Study Shows Student Loan Debt Pumps the Brakes on Big Life Plans
When you were younger and still full of eager anticipation about what life might hold for you, thoughts of student loan debt were likely far from your mind – and nowhere near the dreams you held for your wedding day. Debt and love weren’t related by any stretch of the imagination, and you couldn’t imagine any circumstance in which putting off wedded bliss was something you would have to consider.
Then, the reality of said student loan debt hit like a ton of bricks.
According to the 2015 Student Loan Burden Report released by Student Loan Hero, one in seven college graduates are now putting off dreams of getting married and starting a family because of the unmanageable size of their student loan debt.
And these aren’t the only life plans that are now taking a backseat.
More than 44% have put off buying a home and 25% aren’t even able to move out of their parent’s house. In addition, 44% have ditched travel plans, 20% have delayed plans to start a business, and another 20% aren’t even able to work in their intended field.
While it’s undeniable that student loan debt can be a heavy financial burden to carry, it doesn’t need to derail all plans you previously held for your future.
Here’s how you can avoid simply falling into these statistics:
Determine your financial priorities.
The 2015 Student Loan Burden Report certainly helps highlight what a life-altering issue student loan debt is, but it also points to something else troubling.
According to the survey, only 20% of survey respondents cited repaying their student loan debt as a top financial priority. In addition, 23% would opt to pay for social activities over their student loans and 25% would rather pay for Netflix and other forms of entertainment.
You might not feel the instant gratification associated with these things when you put money towards your student loans, but the benefits are certainly bigger and farther reaching. Making student loan payoff a priority can create room for the big life goals you might have previously thought you’d never be able to reach.
Know your options.
When you’re overwhelmed with the size of your student loan debt and the prospect of paying it all back, it’s easy to put it on the backburner.
But there is help if you simply know where to look.
Student Loan Service, for instance, can help you wade through student debt relief programs and determine your eligibility based on everything from occupation to family size to the current size of your student loan debt. In addition to telling you what programs would work for you, they can process all the paperwork to get you started.
Once you know your options, you can establish a plan. Having a plan can not only boost your confidence and change the way you view your student loan debt, but it can give you a clear picture of where all these other life goals can fit into your overall financial picture.
Stay on top of your debt.
You’ve likely heard horror stories about people paying the minimum on their student loan debt, only to find they’ve barely made a dent several years later. Or, even worse, those who discover they now owe more than they originally owed due to high interest rates and various other fees.
While you may be resigned to the fact that student loan debt is something you’ll need to contend with for some time, that doesn’t mean you should file it in the back of your mind as something to check in on down the road.
Those who stay on top of the debt repayment process – setting goals, checking in often to see their progress, and determining if their plan of action needs to shift – are the most successful and most likely to reach the finish line.
Yes, you can have it all…with the right plan.
Student loan debt doesn’t have to determine the course of the rest of your life. With a little bit of outside help and knowledge, you could turn your debt into something you are successfully managing while tackling all of the other life milestones you pictured reaching someday.