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Should You Get Student Loans?

 

 

So many people are talking about the student debt crisis in America, should you become a borrower? 


You may have doubts about student loans and that’s okay. It’s not an easy decision to make. And it’s a big financial commitment. 


In this article, you will see the pros and cons of getting student loans. Hopefully, you’ll be able to answer the burning question, “should I get student loans?”


What are student loans exactly?

When you borrow money, you pay it back. However, when you borrow money from the bank, the federal government, or a private loan provider, you repay with interest. 


Most universities provide financial aid services, however, it may not always be sufficient to cover the cost of attendance. For this reason, many students choose to subsidize scholarships with student loans. Others choose to entirely depend on student loans to pay for college expenses. 


You can choose to take out student loans through a bank, a private organization, or from the federal government. 


It’s important to understand the types of student loans these different providers offer and what the repayment options are before choosing a loan provider. 

 

Pros

What are some of the benefits of getting student loans? Contrary to popular belief, there are many advantages to this. 


The pros of getting student loans are: 


  1. Financial support: Not having enough money for college, doesn’t hinder you from getting a good education. Having the option to take out loans creates less financial stress during your college years and provides educational opportunities.


  1. Flexible terms & conditions: Student loans have more flexible options than traditional non-education loans. However, the most flexibility is found in federal loans, not in private loans. 


  1. Helps build credit: By faithfully paying off student loans, people can build strong credit scores. This is one of the first major financial transactions that young people usually make, repaying on time can benefit their credit scores in the long-run. 


  1. Borrower Incentives: Loan providers use borrower incentives to attract more students to take out loans. These incentive programs include interest rate reductions, no penalties for early repayment, and other benefits depending on your loan provider. 


Cons

Though student loans offer more flexibility than traditional loans, there are quite a few disadvantages to keep in mind. 


Carefully consider these downsides to have a more comprehensive understanding of student loans before making a big financial decision. 




The cons of getting student loans are:


  1. Long-Term Debt: Loans are a heavy financial burden especially if you are unable to secure a stable income after graduation. This means that you will have less money to save because you’ll be spending a chunk of your income repaying loans that could take decades to repay.


  1. Penalties: Being unable to repay student loan debt can negatively affect your credit score. The loan providers may increase interest rates and fees as a penalty for failing to repay. 


  1. Interest Rates: you’ll eventually repay more than you borrowed. The average interest rate is 5.8% but that fluctuates depending on your loan provider. These rates are also adjusted annually. 


  1. High Debt-to-Income Ratio: Ideally, this ratio should be under 36%. However, the higher your income after graduation, the higher your debt-to-income ratio becomes. This will delay your ability to buy a car, a home, or make big investments.


What then?


Now that you have the information right before you. What do you want to do? 


If you feel like you want to get student loans to finance your education, we recommend that you use this loan calculator. This will give you a better understanding of your financial situation and how much money you will need to borrow. 


If you don’t want to get student loans, then consider applying for grants or scholarships. You could also try to attend a low-cost institution to remove that financial burden from you. 


Whatever you eventually decide, the fact that you read these pros and cons shows that you are doing your due diligence. Keep it up!


Author Bio: Pearl Kasirye
Pearl is a Content Writer for Pearl Lemon. She is a freelance writer and editor who spends most of her time reading her own work or that of other incredible authors. When she's not working, she can be found convincing clients to write books or sitting on her balcony writing her own novels.