I think it's time to worry now. I called Sallie Mae and found out that I will owe a grand total of 100,000 dollars in student loans when I complete my master's degree in Education. I've also found out that my unsubsidized loans accumulate about 4 percent interest every year I do not pay on them, even if I'm still in school. My current job, substitute teaching, only helps me bring in about 700 dollars per month. I have not been able to find a teaching position in state, and I haven't explored my options out-of-state. The debt I accumulated is the result of changing majors, using financial aid for miscellaneous living expenses, taking out unsubsidized loans, and not budgeting properly. I have since learned to be much more careful with money and never intended for my debt to balloon out of control like this. I knew not to even touch a private education loan, take out a mortgage, or open up a credit card, but I had no idea that unsubsidized Stafford loans could build up so quickly.
I don't think I can pay off my loans on what I make currently, but I thought about maybe trying to pay only the accounts containing unsubsidized student loans while I'm still in school (I'm planning to go after a doctorate if I can't find a decent job.) A little over half of my debt consists of unsubsidized student loans and the interest that compounded during the years I was going to college.
I'm happy I went to college, but I should have done a much better job of budgeting and keeping track of the interest rates.