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Advice for Career Switcher w/Student Loans

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yangshen
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Advice for Career Switcher w/Student Loans  Reply with quote  

Hello everyone! First-time poster.

I'm a 25-year-old teacher with about $16k in student loan debt. For about a year I've been aggressively paying those down with every bit of surplus I get. However, I've decided to go back to school to become a physician assistant, and I'm going to have to borrow more money.

Question is: Is it wise to keep killing these loans when I'm about to bury them under more loans in 6 months? Or am I better off saving that money so that I don't have to borrow "quite" as much?
Post Sat Feb 28, 2015 3:33 pm
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Wino
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Re: Advice for Career Switcher w/Student Loans  Reply with quote  

quote:
Originally posted by yangshen
...I'm going to have to borrow more money.

Question is: Is it wise to keep killing these loans when I'm about to bury them under more loans in 6 months? Or am I better off saving that money so that I don't have to borrow "quite" as much?

It would be wiser to pay off these loans first, then save up to pay to become a physician's assistant, or to find a job where they will pay for your school while you are studying to become a physician's assistant.

You obviously hate your student loans now. Why are you so eager to get more of them?
Post Sat Feb 28, 2015 5:02 pm
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oldguy
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What is your current education - BA, BS? Will most of your science/math courses transfer to the RN program? You'll probably start by getting your BSRN, perhaps at that juncture you could work as an RN while working on your PA degree. Your employer might pay a big part of the costs - plus you could cash flow much of the school cost with your RN salary.
Post Sat Feb 28, 2015 5:46 pm
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yangshen
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With my current earnings, it'll take me 3 years to pay down the debt. That's the same amount of time it will take me to finish the degree, which will triple my salary even at the most conservative levels.
Post Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:39 pm
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oldguy
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quote:
which will triple my salary even at the most conservative levels.


Ok, but be sure that you are correct about the future salaries of the two jobs.
I have friend in VA, a shop teacher, he teaches Junior High, his salary is $70,000. I don't have any friends who are PA's but I'm guessing that they don't earn $210,000?

Plus - I doubt that you can find a program that will take you from a Edu degree to a PA in only 3 years?
Post Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:17 pm
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Wino
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quote:
Originally posted by yangshen
With my current earnings, it'll take me 3 years to pay down the debt. That's the same amount of time it will take me to finish the degree, which will triple my salary even at the most conservative levels.

$5K per year? You need to cut your lifestyle. Even at $40K per year, you should be able to pay off $16K more quickly than that. You're rationalizing, not reasoning.
Post Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:17 pm
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Publius
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Oldguy, you might be thinking of a nurse practitioner degree, PA school doesn't require RN credentials or a science degree as long as the prerequisite courses have been taken.

yangshen, PA's are in pretty good demand right now, but 3X a teacher's salary is a stretch for starting out, so if that is what you are basing your tolerance of the debt on, look at the starting salaries for your area and your specialty interest. A PA with experience in a surgical specialty certainly can get up into the high 100's and even higher with a very busy physician, but it takes some time to get here. In a metro area here in the south PA's start in the mid 80s range with some bonus structure, but that doesn't usually kick in until your production gets to the point that you are paying for yourself (the first year or so is generally a loss for the physician who will be paying your salary our of his or her own collections). The return on PA school can be very good, but loans aren't subsidized, so be mindful of the rate on any loans you use.
Post Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:12 pm
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littleroc02us
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I cannot speak intelligently about the salaries of a Physicians assistant, but I can speak wisely about student loans and student debt. Are there grants or scholarships available. I wasn't the smartest kid in high school, but I was resourceful and I found grants and scholarships, plus I joined the military and I worked 3 jobs while going to school. IMO, I would try to take on as little of student loan debt as possible.

It wouldn't be wise to stack up more debt to find out after you graduate that your only making 60k a year with 100k in debt. Some other ideas would be to move into the cheapest studio apartment you can find, live on nothing, work as much as possible and take courses at a State school where the tuition is less then a University.

Yes, it may take longer to graduate, but you'll come out with less student loan debt.

Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing. (Warren Buffet)
Post Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:53 pm
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