In my view it is extremely valuable for undergrads to get an earful of the consequences of student loan debt on people's lives. Learning of the problems can help people make better decisions for themselves.Greetings, just another few thoughts on this topic. Student loans have an interest rate cap. Figure out the accrued interest against your principal at this cap, which will be a maximum. Decide if the resulting figure is one you are willing to owe at the time repayment starts. If not, determine how much you will have to pay back towards your loan WHILE IN SCHOOL to reach the figure at which you would be comfortable owing. But guard against getting depressed that the loans are a moving target you may not be able to hit 100% - after all, you are taking out only the amount you REALLY NEED to borrow to get through school, right? Don't depend on having a lucrative job at graduation to cover your loan costs (especially if you will enter medical residency which is an apprenticeship but really resembles indentured servitude - your take-home wages amount to about $3.50 an hour when you consider the 100-115 hour weeks you must put in) so plan on servicing the loan amount (principal plus capitalized accrued interest) you have decided you can live with. Be aware that the size of student loans for some training (MD, atty) can resemble a mortgage, so go in with your eyes wide open. That way, if your interest has not hit the cap, you have LESS to pay back than you'd budgeted for. But at least you figured out your maximum so you don't have to be rudely surprised. Good luck!xraymd
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