Do you have student loans? And advice to anyone dealing with loans.

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Mercenary848

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#1 Mercenary848
Member since 2007 • 11956 Posts

Yeah.

I owe less then a lot of people and more then some. I look at it this way when im at the point in my life within the next 3 or 4 years when I can pay 5k a year(420$ a month) it'll be wiped out relatively quickly. Until then my current income can keep me to the point where I can pay it down and not allow interest to accrue.

To all of you new grads just finishing up, I will say find a steady income stream outside of your salaried job ASAP. I have a salary job that covers all my expenses and affords me a lot of disposable income. But I also have a side gig that is specifically for my loan payments. I know coming out of college its rough dealing with the idea of still needing to do partime work especially when you have an entry level fulltime gig, but that extra couple hundred dollars that you get from bagging groceries a couple nights a week after your big job will feel much appreciated when you see how much of your main source of income wasn't slashed due to loans.

It honestly can be anything. I teach beginner guitar lessons for 20$ an hour or go on the street and play for people as they walk by. I also work 6 or 7 hours at a grocery store, and occasionally dip into bar tending and food service. Be straight up with people and tell them that this is just your side hustle and you are doing it to cover student loans, and you will be shocked at how many jobs/people will be willing to help you out and work with your schedule.

Also if you plan on going to grad school but are taking a break first, I suggest saving as much money as you can and paying off as much of your loan as you can first.

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johnd13

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#2 johnd13
Member since 2011 • 9825 Posts

Nope. There is no such thing in my country.

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deactivated-598fc45371265

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#3 deactivated-598fc45371265
Member since 2008 • 13247 Posts

@johnd13 said:

Nope. There is no such thing in my country.

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Nuck81

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#4 Nuck81
Member since 2005 • 7860 Posts

My advice.

Pay it off.

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johnd13

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#5 johnd13
Member since 2011 • 9825 Posts

@Storm_Marine said:
@johnd13 said:

Nope. There is no such thing in my country.

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deactivated-598fc45371265

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#6  Edited By deactivated-598fc45371265
Member since 2008 • 13247 Posts

@johnd13 said:
@Storm_Marine said:
@johnd13 said:

Nope. There is no such thing in my country.

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Vaidream45

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#7 Vaidream45
Member since 2016 • 2058 Posts

Pay it off as soon as possible. Don't fall into that minimum payments trap.

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SOedipus

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#8 SOedipus
Member since 2006 • 11658 Posts

Yeah, it sucks but I knew what I was getting into. Gotta be smart/er with spending money for a few years is all.

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Mercenary848

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#9 Mercenary848
Member since 2007 • 11956 Posts

@Storm_Marine said:
@johnd13 said:

Nope. There is no such thing in my country.

My same expression

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Mercenary848

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#10 Mercenary848
Member since 2007 • 11956 Posts

@SOedipus said:

Yeah, it sucks but I knew what I was getting into. Gotta be smart/er with spending money for a few years is all.

Yeah, I feel like if you think about it like its another bill to pay its a lot easier to not fall into the trap of interest hell. It shouldn't freak you out, but it should always be in the back of your mind!

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Master_Live

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#11 Master_Live
Member since 2004 • 19821 Posts

Yeah, now that I'm about to start my masters (I'll be a real Master! Get it, GET IT?!) shit is starting to become real and less abstract and this whole loan thing is...it gives you pause. More so when I'm going (probably) straight to my PhD afterwards so the number will just keep growing.

It's one thing to call on the Devil and another to see him coming.

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plageus900

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#12 plageus900
Member since 2013 • 2776 Posts

Nope. My tuition is 100% covered by the Dept. of Veteran Affairs.

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Horgen

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#13 Horgen  Moderator
Member since 2006 • 121567 Posts

Already paid off... Only had like 5K total though.

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#14  Edited By johnd13
Member since 2011 • 9825 Posts

@Mercenary848 said:
@Storm_Marine said:
@johnd13 said:

Nope. There is no such thing in my country.

My same expression

The hard part here is scoring high enough in your entrance exams to get accepted into the university and school of your choice. And if the university is in your city, you continue living with your family till you graduate and get a job. If your university is far away from home then it's mostly up to the parents to make due with the expenses of their kid living on its own.

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mrbojangles25

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#16  Edited By mrbojangles25
Member since 2005 • 44814 Posts

Get a job right away. Don't spend months/years looking for one in your field, just take one that will keep you happy and can pay your rent and loans and take it. You can look for a more professional, career-type job while you work. I knew a lot of people that sunk into a hole because they were too proud to take a good job in construction or whatever because they had a degree and were "better than that" but couldn't find a job for a year or so in the field.

Learn some humility and if you lived well before don't expect to live that way for a few years unless your parents are helping you out, and in that case why aren't they helping you now? :P

You can also take some side jobs, part-time work. Waiting and bartending are actually really good jobs for these first few years.

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achilles614

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#17  Edited By achilles614
Member since 2005 • 5310 Posts

I have a good bit of loans from my bachelor's. My phd on the other hand is being paid for by my adviser/school. Just hope I can finish in four or less years. I'm going into a field that pays ok, so I'm not worried about my loans whatsoever.

@mrbojangles25: I didn't know anyone in my program/class that didn't have a job lined up at least a month before graduation. Can't imagine spending months/years looking, that must be awful.

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borninblood60

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#18 borninblood60
Member since 2017 • 262 Posts

I've never taken a loan, never will.

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Mercenary848

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#19 Mercenary848
Member since 2007 • 11956 Posts

@achilles614 said:

I have a good bit of loans from my bachelor's. My phd on the other hand is being paid for by my adviser/school. Just hope I can finish in four or less years. I'm going into a field that pays ok, so I'm not worried about my loans whatsoever.

@mrbojangles25: I didn't know anyone in my program/class that didn't have a job lined up at least a month before graduation. Can't imagine spending months/years looking, that must be awful.

I will likely go for a phd but im not sure yet. What are you studying?

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Jak42

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#20  Edited By Jak42
Member since 2016 • 1093 Posts

Some good advice. Fortunately government grants covered my 4k a year tuition. Along with a book allowance and stipend. The tuition at my college is a little higher now. But grants can possibly still cover it for those who qualify.

Blowing money on an undergrad education is a costly decision to make. The system is rigged to take advantage of kids who know nothing about finances. And colleges don't care if your degree is worthless. But they'll happily keep sending you mail looking for donations. So I kinda look forward to that day, when the higher education bubble bursts due to unsustainable tuition rates.

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achilles614

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#21  Edited By achilles614
Member since 2005 • 5310 Posts

@Mercenary848: Electrical engineering, but towards the signals/circuit architecture side of EE. I've been doing a lot of research in circuit design with nano-magnets (some call it spintronics).

I've finished one year in the program, it's much more enjoyable than my undergrad. Classes/research for 8 months, then 4 months of just doing research or an internship.

What would you study if you went for a phd?

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#22  Edited By Gaming-Planet
Member since 2008 • 20055 Posts

Once I transfer I'll be in debt.

Not sure how I will pay it off. Probably will take market opportunities to make some quick cash, and maybe shill real hard online.

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Mercenary848

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#23 Mercenary848
Member since 2007 • 11956 Posts

@achilles614 said:

@Mercenary848: Electrical engineering, but towards the signals/circuit architecture side of EE. I've been doing a lot of research in circuit design with nano-magnets (some call it spintronics).

I've finished one year in the program, it's much more enjoyable than my undergrad. Classes/research for 8 months, then 4 months of just doing research or an internship.

What would you study if you went for a phd?

Oh nice, my sister is an engineer. Im going to grad school to be a counseling psychologist and working in the healthcare industry.

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#24 aMyLoO2007
Member since 2003 • 2807 Posts

As others have mentioned, definitely send as much as you can towards them every month and avoid that minimum payment trap. If you are making minimum payments, you are basically just paying interest, which is usually accrues at a high rate on student loans. Sending you good vibes because I know student loans can be daunting!

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#25 bmanva
Member since 2002 • 4680 Posts

Nope, uncle Sam paid it off for me.

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killingjoke94

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#26  Edited By killingjoke94
Member since 2017 • 26 Posts

What's the average amount of debt for students in the US? I've just left an establishment in the UK with roughly £50k of debt - ridiculous!

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#27 comp_atkins
Member since 2005 • 36002 Posts

pay it. i don't think most school loans can be discharged easily, even though bankruptcy.

you made an adult decision when you signed the papers, make adult decisions to pay them off.

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Mighty-Lu-Bu

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#28 Mighty-Lu-Bu
Member since 2007 • 3046 Posts

@Mercenary848 said:

Yeah.

I owe less then a lot of people and more then some. I look at it this way when im at the point in my life within the next 3 or 4 years when I can pay 5k a year(420$ a month) it'll be wiped out relatively quickly. Until then my current income can keep me to the point where I can pay it down and not allow interest to accrue.

To all of you new grads just finishing up, I will say find a steady income stream outside of your salaried job ASAP. I have a salary job that covers all my expenses and affords me a lot of disposable income. But I also have a side gig that is specifically for my loan payments. I know coming out of college its rough dealing with the idea of still needing to do partime work especially when you have an entry level fulltime gig, but that extra couple hundred dollars that you get from bagging groceries a couple nights a week after your big job will feel much appreciated when you see how much of your main source of income wasn't slashed due to loans.

It honestly can be anything. I teach beginner guitar lessons for 20$ an hour or go on the street and play for people as they walk by. I also work 6 or 7 hours at a grocery store, and occasionally dip into bar tending and food service. Be straight up with people and tell them that this is just your side hustle and you are doing it to cover student loans, and you will be shocked at how many jobs/people will be willing to help you out and work with your schedule.

Also if you plan on going to grad school but are taking a break first, I suggest saving as much money as you can and paying off as much of your loan as you can first.

Jeez, paying $420 a month on student loans is insane- that is literally more than double what my car payment is. My advice would be to pay it off as soon as possible and if you ever get any extra income lets say from a tax return or extra work, put it towards your loan. In most cases, I would always say not to get a student loan and try to get a scholarship instead. I know it sounds crazy, but I have a friend who is finishing up his bachelors at Berkley, I have a friend finishing up his bachelors at UCSB and I have a friend who is finishing up their PHD at UCLA. What they all have in common is that they all got scholarships and they didn't have to pay a dime. If you have the grades, always opt for a scholarship... I know this is useless advice now, but it might help if you decide to take your education even further.

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#29  Edited By N30F3N1X
Member since 2009 • 8923 Posts

@achilles614 said:

@Mercenary848: Electrical engineering, but towards the signals/circuit architecture side of EE. I've been doing a lot of research in circuit design with nano-magnets (some call it spintronics).

I've finished one year in the program, it's much more enjoyable than my undergrad. Classes/research for 8 months, then 4 months of just doing research or an internship.

What would you study if you went for a phd?

You see, any degree with the word "engineering" in it is sure to pay well. Plenty of people take loans to get some unmarketable degree such as art or literature though, so spending months looking (and still very often not getting a well paying job) isn't all that far-fetched.

I have to say though, what have spintronics to do with signal and circuit architecture? I'm asking because I too study signals (my field is photonics though) and had an optional course in thin films and spintronics that I didn't take (but can take next year) because I thought it wouldn't be very useful.

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#30 Mighty-Lu-Bu
Member since 2007 • 3046 Posts

@N30F3N1X said:
@achilles614 said:

@Mercenary848: Electrical engineering, but towards the signals/circuit architecture side of EE. I've been doing a lot of research in circuit design with nano-magnets (some call it spintronics).

I've finished one year in the program, it's much more enjoyable than my undergrad. Classes/research for 8 months, then 4 months of just doing research or an internship.

What would you study if you went for a phd?

You see, any degree with the word "engineering" in it is sure to pay well. Plenty of people take loans to get some unmarketable degree such as art or literature though, so spending months looking (and still very often not getting a well paying job) isn't all that far-fetched.

I have to say though, what have spintronics to do with signal and circuit architecture? I'm asking because I too study signals (my field is photonics though) and had an optional course in thin films and spintronics that I didn't take (but can take next year) because I thought it wouldn't be very useful.

While this is true, the standards for engineering have steadily rose over the last 10 years. If you want to make over 6 figures as an engineer, in most cases you have to have a masters / PHD. I work in the IT department for a large scale nano tech engineering company and about 98% of the engineers here have PHDs. I know a lot of other companies in the surrounding area are the same way. If you have a bachelors, you can be an intern or a low entry level engineering position. I am not saying this is the case for every company out there, but for a lot of the big ones it is.

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Mercenary848

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#31 Mercenary848
Member since 2007 • 11956 Posts

@mighty-lu-bu said:
@Mercenary848 said:

Yeah.

I owe less then a lot of people and more then some. I look at it this way when im at the point in my life within the next 3 or 4 years when I can pay 5k a year(420$ a month) it'll be wiped out relatively quickly. Until then my current income can keep me to the point where I can pay it down and not allow interest to accrue.

To all of you new grads just finishing up, I will say find a steady income stream outside of your salaried job ASAP. I have a salary job that covers all my expenses and affords me a lot of disposable income. But I also have a side gig that is specifically for my loan payments. I know coming out of college its rough dealing with the idea of still needing to do partime work especially when you have an entry level fulltime gig, but that extra couple hundred dollars that you get from bagging groceries a couple nights a week after your big job will feel much appreciated when you see how much of your main source of income wasn't slashed due to loans.

It honestly can be anything. I teach beginner guitar lessons for 20$ an hour or go on the street and play for people as they walk by. I also work 6 or 7 hours at a grocery store, and occasionally dip into bar tending and food service. Be straight up with people and tell them that this is just your side hustle and you are doing it to cover student loans, and you will be shocked at how many jobs/people will be willing to help you out and work with your schedule.

Also if you plan on going to grad school but are taking a break first, I suggest saving as much money as you can and paying off as much of your loan as you can first.

Jeez, paying $420 a month on student loans is insane- that is literally more than double what my car payment is. My advice would be to pay it off as soon as possible and if you ever get any extra income lets say from a tax return or extra work, put it towards your loan. In most cases, I would always say not to get a student loan and try to get a scholarship instead. I know it sounds crazy, but I have a friend who is finishing up his bachelors at Berkley, I have a friend finishing up his bachelors at UCSB and I have a friend who is finishing up their PHD at UCLA. What they all have in common is that they all got scholarships and they didn't have to pay a dime. If you have the grades, always opt for a scholarship... I know this is useless advice now, but it might help if you decide to take your education even further.

Yeah its a good bit, but my starting salary can cover it. I had a few scholarships and grants, but still had to take a a bit in loans. Good advice though.

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N30F3N1X

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#32  Edited By N30F3N1X
Member since 2009 • 8923 Posts

@mighty-lu-bu said:

While this is true, the standards for engineering have steadily rose over the last 10 years. If you want to make over 6 figures as an engineer, in most cases you have to have a masters / PHD. I work in the IT department for a large scale nano tech engineering company and about 98% of the engineers here have PHDs. I know a lot of other companies in the surrounding area are the same way. If you have a bachelors, you can be an intern or a low entry level engineering position. I am not saying this is the case for every company out there, but for a lot of the big ones it is.

It's understandable.

While I still have no personal experience in this (I'll get my MSc next year, I'll start the lab work for my thesis in september), I know that I still have nothing to show I understand my competence in the field I want to work in other than the piece of paper with "degree" written on it and my thesis. As a PhD student or graduate you have to publish your accomplishments so it's understandable if companies want an extra insurance on who they're hiring when they have to pay them thousands each month.

It's even more understandable that a BSc is considered damn near useless. The first 3 years of university I spent getting it were spent studying general theories with very little to no direct applications, unlike my MSc courses that were almost all about applications (or needed for further courses).

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deactivated-598fc45371265

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#33 deactivated-598fc45371265
Member since 2008 • 13247 Posts

Step 1: Don't spend money on avocado toast

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#34 Amnesiac23
Member since 2006 • 8470 Posts

Not gonna to lie, I have a lot to pay back and I pay bare minimum. Sorry, but I am NOT paying $576 every month. I live in downtown Seattle and just can't afford it (<---before anyone says anything, I don't have a car and can't drive due to a medical condition. I HAVE to live close to work.)

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Mercenary848

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#35 Mercenary848
Member since 2007 • 11956 Posts

@Amnesiac23 said:

Not gonna to lie, I have a lot to pay back and I pay bare minimum. Sorry, but I am NOT paying $576 every month. I live in downtown Seattle and just can't afford it (<---before anyone says anything, I don't have a car and can't drive due to a medical condition. I HAVE to live close to work.)

No judgement here bro, we all have situations outside of our control.

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achilles614

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#36  Edited By achilles614
Member since 2005 • 5310 Posts

@N30F3N1X said:

I have to say though, what have spintronics to do with signal and circuit architecture? I'm asking because I too study signals (my field is photonics though) and had an optional course in thin films and spintronics that I didn't take (but can take next year) because I thought it wouldn't be very useful.

Spintronics are a device-technology, like the transistor. You can use them to design new microarchitectures which can in turn implement nice signal processing algorithms.

For example, using spintronic devices to design a multi-layer perceptron, aka a neural network used for recognition or prediction tasks. Right there you're blending architecture, device tech, and signal algorithms.

Spin Neural Net, Spin Neural Net 2

I've used them (specifically domain-wall devices) to simulate/design a spintronic FPGA and an asynchronous logic circuit, nothing crazy but it's a start.