We are designed to be conduits through which God’s generosity flows. But debt can hinder this life of generosity.
College debt is a significant issue for Millennials. Many post-college Millennials have found themselves struggling to pay off their student loans. If you or someone you know is considering college, there are a few poor lines of thought to avoid. They are assumptions that can leave you with loads of debt after college.
Let’s look at six lines of thought that result in significant student loan debt:
- Attending a costly school will get me a better job. Instead, think this—I need to find a college that makes financial sense for me. Higher tuition does not always equate to higher salaries. Employers do not look at the amount you paid to get a college degree. They just look at your degree. This is especially true after your first job. After your first job, where you went to school starts to take a back seat to your prior work experience. Find a school that makes financial sense for you.
- I need the “college experience.” Instead, think this—I need the college experience that leaves me debt free. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with enjoying your time in college, especially if it works with your finances. But more and more students are realizing that having the “college experience” is not worth having the college debt. Instead of attending social after social, they are getting jobs to help offset their tuition costs. They are working hard to make sure they are not still paying for their education ten years after graduation.
- There is no rush to finish college. Instead, think this—I need to finish as quickly as possible to pay as little as possible. Two things happen when you stretch out college. First, you tend to end up paying more. This is especially true for your living expenditures. Second, you run a greater risk of not completing your degree. Make your investment worth it. Please finish your degree.
- I don’t need to know what I am signing. Instead, think this—I need to know the details of this document before it receives my signature. You should educate yourself on student loans. Before you sign any papers, make sure you understand to what you are committing. There are real consequences to signing a loan document.
- Everything will take care of itself. Instead, think this—I must plan well and take responsibility for my decisions. Student loans don’t just go away. They even survive bankruptcy. I am not nearly as concerned with the student who says they feel the burden of their student loans as I am about the one who says they do not. Student loans are a debt to be repaid and students need to view them as such.
- There is no other option. Instead, think this—There are options, and I will explore them before taking out a loan. Without question, the cost of higher education presents a formidable challenge for many current and future college students. But this does not mean that there are no other options. Change often necessitates additional change. A change in the cost of college may require you to reconsider what going to college looks like. It is very likely that your college experience will not look like your parents’ college experience.