Don't get me wrong, I understand how it happens: students borrow a little or a lot each semester and between school, part time jobs, and homework fail to keep track of all those loans--and they add up!
According to Forbes Magazine, "College graduates with the average $27,000 in student loan debt can end up making payments of over $300 a month for 10 long years. There are only so many dollars to go around, and because of the student loan burden, these are people who have difficulty carving out funds to save, pay down debt and invest for retirement. They may have to delay purchasing a home because they are paying up to 15% of their incomes for the college degree that landed them the job."
"Oh, well," you say. "I have to go to college to get a decent job and it's expensive." But does that expense relate to prosperity across a lifetime?
"The research found that students who graduate with debt wind up with significantly less wealth in the long term than those who didn’t. In fact, the researchers estimated that a combined $53,000 in student loan debt would result in a loss of $208,000 for a dual-headed household over its lifetime, since they’d have less to save and invest while trying to pay down their student loans."
If you're a current college student, track your debt and think about how much you have to pay per month once you leave school - and you better hope the job immediately upon graduation.
One student I know spent $108,000 going to school to be a social worker. Her loan obligation for the next ten years: $1242.86. Do social workers even make that much a month? The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a social worker can expect to make $42,480 per year. That's $3540 per month before taxes. Yikes. BTW, The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a great resource for researching careers.
If you want to find out your monthly debt obligation, click on this link for a loan calculator that will tell you exactly what your student loans will cost you each month once you finish school: http://mappingyourfuture.org/paying/standardcalculator.htm
What advice can you give college students to keep their student loans to a minimum?