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Ask Dave

The Degree Needs to Create Income

Michelle is overwhelmed by student loans. Her husband co-signed for their son's loans, and the balance is over $100,000. Dave suggests it's time to turn this kid's degree into an income.

QUESTION: Michelle in Dallas is overwhelmed by student loans. Her husband co-signed for their son’s loans, and the balance is over $100,000. The son is waiting tables and doing odd jobs after earning a philosophy degree. Dave suggests it’s time to turn this kid’s degree into an income.

ANSWER: Consolidation won’t make the loans go away. What’s good is creating income.

What we have is a child who is educated in a field that doesn’t make him very employable. We have to figure out a way for this young man to get a career track where he can make a living other than waiting tables, don’t we? He needs to make $100,000 so you don’t have to pay all this back. This is a career crisis.

I’m going to get very, very practical for the first time in your household and start thinking about how we can turn this kid’s education into an income. I’m going to start studying and thinking about career track and direction and what he can get out there and get started on that is beyond just a stop-gap measure waiting tables, waiting for his ship to come in, so we need to identify his ship, and he needs to swim out to it for the first time in his life. That’s what you’ve got to do here because this is a huge mess. If he waits tables, you’re going to end up paying $100,000 back between now and the next 10 years.

Consolidating is fine, but it doesn’t fix it. You’ve got a $100,000 problem. That’s the issue.

I’m going to put you on hold and Kelly’s going to send him a book called Start because he needs to . . . start.