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Itís about that time of year againÖ

August 12th, 2008 at 02:39 pm

Itís about that time of year againÖstudent loan time, that is. I am starting my second year in pharmacy school and Iím still pretty new to dealing with student loans. Between my scholarship and parents, I escaped my 5 years of undergraduate work without any student loans. Pharmacy school, however, is a different situation. The estimate for school and living expenses is nearly $27,000. There is no way that DH and I could really swing that.

Going into my first term my financial future was a little shaky. We found out the day of orientation that DH would be moving to MaineÖfar away from me and school in Florida. Not knowing how that would affect our finances I took the entire amount of loans offered to me: $12,600. Tuition was taken out automatically and the rest, nearly 6k, continues to sit in my savings account untouched. Second semester my in-laws graciously offered to pay tuition. We accepted their money, but also accepted the subsidized loan. Maybe not everyone would agree with this move, but the way we figured is that government was giving us an interest free loan on that money for another 3 years or so. It also enabled us to max out our Roth IRA accounts for the year.

That brings us to this term. DH and I have now spent a year learning to juggle two households. Iím moving in with a roommate so some finances are still up in the air; I predict that my finances will be about the same, and maybe even a little lower than they were last year. So I once again only accepted the subsidized loan of $4250. I donít know the exact cost of tuition, but I anticipate it will pay for just over half of it for the semester. The remaining 3000 or so will come from that 6000 from first semester last year. Ideally, that 6000 will cover the gap between the subsidized loan and tuition costs for both this semester and next semester, but weíll have to see.

Assuming DH and I are able to finish up the rest of pharmacy school only taking out the subsidized loan I will have taken out $42,300. I just dug up my last statement on those student loans and it looks like I have been charged $480 in interest during the past year. So add another thousand or so for interest, and I anticipate the loan balance will be about $43,500. Itís a little scary to see that debt load. Even when DH and I had two car loans, we never had more than $25,000.

Hereís the good news. By only taking out subsidized loans we are actually saving A LOT in potential interest charges. Nearly 500 a year in interest is a lot, but itís a lot better than it would be if we took out the maximum possible. Also, I anticipate that DH and I may have some extra money which can be used to pay off the interest charged, and maybe even pay down the balance some before I graduate. Although, even if we donít get the money, or chose to do that, my total student loan debt will be less than 1 yearís salary. We plan to continue living off of DHís salary so my income can go toward student loan debt, house down payment or mortgage, retirement, and whatever else comes our way.

3 Responses to “Itís about that time of year againÖ”

  1. debtfreeme Says:

    i used to administer graduate programs:

    why are you paying interest on subsized loans?

    while you are in school (even summers until you complete your program)there should be no interest accruing. i'd look into that.

  2. ktmarvels Says:

    I'm not paying interest on the subsidized loans. It's a little comfusing, but the interest payment comes from the 8000 or so that I took out from first semester last year of which I have about 6000 left and will apply toward tuition this year.

  3. Amber Says:

    It's tough I have been juggling school and work and paying for each semester out of pocket. However, this semester will go on the cc Frown with all my dental work I was unable to save anything towards tuition

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