College degree is increasingly becoming a standard job requirement in today’s life. However, Post-secondary education is not easily affordable for most students. It is not surprising that many students rely on student loans to finance their post-secondary education. However, is it worth taking student loans? A question is worth asking to ourselves.
According to Statcan.gc.ca, an average of college tuition fees in 2015/2016 is about $6,191 which will bring about $24,764 to complete the four-year undergraduate program. These figures do not include the cost of textbooks and supplies and other expenses. By the time they graduate, they already owe up to $35,000 in student loans. The interest may begin to accumulate when payment has not yet been made.
If you are one of the lucky graduates to have found a full-time job with a decent salary and have employment benefits, you can start paying back student loans early. And within less than five years, you can pay off your students loans. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to have such an opportunity. In some cases, many graduates end up working in certain jobs that pay less than they expect. As a result, they hardly make ends meet, let alone paying student loans. Another problem is that many graduates are not ready for the workforce because they lack the skills and experience that they need at work. Not surprisingly, many graduates are still doing unpaid internships or working part-time jobs to gain more experiences before they take a big step in the career world.
Another problem that graduates often face is that monthly student loan repayments are too high. For example, with a student debt of $30,000 after graduation, they need to make a monthly payment of $363.98 with 5% interest rate, and it will be paid off after ten years. If the average graduates earn a minimum of $30,000 annually, their after-tax income will be $26,212 or $2,184 monthly which is barely scraping by. No wonder many graduates can’t pay their student’s loan.
Although taking student loans aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but there are few things that students need to keep in mind. Not all undergraduate majors are created equal. A certain college degree may be a prerequisite to certain jobs but considering taking a large sum of student loans to pay for post-secondary education while have no clue about the employment opportunities of the chosen field is not a wise thing to do. Some jobs also do not require a degree so spending a lot of money on certain college majors with low employment prospects is a huge mistake.
Going to college without student loans is great to avoid debts at a very young age, and you can focus on what’s more important in your career and life. But if you can’t avoid it, at least you need to know how to manage your money well while still in college so that you won’t have a mountain of debt upon graduation.
Note: (after-tax income is calculated using simpletax.ca calculator)