I am a hard-working and money-conscious individual. I chose to go to a moderately-priced private school, but I worked hard to maintain scholarships and worked 3 jobs while in school, on top of other school activities and graduating top in my class. I proceed to attend Physician Assistant graduate school. I chose to go to PA school instead of medical school mostly due to the amount of loans medical school involves. I chose the PA school to attend based essentially on the amount it would cost me.
So, as I attended PA school my undergraduate loans continued to accrue interest. By the time I was done with PA school I had $80,000. This was a success, in my mind.
My story is unique, because I was able to find a really good paying job right after graduate school. All of my loans were federal and the interest rates varied from 6-8%. I looked into options to lower the interest rate, so I could take 10 years to pay it off. There were no options for me. So, I instead made the choice to pay off of my loans in 3 years. Again, I am able to do this because of my unique position with my job. I also moved home for 1 year and chose to live with a roommate the next 2 years. The first year I paid $3300 a month on my loans, and the last 2 years I paid $1700 a month. If I had chosen the 10 year period to pay of the loans, my minimum payment would have been $800. Then I would have paid over $120,000 in the end. THIS IS CRAZY.
So if I did not have as high of interest rates, I would have chosen to pay my loans off at a slower rate over more time. This would leave me with money I could have used to invest, buy a house, or stimulate the economy in other ways. My position is unique, but it STILL would have been advantageous for the U.S. and for me to be able to refinance my loans.