MoneySmartsU

Jill's Got a Lot Going On

Pig Carrying Brief Case

Episode 9: Jill's Got a Lot Going On

Jill is an adult student with lots of debt between herself and her daughters. Pete and Alex talk to her about what strategies she can employ to lessen her financial stress.

Meet Jill. Jill is an international graduate student and a parent of three children, two of whom are currently in college and one in high school. And as far as the financial aid world is concerned, Jill’s children are international students. She and her two daughters have taken out private student loans, as international students do not have access to take out federal aid.

One of Jill’s daughters in college has had to transfer from her four-year institution to a community college just to reduce the amount of loans she takes out in order to make her education more affordable. While the three of them are in school, Jill is helping her daughters to pay off their loans while they are in school. That’s right: No post-graduation grace periods for their private loans. They’re paying on all of them right now.

The problem is, because none of them are working full time – Jill is a graduate assistant – they are struggling to make minimum monthly payments. The earnings for a graduate student are barely enough for one person to get by alone, much less with children. While they are mindful toward the future and graduation to find jobs within their fields of study, for now, underemployment and a low income are making things difficult.

Then there’s the credit card debt. If three forms of debt wasn’t enough, in order to pay for day to day expenses, they have to rely on credit cards. As you can imagine, meeting minimum payments here isn’t easy either. If it wasn’t difficult enough to be in international student trying to make ends meet on little income with limited financial resources, managing that as a parent with kids in college, needless to say, is tough.

Even if Jill and her daughters were working, maintaining their jobs and making ends meet are no easy tasks on student salaries to make sure they all succeed academically as well. Listen to Pete and Alex’s conversation with Jill. And continue to share your stories with us. We’d love to keep talking about these issues with you.

Season 1: 12/09/2015