Money Mistake #1 and Lessons Learned

Obviously I’ve made a mistake or two or I wouldn’t be here blogging about my journey to debt freedom. Looking back I want to kick myself but at the same time I’m almost thankful for my debt for it has done for me and my relationships (personal and monetary) into what they are today.

I live my life fully believing that hardships in your life are only given to those who can handle them, and that lessons are to be learned. I’m not just talking about money either, in which case I’ve been tested to my limits. I recognize that if I was’t meant to be able to come out on top somehow, I wouldn’t be in the situation so I try and embrace the challenges.

Mistake #1: Don’t take out a student line of credit or student loan ‘just because the interest rate is good’

My mom didn’t have any educational savings for us, when I ask her why (she had a good job after all)  her answer was that her primary focus was her own retirement (single mom/income) and she knew I would have access to student loans and lines of credit.

Upon high school graduation, when the time came to pay my first year university tuition my mom took me to the bank where she co-signed a student line of credit for me to use. I only needed about $3,000 for my first year since I had manged to save about $4,000 which would offset the remainder of tuition (about $6,00 for undergrad) and enough money for my books (another $1000). I was living at home at the time and maintained a job throughout school so only needed enough for tuition and books.

So why on God’s green earth, did she co-sign a maximum $40,000 line of credit for me?!

She said I should borrow as much as I can because ‘ I will never have the opportunity to borrow at such a low interest rate’. I wish I could say my mom was an idiot but the fact is that she was brilliant. She graduated university (Pharmacy) with a 4.0 on full scholarships, but she had NO idea what sort of life she was setting me up for.

Here’s the other thing about my mom, she’s never been in debt. She’s never even owed $1 on her credit card. Never had a car loan, and paid off her mortgage in like 10 years. Yet, she has a delusional view of money. She made great money even as a single parent should of had enough money to save for both my sister and I, went on vacation AND saved for her retirement but she hoarded cash like the end of the world may happen tomorrow and lived very frugally.

So there I was, 18 years old and had $40,000 at my disposal. I had no idea how to manage that kind of money! $40,000 is a lot of money for anyone let alone a kid with no financial education. I did manage to make it last through a four year undergrad (about $25,000 tuition and another $5,000 in books and lab fees) the other 10k? It slowly dwindled away, I’d use my credit card and ‘pay it off’ with the line of credit, after all I will never have the opportunity to borrow at such a low interest rate again.

I really wish I had done my financial homework and understood the financial responsibility that was being given to me. Yes, my mom took the loan out for me but at 18 I really should have had enough wits about me to budget and learn how to use the money more appropriately. Not anything I can blame on my mom or anyone else. I should have saved more, started saving earlier, invested and used my (menial) paycheques better. All things I can now teach my daughter.

But, in all honestly, if I didn’t experience the school debt that I have, I can’t say for sure that I’d respect money as much as I do now. 

Hey Mom, FYI- my mortgage is more than 1% less (in interest) than the money I borrowed for school.

 

Enjoy Plunged in Debt?

Pid

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Comments

  1. Wow, $40k at that age is a HUGE chunk of money. Heck, it even seems like one to me now. 🙂 It’s amazing the financial lessons our family can teach us, especially at such a young age. I had a similar situation where my Dad gave me $10k when I was in school. It was inheritance money and was meant for me to pay towards school. He knew that I had issues with credit card debt, yet gave me this cash with no questions asked. Unfortunately I made some foolish decisions with it then….but it’s a great lesson now.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..Three Ways Advertising Companies Tempt You to Forsake FrugalityMy Profile

  2. I think we can all look back at our youth and wonder how we could have done things differently. What matters is that it’s happened and you have learned from your experience. Make the most of now and the future and all is not lost 🙂
    Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted..Recipe: Lemon Meringue PieMy Profile

    • Catherine says:

      exactly, I suppose if I hadn’t learned anything it’d be so much more of a loss than just financial.

  3. It was a long time ago now, but I remember getting very similar advice to that, and that shaped my attitude during my school years. I wish I would have worked harder to pay for my school at the time, instead of simply borrowing the money.
    Greg@ClubThrifty recently posted..4 Ways to Save Money in the New YearMy Profile

  4. Haha, oh man that sucks. Sometimes parents say things to us and they don’t realize how much it sticks! I know if I”d been in your situation, I would’ve blown through $40K in an instant and been knocking on the banks door again, “So uh, hey, can I get more? I’ll have a job sometime and I’ll pay it all off then.” Haha, oh the young and stupid. That’s a GREAT lesson though that you learned and a great thing to remember if you have kids some day. Teach them well when it comes to money!
    TB at BlueCollarWorkman recently posted..What It Means To Know Someone PersonallyMy Profile

    • Catherine says:

      I have a daughter- we opened an educational saving account for her when she was five weeks old haha.

  5. I have the same approach to my financial blunders–they’re all learning experiences and make me a better financial manager of my own life.

    $40K–I can’t imagine what I’d have done with that much money at the age of 18!
    The Happy Homeowner recently posted..Yes, My Boyfriend is Paying Me RentMy Profile

  6. Sorry, but I would have to agree with your mom. Would you rather owe 40k in student loan or owe nothing and have no college education? 40k is a lot of money for an 18 years old to owe, but it’s an investment for the future. I know many foreign exchange students who paid much more than that. Sure, you made some small mistakes with the 40k, but I think you came out pretty well.
    Midlife Finance recently posted..Where Will You Live When You Retire?My Profile

    • Catherine says:

      Oh, going to university wasn’t NOT not an option and I’m not disputing that the money was needed. I just wish she encouraged me to save more rather than borrow so much. I got too comfortable with the loan. If the focus was put more on me to save vs borrow I may not have ended up with 100k student debt.

  7. This is a good example of why personal finance should be taught in school. Because it isn’t, you learn about how to handle your money from your parents. You have no idea as to whether or not that advice is good or bad or even right or wrong. You just don’t know. If personal finance was taught in schools, you would be able to better understand whether or not borrowing $40K is a good idea or not. Even better, if what you were taught differs from what Mom & Dad think, you can a conversation about it and possibly learn even more.
    Jon @ MoneySmartGuides recently posted..Using Coupon Chief to Save Money Shopping OnlineMy Profile

  8. I can really relate to this, Catherine. I took out way more than I should have for grad school. I was on scholarship, but the stipend was small, and I was getting married, etc. I also decided to go to an out of state school for college. Now I know, despite the good reputation it has, that it wasn’t necessary. However, like you, I’m glad that I made these mistakes. It’s taught me a great deal about money and how to manage it.

  9. That is a lot of money to have in college. The good thing is that it taught you more about money management than you probably thought it would. Unfortunately, the way your mom did it was not good for you.
    Grayson @ Debt Roundup recently posted..The Day My Personal and Financial Life ChangedMy Profile

  10. I went to college on a full scholarship and still came out of undergrad with $14,000 in student debt, mostly in monthly living expenses. Even though I worked part-time through most of my undergrad years, I still traveled and shopped and paid for things with my student loan money that I wouldn’t have paid with “my money”. I knew it was a loan, but it just doesn’t sink in until you see that big number in front of you and start paying it off (with interest!).
    Lyn @ Pretty Frugal recently posted..9 Tips To Save On GasMy Profile

    • Catherine says:

      totally agree, there’s a huge disconnect between money you earn and loan monies. 14k isn’t too bad for a degree though! I had 106k for 2 degrees…

  11. I think that it’s great you were able to get a 40K loan. Did your Mom tell you what to do with it? I had a moderately large LOC for school and used it for all sorts of things, like investing for a higher return. Several people I knew used theirs to spring for a car in their final semester, when they had a job lined up and knew that they would need them. I guess what I’m saying is, I kind of agree with your Mom and that it was your choice how you spent the funds.
    It is difficult to get anything that is unsecured for rates like student LOCs. If your finances line up, you should get a second mortgage or a secured LOC to pay off what is higher rate, but treat it like CC debt that has to go away ASAP.
    Anne @ Unique Gifter recently posted..eBay Savings TipsMy Profile

    • Catherine says:

      She didn’t tell me what to do with it but I knew that that was ‘it’ for school so had to make it last. She didn’t give me any real direction either- again, not her fault but I wish I had more money sense and understood my options better.

  12. Strange how a frugal money hoarder would push you into debt like that. I agree that one should think about retirement first and kids’ college after but it looks like she could have done both. Sorry you had to learn the hard way!
    Pauline recently posted..13 money resolutions for 2013: #7 Make more money!My Profile

    • Catherine says:

      I can’t say she pushed me in debt, it was me spending but she certainly opened the flood gates. I certainly could have worked harder after graduation to pay them back but it is sort of funny given her money views.

  13. Yikes. Well-intentioned by your mother, I’m sure, but that is a tough financial lesson to learn. There is a particular emotional disconnect with student loans since usually they don’t need to be paid back immediately. And with an unsubsidized loan in the States, interest is silently piling on top of that principal. It was a rude awakening and quite the shock into reality for me upon graduation—talk about a double whammy!
    Jennifer Lynn @ Broke-Ass Mommy recently posted..Where does time dwindle away to?My Profile

  14. Live and learn, right? Sometimes those lessons are expensive ones.

    “I live my life fully believing that hardships in your life are only given to those who can handle them”

    Hmm. I kind of believe this – at least in my own life; I, for example, have had family issues, but they are issues I would much rather have had than others. I can’t say I believe this is true for everyone. We have a really high suicide rate, especially youth suicide, in NZ, and IMO the fact that there are people in this world who resort to taking their own lives is proof that not everyone can handle their burdens.
    eemusings recently posted..The dangers of recommending a friend for a jobMy Profile

  15. As I say everyday when I look back on our debt, hindsight is 20\20. If only I had though things through before quitting a high paying job to buy a business. If only I had made sure we could still afford our house if only one of us was working full-time. But we lean as we go. At least you are learning now instead of 20 years from now. Your experience with debt will help you build a better future for yourself and your children.

    BTW our parents are similar in that mine too never owed a dollar to anyone and lived a very frugal lifestyle even though they always had money coming in.
    Tackling Our Debt recently posted..Grow Your Small Business by Attending Networking EventsMy Profile

    • Catherine says:

      It’s true I’m trying to turn my bad experiences into good life lessons! My mom grew up with very money conscious parents since her dad went through the depression in the 20’s and 30’s.

  16. $40k is what I ended up owing after my undergrad, and I needed every last penny of it. I definitely didn’t live luxuriously in school, yet somehow I blew through my student loans like they were nothing! Fortunately I was able to get a chunk of them forgiven, and now there’s a measly $11,200 left owing.
    Jordann @ My Alternate Life recently posted..Thundershirt Review and GiveawayMy Profile

    • Catherine says:

      That’s great Jordann! I had some forgiven but still owe about 13k in my student loans and about 30k in my student LOCs plus the DMP…we’re chipping away at it though!

  17. Even the most well-meaning intention of our parents can backfire in some ways. Your mom certainly had your best interest at heart and thought getting you 40k student loan a great option for your college course. But come to think of it, you earned two degrees albeit at a high cost. Yours proved to be a great lesson in financial management, and being the wiser, you are now applying the lessons learned to your own family.
    Amy Turner recently posted..Survey: Many Americans Optimistic about Retirement, Despite Lack of Planning and SavingMy Profile

  18. I agree with your mom putting her retirement ahead of college savings but not the loan part. Student loan tales are the inspiration for a lot of PF bloggers!
    Kay Lynn recently posted..Tales from the Scale: Week 1My Profile

    • Catherine says:

      Oh I fully respect her decision to beef up her own retirement but as an adult I now know she had more than enough to set aside for my sister and I AND uphold her retirement money. She didn’t and that’s fine I do just wish she’d encouraged me to work harder for my education though rather than telling me I’d have a bunch of money to get me through it.

  19. I love how you were able to take a negative point in your life and find the positive. Isn’t it funny that you learned a fantastic lesson from the wrong advice? Many, many people would have used that as an excuse/reason to focus on borrowing potential.
    AverageJoe recently posted..Hiring a Financial Advisor: Clues from the ReceptionistMy Profile

    • Catherine says:

      Well the way U see it, if I dwelled on the past I’d be a pretty negative person. Like I said, I fully believe people are put in situations they are because they can handle it and they’re meant to learn something from it.

  20. The student credit is a huge problem in the UK too… My brother and sister are still at Uni and the loan companies are trying to THROW money at them… it is so irresponsible of these ‘government approved’ bodies!!
    Savvy Scot recently posted..The Passive Income Series – Method 1: Get Paid to Browse the InternetMy Profile

    • Catherine says:

      Oh I know, how I managed to obtain 25k credit limit on my credit cards while being in university and only working PT is just insane to me.

  21. I think many college age students would end up in a similar situation given a $40k line of credit. Can’t imagine what my son would do with $40k!
    Paul @ The Frugal Toad recently posted..How to Turn Savings from Everyday Purchases into WealthMy Profile

  22. Wow I absolutely loved reading this article. Since I’ll be a new student soon this is very helpful.
    Alexis recently posted..Healthy Chicken Recipe I made & a giveaway!My Profile

  23. I believe loan officers prey on young high school students. I have a friend that literally has $200k in student loan debt. I wish schools would teach personal finance to our youth so they’re not digging themselves out of a hole when they finally do educate themselves.

  24. Wowzers! That’s a lot of cash. I was a frugal Betty in University. I thought of every expense in terms of how long I had to work checking groceries to pay for it. I’m curious if your mom reads your blog? Did she have any thoughts about this post?
    Mandy @ MoneyMasterMom recently posted..How to Complete a Successful Spending FastMy Profile

    • haha NO she doesn’t even know what a blog is. I’ll probably do a post about my relationship with my mom one day…

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Money Mistake #1 and Lessons Learned

Obviously I’ve made a mistake or two or I wouldn’t be here blogging about my journey to debt freedom. Looking back I want to kick myself but at the same time I’m almost thankful for my debt for it has done for me and my relationships (personal and monetary) into what they are today.

I live my life fully believing that hardships in your life are only given to those who can handle them, and that lessons are to be learned. I’m not just talking about money either, in which case I’ve been tested to my limits. I recognize that if I was’t meant to be able to come out on top somehow, I wouldn’t be in the situation so I try and embrace the challenges.

Mistake #1: Don’t take out a student line of credit or student loan ‘just because the interest rate is good’

My mom didn’t have any educational savings for us, when I ask her why (she had a good job after all)  her answer was that her primary focus was her own retirement (single mom/income) and she knew I would have access to student loans and lines of credit.

Upon high school graduation, when the time came to pay my first year university tuition my mom took me to the bank where she co-signed a student line of credit for me to use. I only needed about $3,000 for my first year since I had manged to save about $4,000 which would offset the remainder of tuition (about $6,00 for undergrad) and enough money for my books (another $1000). I was living at home at the time and maintained a job throughout school so only needed enough for tuition and books.

So why on God’s green earth, did she co-sign a maximum $40,000 line of credit for me?!

She said I should borrow as much as I can because ‘ I will never have the opportunity to borrow at such a low interest rate’. I wish I could say my mom was an idiot but the fact is that she was brilliant. She graduated university (Pharmacy) with a 4.0 on full scholarships, but she had NO idea what sort of life she was setting me up for.

Here’s the other thing about my mom, she’s never been in debt. She’s never even owed $1 on her credit card. Never had a car loan, and paid off her mortgage in like 10 years. Yet, she has a delusional view of money. She made great money even as a single parent should of had enough money to save for both my sister and I, went on vacation AND saved for her retirement but she hoarded cash like the end of the world may happen tomorrow and lived very frugally.

So there I was, 18 years old and had $40,000 at my disposal. I had no idea how to manage that kind of money! $40,000 is a lot of money for anyone let alone a kid with no financial education. I did manage to make it last through a four year undergrad (about $25,000 tuition and another $5,000 in books and lab fees) the other 10k? It slowly dwindled away, I’d use my credit card and ‘pay it off’ with the line of credit, after all I will never have the opportunity to borrow at such a low interest rate again.

I really wish I had done my financial homework and understood the financial responsibility that was being given to me. Yes, my mom took the loan out for me but at 18 I really should have had enough wits about me to budget and learn how to use the money more appropriately. Not anything I can blame on my mom or anyone else. I should have saved more, started saving earlier, invested and used my (menial) paycheques better. All things I can now teach my daughter.

But, in all honestly, if I didn’t experience the school debt that I have, I can’t say for sure that I’d respect money as much as I do now. 

Hey Mom, FYI- my mortgage is more than 1% less (in interest) than the money I borrowed for school.

 

Enjoy Plunged in Debt?

Pid

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Powered by ConvertKit

  1. Wow, $40k at that age is a HUGE chunk of money. Heck, it even seems like one to me now. 🙂 It’s amazing the financial lessons our family can teach us, especially at such a young age. I had a similar situation where my Dad gave me $10k when I was in school. It was inheritance money and was meant for me to pay towards school. He knew that I had issues with credit card debt, yet gave me this cash with no questions asked. Unfortunately I made some foolish decisions with it then….but it’s a great lesson now.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..Three Ways Advertising Companies Tempt You to Forsake FrugalityMy Profile

    1. Catherine says:

      At least we learned something from it all!

  2. I think we can all look back at our youth and wonder how we could have done things differently. What matters is that it’s happened and you have learned from your experience. Make the most of now and the future and all is not lost 🙂
    Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted..Recipe: Lemon Meringue PieMy Profile

    1. Catherine says:

      exactly, I suppose if I hadn’t learned anything it’d be so much more of a loss than just financial.

  3. It was a long time ago now, but I remember getting very similar advice to that, and that shaped my attitude during my school years. I wish I would have worked harder to pay for my school at the time, instead of simply borrowing the money.
    Greg@ClubThrifty recently posted..4 Ways to Save Money in the New YearMy Profile

    1. Catherine says:

      Me too…lessons learned though and now we know what to do for our kids!

  4. Haha, oh man that sucks. Sometimes parents say things to us and they don’t realize how much it sticks! I know if I”d been in your situation, I would’ve blown through $40K in an instant and been knocking on the banks door again, “So uh, hey, can I get more? I’ll have a job sometime and I’ll pay it all off then.” Haha, oh the young and stupid. That’s a GREAT lesson though that you learned and a great thing to remember if you have kids some day. Teach them well when it comes to money!
    TB at BlueCollarWorkman recently posted..What It Means To Know Someone PersonallyMy Profile

    1. Catherine says:

      I have a daughter- we opened an educational saving account for her when she was five weeks old haha.

  5. I have the same approach to my financial blunders–they’re all learning experiences and make me a better financial manager of my own life.

    $40K–I can’t imagine what I’d have done with that much money at the age of 18!
    The Happy Homeowner recently posted..Yes, My Boyfriend is Paying Me RentMy Profile

  6. Sorry, but I would have to agree with your mom. Would you rather owe 40k in student loan or owe nothing and have no college education? 40k is a lot of money for an 18 years old to owe, but it’s an investment for the future. I know many foreign exchange students who paid much more than that. Sure, you made some small mistakes with the 40k, but I think you came out pretty well.
    Midlife Finance recently posted..Where Will You Live When You Retire?My Profile

    1. Catherine says:

      Oh, going to university wasn’t NOT not an option and I’m not disputing that the money was needed. I just wish she encouraged me to save more rather than borrow so much. I got too comfortable with the loan. If the focus was put more on me to save vs borrow I may not have ended up with 100k student debt.

  7. This is a good example of why personal finance should be taught in school. Because it isn’t, you learn about how to handle your money from your parents. You have no idea as to whether or not that advice is good or bad or even right or wrong. You just don’t know. If personal finance was taught in schools, you would be able to better understand whether or not borrowing $40K is a good idea or not. Even better, if what you were taught differs from what Mom & Dad think, you can a conversation about it and possibly learn even more.
    Jon @ MoneySmartGuides recently posted..Using Coupon Chief to Save Money Shopping OnlineMy Profile

    1. Catherine says:

      I agree 10000%

  8. I can really relate to this, Catherine. I took out way more than I should have for grad school. I was on scholarship, but the stipend was small, and I was getting married, etc. I also decided to go to an out of state school for college. Now I know, despite the good reputation it has, that it wasn’t necessary. However, like you, I’m glad that I made these mistakes. It’s taught me a great deal about money and how to manage it.

  9. That is a lot of money to have in college. The good thing is that it taught you more about money management than you probably thought it would. Unfortunately, the way your mom did it was not good for you.
    Grayson @ Debt Roundup recently posted..The Day My Personal and Financial Life ChangedMy Profile

    1. Catherine says:

      Agreed…and that was only my undergrad…I finished school owing over 100k.

  10. I went to college on a full scholarship and still came out of undergrad with $14,000 in student debt, mostly in monthly living expenses. Even though I worked part-time through most of my undergrad years, I still traveled and shopped and paid for things with my student loan money that I wouldn’t have paid with “my money”. I knew it was a loan, but it just doesn’t sink in until you see that big number in front of you and start paying it off (with interest!).
    Lyn @ Pretty Frugal recently posted..9 Tips To Save On GasMy Profile

    1. Catherine says:

      totally agree, there’s a huge disconnect between money you earn and loan monies. 14k isn’t too bad for a degree though! I had 106k for 2 degrees…

  11. I think that it’s great you were able to get a 40K loan. Did your Mom tell you what to do with it? I had a moderately large LOC for school and used it for all sorts of things, like investing for a higher return. Several people I knew used theirs to spring for a car in their final semester, when they had a job lined up and knew that they would need them. I guess what I’m saying is, I kind of agree with your Mom and that it was your choice how you spent the funds.
    It is difficult to get anything that is unsecured for rates like student LOCs. If your finances line up, you should get a second mortgage or a secured LOC to pay off what is higher rate, but treat it like CC debt that has to go away ASAP.
    Anne @ Unique Gifter recently posted..eBay Savings TipsMy Profile

    1. Catherine says:

      She didn’t tell me what to do with it but I knew that that was ‘it’ for school so had to make it last. She didn’t give me any real direction either- again, not her fault but I wish I had more money sense and understood my options better.

  12. Pauline says:

    Strange how a frugal money hoarder would push you into debt like that. I agree that one should think about retirement first and kids’ college after but it looks like she could have done both. Sorry you had to learn the hard way!
    Pauline recently posted..13 money resolutions for 2013: #7 Make more money!My Profile

    1. Catherine says:

      I can’t say she pushed me in debt, it was me spending but she certainly opened the flood gates. I certainly could have worked harder after graduation to pay them back but it is sort of funny given her money views.

  13. Yikes. Well-intentioned by your mother, I’m sure, but that is a tough financial lesson to learn. There is a particular emotional disconnect with student loans since usually they don’t need to be paid back immediately. And with an unsubsidized loan in the States, interest is silently piling on top of that principal. It was a rude awakening and quite the shock into reality for me upon graduation—talk about a double whammy!
    Jennifer Lynn @ Broke-Ass Mommy recently posted..Where does time dwindle away to?My Profile

  14. eemusings says:

    Live and learn, right? Sometimes those lessons are expensive ones.

    “I live my life fully believing that hardships in your life are only given to those who can handle them”

    Hmm. I kind of believe this – at least in my own life; I, for example, have had family issues, but they are issues I would much rather have had than others. I can’t say I believe this is true for everyone. We have a really high suicide rate, especially youth suicide, in NZ, and IMO the fact that there are people in this world who resort to taking their own lives is proof that not everyone can handle their burdens.
    eemusings recently posted..The dangers of recommending a friend for a jobMy Profile

  15. As I say everyday when I look back on our debt, hindsight is 20\20. If only I had though things through before quitting a high paying job to buy a business. If only I had made sure we could still afford our house if only one of us was working full-time. But we lean as we go. At least you are learning now instead of 20 years from now. Your experience with debt will help you build a better future for yourself and your children.

    BTW our parents are similar in that mine too never owed a dollar to anyone and lived a very frugal lifestyle even though they always had money coming in.
    Tackling Our Debt recently posted..Grow Your Small Business by Attending Networking EventsMy Profile

    1. Catherine says:

      It’s true I’m trying to turn my bad experiences into good life lessons! My mom grew up with very money conscious parents since her dad went through the depression in the 20’s and 30’s.

  16. $40k is what I ended up owing after my undergrad, and I needed every last penny of it. I definitely didn’t live luxuriously in school, yet somehow I blew through my student loans like they were nothing! Fortunately I was able to get a chunk of them forgiven, and now there’s a measly $11,200 left owing.
    Jordann @ My Alternate Life recently posted..Thundershirt Review and GiveawayMy Profile

    1. Catherine says:

      That’s great Jordann! I had some forgiven but still owe about 13k in my student loans and about 30k in my student LOCs plus the DMP…we’re chipping away at it though!

  17. Amy Turner says:

    Even the most well-meaning intention of our parents can backfire in some ways. Your mom certainly had your best interest at heart and thought getting you 40k student loan a great option for your college course. But come to think of it, you earned two degrees albeit at a high cost. Yours proved to be a great lesson in financial management, and being the wiser, you are now applying the lessons learned to your own family.
    Amy Turner recently posted..Survey: Many Americans Optimistic about Retirement, Despite Lack of Planning and SavingMy Profile

  18. Kay Lynn says:

    I agree with your mom putting her retirement ahead of college savings but not the loan part. Student loan tales are the inspiration for a lot of PF bloggers!
    Kay Lynn recently posted..Tales from the Scale: Week 1My Profile

    1. Catherine says:

      Oh I fully respect her decision to beef up her own retirement but as an adult I now know she had more than enough to set aside for my sister and I AND uphold her retirement money. She didn’t and that’s fine I do just wish she’d encouraged me to work harder for my education though rather than telling me I’d have a bunch of money to get me through it.

  19. AverageJoe says:

    I love how you were able to take a negative point in your life and find the positive. Isn’t it funny that you learned a fantastic lesson from the wrong advice? Many, many people would have used that as an excuse/reason to focus on borrowing potential.
    AverageJoe recently posted..Hiring a Financial Advisor: Clues from the ReceptionistMy Profile

    1. Catherine says:

      Well the way U see it, if I dwelled on the past I’d be a pretty negative person. Like I said, I fully believe people are put in situations they are because they can handle it and they’re meant to learn something from it.

  20. Savvy Scot says:

    The student credit is a huge problem in the UK too… My brother and sister are still at Uni and the loan companies are trying to THROW money at them… it is so irresponsible of these ‘government approved’ bodies!!
    Savvy Scot recently posted..The Passive Income Series – Method 1: Get Paid to Browse the InternetMy Profile

    1. Catherine says:

      Oh I know, how I managed to obtain 25k credit limit on my credit cards while being in university and only working PT is just insane to me.

  21. I think many college age students would end up in a similar situation given a $40k line of credit. Can’t imagine what my son would do with $40k!
    Paul @ The Frugal Toad recently posted..How to Turn Savings from Everyday Purchases into WealthMy Profile

  22. Alexis says:

    Wow I absolutely loved reading this article. Since I’ll be a new student soon this is very helpful.
    Alexis recently posted..Healthy Chicken Recipe I made & a giveaway!My Profile

  23. I believe loan officers prey on young high school students. I have a friend that literally has $200k in student loan debt. I wish schools would teach personal finance to our youth so they’re not digging themselves out of a hole when they finally do educate themselves.

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  25. Wowzers! That’s a lot of cash. I was a frugal Betty in University. I thought of every expense in terms of how long I had to work checking groceries to pay for it. I’m curious if your mom reads your blog? Did she have any thoughts about this post?
    Mandy @ MoneyMasterMom recently posted..How to Complete a Successful Spending FastMy Profile

    1. Catherine says:

      haha NO she doesn’t even know what a blog is. I’ll probably do a post about my relationship with my mom one day…

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