My Student Loan Profile, Dec. 18 Update

Here’s a screenshot of my student loan balance over the years. The balance you’re seeing is my combined undergraduate and graduate programs. Oh, how I wish I had parents who could have helped me pay for school. I’m envious of the classmates and SRNAs who go through their nurse anesthesia program debt-free. I refinanced my student loans a few times. The first time was with SoFi because I could not fathom paying back my government and private loans at such a high rate. 3.5% through SoFi was pretty good. That was until I came across First Republic which was and is offering THE lowest rates you’ll ever find for student loans. Initially, I refinanced to 1.95% over 5 years because I was hell bent on paying my loans down.

That was until I came across an incredible opportunity to purchase a rental property that has allowed me to earn more money versus paying down my student loans. As a result, I ended up refinancing my First Republic loans to 2.60% over 10 years in order to free up money to focus on renovating the rental, which allowed me to increase my rent by nearly ~32%. My monthly payments are now $944 compared to $2,118, freeing up over $1000 a month for me to invest in the property. Sure, the overall interest that I’ll be paying with the 10 year versus 5 year loan is over $7,000, but I’m making that back in the form of rent within the first year of renting.

Plus, and this is one of those stupid mind games we play with ourselves to justify spending (losing) money to interest payments, I figured that the additional $7,000 can easily be made up with working 8-9 private practice shifts. Easy! That’s 2 weeks of extra work in order to extend my loan balance from 5 to 10 years. Plus, if you think about, the longer you hold off on paying your student loans off, especially with such a low interest rate, the cost of borrowing that money actually diminishes over time, particularly when you take into account inflation. 

Since obtaining the rental property, I’ve pivoted my thinking from wanting to pay off my loans as quickly as possible to maximizing the value of the money I’ve made in the form of other investments. So as long as those investments are earning more than what I’d save in interest payments by paying down my student loans, then I’m good to go.

Student Loan

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2 thoughts on “My Student Loan Profile, Dec. 18 Update

  1. So I have a quick question. I have consolidated my first round of student loans for my nursing degree. I don’t have that much built up in debt besides my car that I got after getting a job as a nurse. I am paying about 350 a month on it. I just got into Missouri State’s program and am curious as to just how much I can qualify for to help not only pay for school but for my costs of living such as books, gas, insurance, apartment, food, etc. I have some saved but not much. I am 26 never married, and no kids, so I do not mind taking on the debt for this is a life long career that I have dreamed about. I just was curious to see what I can expect to get for my student loans knowing that school with cost about 70k plus. If the grad loans are true that you can only get 20,500 out a year, that means that I will have to take out personal loans each year to live off of. Is my understanding of this correct?

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    1. Hi

      So, you’re correct in that the graduate/professional limit for federal loans is $20,500. However, I believe there are other federal loans that you may qualify for so as long as your aggregate federal loan balance (from undergraduate and graduate) does not exceed a certain amount (last I read, it was a little over $120k).

      A few caveats:

      1) The federal government does offer loans to students enrolled in a health professions program. However, you’d need to verify how the government defines health professions.

      2) If nurse anesthesia qualifies for a health professions loan, the amount you can borrow will probably be greater than the $20,500 limit.

      3) Yes, you’re correct in that whatever remaining balance you need to borrow to pay for school would have to be done through a bank. That’s what I did. I signed up with Discover (health professions loan). In fact, I decided against borrowing federal money because my loans were going to be unsubsidized AND the interest rate was somewhere in the 5-7% range. I ultimately financed my graduate training through a bank because my interest rate during school was 3-4%, so the interest I was accumulating over that period was going to be lesser than if I had gone through the federal government.

      Hopefully, this helps.

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