Student loans have long been considered “good debt,” but with college tuition at U.S. universities now as high as $26,000 a year, and outstanding student loans approaching $830 billion, the concept of “good” debt may be worth another look.
Sallie Mae’s annual “How America Pays for College” study found that 23% of higher education costs in 2009 were funded by loans. DebtGoal, the leader in online personal debt management, conducted an online poll of its users with student debt and asked if they felt their loans had really been worthwhile. Findings include:
- More than half (54%) said their current income is not worth the debt they incurred
- 72% said if they could do it all over, they would make different choices to incur less debt
- When asked how they feel about student debt, 69% said, “It can be good, but there can be too much of a good thing”
Users surveyed included:
- Northwest Missouri State University graduate Thuy Copeland had student loan debt totaling over $38,000 when she graduated with a BS in interactive digital media. She now works as a web developer, and says her income today is not worth the debt she has to pay off. She anticipates having her loans fully paid off in five to 10 years.
- On the other hand, Lauren Reifenberger of Washington, D.C. had a total of $36,000 in student debt when she received her BBA in finance, and says the debt was worth it. She works for a consulting firm in the technology industry, and plans to have her undergraduate loans paid off within the next five years. When she starts graduate school next fall, she intends to once again fund her education primarily with loans.
- Chavuanne Wills, an IT consultant, graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a BS in information technology and $35,000 in student loans. She says if she could go back now, she would be more likely to choose a less expensive state school. She expects it will take her about 25 years to pay off her loans.
DebtGoal is the industry leader in online personal debt management. Targeting the do-it-yourselfer, DebtGoal is helping its members organize, optimize and pay off nearly $1B in debt with its proprietary SmartPay PlanTM, which calculates an optimal pay-down plan based on a member’s preferences and budget. With its low monthly price and focus on helping subscribers build credit by repaying what they owe, DebtGoal represents a dramatic departure from previous debt solutions that charge high fees or significantly harm credit. For more information about DebtGoal, visit http://www.debtgoal.com.