In tough economic times, people are less willing to take on debt, even if it means a long-term gain. Case in point, student loans. The Associated Press published a story recently about a movement amongst students starting college to avoid taking out student loans. They will live at home, borrow their textbooks from the library, and take on several jobs to pay off their tuition right away.
At first glance, it sort of makes sense. Many recent graduates are having trouble finding jobs paying well enough to pay off their student loans. If a student wants to put in the time and work to pay off their tuition now and avoid debt later, then why shouldn’t they do it? Isn’t it the most responsible path available?
Well, it is actually not as simple as that. First off, Deborah Santiago of Excelencia in Education says that students who take out loans are more likely to complete their degree and argues that, “If you can go to a more selective institution that gives you more resources and support, you’re more likely to compete.” Depending on the student, it is usually a better idea to take out a loan and go to a first-rate school than get a second or third-rate education without taking out a loan.
Besides that, if a student wants to set themselves up for a strong financial future, they will want to establish a good credit history. With a student loan, they can spend more time studying and getting better grades, and they won’t have to take on as much extra outside work hours. Instead, they can focus on making their loan payments on time which will make them desirable to lenders if they want to get a car or house in the future. A lot of employers also look at job applicants’ credit reports, and they might look on them more favorably after seeing that positive payment history.
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