Was Our $420,000 In Student Loans Worth It ?!?
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Was Our $420,000 In Student Loans Worth It ?!?

hey guys it’s Joseph and Tasha from one
big happy life today we are going to talk about how we amassed over $400,000
in student loan debt and whether it was worth it and what we would do
differently if anything as many of you know we’re both attorneys which means we
went to law school and we racked up some debt there
we also racked up some undergrad debt before that in this video we’re walking
through our decision-making process at the time and whether we still think it’s
worth it now and it’s especially pertinent because we have Alexis getting
ready to go to college in just two years so we’re actually going through this
process with her now because she’s starting to get college mail so we’re
gonna do a separate video specifically targeted at kind of you know the
decisions that we would make now with our own child so stay tuned for that and
be sure to a thumbs up and subscribe for more videos like these and if you
haven’t signed up on our website onebighappylife.com we are giving away a free
two free coaching sessions one personal finance and one YouTube coaching session
yeah so make sure you sign up for those as well alright so let’s talk about
where we were kind of before undergrad so I was in the Marine Corps and I
wanted to get out of the Marine Corps so I initially chose a major I also already
had Alexis and I was married so I needed something practical that was
going to make me money like right out of undergrad so I decided to go to nursing
school I got my associates degree in general studies and then transferred to
a which and I came away from that with no debt which I highly recommend and
then I transferred to a BSN program but then decided I wanted to go to law
school and so then I switched my major to economics and American Studies
because I read that that would look good for law school admissions I now know
that it really doesn’t matter I on the other hand did not have a job out of
high school I graduated pretty high in my class so I had pretty good
applications but I kind of flounder didn’t really know exactly what I wanted
to do and so it’s just well you just kind of
go to college and so I went to college and I majored in accounting economics
and finance and just kind of racked up as much information as I could and in
doing so I had to take out the kind of the maximum loans that you’re allowed to
for undergrad and my parents paid for the remainder oh I guess I should also
specify that I used my GI Bill to help me pay for undergrad also I was married
and my husband at the time worked so I ended up coming out of undergrad with
$20,000 in subsidized loans that honestly I did not absolutely have to
take out and if me now if I was in that position I would not take out that debt
because obviously I’m better at not just completely spending money willy-nilly I
have nothing to show for that $20,000 of debt so yeah I did not need it to
actually get my degree so that was kind of bad yeah I think so mine were 15,000
now was it worth it undergrad well coming out I did have job offers and I
did have expectations for what I would have been able to make somewhere between
fifty and sixty thousand starting and so so that’s I mean that’s pretty good
coming out of undergrad I mean I did didn’t have a triple major and and so
there’s that and Finance business majors tend to be pretty lucrative right out so
yeah but it also it depends whether or not is worth it depends on what you
actually want to do so if you want to be a lawyer you can’t be a lawyer right out
of undergrad you have to keep going and get your law degree so that’s exactly
what we did now I think a lot of people got the impression from our million
dollars in that video that you know we did not actually put some thought into
the amassing of our debt especially our law school debt and so in this video I
want to make sure to clear the air and explain just how much planning went into
especially me in particular deciding where to go to law school and how much
debt I was going to take out so I you know I went to Yale for Law School
and part of the reason why I went there was because of the job prospects after
Yale which is something that you should always be considering when you’re taking
out loans for school the loan repayment program that Yale
offers for people who go into less lucrative legal fields and then also how
Yale compared to the other law schools that I got into so I did budgets based
on whether I took advantage of public service work between public service loan
forgiveness and Yale’s loan repayment assistance program or if I ended up
going to a law firm which at the time the starting salary for a first-year
associate was a hundred and sixty thousand dollars so I compared both
budgets before deciding where I wanted to go and how much I wanted to spend on
law school so I did similar kind of decisions but not to the detail that she
did for sure so I I got in to several different schools and looked at some
that were much more expensive and at first I was going to go to this the very
best school whatever it was and do whatever it took to go there but I
backed out of that and right at the last second and I tried to look for the best
value and so I decided on Ohio State because it was it was a state school so
it wasn’t as expensive as a private school yeah in comparison
Yale’s tuition was twenty thousand dollars more a year than Ohio State’s
right and so that that was a big factor to me
I had a little bit of scholarship there actually not a little bit I mean I have
a substantial scholarship there and so that really helped out I only graduated
with a hundred and twenty-one thousand from law school and that includes me
going to some summer sessions and I also was able to study abroad at Oxford by
the time I graduated from law school I had a total of a hundred and ninety
thousand dollars worth of debt from law school and undergrad and as of tomorrow
because I have a big payment going through I’m going to have a total of a
hundred and ninety five thousand dollars and I graduated from law school in 2011
and I’m currently repaying my law student loans and I always have been
using income based repayment so I don’t actually pay
the full interest or even any of the principal in my regular monthly payment
after law school my loans totaled a hundred and sixty four thousand dollars
now that was a hundred and forty nine thousand from law school and then
fifteen thousand from undergrad now that was a lot and because I am also on
income based repayment it has grown to two hundred and seven thousand dollars
yeah the reason why mine has not grown the way Joseph’s has is because of
Yale’s loan repayment assistance program and so for me let’s talk about whether
or not it was worth it I’ll go first so when I took out my loans I did it
expecting to repay in either one of two ways so when you take out your student
loans if you read the documents that you actually get it’s it’s the call the
master promissory note and explain it explains the different ways that you can
repay your student loans we only have public federal student loans we don’t
have any private loans so in the master promissory notice it lists the different
repayment plans including public service loan forgiveness combined with income
based repayment so I knew that that was an option
when I was taking out my loan so I calculated two budgets one if I decided
to go into private practice and another if I decided to go into public service
and so after law school I decided to go into public service after trying private
practice and just like hating everything about my life for me like I I know that
going to Yale has made it a lot easier for me to find jobs whenever I need to
change jobs like when I had that horrible loss there was no problem
whatsoever with me changing jobs and because I knew what my repayment terms
were because I was familiar with it I knew what I was getting into in terms of
repayment after after law school it basically turned out exactly the way
that I expected it to this was my plan that I would work in ten… for ten
years in public service and then have the remainder of my loans
discharged per the terms of my loan agreement similarly I think that me
going to Ohio State just going to law school generally it was definitely worth
it for me to and it’s out for a little bit different reasons but I mean law
school is a versatile degree it’s not exactly about just always becoming an
attorney that practices but it’s also a versatile thinking degree and that
coupled with my undergrad business majors that really made me eligible for
the jobs that I do now and so it’s really the combination that I needed
both and so would it still be worth it for you like this is like off script
would it still be worth it for you without public service loan forgiveness
so an income based repayment so income based repayment or public service loan
forgiveness either one so I still think that it would be the math still works out
that my my job prospects after law school so they started about the same
honestly because I started in public the public sector and and so it was about
60,000 where I started but the prospects for going forward were much much higher
even if I had started before and just after undergrad and then going up I
probably would have had to go and get an MBA anyway at some point to then reach
the higher levels you mean the level where you are right
now and your income and stuff yes right which I mean so we’re certainly
comfortable now and I’m really happy where we are yeah I mean the one of the
things that we have while our jobs are you know we still get paid very well
because we both make six figures but we also have incredible job flexibility
jobs with great benefit jobs with great retirement plans matching you know that
allows us to just work a 40-hour week so we have excellent work-life balance if
something happens to one of our kids we can be home in a heartbeat all of those
things those are very there’s non-monetary
compensation that those jobs are harder to get if you don’t you know either
advance yourself through education or you know somehow like just work hard on
the job and slowly get promoted within you know your particular organization so
it’s not to say that we necessarily couldn’t have gotten here without the
degrees but it certainly would be a toss-up
without the degrees well so I would say that for for where I work and what I do
I would not have been able to follow the same path oh that’s true I completely
ineligible yeah well not have our jobs at all like I’m an attorney obviously I
couldn’t be doing this job if I didn’t have my law degree another thing that I
want to say so I asked Joseph the question if he would do it without
public service loan forgiveness and without income based repayment and so
I’m gonna answer that question for me and the answer is no I wouldn’t I would
be at a law firm making probably by now somewhere around three hundred thousand
dollars a year I’d be miserable Alexis would barely know me but my law school
debt would be gone and you know so I don’t know that life doesn’t sound much
more appealing to me I’ve enjoyed this life a lot better and
so I’m so happy that these programs exist that allow people to not just go
to the not just chase after the money but to be able to do fulfilling public
interest work while also being able to you know build wealth you know and and
provide for their family so I’m glad that these programs exist because if
they didn’t we wouldn’t be having this conversation because I would be at a law
firm right now billing some hours not making a youtube video well I think in
conclusion we would both do it given the same circumstances that we experienced
kind of for different reasons though because of course Tasha practices law
and I don’t actually practice I just use the skills that that I have but would it
still be worth it if things change and obviously maybe not and so it’s a very
careful consideration that you have to go through because not everybody is
going to have the the exact same trajectory that we had
like if I didn’t have a business undergrad well maybe my law school
wouldn’t have helped me as much for doing to doing the things that I want to
do now yeah and if I didn’t have you know a child and a family to consider
I may have opted for going with a lower ranked school for less money but where
my job prospects as an attorney might have been less certain but because I had
a child I didn’t want to run the risk of not being able to find a job that could
provide for my family after law school so I chose to go to yes the a more
expensive law school but also the law school that offered me the best jobs
prospects alright we hope you all enjoyed the video don’t forget to thumbs
up subscribe and sign up for our free coaching sessions and of course drop us
comments questions down below in the comment section cause we love chatting
with you guys alright see you guys next time bye

About James Carlton

Read All Posts By James Carlton

100 thoughts on “Was Our $420,000 In Student Loans Worth It ?!?

  1. She is going to make 300K in a law firm. Is she serious, what la la world she lives in? These two people are the worst people to give college advice.

  2. Glad you guys shared your story. Congratulations on making it through and cudos to u if it was worth it. Me personally, i wanted to go to a big fancy university, but then i thought "nah! Life's too short!" Instead i paid $300 cash for nursing aide school and $100 for the test to get my license. Other than $150 in library card fines, im pretty much debt free and love it. Anywho, best wishes and thanks for sharing.😀

  3. LMFAO. That is a lot. I am unhappy of my 30,000 grand debt from public and state university. However, the reason is that I just basically threw away 30,000 because public universities are worthless.

  4. Old Navy sells sweat shirts for about $10. Though the 400k ones you have are nice too. (I'm just teasing you). I have 110k in student loans and like you I'm a public service workers and they are FEDERAL loans .. so I pay only $300 a month vs. the 900 I would otherwise pay. My income is just under 50k / yr. I'ts a piece of cake to pay my bill – I'd be screwed if this were a private loan. I have shy of 8 years left to pay on a 10 year program – rest will be forgiven TAX FREE since I'm a public / non profit workers.

    Fortunately, my inheritance covers my annual student loan bill .. with change left over … inheritance will compound over the next couple of decades … and my income based status was NOT affected by the inheritance (in case you receive any while on student loan income based payment.). And if you do receive a windfall of money (no matter the means) – consider yourself blessed and don't blow it!!

  5. I 'm sitting here watching you and I am just stunned. I am unable to wrap my mind around the fact that one can simply take out the equivalent of a house as tuition. My daughter tells me she would love to attend an Ivy league school and I have been clear that she can either attend a Uni at the cheapest province in Canada where that 160K will go to BUyING the property in which she will live or find bursaries that will fund this insanity. I am not judging you but I am shocked!

  6. Long story short: They're both happy with their debts because they're both delusional. They justify all their mistakes stupidly. $420,000 is no joke. Both are doing income based repayment (which is stupid since each makes six figures) because they think the government will waive their debts (last time I checked, the Education Department is being sued over this, so debts dismissal is no guaranteed). As a graduate, I can guarantee that going to Prestigious universities do not equate job security and income. Your profession and experience guarantee a good job not Yale or Harvard.

  7. Is nobody going to talk about how young they look?! My eyes bulged when they mentioned having a daughter looking at prospective colleges! Whaaaa!

  8. Going to state university right now for marketing, haven't borrowed anything yet, but I will be borrowing 3500 this quarter since of family issues. Hoping to get into a good graduate school later, probably in Canada since tuition won't be terrible and I have family there. Depends on tuition costs to US schools I'll apply to. Either way with the loans, I regret borrowing even that but its my decision, my father isn't happy about it, but I'll be paying it off later. I think as long as you're accepting the responsibility of repayment later on; if you think your education and major is worth it then go ahead. My family is pretty angry I'm borrowing even though in comparison to a lot of students I've met, this is very little.

  9. If you can only afford an income based repayment plan , then you’re in over your head in debt. Yes, you might be able to make a payment on your loan that allows you to not go into default , but you will never actually pay it off.

  10. Lol at all the people giving these two financial advice. They are both lawyers. They will be fine. Those that need to worry are the ones 90 grand in debt with a BA in literature.

  11. Went to state school for computer prog and information systems and paid in full every semester working full time while attending school and also took online classes. Graduated with zero debt and ended up working as inventory tech for IBM 45k a year. Currently studying for Oracle database certificates because eventually I want to work with databases; either admin or programmer, haven't decided. But yeah, paying hundreds of thousands to go to an ivy league or expensive private school not for me. I don't think I could sleep with that much debt unless I became a doctor or dentist and made over 150k a year.

  12. HELLO! You’re both beautiful and intelligent and ah I love your videos! Just wondering if you could make some detailed videos about your experience in applying for Law school? I’m at a British law school right now (undergrad law degree) but want to work in the US and have realised that I’ll probably have to do the JD to be eligible, any advice? Love you !!

  13. Great video guys! I'm honestly surprised you even bother to comment on most of the comments? I've found most commenters on youtube to be extremely irrational and bias. Just want to thank you for your time and knowledge of making this video!

  14. Yeah getting a school loan is a burden for me so I can't go to college. I'm fine with working my 2 jobs. I never was into going college any way. It was just something people would tell you to do. I am learning to live for God degrees and money mean nothing to do.

  15. I went to college because my tuition was paid for by the state University, and the room and board was paid for scholarships and grants that I applied for. I graduated in 2001 with Engineering degree, with zero debt. I took the first corporate job I could get, 40 hour week etc… Not the most fun job, but it built wealth.

  16. I was from a middle class family. I flunked out of high school and became an auto mechanic. (billing rate of $75 per hour) Then I was sold on the idea of going to a university and did graduate. No loans were needed for my degree but I never made that good money again as a mechanic. Now I am retired and am getting back into mechanics.

  17. The comments section makes me sad that people dont understand basic math. Tasha and Joseph it makes so much sense why you wouldn't pay off those loans!

  18. I'm stuck either also 69k on loans. Wages SUCK, hours suck, and I don't qualify for anymore forbearances. Hello default, got a ton in my life at the moment.

  19. If many Americans made six figures or over can pay off their student loan. Many Americans here in this country that graduated from college make less than what you 2 make.

  20. My combined scholarships per year for a 4 year university right now is $20,000 per year, yet I am going to a private university with yearly tuition of 34,000. Is this bad for debt in general? I'm losing sleep over this. edit: I start college next year

  21. Even if I respect your school / career paths. I'm glad I studied in France where university fees were around 550 euros (625 dollars?) a year for a master degree. I cannot imagine myself with that much dept to start my adult life. I think that USA politics should really put a stop to that level of university fees. That and the healthcare system.

  22. I don’t have nearly what you guys owe for college and I even know college wasn’t worth what I got out of it. Older me would have tell younger me not to go to college. YouTube was new and these videos didn’t exist when I went to college. I would have been better off getting a CDL or learning a marketable trade than going to college.

  23. Loan forgiveness isn't the school forgiving the loan in case people are wondering. The loan gets paid with our tax dollars. That's why schools have 0 incentive to be cheaper, or more efficient. Its tax payer bailout for the universities.

  24. Did you use your loans to cover living expenses while in school? I'm getting my MEd and I'm struggling paying my debts and living expenses. I can make it to the end of the month, but end up not being able to save anything.

    How did you make peace with yourself in regards to taking out loans? I know that I can definitely find a job in the public sector and have my loans pardoned after 10 years, but there's still something holding me back from taking out more [than I already accepted during my undergrad].

  25. I went to art school and teach art now K-5 I have 27,000 in debt. I got very bless with scholarship, my school is 50,000 a year. Currently am thinking about going back to trade school for esthetician study ( my family run a spa business and have a lot of networks ) esthetician school is 10,000 and I’m debating if I should take out anymore loans. I only plan to stick to federal loans. My current loans are federal and I’m to scare to take out private loans lol

  26. For me as a German it sounds so scary to have debt from university.
    I’be been to medical school in Germany where there are no “real” tuitions (like 500€ for administration fees per semester) for public university’s (+there is no private medicine school only economics and such).
    If your parents can’t support you the state will provide you with a life supporting amount of money per month (max. ~ 900€) based on your parents income for the time of your studies, and after a certain time they even “forgive” half of the debt, so you have to pay back only half.
    I was lucky enough that my parents could and wanted to support me for the 7 year long studies, but i worked a little by the side for vacations and such.
    Plus it’s obligatory for parents above a certain income to support their child trough their first “education” so their first bachelor/master, If they want to do another they are not obliged.
    So much differences to the US 🙈

  27. Thank you for this video! I have been making a pro and con list for me to go back to school for my second Masters degree and a license in clinical counseling, this video really helped me make the decision! My undergraduate degree and first masters is in such a specialized field of psychology that I was not finding any jobs I wanted to do. But, the daunting idea of adding $60k of student debt was really holding me back. Your explanation is job availability and budgeting for multiple outcomes really helped me see how many advances would be available to me once I became licensed! Also shout out from Baltimore, MD!

  28. Two of you doing youtube answers everything… get that subscribers LOL
    Can you guys do a video on people who are not smart and have useless degree? Cause you guys are top 5% rest of us have useless degree.

  29. Glad you two got through without too many bumps in the road but Americans trying to further their education is becoming more and more for the rich. This kind of debt eventually bring our children to their knees.

  30. Basically: This video doesn’t apply to you if your not looking to become a lawyer, some form of medical doctor, or engineering. Also if you didn’t go to a top school.

    The above paragraph in some way shape or form accounts for around 70%-80% of all Americans going into college these days. This video isn’t finance for regular people. It’s for the elite, the high earners of the world. We should leave it for them.

    Edit: I really don’t mean to come off too harsh, but I’m earnestly confused how someone from a low (me) to middle income family can possibly succeed in life like these two. This just feels unobtainable for the average American. Where would someone like me (or you, reader) even start to TRY to become something like this.

  31. For having racked up that much debt they do not look stressed out lol they look young and well. Props to you!

  32. Bravo on Yale!!! And Ohio State, too! They didn't mention that a top 3 school like Yale has bar passing rates of mid-high 90s. (You need to pass the bar to practice as an attorney.)

    I agree that a JD is a versatile degree. Many people opt for the JD over the MBA because of this versatility.

    But Americans need to rethink the student debt crisis, which is now something like $1.4 trillion! Public colleges and universities should be tuition-free, like they are all over the rest of the world.

  33. I am lawyer and I tell you legal market is not blooming… Even after completing graduation opportunity for international works less than other jobs. This is advertisement for law career

  34. I feel that the both of you are in a better position than most students with large amounts of student loan debts. This is because of your law degrees. Many students rack up large amounts of debt, with horrible degrees, such as Liberal Arts or Woman Studies. I can see how some degrees (law or medical) can justify the large amounts of student loan debt, however, this is not the case with less marketable degrees.

  35. Join the military and serve your country to get your loans paid! You will leave with a life long values, life long VA healthcare, and a strong understanding of what real assault rifles are and not the AR semi-auto rifles. You will learn to work hard and fight for your flag and the freedoms it represents.

  36. I hate to be "That guy" but the fact is all the people that sit there crying about student loan debt really have no one to blame but themselves. They CHOSE to go to college. They CHOSE to take out loans and in most cases (Not all) they CHOOSE to live above their means. I chose not to go to college and put myself through all that. I chose to learn a trade instead (Carpentry) and as such I'm debt free. I live a simple but fullfilling life and love what I do.

  37. You guys REALLY need to look into the loan forgiveness program.. 99% of people were rejected, and many say they did everything right. Look up stories about how the government gave them the run-a-around. You could be wasting 10 years of your life doing this. And not only that but the government taxes you on the amount that was forgiven, so you would be hit with a $60,000 tax bill 😅

  38. for undergrad go to a public school fill out fast leave ur parents off it don't have them claim you as a dependent fasfa grants will cover everything and give you big refund each semester to pay for housing and books and if you don't need housing pocket the money.

  39. Hey, I know this is an old video; just wanted to say I love you guys and please ignore the other horrible people. ❤️

  40. I can't believe how judgmental the people in these comments are. I appreciate this video. You guys are great!

  41. ‪Why doesnt the US government forgive the accumulating interest on all existing college loans (both private & govt) and let borrowers just pay off the original principals on their loans? Obviously our govt has done nothing except create some incipid repayment programs that dont eliminate this burden on our graduates who cant find good paying jobs. Unecessary foreign aid could B diverted 2 help subsidize colleges & universities with tools 2 effectively teach curriculums emphasizing science, technology, or medicine (not fine or liberal arts, social studies, law). College tuitions and professor salaries need 2B capped. All future college loan interest should also B capped permanently @ 2% with no compounding. We need smart, proactive people – they are the antidote to a stupid government.‬

  42. My dad is a contractor and city painter
    My boss is a lawyer
    My dad makes more than my boss
    My brother is a 29 year old college dropout with zero debt who has a high paying city job with great pension and benefits, and he just baught his first house
    My cousin wo is the same has a master degree in biology
    He's currently struggling to make ends meet and still lives with his parents
    I just finished college with a batchelors in psychology
    4 years of bullshit
    All they taught me is how to write papers and pass tests with mostly useless information
    In highschool they force you to beleive that if you dont go to college you're gonna be a failure
    That is simply not true
    They dont give you space to decide what you want to do for yourself in your own life
    I've seen all these students bragging to me about their pretty 4.00 gpas and A+ grades and putting me down cause I was a C student
    2 months after graduation I see these same students crying about debt and how they cant find a job to save their lives
    And guess what
    While those classholes were busy getting their pretty A+ grades and 4.00 gpa's I was training for the fire fighter academy
    That I start in 5 months
    And Fortunately for me my dad paid my tuition out of pocket so I'm debt free
    Only reason I wasted my time in college is cause my parents forced me to go
    If it wasant for them ide probably be a rookie fire fighter by now
    Yes I'm debt free and have a batchelors
    But the one thing I'll never get back is my time

  43. I went to school for IT and realized that everyone carries an iphone and uses cloud storage. The school I went to flat out lied saying the IT field is a big money maker and just wanted my cash. My loan will be paid off when I'm 41. Your loans will be paid off when you die.

  44. My university's student loan was 20k Canadian dollar. Now I'm standing at balance of 14k. I work within my field of study make annual 65k. Once student loan is paid off I will be debt free

    Guys, Choosing the right school program is important. Avoid anything along Law, Medicine.. etc those are extremely expensive and put alot of pressures on you throughout your life

    Also try to find a paid job or paid COop placement while doing your undergrad, this helps speeding up the payoff process

  45. Since she graduated to Yale, she should be able to get a good-paying associate position at a prestigious law firm (biglaw) to pay back that huge law school debt.

  46. Occupation: Postdoctoral Fellow in Cancer Research
    Salary: $47,800 per year

    May 2016 Balance: $51,000
    October 2019 Balance: $9,629

    Earliest Zero Balance Date: July 1, 2020

  47. Over here scared with my 71k loan just graduated as a Nurse Practitioner and will also make 6 figures ughhh 420k idk man…but if you guys happy then peace is more important 🥺🥺

  48. No, but y’all are lawyers and are paid handsomely for it and deliberately went slow to get forgiveness so I guess in your case.

    Just hoping y’all have a plan in case things get tough.

  49. @onebighappylife I just subscribed to your channel! I really enjoy you guys! Your husband acts a little nervous. Tasha I think you glow on video/camera . Keep the videos coming! I also appreciate you guys transparency! That's the # 1 reason I subscribed to you guy's channel. Don't lose that attribute!….oh Tasha where did you go for undergrad? you never stated it.

  50. I’m an elementary teacher thinking about going to law school. I wouldn’t be able to attend a top tier school because I am a married mother of 4 who needs to work and all those schools appear to require you to attend classes full time. In terms of the debt, Is it worth it to attend a part-time law school or will my job prospects be less lucrative?

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