Student Loans: Women, When a $115,000 salary still isn’t Enough, What Else Can You Do?
Women & Debt, Installment III of V
Student loans can seem impossible at times. Many of us think more money would help us solve our financial burdens or at least get us out of debt. The poverty line begins at $44,000. Some people fresh out of college without the required three years of experience for an entry-level position start their careers working unpaid internships or accepting five figures or less to get by. These recently graduated young hopefuls often daydream of six-figure salaries as a much-needed reward for their underpaid hard work. They never truly stop to discover a six-figure salary might not solve their financial burdens. One woman “had to take out $150,000 in law school loans, which, despite making sizable payments every month, the balance has increased to $220,000.” Her loans aren't going into default as she makes her payments, which is a plus, but her interest rates are problematic. They are so high that her sizable financial efforts did not make a noticeable difference.
Having one degree depending on the institution can be a small financial burden, but having a postgraduate degree is a more considerable financial challenge. Our six-figure career woman emphasized one piece of invaluable advice she learned from her battles with debt to help others. “Don’t max out your student loans! Law school was a blast, but it’s no fun paying essentially a second mortgage every month for the foreseeable future.” Researching the pros and cons of earning one degree or more from various universities might help you rationalize the amount of debt you’re willing to handle and understanding how long it may take you to achieve your goal. Finding peace of mind in your stressful day today is difficult enough without the weight of your student loan debt weighing you down. There are options: Loan consolidation, refinancing, repayment, forbearance, deferment, scholarships, and grants. Not all institutions offer these options, which can make finding a feasible solution difficult.
By: Imani Hicks