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View Full Version : Joining Interac: a wise decision when you have loans?



southernsweettea
July 14th, 2014, 17:30
Hi there! I'm currently with JET and am NOT happy about where I was placed. I want to change to Interac because I hear that they value your preferences (as opposed to outright ignoring them, as JET did). Unfortunately, though, I'm paying 60,000 yen/month in student loans. I heard that many Interac ALTs, especially in urban areas, get stuck with apartments that are 80,000 yen/month.

With JET, I am currently only paying 20,000 yen/month in rent (because my apartment is subsidized, which Interac doesn't do). I love how cheap my apartment is but I REALLY hate living where JET placed me. Seriously, they could not have picked a place more opposite to my preferences if they'd tried. So my question is this: is there anyone on this forum who has high student debt and was placed in an urban area with a high-priced urban apartment (through Interac), and still lives a fairly decent life? Is money so tight that it's suffocating, or do you get by? Personally, I've done the calculations and it SEEMS possible to live frugally in that type of situation (though August worries me because of that mandatory summer vacation), but I definitely want to be sure.

Jiggit
July 14th, 2014, 17:48
I want to change to Interac because I hear that they value your preferences (as opposed to outright ignoring them, as JET did).

4035

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
July 14th, 2014, 19:05
Money aside, you might want to check the 'not valuing preferences ' thingat the door. While there are many things one could be critical about regarding the program, I and almost everybody I know got our preferred placements. They don't put that on the forms for a laugh, they just can't give every person what they want... And if you think any other foreign placement organization is any different, you might be in for an unpleasant shock.

ihatefall
July 14th, 2014, 19:07
My interac friends always seemed have less money and thus less fun.

Edit: other things to consider if you haven't
You'll have to pay for your health insurance and they also do not cover the travel expenses (to and from school) that many BOEs on JET do. Why didn't you just request a transfer?

sharpinthefang
July 14th, 2014, 19:18
Where did you want to be placed and what about it makes it so hideous that you don't want to go there.
Interac would take you, however, you are at the wrong time of the year if you want your preferences to be taken into account, as we are approaching the busiest time of the year for incomers.
Are you willing to do a lot of hard work? From what i have been hearing about JET from talking to people, they baby you every step of the way, whereas at Interac you are charged with doing a hell of a lot more. In ES for example, we actually take the whole class.
If you really DO NOT want to stay where you have been placed, and do not want to work for the year, then give up your position now, so that other more deserving alternates can take your place. But be on the understanding that you will NOT be able to re-apply to JET for a few years, and they will also seriously evaluate your application if you decide to re-apply after the time period is up.

Jiggit
July 14th, 2014, 19:21
I love this guy who is in Japan (and thus has a working visa) and is enough of a tithead that he thinks interac values his preferences AND hasn't realised that if he wants to move so much the obvious way is just to directly apply for work in wherever he so desperately wants to believe will fix all his problems.

sharpinthefang
July 14th, 2014, 19:28
I love this guy who is in Japan (and thus has a working visa) and is enough of a tithead that he thinks interac values his preferences AND hasn't realised that if he wants to move so much the obvious way is just to directly apply for work in wherever he so desperately wants to believe will fix all his problems.

Was that aimed at me?

EDIT; just re-read your post...

coop52
July 14th, 2014, 20:19
From what I understand, the urban placements everyone wants only go to people who've been there a long time and request transfers. It'd be better to look for direct hires in a place you'd want to be.

Also, Interac likes to put their ALTs in Leopalace apartments. They're way overpriced for their size, plus you can hear your neighbors breathe/cough/fart/snore.

soap
July 15th, 2014, 04:28
My interac friends always seemed have less money and thus less fun.

Edit: other things to consider if you haven't
You'll have to pay for your health insurance and they also do not cover the travel expenses (to and from school) that many BOEs on JET do. Why didn't you just request a transfer?

Is it actually possible to request a transfer on JET? I know a guy who quit JET after his first year because he didn't like his placement. I asked him if he could have just requested a transfer but he said he couldn't.

uthinkimlost?
July 15th, 2014, 07:03
Is it actually possible to request a transfer on JET? I know a guy who quit JET after his first year because he didn't like his placement. I asked him if he could have just requested a transfer but he said he couldn't.

You can, but you need a reason beyond "I'm a massive tool that needs akihibara in my life."

Medical reasons, marriage,etc.

In-prefecture transfers seem more likely.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
July 15th, 2014, 07:28
Possible, just not always

Ini
July 15th, 2014, 08:12
do you really want to move to a city but have no money to do anything? cant you just suck it up and go to the city on weekends to squander your inflated JET salary?

Gizmotech
July 15th, 2014, 09:39
Noone I've ever met on interac has said they are making boat loads of money, especially if they have 6man/month of debt repayment to do. Also, while interac may take your preferences into account more so than JET (I'm sorta with you there on the JET resentment), that is not necessarily right off the bat, but after having worked for them for a while.

Like Ini said though, why would you want to live in an expensive city (I assume), when you can live for sweet Fck all and make way too much money.

zombiekelly
July 15th, 2014, 09:47
OP, stay on JET. There were a few months where it was ramen every day, and I didn't even have loans to pay for.

uthinkimlost?
July 15th, 2014, 09:50
4040

This is a current Kobe jet alt's take home pay. How does that compare to interac, zk?

azguitarist
July 15th, 2014, 12:48
Wow that's after rent too...

ihatefall
July 15th, 2014, 13:14
Damn you're paying a lot for rent as a JET.

Ini
July 15th, 2014, 13:17
is that what JETs get paid these days? Jesus, in that case go work for interac....

Gizmotech
July 15th, 2014, 13:34
That's cheap. The non-prefectuals out here are paying 55,000/month for their places.

uthinkimlost?
July 15th, 2014, 20:57
is that what JETs get paid these days? Jesus, in that case go work for interac....

Yeah, gravy train is drying up. Shows, too.

sharpinthefang
July 15th, 2014, 22:01
Yeah, gravy train is drying up. Shows, too.
Can't say too much UTIL as you are still a Jet are you not?

uthinkimlost?
July 15th, 2014, 22:35
Can't say too much UTIL as you are still a Jet are you not?

I think I'm missing the question?

zombiekelly
July 16th, 2014, 11:21
4040

This is a current Kobe jet alt's take home pay. How does that compare to interac, zk?

My total intake for wage and transportation was 261,000. After rent, car, and tax was taken out, the amount deposited into my account FOR A NORMAL MONTH was 159,000. I then had 4 bills (I wasn't in a free water town) and kokumin to deal with before even thinking about food or fun. Interac cuts 4 months salary down, though they only tell you two until you come over and sign the contract. The hardest was the 60% salary month, the others are manageable but like I said, I was in the ¥59 ramen aisle at AEON quite often.

tl;dr it's doable, but not if you have 6man in loans every month

jacklostinred
July 17th, 2014, 22:24
is that what JETs get paid these days? Jesus, in that case go work for interac....

That is new contract on first year. Second year makes 300,000 a month, third makes 325,000 and fourth and fifth make 330,000 a month.

uthinkimlost?
July 17th, 2014, 22:37
That is new contract on first year. Second year makes 300,000 a month, third makes 325,000 and fourth and fifth make 330,000 a month.

Before tax, unlike the old contract.

mrcharisma
July 18th, 2014, 10:06
I think post-2012 JETs have to pay residence tax as well, which those under the old contract didn't have to. Not 100% on this though.

webstaa
July 18th, 2014, 10:46
Post 2012 JETs don't get their tax 'raise' like pre-2012 JETs do to offset the fact that they have to pay residence taxes.

therealwindycity
July 18th, 2014, 11:15
Americans are still exempt for 2 years though.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
July 18th, 2014, 15:58
I think post-2012 JETs have to pay residence tax as well, which those under the old contract didn't have to. Not 100% on this though.

We do.

ihatefall
July 18th, 2014, 16:21
Americans are still exempt for 2 years though.

[emoji119]

And you can pick the years.

I think you can also leave, come back and do it again. (Just don't make over 105k USD)

Page
July 22nd, 2014, 10:02
With student loans I'd say staying on JET is the wiser of the two financially speaking. Sure you don't pay health insurance and pension(?) on Interac but I'd say the amount you "save" about equals to the money you don't get during vacation time. There's no guarantee as to where you'll get on Interac but the odds are likely that your rent will be more expensive and you'll get a place where they charge you rental fees for everything (or you'll get an empty apartment that you'll need to furnish yourself).

Ini
July 22nd, 2014, 10:09
on interac you can take a second job to supplement your income. You might not want to but if you put in 3-4 hours a night in at a juku/full time over summer then you could make a decent amount of cash. It will detract from the "experience" so if you are that desperate for cash you are probably better off just getting a proper job back in your own country until your debts are more manageable.

mothy
July 22nd, 2014, 21:41
You could just go back to your own country and get a real job.

Page
July 23rd, 2014, 10:27
^This. Unless you are in love with Japan or have a reason that you can't leave it's kind of silly to suffer here if you can get something better back home with which to pay your loans.

ihatefall
July 23rd, 2014, 12:29
To make better pay in the states you have to make around 45-50k before taxes and expenses to beat the JET pay. IMO

soap
July 25th, 2014, 07:10
Americans are still exempt for 2 years though.

Except CIRs because of some visa bullshit.

ihatefall
July 25th, 2014, 15:45
Except CIRs because of some visa bullshit.

What? That can't be true. I don't have time to look it up now, but I don't buy that. The exceptions are so limited and it's not like CIRs are raking in the ¥en.

lexa1010
July 28th, 2014, 13:54
Don't do it! Get a job in your own country!!! I thought I could pay back loans when I moved here... Now the exchange rate is terrible and I'm stuck here for a while paying off loans in piss poor amounts.

Ini
July 28th, 2014, 14:03
cant you defer payment for a year?

ihatefall
July 28th, 2014, 19:49
Sometimes (usually) that screws you over interest wise.

RoflCopter
August 6th, 2014, 21:35
cant you defer payment for a year?

Three years actually, it's quite easy to do too. Problem is .. interest continues to build.

par92186
August 11th, 2014, 06:02
OP: I just recently moved to japan (JET) and I've got about 500man in student loans to pay every month. My first reaction to my apartment was utter disappointment (it's really old but fairly clean), but my rent is only 13,000/month. After doing a cost/benefit analysis, I realized I can afford to pay my student loans, have enough money to buy some comfortable amenities to spruce up the place (couches, tv, air con , fridge, dryer, etc), and still have a decent amount left over to travel around japan and also abroad.

I'm placed in a suburb about 15mins from the center of a large city with 60min shin access to Osaka and Tokyo. So, although I was a bit upset with the quality of my housing the pros of staying far out weigh the cons.

I know for a fact INTERAC won't pay as we'll, your rent will be higher (depending on where they throw you), and you will really have to budget to the ¥100 every paycheck. If your situation is truly that bad then do what will make you happy. However I agree with everyone here by saying you should probably suck it up for the first year.

Gizmotech
August 11th, 2014, 08:32
OP: I just recently moved to japan (JET) and I've got about 500man in student loans to pay every month. My first reaction to my apartment was utter disappointment (it's really old but fairly clean), but my rent is only 13,000/month. After doing a cost/benefit analysis, I realized I can afford to pay my student loans, have enough money to buy some comfortable amenities to spruce up the place (couches, tv, air con , fridge, dryer, etc), and still have a decent amount left over to travel around japan and also abroad.

I'm placed in a suburb about 15mins from the center of a large city with 60min shin access to Osaka and Tokyo. So, although I was a bit upset with the quality of my housing the pros of staying far out weigh the cons.

I know for a fact INTERAC won't pay as we'll, your rent will be higher (depending on where they throw you), and you will really have to budget to the ¥100 every paycheck. If your situation is truly that bad then do what will make you happy. However I agree with everyone here by saying you should probably suck it up for the first year.

You REALLY need to figure out your Japanese YEN values bro. 500 man is about, 50k USD.

par92186
August 11th, 2014, 08:39
You REALLY need to figure out your Japanese YEN values bro. 500 man is about, 50k USD.

lol i meant to say I have 500USD/month so that's 5man/month. Still getting used to the currency.

(Cue the newb insults...)

Zolrak 22
August 20th, 2014, 08:09
lol i meant to say I have 500USD/month so that's 5man/month. Still getting used to the currency.

(Cue the newb insults...)
I'd ask what kind of elite school you went to with loans like those. [emoji28]

patjs
September 14th, 2014, 15:26
To make better pay in the states you have to make around 45-50k before taxes and expenses to beat the JET pay. IMO

Yes, I basically came back and was making the same salary as JET but with the taxes and higher cost of living it was like taking a significant pay cut.

If you need to save money and pay off loans being a JET in the inaka was perfect. I haven't kept up on how the contracts changed recently.

Ame
October 15th, 2014, 01:07
Former Interac-employee here. If you have student loans (especially around 6man a month,) the urban life is gonna be hard for you. If you're on JET, I would recommend staying there. There are urban placements, but the myth that Interac puts you where you want is just publicity on their part. I put on my application that I would go anywhere in Japan except Hokkaido. I got placed in Sapporo. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, though. Love Sapporo.

Not sure how other branches work, but for Hokkaido, generally oversea new hires were given inaka placements and could be transferred into the city depending on seniority and job performance.

As for money, stay with JET. In Sapporo, they make about 10man ($1000) more than an Interac ALT per month. Makes a huge difference. Many of my friends have had to pick up another job so they don't have to choose between having a social life or eating for the week. And none of them have student loans.

Penguee
October 15th, 2014, 10:03
Yeah, don't forget the fact that you don't get paid every month with Interac. My friend ended up making about 2,400,000 every year with an apartment costing 6 man en because they plop you in a Leo Palace. And they treat you like dirt. Major dirt. If you're desperate, and a dude, I'd even say don't try it. I've had female friends who have been sexually harassed, physically harassed (by students as well as teachers) and the company and schools wouldn't do a damn thing. Said friend didn't even have student loans.
OP, you're comparing your take-home pay with all the bills paid to an Interac salary that doesn't include everything taken out. With Interac, after your bills, you'd be at 10 man en take home pay per month, I'd say.

sharpinthefang
October 15th, 2014, 14:25
Yeah, the money is crap.
@ame; i asked for anywhere but hokkiado and have been placed in Kitakyushu. My schools are a bit of a drag to get to (hour on the bus each way), but i do live only a 10 min walk from the centre of the city. I live in a leopalace and pay around 46,000 a month for it. I get all travel back as well.
The schools and branches do vary, the Fukuoka branch is ok...ish. Arugeing over holiday with them atm. But each school varies and it depends on which contract your on. I am on whats called the Haken contract, where the teacher writes the lesson plans, tells the branch and then they tell me. Slow way of doing it, but on the plus side I'm not the schools bi*tch. If they have any issues or they want me to do anything extra they have to ask the branch.
The other style contract is a team teaching, were you re given 10-20 mins of each lesson which you have to lead. And the school tells you want to do all the time.
If you get a choice, choose JET, if you don't, accept Interac if you want to be in Japan or want to kill a year somewhere.

@Penguee; The pay is a month in lieu, makes the first few months hard, but makes it sweet at the end.

Penguee
October 15th, 2014, 21:45
Yeah, the money is crap.
@Penguee; The pay is a month in lieu, makes the first few months hard, but makes it sweet at the end.

No. Interac doesn't pay you for full months of work in December, January and March. (At least they didn't pay her.) And they don't pay you for all of August, too. Yes, they have the wait a month for pay thing, but you still aren't paid a full salary every month which would make it almost impossible to balance socialization and 6 man a month student loans.

zombiekelly
October 16th, 2014, 10:22
I had partial pay for April, August, December, and March. First paycheck isn't until the end of May I believe for a late March arrival (they pay you a pittance for training). When all was said and done I ended up coming home with less cash than what I took over, though I don't consider it a bust since I got all my souvenirs and a year of living in another country.

sharpinthefang
October 16th, 2014, 11:29
When all was said and done I ended up coming home with less cash than what I took over, though I don't consider it a bust since I got all my souvenirs and a year of living in another country.

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