Don’t Go Into Debt For College

I just got back form vacation, and need to do a bit of catching up. Well, the truth is there is a lot of catching up to do! I didn’t have internet for an entire week. Being great felt great, but not it’s time to kick projects into gear especially since fall is starting soon.

Here’s a link to my post on Dimespring. Ever since I graduated college I have become a strong advocate of not going into debt for your education. Check out my reasons why. Here’s a short preview.

My husband and I were discussing the cost of college one night. He had recently finished a conversation with one of his childhood buddies. They were talking about the jobs they had,student loans, and living expenses.

We all grow up thinking college is your ticket to success. You go to high school, attend college, and you get this amazing job.

After you land your job you can afford everything you want! New car, check! Fancy, international vacations, check! Designer clothes, check!

Then, reality kicks in…

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Let me know what you think.

Did you go into debt for college? Would you do it differently?

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17 comments

  • Not really! I had one small loan but I worked full time throughout.

  • I had debt after college. I chose an expensive university. Even though I worked full-time through college, I spent the money on clothes!

  • I would definitely have done it differently if I had really understood the reality of debt. Fortunately I don’t have as much as many others, but I think most grads with debt right now are kind of in shock at how ‘played’ we were in a way. Promises of great jobs, decent income and a better life through college have proved empty for many.

  • I was lucky that my college was paid for and I had a partial scholarship, a fact that I probably took for granted until I started reading so many PF blogs and seeing how many of you young folk are in debt up to your eyeballs in student loans!

  • I did go into a bit of debt but thankfully was able to pay it off in 9 months (it was a tiny loan). But I never want to get into school debt again that’s for sure!

  • Kali @ Common Sense Millennial

    I agree with you, especially given the current economy and job market. Going into debt for school isn’t worth it, especially when there are so many other options available for getting/furthering your education without taking a loan.

  • I’m likely in the minority of personal finance bloggers on this front, but I think going into debt for a bachelor’s degree is, in general, a very wise move. Clearly having money saved and not needing to borrow is optimal. And if you must borrow, borrow as little as possible, select an in state or otherwise less expensive school, etc.

    But the correlation between bachelor degrees and higher earnings is convincing, to me. The opportunity costs of a lifetime of lower wages dwarfs the initial student loan debt. Anecdotes supporting a career with just a high school degree abound; but the gross data, she don’t lie: the college educated earn more. Five figures more, every year, added up for a lifetime of work. College graduates also weather recessions much better than non-college graduates, further adding to the opportunity costs of skipping college. It pays to go to school, and if debt is the only way to do so, it’s still a better deal than the alternative.

    Now, if you are planning a very short career to immediately be followed by a very early retirement, the math likely says to skip out on school, avoid the debt, start acquiring at 18, and run to the finish line.

  • My only debt is from college and most days I regret it. It’s made me a stronger person, a more appreciative person, a more hardworking person but it still sucks! I don’t think it’s worth it for many people.

  • My wife and I had over $140k combined student debt (paid off now, yay!). I think I did it the right way and she did it the poor way. Most of my debt was incurred getting my MBA and it nearly immediately paid off via increased salary. My wife, though, incurred over six figures of that for a graduate degree in a science field and then promptly got a job making just under $40k. She’s worked her way up now to more decent earnings.

    My stance is that the debt you take on depends on what type of major you are pursuing, what school you’re attending, and what type of degree you are getting (undergrad, master’s, etc.). Those variables can combine to make taking out school loans a sensible choice. Very often they don’t though!

  • Most of the students who struggle to make timely repayment of loan are not aware that they can switch payment options.

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