Taking out major loans for college is so common now that most new college students don’t even think twice about it. Let me tell you though, you will think twice about it once you’ve graduated and a significant part of your monthly paycheck gets shuffled off to pay for that thing you did in the past. Not exactly fun. And, contrary to popular belief, debt for college is not always “good debt.”
Let’s throw a couple numbers out there to help get you thinking seriously about what student debt will do to your life…
Average debt for 2016 graduate: $37,172
Average time it takes to pay off (for a bachelor’s degree): 19.7 years
Average monthly payment for loan: $499
Let’s use these numbers to talk about your life, shall we?
So, you’ve just graduated and are excited about buying a house, buying a car, taking exciting vacations, getting married, having a family and raising kids. Whatever your dreams are, imagine having $500 less per month to spend on said dream. When you consider other monthly costs of adult life (like rent/mortgage, car payments, grocery bills, gas money, “fun” money, etc.) you realize how little you could be left with at the end of your paycheck. On top of all that, say you graduate at the age of 22. You won’t be free of this monthly money-sucker until you’re 41. Now there’s a sobering thought for you!
OR…you could be banking almost $6,000 a year from the day you graduate if you’ve managed to avoid student debt.
And obviously, these numbers could be much, MUCH worse if you take on more debt. The obvious alternative is that these numbers will be so much more easy to swallow if you take on less or (be still my heart) NO DEBT.
Bottom line is, you need to do yourself a favor and consider after-college-you. Put the time and effort in now to find a college you can afford, look for scholarships and grants, do research on what you could be making after graduation with various degrees, and make money wherever you can to put toward your college bills.
Here’s to starting now to make good decisions for a debt-free future.