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Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
In this article, the author examines the issue of student debt. Despite tales of gargantuan student debt burdens for some college graduates, studies show that most students borrow sensibly, pay it back, and are better off for having gone to college. But for a vocal minority of borrowers, problems with student-loan debt are very real. About 8 percent of undergraduates borrow at least double the national average. More often, the problem among students who go heavily into debt is that they are determined to attend their dream college, no matter the cost. High student-loan debt "can ruin someone for life." Many borrowers who find themselves in trouble use options under the federal loan program that allow them to postpone repayments on their loans for years. The problem is that because interest keeps racking up during such a deferment and after a default, the amount a borrower owes can soar. It is not that difficult for borrowers to find themselves in trouble. People lose control of their finances, and sometimes they make choices one wishes they hadn't made. Overborrowing for college isn't much different than overborrowing for a home. People live outside their means. But that doesn't describe most college graduates. In spite of all the hysterical extremes, there are a lot of people in the middle who are making things work. They are graduating from college with $20,000 in debt, they are going to graduate school, getting jobs, and buying homes within their means.