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What’s your experience with student loan debt?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on April 25, 2012

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Photo of Ashleigh Finnley

“I’m fortunate — my parents have paid for three-quarters of my student loans. My portion is about $10- to $15,000.”

Photo of Baus Ade

“I have a little over $20,000 in student loans. I’m much in favor of interest rates staying low.”

Photo of Grace Smith

“It’s really important that students now know where there loans are and their balances, plus there’s no an income-based repayment option.”

Photo of Valerie Walthall

“I took out private loans and they’re now paid off. It’s nothing like what students do now — it makes it hard for those 20 to 40 to afford anything else. We don’t think students are getting properly educated on their options.”

Comments

Jimo 1 year, 11 months ago

Romney's advice on student debt: make your first million dollars at birth! (It's surprising how easy the rest of life is, including giving advice to poor people.)

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Steven Gaudreau 1 year, 11 months ago

My experience was: I got loans every semester, I graduated, got a job, lived within my means, paid them all off in 8 years by doubling my payment amount. Thank you for the loans, I would not have been able to attend college without the program.

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average 1 year, 11 months ago

I have a metric butt-ton of student loans. An absurdly high amount considering all the good my degrees (engineering school, no less) have done for me.

That said, they're fixed at 4% (effectively lower than that with the tax deduction) with a 30-year payoff window. I have the money on hand to pay them off today. At sub-4% interest, though, the question is "why would I?". Long-term, I hope investments equal or best 4%. I have flexibility now. And, it's even a little bit of an insurance policy. If I died, my wife wouldn't be stuck with the loans, but could keep our cash.

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demonfury 1 year, 11 months ago

Went to a U.S. Military Academy, came out with three things, a better education than any Drunken State University in this country, real work experience that was put to immediate use, and ZERO debt. Why waste 4 years, and thousands upon thousands of dollars to compete for a measly few jobs in your field? Decide what you want to do with your life, go to the military, get the education and experience simultaneously, and be a step ahead of the crowd when you enter the civilian work force. You'll be a better person in so many regards. You'll be highly educated, well experienced, remarkably self disciplined, great attention to detail, loyal to a fault, grounded in reality, very good decision makers, and confident enough to take on just about anything. The only downfall is if you were raised by, pacifistic, tree hugging, liberal hippie whiners, you might struggle in the military. But then again, most of those college students are the one's going into great amounts of debt to get a liberal arts degree in European Expressionism or some useless crap like that. Food for thought, huh?

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g_rock 1 year, 11 months ago

I really hope that KU Law makes appearances first on Babboy's show?

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 11 months ago

BABBOY will probably be getting his own reality show now that he's hit the big time!

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rockchalker52 1 year, 11 months ago

Those that have student loans should strive to repay their obligations. But I'm still interested to know: What is the total dollar amount of tuition paid annually for all undergraduates across the country? What is the annual dollar amount of oil industry tax incentives? What is the annual cost of fighting one or two wars? What is the annual revenue amount left on the table from the Bush era tax cuts? USA has plenty of money. We just usually spend it on the wrong things. The greatness of America should, by now, have our educational opportunities & institutions decades ahead of everyone else.

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Lateralis 1 year, 11 months ago

If you want free education I want to know how we're going to pay for it. It's been reported that the total student loan debt is 996 Billion.

http://www.finaid.org/loans/studentloandebtclock.phtml

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RoeDapple 1 year, 11 months ago

I worked in a rock quarry once . . . as a rock crusher operator. Very satisfying line of work.

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My_Life 1 year, 11 months ago

None. I worked my way through four degrees. All in the pyhsical and life sciences. Being a teaching and research assistant also helped with a small paycheck and reduced tuition. Indyan never got to go to real school. Only the school of hard knocks. What a beautiful day!!!!!!!!!!!!! Peace Love Tranquility

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RoeDapple 1 year, 11 months ago

I've been so busy being a "bitter baby boomer aged poster" that I never added it up. Let's see . . . got married my wife's senior year so paid for that, put her through her Master's program plus an additional 36 hours, paid for Bachelor's program for two children, so . . . maybe $120 - $150 thousand all together. $12 grand in student loans when they both were in school the same year, otherwise paid as we went. All worth it, paid for mostly on a lowly truck driver's pay.

Probably would have been more but we insisted they maintain PT jobs while going to school. Amazing how they went from demanding $120 jeans and $150 shoes to finding great deals at K-Mart/Walmart/Target . . . . .

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labmonkey 1 year, 11 months ago

Also, people need to quit trying to get into private schools or out of state schools if they cannot afford it. In most cases, an in-state school degree will get you the same job as an out of state or big name school degree. When the graduate issue of our little work flier came out last year, I noticed one guy's daughter was going to Vanderbilt University to become an elementary teacher. I really question the wisdom in that when she could have went to an instate school for about 1/10th the cost.

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The_Original_Bob 1 year, 11 months ago

BABBOY is famous now....

http://www.kcconfidential.com/full_content.php?article_id=23780&full=yes&pbr=1

Unfortunately, it is only a fired KC Star writer's gossip blog, but it is at least something.

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labmonkey 1 year, 11 months ago

The government should only give student loans to those who are entering majors that will help them get careers... science and math majors especially. No loans for art, art history, and such. It's hard to pay back a $40K student loan when you work at Starbucks. I am sick of those with art history degrees begging for loan forgiveness when they chose a major they knew would not get them a job.

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BABBOY 1 year, 11 months ago

I had about $30,000 all from Grad School.....

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its_just_math 1 year, 11 months ago

"Lots of things about my 20s that I would do differently."

Lordie, do I ever agree with that statement! (And 30's, and 40's and.......???)

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tbaker 1 year, 11 months ago

"Lots of things about my 20s that I would do differently."

You made my day!

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Damian666 1 year, 11 months ago

You could always sell your soul.

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g_rock 1 year, 11 months ago

I had a lot of student loans from when I went back to school to finish a degree that really is of no use to me today. So not sure that I would do that again. I enjoyed it. But I probably would have worked more and borrowed less if I could do it over again. Lots of things about my 20s that I would do differently. Just that the loans stick around longer than boys.

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George Lippencott 1 year, 11 months ago

Nice that you should ask. ,For people my age it was a different problem . Borrowing depended on a commercial loan with no government support. Many students depended on scholarships. The rest worked. My senior year National Defense Student Loans appeared. To get one you had to be in an academic program where the country had a shortage.

Bottom line. The government has already made getting a college education mush easier than it was for earlier generations. Perhaps we should make a college education a right and have it all taxpayer supported?! No loans just free classes. The same 50% of the people who pay for all the other goodies we provide can dig a little deeper and pay for it.

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tbaker 1 year, 11 months ago

I have no experience with student loan debt becuase I held a full-time job all four years of college. Thats how I paid for my undergraduate degree. One of the main reasons college is so expensive today is becuase of all the different government hand-out programs. Economics 101: If someone other than the end-user is paying for it, the price will dramatically increase. Those unlucky folks who can't get a hand-out get stuck paying the inflated full price, and pile up huge student loan debt as a result. 2 out of 3 college grads end up unemployed and back in Mom and Dad's basement nowadays, and the 1 who does get a job is most likely working in a field unrelated to their degree.

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Rara_Avis 1 year, 11 months ago

I saw Sean Penn on Piers Morgan the other night. He didn't say anything about student loans, but he sure is a jerk.

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DillonBarnes 1 year, 11 months ago

This summer I will take my final two classes of my college career. A mere 6 hours of classes, here's my cost:

6 Hours basic tuition: $1,460 Technology Fee: $60 Campus Fee: $224 Business Classes Fee: $650 Estimated Books: $200

A total just shy of $2600, this of course does not include rent, utilities, food, fuel.

A quick search (granted, it's through KUs website, so not exclusive) shows 44 outside scholarship opportunities. Examining those scholarships shows I'm inelligable for at least half of them due to my age, sex, or ethnic background. The rest are national scholarships, in which tens of thousands of students will apply for a single $1000 scholarship.

Don't take this as a whine. I took on my debt and I'll pay it off, but to imply that some of us are just too lazy and that's the only reason we take on student loans is absurd. College cost is different today than it was 40, 30, even 10 years ago.

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deec 1 year, 11 months ago

KU Tuition and fees 1969-2012. 1969-70 $ 341 2011-2012 $8,469 http://www2.ku.edu/~oirp/profiles/new/9-303.pdf

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autie 1 year, 11 months ago

I would have to admit that the cost of college was significantly lower when I was a studente. One academic year total cost for me was less than just one sememster of undergraduate tuition currently.

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its_just_math 1 year, 11 months ago

Graduated in May of '85 with a $7500 student loan balalnce and mailed my last $91 payment circa sometime in '92. Man, those first 2-3 years out of college was I ever flat busted!

(Then I came up with a plan) snicker

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prospector 1 year, 11 months ago

I did not borrow any. The upkeep was just too much. Have you seen how much they can eat?

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 1 year, 11 months ago

One or three semesters, I took out a short term loan from the endowment association to pay for books...

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autie 1 year, 11 months ago

I have zero experience with student loans.

I have direct experience with the ParentPlus thing however. It is quiet manageable when you pay way ahead and keep chipping the interest. I don't think the loaners like me as much when I make payments three times the minimum.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 11 months ago

I paid mine off. Low interest is good, loan forgivness is bad.

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 11 months ago

In other debt news, the Mope is being mighty darned deceptive again. http://volokh.com/2012/04/25/another-misquote/

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 11 months ago

Had it, paid it off without whining and threatening public defecation.

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RoeDapple 1 year, 11 months ago

I had no idea you could borrow them.

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Benjamin Roberts 1 year, 11 months ago

Pay as you go. Work, grants, and scholarships are the only way. Student loans are like an STD: easy to acquire, deadly if neglected, extremely painful, and difficult to eliminate.

Paying off a student loan is a test of discipline. Unlike most other payments, there is no tangible asset or enjoyment received for the monthly cost. Whereas a car, motorcycle, or boat may provide relaxation and enjoyment for the payment, a student loan only buys you more work.

Just say no! Work harder, take longer, and make sacrifices now. But, as for the student loan - just say no!

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JackMcKee 1 year, 11 months ago

Scholarships kiddies. There is an alternative.

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Bill Lee 1 year, 11 months ago

I had to get a few extensions over the years, but I paid 'em off a long time ago.

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Rara_Avis 1 year, 11 months ago

They make me wanna holla. They also give me the workingman's blues. Incidentally, this is the best cover of a Bob Dylan song I've ever heard. Dig. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCNgoo...

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