Graduating From College Sucks, You Have Debt!

Students

If you are like most of the college population in America, you will be graduating, or have graduated, with a significant amount of money to pay back to the fed. I’ve been out of school for a quite a while now and I am still paying back my school loans. Student debt is rising every year. The cost to go to college, both as a graduate and undergraduate student, has gone up faster than inflation. So let me tell you, that’s a lot! :-) Pell grants have not kept up, but Stafford loans and other federal student loan interest rates are near record lows (a good thing).

This Is Why Graduating From College Sucks: Student Loan Debt

A recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics shows that about 50% of recent college grads have student loans, with an average student loan debt of $10,000. This is scary since the average cost of college increases at twice the rate of inflation; I foresee the average student loan debt increasing dramatically in the years to come. It is estimated that public school costs an average of about $13,000 a year and private schools costs $28,000 in the U.S.

Reducing Your Student Loan Burden After College

As sure as death and taxes, you’ll have to pay those student loans at some point. There are many ways to reduce to your debt; the most cost effective thing to do is to consolidate or refinance your student loans.

Benefits of Consolidating Your Student Loans

  1. Reducing interest rates. By locking in at a lower interest rate, you will be making lower monthly payments. Interest rates are near record lows now so chances are you’ll get a better rate now than when you first got your loan.
  2. Reducing the number of creditors. I don’t know about you, but having tons of different bills to pay at different times of the month is always a mess for me. By reducing the amount of creditors, the process is easier to keep track of payments. More importantly, it means you only have to deal with one creditor if you’re late with a payment or need to renegotiate your loan for some reason.
  3. Finding loopholes while in college. Of course, you can’t consolidate student credit card debt in with your student loans – this are very different type of debt. However, if you are in school, you may consider taking out a loan to pay off some of your high interest rate credit cards. This practice isn’t something the fed nor schools look highly upon. But taking care of those high interest credit cards by taking out lower interest rate school loans that you don’t pay until after graduating can reduce your total debt after college.
  4. Private companies to consolidate loans. You can potentially consolidate your private student loans into the same loan. But remember, federally funded student loans have much lower interest rates than private loans, and if you roll them together you would be required to use the higher interest rate – so keep private and federal student loan consolidation programs separate.
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  • Generally it is a nice thing to be able to save money on loans, taxes, etc. Only problem is that most people don’t know how to. Starting up a home business to advise people where they can cut back on little things can turn out to be very profitable. With a simple credit card processing, the fee can be charged from a user’s bank credit card. There are various areas that one can hit. Information on various types of loans is just one them. Explaining the difference between average sort of loan and equity loan would be a prime example. On the other hand covering taxes is also a smart move. Things like inheritance tax are something most people are not informed about. Moving on, services can be provided to let people know about home mortgage refinancing, and providing an online mortgage calculator will also be a slick display of intelligence.

27 thoughts on “Graduating From College Sucks, You Have Debt!

  1. 5. Rob a bank.
    6. Pick out a rich old man/lady in town who has awful kids or no kids. Pay your friend to nearly run him/her over, as you jump to the rescue. Save his ass, exchange name numbers and be all friendly. And then he/she’ll be so grateful he’ll accept you as the child he/she never had and pay for your college. Make sure you get him to sign his will over to you as well.
    #6 sounds awesome to me!

    1. I’m a little dissapointed Jeff, I thought for sure you would mention something about a sugar daddy, or momma

  2. Yea, I’m really glad that student loans have super low rates and another great thing is that it doesn’t affect your credit scores

  3. Of course the best thing to do would be to read Career Ramblings thoroughly so you can get a job and start paying off those loans
    Excuse me, I have to go get this brown stuff off my nose.

  4. Borrow more, never pay it back. Take the opportunity to screw the system; the system will be screwing you for the rest of your life.

    1. and what run for the rest of your life?
      I’m glad I paid it off before I graduated. My wife still has hers on her head.

    1. Hey jeff I like the format of your blog…the scroll behind the title is nice….but sometimes confusing…lol.

  5. #5 Learn a language like German or French (or Italian, Dutch or Portuguese if you’re so inclined), then emigrate to a Euro country like Austria, France, Germany, Belgium or Italy. (Not Britain– they’re stupidly following the US “slave-labor economy” model more and more these days.) Earn your salary in Euros rather than the increasingly worthless dollar. In fact, earn much more money in your job in Europe– where they crave American-trained professionals who can speak the national language– working much more humane hours, and more vacation, than in the USA, where you’re basically a sweatshop worker.
    Example– my electrical engineering entrepreneur buddy originally from Michigan, valedictorian of his high school and Phi Beta Kappa in college. Graduated with a B.S. and a Master’s (with computer science training) with approx. $90,000 accumulated debt. Went to work in companies in the USA and even Canada. Got treated like sweatshop labor despite his credentials– routinely worked 85-hour days for stagnant or decreasing pay and benefits, frequently came in on weekends, maybe 5 days vacation a year, was stuck in a ridiculously high-stress cutthroat environment, ate a horrid diet and gained weight, pulled all-nighters all the time, eventually got laid off and replaced with cheaper employees (aka “outsourced to India” for example) who “knew their place.” Had no time or energy to start his own business. Chronically exhausted and bummed out. Oh, and sank ever deeper into debt– to the tune of $150,000– as interest piled up.
    So my friend, furious at the way he’d been repeatedly treated even as a hard-working and well-trained professional, used the interim months between jobs to study German tapes and take some basic language courses. He got good at German and also kept up with his field. Applied to work in some city called Wuppertal (western Germany I think), where he was snapped up in a moment due to his excellent training even though he was still working on his German. Now works average 45-55 hours a week with lots of scheduling flexibility and greater efficiency. Vigorous and competitive but non-cutthroat work environment– people are collegial there. Enjoys much better food, time to exercise and ride a bike, takes weekend trips to Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam on the Eurorail. Gets 5-6 weeks vacation (depending on productivity and value of his projects).
    Oh, and earns much, much more money than the dwindling pittance he was getting in the States. Which he was able to save up to pay off his ridiculous college debt in the USA within 4 years, in part thanks to the Euro-dollar exchange rate.
    Oh, and also to save up more money to travel the world during those 5-6 weeks of vacation, stay in 4-star hotels (again, it’s all about the Euro), and get good enough at his German to meet and start dating a very gorgeous fellow emigre from the Czech Republic. Who is now his fiance. And whose kids will be able to attend outstanding German public schools for free, and then to attend even more outstanding German universities, law schools, business and medical schools virtually for free.
    Honestly, this is the way to go. I don’t know what’s happened to the USA, but we seem to get the worst of all worlds here, at least those of us inclined to train and work as professionals. We have to work our tails off in expensive schools (increasingly, expensive private schools, considering the crumbling US public school system), then sink ourselves ever more deeply into debt in universities whose tuition and room/board costs rise faster than inflation, then go even deeper into debt for graduate or professional schools. (Especially law and medical school–for young doctors fresh out of medical school, it’s not unusual to have more than $250,000 of accumulated debt that starts wildly piling on interest even as you’re a medical resident and too poor to pay it off!) Then, once you’ve gotten the training, to be treated like a sweatshop laborer on the job, with horrid hours and dwindling pay, your jobs being outsourced, generally miserable. Then getting laid off. And if you’re one of the lucky few that can even afford to have kids, going bankrupt paying for your kids’ spiraling education costs.
    Honestly, for a US-trained professional, Continental Europe is the way to go. The only hassle is learning the language, which actually isn’t that hard and you quickly get fluent once you start working there. Nine of my other friends have already emigrated (four to Germany, one to Austria, two to France, one to Belgium and one to Italy), and I may soon be joining them. If you do happen to have some ancestry in the country you’re going to, it can help but it’s not necessary. Italy is busily trying to attract educated Italian-Americans, and you’ll make bank if you go there, though my friend going to Italy is of Scottish-Polish ancestry, not Italian. Similar with Germany– if you have any drop of “Germanic” blood (my friend described above who moved to Wuppertal in Germany is Dutch-Scandinavian, not German) it can help a little, but it’s patently not necessary– one of my other college buddies in Germany is of north Indian ancestry, another is Welsh-Irish, another is Polish-Hungarian. (The fourth is a “mutt” like me with a dab of southern German but mostly Scottish.)
    Maybe even South America has some opportunities in countries like Chile or Uruguay. But without a doubt, the pay, work environment, opportunities and especially quality of life are much better for professionals on the European Continent, so long as you learn the relevant language there.
    “with an average student loan debt of $10,000.”
    Average of $10,000? I and most of my friends– who didn’t go to a super-expensive Ivy League school, BTW– have an average of about $70,000 among us. 4 years of even a decent public university, with tuition and room/board routinely hitting $30,000 across the board, minus the measly grants and parental contributions we can muster, comes out to roughly $70,000 over the 4 years. And scarily, it’s only getting much, much worse.
    Again, if you also go to law, business or especially medical school, > $200,000 in debt is if anything the norm.
    It’s an irony, but my old buddies who were pre-med were generally the smartest and hardest-working people in my class. They didn’t party much, always went to class, studied 60-70 hours a week, and routinely graduated with top honors.
    Now, they’re routinely in debt to their eyeballs– one who went to a top-10 medical school now has over $400,000 in debt– busting their tails working 80-90 hours weeks for pathetically low pay, in a ridiculously high-stress environment, and generally so worked to the bone that half are burning out and the other half are about to quit.
    Sadly, Canada, the UK and even Australia are starting to follow the crazy US slave-labor model. Somehow, Continental Europe is much more humane about this sort of thing. It’s definitely become the place to be for a North-American trained professional.

    1. That comment was as long as the post…. yeah in the UK things are getting really stupid…. social security pays as well as minimum wage jobs, (if you are in social housing etc)…. so people in that situation dont work, they can actually end up worse off having done a weeks work…. so, the minimum wage jobs get taken up by workers from the new EU states such as Poland, who often get ripped off by dodgey employers, and live in crap accomodation.
      There are more people than jobs, more people than houses, and still we ‘need’ migrant workers to keep the economy moving, its a real mess….
      Ive worked round Europe a lot and the conditions are a lot better, but they too will soon follow the UK and US, they cannot sustain the short working weeks vs the cost of their social care systems and are seeing their industry being wiped off the map by Eastern European states and China…..

    1. 9,800 degrees celcius….. a bit high??
      nawwww must be global warming.
      (Comments wont nest below this level)

      Comment by Jane

      2007-05-03 11:19:54

      You’ve been watching that Gore presentation huh? I actually saw it live in Orlando, FL.

       

      Comment by Jeff Kee

      2007-05-03 13:40:28

      No, Al Gore was the guy who summed it up.
      Knew about global warming and felt the effects of the El Nino syndrome etc. since I was a kid.

       

  6. Regards student debt, I dont have much sympathy really, most people go to University because they know it will increase their earning potential.
    I did things the other way around, got a job, then went back to University, I have a friend who did this also, it worked out well for us both…..
    Having worked for a couple of years allowed me to do better on my course as I had developed a strong work ethic…. and had some money…. most students on my course simply did not work hard enough and certainly did not deserve support from taxpayers…..

  7. First thing I tell my cousins when they go to college . . don’t sign up for those free credit cards just for the t-shirt . . . .and if you do, try to keep it down to a couple of credit cards just for emergency and stuff.

    1. That brings back good memories. A clean t-shirt and credit card with a limit high enough to buy a few kegs of beer.

  8. This is something every college grad should read! I have a friend who is still paying off her college debt, and we graduated over 10 years ago.

  9. Graduating From College Sucks but Graduating From College and finding that you really did not need your degree Sucks even worst – and of course still having all the debt.

  10. Oh my god I hate …college loans…I have 65,000 in loans…yes 65,000 us dollars from a Fashion design/marketing BA degree….too much money..

  11. I call it the Ray-Ban/Jeff Kee theme. It’s got mixed reviews but hey, there’s gotta be a first time for everything right?

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