An Education Doesn't Have To Equal Debt

Christine wonders if it's ever worth it to go into debt for an education. Dave doesn't think so.

QUESTION: Christine in Maine on My Total Money Makeover wonders if it's ever worth it to go into debt for an education. Dave doesn't think so.

ANSWER: I don't think so, but that is not to say you can't get an education. I think there's always another way to skin that cat. There's always another way to get an education. There are a lot of ways to accomplish the goal. It's amazing to me, the difference in debt when someone gets an education is not the fact that they got an education; it's where they went to school and how they went to school. Choice of college and lifestyle while there is accounted to more student loan debt than actual education.

Can you get a master's degree in counseling? Yes, you can. You can get it at Harvard or you can get it at the community college. I'll just tell you— being a counselor and working for the state, you're not going to make a lot of money, so please don't go $100,000 in debt getting a master's degree in counseling. This would be known as stupid. Stupid people shouldn’t get a master's. Think about it. How you get the education, where you get the education, and the lifestyle you live while getting the education has more to do with the debt than the education has.

We use this trump card as if it's blasphemous—as if it's a sin against God to declare that you shouldn’t get student loan debt.