Student Loan Debt Bubble – Is This Our Next Economic Crisis?

As if the student loan problem wasn’t already approaching crisis levels, it may get a lot worse.

In 2010 more than $100 billion worth of student loan debt was taken out, making the total amount that Americans owe for education now more than $1 trillion.

The average graduate leaves school with $25,250 in student loan debt and faces decades of payments.

Although the recent student loan reform may ease the burden by making it possible to lower the payments based on the borrower’s level of income, some students face loan payments that are higher than they would pay on a modest size home mortgage.
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How to Make the Most of Your Liberal Arts Degree

When I graduated from high school, I knew there were two things that I loved—reading and writing. 

I told everyone I knew that I wanted to be a writer, and the majority of them asked, “But what will you really do?”

My eighteen-year-old self felt misunderstood, but now that I have children of my own, I understand the question much better.   I majored in English, and my husband majored in anthropology; no offense to other poor souls in these majors, but fresh out of school, there is not much that you can do with degrees in these areas.
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Save on College Costs by Attending a College with Free Tuition

Attending a college without paying any tuition sounds too good to be true, but it is not

There are a handful of colleges that are tuition-free, but as you can guess, they are extremely competitive to get into.  If you would like to send your child to a tuition-free school, the early high school years are not too early to begin to prepare to apply for these schools.

Specialty Tuition-Free Colleges

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Consider Working at a University to Help Pay College Expenses

My aunt and uncle, both high school graduates with no college education, had nine kids and helped the ones who wanted to go to college pay for their education.

Many of the nine children now hold professional positions such as financial planner and nursing supervisor.  They are all successful adults, and some make very good salaries.

My aunt and uncle were able to help pay a portion of their children’s college costs despite the fact that my uncle worked in a factory for a number of years while my aunt was a homemaker.

How were they able to do it?

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The Three Best Financial Moves You Can Make for Your Child

My grandmother was a young bride during the Great Depression, and some of the frugality she practiced during that time never left her. When I was young, I routinely saw her washing aluminum foil and plastic bags for reuse.

She and my grandfather lived in a trailer park during retirement to minimize their monthly expenses, and when my grandpa died at 88 and later my grandma at 90, they still had a enough money left to give a small inheritance to their nine children.

That type of sacrifice and money management is seen less often nowadays.

In fact, we routinely hear about college students who graduate with thousands of dollars in both student loan and credit card debt and struggle to find a job and pay their bills.

Yet, as a parent, there are three important things you can do for your teen to put them on the financial track that will lead to a life of prosperity.

Three Best Financial Moves You Can Make for Your Child

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Save Money: Attend Community College First

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The cost of college is skyrocketing.  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average price for public tuition, room and board during the 2009-2010 school year at a four year institution was $12,804.  For private institutions, it averaged a staggering $32,184.  As government funding has changed to loan-based aid, rather than grant-based aid, many students are easily left with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt when they graduate.  If they find a job, which can be difficult in the current economy, they may only make $30,000 a year right out of college.

However, some students have made the choice to put off attending a four year institution and instead begin their college careers at a community college. Continue Reading

How to Survive College Without a Car

Going to college has its challenges.  You are forced to adapt to a new environment, meet new friends, study countless hours and much more.  These difficulties are only made worse by financial hardship.  If you have already graduated from college, try to think of another time in your life where you have paid tens of thousands of dollars in expenses with little or no income.  I bet you can’t think of another time.  The truth is that getting through college without any debt is a very difficult task.  Trying to keep your student loans to a minimum is made possible by finding ways to reduce spending and cut costs.  One of the best ways to reduce your expenses in college is to get rid of your car.  In fact, some universities (because of limited parking) do not allow underclassmen to bring cars to college.  If you are one of those select few that has a choice whether or not to bring a car, here are some reasons to leave that car at home (or even sell it). Continue Reading