This archived article was written by: Austin Palmer
When many of us make the decision to attend college we don’t think about how we are going to pay for tuition, books, housing, food, car, etc. The list of expenses seems to grow longer, especially for those who have always relied upon their parents to pay for everything. As the bills begin piling up, many students begin a desperate search for money. Roommates are usually good for a few bucks but are obviously unable to solve your financial problems. As finances run low and stress runs high, far too many students begin turning toward loans to gain a temporary respite from impending financial disaster.
At times like these, it seems that getting a student loan offers a quick and easy way out. It may be quick but in the long run it is never as easy as it first appears. Once you have received your first loan, you vow that you will never borrow money again for school. By the end of the semester you realize that once again your checking account balance has become alarmingly low. Where did all of the money go?
The solution may leave you scratching your head. For many students the temptation to get another loan may become overwhelming and before they know it, they are applying for and receiving another loan. Two loans becomes three, and three becomes four, and four becomes five until they finally graduate.
Graduation probably appears to be the light at the end of the tunnel for the majority of students but quickly becomes a blinding reality when they are faced with monthly bills to repay their student loans. An innocent $3,000 loan had somehow grown into a $30,000 monster. This is the reality that many students face at graduation. Many are able to repay their loans within a year or two but there are also those who are faced with monthly bills that nearly equal a mortgage payment. Not even the low interest rates that at first seemed so appealing offer any comfort.
As students we need to avoid student loans as much as possible. We should do everything within our power to avoid circumstances that would require us to rely on loans to get us through school. For some of you it may mean selling your car and for others eating on campus instead of spending $100 every month on fast food. Do whatever is possible to save money. It is amazing what you can learn to live without. Even though our parents may seem like tightwads, many are willing and able to help. Always look for the chance to get more hours at work or find individuals within the community who are looking for help with small jobs every now and then. There are always opportunities out there if we keep our eyes open.