Sunday, July 7, 2013

Student Loans: Why I Loved Them

I graduated from college in 2006 with around $18,500 in student loans. This covered tuition for 3.5 years at two different state colleges. I paid for my last semester in cash because I had added up how much I would owe after college and it scared me. I always paid for my rent, living expenses and books from my income from waiting tables and bartending. I graduated in 4 years with a college transfer by taking 18 credits every semester.

I would not have been able to go to college without student loans. I asked my parents to cosign a student loan for me and they said no.

After graduation, we still lived in TN until Y got back from Iraq and exited the army. For the six months after graduation, I worked full time and paid off about $3500 in student loans. I then consolidated $15,000 at 4.5% interest. My payments were $113 monthly.

I am so thankful that I was able to take out student loans because I would not have been able to go to college otherwise. A college degree is an absolute requirements where I work now. My college set me up for a greater earning potential throughout my life than I would have had otherwise.

What do you think? Are student loans evil or are you grateful for them?

10 comments:

  1. Student loans aren't evil. The people that spend unrealistic amounts on their education and fund them through loans are the problem. My parent's paid for my undergrad, but I used loans and tuition reimbursement from work to pay for my graduate degree. If I didn't have the option of student loans, I wouldn't have been able to continue my education.

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  2. I took out small loans and glad that I could. So I don't think they are a bad thing at all.

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  3. I took out student loans because my parents couldn't afford to pay for post-secondary and were maxed out so couldn't co-sign either. I'm in the same boat where I wouldn't have gotten any of the jobs I've had if I didn't have an university education so it was a worthwhile investment but I wish I had worked harder (particularly during the summer months) and not used up all of my loans if I didn't need to (I spent some of it on clothes and fun instead of tuition). I would have been in a much better place coming out of school otherwise. But hindsight is 20/20 and they're paid off now so I am grateful :)

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  4. I think student loans are a tool. You can use them wisely (like not over borrowing, working to offset expenses, paying them back as quickly as possible), in which case they are a wonderful way to improve yourself and your employment/income possibilities. I think some people use them without thinking about the consequences of spending money on nights out, new clothes, and cable tv, and then regret how long it takes to pay back and how much interest they have to pay. I've seen people spend their student lines of credit on vacations because they had "extra" at the end of the year (as in credit available!) To each his/her own I guess, but I hate to think of the many years these folks will be paying for the beer they drank at age 20!

    I was very fortunate to have scholarships and bursaries, a bit of help from my parents, support for living expenses from my (now) husband, and I always worked full time over the summer and part time during the school year. I ended up only owing about $5000 in student loans at the end of 11 years of post secondary education. (And BTW, I didn't just take my sweet time, I have my PhD).

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  5. I was more proud of my student loan payoff than I was off my two degrees. I think student loans are important if used correctly. I hate to see kids not work and live on loans they are so hard to payback.

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  6. We were just discussing loans this morning ... I didn't get a credit card until my late 20s, so without student loans I would have had no credit rating to buy my first car, etc. I agree that they're a tool - they just have to be used responsibly.

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  7. I went to a community college for a few years. I didn't graduate. My husband didn't go either. Our daughter is getting her degree in teaching and found out that she will be able to get her Masters for free. She has decided to stay. Our son will be his senior this year and he will be going to college.
    Anna will have about $35k in student loans when she graduates. This scares all of us. All that said, this is the best thing for her. We knew going in that she would leave with debt. Our plan is for her to move home after college, get a few jobs and stay here until it is paid off. She will, of course, stay here rent free. This was the best plan that we could come up with and I think its fair. And most importantly, she sees what a gift she is being given.

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  8. I think student loans are horrible. Then again, I'm 29, $46k in SL debt, and working as a cashier for $8.40 an hour. Sure, they're a tool. But schools need to stop giving loans to people who won't be able to pay them back. I could have gone to school without loans, and it makes me angry when I think that I'm deep in debt for no reason. It frightens and depresses me that I owe more than I've ever made in my life and I don't have the slightest idea what the hell I'm going to do.

    Btw, I just felt like commenting. I know I was kind of rude to you before and I wanted to apologize and tell you that you're welcome to come back to my blog if you ever feel like you want to.

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