Debt Traps College Students Fall Into

I could spend all day talking about the financial issues facing college students these days.  However, for today’s post I will take a look at common debt traps that college students fall into:

  • Keeping up with trends. Don’t worry, I’m not telling you to dress like a scrub when you go out.  It’s important to have the proper attire for job interviews, meetings, presentations, and yes even going out. However, for your daily life you should not try to keep up with every single new trend that comes along.  Just like the trend your money will fade away.  I have friends that always come to the gym in brand name clothing.  Is this really necessary?  For me an undershirt and shorts do the trick.  When you go to your college classes you will notice that many people wear what is convenient while a small percentage dress like they are ready to go on stage at a fashion show.
  • Maintaining an unrealistic lifestyle. I would love to play golf more often but I know it’s not realistic.  Sure I have some money in my bank account.  I know that my income is not aligned with what is needed to maintain a golfing habit.  It’s important that you keep your hobbies aligned with your income or you will find yourself stuck in a viscous debt trap.
  • Going out more than you should. Obviously it is not a secret that college students enjoy their alcohol.  The question you need to ask yourself is, how many times can I go out in a week?  Personally, I enjoy a really fun night out once a week or every two weeks.  If you find yourself going out more than twice a week you will definitely fall into a debt trap that will take years to pay off.  This is another topic that I can write a book about so I will leave you with this point- is it worth drinking less often if it potentially means graduating from college debt free?
  • Thinking you will be rich one day. A college education will increase your income earning potential.  There is no guarantee that it will make you rich.  I have met a few college students over the years that feel they will be rich one day.  They use thinking to rationalize their out of control spending and credit card usage.

Yes your college education will likely increase your income when you graduate.  NO it is not a valid reason for being out of control with your money as a college student.  The funny thing is that a higher income does not always equate to you being rich.  The other half of the equation is saving the money that you earn.

It is essential you remember that beyond financial risks, there are certain debt traps that will leave college students flooded in debt by the time they graduate.

What debt trap would you love to get rid of?  What debt trap have you eliminated from your life?

This is a guest post from The Studenomist of Studenomics. A personal finance blog aimed at helping you survive your twenties financially while still enjoying life. If you enjoy this article then please consider subscribing to the feed.

photo credit: eriwst

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Published or updated March 28, 2013.


  1. My trap was all about having fun. Road trips galore! And with Vegas only two and half hours away…At any rate, I took out more than I needed for student loans, and maxed out two credit cards. I’m still repaying the student loans, augmented by a much saner grad school experience. Lesson learned. The hard way.
    .-= Miranda´s last blog ..Ask the Piggy Bank: Variable Annuity? =-.

  2. I fell into that trap in college. I had massive student loans and racked up a little credit card debt. I wished I knew then how long it would take to pay off. I still have a little in student loans and I graduated over 10 years ago.
    .-= Heather ´s last blog ..Save at =-.

  3. lol..I must say..I’m a victim of the last two. But I swear I’m going to be rich!!
    .-= Hiro´s last blog ..Tim Hawkins: The Government Can =-.

  4. Students these days are getting trapped in debt at an alarming rate. There are several factors that lead to this. Few which you have mentioned and some because of not taking the correct decisions when in college. Most of the students are ignorant about the financial aid, scholarships and grants they are eligible for. This is where they should seek assistance of the financial aid advisor at college. One point that you have mentioned is the lack of saving is what majority of students don’t care about. Also, I strongly feel that students should exploit different learning options available these days which allow you to graduate ahead of your schedule and eventually help you save time and money. Accelerated degree programs and online learning are the best examples of this. Students should make the most out of these programs and try to live a debt free life.

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