Good evening everyone...
On a daily basis I take my dogs on a walk for about 45 minutes. It gives me a chance to calm down from the day, get a little exercise, and do some thinking.
On this particular walk I started thinking about when I was 18 getting ready for college. I thought back to a specific conversation between my mom and I. I asked my mom if my college was going to be paid for and she told me not worry about it and "just have fun", it would all be taken care of. I did not question her because it sounded like it would be for in cash. I would regularly ask my mom about the payments and she told me she had a monthly payment plan to pay tuition. She never once mentioned that she was paying for school through student loans. I find myself wanting to go back to 18 and ask my mom to sit down with me and tell me the financial situation for college. I wish she would have told me you x dollars to spend. If you spend more than that amount, you will have to get student loans to cover the rest. Then, I wish she would have told me an estimate of my monthly payment to student loans once I graduated. I really wish she would have included me in the discussion for the financing of college.
Then, I started thinking about how many people in student loan debt did not have parents that did not tell their kids how college would be paid for; they simply responded "don't worry, it will be taken care of, go have fun". If you are a parent reading this please sit your high school senior down at the dinner table at the start of the school year and explain to them 1) how much money you have socked away to pay for college and 2) what student loans will be like if they need them. I feel like a lot of this could be avoided if parents just explained the college budget to their students.
On the other hand, why don't high school seniors have to take a personal finance/ adult life class? I know this sounds stupid, but if someone had told me what life would be like with student loan payments, I would have tried at all costs to avoid having them! I feel like high school seniors should be informed on student loans and debt in general before they go to college. Many of the kids will receive a credit card in their name and take out student loans. They must understand the "ins-and-outs" of these things before they get them. Most kids would look at this as a symbol of freedom, and to a point it is, but they are ultimately bound to whatever amount of debt they take on for the next 20 years and if they do income-based payments, 30 years! That is a good chunk of their life to carry this burden. I feel it is only fair to teach students about these and let them make the decision on their own.
Sorry for the random thoughts, but I go worked up on my walk about this.
We are pending about $1,000 in extra loan payments this month! Woo-hoo! I will update the debt totals as soon as I get the payments cleared and see the new balances.