With rising costs of tuition – and skyrocketing student loan debt – I’ve had more than one client tell me that they wish they had never gone to college.
They’re not alone.
College debt regret is a thing and it’s most common among millennials who are the most educated generation in our history. They’re also the most in debt. Millennials are working more and making less. Many of them cannot buy a house and end up living paycheck to paycheck. It’s not the future you think of when you get a college education, but it’s becoming the norm.
Forbes did a survey on recent college graduates and this is what they found:
37% of former students regretted going to college given the amount of debt they now have.
With tuition fees and living costs inexorably rising, this year’s U.S. college seniors graduated with an average debt of $37,172.
As a student loan lawyer, I know that the $37,172 average debt is just the start. That student loan balance comes with a hefty interest rate and your student loan repayment might take up all of your disposable income. Some graduates will have to choose between their student loan payments and other important bills, like health insurance, car payments or credit card debt.
What debt should you pay first?
There are a few different approaches to paying down college loans and other accumulated debts. If you have enough income each month to pay more than your minimum monthly payment, you should. If you have more than one loan, pick one to pay more than the minimum amount on and put as much as you can towards that loan each month until it’s gone. Then you can make larger payments on the next loan until that one is done too.
But what if that’s not an option?
If your student loan debt is going to follow you to your grave or if you’re unable to make monthly minimum payments on your student loan debt. We need to talk. (Read more: What should you do if you can’t pay your student loans?)
There are options available to you to reduce or eliminate your student debt.
Most college students graduate with debt
It’s easy to feel super overwhelmed and trapped by debt. It doesn’t matter if you go to community college or some expensive college, debt is debt. And it sucks.
I’ve worked with clients who have owed over $30k for one-semester of community college which sounds like a lot until you learn that the average debt of a dental student grad is $285k. I’ve seen debt so big that there is no possible way it could get paid in this lifetime. Some student loans are just not going to be paid down.
Some people will benefit from loan relief programs such as the teacher loan forgiveness for undergraduate debt, but more will need to seek the advice of a student loan lawyer when they end up in default.
Is college even worth it?
Look, you already went to school and got student loans. If you regret getting your college degree and wish you had tried to get by with just a high school diploma, that’s your business and you’ll need to make peace with it.
You can’t change that decision, but you can change how you’re going to deal with your student loan debt today and moving forward.Where do I start?