When you hear the words student loans, what comes to mind? Debt, right? Most students who take out student loans find themselves deep in debt when they graduate from college. In fact, the average amount of debt a student graduates with is $35,000. Student loan debt is a problem that continues to grow and it will likely continue to grow until something major is done about it. Even with student loan refinancing available, this debt has been extremely detrimental to people starting their careers.
If you are planning to go to college, you may be faced with the decision to take on student loan debt or simply forgo your education. But, how do you choose between the two and is it really worth it? Below, we will go over some tips to help you choose between taking out a student loan and skipping college altogether. You should also take a look at on other loans and see what options you have.
Does Your Career Choice Need a Degree?
One of the first things you need to consider when you are trying to choose between not going to college and taking on student loan debt is whether or not the career of your choice needs a degree. For example, if you are interested in becoming a radiation therapist a degree is required so you will want to research radiation therapist schools, and if you want to be a doctor, you will have no choice but to go to medical school and receive your degree.
There are positions that do not require you to have a formal degree and you can still make a decent living while performing the job. If you have chosen a career that does not require you to have a degree, then you do not have to go to college and you can avoid student loan debt altogether.
Is the Pay Off Worth the Debt?
Another thing to consider when making this large decision is whether or not the pay from your new career will be worth it and whether or not you can actually pay off the debt relatively easily with your new job. For example, if you go to school and incur $75,000 in student loan debt, what type of salary will you be making when it comes time to graduate and move into your career?
If you will only be making $35,000, then the pay is not worth the amount of money it will cost to learn the job. So, if you do make a decent salary and have good credit, you may also be eligible for student loan refinancing, which can greatly reduce the cost of your debt. In the case you think you’ll be able to get a good job after graduation, taking out loans might be worth it for you.
What Would Happen if You Do Not Go to College?
The last thing to consider is what would happen if you did not go to college. For example, would you be unhappy with yourself? Would you be giving up your dream? If you feel like you will be giving up something to skip out on college, then it may not be a good idea to do so.
If you feel like you do not need to go to college to further your career or you do not feel like your dreams will be crushed or ruined if you do not go to college, then you may want to consider not taking out student loans to go to school.
Also, before you attend college, you should have a plan or idea as to what degree you want as simply going to school to go to school can quickly waste money.
Ways You Can Avoid Extreme Student Loan Debt
If you do choose to go to college, there are ways that you can avoid extreme student loan debt. One of the first ways to avoid extreme debt is to only take out what you need after you have exhausted all of your other resources. Student loans can be tempting for many students, especially if you are offered a large amount to borrow. You should resist taking out the entire loan amount as you will have to pay it back.
Next, you should exhaust free sources of money for college including grants and scholarships. Yes, it may take some time to go through all available options, but it will pay off in the end because you do not have to pay these back.
Lastly, consider working while you are in college or participating in an earn as you learn type of program where the money you earn from working is used to pay for your tuition.
If you are trying to decide whether or not to take out a student loan or not go to college at all, take the above tips into consideration and ask yourself the above questions. Only you can make the final decision about your future.
Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela, and wife to Darasak. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.