According to U.S. News & World Report, 70 percent of students graduate with student loan debt. In 2016 the average student loan debt is $37,172 and many students have no idea when they will be able to pay off their student loans. This student loan debt is now in excess of $1.3 trillion, and is being blamed for – among other things – stifling retail sales growth. This is very understandable because anyone with $37,000 in debt at the age of 22 doesn’t have any money to spend in stores. Likewise, Millennials with this kind of debt at the start of their adult lives necessarily put off the big-ticket milestones of their Boomer parents – such as purchasing cars, buying a home, and having children.
While everyone is worrying about Millennial pennypinching, not enough people are worried about what these expenditures actually mean to those who are paying them. $37,000 is only an average, meaning that 50 percent of students are graduating with in excess of $37,000 in debt. For the record, that is about the base sticker price of a 2017 BMW 2 Series, a Rolex Sky Dweller Oyster Perpetual 18 karat yellow gold watch, or the penthouse suite for one night at George V Hotel in Paris.
Right now, many of the students are in the middle of their grace period for Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans, and certain Federal Perkins loans. During this time, most loans will again accruing interest, which means that your balance will begin to rise. It is important to use this time to get a grip on exactly how much you will be paying, and how quickly you will be able to pay down the balance. You may also qualify for loan forgiveness programs, deferments, or forbearance.
You have invested a great deal in your education, but furthering your career should not bind you to service that debt to the detriment of being able to live your life. If you are having difficulty with your loan servicer, or figuring out what options are open to you, or unable to pay due to becoming disabled, you may need some professional help to sort things out. There is no shame in asking for help before the situation spirals out of control. By starting your postcollege life on a firm financial footing, you will be developing good habits that will stand you in good stead in the years to come.
It’s easy to panic when the loan servicers start calling and letters start coming. Scammers are everywhere, looking to make money from students desperate to get a grip on their loans. Don’t panic, and don’t fall prey to unscrupulous businesses. Consultations at the Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach offices are free. We have a lot of experience in handling all sorts of student loan problems whether those loans are federal or privately originated. I know that we can get you a good result, and get you off on the right foot.
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