Despite the various repayment programs that make student loans seem friendly and generous, make no mistake: most standard consumer protections — including bankruptcy protections, statutes of limitations, refinancing rights and others — have been stripped from student loans, and there is no indication that these will be restored anytime soon.
This has led to a large number of decent citizens being forced to either pay back many multiples of what they originally borrowed, or drop “off the grid” when they cannot pay. In the absence of meaningful Congressional action to address this problem, avoiding student loan debt altogether is clearly the first and best piece of advice for prospective students and their families.
Don’t be overly swayed by a college’s claim that it’s “the best” in a given field of study.
While this advice is easy to give, it is much harder to follow, especially given that nearly 70 percent of college students leave school with student loans. However, it is worthwhile to keep this as a goal, even if it cannot be completely met. Students should exhaust all non-loan financial aid opportunities to the greatest extent possible. Scholarships, work study, grants and other forms of aid that do not require repayment should be actively pursued.
When considering one’s choice of college, cost to the student should be a primary factor. Students should apply to multiple colleges and examine closely the financial packages of each. In many, if not most instances, students should not be overly swayed by a college’s claim of being “the best” in a given field of study. Students should look at the school’s graduation rates, average length of attendance (i.e. are students likely to graduate in 4 years or 5?), default rates for graduates and any other student data. Most schools have this information available on request.
A very honest look at some of the problems with using NFP. Mr. Pete and I took NFP and I think it's good to know and understand your fertility - but after Sam was born, we pretty much just did without using anything - which was very freeing.