Are you in limbo on the topic, trying to figure out whether you should take student loans or not? These are questions many students just like you would like answered. The truth is that the answers to those questions depend on the student and won’t be the same for you as they are for your friends or even siblings. The best thing to do for your personal situation is to weigh the positives against the negatives and make a sound decision based on that.
That’s what I’ll be talking about as I write my essay today: clearly laying out the pros and cons of student loans so that you can compare them for your situation and use that to inform your decision on whether to take student loans or not.
Student loans aren’t all bad. There are actually some pretty convincing pros for them, otherwise nobody would want them.
Student Loans make College Affordable
According to College Board, in the academic year from 2017 to 2018, the average cost of tuition and accommodation was just under $21,000 in 4-year public in-state universities and just under $47,000 4-year private universities. That translates from anywhere between $80,000 and $188,000 in total costs for your entire college degree. Not many people can afford that kind of money. Only a very small section of Americans can afford such costs without taking out loans.
With college being so expensive, it’s easy to understand why the vast majority of Americans take out student loans to fund their education.
Student Loans can get you to your Dream School
As you may know, there is a huge difference in costs between a 4-year public university and a 4-year private university. You will pay more than double to go to a private college than you will pay to go to a public one. If your parent put just enough money to go to a public university, but you want to go to a private one instead, you might find yourself giving up on your dream because of insufficient funds.
If there were no student loans, you might end up going only to the schools you could afford and foregoing your dreams as a result. However, with student loans, you can go to your dream school and achieve your dreams. Of course, the school of your dreams depends on you, but it’s clear how student loans can be useful.
Student Loans aren’t just for Tuition and Accommodation
Student loans are often associated with paying tuition and accommodation costs. And most of the time, this is what the money is spent on. However, you can also spend your student loan money on such things as a laptop, textbooks, and software. These costs are still significant, and paying for them with student loans is cheaper than a credit card.
That said, you need to be careful on how you spend your student loans. Only spend them on necessities and do not splurge. The lower you keep your college expenses, the more money you’ll have in your pocket when you’re done with school.
You can also use your student loans to pay for part of your education. When you’re trying to get a writing helper or when you pay Edubirdie for essay writing, you will need to spend some money. Homework help online is important to ensure that the quality of your homework is high and that you pass your courses. Student loans can help here too.
Student Loans are Expensive
The most important thing to remember when you take out student loans is that you won’t just be paying back the principal, which is the initial amount that you borrowed; you will also be paying the interest on the loan as well. For federal loans, that can be anywhere between 4% and 7% while for private loans it can range between 11% and 15%. In some cases, the interest you pay on a student loan can be as high as the interest you would pay on equivalent credit card debt.
If you can afford to pay for your college without taking a loan, it would definitely make a lot of sense doing so. You should also always give first priority to federal loans, because they are cheaper, and then consider private loans as a last resort.
Student Loans will start you off in Life with Debt
Student loans mean you will start your life in debt. Sure, they allow you to afford college, which will allow you to earn more than someone without a college degree over the course of their lives. However, the first few years will be difficult as you struggle to pay back the loan, especially if you have trouble finding a good job that pays you enough. Having fewer or no student loans, on the other hand, allows you live more comfortable.
These are just a few of the pros and cons of taking student loans to fund your education expenses. Ultimately, whether you decide to take out student loans or not depends on your individual circumstances and how the pros and cons weigh against each other for you. Hopefully, this article will get you started on making a more informed decision on the matter.
Ray Campbell is a writer and editor with years of experience writing about education and topics related to college. He has a special interest in the topic of student debt and writes helpful articles to help students navigate student debt. When he’s not writing, he’s busy making music in his studio.