Student Loan Debt
“”Maybe half of it was my fault because I didn’t look at the fine print,”” What is sad, is that with some planning, and reading the “fine print”, this could have been avoided. Debt is never good; but it is a tool that can be leveraged if done properly. This is true of student loans as well; with the right planning, and knowing your degree’s ROI, you can make wise decisions when funding your education.
For more information: www.collegelifeplanning.com
The $555,000 student-loan debt
When Michelle Bisutti, a 41-year-old family practitioner in Columbus, Ohio, finished medical school in 2003, her student-loan debt amounted to roughly $250,000. Since then, it has ballooned to $555,000.
“Maybe half of it was my fault because I didn’t look at the fine print,” Bisutti says. “But this is just outrageous now.”
To be sure, Bisutti’s case is extreme, and lenders say student-loan terms are clear and that they try to work with borrowers who get in trouble.
But as tuitions rise, many people are borrowing heavily to pay their bills. Some no doubt view it as “good debt,” because an education can lead to a higher salary. But in practice, student loans are one of the most toxic debts, requiring extreme consumer caution and, as Bisutti learned, responsibility.
There’s no escape
Unlike other kinds of debt, student loans can be particularly hard to wriggle out of. Homeowners who can’t make their mortgage payments can hand over the keys to their house to their lender.
Credit card and even gambling debts can be discharged in bankruptcy. But ditching a student loan is virtually impossible, especially once a collection agency gets involved. Although lenders may trim payments, getting fees or principals waived seldom happens.