Are Student Loans Still Worth It?
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Since the onset of the coronavirus epidemic, Generation Z has witnessed a radical economic transformation that has radically reshaped their future. As millennials come of age during the Great Recession, millennials grapple with what may be the fastest peak unemployment our economy has never seen.
In July 2020 Pew Research Center survey, nearly three in ten young people (aged 16 to 24) said they did not work or go to school, a measure called the âdisconnection rateâ. The proportion of disconnected young people is the highest since 1989, when these data were first made available. Most of the increase is linked to the loss of jobs linked to a pandemic among young workers.
Now, with many gearing up for virtual college classes this fall, students and their families are wondering if it makes more sense to do more. student loan debt as the economy struggles to recover.
âIdeally, we would be in a world where we wouldn’t have to make these compromises,â Elise Gould, senior economist at Institute for Economic Policy, tell CNBC Selection. “The decision to go to college has been made more and more difficult with the rising cost of tuition fees.” Especially, she adds, when the college experience isn’t going to be what we’re used to.
When deciding whether it’s a good idea to take on college debt, it’s helpful to start by considering whether a degree will be valued for the desired career path.
âAcross the economy, almost two-thirds (61.8%) of workers do not have a college degree,â says Gould. This includes those in service industries like hospitality and health care, as well as manufacturing jobs.
On the other hand, people with a university degree tend to earn more money and be less exposed to unemployment.
But before you get into a lot of student debt, which can take decades to pay off, assess whether you’re willing to pay the price for a private college or graduate degree – there may be alternatives. more affordable.
For the 2019-2020 school year, students and their families paid an average total tuition fee (including fees, accommodation, and board) of $ 21,950 for four-year public colleges in the state, according to the College Board 2019. College pricing trends report.
The price is even higher for private schools. In the same report, the average annual tuition, fees, accommodation, and meals for private undergraduate schools were $ 49,870. Doctoral programs cost $ 60,160.
As a result of these rising costs, U.S. student borrowers now owe a collective total of $ 1.7 trillion in student debt, according to the Federal Reserve. The average student debt per borrower in 2019 was $ 35,359, and parents and students bear the brunt of this responsibility.
According to EPI data State of Labor Data Library in America, college graduates earn about 49.5% more ($ 34.63 per hour on average) than someone with only a high school diploma ($ 18.91). This takes into account variables such as gender, race and ethnicity, education, age and geographic division.
To decide if student loans are worth it, follow these steps:
- Find the annual cost of tuition, room and board and fees.
- Budget to see if you can afford the costs. Factor in any income you expect to earn from part-time employment, scholarships, or family support.
- Add up the total amount you plan to borrow from the time you enroll until you graduate, including any interest that may arise.
- Use a loan repayment calculator to get an idea of ââhow much your monthly payments will be after graduation and how long you’ll need to pay off your loan, including interest.
- Look for entry-level salaries in desired fields, using sites such as ZipRecruiter and Glass door. Ditto for your earning potential over time. Think about how competitive the jobs in your industry are and how quickly you will be able to reach your desired income level.
- Assess whether you can afford to comfortably live at your expected income level while paying off your loans. What long-term sacrifices might you have to make to pay off your loans?
You can also take steps while you are a student to grow financially. When you receive your student loan disbursements, you can put the excess money you don’t need for tuition as well as room and board in one current account to cover your living expenses while you are in college.
If you have enough income to cover your expenses, or if you have the option of taking a part-time job to supplement your loans, there are options for what you can do with any excess.
For starters, you can make payments on your student loans before you graduate. Almost all checking accounts allow you to set up recurring payments, so you can reduce your loans while you’re still in school.
In particular, the Capital One 360 ââCheckingÂ® account is well noted for its premier mobile banking app, where you can set up payments from your phone.
You can also transfer excess loan funds to a savings account while you are in college or graduate school.
Most federal subsidized loans do not earn interest as long as you are enrolled at least part-time, so there is no reason why you cannot use excess loans to start emergency savings to college. Once you graduate, you will begin to incur interest on the total amount you borrowed.
For most federal loans, you’ll have a six-month grace period before interest and monthly payments go into effect (this doesn’t necessarily apply to private loans). If you decide to keep your extra loan, just make sure you’re ready to start paying it off after you graduate. You can defer your loans if you cannot afford to pay, but this option is not ideal as you will always earn interest.
the Ally Online Savings Account could provide a useful way to keep track of your excess loans and budget your money for the school year and beyond. Account holders can organize their savings goals by creating up to 10 different âbucketsâ in the same savings account. For example, you can create a designated fund to pay for tuition and another for your âafter collegeâ fund so that it is there when you are ready to begin repayment.
Annual percentage return (APY)
The minimum balance
No monthly maintenance fees
Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle * The 6 / reporting cycle withdrawal limit is waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D
Excessive transaction fees
Offer a checking account?
Offer an ATM card?
Yes, if you have an Ally checking account
If you decide to go to college or take some post-secondary training, Gould advises you to try to get the degree or certification you started if possible.
“About a third of people attended college, but they couldn’t complete the degree because of the cost,” says Gould. But not finishing can be very costly when you’ve already used the borrowed money to pay off those credits.
Without completing your education, you miss out on the financial benefits of a degree and still have to pay off student debt.
The college investment is important, but planning ahead can help you see the best return on your money and all your hard work.
Capital One 360 ââCheckingÂ® account information was independently collected by CNBC and was not reviewed or provided by the bank prior to posting.
Editorial note: The opinions, analyzes, criticisms or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the editorial staff of Select and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise approved by any third party.