Buried Alive: the truth about student loans

Being a college student is tough. I’d even say that’s a great understatement. And if you’re like most college students these days and paying your way through it yourself, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

A typical day of running on 3 cups of coffee, going to class, studying for the exam, finishing the 10 page paper, then heading off to work….is exhausting to say the least. And trust me, I know, that the last thing you want to think of is that ever-growing student loan you took out to help you pay for it all. In fact, you probably try to push the thought as far back in the recesses of your mind until you absolutely have to deal with it…one day.

College life…

going to college

seem about right?

I know that when yore trying to juggle all the aspects of life, the last thing you need is another task to add to your plate. But starting to pay off your loans today can be the most important thing of them all. Why is it so important to do NOW?? Well, I like to think of student loans like that t.v. show Hoarders. Ever seen it? It’s pretty nuts. Seemingly normal people who have tendencies to overload their homes with a ridiculous amount of stuff to the point where they can barely move in it.

Hoarding

The key point that always comes up in every situation is that it doesn’t just happen all of a sudden. They don’t just bring all this stuff home at once. It’s a slow but sure daily accumulation of small and seemingly harmless items that eventually get to the point of such overwhelming power that the home owner loses control without even recognizing it until it’s too late. Once they finally come to terms with their problem, it’s so big that they don’t even know where to begin.

This is a lot like student loans. Especially unsubsidized loansEVERY DAY a seemingly small amount of interest is added to your owed balance. To give you an example (just in case you’ve been pushing thoughts of your own loan aside), my federal unsubsidized loan is gaining 49 cents EVERY DAY until I’ve paid it off. Leaving this balance to accumulate is like a hoarder not cleaning their home every once in a while. Eventually your loan will get to the point that it is so big, you don’t even know how it got so bad! You’re overwhelmed, you don’t know what to do, you don’t even know where to begin. Don’t let your loan take over your entire future!

Attack it like the way you clean your home. Try to do a little at a time while your in school. Pay down unsubsidized loans first, because those are gaining interest even while you’re a full time student. Make payments as often as you can afford it, even if it’s just a little bit. Can you spare $50 every month? Put it towards your loan. If every once in awhile you’ve managed to save up a big chunk, also put that towards your loan instead of buying those really nice shoes you’ve been wanting. Doing it now instead of waiting until you’re out of school is going to make a HUGE difference when you finish school. Making payments now will save you YEARS of monthly payments later, and you’ll be that much closer to being able to focus on other things besides that pesky loan!!!

By Tia Jay

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