KRISTY: So it’s been seven years since I graduated from college. Why have I not made a noticeable dent in my debt you ask? I am asking myself the same question. Could it be that I went into the education field. We all know that America does not pay its teachers well. But still there are thousands of women with children to feed making less money than I do and are able to have a positive cash flow……so what is the problem? I have some theories ….of conspiracies…..unfair loan policies…..credit card pushers……yet none of these are anything but excuses I could use. At the end of the day when I’m sitting at a table with bills in front of me from fine institutions across the nation it only reads one name responsible for the debt. MINE. So let’s do it people. It’s time to take it seriously because obviously it is not going to disappear or be “forgiven” quick enough through service work *** this is where you work for a public company or in a service field like a police officer in exchange for your loan to decrease saaaay 2% a year*** Well that’s worked out so well for me that I don’t see a shred of difference in the big number to the right of the page. That’s just my five-minute take. What is yours?
MELISSA: Well, my advice is to look at the fine print. When I went to school I thought that I had only ONE loan. So when I paid off what I thought was my student loan & applied to another school, I found that I had a student loan that was in default that I had no CLUE I had. It was given to me by Rutgers. Imagine my surprise! I didn’t know the intricacies of federal loans vs. private institution loans, program loans, blah, blah, blah. Bottom line, know what you are getting into. Don’t be in a rush to sign paperwork just to get money to get into school, pay rent, pay for this & pay for that & then when you graduate you are already beginning with a negative balance. Some of you are professional students just going to school getting all the funds you can just because you can. Not realizing this short-term fix will be there in your future waiting on you as life happens. For example: rent, car payments, insurance, children, mortgage, etc. It is sometimes necessary for you to take out loans, I’m not saying don’t but what I am saying, is be careful & well-informed about the choices you are making because it will affect you & your credit in the long run.