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MBA Financing -- $0 Savings. Am I Screwed?

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MBA Financing -- $0 Savings. Am I Screwed? [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2013, 05:47
Let's just say I made some very poor financial decisions over the past 3 years or so. I'll be matriculating in business school Fall 2014. Unfortunately, with my current debts, I'll be struggling just to pay those off and get to a clean slate status prior to matriculating.

That leaves me with literally $0 saved up for business school beforehand.

I can empty out my retirement account, but of course that comes with penalties.

Family is not an option. For career reasons, delaying the MBA is also not an option.

Where does that leave me? I'm okay taking out a max loan, but will that be enough? I read that government loans have limits that don't come anywhere close to the $180K or whatever all-in budget that an MBA requires. Is it even possible to borrow 100% of MBA costs (e.g., housing, food, books, any necessary travel)?

HELP! Seriously stressed right now looking through my accounts.
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Re: MBA Financing -- $0 Savings. Am I Screwed? [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2013, 06:27
pennyless wrote:
Let's just say I made some very poor financial decisions over the past 3 years or so. I'll be matriculating in business school Fall 2014. Unfortunately, with my current debts, I'll be struggling just to pay those off and get to a clean slate status prior to matriculating.

That leaves me with literally $0 saved up for business school beforehand.

I can empty out my retirement account, but of course that comes with penalties.

Family is not an option. For career reasons, delaying the MBA is also not an option.

Where does that leave me? I'm okay taking out a max loan, but will that be enough? I read that government loans have limits that don't come anywhere close to the $180K or whatever all-in budget that an MBA requires. Is it even possible to borrow 100% of MBA costs (e.g., housing, food, books, any necessary travel)?

HELP! Seriously stressed right now looking through my accounts.


I dont think you'll be able to live very flashy... and you should def have some money when you get there (maybe carry in a little debt?) because your loan money wont be paid out until the first week of classes (at least that's how it works at Johnson, they recommend coming in with 5K). Are you cool with eating ramen, and PB&Js... drinking PBR or Natty Light?

You'll figure out a way to make it... just expect to live like a college student again.
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Re: MBA Financing -- $0 Savings. Am I Screwed? [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2013, 13:28
Talk to a financial advisor about your retirement. I was told that if you move your 401K to an IRA you are exempt from fees if the funds are used for school. You'll only have to pay taxes on it as income when you file. I don't know it all in detail, but plan on talking to my bank about it tomorrow. So, dont take my word for it quite yet! lol.

Trust not everyone has saved tons of money for school. I literally decided to go back to school last October. And spent the last year making sure past student loans were all in good standing (multiple ways to do this in time for school). Alot of what I had saved was spent on tutors, GMATs, and just life. lol. I do have a fellowship, but will still need loans for living expenses (a roof and food would be nice)

The expense that worries me the most is MOVING. I feel like everything is going to that before I even step foot on campus. But oh well. It's worth it....right? LOL.

Honestly, I'd really suggest getting a financial advisor. You don't need a lot of money to take advantage of their knowledge. When I move to campus I have a standing appointment with one. I told him I dont have money to invest, but I want a plan of action to make sure I'm as responsible as I can while a student so when I graduate I never have to deal with the problems I set myself up for in the past when I didn't understand loans and finances.
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Re: MBA Financing -- $0 Savings. Am I Screwed? [#permalink] New post 01 May 2013, 13:45
You can withdraw from your IRA or 401k to pay for education expenses (might be limited to just tuition, not sure) without penalty. You should also look into need-based scholarships, it sounds like you might qualify.

How much debt do you have now and what is the interest rate? I'd be more worried about that piling up fast if you have no income. Also, you might have a hard time getting a private loan if your credit is bad. You are correct that federal loans will not nearly cover the amount you need to take out.
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Re: MBA Financing -- $0 Savings. Am I Screwed? [#permalink] New post 08 May 2013, 20:35
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I have had classmates in somewhat similar (dire) situation and they either took jobs or couch surfed.... things happen (one was sued and another just did not plan very well - you won't be alone, I can tell you that but probably not going to be a very comfy lifestyle...) it is an education though. Think of it this way - You will get out of the MBA much more than your classmates.

If you don't mind me asking, is it a top 20/50/100 school?

P.S. you can consider rolling over debt on the credit cards if you have access to a good credit line. Interest rates are low and many banks will provide you with a zero APR offer (in exchange for a 4% transfer fee for up to 18 months or even longer). I did that for a while and I am sure a few other folks did too but you gotta be careful not to run past that deadline or the house of cards will collapse.
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Re: MBA Financing -- $0 Savings. Am I Screwed? [#permalink] New post 09 May 2013, 10:41
In a similar situation. Worked in my family business so never got paid. Lived with patents so never felt the need. Family supposed to fund MBA but now subtly refusing. Family willing to show funds for visa but won't pay fees. No money in hand. Admits from top 50 (10%l scholarship) and top 75(60% scholarship). how realistic is paying for a FTMBA by working part time / TA / RAing. .??
Fees ~50k / year
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Re: MBA Financing -- $0 Savings. Am I Screwed? [#permalink] New post 09 May 2013, 11:36
Credit Cards - yes, Chase Slate often offers a 0% interest rate for a year or so, then you have to roll the debt to another card, if you close the Chase card right after you transfer the debt you can open a new one on the same 0% terms in another year. Also many Miles cards, United Airways, etc give 25000 miles by opening a card, Bank of America often gives a high limit and they are happy to raise it - if this is your only option.

Were you a flashy spender? If so, maybe you have some stuff you can sell on ebay, just don't go on ebay and get addicted to shopping, if you are female maybe you have some extra purses or shoes you can sell, if male, tie tacks, some suits, watches. You could make a few hundred dollars a month on ebay if you really try, you will be surprised how people want your old stuff, even books! Good luck! Can you work until you start your program, stretch that out, maybe even get a second job now until time for school to start, not glamourous, but you can try and find a job that pays comission, shoe sales for example can get you $300 a day or more on a good weekend sale day.

If you are a good talker, telemarketing is always hiring, don't be completely honest in your interview, i.e. this is not a temporary thing - I made that mistake once lol - and I was not hired - you can usually make an hourly rate $13 plus comission, the phone company and new phone companies other than the bell companies are always hiring because turnover is high. You get comission for selling and for saving customers that want to cancel, try those departments, high stress, but the extra cash is the goal here. Good luck from a fellow overspender!
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Re: MBA Financing -- $0 Savings. Am I Screwed? [#permalink] New post 09 May 2013, 13:01
maglian wrote:
In a similar situation. Worked in my family business so never got paid. Lived with patents so never felt the need. Family supposed to fund MBA but now subtly refusing. Family willing to show funds for visa but won't pay fees. No money in hand. Admits from top 50 (10%l scholarship) and top 75(60% scholarship). how realistic is paying for a FTMBA by working part time / TA / RAing. .??
Fees ~50k / year


I think it would be very, very difficult to earn 50k / year while doing a FT MBA. A TA position might pull in $15-20k. Depending upon what industry you intern in, you might make another ~$20k in the summer after your first year. That still leaves you $40k short over the full two years. You should talk to your school's financial aid office to see if they will cosign a loan for an international student. I would think twice about forking over $50k / year in tuition to a school that's not in the top 25 though. The ROI is not nearly as good on such schools.
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Re: MBA Financing -- $0 Savings. Am I Screwed? [#permalink] New post 13 May 2013, 09:35
Thanks all for the responses. Looks like this isn't completely uncharted territory. As long as it's doable whether from jobs, scholarships, and financial aid, that's all I need. I hope to at the very least be in 0 debt when I enroll.. which means the money I do take in will be used for housing, food, etc. and won't need to go towards other bills.

To the user above who asked what caliber school... top 10 that I'm not too concerned about finding an internship/job.
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Re: MBA Financing -- $0 Savings. Am I Screwed? [#permalink] New post 01 Jun 2013, 19:12
I would try to go to a school where you can get a scholarship/graduate assistantship. I have very little savings myself besides IRA money and my financial aid package/GA/Loans will be more than enough. Just try to do as well as you can on the GMAT, write great essays and try to add value to a program and someone will hopefully pony up some $$.
Re: MBA Financing -- $0 Savings. Am I Screwed?   [#permalink] 01 Jun 2013, 19:12
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