While I’m fortunate to have zero college debt – I went to school in-state and lived at home three out of four years – my boyfriend isn’t so lucky. He now owes $153,000. YIKES! He pays $2,000.45 per month out of his $3337.46 a month salary. That’s more than half of his monthly income going to college debt!
Even paying this large monthly sum, he has only decreased his debt by $6,000 in the past year! Most of my friends are in the same, if not worse, situation. And my boyfriend has a good job. Some of my friends are earning less per year than it cost them to go to college! My boyfriend, my friends, and I don’t know much about how to begin paying off these massive debts. Maybe you can answer the question that we are struggling with.
How can a recent grad pay off big college debt?
Should I consolidate my loans? This is a question that many of my friends have asked me. I’m honestly not sure what happens when you consolidate your loans, especially if you have different interest rates. I know there are debt calculators, but is this worthwhile and can anyone do it?
If my field is low-paying, should I find a cheaper college? College is a great investment because you are investing in yourself and increasing your potential earnings after you graduate. But, when college costs $40,000 a year and you’re studying to work in a field, such as teaching, where the average starting salary is $30,000, does it really make sense to take out loans you won’t be able to pay off for many, many years?
Is there any way I can get out of paying my loans? Is there any way to make these loans just vanish? Is bankruptcy an option? This sounds ridiculous but it’s a question that my friends ask all the time. Panic can do that to you.
Is deferring your loans a good option or should you just start paying immediately? Many of my friends are stuck deferring their loans because they haven’t gotten “real” jobs yet. Not having the income to spare can make paying loans seem impossible. But, will deferring loans become a problem in the future?
Should I pay as large an amount as possible a month as I can afford? My boyfriend is putting as much money towards paying his loans as he possibly can without becoming homeless or starving. Is this the best strategy? As his salary increases should he could continue to increase the amount of money he puts towards his loans a month?
What’s the best way to save money to pay for loans? My friends want to know what else they should be doing to pay back their loans. Should they be couponing, staying in, living at home, or pursuing any other money saving options?