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Using Student Loans to pay off Debt

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    Using Student Loans to pay off Debt

    Hi there,

    It's been a few months since I've posted on here, but I'm looking for some quick help. I've been looking for a part-time job since last Spring, and I haven't haven't been to land anything..including Starbucks. Yes, it's pretty sad. Mid Michigan absolutely sucks for obtaining any kind of employment.I'm getting towards the end of my doctorate, but not done yet. However last since August, I've accumulated some cc debt....Near 2K. I'm pretty frugal, and have been pursuing work opportunities, and teaching and playing on the side. I haven't had to take any student loans out in 2 yrs. Whatever money was coming in, went towards retirement and student loan payments...I have about 41K in loan debt left that I currently owe, and consolidated years ago. I am contemplating on taking a student loan out to pay the 2K credit card debt, and to add to what retirement I have,topping off my Roth IRA contributions...I have about $1,800 left that I contibute to the IRA's for 2012. I'm 36, and I only have about $8,300 put away towards those. Since the student loan change on July 1, grad student loans are fixed at 6.8%...and are only un-subsidized loans...not great.

    I'm not hept on taking out a student loan, but if I take the money out to pay this debt, keep looking for employment and put the rest top off my IRA contribution for the year...would this be a wise choice in my case? Or, should I tough it out, and just keep looking for employment and making the monthly payments onthe Credit cards that I can? I can't file for unemployment, because I'm still a student. Thanks.
    Last edited by musicprofessional; 12-18-2012, 08:33 AM.

    #2
    Since student loans are not dischargable via bankruptcy, but credit card debts are, by swapping CC debt for student loan debt you are taking on more risk.

    Comment


      #3
      Are these Stafford loans? People do as they please with the student loan money, but its not intended for investments and its not intended for the payment of credit card debt. I can see how you would argue that the credit card debt you've accumulated is actually cost of living for which you could have borrowed student loan money.

      http://www.direct.ed.gov/pubs/dlmpn.pdf

      5. Use of your loan money. You may use the loan
      money you receive only to pay for your authorized
      educational expenses for attendance at the school that
      determined you were eligible to receive the loan.
      Authorized expenses include the following: See the link.

      Comment


        #4
        No, No, No!

        You want to borrow money from one lender to pay off another lender and to invest in your retirement account. Not a good idea on so many levels.

        How about this? Stop funding your Roth while you are still a student. Take the money you would have put into that account and use it to pay off your debt. In fact, I might even go as far as suggesting that you draw money out of the Roth to retire the debt but before signing off on that plan, I'd want to see a full breakdown of your situation.

        I also find it difficult to believe that a responsible grad student can't find work. My 17-year-old daughter has a weekly babysitting job. There are paper routes, telephone book deliveries, lawns to be mowed, dogs to be walked, windows to be washed, snow to be shoveled, whatever. If you can't find a job, go out and make a job. What skills do you have? Your user name implies you are a musician. Find a way to make money doing that. Play at parties. Teach students to play. Whatever you are able to do and find someone willing to pay you to do it.
        Steve

        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

        Comment


          #5
          I agree with Steve. Do not move debt around just so you can invest! Investing is important, but not if you have to borrow to do so. That is essentially what you would be doing.
          My other blog is Your Organized Friend.

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks for the posts all. I do appreciate it. I'm just trying to take advantage of the one thing we cannot get back...time. Money comes and goes, but not time. At my age, I know that I'm quite behind in retirement. Hence, the worry, and the student loan idea. It's going to take time in my field to get a job, but I just don't want to be 40...and having to work until I'm 75+. And, I'm not one of those ones who's been a professional student all their lives. I've been in and out, working, paying debt, etc. I work hard, but I'm tired of not finding work around here. I live in an area where there's 45,000 students. Probably what happens is employers take one look at my resume, and say I'm overqualified. Maybe I need help with that.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by musicprofessional View Post
              Probably what happens is employers take one look at my resume, and say I'm overqualified. Maybe I need help with that.
              Change your resume then. If you are applying for menial work like retail or fast food, then there is no reason to disclose to a potential employer that you are working on a doctorate degree.
              Brian

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by bjl584 View Post
                Change your resume then. If you are applying for menial work like retail or fast food, then there is no reason to disclose to a potential employer that you are working on a doctorate degree.
                I agree. They only know you are overqualified (whatever that means) if you tell them so. Nothing wrong with adjusting your resume to match the job for which you are applying.
                Steve

                * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by musicprofessional View Post
                  Thanks for the posts all. I do appreciate it. I'm just trying to take advantage of the one thing we cannot get back...time. Money comes and goes, but not time. At my age, I know that I'm quite behind in retirement. Hence, the worry, and the student loan idea. It's going to take time in my field to get a job, but I just don't want to be 40...and having to work until I'm 75+. And, I'm not one of those ones who's been a professional student all their lives. I've been in and out, working, paying debt, etc. I work hard, but I'm tired of not finding work around here. I live in an area where there's 45,000 students. Probably what happens is employers take one look at my resume, and say I'm overqualified. Maybe I need help with that.
                  How old are you? Unless you are MUCH older than your average student your retirement worries are unfounded. Most people aren't contributing to ward retirement as students...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I'm 36 1/2 yrs old. I mentioned it in the original email.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      another .02 cents... Where are you in your program? ABD or still have courses/projects to complete? Will you graduate in April? Have your career opportunities widened? Student loans are expensive in this low interest rate environment and interest accumulates while you are in deferment. Unless you have assurance of stable, long term employment, you've outlined ideas that will turn into millstone problems that hobble you and your future choices.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I'm pretty much ABD (one recital away). I should be completely done, the later part of 2013 (I have two lecture recitals to prepare). In sum, I won't have to be here much longer (thank god). In between degrees, I worked either in offices, or arts organizations and gained other skills. I also peroformed in China last fall for an orchestra(Beijing) For example, I worked in an Accounts Payable Dept for a Ccorporation for about 2 1/2 yrs before I came here, and have temped other years into permanent jobs. My education and experiences where I worked were great. So, I'm not worried there. My work, teaching, people life experieince skills will transfer into many other professions. It's just getting my foot in the door somewhere, leaving some of my education off. Basically, I'm too honest. When I apply for a job now, I always include the experience that is going to fit the position I'm applying for, and leave the of the other non-relevent experience off. My question had to do with leaving my education on, or not. Guess I'm learning the hard way! I think it's sometimes important for an employer to know, but I am finding out that it is more of of hinder, then a help. I just need to keep at the job search, and not give up. If a tenure track college teaching job or a playing positon inprofessional group does not work out, I can always teach public school (I have a Music Education degree, with NYS certification), or I just do something else. The job market is quite frustrating right now, and unfortunately I don't see it getting any better for a couple of years...probably 5yrs. It's a numbers game, and just concerned being over 35. I'll just have to play the persistance game, like everyone else!
                        Last edited by musicprofessional; 12-20-2012, 06:58 AM.

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