Let’s talk: Student loan debt

If you haven’t heard, student loan debt is a growing problem in the United States. In fact, student loan debt is predicted to reach a total of $1 trillion soon (if it hasn’t already happened). Many college students, both undergraduate and graduate, rely on federal and private student loans to fund their education. While some people may tell you that “student loan debt is good debt”, you still face a challenge: you must pay it back.

When you’re in school, the numbers may not seem too bad. $8,000 here, another $7,000 there. However, many students face tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt after graduation. And that’s when the reality hits. Hard.

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If that isn’t enough to wake you up, just think about the challenges of finding a job so you can pay your student loan debt. While you’re job searching, the interest on your student loans keeps adding up. And no one can stop it except you.

That’s why I’m writing about student loan debt today. I get disheartened when I hear of adults in their 30s, 40s and 50s who are still paying off their student loans from decades ago. You can read countless stories online about how college graduates throughout the country struggle to keep up with their student loan debt. That’s why I’ve made a promise to myself: Paying back my student loan debt will be my top priority after finishing my MBA degree this summer.

How will I make my student loan debt a top priority? I plan to set aside a certain percentage of my paycheck every week to student loan payments (I’ll decide on the appropriate percentage after I receive my first paycheck). Of course, I need to make sure I have enough money to pay for the essentials like food, gas, insurance, cell phone bill, etc. However, I am going to make a dedicated effort to not spend money on things I don’t need. No more spontaneous spending!

Now, not spending money on things I don’t need sounds all nice in theory, but can I make it work? One of the main reasons why people don’t keep their New Year’s resolutions or promises to themselves is because they lack a strong support system. Therefore, I will be telling my family and friends about my plan to pay down my student loan debt as fast as I can. I may even encourage some of my fellow college grads to join in too! If my family and friends support my goal, then I’ll be one step closer to achieving it.

What do you think of my student loan repayment goals? How are you handling your student loan debt?

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What do you think?