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I wonder how much she owed from her prior degree. That's a ton of money for an MSW. I think I paid closer to $30k.

I suspect she was also living on her student loans. Instead of taking the bare minimum, which might be tuition and books, she also was paying the rent and the rest of her living expenses. And it also included some of the expenses from her previous Masters. But no, she clearly didn't think it through.

Student loans, and how they are viewed, can be an interesting study. There's someone (name withheld to protect the guilty) who took out huge student loans to make it through law school. After graduating he went to work a a big law firm where he could make lots of money and pay down the loans. And he hated it. Just loathed every minute there. So he quit.

He took another job where he didn't make as much money, and he admits he will probably never earn enough money to pay off the loans. He's still paying on them, it's not as though he defaulted, but he'll never pay them down all the way. He admits there are consequences: he'll never be able to buy a home, or get a loan on a car, or do a lot of other things. But he hated that job so much, and likes his new job so much better, that he feels the cost is worth it.

Of course, he's a lot younger than that woman. It's possible that at some point he'll make more money and pay his loans. But I'm not sure that he's considering what his retirement will be like. When you're thirty, retirement is a long way away.

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