If there is one question I get more than any other, it is whether or not to incur student loan debt. This question is not as straightforward as it seems because it really depends on your current debt situation, household income, and what you will be studying?
Student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category behind mortgages. There are over 44 million borrowers with an average of over $37,000 in student loan debt. Sallie Mae is getting fat from your education.
With those statistics in mind, it would seem “normal” to incur student loan debt to get your degree. But think about what is going to happen when you graduate from college. You will be starting a new career, looking for a place to live, possibly starting a family soon after. Student loans will be in the back of your mind until that anchor of a bill comes every month.
The best possible scenario is to be debt free going into school if possible. You will want to be able to cash flow your education so you will want to work while you are in school. It will be difficult and you will sacrifice some of your social life, but you will have time for that later.
Other life hacks include living at home and commuting if you have understanding parents, doing laundry at home, getting roommates, going to a community or in state college, and applying for grants and scholarships.
Another factor to consider is your possible income after graduation. If you are going to be a heart surgeon and your student loan payments will be minimal compared to your income allowing you to pay the debt off quickly, it is less of a burden. These cases are rare however.
This is real life after all and I want you to live it without the burdens of student loan if possible, so develop your budget, pay off your debts, and cash flow your education when you are able to.
You can do this, I believe in you!
Please share your journey in the comments.