General Question

onesecondregrets's avatar

For those of you who have graduated college, are you (still) paying back?

Asked by onesecondregrets (2591points) February 16th, 2009

Are you in debt?
How long ago since you attended college?
How much further in paying it off do you have to go?
How much in loans did you begin with?

…Was going to college worth the expense in retrospect?

Give me all the details you have. :).

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15 Answers

TenaciousDenny's avatar

I graduated 3 1/2 years ago. I’m still paying it back and will be for a while, but the expense wasn’t too bad for me since I had a scholarship 3 out of the 4 years (didn’t keep the grades up for one of those years. Totally worth it).

I landed a good job right out of college and still have a pretty solid job while the economy is going in the tank, so it was definitely worth it to me. And that’s not even counting that those were some of the best years of my life.

blondie411's avatar

This May I will be out of college 2 years and I had a scholarship all 4 years that paid for 75% of my tuition. For the rest of my tuition and books, housing and art supplies, I took out a loan. After next month I will almost be done paying it off, but I owed next to nothing because of my scholarship covered mostly everything.

kevbo's avatar

You had to ask this. ;-)

I could buy a car for the amount I still owe. From 1995. If I stay on the same schedule, it’ll be paid off in maybe four years.

I paid a good chunk with an Americorps stipend, and I’ve also deferred payments and consolidated four loans into one, so that’s put me behind a normal schedule.

It is worth it. Just make sure you pick a college that you feel good about and where you see opportunity to grow. Going through all that for a place that you don’t feel connected to is an icky feeling that stays with you for a good chunk of your adult life.

Also, consider what you plan on doing for a living. If you don’t know (and knowing what I know about you and your interests), figure on earning $24,000 to $35,000 a year when you get out assuming you opt for a full-time gig. (I don’t want to be pessimistic, but probably the $24,000 end is a more reasonable approximation.)

wundayatta's avatar

Not any more. Paid it off almost two decades ago.

dynamicduo's avatar

I worked throughout my four years, and my mother had created an education fund for me to use as well. I graduated with not even one cent of borrowed money. It’s one of the shiniest points of pride in my life so far.

KingMalefic's avatar

I graduated 5 years ago, still owe, but don’t know the last time I paid. I leave no paper trails.

It was fun, but am not in my field of degree at all. I want to go back but they won’t let me :-(

bodyhead's avatar

I’ll be paying it back until I’m 51. I took the shorter loan term since I’m not sure I’ll live to 64. Collge by far was the largest fiscial mistake I’ve ever made.

nikipedia's avatar

I graduated from college in 2006 with a lot of debt. It’s spread across so many loans, I couldn’t tell you the total amount. I estimate the rest of my education will take another 7 years, during which I will probably pay off very little. I will be in debt for a long, long time.

If I had the choice to make over again, I would still choose to go to college, but I would have put more work into finding scholarships and factoring in cost when choosing a school. At the time, paying tuition was a hazy and confusing idea to me, and I didn’t really see the difference between twenty thousand imaginary dollars and thirty thousand. It sounds stupid now, but at 17 I really didn’t get it and didn’t see any alternatives.

For my chosen career path, college is non-optional. I think this is not true for the majority of careers and college should not be a post-high school default.

Milladyret's avatar

Graduated one year ago, and will be paying for many years to come.
Maybe I should try to pay it of a bit sooner than planned, if I have the money? Any thoughts?

robmandu's avatar

No, paid as I went. No loans.

And yes, it was totally worth the expense… and the extra work to pay for it at the time.

onesecondregrets's avatar

@TenaciousDenny…lucky you for that scholarship, for enjoying college as one should AND for landing a sweet job out of college. Haha. I can only hope to be so lucky. That’s awesome. :).

@blondie411…What scholarship did you receive that covered that much of the expense? That’s amazing. You are incredibly, incredibly lucky for that but I’m sure you know that without me saying it.

@kevbo…you know me too well already! :P. Haha. Four years (maybe) doesn’t sound too bad. How long have you been paying off for already? I know nothing of this Americorps stipend you speak of. :/. And the four loans into one, very very resourceful there.

I want more than anything to be happy with the college I choose. But I’m already settling by choosing to stay in the SUNY system to save money. And no campuses in the system really tickle my fancy besides FIT and not to be pessimistic, more realistic- my chances of getting in there based on portfolio- not looking so good. I don’t know. I just have no funds going towards college thusfar. I am banking on loans, hopefully scholarships entirely. I am transferring from a community college, so I only will be doing two years. But you know. I just don’t want to screw myself over for life, going to college.. HAH ironic!

..You’re not being pessimistic either, just realistic and honest and I appreciate that more than sugar-coating. :). Thanks again, my artistic Yoda. Haha.

@daloon…“Paid it off almost two decades ago.” Hope I can say that some day, and not when I’m ancient!

@dynamicduo…You lucked out with a momma that took care of you, and with being responsible enough to take care of yourself by working. ;).

@KingMalefic…Who is they? If you want to be in the field of your degree, go for it! You’ve got the skills if you’ve got the degree, so what’s stoppin’ ya really, y’know?

@bodyhead…did you at least enjoy your time in college? I’m sorry you look back so bleakly at the expense part of it at least. :(.

@nikipedia…I am you in your past. If you get what I’m saying. “Imaginary dollars,” hah exactly. I’m scared of those “imaginary dollars” coming back and biting me in the ass, really hard. I hope now at least you’re happy in the career you chose and that ultimately one day it will be worth all the money and stress.

@Milladyret…I will most likely be in your boat in a few years. You’re not alone. I’d say paying it off any bit sooner- the better. If you have the money and the means, do it do it. That’s my thoughts!

@robmandu…That’s amazing. I don’t know how you did it, but that’s amazing haha. Feel proud!

Knotmyday's avatar

Paid it off six years ago. 1993— 2003.

kevbo's avatar

@onesecondregrets, if you’re doing only two years on loans, you’ll be fine. That’s probably $125/mo if you take the whole ten years to pay it off. I’m talking out of my butt, so it might be more or less. You’ll have to do the math, but really it’s a drop in the bucket.

bodyhead's avatar

I did not enjoy my time in college. I actually did pay what I could as I went but I was at a prestegious Christian private college so I graduated with 50,000 in loans even after my scolarships. I worked full time while I went to college and overall it was pretty miserable.

If I had invested the same time and money in real estate instead of college then I would no longer need a day job to pay all my bills.

blondie411's avatar

@onesecondregrets I received a scholarship through the state that provided 75% of tuition paid for as long as you received a specific GPA in high school and got a certain mark on your SAT’s as well as maintained a specific GPA in college. Maintain your grades and most of your college is paid for. I also received a grant from my specific college, but that was only for one year. A grant is different from a loan since a grant you don’t have to pay back, so essentially it is almost like free money.

My situation was a little unique in that the state almost bribed me to stay in state and paid me to go to a state school. There is nothing wrong with going to a state school and nothing wrong with going to a SUNY, my sister went to two, UB and Upstate Medical University. It is a great way to get a great education while not paying that much. I would suggest it even more because you are still unsure of what you are going to end up doing with your future. You can always go back to school as well.

College is worth the investment most definitely. Any job that you apply for even if it isn’t what you intended to majored in college will want to know that you obtained that degree. Since you have only two years left, loans won’t be that extreme.

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