If you have been paying attention to the news lately, you can’t help but have noticed the increase in stories discussing the “student loan crisis.” Recently, a dubious milestone was passed – Americans now have more outstanding student loan debt than they do outstanding credit card debt. And, total student loan debt recently passed the $1 trillion mark.
While conventional wisdom holds that college is a wise investment and that loans are sometimes necessary, today’s college graduates are saddled with an unprecedented level of debt. In many cases, the monthly payments that are required are enough to keep graduates from purchasing cars and from moving out on their own.
Now, obviously it’s important that you (or your child) earns a college degree in order to prepare for a fulfilling career. But these days, it is very easy to end up with a financial aid package consisting primarily of loans – and before you know it, you or your child ends up with a massive debt burden.
Below are three important ways to keep your student loan debt at a minimum:
Choose your college for the right reasons. There are a variety of factors that should go into selecting a college to attend. Academics, reputation, and family tradition are important factors. But there are other issues which must be considered, including total cost, the availability of financial aid, and other factors that impact affordability—such as location. Our experts would love to help you weigh these factors and make the best possible decision.
Choose the right course of study. It is important that you choose a major which prepares you for the career you’d like to pursue. And one of the factors you consider must be projected salary. For instance, taking on student loan debt to pursue a career as a middle-school teacher is a risky proposition, as the relatively low salary most teachers earn may make paying off your loan difficult. On the other hand, pursuing a higher-compensated career may make your debt more manageable.
Maximize scholarships. Many students and families have no idea that they can qualify for scholarships beyond what is offered by their school. In fact, there are thousands of private scholarships available based on a wide variety of criteria. Contact us today if you’d like help locating them.
Student loan debt is a major problem – and is likely to get worse in the future. These three steps will help you keep your debt manageable. Of course, we’ve helped countless families put their students through college without debt –and without compromising their financial future. Please get in touch with us today to learn more!