CNN Money recently published an article by Blake Ellis about college graduates delaying some major milestones because of their student loan debt. Ellis cites a survey from the American Institute of CPAs where 41% of the more than 200 participants stated they put off saving for retirement; 40% put off buying a car, 29% are pushing back plans to buy a house. 15% of those surveyed are even postponing marriage due to student loan debt. Graduating from college is a huge accomplishment, but looking at a post-college life filled with debt can put a damper on the excitement quickly. Student debt might be inevitable, but there are ways to minimize the impact it has on your life.
1. Consolidate Your Federal Student Loans.
Consolidating multiple loans into a single payment, not only makes managing your repayment easier, it will probably save you money by reducing your monthly payment, and helping you pay off your debt quicker. Direct Consolidation Loans is a webpage maintained by Federal Student Aid that has information on consolidation, and an application.
2. Consolidate Other Debt
College is also the first time many of us have credit cards, medical expenses, and other loans that we have to repay. The same principle applies to consolidating these debts. Consolidating can make debt easier to manage because there are fewer monthly payments to make. You can also spend less on payments every month and pay less in the long run.
Here’s a video that gives a little more information about how 3Rivers can help you consolidate your debt, and make it more manageable.
It might be tempting to take your savings, and catch the next flight to Vegas, but I’d recommend creating a solid financial plan for your future first.
No matter what media you engage with, you’ve probably heard something about student loans lately. But paying for higher education has always been expensive. As a parent of three young children, I think about that a lot. What am I to do? Hope they’re much smarter than me and land full rides? Push them into sports and pray they get scholarships? Tell them they have to pay for it all themselves? Jackpot winnings?
Okay, let’s get real. Think about this…
Jennifer Decker recently wrote about student loans a KPC News column about a very real scenario. She notes that college costs are currently going up at twice the inflation rate. She estimates an average yearly cost of college at $17,131 for a four-year public college.
To make this scenario very real, she points out that her 3 ½ year old niece (and probably her parents too) will see an even heavier financial burden:
…her first-year cost will be around $44,000 and a four-year degree will cost around $195,000. I think she better start saving up her money from the Tooth Fairy and anywhere else she gets money as a gift.
Two Hundred Thousand Dollars for College?!?!??!?
In my case, times that by three (even I can do the quick math – it’s over a half million dollars!) - OUCH!
Seems like, if I am going to foot the bill for my kids to go to college, we ALL may be eating Ramen Noodles! But, fortunately, there are some solutions to help ease this burden, many of which are available from 3Rivers.
- For current or soon-to-be college students (and parents of current college students), we’ve partnered with CU Student Choice to offer education, information and resources for funding a college education.
- If (like me) you have youngsters in the home and college seems far off (but really, it isn’t), start saving now. Our team at ClearFuture™ Financial available through CFS can help create a path to help you do it right and make it affordable.
I think that’s my queue.
Going to get that complimentary ClearFuture consultation to talk about college savings scheduled sooner than later so I can hopefully send my kids to college AND still be able to retire (someday).
P.S. Speaking of scholarships, we recently named this year’s 3Rivers scholarship recipients. Check it out!
Interested in learning more about smart budgeting tips, building good credit, and other money management topics? Come visit us at this year’s
Allen County Public Library
Monday, April 28 – 9am-6pm
We’ll be answering questions about your money matters, and even giving away a Nook. Throughout the day there will be several educational forums including talks about saving for college, ID theft prevention, and building credit for small business. For more info about the event and full list of events click the link above.