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News

The latest news on this change — carefully culled from the world wide web by our change agents. They do the surfing, so you don't have to!

Not-So-Nice to Meet Ya, Sallie Mae

Not-So-Nice to Meet Ya, Sallie Mae

Many homeowners are feeling a little squeeze (more like an ever-tightening vise) on their finances lately, but what about the kids who used to fill the empty nest before scurrying off to college? Recent graduates are staring down higher interest rates on their loans during this volatile market. Coupled with finding a job and adjusting to post-grad life, many are left yearning for life back inside their hallowed college halls. How about throwing a little bailout bone their way, Mr. Government Officials?

The average college graduate owes $20,000 in loans, a number that can double or triple for those who stayed an extra year or attended private schools. An extension of the tuition tax deduction was approved last week with the huge bill (I didn't know calculators could compute that high!) but Kim Clark of U.S. News & World Report asks why there isn’t more help for those who will have to live with this economy in the future.

Our advice on saving for college preemptively helps you avoid the burden, or at least lessen its load. For those already in debt, do you think it’s fair for post-college kids, er, adults to flounder on their own in the deep end? If you’re paying back your loans, is there an end in sight? [U.S. News]

Posted: 10/7/08
NicoO2000

I have a couple of opinions on this subject.
First, I think it's such a shame that many of us have to enter the workforce strapped down with a load of debt. We're at the prime of our lives and it would be great to put our skills to work as volunteers or be able to take risks in un-paid internships or what have you. However, we do have great programs like the Peace Corps and Teach for America that allow recent graduates to do just that. One of the reasons I support Barrack Obama is because he is promoting more of these kinds of programs.
Second, I think one of the huge problems that got us into this mess is a lack of education. Yeah, a lot of this stuff is common sense, but to an 18-year-old who has never had a credit card before, it just seems like easy money. Have you been on a college campus lately? The credit card companies pray on college students with free pizza give aways and stupid t-shirts. If kids haven't learned the difference between good and bad debt, it's hard to navigate this whole new world.
As a country we need to step up our efforts on financial education. Make economics just as vital as reading writing and arithmetic.

LauraLee311

Yes, it would be nice to see college tuition costs return to a reasonable rate, but I doubt that will happen. I am right there in the average with how much I owe, although it's lessened a few grand since I've been out of school for a few years now. I don't worry about my student loan debt because it's "good" debt. My interest rates are really low. I'm more focused on getting rid of all the credit card debt I racked up through school and surviving after graduation.

charlotte926

I agree with Kristen. In my opinion, the real problem here is the high (and still rising) cost of a college education. Parents and guardians can feel obligated to send their kids to schools that costs well beyond their means.

Though AnnieChance has a point, I don't know if I can compare the value of a college education to the value of a new boat, expensive car or designer bag. We can understand why families live beyond their means for education purposes. The change that is needed is to lessen the cost of education.

AnnieChance

We can't get into this habit where anyone who has debt gets a bailout.

kristen

I think it's a bit of a different situation...people know what they're getting into with student loans, and no one is trying to convince you to go to a more expensive school or take on more debt than you can handle in order to go to school.

The real change that needs to be made, in my opinion, is that education needs to be less expensive and more accessible to more people.

  • By kristen
  • on 10/7/08 1:27 PM EST