The Nation just did an article on colleges withholding transcripts from graduates that are in default with their student loans. Re-read that last sentence. You take out loans to pay for your college education banking on the hope that a person with a college degree will have a better chance of getting a decent paying job and firmly settling into middle-class-hood. Then you graduate and you start looking for a job. The loan folks give you six months to find a job before they start requiring repayment.
Imagine you’ve graduated, find a low-paying job, move back in with your parents, and start working. You can’t put gas in your car, give a few dollars to your parents for bills, and pay your student loan. You’re trudging along and then one day to see a job posting for the job of your dreams! You’re a perfect fit and it’ll pay you enough to repay your student loans and maybe move out to a small roommate situation. The company requires a copy of your transcripts so you call your alma mater only to find out that you can’t get a copy of them because you’re in default on your student loans. This could become a huge problem.
Documentaries such as Default: The Student Loan Documentary are showing the problems that students are facing repaying student loans.
Yahoo! explains the problem perfectly:
A year ago, the Institute for Higher Education Policy published a study tracking the dismayingly high delinquency and default rates of the class of 2005. But as the sum of outstanding student loans has climbed towards the $1 trillion mark, passing total credit card debt along the way, the fact that America’s students are essentially putting themselves into hock for an education has more than a few people panicking. As William Brewer, head of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, told the WaPo, “This could very well be the next debt bomb for the U.S. economy.”
I have no answers other than the traditionally held:
#1 Attend a community college to complete your lower division classes.
#2 Choose a college with good return on investment (ROI).
#3 Get as many grants and scholarships as you can.
#4 If you have to take out loans, only take what you need. You can deny portions of your loan package.
#5 Start paying the loan off while you’re in school. Interest is a beast.
What suggestions do you have for dealing with paying for college?
Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. She speaks at high schools, colleges, and companies across the country. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, and The Credit Union Times, among others. To schedule Shay to speak at your event visit www.BiggerThanYourBlock.com.