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The Half Million Dollar Student Loan Debt

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    The Half Million Dollar Student Loan Debt

    When Michelle Bisutti, a 41-year-old family practitioner in Columbus, Ohio, finished medical school in 2003, her student-loan debt amounted to roughly $250,000. Since then, it has ballooned to $555,000.

    It is the result of her deferring loan payments while she completed her residency, default charges and relentlessly compounding interest rates. Among the charges: a single $53,870 fee for when her loan was turned over to a collection agency...


    the-555000-student-loan-burden: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance

    #2
    "she made mistakes in missing payments, deferring her loans and not being completely thorough with some of the paperwork, but was surprised at how quickly the debt spiraled."

    She also was 30 years old when she started med school in 1999, old enough to have grown up and learned to keep up with her payments and paperwork.

    Seems as if she was just largely inattentive or unconcerned. This story does not even present that she had extenuating circumstances. If there were, I presume that was why she got the deferments.

    I would not want the rules for student loan collections to be based on the fickleness of people who just refuse to pay attention to the large facts of their own financial lives. It bugs me a bit how these articles so often focus on people who seemingly could be have done much better than they chose to do.
    ..
    "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

    "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

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      #3
      I saw this article a couple of days ago. This is just plain stupidity. The fact that she borrowed $250,000 to attend medical school and then chose Family Practice, the lowest paying field of medicine, makes no sense to begin with. Add in the fact that she was doing this as a second career, starting med school at age 30, and it is even worse. Clearly, she never took the time to run the numbers before jumping in. "she reasoned that her future income as a doctor would make paying off the loans easy" That statement alone tells me that this lady was living in the land of make believe. Doctors, especially family practitioners, don't make that much money. Trust me, I'm a family practitioner so I know very well what they make. It ain't enough to repay 250K and certainly not 555K in loans. I'm willing to bet that she will not live long enough to repay this debt on a family doctor's income. It took me 12 years of frugal living to repay 102K. At that rate, which was greatly accelerated beyond the scheduled payments, it would take me more than 50 years to repay 555K.
      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.

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        #4
        The cost of college absolutely amazes me. I know it's necessary for some careers: law, medicine, engineering, etc. But for the average person, wow, I just can't imagine being my age and being that far in debt and looking at years ahead of having to dig myself out. It makes my little credit card debts and that kind of thing seem like nothing.

        When people talk about doctors and lawyers getting rich, I always say, if it's so easy, why don't you do it? They don't think about the massive debt they'd start out under.

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          #5
          Originally posted by PaydayLoner View Post
          When people talk about doctors and lawyers getting rich, I always say, if it's so easy, why don't you do it? They don't think about the massive debt they'd start out under.
          It isn't just the debt. The world has changed but people's perception hasn't. They still see doctors and lawyers as a bunch of people making gobs of money and that just isn't reality anymore. Due to the ever decreasing reimbursement, insurance company hassles, rising malpractice costs and increasing overhead, lots of doctors are struggling to keep their practices open and profitable. Most doctors have seen their income stay flat or even decline over the past 10 years. I make no more today than I did in 2000. Adjust that for inflation and I've lost ground.

          I don't know that much about lawyers, but I do know that I am good friends with quite a few of them and none of them is rolling in money. They all face the same financial struggles as everyone else: how to save for retirement, how to put their kids through college, how to pay to fix the leaky roof, how to afford the family vacation.

          These fields aren't as lucrative as they once were. Add in the educational debt, and that is even more true.
          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


            #6
            Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
            It isn't just the debt. The world has changed but people's perception hasn't. They still see doctors and lawyers as a bunch of people making gobs of money and that just isn't reality anymore. Due to the ever decreasing reimbursement, insurance company hassles, rising malpractice costs and increasing overhead, lots of doctors are struggling to keep their practices open and profitable. Most doctors have seen their income stay flat or even decline over the past 10 years. I make no more today than I did in 2000. Adjust that for inflation and I've lost ground.

            I don't know that much about lawyers, but I do know that I am good friends with quite a few of them and none of them is rolling in money. They all face the same financial struggles as everyone else: how to save for retirement, how to put their kids through college, how to pay to fix the leaky roof, how to afford the family vacation.

            These fields aren't as lucrative as they once were. Add in the educational debt, and that is even more true.

            Steve-

            The "medical" slice of the pie is bigger, but because of insurance companies wanting a big slice, the income of the doctors gets cut. I agree with you.

            Lawyers its about billable hours, its not quite the same as being a doctor (there is no insurance company regulating how a lawyer can charge for things).

            It is my opinion that

            a) a good lawyer makes lots of money (because they have high billable hours)
            b) a good surgeon makes lots of money because of high costs of procedures based on the risk of the procedure (risk-reward?)
            c) Some people tell me the way around the insurance companies is to limit which insurance plans a hospital deals with. I know some doctors and they tell me their hospital-Cincinnati Children's- refuses to accept some insurance plans because the goal of those insurance carriers is to lower the payment to the hospital- so anyone needing a given service might be "out of network" on their insurance in those cases.

            In the case of c) obviously they are doing good on supply-demand side (high demand, few hospitals to compete with in country, they can set their own price. Of course a family practice would be on opposite side of supply and demand curves to point where your practice has to bend to the insurance companies demands (prices).


            My point was its not the occupation which drives the salary. Its being good at what you do. A good lawyer or good surgeon or good engineer will all make the same amount of money.

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