Those two little words that make our millennial stomachs turn... student loans. How many of us actually thought about how we were going to pay for the loans when we took them out? I bet not too many. We have our cycle where we go to high school and plan for college when most of us are fortunate to have the help of our parents but some of us are not so fortunate when it's time to taking out loans to pay for school. The biggest problem is most students don't do our research before taking out the loan. Loans are an easy fix at that moment- you apply, get approved, and go to college… and then you graduate. Now you have to think about how you are going to pay down your debt. Do you have a plan? Most of us who go to college and graduate don't even get a job in the field we want, we have to work extremely hard to pay down the debt, for many, many years. The Financial industry Regulatory Authority Inc. found that more than half of college students failed to calculate their potential student loan costs before taking out the loans and then later regretted taking it out in the first place. It is important to do research before you jump the gun and apply for that loan, talk to people who have taken out loans before get their perspective and see how they handled their debt, and speak with your family Certified Financial Planner®.
The Department of Education estimates that 3 million borrowers are at least 30 days past due on their loans, and after 270 days of being delinquent go into default! In order to avoid not being able to pay off your loan, you have to come up with a plan. Being a planner myself I found that if I did my research and I came up with a plan that worked for me then my debt decreases much faster. Did you know Forbes reported that 57% of millennials say they regret how much they borrowed and over a third say they wouldn't have even gone to college if they realized how much they were going to have to owe once they graduated? It is sad to feel this way: there should not be any regrets going to college or allowing the scare of how much college costs stop us from going. Our education and future is important- there is always a way, you just have to be smart about it and create a financial plan that will work for you.