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College Graduates Have Average Debt of $23,200

College fundWe go to college to make money in the long run. Sure, we eat Ramon noodles and Hamburger Helper for four years, but we know that after graduation, our money woes will be over and we can eat steak and drink the finest foreign bottled water every day.

Unless, you are like the average graduating college student, and owe $23,200 in student debt.

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College Students Get a Crash Course in Credit Card Debt

Student Credit CardsMost college students know what it’s like to live for the whole year off the money they made working over the previous summer. Existing on Ramen noodles and peanut butter, they do what they can to make that money last. But what happens when they are tempted by those dangerous credit card offers that are made readily available by the campus cafeteria or outside the football stadium? I remember how easy it was to apply for one after being lured in by the free T-shirts and water bottles.

“Too many college students go off to school without understanding finances,” said Shalonda Jones, a representative of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. “Parents make the mistake of not introducing financial literacy to children at a young age, and most parents are equally clueless as to what it takes to remain financially stable,” she said. “We all know when you’re away from home with a little freedom and money, students tend to take that freedom and lose their heads.” Read the rest of this entry »



New Reforms Make it Difficult for Students to “Put it on the Card”

The average student graduates college with over $4,000 in credit card debt.

The average student graduates college with over $4,000 in credit card debt.

It is so incredibly easy to apply for a credit card. Companies set up booths during move-in-days at college dorms, send out applications in the mail, and bombard email inboxes with credit card offers. Many credit card companies offer incentives, like a free T-shirt or a free pizza, to those who apply and are approved for a card. This all sounds like a good deal for students; sign up for a Visa and dinner is free! However, a few months later, you open your credit statement and find you owe way more than you are able to pay back. Then, your interest rate goes up and your credit score goes down.

Why is your credit score important? If you have a low credit score, you might not be able to buy a car, rent an apartment, or even get a job. Read the rest of this entry »



Student Credit Card Debt Rises With Tuition Hikes

credit-cardIt’s a correlation no one can deny. As college tuition and fees continue to rise (up 50% in the past 10 years), so does credit card debt. As fewer families have the cash to support college students, more students are charging their tuition, books, fees and other living expenses just to get by.

According to Sallie Mae, the average undergrad has a credit card bill of $3,173, up a startling 134% from $2,169 in 2004, and the highest amount since the organization began tracking in 1998. It seems that tenure in school correlates to debt as well, with seniors owing twice as much as freshmen.

This new study from Sallie Mae uses March 2008 data; due to the state of the economy since then, they warn the actuals for 2009 could look worse. Read the rest of this entry »



Student Loan Debt Rises to Over $20,000

These days, it’s common for college graduates to enter the workforce while burdened with overwhelming amounts of debt.  And it’s probably no surprise to anyone that the total amount of debt for the average graduate is rising.

Here’s a great resource for students and anyone else who’s concerned about student loans: The Project on Student Debt, a watchdog organization. In a recent study, here’s what the Project on Student Debt found out about student loan debt in America:

  • Between 2006 and 2007, the average total loan debt of graduates rose from $18,976 to $20,098, which is an increase of six percent.  Yep, that’s right, the average student now graduates with over $20,000 in loan debt! Read the rest of this entry »




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