Remembering TCPaul, 2016-2019

Student Loan Balance: $0

Paid them off! Graduated in 2009 from a 4 year JD/MBA progra nonlinearjdmba03/02/19
Congrats. Ball park entry level and current income? superttthero03/02/19
Doc review coding monkey in high COL area at avg. $40/hr jum nonlinearjdmba03/02/19
Hoping to find a jd+ job like that (though I have no mba). superttthero03/02/19
What is your JD preferred job? Pretty great that you transit pherc03/06/19
285k in 5 years. Holy cow. $5K a month. Serious congrat wutwutwut03/02/19
That's nuts and extremely impressive. Congrats. jd4hire03/02/19
Congrats! isthisit03/02/19
wow. go spend some money on yourself. you deserve it. whiteguyinchina03/02/19
0Ls this thread shows the law school scam in its most insidi wearyattorney03/02/19
Congratulations! Well done! jeffm03/03/19
That is beyond awesome-congratulations! You've probably bee toooldtocare03/04/19
Not really. I have two small kids, a full time job, and a wi nonlinearjdmba03/05/19
I went to $0 on December 31st. Paid off about $100K in three passportfan303/06/19
In the final analysis, going to law school never makes if yo wearyattorney03/06/19
I get what you're saying about having achieved zero (non-neg wutwutwut03/06/19
nonlinearjdmba (Mar 2, 2019 - 8:52 am)

Paid them off! Graduated in 2009 from a 4 year JD/MBA program at a private university financed 100% by student loans, cost of living + tuition. Loan balance upon graduation: ~$225k. I did the unemployment deferment for ~ 3 years, paid the monthly min for a year, and in 2014 was facing $285k in outstanding student loan debt. Made the decision to attack it with the force of 1,000 suns and through a combination of extreme frugality, career advancement, and refinancing was able to make significant progress on the payments. Just paid my last installment and my student loan account is officially closed with a $0 balance.

Thanks JD Underground for keeping me entertained throughout the journey.

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superttthero (Mar 2, 2019 - 10:31 am)

Congrats.

Ball park entry level and current income?

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nonlinearjdmba (Mar 2, 2019 - 2:02 pm)

Doc review coding monkey in high COL area at avg. $40/hr jumping from project to project those first three years out of law school, made $45/hr in an actual full time doc review job the year I paid monthly mins, quit and found a jd-preferred job and salary was $105k. That’s when I started attacking the loans, and current income is $160k. I haven’t worked as a lawyer since leaving doc review.

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superttthero (Mar 2, 2019 - 2:17 pm)

Hoping to find a jd+ job like that (though I have no mba).

Impressive all around. Congrats. Enjoy having that not be over your head anymore.

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pherc (Mar 6, 2019 - 9:44 am)

What is your JD preferred job? Pretty great that you transitioned from doc review right into a six figure job.

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wutwutwut (Mar 2, 2019 - 10:47 am)

285k in 5 years. Holy cow. $5K a month.

Serious congrats to you.

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jd4hire (Mar 2, 2019 - 11:18 am)

That's nuts and extremely impressive. Congrats.

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isthisit (Mar 2, 2019 - 12:13 pm)

Congrats!

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whiteguyinchina (Mar 2, 2019 - 4:20 pm)

wow. go spend some money on yourself. you deserve it.

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wearyattorney (Mar 2, 2019 - 5:19 pm)

0Ls this thread shows the law school scam in its most insidious form.

A person with the will power of the OP would have succeeded at mostly ANYTHING. That 5k a month could have gone to an investment vehicle and OP would probably have been a millionaire right now.

In any event, congratulations OP, that’s a ridiculous accomplishment, especially if you didn’t have loans.

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jeffm (Mar 3, 2019 - 11:00 pm)

Congratulations! Well done!

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toooldtocare (Mar 4, 2019 - 7:02 pm)

That is beyond awesome-congratulations!
You've probably been living on ramen the past five years; today's the day to put some Dom Perignon on ice and salute yourself; you have more than earned it.
And there is no shortage of drivel from nonsensical "experts" on TV and the web about addressing student debt; it's clear you know more than all of them. Have you thought of writing a book/blog?

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nonlinearjdmba (Mar 5, 2019 - 8:13 am)

Not really. I have two small kids, a full time job, and a wife who works in consulting (hence, long hours + travel), so I don't have a ton of free time. And in any case, it's not rocket science. Timing and luck also play a role.

In my case, I landed my first real job in 2014, so the steady income stream was a major factor in being able to dedicate a consistent amount every month strictly to loan repayment. My approach was that I said "I am going to be student loan free by January 2020." Then, I built a spreadsheet with my loan balance and current interest rates, and figured out what I needed to pay every month to make that happen. I also designed it to gradually taper, meaning my highest repayment amount would be in the first year, then would gradually taper over time. With a balance that high, the interest is a killer, so getting that principal down ASAP is key.

Also, I quit drinking around the same time, which freed up time and money. To boost income that first year, I was a rideshare driver on evenings and weekends (this was before we had kids, so it was easy to just go work more). I find it interesting that people assume that I lived like a hermit, or only ate ramen, etc. Yes, I cooked the vast majority of my own food, including packing lunch to work every day, but I ate really well (and a lot). I took up triathlon training in late 2014, so had some pretty decent expenditures (e.g. wetsuit, road bike, misc gear, race entry fees, training club dues), and I was burning a ton of calories, so was eating a lot. You can do all that economically, buying equipment secondhand, being smart at the grocery store, and cooking your own food. And once you have the gear, running and bicycling and open water swimming are all free.

Other factors that helped were that my wife's salary is similar to mine, so she was able to keep us afloat while I dedicated most of my income to repayment. There were some "free money" loan repayment programs sponsored by my employer that contributed to my repayment progress. And because I had a good job, I was able to refinance for a much lower interest rate (combination of excellent credit score, good income, and short term loan on the refinance (5 years)).

All that being said, it did take A LOT of discipline -- that first year was so hard changing many behaviors and habits. And we have zero family money (hence the student loans), so this was 100% from personal income. But, once it became a routine, things seemed easier and I actually found ways to save money. Starting in 2018, I was maxing out my 401k contributions, had a very healthy "emergency fund" in savings, some additional personal investments, AND was paying for daycare for our two kids (kids are expensive, especially in a high COL city).

Anyway, that's about all there was too it on the strategy side. I don't think you can "learn" hard work and discipline from reading books. Perhaps you can find some motivation, or a "spark" that gets you to try something new and difficult, but the secret is in the doing.

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passportfan3 (Mar 6, 2019 - 2:06 am)

I went to $0 on December 31st. Paid off about $100K in three years.

It makes me sad.

It's this huge accomplishment -- but all it does is give you a net worth of zero.

All that work and time and stress, and paying the damn things off leaves you roughly where you were at 17 years old, applying to your first college.

An absurd system that rooked me hard.

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wearyattorney (Mar 6, 2019 - 5:35 am)

In the final analysis, going to law school never makes if you want or have to live in the major cities and Suburbs (Texas excluded) unless you are independently wealthy. The options are better at every level.

Someone that joined the civil service for an essential service in nyc or Cali probably has triple your net worth right now, with half the stress, and much better prospects for the future (especially retirement).

I have no idea if the situation changes if you want to or have to live in a rural area or Texas, but I suspect the answer is that going probably doesn’t make sense either. You probably can do tech or move to the big cities on the coast, get a civil service job and retire back to the rural areas or Texas. I have heard that the nicest neighborhoods in Austin are packed with retired teachers from Cali, but I don’t know if it’s true.

This horse has been beaten to death though. Until the boomers are gone, the law school scam isn’t going to go away.

You need a movie showing an ADA living with five roommates and leaving on Ramen and a retired port authority cop driving a Benz and living in McMansion to drive the cultural change. Like when a 20 year old dude hits on a chick at a bar and tells her he’s in law school and she immediately bails, that’s when the game will completely change. And that’s not happening with the Flower Children in control of the culture. When they grew up teachers and cops were poor and doctors and lawyers were rich and you aren’t going to tell them different God Damn it!

You help a few smart kids avoid the trap, you take the small victories life has to give you, and you try and find contentment despite the massive mistake that law school is and was.

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wutwutwut (Mar 6, 2019 - 10:56 am)

I get what you're saying about having achieved zero (non-neg) net worth, but still you should be damned proud of yourself.

I mean, peeps are taking out 72 and even 84 month loans to buy $25K autos...

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