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Student Loan Debt

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By Ryan Houston - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) –Americans owe $829.7 billion in student loans according to finaid.Org. That amount surpasses total credit card debt by $3 billion.

But is student loan debt viewed the same way as credit card debt?  Financial experts suggest that education credit is an investment in your future. On the other hand, credit cards are not viewed in the same positive light.

Ka-aja Brown is a senior at Albany State University, majoring in"Early Childhood Education," said ASU Student Ka-aja Brown. 

In order to make that a reality, she had to borrow student loans in the amount of."$15,000," said Brown. How does it feel going into debt just for a college education?

"Not too good, I was thinking of joining the Air Force after I graduate, due to the fact I have lots of loans," said Brown. However, those loans provide students with access to things they normally would not have.

"Student loans do allow students to live while they persue their education, without getting a full-time job," said ASU Financial Aid Director Thomas Harris Jr. Some students question whether it's smart to even pursue a degree, when there's no guarantee of work after graduation.

"The opportunity to have a job is not promised, but without the degree, it's not promised either. It may be actually a lot harder," said Harris. Well the good thing is repayment options are not hard. 

The standard plan gets rid of the loan the fastest. The extended plan has smaller monthly payments.

Income Contingent plan is salary-based. The Graduate plan starts off small, paying off interest first. "As you advance being a young professional, you can move into any one of those programs you qualify for," said Harris.

"The higher you go in school, the more money you make. So I know it won't be a problem with me paying of the loans," said Brown.

Student loans are just one of many options to pay for college. Financial Aid officers say don't be alarmed when lenders start to call.

Most of the time, they want to give you options to choose from. The earlier you start to plan, the better.

For more information on scholarships and grants to pay for college visit http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.

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