Taking out a student loan to be able to attend college was the smartest financial move that I've ever made. I took four years off after high school and didn't have any plans to attend college right out of high school. After working jobs without a future, I decided that I should take a second look at college. Paying for college rested solely on my shoulders. I was living on my own without any help from my parents.
I knew that I would have to take out student loans to pay for my tuition and books. I figured that I would be able to pay for my living expenses out of what I was making by waiting tables. I worked quite a bit in college, usually around 30 to 35 hours per week, to be able to pay my rent and other living expenses that I had. I had a car payment for the first 4 months of college but managed to pay it off so I didn't have to worry about it when I was in school.
I graduated college in 4 years with a debtload of around 19K. I worked hard to pay off $2500 right away before my deferment was over. I consolidated 16.5K at 4.5%. My payments are $112.53 for 15 years. I'm on track to pay it off much earlier than that.
It's impossible to say how much more money I make because I have a college degree but I'm sure that it's at least $1000 more per month. Even after my student loan is paid in full, I will continue to make more money. Student loan debt has had a much better return for me than most people made at the boom of the housing market. I think that because I was responsible about how much I borrowed, it set me up for success later in life.
Does anybody regret borrowing money for college?