Even though more and more college graduates are discovering that their degrees are not offering the return on investment that they originally anticipated, that’s not stopping today’s aspiring college grads from signing up for student loans.
In fact, the average student today graduates from college with $37,000 of student debt. But what’s really disturbing is how these student loans are being utilized.
According to Student Loan Hero:
Student loan debt is quickly reaching crisis proportions in the United States. But how is that money being spent? You might be surprised to learn student loans aren’t just financing tuition and textbooks. In fact, according to our recent study, college students are using their student loans to fund everything from cell phone bills to new clothes to beer.
Nearly 60% of student borrowers have no idea when their student loans will be paid off and more than half of all borrowers have no idea what their monthly payments will be when they graduate. When you combine these facts with declining wages and rising housing rates, many people will find they just can’t make ends meet.
The good news is there are ways to keep student loan costs to a minimum; being disciplined and budgeting only necessary expenses can prevent overpaying for seemingly innocent purchases. For example, financing a pizza every Friday night for four years turns an $1800 expense into $2291 after including the accompanying interest payments over time. Students can also defray a portion of their college expenses by working part time.
Unlike many other debts, student loans can never be discharged through bankruptcy — so it’s important to pay them off as quickly as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to make payments while you’re still in school. Then, once you graduate, make additional principal payments. Also take advantage of automatic payments to avoid late payment penalties.
For more on the rising rate of frivolous loan spending, check out the following infographic:
Photo Credit: Zero Hedge; Infographic: https://studentloanhero.com