Debt can bury college students before they get started

Going to college is important for many reasons, not least of which is that it will greatly increase your income over the course of your life time.  Knowing this, students are often willing to pay for college with debt thinking it is a good investment, and money is readily available.  The problem is that it is easy to rack up so much debt that you feel swamped when the time comes to start paying it back.

For most students college is their first experience with serious debt and it is easy to underestimate how hard it will be to repay that debt.   There is no magic formula to tell you how much debt is enough, but I suggest that you should look up what you can reasonably expect to earn when you graduate (this will depend on your major — teachers will get a lot less than engineers) and then compare your expected monthly income to the monthly payment for the debt level you will have when you graduate.  This can help you decide whether or not the debt you are considering is reasonable.

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