Now, the idea that you won’t pay off your student debt that isn’t necessarily true, but it sure seems like it. Especially because of the fact that student debt is now over $1 trillion in the U.S. and there are around 37 million student loan borrowers in debt. And in 2010, of the 41.7 million working college graduates, 48% worked jobs that didn’t require even a bachelor’s degree. Basically their student loans didn’t help them land the job; it’s a shame they wasted that debt. The opportunity to get a student loan and hope to pay it off is there for almost anyone, but is the risk worth it? According to the statistics, maybe not.
Our Current Situation
Luckily most student loans you can take out, you don’t have to start paying until six months after you quit going to school. Unfortunately, not all people can find a job just six months after graduating, as was stated above. Makes me wonder what people are thinking when they go to school and rack up the student debt. I personally know people that would accept the highest possible amount of loans each semester and use it to buy clothes and cars. “Smart, you are not.” Who is to say what someone should spend their credit on? I don’t think judging these actions are very helpful. If you’re buying a new car to get to class or trying to look nice to impress faculty, perhaps you think you’ll be in a career where these were necessities.
What shall we do?
Well it’s too late to go back in time to not take your student loans, but there are some things to alleviate the pain. First, set a goal to pay off your debt and by when. Second, make monthly payments (along with that goes cutting your spending on things that are not near as important). With Obama’s new policy (if it works how it’s supposed to) it will be much more affordable for those who don’t make much money to still make their monthly payments. Third, consolidate your student loans (if you have multiple loans coming from different places)—this will make it so you have one payment a month with one interest rate. This is daunting so make sure that you do your homework and research. And fourth, do not stray from the path of reaching your goal—if you postpone paying for a month, you will struggle getting back into the flow of it and the interest and payments will all build up even more.
Implement the Plan
Keep these four things in mind while you are looking at the huge debt looming over your head. Always pay more than your overage when possible, this will help you get to your goal faster, and pursue new ventures free from debt in the future. You can get an education and never worry about student loans, but it requires planning, and focus. Before you dive in, pick a path, and as Yoda might say, “May the Force be with you.”