What is your current debt/amount still owed from university loans?


40k of unpaid debt for me, all from attending undergrad.

how much do you still owe?

Nov 27, 12 7:35 pm

Architecture's version of what's your number...

Nov 27, 12 8:16 pm

I get my undergrad degree in December and I'll be about 35k in the hole.

Nov 27, 12 8:24 pm


Nov 27, 12 8:32 pm

haha spill it snook.. problems with IRS, debt collectors, negative credit ratings etc xD  i'm sure you aren't alone.  Loan officers are already hounding me

Nov 27, 12 8:59 pm

I had no debt out of undergrad but graduate school put me 68k under! Still trying to figure out how to balance blows! Or maybe its 120k now haha

Nov 27, 12 9:05 pm

20k from undergrad, and going to grad school soon. hoping for some scholarships!!!

Nov 27, 12 9:11 pm

6k from undergrad and 28k from grad school...without scholarships and co-op it would have been double. 

Nov 27, 12 9:53 pm

about 19k total for undergrad and masters. Luckily Canada Student Loans forgives about 35% of your debt once you graduate.

Nov 28, 12 4:17 am


Same here - I wonder if I would be better off the other way

Nov 28, 12 11:53 am

And the winnner is......... roughly 30k left from undergrad & 65k from Grad

Not exactly the contest I want to win

Nov 28, 12 12:19 pm

Stephanie - does everyone get the 35% loan forgivness?  Is that only after you're finished with masters?

Nov 28, 12 12:20 pm
future hope

Graduated with $32k, mostly from grad school, and am half done paying it off.

Nov 28, 12 7:29 pm

@ accesskb

I don't think it has to be masters, it's if you are finished with your education and won't be taking any further loans.

Also, they don't guarantee that you will get a certain percentage forgiven, but I feel like the higher your loan the more likely they are to forgive more. I tried to pin down the exact amount I'd get taken off before I graduated, but the lady I spoke to said she had no way of knowing and that it depends on how much you owe in total.

My Alberta student loan was forgiven by 50%, that was pretty awesome. Provincially they seem to be more generous?

Nov 29, 12 4:50 am

A combination of relatively modest Canadian tuition, working well paying jobs (one year of hell in the oil-industry before going to university, nice job with the municipal park department during summers), and having a modest scholarship, helped me get through undergrad without any debt.

This time around (Masters), I'll definitely be dipping into savings, but hopefully not too much. I don't pay any tuition for grad school in Germany per se (just a 280euro semester fee which includes public transit) and the cost of living is actually lower here than in Canada. 

So I guess I'm doing reasonably well financially, but I still feel like the (by the standards of their time, very normal) middle-class lifestyle held by my parents (having enough to own a home, cars, raise children, afford vacations, etc.), is unattainable to me, or at least a very long ways away. I can't imagine how I'd feel with 50 thousand extra dollars bogging me down! 

Nov 29, 12 5:46 am

Graduated undergrad with about $62k, down to about $36k a little over 10 years on.  On the schedule I'm on, within 3 years I'll have that down to about $20k debt.  The saddest part is that my partner is paying it for me from a non-college-degree-required job that pays more than arch.  We also will not be able to afford a house for years although my parents were on their 2nd house by this age and my dad only made it to the 10th grade.  Standard of living is definitely going down for my generation.  (And before people hop on me for taking on debt... this was the cheapest route of all those I applied for, including the lone state school in my state that offered a professional degree (and gave me zero financial aid). I literally could not have become an architect if I hadn't taken on this debt.  Although of course the wisdom of that decision is up for debate...)

Nov 30, 12 10:04 am

The student loan companies must LOVE architecture degrees.  They make a KILLING off us!  Slowly strangling us over years and years and years, and adding to the interest all the while... must be a pretty awesome industry.

Nov 30, 12 10:05 am

42k all from undergrad! woot!

Nov 30, 12 10:09 am

Higher education:  Not what it used to be, via the Economist:

"Some signs suggest that universities are facing up to their inefficiencies. Indiana University has just announced innovations aimed at lowering the cost and reducing the time it takes to earn a degree. More of this is needed. Universities owe it to the students who have racked up $1 trillion in debt, and to the graduate students who are taking second degrees because their first one was so worthless. They also bear some responsibility for the 17m who are overqualified for their jobs, and for the 3m unfilled positions for which skilled workers cannot be found. They even owe it to the 37m who went to college, dropped out and ended up with nothing: many left for economic reasons.


Universities may counter that the value of a degree cannot be reduced to a simple economic number. That, though, sounds increasingly cynical, when the main reason universities have been able to increase their revenue so much is because of loans given to students on the basis of what they are told they will one day earn."

It sounds as though the tide is beginning to shift, which is certainly good but it might mean that anybody taking out a large loan in 2012 will end up looking like a fool.


Nov 30, 12 10:53 am

Undergrad and grad: debt free.

Dec 1, 12 10:37 am

I graduated with around 55K and am on track to pay it off in about 5 years, even with a typical entry level salary. I don't like that I owe that much, but I definitely don't want to double the amount I owe by paying it back for 20 years. 

I don't like the "standards of living" comment, and don't really think it is applicable. Standards are different, and the way people are living is still changing and evolving. I wish I could afford a house too, but I wouldn't use it as a measure of the quality of my life.

Dec 1, 12 12:23 pm

my dad went to the same school as i did.  he was able to pay for it with a little help from his parents (5th grade education, poor italian farmers), two semesters of co-op, and no loans.  my two semesters of co-op almost bought me a semester of school.

As far as the "standards" go, they're down.

Dec 1, 12 4:34 pm

my loans in canada was 50% forgiven (manitoba).  that was early 90's.  no loans for grad school only undergrad so was less than 10k and it is all paid off.  still can't buy a house but that's because i am in expensive city, not changing times.  average cost home here is crazy as hell unless sign up for insane commute.  my cousins back on canadian prairie are all my age and all have homes and better off or same as their parents.  maybe canada didn't fall into the same pit as usa?

Dec 1, 12 8:52 pm
Unfortunately I think I'll win this one. Graduated with about 24k from UG B.S in Business Management and now in Grad school with a total of $92k in debt and a year and a half left until I'm done. I'll be looking at about 140k when i'm done (if I don't continue to pay out of pocket which I paid 9k already)
Dec 2, 12 1:02 am
Unfortunately I think I'll win this one. Graduated with about 24k from UG B.S in Business Management and now in Grad school with a total of $92k in debt and a year and a half left until I'm done. I'll be looking at about 140k when i'm done (if I don't continue to pay out of pocket which I paid 9k already)
Dec 2, 12 1:02 am
Unfortunately I think I'll win this one. Graduated with about 24k from UG B.S in Business Management and now in Grad school with a total of $92k in debt and a year and a half left until I'm done. I'll be looking at about 140k when i'm done (if I don't continue to pay out of pocket which I paid 9k already)
Dec 2, 12 1:02 am

yep, Will, correct about the pit.  Our school costs more in the first place, there's no forgiveness of any of it (even if you go bankrupt!), and our economy imploded while Canada's goin' strong.  Also wage stagnation is a real issue in US over the last 20-30 years and as far as I understand that is not a problem in Canada.    

Fullofit, you may not think standards of living are decreasing, but it is a measured, factual phenomenon, not anecdotal.  Many studies are tracking this.  Sorry to burst your bubble, but glad you're the exception and not the rule. Be pleased with your good fortune but don't climb up onto any high horses. 

Dec 2, 12 1:41 am

orgufiel, I don't know what to say.  I'm assuming you have a plan to pay that off that hopefully doesn't solely consist of "work as an architect".

Dec 2, 12 1:42 am

yikes Orgufiel! good luck on that loan.. That would take me a lifetime to save/pay off... might just declare bankruptcy to start over infact xD

Dec 2, 12 3:07 am

accesskb, you can't get rid of student loans in bankruptcy

i'm america-centric, so this may not apply if my assumption of his citizenship was wrong.  seems to me $92,000 of unsecured debt before you've had your first real job is also an america-centric thing.

since i'm posting anyway, my number was 65k and is down to 50k.  only 20 years left.

Dec 2, 12 10:17 am

I have a plan I want to follow and back up plans which are a mix of working 2 jobs if I don't make the amount of money that I want once I graduate. I'm actually looking into construction management after I graduate so hopefully that will be more lucrative than architecture. 

Dec 2, 12 11:38 am

Another Canadian here...

Schools are less expensive in Canada, but the pay in architecture is lower than in the US.

More relevant is how loans work. I can't speak to every province, but basically how it works is that gov't loans are capped at how much you can receive, AND how much you have to oay back. I believe the numbers are different for undergrad and grad school, but let's say you receive $10k in loans, you'll typically be forgiven down to the maximum repayment amount, which is let's say $7k. Using these numbers as examples, you'd have to pay off $28k of your $40k loan.

Seeing as my folks have never had the means to be able to support me in school, I took out loans for 8 years of school, or roughly $40,000, almost all of which I still owe.

The other major difference is that in Canada you have 10 years to pay off your loan, extendable to up to 15 under extenuating circumstances. THAT'S really what makes loans a bitch here - it's such an aggressive repayment schedule that realistically It's next to impossible to save any money if you're paying back $600+ per month, as I am. My fiance has no loans, works as a server at a cafe part time, and is able to save significantly more money than I am, at the end of the month.

Dec 2, 12 1:19 pm

Apparently the Americans are avoiding this thread - I'll post my Canadian stats as well. Similar to what someone else stated above, between a few small scholarships each year, working part-time through school, having a full-time summer job throughout highschool and university (plus a co-op semester in there) and a little bit of help from my parents when things got extremely tight, I was able to finish my undergrad with about $1500 on the line of credit, which was paid back within two months of my first post-school internship. Now the problem becomes trying to figure out how much I can realistically save before starting grad school... I'm very interested in what the above posters have stated about getting loans and the repayment forgivenesses (particularly in Ontario)...

Dec 2, 12 7:59 pm

BenC, I went to schools in Ontario and Manitoba, but my loans came from Ontario, so the stuff I wrote above would apply to you, most likely.

Dec 2, 12 9:46 pm

I have $52k+ in student loans just from undergrad and considering going to grad school for architecture...but if more loans are required for that I'm definitely gonna consider skipping grad school.

Dec 3, 12 9:54 pm

Its not too bad my American friends... Your Senator Rubio just paid off his college loans.

Dec 5, 12 7:24 am

No loans from schooling due to having a job throughout my youth, attending yniversity in state and gifts from gramps. But I borrowed 30k to start a business.

Dec 5, 12 9:01 am

to all of my canadian friends who appear to be gathered in this thread, i would like to apologize to you on behalf of the US, especially our southern states (including, as always, Texas and Florida).  We thought at the time it would be a good idea and be highly profitable for ownership to move ice hockey teams where there is no ice.  now you guys lost a season of NHL.  again, my sincerest apologies go out to you.

Dec 5, 12 9:35 am

Keep Tampa out of this, we support our team. But you can have the Panthers in exchange for some of that sweet Canadian debt forgiveness. I'm looking at you Nova Scotia.  

Dec 5, 12 9:17 pm

As of right now i owe about 20k and i have many years to go of course this debt is from a state college though. I estimate that i will owe at least 80k to 100k by the time im finished

Dec 6, 12 11:19 am

many years to go thru valencia/ucf/uf that is, the UF city lab program started in fall 2012 and is going great from what i can gather thru phone calls

I think it is a 40k degree to finish

Dec 6, 12 11:26 am
On the fence

I like people who tell me it was their only route when we know other routes exist.   Here is one route I chose.

Spent 4 years in the military before going to undergrad.  Paid into the GI Bill for college, saved some more during my time served, took several college courses while serving.  Got out of the military and went to community college for one year.  Worked part time during school year and full time in summer.  Went to undergrad school and applied for veterans assistance through Illinois VA.  Basically covered my tuition along with GI bill, savings, always working part time or full time jobs.

I did take out student loans for about $15,000 and kept the money in the bank.  Used that money when I graduated for new/used car, honeymoon and a condo down payment.

Paid off the loan within 3-4 years.


Dec 7, 12 9:50 am

15k bought a new/used car (whatever that is), a honeymoon AND a down payment on a condo? Unfathomable.

Dec 7, 12 1:35 pm
On the fence


used car.  new to me.

living within my means

one month in Europe.

Small condo.

Dec 7, 12 4:15 pm

Living within your means!? That's unheard of!

Dec 7, 12 5:53 pm
On the fence

I see lots of people wanting to be a part of this discussion.

Dec 11, 12 1:36 pm

Live within your means?  In college?  F that shit, the name of the game is lux learning these days.  How's this for a trend in student housing:  Resort Living Comes to Campus.

"Most of these kids are going to have a step down in lifestyle when they have to enter the working-world environment after they graduate,"

This would be funny if it wasn't so sad, yo!

Dec 11, 12 2:11 pm

let me help you out handsum

"Most of these kids are going to have a step down in lifestyle when they have to enter the working-world environment after they graduate,"

when banks can profit by losing money, everyone wins!

Dec 11, 12 3:12 pm

living now vs living later.  i think thats kind of the mentality these days isn't it?  i know people that are living in city apartments they can barely afford while they pay off their loans and look for a real job just to have that city lifestyle.  comes at a cost.  here i am stranded out in the middle of nowhere saving money.  definitely not living out my 20's to the fullest, thats for sure.

Dec 11, 12 10:18 pm

I don't know Due, I think it would be hard for me to pay back as much of my loans if I didn't live in a city. I live with my girlfriend in an old apartment (character?) and have a pretty low cost lifestyle. I have bought about $50 worth of gas in the past 4 months, and that's just for trips out of the city. 

Handsome, I thought that article was pretty funny, and then I realized my firm was in it as the designer for one of those places. 

Dec 12, 12 4:49 pm

$65k and growing! I look for the day when this will began to go in the opposite direction exponentially!!!!

Dec 12, 12 7:15 pm

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