DLG Wealth Management's Andy Guzzetti shares the advice every college grad needs to know
The cost of higher education is expensive. College loan debt in the U.S. is reaching new heights, leaving young graduates, co-signers (parents and grandparents) or mature adults enhancing their education, to face the hefty price tag.
Here are the Facts:
• Student loan debt is around $867 billion nationwide.
• Student loan debt, in 2011, surpassed the nation’s credit card debt
• The average student loan debt is approximately $25,000 per college graduate
With the economy struggling and unemployment at 9 percent, it is very tough for new, job seeking graduates to achieve jobs earning an income necessary to pay off these loans.
Another area which has been negatively affected by this high Student Loan Debt is the Housing Market. In 2011, the 25-34 year age group bought just 27 percent of the houses, a new low in the past ten years. This has a widespread ripple effect on the entire Housing Market. These ‘Would Be’ First Time Home Buyers are already in debt which affects their ability to purchase homes put on the market by previous First Time Buyers looking to upgrade.
How can you manage your debt?
As with All Loan situations, always prepare ahead and think before you borrow. Some money-saving options to look at:
• Get an Associate’s degree at a local community college and commute to
• If you want a 4 year degree, go to Community college for two years then a public
or private 4 year college to earn your Bachelor’s degree
• Apply for Grants and Scholarships
• Go to school part time and work part time
For college graduates, who already have the burden of student loans, make sure you have a budget in place and live within your budget. Research programs that may help eliminate some of your student loan debt, for example teaching in inner city schools.
Do not default on student loan payments or any type of credit. The best way to handle the situation if you are not going to be able to make a payment is to contact the loan administrator and make arrangements. Personal appointments are better than a phone call. Be proactive, before you get a call or letter concerning missing payments.
For more information on College Savings Plans, speak with a financial advisor at DLG Wealth Management today or call 518-348-0060.