MIWAUKEE – While the coronavirus pandemic brought student loan forgiveness to some, reality will soon set in as many students try to manage their student debt. Finances are affected and there are ways to recover and save.
Graduation and the excitement of achievement are sometimes accompanied by fear of the future.
“Unfortunately, the student debt crisis is stopping them from doing that, keeping them from building wealth in the long run, but also from spending money on things they love,” said Tori Dunlap, a money teacher.
Dunlap said the pandemic is pushing college students to exercise financial prudence and a balancing act.
“Unfortunately, a lot of people who ended up struggling with a pandemic probably had problems before, and so they weren’t able to pay off their student loans,” she said. “Maybe they haven’t been able to take advantage of this time. It’s a bigger problem just around the student debt crisis — $1.7 trillion for recent graduates.”
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She said that’s an average payment of nearly $400 a month, leading many to spend the summer trying to figure out how to achieve financial goals.
“It depends on a person, depends on private versus public schools,” Dunlap said. “Unfortunately, women bear the brunt of student debt. Women bear two-thirds of student debt in the United States, which is the biggest systemic problem in education and accessibility.”
She suggests spending money consciously and handling money responsibly, as interest rates can add up quickly.
“In addition to your monthly payment, you may want to send additional money to the principal,” Dunlap said. “That’s the original amount they took out as part of your student loan. If you contribute extra money, even if it’s $50, give it to principal — can help you get out of debt that much faster. “