bring, and I never want to be turned down for a job only to think it might have gone differently had I gone to the better school.
Based on the $40,000 figure (which you say is closer to $35,000 - knocking down the monthly payments even more , everything seems really affordable. Then, with the public service loan provision, all the rest is forgiven for us after 10 years (are you banking on this part of the program too, you weren't clear about that)?
One thing that worries me about the public service loan forgiveness provision http://www.finaid.org/loans/publicservice.phtml is the vagueness in the "120 payments made while working in a qualifying job" provision. Do you (or anyone else reading) know if this means 120 CONSECUTIVE payments (i.e., miss one and you are screwed) or just 120 payments (which could take longer than 10 years if you make a few while unemployed/in another job)?
I am glad everything seems pretty straightfoward under IBR, because the LRAP programs are fraught with loopholes and I am worried about relying on them.
As you say, some schools straight up exclude military jobs (WUSTL, I'm looking at you, with your dubious DADT justification ) from LRAP.
However, some schools are more sneaky with restrictions that would preclude JAG. GULC, for example, has a generous LRAP program (http://www.law.georgetown.edu/finaid/lr ... ligibility), but I found the following: "Housing/Food/Non-Cash Benefits: Any benefits received from an employer in addition to annual salary are included in a participant’s income during the LRAP calculation. If an employer cannot provide a monetary amount for a benefit such as housing or a food allowance, then an amount will be determined by the LRAP staff, who will consider the cost of living for the area where the participant resides to determine an appropriate amount."
Do you know these numbers for fringe (Housing and food) benefits for JAGs? I imagine that when combined with the ~35000 AGI, they would knock me out of LRAP assistance territory (defined as making under <40,700 by GULC)?
Most schools look at only the AGI (or at least their LRAP pages are silent on counting fringe benefits), so I hope to assume that their programs would be better for JAG than GULC's?
Much thanks for your continued assistance!
I cannot state enough how non-expert I am with all of this. It is just based on my personal experiences.
The full cost T-14 decision all turns on your desire/ability to stay govt employed for 10 years. It is practically impossible to be fired as a JAG but the military lifestyle is not for everyone and many people do separate after 4-6 years. DoJ/USAO/etc are never a sure thing though you do have a huge advantage applying for such jobs with JAG credentials.
I would advise you to check out this site for more IBR information:
They break it down pretty well and have some useful calculators.
You simply need 120 payments. They need not be consecutive. If you go private sector for a year after separating but then return to govt work, you can resume your payments under IBR.
Your two allowances, BAS/BAH, are significant. I am in a relatively low cost area (Las Vegas) and I see about $1,700 a month, tax free, in terms of my allowances. JAGs in high cost areas like DC see even more in terms of BAH.
Check out the DoD Comp Calculator: --LinkRemoved--
You will start as an 0-2 and promote to 0-3 within 6 months (for purposes of your grade in the calc).
Also worth considering are the retention bonuses we get paid. $20,000 at the 4 year mark for another 2 years (stay till 6); $40,000 at the 6 year mark for another 4 years (stay till 10). Those are straight up cash money, no obligation to spend them on loans. There are also a lot of rumors swirling that those numbers will be doubled (essentially taking them to $20,000 for each additional year you stay in, instead of the current $10K), though I have not seen that verified in terms of anything vaguely official.
In terms of LRAP policies, I don't really know what school has what policy. My Illini thankfully do not discriminate against their alums in uniform.