Student loan debt is a common cause of financial distress for many college graduates. There are some ways to lessen the weight of student loans both before getting into debt and after.
College graduates walk away from college with a diploma and a weight around their neck called student loan debt. Students that leave school before graduation, only walk away with the debt. Popular wisdom is that it will take years and years, maybe decades to finally pay off student loans.
One of the worst things about student loan debt is that students who are accruing them rarely have prior experience in dealing with debt. Students are almost victims of the system in that they are sort of put on automatic to getting into the debt. The FAFSA data gets forwarded to lenders and all the student has to do to accept the loan is to sign for it. The government encourages and enables the process. There is not a step in the process where students are ingrained with the values of limiting the amount of debt they take on or any sort of urgency to break free from the bonds of debt. “Debt is bondage” – Suze OrmanDebt is bondage! -Suze Orman Click To Tweet
Student Loan Debt Seems to Linger for a Lifetime
College graduates take for granite and accept that debt will be a part of their life for the next decade or more after graduation. This does not have to be the case. Someone needs to stand in the gap for the student and help them understand the down side that having this debt will bring to their life. So many students are looking to others to make the debt go away after they acquired it. The natural process that drew them in does not provide a roadmap to get them out. Unfortunately, only the student is liable to meet the obligation.
Whatever phase of the student debt experience you find yourself, whether that is prior to getting into student debt, in school and increasing debt each semester, or a graduate looking for a way to get free from the weight of debt, I want to give you some hope and direction.
Sooner is better
Hopefully you are reading this before finding the noose of debt around your neck. If that is the case, take heed and let this be words to the wise.
It might not be possible to get through your college education without any debt, but at least make an effort to keep it to a manageable level. Only take out what you need to get through. It is not wise to live lavishly on borrowed money. You and only you will be paying back that debt. Well, I take that back. Possibly you and your future spouse will be paying that back. Oh and add your kids to that list of who will be affected by the debt you take on during school if you let it get out of hand. So, maybe you aren’t concerned about how it will affect you, but at least pay attention out of love for your future family.
If you are at this stage, it is the perfect time to gain an operational understanding of the principles of debt. There are a number of financial pitfalls waiting for you at college. Hopefully your parents can give you guidance, but increasingly across the country people of all ages are struggling with debt and finances in general.