- undergraduate consolidated loan. Approximately 13K
- graduate Stafford loans (unsubsidized and subsidized): 39K
- Graduate PLUS loans: Approximately 8K
Not too bad given that I went to two private schools. I'm happy with that total especially since I landed a job in my field prior to graduation with my MSc. I think I made the right choices with respect to working while in school, living at home to save money on rent and food and other items.
I was tossing up whether or not to consolidate and finally decided the convenience of one payment a month where I could pay over the minimum far outweighed making over the minimum on three separate loan accounts just to pay down principle. While there is the risk of paying more over time in a consolidation loan, I think I will be able to pay it off in far less time, mitigating some of that extra interest. I want to pay it off sooner rather than later because when I eventually move from Manhattan, I want to buy a house. I don't want to have these loans hanging over my head for the next 30 years and I'm willing to make sacrifices to make that happen.
I need to find out what my student loan payments are going to be (consolidated) so I can make a more accurate budget with respect to loan repayments, credit card payments, etc.