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Top 10 Things College Taught Us About Life

Adam Starr

5. Debt


Not everything we learn in college is fun. School is expensive and working part-time doesn’t exactly cover all the bills. Nationally, about 66% of students who graduate with a Bachelor’s degree do so with $23,000 dollars in student loans. In the credit card department, the average senior carries a balance of more than $4,100 dollars. Unfortunately, 20% of students matriculate with more than $7,000 dollars charged against their little plastic pals.

So what’s the good news? Debt is a fact of life for nearly everybody at one point or another. Don’t panic, you aren’t the first person working as a barista with a $30,000 debt over your head. Student loans were an investment in your future and as such should be looked at over the long term. Pay as much against them as you are comfortable with each month without overextending yourself. Credit cards, on the other hand, are a dangerous convenience and unlike federal student loans don’t play nice with regulated lower interest rates. Pay the cards off aggressively and don’t spend money you don’t have in your bank account (except in emergencies). While not enjoyable, going into debt in college gives you plenty of practice at handling your own finances outside of the subsidized cocoon of Mom and Dad.

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