Lots of times people ask me questions by email, and I love to receive them. This has made me think that readers might be interested in a Q&A feature on Almost Frugal. Many people have responded saying that they would love to see a regular question and answer feature, and I’m more than happy to oblige!
To start things off this week, I thought I would publish the answer to a question a reader sent me about student loans. She wrote (and I’ve edited for privacy and length):
I’m going back to school in August to complete my master’s degree which will take 4 years if I go part-time and 2 years if I go full time. Do you think it would be better for me in the long run to quit my job (~30k a year) and just live off of student loans and finish school in 2 years or to continue to work FT while taking 4 years for school? What, in your opinion, is the best course of action? Take out bigger student loans and fnish in less time and increase my earning potential faster, or take my time and hypothetically come out with less debt?
She’s young, with a good job and no debt aside from a small mortgage payment, and from what she wrote, it sounds like she’s got her financial act together. I wrote back:
It sounds like you are in a really good financial state right now. If I were you, I would take longer to go to school and take out fewer student loans. After all, you don’t have any certainty that you will find a good, well paying job after you graduate, but you do know that student loan payments will start six months after you finish! Just my 2 cents.
Good luck in any case- I know it’s a hard decision to make. But you seem quite thoughtful, so whatever decision you end up making will be the best one for you.
She’s certainly a lot more financially aware than I was at her age. I wonder if the financial crisis is also playing a role in her decision making process? After all, this is not a great time to quit a job and take on debt, even for as noble and worthy a goal of continuing one’s education.
What advice would you give someone in this situation?
Frugal Q&A is now a regular Thursday feature!
You have five ways to send me your questions: