According to CNBC, the average US college graduate left college with $37,172 in student debt. I sat down with Paige Faber, a Missouri State grad, and Alexis Radulic, a Rowan University grad, to get a sense of how they feel they’ve handled their student debt in the almost 2 years since their May 2017 graduation.
A commonality between many recent college graduates is their diverse portfolio of loans and the ways they pay them back. Many post-grad students find it hard to begin repaying their debt in the 6 months “grace period” many loan services provide, but luckily there are solutions. Faber, for example, has her federal loan monthly payment set to be based on her income. This has helped keep costs low on one type of loan she carries while having to keep up with her ParentPLUS loans which are based on her parent’s income. She shares that she thinks more students should be given education about loans to find out which ones may fit their situation best, especially after they graduate.
Others, like Radulic, is in the application process for grad school and continues to live at home while working full-time. This has allowed her the ability to take college courses to strengthen her grad school application, which in turn will allow her to defer her current student loans. As for the loans she’ll need to take out to pay for grad school, she hopes like many others to then be able to afford her monthly payment in a way that feels like less of a burden.
Student loans have become an extremely common way for US students seeking a university degree to cover the cost, but without any real education on how to repay, their options, and with a lack of understanding on the lenders’ side for their situation and bills post-graduation.