Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Student Loans Harder to Find

Check out this article.

Here's the IOU NO MORE take on the subject. Don't borrow money for college. I know it's counter to everything you know about getting through school. But while college is supposed to be about education, it's been a cash cow for the lending industry. Including the Govt. Until recently, that is. Now the house this country built on a foundation of debt is beginning to crumble.

I won't even get started on some of the so called, "technical" institutes that have tuitions as high as some fine universities, but have no accreditation. We looked into one of those many years ago, when Brittan was first considering going back to college. I was appalled. We'll save that for another day.

Whenever possible, go to a State College. Go to a Community College if necessary. But make it affordable. Pay as you go. One semester or one year at a time. Don't borrow. Same goes if you MUST go to a private college. One example is for people preparing for ministry. Even there, look around, find one that fits your statement of Faith and pay as you go. Apply for grants and scholarships. Get a job. Do whatever it takes to avoid debt. Yes, it might take longer. Yes, you might have to go to a second or third choice University. But in the long run, you'll be better off.

Student loan debt haunts many families for decades after college. Just think of how that money could be invested and how much it could earn if you were paying yourself rather than Sallie Mae or some other life sucking creditor. And think for a minute about all the people who have dropped out of college and have the loan debt but no degree. That hurts doubly.

If you are parents of young children, or even those in Jr. High or High School and you plan to pay or assist paying for your child's college education, you need to start saving today. It's far cheaper to pay ahead (and gain interest along the way) than to pay afterwards when you have to pay interest.

When you talk about college with your child, explain that if Daddy and/or Mommy are going to be footing the bill, Jr will go to a State School. Maybe even a community college. It might not be popular. Well, Waah! Then Jr. can go pay for his own school and Mommy and Daddy aren't going to bail him out. This is serious.

College education is very important. But if we don't manage it correctly, it can be a financial bane instead of boon. On the other hand, if we come out of college with a debt free degree, the world is our oyster from the very beginning.