Did you know that more than 40 million Americans hold student debt? That is more than the entire population of Canada, Poland, North Korea, and Australia. Students depend on student loans as the third most common source of funding, especially as parents are paying out of pocket less and less these days. Being aware of how much debt you are in after you graduate from college is extremely important due to everything else that it can affect. Things such as your credit score, purchasing a house or a new car, and even getting hired at certain jobs. You may be wondering how college debt affects getting hired, but it is true. More than 60% of employers run credit checks during the hiring process.
Now, let's talk about how debt is affecting students from living the full college experience. Debt free students were found to spend less time studying and more time investing in their social lives, extracurricular activities, and partying. There are two types of students with college debt: the disengaged student and the serious student. For the disengaged student, debt is viewed as a liability. They also spend little time on studying and campus activities. For the serious student, they seem to study more and party less. Serious students take debt into consideration sooner than later which can be very beneficial. The more debt, the better chance of a "serious student."
Being honest, debt is very scary. Especially coming straight out of college and having to go into an entry level position. How are you about to pay off thousands of dollars? Let me share some helpful tips for tackling debt:
1. Do not think you have to go live your best life in the city in a 1 bedroom apartment already. Be realistic. Find a roommate and move to a cheap neighborhood. The penthouse will come one day...promise.
2. Ask yourself what bills are necessary. Is that Comcast bill needed? Or can you stream shows for free on your laptop. (Sounds much better)
3. Skip the happy hours every week. Search for free events that are going on in your town. There are plenty networking events that you can attend, you never know where they may lead you.
4. Find a side hustle. Some side jobs you can look into are secret shopper, mock jury jobs, babysitting, business reviews online, etc. There are so many; all it takes is some research.