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January 30, 2014

Lately, I’ve been feeling super overwhelmed by this whole looming student loan/debt thing, and I’m starting to feel discouraged about the whole thing. I mean, it is relatively easy to figure out how much needs to be paid each month in order to pay of $xxx in yy amount of time. But plugging that into real life is starting to feel nearly impossible. I feel like we can totally handle the hubby’s student loan and I’m confident that we’ll have that paid off ahead of schedule. However, my student loans feel like an entirely different beast…
As it stands now our budget already accommodates two mortgage sized payments per month: one for our actual mortgage and one for childcare. To actually pay off my student loans in 3 years, we would need to pay an amount close to that of our mortgage and childcare COMBINED – about $3500/month to be exact. Where the hell are we going to find that kind of money? I’ve been able to find some really good options for consolidating and refinancing my loans (5.25% fixed rate for 10 years or 4.75% for 5 years!), but to pay them back in 5 years, we would still need to pay about $1800/month. While that seems much more manageable than $3500/month, it seems almost unbearable when it comes to the sacrifices necessary to achieve that.

The biggest frustration comes with our house – there are so many (fairly easy) things that we want to do to the place, and we also kind of need to furnish it still (we’ve been there for almost 2 years now). It would be really awesome to have furniture in the main floor living room and dining room, and to have patio furniture for our deck, and have an electrician come to add overhead lighting to the living room and dining room, and the list goes on and on. Now I know that there will always be something to do with the house, but it sucks that we can’t just spend the $10K we need to get the house to a point that we could live with for a while.

The other challenge is that we want to have more children, relatively soon and it is overwhelming to think about how we are going to pay for daycare on top of student loans and our mortgage. I don’t know about you, but we certainly don’t make enough money to cover the equivalent of 4-5 mortgage payments, plus the general cost of living. I think that is really the most stressful part – we don’t want money to determine how many kids we have, but by the same token, we can’t purposefully bring children into the world and not be able to take care of them (or be terrible parents b/c we are so stressed about money).

Clearly, this is a situation we got ourselves into, and I certainly do not expect any sympathy. I just feel overwhelmed and frustrated – like we got ourselves into a hole that, at times, seems impossible to get out of. I am just so tired of having this black cloud hanging over our heads. I want to not have to worry about money and loan payments, and it just seems like that day is so so so far away. It makes me wonder if it was even worth it – what was all the hard work and sacrifice of the past 2 1/2 years for? What was the point of missing bed time 3x a week, and giving up my weekends, and a good part of my life? To end up nearly $100,000 in debt and be stuck with a job that requires a 3 hr round trip commute so I can pay back said debt? 

While all this venting, does make me feel somewhat better, it doesn’t really solve the problem – we still have about $100,000 of student loan debt that is going to have to be repaid. It’s a rough lesson to learn, but hopefully we’ll be able to use this as a teachable moment – for ourselves and our kid – that before you get yourself into debt, you better have a plan for how you are going to get out.


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  1. I have a question for you. I know you’re venting, but before you started the MBA program, did you think the loans you’ll be getting to finish the program would be worth it? My hubby certainly thinks so, but I’m wondering if he’ll regret it after he’s finished.
    I also feel the burden of our student loan debt. We both had our undergrad loans still before he started MBA and we’re adding more debt every term. I try to look at the amount that we paid off and try to stay focused so one day, our money will be our money. You’ll be done with this soon since you’re planning to pay this off ahead. Just stay positive and focused.

    • Thanks for the encouragement! I did think about the debt we were getting into before I started the program, but I think I also expected more of a bump in my post MBA salary, and that didn’t happen for a variety of reasons (mostly personal choice about the career path I want to take). I also think I was in a different mindset financially – I was thinking about making minimum payments, and, at the time, we weren’t paying for daycare for our son, so I don’t think I really grasped what the implications would be to our monthly budget all factored in. I mean – I saw it on a spreadsheet, but when your post-MBA income is unknown, I think you can convince yourself that you can afford it comfortably, when in reality, it might be more tight than you thought. I think more than anything though, having debt feels like being in prison – I can’t really do what I want to do career wise, but instead have to do what makes enough money to pay back the loans. I think that is what is making it so frustrating – I feel like I’m trading my time with my family to work/make money to pay back these loans, when I’d really like to just have my time back to do what I want to do with it!

      • My hubby knows he’s not going to get a big pay raise, but he just thinks it’s what he needs in the long run for his career path. Either way, he’s going to finish it and either way, we have to pay them off fast as we can. Let’s keep ourselves calm and get rid of this thing! You can do it!!

      • Thanks!! You’re totally right – we can do this! And I agree with your hubby – I know it is a great move for the long-term, but it is just painful having to deal with it now:)

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