Student loans What are you afraid of?: Student loans

By Spider on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 01:46 pm:

    I just checked my student loan balance on the Sallie Mae website.

    I owe $40,345.08

    I feel sick.

By Dr Pepper on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 01:58 pm:

    how long have you been studying at college/university?

By heather on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 02:00 pm:

    i owe more than twice that.


    at least it's a good time to consolidate.

By Spider on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 02:27 pm:

    Oh, Heather! I'll hold you if you'd like.

    I'm clueless when it comes to things like consolidation. I have two subsidized Stafford loans and two unsubsidized Stafford loans. Would consolidation be of use to me?

By Nate on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 02:43 pm:

    depends on the rate and term of each loan. i don't imagine you want to touch your subsidized loans, since you're not paying anything to borrow that money (right?). so look at the total cost of the two unsubsidized loans (total interest you will pay) and compare it to the total cost of the consolidated loan (interest + fees to refinance).

    if your interest rate is currently variable, it may be a good idea to consolidate and get a fixed rate.

    hold on to those subsidized loans for as long as you can. free money.

By heather on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 02:53 pm:

    yes! and maybe?

    it looks like they have changed some things.

    i see that at least some of your rate is already fixed (since 2006), but if you can lower the rate by consolidating you should do it, even half a percent makes a difference.

    i guess you have to calculate a bit.

    you may also choose to extend the length of the loan to get more affordable payments and hold off some payment until the money will probably be worth a little less.

By heather on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 02:58 pm:

    subsidized loans stay subsidized if you consolidate with a federal loan, you pay interest on both anyway if you are in repayment.

By Spider on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 03:05 pm:

    Right, the two subsidized loans have no interest accruing. They're for $8,500 each.

    The unsubsidized loans are both at a 6.8% rate, and I think they're $10,000 each.

    So...okay, I'm writing this before class and I can't think straight, but, so, what I need to do is to figure out if the 6.8% rate for two $10,000 loans is different than 6.8% for one $20,000? Or...?

    I feel like an idiot.

By Spider on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 03:14 pm:

    Oh, right, the interest on the subsidized just hasn't started yet.

By Spider on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 03:15 pm:

    I need someone to hold my hand and walk me through everything, because as soon as I see numbers and percentage signs, my mind starts swimming.

    But right now I have to go to class.

By platypus on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 04:14 pm:

    The thing about student loans is that they go away, eventually. And the interest is typically fairly low, considering the market rate, especially if you can consolidate at a low rate (which I think most of us have). But the important thing to remember is that, thanks to inflation, the amount of your loans isn't going to seem like a big deal in 10 years, let alone 30.

    Also, the government is incredibly chill about paying them back, as a general rule. You can negotiate a payment plan which works for you, you won't be penalized for paying them off early, and you get lots of grace periods for times when you just can't pay. Most lenders have a couple of payment plans to choose from, from set monthly payments to graduated payments which increase with time, under the assumption that your income will grow.

    So, bottom line, don't stress about them. They seem scary, but they're really not that big a deal. And school was worth it, right?

By heather on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 04:23 pm:

    what she said! exactly

By kazu on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 05:54 pm:

    I owe much more than that.

By Spider on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 07:20 pm:

    AH, thank you for reducing my stress level.

    Hey, tomorrow I can do WHATEVER I WANT! Wheeeee!

By Nate on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 08:00 pm:

    i owe much, much more than that as well, and i don't even have any student loans.

    i just got laid off, so tomorrow I can do WHATEVER I WANT! Wheeeeee!

    I need to start studying for my anal sex instructor license exam.

By Spider on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 08:53 pm:

    Oh, man, Nate. I'm sorry.

    What field do you work in?

By Nate on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 10:55 pm:

    aside from trying to break into ass fuck instruction, i've been writing developer documentation. i think i might go back to software engineering, though. i haven't decided.

    it's nothing to be sorry about. it is a function of the already too big company i was working for getting acquired by a much larger company. i had no interest in working for the much larger company and planned on quitting soon. this is about the same thing, except instead of working for these big corporate assholes for the next three months while i'm looking for a job, they're paying me to not work for them. Yay severance packages!

    Because of this and earlier severance packages, I've now (well, in a week I will have) made over a year's salary for doing nothing.

    This new big company, by the way, has more employees than the city I live in has people, and is led by a crazy samurai wannabe with a gates-inferiority complex.

    which reminds me, i need to make a shirt that says FU LARRY for my exit interview.

By Spider on Wednesday, May 7, 2008 - 07:25 pm:

    What did you do today, Nate?

    I did nothing. I read a little, made a grocery list, called a friend, washed the dishes, and noodled around online. Tonight I will meet my mom for dinner and perhaps go grocery shopping.

    Anxiety level: nil.

    I'm reading Lawrence Ferlinghetti's "Poetry as Insurgent Art." He closes with a short essay called "Modern Poetry is Prose," which he wrote in 1978.

    He's onto something.

    I am thumbing through a great anthology of contemporary poetry, and it would seem that "the voice that is great within us" sounds within us mostly in a prose voice, albeit in the typography of poetry. Which is not to say it is prosaic or has no depths, which is not to say it is dead or dying, or not lovely or not beautiful or not well written or not witty and brave. It is very much alive, very well written, lovely, lively prose -- prose that stands without the crutches of punctuation, prose whose syntax is so clear it can be written all over the page, in open forms and open fields, and still be very clear, very dear prose...

    ...And the nightingales may still be singing near the Convent of the Sacred Heart, but we can hardly hear them in the city waste lands of T.S. Eliot, nor in his Four Quartets (which can't be played on any instrument and yet is the most beautiful prose of our time). Nor in the prose wastes of Ezra Pound's Cantos which aren't canti because they couldn't possibly be sung. Nor in the pangolin prose of Marianne Moore (who called her writing poetry for lack of anything better to call it). Nor in the great prose blank verse of Karl Shapiro's Essay on Rime, nor in the outer city speech of William Carlos Williams, in the flat-out speech of his Paterson. All of which is applauded by poetry professors and poetry reviewers in all the best places, none of whom will commit the original sin of saying some poet's poetry is prose in the typography of poetry -- just as the poet's friends will never tell him, just as the poet's editors will never say it -- the dumbest conspiracy of silence in the history of letters...

By Nate on Wednesday, May 7, 2008 - 09:57 pm:

    I posted an ad on craigslist seeking a tenant, cleaned up my work computer, read, cleaned a bit, and that's about it.

    I slept in until 9:30. I haven't done that in quite a long time.

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