In March of 2018, I spent 12 days on vacation with my family. On the plane and on the beach, I read a fantastic John Grisham novel that contained a surprise for me that made my hair stand on end. What was it? The principal characters were all coping with horrific law school debt.
I’ve spent my entire professional life getting college students and grad students to careers they excel at and love with zero student loan debt. I spent years researching and writing a book on this subject. I can tell you, Grisham’s research on this topic is right on the money. He nails it.
BEWARE. Law school debt has the potential to destroy your kid’s life.
I am not overstating this. Students who attend law school are at frightening risk of not being able to earn enough afterward to pay even the required minimums on their law school debt and interest. Law students from elite law schools who land the “big time” jobs will still struggle to pay—many times while working grueling 80+ hour workweeks that can feel more like indentured servitude than a great, fulfilling career.
Don’t fool yourself. It’s possible to get a great, fulfilling, high-paying professional career while avoiding law school.
Pages 133–151 of my book explains exactly how parents can use three career assessments to figure out what that great, fulfilling, well-paying career might be for their teen or 20something.
If your spouse has student loan debt, what does that mean for you and for your financial future?
What can you do now that will keep you safe throughout the decades ahead, even if something bad happens?
Immediately address the biggest thing you must worry about when your spouse has student loan debt.
Think, for just a minute, of the unthinkable. What if your spouse dies, leaving you with a mountain of student loan debt that you have to pay off? Are you doomed? Or is there something you can do now to get out of paying thousands back all by yourself later?
No parent wants to consider this — but what happens if one of your children runs up $80,000 in student loan debt, and then perishes in a car accident or dies of cancer? Will your grief be compounded by having to make years (decades!) of student loan payments, until the student loan obligation is paid in full? Every parent needs to be clear on the answer to this question: “What happens to student loan debt after you die?”
The answer is scary, but — there’s great hope for those who can plan ahead just a bit.
If you as a parent are out of debt by the day your kid starts college, you’ll have more cash on hand to help with college bills. If you start the process of getting out of debt years before your kid starts college, you’ll have more cash on hand to save for college.
Either way, you’ll dramatically increase the chances that your child will graduate from college and begin adult life debt-free.
Today I’m featuring four amazinglyeasy steps to get out of debt, from best-selling author Dave Ramsey. These steps to get out of debt are so easy, you can fit them on a post-it note.
Today I’m featuring a 5-minute video clip from the popular TV show Adam Ruins Everything. This 5-minute clip is titled, “How College Loans Got So Evil.” It’s funny! But then again, it’s not funny at all — because it’s true.
Please share this post with every parent, teacher, guidance counselor, school staff person, government official, and college staff person you know.
Because we all need to know the truth — so we can take evasive action for the kids we love.
*Viewer discretion is advised
For clear, step-by-step help getting your kids through college debt-free, read on.
Parent, I urge you: DO NOT cosign a student loan for your child.
Today I’m featuring information from an article by nationally syndicated radio host and author Clark Howard. I consider this to be must-read info for every parent. After you read below, you can find articles by Clark Howard, listen to his radio show, view his videos, and sign up to receive his money-saving advice right in your email inbox at ClarkHoward.com.
Are you considering cosigning a loan for an adult child who needs a car, a student loan, or a credit card?
Here are 7 deeply concerning things you need to be aware of before you pick up that pen.
1. If you cosign a student loan, you may unwittingly strain future family relationships.
Nobody likes to think about this, but there’s an almost four in 10 chance that when you cosign a student loan, you will be the one who has to pay off the balance. A CreditCards.com survey found that of the cosigners they surveyed, 38 percent had to pay some or all of the loan balance or credit card bill because the primary borrower did not, 28 percent experienced a drop in their credit score because the person they chose to cosign for paid late or not at all, and 26 percent said the cosigning experience damaged their relationship with the person they cosigned for.
Could you one day have your social security checks garnished to pay for your kids’ college?
You may be in danger of having your social security checks garnished and not even realize it.
Parents duped into taking out Parent PLUS loans to pay for their kids’ college can find themselves on the hook for hundreds or thousands of dollars each month, right at a time of life where they may be wanting to (or worse, needing to) retire.
If you’re parenting a kid who’s not yet in kindergarten, you’re wondering how in the world you ended up reading an article written by a writer who gets kids through college debt-free. Keep reading and I’ll tell you why this blog is the best place for you to be right now.
On the day your baby starts kindergarten, your family is likely to experience an exhilarating financial windfall.
Daycare expenses may suddenly plummet.
A former stay-at-home parent might start working full-time or part-time.
The boost in your income in either of these scenarios is likely to be sudden and remarkable.
During the year before your baby starts kindergarten, sit down and plan how to invest this windfall.
Using the resources and support of someone like Dave Ramsey, start aggressively paying off your own student loan and household debt, and then once you’ve done that — visit a Certified Financial Planner and start planning retirement contributions and bit-by-bit college savings.
This article is part 3 of a 3-part series on what students can do if they’ve left college with student loan debt. You can find the first two (very important) articles in this series here and here.
Every year, frightening numbers of students finish college with massive amounts of student loan debt—and then find themselves completely unable to find employment that pays enough to cover their student loan payments.
Many of these 20somethings work as nannies, restaurant servers, and cashiers, jobs that barely pay enough to cover rent and groceries.
What can be done about this? Simply not paying on student loan debt is not an option. (You can read about the scary consequences of student loan debt default here.)
If you’re a former college student and you find yourself in this position, here are 6 strategies that will help.
This article is part 2 of a 3-part series on what students can do if they already have student loan debt. To read the very important article that was part 1 of this series, click here. To read part 3 of this series (the one about student loan forgiveness), click here.
In the first article in this series I explained the 7 important things that student loan borrowers need do immediately after leaving college.
I didn’t have room in that article for this very important to-do item: