An Education in Debt

Sunday’s Washington Post story, “How to Manage Student Loan Debt” offers an important lesson for students who take out loans to access education.

Recently, there has been a lot of discussion around the subject of student loan debt and everyone from the media to the analysts to the government has been busy pointing fingers.  Perhaps instead of pointing fingers, we should all take on the responsibility of alleviating accumulating student debt.  Institutions of higher education and loan officers should provide accurate information and students should “know what (they) owe”.

The Washington Post reporter, Michelle Singletary recommends students read “Graduation Debt: How to Manage Student Loans and Live Your Life,” by Reyna Gobel.

“She is tender where I might be tough,” states Singletary about the tone of the book.  “I think you darn well should know intimately every single loan you’ve taken out long before you take that graduation march, especially when you’re locking yourself into financial bondage for several decades. Maybe if more students kept up with how much debt they were accumulating and the interest due, they would borrow less.”

Nevertheless, she advocates, “You’ll find what you need in this book from evaluating your debt situation to repayment and consolidation options to paying your student loans off early.”

Finances can be a difficult matter for young adults to comprehend given their likely limited exposure to managing funds until recently.  We must each find a way to alleviate loan debt without the harsh proposal of denying student access to college funds. Therefore we, the education community and they, the individual must commit time to understanding what will undoubtedly affect their future and our collective future.

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