Student loans make it possible for many people to afford and attend college that otherwise couldn’t. This is wonderful in that it opens up doors of opportunity for people to reach their goals, dreams, and aspirations regardless of their income level or savings account.
Many student loans that are taken out do not need to be repaid while the student is still attending school. This aspect of student loans is helpful in allowing students to begin paying their loans off once they have graduated, and hopefully, have a job to help pay for them. The downfall can be, as students have all this money passing through their hands, they don’t always stop to think, “I have to pay back each and every penny that I take out and spend.” Because they are not making payments on the loans, it can feel almost like free money. It can be very easy and tempting to take out an extra few hundred dollars (or more!) each semester to have and use on fun and pleasures. It adds up fast!
When exploring career and college options, the cost of the education needed to obtain one’s career of interest is one of many factors to look at. How long are you willing to go to college for? How much are you willing to pay for it? As each semester passes, the total amount the typical student owes in students loans creeps up and up. When a student graduates, they are often shocked at how high their student loan monthly payments are. It is important for students to be aware of this information as they are making college and career decisions.
The below chart was created by Student Loans of North Dakota and illustrates that a monthly student loan payment is determined by the total amount borrowed. More information can be found at http://nd-can.nd.gov/college_planning/
Jennifer George, Career Educator