Student loan debt a reality for many college graduates

In October 2017, 66.7 percent of 2017 high school graduates age 16 to 24 were enrolled in colleges or universities, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Among those ages 20 to 29 who received a bachelor's degree in 2017, 77.6 percent were employed. Landing that post-college job sooner rather than later is important because of what happens six months and four years after the graduation caps rain down: student loan repayment.

The money might not seem real when signing financial aid documents for thousands of dollars your sophomore year of college. Six months after graduation, however, it can become painfully real.

Average student debt has risen exponentially over the last decade and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. And as such, the payments strapped to young people as they first start out can be debilitating. But you can find help.

Speak with a trusted advisor about the different ways to handle the debt. These options include consolidating the loans, different options of repayment and, in some cases, loan forgiveness.

Become a better money manager

Along with loan repayment learning how to budget day-to-day is also incredibly important to successfully managing money in your “adult” life. Travis Credit Union offers an immersive half-day seminar for young adults 14 to 24 years old to learn how to make major and minor budgeting decisions. Our Mad City Money financial workshops are free to attend, and you can learn more and sign up by visiting traviscu.org/mcm.

If you are just starting down the road to university, make your accomplishments count. Learn to budget well and apply for scholarships, grants and other “free” money that’s available to college-bound students.

Also, make your time at school count! Take the amount of credits that make sense for you each semester. Meaning, take enough classes that you can handle and pass while ensuring your college studies won’t span a decade to complete.

Enjoy your time in college. It’s the most expensive learning curve you could possibly participate in while setting the ground floor for your future – so no pressure.

Mad City Money