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# Carrying debt when heading to b-school

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18 Mar 2010, 18:22
I need advice. I have some debt, unpaid car loan and some revolving credit card debt. I am heading to business school this Fall and I would like to know what my best options are.
A friend of mine suggesting taking out a loan to pay off my debt. Are there other options outside of paying it off. I would like to keep my car if possible. Thoughts?
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18 Mar 2010, 19:14
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if you don't have much credit card debt, i would pay it off from savings or your pay checks (just tighten your budget over the next few months), although i'm sure most of us will end up using them again while trying to make ends meet as struggling students. i also have a car loan, i plan on selling my car (hopefully to a private buyer, if not, then to a dealer) and paying whatever difference there is between the sell price and what i owe (i'll never buy brand new again ), there's no way to pay for it while in school unless i hid it in my living expenses, but i don't see the point in paying a loan with a loan.
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19 Mar 2010, 06:30
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Generally speaking, you'll want to pay down as much debt as possible before entering school, since the lack of income while you're in school means you're making debt payments from savings or from student loans. That said, I know several people who have cars here and are making car payments, so it is possible. It's really up to you to decide whether having a car at school is worth the expense considering your student budget.

I would still recommend paying off as much credit card debt as you can, since there's really no upside to carrying credit card debt. Taking out a loan to pay off credit cards may make sense, if you can get an interest rate that's significantly lower and if you can afford the payments on the new loan while in school (credit cards generally have lower payment requirements than most loans).
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23 Mar 2010, 05:12
What Jerz is saying makes a lot of sense, especially regarding your credit card debts. For example, I am not sure what the interest rate on GradPlus loan is (I am fortunately not taking out any debt to pay for bschool), but I think it is around 9-10%. That is significantly lower than most credit card APR%. Therefore, I would probably take out additional loan at lower rate and payoff at least your credit card debt.
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23 Mar 2010, 07:39
nink wrote:
What Jerz is saying makes a lot of sense, especially regarding your credit card debts. For example, I am not sure what the interest rate on GradPlus loan is (I am fortunately not taking out any debt to pay for bschool), but I think it is around 9-10%. That is significantly lower than most credit card APR%. Therefore, I would probably take out additional loan at lower rate and payoff at least your credit card debt.

Right now, GradPLUS is 7.9% if your school participates in the direct lending program (money comes right from the govt) or 8.5% if it doesn't (money comes from a bank, with a govt guarantee). Many schools (including Northwestern) have switched to the direct lending program for the upcoming academic year in anticipation of the Obama administration doing away with bank involvement in student lending (a provision to do just that is included in the healthcare "reconciliation" bill that passed the House and is now in the Senate), but I don't know if the direct lending program will stay with the 7.9% rates once they're the only game in town.
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28 Feb 2016, 15:06
Why would you take out a loan to pay off your debt? Do you mean a consolidation loan? I don't think that going to business school should have much of an impact on how you deal with existing debt. It's not like buying a home where you can improve your credit score and therefore have some incentive to paying off your debt before taking on the new loan. Pay it down at the same rate as you were before school.
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Re: Carrying debt when heading to b-school   [#permalink] 28 Feb 2016, 15:06
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