T’errah is like lots of us: She feels guilty about all the money her parents are taking out in loans to send her to school. T’errah feels especially guilty because her school is very expensive. But she’s loving it to death.
I am a rising sophomore in college. I am in a huge dilemma right now because I cannot afford to stay at the school that I am enrolled in. I attend an out-of-state school costing me about 36K-37K a year (including housing).
Man. That’s some serious expensiveness there, m’friend.
I really love my school, but I do not want to place my parents in such a long debt path. I really need help on deciding what to do.
An admirable thought, for sure. Where do your parents stand on the issue? How much annual debt are they incurring to keep you there, and can they handle it financially? If they don’t care, and they can handle it just fine, then I wouldn’t worry about it.
However, parents are known to grit their teeth and smile even if something is killing them as long as they know it’s making their little girl happy. If my daughter desperately wanted to stay somewhere that she was in love with, I’d probably start robbing convenience stores before I could tell her no.
You know your parents better than we do — would they tell you if it was killing them? Or would they just grin and bear it?
I know that I could transfer, but here’s the problem: I LOVE MY SCHOOL! I don’t know if I’ll be happy at another school.
OK. What is it that you love so much about your school? Look at both schools and ask yourself — is there reason to believe that I might find the same things to love at the new, cheaper school? Will you be able to accept a situation that’s a little less good than the one you’re in now, buoyed by the knowledge that you’ve eased a lot of your parents’ financial stress?
Another obvious question here is the quality of education. If you transfer, will you still graduate with similar earning power as you would if you stayed put? If not, then you may want to stay put. If you’ll have significantly more income if you stay, then you can afford to pay your parents back more money after you’re out in the working world.
Which brings me to another point. If you’re serious about relieving some of your folks’ financial discomfort from the loans, then resolve to help them pay once you’re out of school. You don’t have to make the whole payment, of course, but you could vow to scrape together $100-$150 per month and send it to them. Every little bit helps!
Please inform me of what ways I can alleviate this situation. I’ve received financial aid from the fed government but it is absolutely not enough. I have already taken out a stafford loan, do you recommend doing private student loans? Please help, and thank you for your time.
Most of this really depends on your parents and your relationship with them. If you’re really tight with them, then my suggestion above actually works out better for everyone. Your parents are going to get a better rate on a PLUS loan than you’ll get on a private student loan. So whoever’s paying the lender — whether it’s them, or whether it’s you via them (by sending your parents some money every month) — you’ll pay less interest that way.
It also builds in an extra layer of protection for you, because your parents aren’t going to bust your credit score if you get in a pinch and have to miss a payment (although I’m sure we can agree that if you can possibly pay them, you should, if that’s what you’ve agreed to).
— Anyone else out there paying Mom & Dad back for the loans they took out to send you to college? Let us know in the comments below.