The New & Improved Say It I Dare You

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Sleeping is, apparently, a luxury I cannot afford. Class should be a blast this morning.
Thanks ladies. I have a lot to think about.

My sister is considering it and after she told me a little bit more about it, I became interested as well. She really wants to do it but I'm still wary. Both of us are mainly interested in it for paying back our student loans but I also know that this would require a lot of commitment and discipline (mentally, emotionally, and physically). That scares me a little bit, but what scares me more is the thought of having to struggle to pay back all those loans. I mean I knew this would soon come, but now that it's approaching I feel worried about it. Especially since I don't have anything lined up when I graduate this May. I don't even know what I want to really do. Sometimes I feel like coming to college was a huge mistake, financially. Even though I went to community college for 3 semesters, its still a lot of money I had to borrow.

I mentioned it to my mom and she was basically like no it's a stupid idea and blah blah blah. We barely had a conversation about it and she got mad at me for the thought of it. She is afraid of a lot of things and is very protective of us. It can be frustrating because she'll get mad and closed off at me when I bring up certain stuff that makes her uncomfortable and it really gets on my nerves. She has a tendency to make more rash decisions and not think about how her reactions affect me. She isn't like that with all things, but when it comes to things like politics and apparently the army, she's really close minded.
Originally Posted by CocoT

Coco on the subject of student loan debt...

In comparison to other debt (credit card, car note, random personal loans) student loan debt is considered GOOD debt, contrary to what some people say/think. The key is to make your student loan debt work in your favor and it can be done.

1. Consolidate your loans to a lower interest rate. If all your loans are Federal Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) this is the way to go. When I finished grad school, I consolidated my loans to a ridiculously low rate of like 2.5%. I set my payments to automatically draft out of my checking account online and save another .5% on that rate…so I pay about 2% interest. Interest rates are super low now. Check into loan consolidation through the Federal Government (now if your loans are private, I’m not too sure how that works but it might be worth looking into as well).
2. Get on a good repayment plan. In the beginning, it’s tempting to do the income based repayment plan because the initial payments are so low. I would recommend NOT doing that and here’s why. Yes, your payment might only be $120 for the first 1-2 years, but then it jumps every couple years after that because it “assumes” that your income will increase and so will your ability to repay. Yes, your income WILL increase, but so will your bills and you will be in a higher tax bracket which means you will not see that entire salary increase in your take home pay. Get on a payment plan that sets a low payment that doesn’t increase. Then when you have the extra money after a few pay increases, you can send extra money that is applied directly to the principle which will actually lower your balance much faster than paying a steadily increasing payment because most of that increased payment goes directly to interest and not the principle.
3. NEVER, EVER, EVER miss a payment. When I graduated, I prioritized my bills like this 1. Rent, 2. Student loan, 3. Everything else. Seriously if that meant I ate ramein noodles for a week at the end of the month that’s what I did. If I really just could not make that payment (I mean life happens, cars die you gotta buy gas, etc.), I called the servicing center and got a deferment. It’s basically when they put your payments on “hold” for a month…they don’t charge a late fee, it’s not reported on your credit, but the interest does get added. The worst thing to do is stick your head in the sand and just not pay or contact them.

This is where most folks mess up and once you are 90days late with a payment and go into default, your credit is JACKED forever and ever. Seriously. Federal Student loans has got to have some of the most lenient rules ever. If you call and say “I just ain’t got it this month” they will work with you. If you are unemployed, as long as you can show you are seeking employment, they will work with you. If you are on public assistance and they will work with you. What I’m saying is that as long as you are proactive in your repayment process, you will not have any problems. It’s the folks that stick their heads in the sand because they don’t have the money that get caught up and it’s a bear trying to work yourself out of that hole.
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As far as the reserve situation…my advice would be rather than go reserve, why not just enlist and go fulltime active duty? Believe it or not, in your situation, it has MUCH more benefits over reserve duty. You would be eligible to go to officer school which means more rank and higher pay/better benefits. Active duty folks tend to get deployed to active combat zones LESS than reserve duty folks, you would actually have a job, one that would allow your loans to be repayed by Uncle Sam, have a job and get job experience in your field (depending on what your major was/is and what branch you are looking at) not to mention all the other things that come with active duty military service (travel, paid housing and/or stipend, etc.). Once you leave, you have preference when applying for government jobs and most employers and graduate schools consider military experience one of like the top 3 things you can have on your resume.

Also, I don’t know if you have considered it, but grad school is also an option. If you go to grad school, your student loans are place on hold and do NOT accrue interest if they are subsidized (unsubsidized I think do bare interest but check to make sure). If you truly have no plans after graduation in May and no job prospects, graduate school maybe the way to go. I know it seems silly to get more loan debt but in this job market, most college grads will not get jobs for 1-2 years after graduation because the market is flooded with over-qualified and much more experienced candidates. With a graduate degree, it gives you a leg up and in most fields, getting a graduate degree counts as job experience. It will make you much more marketable and instead of going in at an entry level, you will be in a more Jr. position, which serves you better because the ability to get promoted up is better and easier when you enter into a company at a higher level.

I dunno…just some things to think about. I was in your position exactly 10 years ago (dayum it where does the time go) and my decision to go directly into graduate school was probably the best one that I could have made. Like you I have NO job prospects, didn't really know what I wanted to do, so I had to do some serious soul seaching and have a few "Come to Jesus" meetings. Yes, I got even more debt, but I came out making $30k MORE than my friends who went directly into the job force. Even now, I’m in much more Sr. position than most of them (even though we may have been promoted at a similar rate) and my pay is still considerably more than theirs. If you are not actively interviewing for internships, fellowships, or some employment after May, then you might want to consider graduate school too.
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also, i would like to say, yea you better pay your student loans and not try and avoid them, I have a sibling who did that and it ****ED my father's credit up, since he was his co signer...which henders me from getting student loans because they side eye my father's credit all the time.

also piggy backing off of ncc, about the military, yea umm if you go full-time active duty if you go to officer school, think about it, they're investing all this money into you, they're not gonna put you on the front lines of risky business, if ya know what I'm saying. (Oh and you could be captain one day, and dentists and doctors are captain ranked in the army, if ya know what I'm saying)...That's what my brother's recruiting officer told him, but my brother's a ranger now, so he wants the risky business, and is currently waiting for his call to deploy...and is excited. *sigh*
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Last edited by murrrcat; 02-28-2012 at 08:47 AM.
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Thanks ncc and turtles.

Grad school is on my list. It's actually higher than the military at this point. The thing is though, I haven't applied or taken the GRE yet so I don't have any grad school plans right away. My plan was to take at least a year off of school so that I can study for the GRE relatively stress free and take it while I'm off of school. Then apply to schools. I decided to do it this way because I can't afford to waste money on GRE tests ($160 a pop) by bombing them and retaking them. So by waiting till after I graduate I figured that it would be easier to focus on studying for it while I'm not focused on 5 other classes. And I know quite a few people that did poorly on their GRE's and had to retake them multiple times, even when they did study. Personally, I can't be about that life.

The military idea attracted me because of the benefits, which are looking pretty good to me at this point. There will be a recruiter here in a couple days so I'm gonna go see more information about it.

Regarding the student loans, I would definitely NOT be delinquent as much as I can help it. I ain't about fcuking up my credit for life so I will certainly not let that happen. I know I have 6 months after I graduate to get stuff together before I'm required to pay. I have federal loans so I will be consolidating them. My boss offerred me to stay working after I graduate if I don't have any plans. Hopefully that means I'll get a pay raise since I'm basically doing what the "full time" people do. I'm gonna try to find something back home though because my apartment lease is gonna be up and I'm not trying to live out here to much longer.

My mom just really stresses me out about the loan situation because she thinks I won't help pay them back, but I tell her that they're my loans and why would I not want to pay them back? She is so negative about everything and really has ridiculous expectations. I mean, she doesn't understand how stressful school is at all. I have a job now and take a full course load and she thinks I have it easy peasy. She assumes the worst and thinks that I don't care about anything and that just isn't true. I just really don't know what I want to do with my life. I need to have a serious conversation with my mom about this because she really doesn't get where I'm coming from. Everything I'm thinking about is because I am concerned about how the loans are gonna get paid off and my future.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds

-Albert Einstein
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I feel you I don't know what I want to do anymore. I just want out of school. I would totally work full time at my job after I graduate IF they paid more. I mean hell raise my pay every year and I'd stay. But I can't live off this pay unless I worked like a dog. I don't know how the full time non students make ends meet there, other than working two jobs.
Thanks ncc and turtles.

Grad school is on my list. It's actually higher than the military at this point. The thing is though, I haven't applied or taken the GRE yet so I don't have any grad school plans right away. My plan was to take at least a year off of school so that I can study for the GRE relatively stress free and take it while I'm off of school. Then apply to schools. I decided to do it this way because I can't afford to waste money on GRE tests ($160 a pop) by bombing them and retaking them. So by waiting till after I graduate I figured that it would be easier to focus on studying for it while I'm not focused on 5 other classes. And I know quite a few people that did poorly on their GRE's and had to retake them multiple times, even when they did study. Personally, I can't be about that life.

The military idea attracted me because of the benefits, which are looking pretty good to me at this point. There will be a recruiter here in a couple days so I'm gonna go see more information about it.

Regarding the student loans, I would definitely NOT be delinquent as much as I can help it. I ain't about fcuking up my credit for life so I will certainly not let that happen. I know I have 6 months after I graduate to get stuff together before I'm required to pay. I have federal loans so I will be consolidating them. My boss offerred me to stay working after I graduate if I don't have any plans. Hopefully that means I'll get a pay raise since I'm basically doing what the "full time" people do. I'm gonna try to find something back home though because my apartment lease is gonna be up and I'm not trying to live out here to much longer.

My mom just really stresses me out about the loan situation because she thinks I won't help pay them back, but I tell her that they're my loans and why would I not want to pay them back? She is so negative about everything and really has ridiculous expectations. I mean, she doesn't understand how stressful school is at all. I have a job now and take a full course load and she thinks I have it easy peasy. She assumes the worst and thinks that I don't care about anything and that just isn't true. I just really don't know what I want to do with my life. I need to have a serious conversation with my mom about this because she really doesn't get where I'm coming from. Everything I'm thinking about is because I am concerned about how the loans are gonna get paid off and my future.
Originally Posted by CocoT
Have you considered AmeriCorps? The benefits are good (student loan forgivness or money for college) as well as job experience. I'm most likely going to apply this year as well as joining the Navy Reserves.

AmeriCorps.gov > Benefits of AmeriCorps Service
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Thanks ncc and turtles.

Grad school is on my list. It's actually higher than the military at this point. The thing is though, I haven't applied or taken the GRE yet so I don't have any grad school plans right away. My plan was to take at least a year off of school so that I can study for the GRE relatively stress free and take it while I'm off of school. Then apply to schools. I decided to do it this way because I can't afford to waste money on GRE tests ($160 a pop) by bombing them and retaking them. So by waiting till after I graduate I figured that it would be easier to focus on studying for it while I'm not focused on 5 other classes. And I know quite a few people that did poorly on their GRE's and had to retake them multiple times, even when they did study. Personally, I can't be about that life.

The military idea attracted me because of the benefits, which are looking pretty good to me at this point. There will be a recruiter here in a couple days so I'm gonna go see more information about it.

Regarding the student loans, I would definitely NOT be delinquent as much as I can help it. I ain't about fcuking up my credit for life so I will certainly not let that happen. I know I have 6 months after I graduate to get stuff together before I'm required to pay. I have federal loans so I will be consolidating them. My boss offerred me to stay working after I graduate if I don't have any plans. Hopefully that means I'll get a pay raise since I'm basically doing what the "full time" people do. I'm gonna try to find something back home though because my apartment lease is gonna be up and I'm not trying to live out here to much longer.

My mom just really stresses me out about the loan situation because she thinks I won't help pay them back, but I tell her that they're my loans and why would I not want to pay them back? She is so negative about everything and really has ridiculous expectations. I mean, she doesn't understand how stressful school is at all. I have a job now and take a full course load and she thinks I have it easy peasy. She assumes the worst and thinks that I don't care about anything and that just isn't true. I just really don't know what I want to do with my life. I need to have a serious conversation with my mom about this because she really doesn't get where I'm coming from. Everything I'm thinking about is because I am concerned about how the loans are gonna get paid off and my future.
Originally Posted by CocoT
If you are considering grad school...my suggestion...do NOT take entire year off just to study for the GRE. Seriously...the GRE is not that hard. It's like the SAT+. The most difficult math is Calculus, the written section is basic college english. Anyone that bombed the GRE THAT bad just did not prepare at all or is a poor test taker. When I took it, the written portion was optional so I took the analytical secion (which was more important as a science person anyway).

I took the GRE twice...the first time I didn't even look at a practice test and the second time I took it after studying for a bit. Even after the first blind test, my scores granted me admission in grad school, but I took it again because I need fellowships and to be competitive I needed a higher GRE score to go with my grades.

At MOST I'd suggest taking a semester off and even then I'd take the GRE by the end of the summer and start apply for schools in the fall for the Spring admissions.

Here's why I say don't take off the entire year....once you get out of the habit of studying and start making money...any money...its HARD to go back to being a broke ass college student. I've seen WAY too many people with that game plan that never make it back to grad school. Life starts getting in the way, bills start rolling in, other obligations happen and then you look up and you've been out of school for 5 years.
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Thanks ncc and turtles.

Grad school is on my list. It's actually higher than the military at this point. The thing is though, I haven't applied or taken the GRE yet so I don't have any grad school plans right away. My plan was to take at least a year off of school so that I can study for the GRE relatively stress free and take it while I'm off of school. Then apply to schools. I decided to do it this way because I can't afford to waste money on GRE tests ($160 a pop) by bombing them and retaking them. So by waiting till after I graduate I figured that it would be easier to focus on studying for it while I'm not focused on 5 other classes. And I know quite a few people that did poorly on their GRE's and had to retake them multiple times, even when they did study. Personally, I can't be about that life.

The military idea attracted me because of the benefits, which are looking pretty good to me at this point. There will be a recruiter here in a couple days so I'm gonna go see more information about it.

Regarding the student loans, I would definitely NOT be delinquent as much as I can help it. I ain't about fcuking up my credit for life so I will certainly not let that happen. I know I have 6 months after I graduate to get stuff together before I'm required to pay. I have federal loans so I will be consolidating them. My boss offerred me to stay working after I graduate if I don't have any plans. Hopefully that means I'll get a pay raise since I'm basically doing what the "full time" people do. I'm gonna try to find something back home though because my apartment lease is gonna be up and I'm not trying to live out here to much longer.

My mom just really stresses me out about the loan situation because she thinks I won't help pay them back, but I tell her that they're my loans and why would I not want to pay them back? She is so negative about everything and really has ridiculous expectations. I mean, she doesn't understand how stressful school is at all. I have a job now and take a full course load and she thinks I have it easy peasy. She assumes the worst and thinks that I don't care about anything and that just isn't true. I just really don't know what I want to do with my life. I need to have a serious conversation with my mom about this because she really doesn't get where I'm coming from. Everything I'm thinking about is because I am concerned about how the loans are gonna get paid off and my future.
Originally Posted by CocoT
If you are considering grad school...my suggestion...do NOT take entire year off just to study for the GRE. Seriously...the GRE is not that hard. It's like the SAT+. The most difficult math is Calculus, the written section is basic college english. Anyone that bombed the GRE THAT bad just did not prepare at all or is a poor test taker. When I took it, the written portion was optional so I took the analytical secion (which was more important as a science person anyway).

I took the GRE twice...the first time I didn't even look at a practice test and the second time I took it after studying for a bit. Even after the first blind test, my scores granted me admission in grad school, but I took it again because I need fellowships and to be competitive I needed a higher GRE score to go with my grades.

At MOST I'd suggest taking a semester off and even then I'd take the GRE by the end of the summer and start apply for schools in the fall for the Spring admissions.

Here's why I say don't take off the entire year....once you get out of the habit of studying and start making money...any money...its HARD to go back to being a broke ass college student. I've seen WAY too many people with that game plan that never make it back to grad school. Life starts getting in the way, bills start rolling in, other obligations happen and then you look up and you've been out of school for 5 years.
Originally Posted by Nappy_curly_crown
Oh no I'm not taking an entire year just to study for the GRE. I just want to take my time with the whole process of taking the test, applying to schools, preparing my application, etc. That's a lot of work in itself. I don't like rushing to do things and I'm not even sure what kind of program I'd go into when I apply to schools. I have a couple ideas, but I'm not 100% on all of them. I'm not even 50% on all of them because I have so many interests.

I'm gonna take the actual test probably in the fall. That was my goal. I'm not a good test taker so I need to prepare for the GRE. I never had to take the SAT, but my ACT score was laughable (at least to me now). The saving grace to getting accepted into college for me has been my high gpa. I just can't dedicate enough time or patience to preparing for the test at the present. I heard they changed the test and I want to have a competitive score.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds

-Albert Einstein
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Have you considered AmeriCorps? The benefits are good (student loan forgivness or money for college) as well as job experience. I'm most likely going to apply this year as well as joining the Navy Reserves.

AmeriCorps.gov > Benefits of AmeriCorps Service
Originally Posted by afrosheenqueen
No but I've looked into Teach for America and I was rejected.

I'll look into this though. I don't think I've heard about this one.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds

-Albert Einstein
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have you thought about taking a Kaplan GRE course? In addition to lots of practice tests that I've heard are almost EXACTLY like the GRE or MCAT, they teach practical test taking skills which might help if you are not a good test taker. I'm not sure the cost, but that's an option and might be well worth the expense. I knew lots of people that used Kaplan for the MCAT prep course and they all got great scores and were admitting into medical/dental school easily.
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Have you considered AmeriCorps? The benefits are good (student loan forgivness or money for college) as well as job experience. I'm most likely going to apply this year as well as joining the Navy Reserves.

AmeriCorps.gov > Benefits of AmeriCorps Service
Originally Posted by afrosheenqueen
No but I've looked into Teach for America and I was rejected.

I'll look into this though. I don't think I've heard about this one.
Originally Posted by CocoT
don't feel bad about being reject by them. a girl i know was rejected and she had like a 3.8 GPA, PLUS about 3 yrs TEACHING experience at a charter school in harlem. she's only 21, hasn't completed her degree yet (graduates this semester), and has more experience and credentials than a lot of the ppl who apply and get accepted... something aint right w/ TFA
Thanks ladies. I have a lot to think about.

My sister is considering it and after she told me a little bit more about it, I became interested as well. She really wants to do it but I'm still wary. Both of us are mainly interested in it for paying back our student loans but I also know that this would require a lot of commitment and discipline (mentally, emotionally, and physically). That scares me a little bit, but what scares me more is the thought of having to struggle to pay back all those loans. I mean I knew this would soon come, but now that it's approaching I feel worried about it. Especially since I don't have anything lined up when I graduate this May. I don't even know what I want to really do. Sometimes I feel like coming to college was a huge mistake, financially. Even though I went to community college for 3 semesters, its still a lot of money I had to borrow.

I mentioned it to my mom and she was basically like no it's a stupid idea and blah blah blah. We barely had a conversation about it and she got mad at me for the thought of it. She is afraid of a lot of things and is very protective of us. It can be frustrating because she'll get mad and closed off at me when I bring up certain stuff that makes her uncomfortable and it really gets on my nerves. She has a tendency to make more rash decisions and not think about how her reactions affect me. She isn't like that with all things, but when it comes to things like politics and apparently the army, she's really close minded.
Originally Posted by CocoT
Hi CocoT,

I know a lot of ladies have already chimed in but I wanted to tell you my experience. Brief history: Started dating my husband in 2007 and after about six months he told me he wanted to join the Army. Of course, I was like have you lost your mind..but it was something he really wanted to do especially after accumulating so much student loan debt from undergrad and grad school. So off to basic he went in Sept. 2008 then he went to OCS and was stationed in KY soon after. He stayed at Fort Campbell for about five months and then he was deployed but we knew he was going before he was PCSed(permanent change of station).

Being deployed depends on the base. Some of the people he graduated with didn't even deploy. Some people get looked at funny who don't have a deployment patch but to me I wouldnt give a da*m about that. My husband spent three years in and now he's "out", the army can still call upon him if they "need him". They paid off over $60,000 worth of his federal student loans. Right now deployments are being cut to 9 mos and less since they are supposed to be pulling out. But with so much strife happening right now, there is no telling where the next president will send troops. My DH thinks they be heading to Iran but who knows.

You should talk to a recruiter if you are truly interested but weigh your options. I thought about doing it too but after thinking hard about it, I knew I don't have the stamina for it. I know they are cutting back on loan repayment but I think that they are just not paying back loans from grad school.

I know this is a crazy long post. But if you have any questions, please feel free to pm me. If I don't know the answer, trust me, I will find out
@ ncc, the Kaplan gre courses are over $1000 so that's not something I can do. But I have gone to a practice test session (didn't do to well.lol).

@keeny, I have a high gpa too and my personal statement was pretty good, at least I thought so. But to be honest I wasn't devastated for not getting in. I was annoyed that I went thru all the trouble but as I got more and more into it I realized that I don't want to be a teacher anyways.


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Thanks ladies. I have a lot to think about.

My sister is considering it and after she told me a little bit more about it, I became interested as well. She really wants to do it but I'm still wary. Both of us are mainly interested in it for paying back our student loans but I also know that this would require a lot of commitment and discipline (mentally, emotionally, and physically). That scares me a little bit, but what scares me more is the thought of having to struggle to pay back all those loans. I mean I knew this would soon come, but now that it's approaching I feel worried about it. Especially since I don't have anything lined up when I graduate this May. I don't even know what I want to really do. Sometimes I feel like coming to college was a huge mistake, financially. Even though I went to community college for 3 semesters, its still a lot of money I had to borrow.

I mentioned it to my mom and she was basically like no it's a stupid idea and blah blah blah. We barely had a conversation about it and she got mad at me for the thought of it. She is afraid of a lot of things and is very protective of us. It can be frustrating because she'll get mad and closed off at me when I bring up certain stuff that makes her uncomfortable and it really gets on my nerves. She has a tendency to make more rash decisions and not think about how her reactions affect me. She isn't like that with all things, but when it comes to things like politics and apparently the army, she's really close minded.
Originally Posted by CocoT
Hi CocoT,

I know a lot of ladies have already chimed in but I wanted to tell you my experience. Brief history: Started dating my husband in 2007 and after about six months he told me he wanted to join the Army. Of course, I was like have you lost your mind..but it was something he really wanted to do especially after accumulating so much student loan debt from undergrad and grad school. So off to basic he went in Sept. 2008 then he went to OCS and was stationed in KY soon after. He stayed at Fort Campbell for about five months and then he was deployed but we knew he was going before he was PCSed(permanent change of station).

Being deployed depends on the base. Some of the people he graduated with didn't even deploy. Some people get looked at funny who don't have a deployment patch but to me I wouldnt give a da*m about that. My husband spent three years in and now he's "out", the army can still call upon him if they "need him". They paid off over $60,000 worth of his federal student loans. Right now deployments are being cut to 9 mos and less since they are supposed to be pulling out. But with so much strife happening right now, there is no telling where the next president will send troops. My DH thinks they be heading to Iran but who knows.

You should talk to a recruiter if you are truly interested but weigh your options. I thought about doing it too but after thinking hard about it, I knew I don't have the stamina for it. I know they are cutting back on loan repayment but I think that they are just not paying back loans from grad school.

I know this is a crazy long post. But if you have any questions, please feel free to pm me. If I don't know the answer, trust me, I will find out
Originally Posted by NaturalAKA
Thanks for your input. I really appreciate it. And i don't mind long posts at all





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