Monday, October 5, 2009

Student Loans

Here's a great article about student loans on's blog.

Facts that stood out to me the most:
  • 44% of graduates will delay buying a house because of their student loans (we did)
  • 28% will delay having children because of their student loans
  • Public tuition runs an average of $62,421
Natalie and I got out of college in relatively good shape (just about $30,000 in loans combined) thanks to our wonderful parents and also thanks to taking up part time jobs throughout college (I worked 10+ hours for the first year and a half of college and over 30 hours a week for 2 1/2 of my 3 years at UNT).

Although I'm generally not a big fan of debt, I would venture to say that student loans can be justified because:
  1. As the article says, you will end up making $800k more overall than your non-bachelor-degree-holding counterpart. That could be worth up to a certain amount of debt...
  2. You are specializing in a field that actually DOES make more money with a college degree. I would seriously, seriously avoid debt if you're going to school for a social work degree or something else that is known to commonly make under $30k.
  3. Interest rates are really great on most student loans (ours were 4.25% and 6%)
  4. Upon graduating, it is extremely easy and even natural to continue "living like college students" and pay down your debt.
Natalie and I actually got me through my last year of classes with cash and paid off our student loans by doing just this. We lived in a modest apartment, didn't celebrate graduation by buying a car or a house by borrowing money and we now stand debt free except our single mortgage on the house.

I am really enjoying managing our money and all it took was a few years of hard work, then a couple of years of reasonable decisions. Now we can have fun with our money and hardly ever worry about it again! Give it a shot.


Shadowphone said...

Congratulations on acting wisely.

"all it took was a few years of yard work"

So you mowed lawns after college?

Graham at Chadwell Chronicles said...

:) I even proofread. No lawn mowing.