I'm about to bite the bullet and get a student loan. Help me out/talk me out of it/give me a better option. Special snowflake stuff inside.
So, particulars about me.
I'm a thirtysomething adult with a wife and child and I work full time. I'm taking grad school courses to get my Master's in Education, as well as a teaching certification. I have already taken a handful of classes over the past year, very part time--one class per quarter. I'm paying out of pocket and one class per quarter is all I can afford. My school is not cheap, so this past year my bank account has taken a big hit. Per quarter I'm paying about $2,300.
So starting in January, I want to get a loan to pay for school. The benefits as I see them are
ONE: I have more petty cash/spending money/breathing room while I'm in school. I can personally live like a pauper but I have a wife and young son and want to provide for them (and the kid ain't gonna get cheaper).
TWO: I can finish a LOT faster. With a loan I can finish my schooling by early 2014, but without it it'll be 2015 or even later. And I'd be constantly broke for the next two years.
The downside is, of course, I have to start paying back the loan upon graduating. I wonder if this would be as much of a hit as the $2,300 every three months I pay now. Of course, interest would make it more expensive, and that's the major added price I pay for the convenience of the loan. The interest, of course, I would want to be as teeny tiny small low as possible.
My total loan amount would be around $17,000. Give or take a few K. My school isn't all that much help, other than sending me to apply for my FAFSA
, which I haven't done yet.
What options do I have? For a government loan is FAFSA the only route to take? Are there any other ways to get money like grants, etc? Are there any special loans or payback exemptions for teachers and educators?
Any advice is greatly appreciated.