Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Congratulations! Here is your degree welcome to Brokeville

Financial literacy should be a required course in college. The largest portion of a young person's debt before the age of 30 except for a mortgage will be student loans. However, colleges do not provide an education on budgeting, credit cards etc, etc.

A recent CNN Money article indicated that the average student loan debt is $19,000. I am happy to say I am just about average (who am I kidding am pissed). I have two types of student loans, the subsidized federal loans and a private loan from Sallie Mae. The federal loans were consolidated recently, which is an advantage because the rate is locked in before the increase in July. However, once I consolidated I lost the grace period and had to starting paying right away.

If I had to do it all over again there are some things I would do differently.

1). I would attend a public college for my undergraduate years. Unfortunately, I started at a private school which is where the bulk of my loans came from.

2). The private loan from Sallie Mae should have been as a last resort. I do not think I did enough research into scholarships, grants etc.

3). While working in college I would have saved some money to help pay down the debt once I graduated.

Hopefully, a some freshman out there will learn from my mistakes so that they won't end up residing in the city of Brokeville to long after graduation.

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