Why I won’t get student loans for my kids – Our Journey to Become Debt Free Fast
I know I have been quiet this past week. Things have been pretty busy with our oldest son graduating from high school and our youngest graduating from middle school. This has put a bit of strain on our budget and on our journey to become debt free fast.
Not only that, we didn’t have a full plan for what we would do when sending our son off to college. Since he missed all the scholarship deadlines, we didn’t have enough to cover the expenses for the schools he wanted to attend. To my surprise the options are limited when it comes to student loans for college students. The only choice was for him to get a Parent Choice loan which I am refusing to get, and I will tell you why in this post.
Student loans are the devil
When we completed the FAFSA for my son and saw the expected family contribution we knew that we didn’t have the money in the bank. The only option that the school gave us was to look into federal student loans for parents.
Man listen….one of the number one complaints I hear from adults is the amount they have to pay back for student loans. I believe it is the one debt that most adults just know for sure they will have to deal with for the rest of their lives. As much as I am struggling to pay off my own student loans why would I want to go get more?
Student loans are so easy to get and it is also some of the hardest debt to get rid of. You can’t even discharge student loans in bankruptcy so even if you go flat broke you STILL have to pay them.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a few ways that you can obtain student loan forgiveness but these options are very limited.
You may even be wondering are your student loans forgiven if you die….the answer is…maybe….yes MAYBE your student loans will be forgiven when you die depending on the type of loans you had.
I can’t leave that much power in my kids’ hands y’all! LOL
I have too much debt myself
Seriously…… I know a lot of people will disagree with me here…. Isn’t it the parents’ responsibility to pay for college? My answer to this is “Says who???”
All of my student loans for both of my degrees belong to ME. My parents did not fund my education post high school AT ALL! I have over six figures worth of debt to get out of, and you are telling me I should dig myself deeper to get more student loans for the kid?
Don’t get me wrong…I wish we had prepared and had a college fund but this was our first kid and we weren’t prepared. We have tons of debt ourselves that we just figured out how to dig out of. Hopefully we will be in a better position to GIFT our kids with the option to go to college later, but as of now……#ISSA NO……
I can’t see us racking up another six figures worth of debt for a degree that may or may not earn our son half of what it costs. I know that statistics show that over a lifetime degree holders tend to earn more however, statistics also show that just 37% of Americans have enough savings to pay for a $500 or $1,000 emergency.
I no longer want to be part of the 63% as we have been for so long.
Can we trust that the kid will be responsible with this debt
I remember how careless I was in college and I was the one paying for it. I would sleep in and drop classes mid semester if I felt like I wasn’t doing well….didn’t realize I was still paying for that.
Am I supposed to think that my kid is going to be more responsible holding my debt in their little collegiate hands?
Not saying that I think my kid will just go out and only party and drink his college days away, But there are other responsibilities that I just don’t think he is ready for.
Seriously, my kid is super smart but he also gets bored rather quickly. There were times I didn’t even know if the kid would make it through high school because if the class was boring, he’d probably just BS his way through it then go in and ace the final and just barely pass the class.
This was all done while living under our roof and being in our immediate care. What should I expect if he goes across the country to live on his own? That is a huge risk to take for another huge debt in my opinion.
Please believe me, if I was in a position to write a check and send him off to school I would. But to take on another large amount of debt with that much risk feels like a game of Russian roulette.
Planning for college early is important….but so is being debt free
My biggest lesson from all of this is that you should plan early for college for your kids, but you should also be sure that you are in a good position to do so.
If you are in a good financial position then look into options like educational savings plans. These plans will allow you to save while also giving you some tax advantages. The earlier you start building in these types of plans the more you can save.
In my opinion you should be in the best financial position possible before you start setting up for your kids to go to college. Remember you still have to retire after your kids are grown and gone.
If you are in a position that it is time for you to retire but you are in debt and your kids have college degrees, will they be in a position to take care of you? Will they even want to take care of you? Do you want that burden to be on them?
I would prefer to be comfortable, and building wealth and out of debt. I DO NOT want to be paying off student loans for my kids when I am 80. Setting yourself up with a comfortable nest egg for when you retire should be important to you.
That is not to say that your kids’ college education is not important, but if you are not in a position to pay for it I don’t believe that you should dig yourself further into debt to fund their college education. I know this may not be popular opinion, but Let’s also remember that it is unpopular for an average American to write a check for $500 or $1,000 in an emergency.
Popular opinion isn’t important…..your future health and well-being is.
Leave me your thoughts on paying for college for your kids if you are already in debt. I would love to hear what you think.