Hi Terry,
I have recently decided to go back to school to pursue a new career. As excited as I am, the thought of paying for 2 more years of schooling, along with my previous loans is causing worry and stress. I am writing you today in hopes of obtaining assistance as I move forward in my new career. I have both private and federal loans from my undergraduate degree and now I will need to take out more. Is there anyone who works one-on-one with individuals? I live in the Orland area and and looking for someone who can evaluate my current situation and guide me in the right direction for the fall.


Terry Says:  OK, this is a tough one.  Yes, there are strategies for lowering the interest payments on your loans — but not for lowering your balances, unless you have a chunk of money and can prepay some of those loans. Going to school again will put them in deferment — but the interest will keep piling on.  Eventually the balance will be huge — and eventually you will have to start paying.

So I am going to ask you a VERY tough question:  Do you REALLY need to go to school to pursue a new career?  Or is this a way of temporarily getting out from under the burden of repayment???  Be honest with yourself.   Will this “new career” be worth the cost — not only in the NEW loans you’ll need, but in the interest that will build on the old ones?  Could you work part time and go to school evenings to get this new degree?  Are you sure the career will pay for itself — and for your old loans — in the future.

Please don’t be misled by glowing promises from trade schools about jobs.  Yes, jobs will be there, but you might be better starting for a company, impressing them, and then maybe they will help pay for your next degree.  I have seen too many people trapped with huge student loans that are not worth the time, money, and burden of getting them.

If you still want to take on this burden for good reasons go to www.FinAid.org to see your options for dealing with your current student loans, and also www.IBRInfo.org.