Adults Crippled with School Loans

Michelle Cady |

This month I have received several phone calls from adults dealing with student loans. The conversation usually goes to that place "if only I had known...I would have, could have, should have." Particularly hard pressed are the ones in the workforce earning less than $30,000 a year in a high cost of living area. How do you keep up the loan payments AND pay your current bills...let alone save for retirement? Young people need a plan. They need help gathering the information to make good decisions about how to go about pursuing their educations. If at all possible, they should avoid taking loans. And, if they must, then be very prudent about incurring debt. Preferably accessing all renewable scholarships available to them first and then seeking additional grants in their area of study. Finding the best part-time jobs is key as is seeking summer internships to network with potential employers. Supportive parents can further add to the equation. How you go about incurring debt matters! If you don't understand the best way to proceed seek help. Attend college workshops, talk with an adviser, compare universities, and come up with a plan. Know what that plan will cost. Have a good sense of what your income will be when you graduate and enter the workforce. If possible, work for an employer who will help cover the cost of graduate school. Then understand how long and the method you will use to repay any loans taken. Parents and Grandparents, let's help where we can. There are some wonderful college accounts that can be established at birth that can lessen the financial burden on the student and their parents. Share what you have learned with the young people in your life. Let's talk about the importance of education, the costs as well as the rewards.