I had a conversation today with a young man about his major. Interestingly, it led us to talk about his student loans and how much student debt he might have to pay off upon graduation.
This was his first discussion about what his student debt might cost him. To this point, perhaps he thought of it as “free money.” By the end of the discussion, he was equating his loans to slavery. Or at least indentured servitude.
Apparently his parents did not have the money talk with their son before he went off to college. By the end of the discussion, I turned the conversation back around to focus on his many opportunities. Because education is, in fact, an opportunity. But it can also be a burden.
Parents, please…PLEASE…have the discussion about how student debt is repaid before your kids leave for college. In fact, have that conversation BEFORE you even look at which schools your student may apply to. You want to make sure that everyone in your family–especially the person who will have pay these darned loans off–agrees upon the right balance between opportunity and burden.
Talk to your kids about their student debt.
Do it now.
For more about student debt and where to find a good student loan calculators, have a look at this post.