Cost Of Living & Your Student Loans

By Joseph Reinke, CFA CEO of FitBUX

We all want to repay our student loans faster or save for the down payment on our dream house.

While these are great aspirations, one has to look at the entire picture to make the optimal decision(s). For instance, students and new grads sometimes only look for jobs that pay the most. However, cost of living, i.e how much one spends for day-to-day activities where we live, plays a dramatic role.

This article illustrates that point using proprietary data FitBUX recently released about new grad physical therapist salaries. We will highlight how “looking past the top line” (ie beyond the advertised salary) could impact your student loan repayment strategy and how much one can save on student loans by being strategic.

Background And Details For Our Cost Of Living Analysis

Based on our recently released new grad salary data for physical therapists, a Nevada new grad earns, on average, $78,462 per year. For comparison, a new grad in California makes virtually the same on average, $78,362 per year.

We will assume the new grad has $145,000 in student loans at an average rate of 6.3%, all with a 10-year term.

Overall, Nevada’s cost of living is dramatically lower than California's: there is no state tax in Nevada, gas is cheaper, rent is lower, sales tax is lower, etc.

For the purposes of our analysis, we will assume this new grad’s cost of living is 10% of what it would be in California, all else being equal.

What Cost Of Living Differences Mean For Your Student Loans

So how does this translate to dollars and cents?

A Nevada new grad PT would save $7,846 per year (10% of $78,462) vs. a new grad PT in California. While this absolute number may not seem like a lot to some people, let’s now assume that this new grad decides to put that money towards repaying her student loans. That means she will be able to pay an extra $654 dollars per month towards loan repayment ($7,846/12).

The result…The entirety of her student loans would be repaid 3.5 years earlier and this new grad would save $20,339.

In short, strategic planning goes a long way. Cost of living is only one of the many variables one has to take into account when making significant decisions with a potentially huge financial impact such as crafting a student loan repayment strategy.

FitBUX, Inc.

If you are interested in developing a student loan repayment plan that is customized to you, you can visit www.fitbux.com and become a member today for free.

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