College Loans Now

Our nation – both the citizens and the government – is drowning in debt right now.  Too much debt, much of it poorly structured, has put our economy in a slump.  So it may seem foolhardy to consider getting a loan for college now.  But there can be good reasons for getting a loan and higher education is one of them. 

 A “good debt” is one that allows the borrower to have something of value that will appreciate over time.  And the debt allows the person to obtain this asset with growth potential much sooner than if they had to wait to pay for the asset in cash.  An education that will allow greater earnings for the rest of your life can be worth borrowing for.  Government subsidized loans with low interest rates are optimal.  The Plus loans generally carry higher interest, so make sure that you can’t get tuition reduction or do a work/study program before getting into that tier of student loans. 

An element to examine closely now is taking a loan now that you’ll repay with an existing 529 plan or other savings that have been in the stock market.  There may be future growth in these accounts that would be worth waiting to receive.  You can pay the loans back early, but you generally can’t get college loans after you’ve take the courses and paid the tuition.  This is one of the areas where some professional advice can help you make an informed decision relative to your particular circumstances.