Blog Posts

By John C. Fales and Ryan W. Brooke

Student loans are as American as apple pie, yet many people are embarrassed to ask for help with learning about and taking care of their student loans.

Why? They may believe their loans are too high, think they should be more knowledgeable on their own, or don’t want to show how desperate they feel about their situation.

The first thing to recognize when it comes to student loans is just how common they are and how getting help can save a lot of frustration in your future.

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Your children (or grandchildren) may be small, but your dreams for them are big. You’d like to give them the opportunity to attend college, but the rising cost of higher education appears to be putting those aspirations further out of reach.

Costs to attend public or private colleges rose nearly 3.6% this year, according to The College Board’s annual report, while inflation ticks up only at a rate of about 2% per year. Add to the bad news the fact that the average annual cost at public 4-year colleges increased by $300 for in-state students and by $800 at private colleges. Trends indicate those numbers will only continue to increase.

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Classrooms at universities and colleges across the nation are now opening for fall semester. You might have a child, grandchild, niece or nephew who is all set to spend their semester studying, socializing, and living on their own. You have prepared them for college life by teaching them how to grocery shop, prepare simple meals, and do laundry. Often, however, college students head to school with little knowledge about making a budget and managing money.

A National Student Financial Wellness Study, the first of its kind released in 2015 by Ohio State University, showed college students’ biggest worries were not exams or terrible roommates. Their biggest worries revolved around money. A little more than 72% of the students surveyed said they felt stressed about personal finances, monthly expenses, or whether they would be able to pay for college at all.

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