As American students now cumulatively owe about $1 trillion in student loan debt, Yahoo is publishing first-person accounts from those who are still paying and those who have lessons to share. Here's one story.
FIRST PERSON | I am 27 years old, and I graduated in the spring of 2010 in civil engineering from San Jose State University. I live at home with my family in Daly City, Calif.
After graduation, I accumulated about $16,000 in student loans, and I currently have just under $11,000 in student loans left. Last year, I was paying about $300 to $500 a month in my students loans because I wanted to pay off the loan with the highest interest right away. Now, I pay $200 to $300 a month. I have slowed down quite a bit on my loan repayments because I am saving to buy a car. I expect to pay off my loans when I'm in my early 30s.
I have a negative opinion on student loans because I spent five years in school, and I have yet to work in civil engineering. I am paying off a debt for an education that I do not use. Studying engineering is intense, and I thought that after I graduated from college, I would be able to get an engineering job and pay it back right away.
The only reason why I have been able to make great strides in my loan payments is because I still live with my family and I currently work in contract manufacturing as engineering support. My parents are still willing to let me live under their roof so I can pay my loans off at a much faster rate than if I lived on my own.
I borrowed money to pay for college thinking that in the long run, I would have a career as a civil engineer, but that is far from the case. I do regret borrowing loans because right after I graduated, the interest started to accrue. I also had to defer my loans for two years because I simply didn't have the money to pay for it. Instead, working and going to school is a better option, even if it takes longer to graduate.
I recommend student loans only if you need it. Start off with a small amount, and then if you need more during the semester you can always request for more. Looking back, I could have borrowed a lot less and I still would have been able to get by. Shouldering the responsibility of paying off loans is very tough to say, but I believe it can be a joint effort between the borrower and the lender to work together to pay it off. In extreme cases, there could be a possibility where loans could be pardoned.
The situation with student loan debt is going to be a tough one for sure for years to come. People are going to really think hard about going back to school because if the job market is not there when they graduate, then it would've be in vain.
- Financial Aid
- student loans
- San Jose State University