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Many people believe it’s impossible to go to college without taking out a loan. They’ll say things like, “The economy is down,” or “Tuition is so expensive,” or “I have no other options.” Everyone takes out loans, so it’s not a big deal, right?
We hear it all the time. It’s easy to think that, because it’s what we see all around us in our culture. In fact, almost 70% of college students graduate with debt! But just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s the only way. And it definitely doesn’t mean it’s the best way.
The total estimated student-loan debt outstanding is approximately $1 trillion. And the percentage of student-loan borrowers who paid on time without postponing payments or paying late? A mere 37%. In other words, 63% of borrowers had a hard time paying back their loans. That’s why it’s so crazy that our culture thinks debt is okay or normal.
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But as soon as you start applying to college, you’ll find that all kinds of people are more than ready to “help” you graduate with debt. You’ll receive all sorts of notifications about financial “aid” and “award packages” that include loans. It’s terribly confusing. So remember this: You go into debt when you spend money you don’t have. What kind of “award” is thousands of dollars in debt?
Truth is, it’s not an award at all. It’s like someone “giving” you $25,000, charging you a ton of interest, and demanding you pay them back a lot more than $25,000. What a gift!
The truth is that there is another way.
Is it easy? No. But is it worth the extra work? Yep. When you make the sacrifice and effort right now, you’ll keep yourself from digging a hole you have to start climbing out of the moment you receive your college degree.
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You have more options than you can even imagine to get a great college education completely debt free! It might mean working full time in the summer and part time during school, applying for every scholarship and grant that you possibly can, and babysitting or mowing grass whenever you get the chance. But when you’re out of college and you actually get to keep your paycheck instead of paying it all backwards to student loan debt, you will be so glad you did. While your friends are barely getting by because they’re making payments on their debts, you will be completely free to do whatever you want with your money.
The choices you make in the next four years will affect the next 40 years of your life. You’ll have much more freedom to pursue your dreams and do exactly what you want to do if you don’t have $30,000 of debt the moment you leave campus.
The Tip: Remember, normal is broke—be weird. When you go into debt to pay for school, you’re headed toward being just another statistic. Be as weird as you can by avoiding loans and paying your way through school. You can do it!
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