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How much student loan debt do you/did you have?

MissStepcut

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In the spirit of our collegiate threads this week... how much did those shiny degrees set you back?
 

yennyfire

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None. The best gift my parents ever gave me was to pay for my college/grad school education so that I could start my career with a clean slate. I was able to buy my first house before I was married (before I even knew DH) as a result. I am still thanking them for this gift a decade later. They love how much I appreciate what they did for me. We are already planning to do the same for our 2 kids. We started college funds when we got engaged and hope that by the time they're ready to go, they/we won't need loans.
 

MissStepcut

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Alright, I will be brave and go first. My JD is going to cost me... $160k. Ouch. Luckily I paid for undergrad out-of-pocket by working during school, sharing a tiny apartment with other girls, a little bit of help from parents (maybe 20% of the total cost) and graduating early.

If I can't pay back my student loans, there is a Federal program that will bail me out. So it may turn out that you will be paying for my fancy private school law degree.

ETA: Thanks Yenny for going first!
 

Circe

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Another vote for "none" - I went to city college to the tune of, like, 2K a year for my BA, for which my parents very kindly footed the bill: in return, I worked my ass off, graduated valedictorian, and got scholarships and fellowships for my graduate degrees.

I know I've said this before on various grad school threads, but it can always bear repeating: do NOT go into debt for a graduate degree that is not necessarily going to lead to a well-paying career! It's a practical decision to go into debt for a JD or MD, but it's sheer insanity to go into heavy debt for, say, a Ph.D. in English, especially in today's market.

I now conclude this test of the Federal Circe-Rant System.
 

Autumnovember

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ughhhhhhh.....75k as of right now.

It definitely sucks but part of me is glad that I'll be able to say that I paid for college without anyone's help.
 

Asscherhalo_lover

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I don't mind...good for people to know about these kinds of things anyway! Went to a private college for undergrad but lived at home to save money, spent about 43k...went to a CUNY for grad school, again commuted and spent about 18k. I did get a decent amount of financial aid and scholarship for undergrad but took out extra money here and there to help pay bills while I was in school.

If I could do it again I would have taken out as little in loans as possible. It's so easy to say yes to that extra money when the thought of having to pay it back is so far into the future! I have been paying back my loans for about 2 years now completely on my own. I hope I can do better for my own children if they decide to go to college!
 

MissStepcut

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Asscherhalo_lover|1314827013|3006714 said:
I don't mind...good for people to know about these kinds of things anyway! Went to a private college for undergrad but lived at home to save money, spent about 43k...went to a CUNY for grad school, again commuted and spent about 18k. I did get a decent amount of financial aid and scholarship for undergrad but took out extra money here and there to help pay bills while I was in school.

If I could do it again I would have taken out as little in loans as possible. It's so easy to say yes to that extra money when the thought of having to pay it back is so far into the future! I have been paying back my loans for about 2 years now completely on my own. I hope I can do better for my own children if they decide to go to college!
That's an interesting subject, and incidentally, something SO and I don't agree about. I think our kids should pick out schools they could afford based on the career path they choose to pursue, and SO thinks we should just pay the whole tab. We both agree, though, that they should only go to an expensive school if the job prospects are top notch.
 

ChloeTheGreat

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My father paid my tuition (and both of my sisters' too.) Thanks Dad!
 

Circe

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MissStepcut|1314827381|3006723 said:
Asscherhalo_lover|1314827013|3006714 said:
I don't mind...good for people to know about these kinds of things anyway! Went to a private college for undergrad but lived at home to save money, spent about 43k...went to a CUNY for grad school, again commuted and spent about 18k. I did get a decent amount of financial aid and scholarship for undergrad but took out extra money here and there to help pay bills while I was in school.

If I could do it again I would have taken out as little in loans as possible. It's so easy to say yes to that extra money when the thought of having to pay it back is so far into the future! I have been paying back my loans for about 2 years now completely on my own. I hope I can do better for my own children if they decide to go to college!
That's an interesting subject, and incidentally, something SO and I don't agree about. I think our kids should pick out schools they could afford based on the career path they choose to pursue, and SO thinks we should just pay the whole tab. We both agree, though, that they should only go to an expensive school if the job prospects are top notch.
My husband and I are already arguing about this, too: he's deeply in favor of sending them to the most prestigious school possible and picking up the tab, and I'm more in favor of their going to an affordable school for undergrad and receiving a lump sum on graduation. They want to use that 200K (or whatever ungodly sum it will cost 20 years from now) to get a debt-free advanced degree, buy a house, tour the globe, start a business? More power to them. But I guess we have quite a while to fight about it, and that's before the kid gets a voice ....
 

Miss Sparkly

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MissStepcut|1314826475|3006703 said:
Alright, I will be brave and go first. My JD is going to cost me... $160k. Ouch. Luckily I paid for undergrad out-of-pocket by working during school, sharing a tiny apartment with other girls, a little bit of help from parents (maybe 20% of the total cost) and graduating early.

If I can't pay back my student loans, there is a Federal program that will bail me out. So it may turn out that you will be paying for my fancy private school law degree.

ETA: Thanks Yenny for going first!
This bothers me _ a lot. The idea that my tax dollars go to somebody who willingly took on a huge amount of debt and uses the government as their plan B is not okay. I can only hope that high taxes will bite you in the rear after you obtain your fancy degree.
 

Autumnovember

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Sparkly Blonde|1314828340|3006743 said:
MissStepcut|1314826475|3006703 said:
Alright, I will be brave and go first. My JD is going to cost me... $160k. Ouch. Luckily I paid for undergrad out-of-pocket by working during school, sharing a tiny apartment with other girls, a little bit of help from parents (maybe 20% of the total cost) and graduating early.

If I can't pay back my student loans, there is a Federal program that will bail me out. So it may turn out that you will be paying for my fancy private school law degree.

ETA: Thanks Yenny for going first!
This bothers me _ a lot. The idea that my tax dollars go to somebody who willingly took on a huge amount of debt and uses the government as their plan B is not okay. I can only hope that high taxes will bite you in the rear after you obtain your fancy degree.

It will unless she knows how to 'properly' do write offs like so many people already do...
 

MissStepcut

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Sparkly Blonde|1314828340|3006743 said:
MissStepcut|1314826475|3006703 said:
Alright, I will be brave and go first. My JD is going to cost me... $160k. Ouch. Luckily I paid for undergrad out-of-pocket by working during school, sharing a tiny apartment with other girls, a little bit of help from parents (maybe 20% of the total cost) and graduating early.

If I can't pay back my student loans, there is a Federal program that will bail me out. So it may turn out that you will be paying for my fancy private school law degree.

ETA: Thanks Yenny for going first!
This bothers me _ a lot. The idea that my tax dollars go to somebody who willingly took on a huge amount of debt and uses the government as their plan B is not okay. I can only hope that high taxes will bite you in the rear after you obtain your fancy degree.
Ha! I honestly hope so too! I would MUCH rather land that six figure firm job and pay both my loans and taxes! But, if I can't, I'll be one of many American who take advantage of federal repayment programs.
 

iheartscience

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Sparkly Blonde|1314828340|3006743 said:
MissStepcut|1314826475|3006703 said:
Alright, I will be brave and go first. My JD is going to cost me... $160k. Ouch. Luckily I paid for undergrad out-of-pocket by working during school, sharing a tiny apartment with other girls, a little bit of help from parents (maybe 20% of the total cost) and graduating early.

If I can't pay back my student loans, there is a Federal program that will bail me out. So it may turn out that you will be paying for my fancy private school law degree.

ETA: Thanks Yenny for going first!
This bothers me _ a lot. The idea that my tax dollars go to somebody who willingly took on a huge amount of debt and uses the government as their plan B is not okay. I can only hope that high taxes will bite you in the rear after you obtain your fancy degree.
Yeah well, it bothers me a lot that my tax dollars go to pay jackholes like Michele Bachmann who spew nothing but idiocy and hate, but that's life as an American! Also, ALL Americans use government as their Plan B for retirement, last I checked. ;))
 

slg47

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zero. my father was required to pay for college per the divorce settlement (decided he did not want to but a letter from a lawyer changed his tune) and my graduate work is paid for through GSI appointments (graduate student instructor)
 

megumic

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Sparkly Blonde|1314828340|3006743 said:
MissStepcut|1314826475|3006703 said:
Alright, I will be brave and go first. My JD is going to cost me... $160k. Ouch. Luckily I paid for undergrad out-of-pocket by working during school, sharing a tiny apartment with other girls, a little bit of help from parents (maybe 20% of the total cost) and graduating early.

If I can't pay back my student loans, there is a Federal program that will bail me out. So it may turn out that you will be paying for my fancy private school law degree.

ETA: Thanks Yenny for going first!
This bothers me _ a lot. The idea that my tax dollars go to somebody who willingly took on a huge amount of debt and uses the government as their plan B is not okay. I can only hope that high taxes will bite you in the rear after you obtain your fancy degree.
I think there are many other government programs that ought to bother you far more than one that pays back student loans for those who either cannot secure a job b/c there are not any or those who work in public interest or government and make $45k and thus cannot afford their student loans.

It's not so much that the government is a plan B, it's just that the government values having attorneys and wants to give an incentive to students who want to pursue the law for public interest or government without fear of the huge student debt they would not be able to pay off. Hence why the government plan exists -- it provides a value to society and gives directly back to those who provide the value.

I also think your comment was quite snide. Have you ever needed legal advice? Have you closed on a home? You NEED people like MissStepCut and myself and our fancy degrees to help you out so you don't get bitten in the rear by the law.
 

Circe

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Sparkly Blonde|1314828340|3006743 said:
MissStepcut|1314826475|3006703 said:
Alright, I will be brave and go first. My JD is going to cost me... $160k. Ouch. Luckily I paid for undergrad out-of-pocket by working during school, sharing a tiny apartment with other girls, a little bit of help from parents (maybe 20% of the total cost) and graduating early.

If I can't pay back my student loans, there is a Federal program that will bail me out. So it may turn out that you will be paying for my fancy private school law degree.

ETA: Thanks Yenny for going first!
This bothers me _ a lot. The idea that my tax dollars go to somebody who willingly took on a huge amount of debt and uses the government as their plan B is not okay. I can only hope that high taxes will bite you in the rear after you obtain your fancy degree.
Thing is ... it's just as problematic from the perspective that the government underpays so badly that the only way they can find semi-qualified employees is by forgiving the educational debt of people who haven't been able to find suitably lucrative remuneration elsewhere! Our system is unbelievably dysfunctional.
 

iheartscience

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My degree was also free, thanks to my generous parents. Well that's not totally true-I did end up going to school for an extra semester to get my GPA above a 3.0 so I could get into grad school, and I paid for the extra semester myself! (Let's just say my College: Round 1 GPA wasn't that impressive! College: Round 2 was a 4.0 though!) The extra semester wasn't that much money, though...I forget how much now. My school was the least expensive public school in VA, so a semester wasn't much...maybe $3-4k?

I work full time at a university and classes are free for employees, so my grad degree will be free, aside from the taxes I have to pay after the first $5kish of free tuition.
 

Octavia

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I had a little under $18K after undergrad, and took out $56K for law school. Right now, I have about $13K of undergrad loans left, but it's at a ridiculously low interest rate so I'm not focusing on paying it off that quickly -- just the minimum for now. My law school loans were/are at a much higher interest rate, so DH used a chunk of the savings he had accumulated before we got married to pay them down substantially. It made me feel kind of guilty, but it was really the practical choice because I was paying over $350/mo in interest and he wasn't making much interest on the savings. So we (I) will be debt-free sooner, and I'll eventually "repay" DH by helping him get a fancy car or something. :cheeky: I have about $11K left from law school and am working really hard to pay it off ASAP.

ETA: My law school debt burden is unusually low, as these things go, because I chose to go to a somewhat lower-ranked school where I got a full-tuition scholarship instead of a highly-ranked school that would have cost me about the same as what MissStepCut and megumic paid. The loans covered living expenses, books, fees, etc. This can be a risky choice for law students, depending on what career path they intend to pursue afterward, but it was definitely the right choice for me.
 

megumic

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FWIW I also have about $150k in student debt. I plan to work in public interest/government work and accordingly, after 10 years of income based repayments the government will forgive the remainder of my student loans. By that point, I'll have paid approximately $50k over a 10 year period that I work in public service and the government (i.e. yep, you) will be paying the remainder plus any interest.

If you're interested in educating yourself about it here ya go: http://www.finaid.org/loans/publicservice.phtml

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have their parents, grandparents or whomever cover their education.
 

MissStepcut

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megumic|1314829033|3006758 said:
Sparkly Blonde|1314828340|3006743 said:
MissStepcut|1314826475|3006703 said:
Alright, I will be brave and go first. My JD is going to cost me... $160k. Ouch. Luckily I paid for undergrad out-of-pocket by working during school, sharing a tiny apartment with other girls, a little bit of help from parents (maybe 20% of the total cost) and graduating early.

If I can't pay back my student loans, there is a Federal program that will bail me out. So it may turn out that you will be paying for my fancy private school law degree.

ETA: Thanks Yenny for going first!
This bothers me _ a lot. The idea that my tax dollars go to somebody who willingly took on a huge amount of debt and uses the government as their plan B is not okay. I can only hope that high taxes will bite you in the rear after you obtain your fancy degree.
I think there are many other government programs that ought to bother you far more than one that pays back student loans for those who either cannot secure a job b/c there are not any or those who work in public interest or government and make $45k and thus cannot afford their student loans.

It's not so much that the government is a plan B, it's just that the government values having attorneys and wants to give an incentive to students who want to pursue the law for public interest or government without fear of the huge student debt they would not be able to pay off. Hence why the government plan exists -- it provides a value to society and gives directly back to those who provide the value.

I also think your comment was quite snide. Have you ever needed legal advice? Have you closed on a home? You NEED people like MissStepCut and myself and our fancy degrees to help you out so you don't get bitten in the rear by the law.
To be fair, Megumic, there is something a bit "heads I win, tails you lose" about the government guaranteeing student loans for law students. If I do well, I get a six figure job. If I do poorly, I get income-based repayment. That said, if I do end up in an IBR-qualifying job, it will be in the public service.
 

megumic

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thing2of2|1314828815|3006751 said:
Sparkly Blonde|1314828340|3006743 said:
MissStepcut|1314826475|3006703 said:
Alright, I will be brave and go first. My JD is going to cost me... $160k. Ouch. Luckily I paid for undergrad out-of-pocket by working during school, sharing a tiny apartment with other girls, a little bit of help from parents (maybe 20% of the total cost) and graduating early.

If I can't pay back my student loans, there is a Federal program that will bail me out. So it may turn out that you will be paying for my fancy private school law degree.

ETA: Thanks Yenny for going first!
This bothers me _ a lot. The idea that my tax dollars go to somebody who willingly took on a huge amount of debt and uses the government as their plan B is not okay. I can only hope that high taxes will bite you in the rear after you obtain your fancy degree.
Yeah well, it bothers me a lot that my tax dollars go to pay jackholes like Michele Bachmann who spew nothing but idiocy and hate, but that's life as an American! Also, ALL Americans use government as their Plan B for retirement, last I checked. ;))
OMGosh -- my favorite was her CH-utzpah mispronunciation. Seriously?
 

megumic

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MissStepcut|1314829334|3006768 said:
megumic|1314829033|3006758 said:
Sparkly Blonde|1314828340|3006743 said:
MissStepcut|1314826475|3006703 said:
Alright, I will be brave and go first. My JD is going to cost me... $160k. Ouch. Luckily I paid for undergrad out-of-pocket by working during school, sharing a tiny apartment with other girls, a little bit of help from parents (maybe 20% of the total cost) and graduating early.

If I can't pay back my student loans, there is a Federal program that will bail me out. So it may turn out that you will be paying for my fancy private school law degree.

ETA: Thanks Yenny for going first!
This bothers me _ a lot. The idea that my tax dollars go to somebody who willingly took on a huge amount of debt and uses the government as their plan B is not okay. I can only hope that high taxes will bite you in the rear after you obtain your fancy degree.
I think there are many other government programs that ought to bother you far more than one that pays back student loans for those who either cannot secure a job b/c there are not any or those who work in public interest or government and make $45k and thus cannot afford their student loans.

It's not so much that the government is a plan B, it's just that the government values having attorneys and wants to give an incentive to students who want to pursue the law for public interest or government without fear of the huge student debt they would not be able to pay off. Hence why the government plan exists -- it provides a value to society and gives directly back to those who provide the value.

I also think your comment was quite snide. Have you ever needed legal advice? Have you closed on a home? You NEED people like MissStepCut and myself and our fancy degrees to help you out so you don't get bitten in the rear by the law.
To be fair, Megumic, there is something a bit "heads I win, tails you lose" about the government guaranteeing student loans for law students. If I do well, I get a six figure job. If I do poorly, I get income-based repayment. That said, if I do end up in an IBR-qualifying job, it will be in the public service.
But some people choose the public service sector REGARDLESS. I would NEVER choose a firm job with six figures. So regardless of my grades, I am defaulted to a crap salary and I still have the same loans to pay as the six figure job. Sure, it's my choice, but I chose that b/c it's the career I want and based on the fact that the government will help me out b/c I'm helping it out.
 

megumic

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MissStepcut|1314829334|3006768 said:
megumic|1314829033|3006758 said:
Sparkly Blonde|1314828340|3006743 said:
MissStepcut|1314826475|3006703 said:
Alright, I will be brave and go first. My JD is going to cost me... $160k. Ouch. Luckily I paid for undergrad out-of-pocket by working during school, sharing a tiny apartment with other girls, a little bit of help from parents (maybe 20% of the total cost) and graduating early.

If I can't pay back my student loans, there is a Federal program that will bail me out. So it may turn out that you will be paying for my fancy private school law degree.

ETA: Thanks Yenny for going first!
This bothers me _ a lot. The idea that my tax dollars go to somebody who willingly took on a huge amount of debt and uses the government as their plan B is not okay. I can only hope that high taxes will bite you in the rear after you obtain your fancy degree.
I think there are many other government programs that ought to bother you far more than one that pays back student loans for those who either cannot secure a job b/c there are not any or those who work in public interest or government and make $45k and thus cannot afford their student loans.

It's not so much that the government is a plan B, it's just that the government values having attorneys and wants to give an incentive to students who want to pursue the law for public interest or government without fear of the huge student debt they would not be able to pay off. Hence why the government plan exists -- it provides a value to society and gives directly back to those who provide the value.

I also think your comment was quite snide. Have you ever needed legal advice? Have you closed on a home? You NEED people like MissStepCut and myself and our fancy degrees to help you out so you don't get bitten in the rear by the law.
To be fair, Megumic, there is something a bit "heads I win, tails you lose" about the government guaranteeing student loans for law students. If I do well, I get a six figure job. If I do poorly, I get income-based repayment. That said, if I do end up in an IBR-qualifying job, it will be in the public service.
But some people choose the public service sector REGARDLESS. I would NEVER choose a firm job with six figures. So regardless of my grades, I am defaulted to a crap salary and I still have the same loans to pay as the six figure job. Sure, it's my choice, but I chose that b/c it's the career I want and based on the fact that the government will help me out b/c I'm helping it out.
 

MissStepcut

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megumic|1314829520|3006773 said:
But some people choose the public service sector REGARDLESS. I would NEVER choose a firm job with six figures. So regardless of my grades, I am defaulted to a crap salary and I still have the same loans to pay as the six figure job. Sure, it's my choice, but I chose that b/c it's the career I want and based on the fact that the government will help me out b/c I'm helping it out.
At my school, public sector is usually a back-up plan. I have a TON of respect for people who skip OCI and are super dedicated to public service. More often, at my school, people start looking for PI jobs after they've struck out of OCI.
 

megumic

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MissStepcut|1314829780|3006777 said:
megumic|1314829520|3006773 said:
But some people choose the public service sector REGARDLESS. I would NEVER choose a firm job with six figures. So regardless of my grades, I am defaulted to a crap salary and I still have the same loans to pay as the six figure job. Sure, it's my choice, but I chose that b/c it's the career I want and based on the fact that the government will help me out b/c I'm helping it out.
At my school, public sector is usually a back-up plan. I have a TON of respect for people who skip OCI and are super dedicated to public service. More often, at my school, people start looking for PI jobs after they've struck out of OCI.
That makes me sad. We need more dedicated public service attorneys who want to be there, not just back ups. That said, I do agree with you, many people really want the big deal jobs with the big pay check and long hours.
 

manderz

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Once I finish my associates this December, I'll have about 10k. After that, I'm not surer how it's going to work out for me, as my income will affect the amount of financial aid I get. However, I'll only need hopefully 3 more semesters (hopefully I can knock it all out in 2 semesters and a summer, and have my ba in Dec. 2012, but we'll see how that goes). I'll probably be looking at $15-$20k, depending on how much I can afford to pay down while I'm going, and how much I can pay off at tax time.
 

iheartscience

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megumic|1314829392|3006770 said:
thing2of2|1314828815|3006751 said:
Sparkly Blonde|1314828340|3006743 said:
MissStepcut|1314826475|3006703 said:
Alright, I will be brave and go first. My JD is going to cost me... $160k. Ouch. Luckily I paid for undergrad out-of-pocket by working during school, sharing a tiny apartment with other girls, a little bit of help from parents (maybe 20% of the total cost) and graduating early.

If I can't pay back my student loans, there is a Federal program that will bail me out. So it may turn out that you will be paying for my fancy private school law degree.

ETA: Thanks Yenny for going first!
This bothers me _ a lot. The idea that my tax dollars go to somebody who willingly took on a huge amount of debt and uses the government as their plan B is not okay. I can only hope that high taxes will bite you in the rear after you obtain your fancy degree.
Yeah well, it bothers me a lot that my tax dollars go to pay jackholes like Michele Bachmann who spew nothing but idiocy and hate, but that's life as an American! Also, ALL Americans use government as their Plan B for retirement, last I checked. ;))
OMGosh -- my favorite was her CH-utzpah mispronunciation. Seriously?
Hahaha yeah that was classic! I'm assuming she doubled down when called out about later, too! Did you know that if you say something on the teevee that makes it a fact, no matter what the actual facts are? :read:
 

chemgirl

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I have about 18k left on mine and DH has about 4K left on his. We don't have any other debt. The interest rate is so low that we're not in a big rush to pay it.
 

MissStepcut

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megumic|1314830029|3006781 said:
MissStepcut|1314829780|3006777 said:
megumic|1314829520|3006773 said:
But some people choose the public service sector REGARDLESS. I would NEVER choose a firm job with six figures. So regardless of my grades, I am defaulted to a crap salary and I still have the same loans to pay as the six figure job. Sure, it's my choice, but I chose that b/c it's the career I want and based on the fact that the government will help me out b/c I'm helping it out.
At my school, public sector is usually a back-up plan. I have a TON of respect for people who skip OCI and are super dedicated to public service. More often, at my school, people start looking for PI jobs after they've struck out of OCI.
That makes me sad. We need more dedicated public service attorneys who want to be there, not just back ups. That said, I do agree with you, many people really want the big deal jobs with the big pay check and long hours.
For what it's worth, I think many attorneys who end up in the public service as a "back up" end up being very dedicated. One of my friends struck out at firms, got a job at the DOJ in Antitrust, and is now absolutely fired up about it. As for me, I would really like do to project contracts. If that's at a firm or a government agency, I will be happy either way... though yes, I am hoping one of my firm interviews turns into an offer and I make $$$ doing it instead of $. Still, I have so so much respect for all the public defenders and other ardent PI people who give PI their whole heart from day 1. I know firms do their damnedest to seduce you away from it.
 

Octavia

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megumic|1314830029|3006781 said:
MissStepcut|1314829780|3006777 said:
megumic|1314829520|3006773 said:
But some people choose the public service sector REGARDLESS. I would NEVER choose a firm job with six figures. So regardless of my grades, I am defaulted to a crap salary and I still have the same loans to pay as the six figure job. Sure, it's my choice, but I chose that b/c it's the career I want and based on the fact that the government will help me out b/c I'm helping it out.
At my school, public sector is usually a back-up plan. I have a TON of respect for people who skip OCI and are super dedicated to public service. More often, at my school, people start looking for PI jobs after they've struck out of OCI.
That makes me sad. We need more dedicated public service attorneys who want to be there, not just back ups. That said, I do agree with you, many people really want the big deal jobs with the big pay check and long hours.
I agree, meg. One of the biggest reasons I decided to go where I did for law school is that public interest/public service is a very popular career choice and seen as a completely valid and viable option. There is even a dedicated public interest person in the career services office! We also have our share of people who go into BigLaw (at least, we did before the bottom fell out -- it's a smaller percentage now, I guess) but there's no stigma AT ALL for people who are dedicated to PI/PS.
 
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