Debt and C&F

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Debt and C&F

Postby rawlsohard » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:25 pm

This is very unsettling. I had no idea that C&F could not admit you for excessive debt.

This story concerns me. As I understand it, part of the decision was that he continued to take a part-time job in lieu of full time employment.

I work part-time right now as a tutor, in part because I'm studying for the LSAT, in part because I'm studying for personal trainer certification and in part because full-time jobs would make doing both very difficult. I get about $100-150/week. The worst was 9 months ago, when I had to pay back 3 months in loans because a loan servicer had contacted me entirely via snail mail and not email and so I didn't realize the servicer existed at all.

Having read about people who passed C&F with DUIs and other things, I doubt C&F would care about this. It seems like in the cases they've assessed, the person has been delinquent for 9 months in a row or something ridiculous. Occasionally I am delinquent on student payments by about 10 days, but some months I'll pay 2 months of payments in advance. But that's because I had no idea C&F even took into account debt payments at all, so in the future I'll be more diligent about it. Until now I haven't had a reason to care.

However, the part about "a plan to pay back the loans" worries me. Most people seem to have no more of a "plan" than I do -- of my 300 or so facebook friends, the only person who was even remotely familiar with LS employment stats was a person who tutors the LSAT for income. The rest think LS *at all* is a great career opportunity, no matter what institution. The types who research careers to the degree that people on TLS do are rare.

The reason I considered attending law school in the first place is because I have a BA in philosophy from a fourth-tier institution that I attended, in part, because it was a LSDAS GPA-booster and I came there from a school with a low GPA. It was expensive and I incurred a lot of debt ($90k), but I went there because it was a certainty and because I had extrapolated my career possibilities in high school (~5 years ago) based on the same salary/employment information that law schools are now being criticized for publishing. However, I've been out of this for about a year now, avoiding law school in part because the data is much more damning than it used to be. I live in south Texas and jobs which pay $40k/year that I can get with my degree are not common. Even something seemingly secure like teaching in high school requires $5k and a few months study for a low-level certificate, then another year of probationary teaching.

I realize that Tucker Max's "don't go to law school" essay has a section about humanities degree jobs. But then, he hasn't had to job hunt with one. Every job that is a certainty is, at most, $25k/year, and only a few $30-35k/year jobs even seem remotely within possibility. Unless I live with my parents for 3 years, this would not allow me to pay back my debt in any serious capacity and seems like garbage for the long-term, so I've avoided doing it, since the minimum yearly amount I could make and still make rent / pay the loans would be $27k. Debt-to-income ratios would suggest that 60k with 180k in debt is the same as 30k with 90k in debt, but that's not true: with a 60-70k job, your rent and living costs do not have to scale to your income.

I take the C&F decision to mean that the person who continues to work at the part-time job who has "no plan" has not considered his living situation at all and has not taken into account the decisions he/she could be making. But I've analyzed my situation to death, and law seems like a better long-term plan than my current options, because income from law scales upward better than the jobs I could get with a fourth-tier humanities BA.

Is my analysis wrong here? Should I have reason to worry? I don't think I do, but I'd like to be sure.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Debt and C&F

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:03 pm

The article's talking about someone who has a part-time job and allegedly no plan to pay back the debt after graduating law school. Also, he wasn't able to make any payments on his student loans OR his credit cards, and one creditor obtained a default judgment against him. And, he told the C&F people that his plan for getting back on his feet was to file for personal bankruptcy, claiming that this would reduce his student loan payments and give him time/opportunity to get a full-time job - except, as the C&F people pointed out, personal bankruptcy doesn't discharge student loan debt.

So, I don't think his situation is comparable to yours, unless you plan to do any of these things.

(Also, it does sound like a crappy decision/situation, but it also sounds like he didn't make a very good case for himself. Before reaching this point, he'd have gone through all the interviews/opportunity to show why he really is fit to practice. He must not have been very convincing.)

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