It’s time to think about what’s ahead, or you might regret it later.
The obvious place to start when you’re thinking about your future is trying to land a job. That’s what you’re going to school for, right?
But there’s something else you should be concerned with: your student loan debt. In my experience at Quinnipiac, not enough people talk about the amount of debt they have–which leads me to wonder if they even have the first idea of how much they owe.
Seven out of every 10 college students graduate with student loans, The Institute for College Access and Success’ Project on Student Debt found.
And if you’re like me, you’re one of those seven.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average Quinnipiac University student graduates with $26,000 in total debt, which results in a monthly payment of $289. This figure doesn’t factor private student loans or parent-plus loans either.
If you’ll graduate without debt, congratulations to you. I wish my parents, or somebody in my family, had the means to support my education for four years. But they don’t, and I’m not angry at them for it.
Instead, I just keep track of how much I owe. That way, I have an idea of what my student debt will cost me each month, beginning six months after graduation.
Let’s face the facts… We go to a university that costs just over $57,000 a year, and that number is only going up. If you don’t have somebody who has more than $200,000 kicking around to pay for your education, then the potential debt you could accrue has the ability to cripple your life for years to come.
Consider this: almost seven million Americans have gone at least one full year without making a payment toward their outstanding student loan debt, according to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal.
That same report states that the national student loan burden has reached $1.19 trillion, per the latest quarterly estimates by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY).
Student debt isn’t just something you hear about in stories. It’s real, and it’s one of the largest problems our country faces moving forward.
If you’ve been paying attention to the upcoming presidential race, you may have seen an interesting Twitter exchange between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Jeb Bush.
Clinton, as an act of promoting her college affordability plan, tweeted a graphic that states 40 million Americans owe $1.2 trillion in student debt.
“Cost won’t be a barrier to an education,” Clinton said. “Debt won’t hold you back.”
Clinton’s proposal, her website says, offers federal money to states who are trying to lower the cost of a college education.
Bush fired back via Twitter with his own graphic, stating that student debt has increased under the Democratic White House by 100 percent.
I’m not trying to say that one candidate is right and one is wrong. Frankly, that doesn’t even interest me.
What does interest me is the political banter involving student debt, though, because I know that it will be a big part of my life moving forward.
You should be worried, too. If you’re going to owe money upon graduation, you should be paying attention to what politicians are saying in regards to student loans. You should be paying attention to what your specific loans look like.
The U.S. Department for Education’s data also shows that only 1.1 percent of Quinnipiac students defaulted on their loans this past year–so there is reason for optimism.
At this point, that’s all we can do. Hope we’ll be able to manage the financial burden when it comes.
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