Twenty-Some Things I Learned In My Twenty-Somethings: #4

Student Loans Are A BIG Problem

I didn't realize how much until it was WAY too late.

I always knew I would attend college. I was an active A student in high school and I knew exactly where I wanted to go to college. Due to a family emergency I had to change plans an attend another university last minute. This left me with almost no financial aid.

It is a family joke that my college fund was spent taking me to Disney when I was a toddler. True or not my parents didn't see any reason to save for me to go to college. And why should they have? When they got out of college they had just a tiny bit of debt between the two of them. Even my cousin who went to college a decade before only had about $10,000 worth of debt. There was no real precedent of what was going to happen to me and so many in my generation. All we knew was that we had to go to college to get a good job, and if we had to take out loans, so be it.

Well I am now done with college and have over $70k worth of student loans I am paying off. I pay more every month on my student loans than my cousins pay on their mortgage. This burden is far greater than I ever understood when I was signing my name on loan papers. Loans were the only way I knew to get that ever important diploma. Currently my generation is buying houses at a slower rate than any generation before. Not surprising when you consider how the money I pay on these loans could be put towards a down payment.

I am not the best with money and I am sure a business major would have done far better with understanding loans than I did. But I am not the only one stuck in this same trap. Congratulations to the class of 2014 in having the highest rate of student loan debt ever at $30K average!

Many students went to grad school because no internship would pay enough for those loans. So they just stayed in school to rack up more debt! 

So there it is. I am done complaining. As Steven Tyler would say, "I'm sick of your complainin' about how many bills."