What to do about student loan debt
It is a good thing I don’t listen to NPR daily anymore because it distracts me from the fun retelling of my week and weekend and what I ate for dinner (sarcasm…). Fiona has something against all radio, talk and music – Niamh and Zoe are getting too interested in the stories so if I want to avoid topics of shooting, ebola, and defining the phrase ‘escalating crisis’ to a 4 year old I end up not listening in the car. Today was a rare day that Fiona was munching lunch and happy and I listened to the open forum for the MN Gov Race. I think I actually caught this last time too and Daton sounds older now… Anyway one of the questions from a Hamline College student was “What are you going to do about our college debt?” I guess I’m not going to run for governor because my answer is nowhere near as nice as theirs. They gave the talking point answer of “I froze MN state tuition” and “lets make focused schools to cut down costs” and more or less avoided the elephant in the room but it was only a 1 min answer anyway.
If you asked me a question like that I would say “what are YOU doing about your student loan debt?” (and then I might say “get off my lawn”)
I searched my own blog because I know I wrote about this topic in the past and here it is and I still think those things help you NOT spend a fortune on school therefore decreasing your debt.
1. Take full advantage of the AP or CLEP or whatever ‘college credit’ classes in High school.
2. Cost benefit the school with the likely results – don’t forget you want to get scholarships and have them take your credits
3. Get through school in less time, fewer semesters, fewer payments
4. DON’T CHANGE MAJOR!
Adding to that all –
What happened to saving for college? I know a guy who put aside 1/2 of all he ever made from all the random kid/teen jobs he had (including detasseling corn, a unique midwest job that apparently still needs doing) and I think he graduated debt free (I could be wrong, but he was close to debt free at least). I know that financial aid looks at what you have to determine what they can give you BUT if what they are offering is a LOAN at 4-14% you don’t really want more of that help. So even if you only save up enough for 1 year of school that means you only have 3 years of debt. I am sure this is over simplified but the point is save some when you are 15 to avoid paying back when you are 40.
Ok YES, schools should be looking at ways to stay affordable. YES, Loans should not be at crazy high interest (that apparently happened after my loan years). BUT to ask someone running for governor who needs to worry about attracting and retaining business in the state, overall jobless rates, taxes, a split government, roads, bridges, buildings, felons, taxes, schools, budgets of every flavor, state healthcare system, and I’m sure dozens of other things…. what he plans on doing about YOUR debt that YOU took? What are they teaching in college?
….. step down from soap box…..
In other news, Halloween costumes are virtually complete. Everyone could go out tonight and look just fine 🙂