Avoid Student Debt Completely

That fancy hat comes with a huge pile of debt.

That fancy hat comes with a huge pile of debt.

I got a great email the other day!

It was entitled

Student Loans: Another Reason to Avoid This Debt Completely

It’s by Rachel Cruze.  She’s Dave Ramsey’s daughter.  She has a great website you can check out here or you can connect with her on Facebook

Rachel explains that people have become so accustomed to paying for college with student loans that they don’t even know how to get an education without taking on debt!  She poses the question “…what would people do if they suddenly couldn’t get an easy money student loan to go to school?”

From the email:

Imagine the shock resulting from a recent announcement by JP Morgan Chase—America’s largest bank—that the company will stop issuing student loans altogether. Thasunda Duckett, the CEO for auto and student loans at Chase, explained it this way: “We just don’t see this as a market that we can significantly grow.” In other words, there isn’t enough money to be made in student loans.

What does this tell us? The lenders who are still in the game are there to make money. They aren’t there to help you fulfill your lifelong dream of earning a college degree.

And if you think “Well that’s a private bank–all they care about is making a buck.  At least Uncle Sam has my back!”, you would be wrong.  The government wants to get paid, with interest too.  And they will get their money.

You can’t file for bankruptcy on a student loan

and if you go long enough without making payments, the government can take the money you owe right out of your paycheck. Harsh as it sounds, student loans have never been about helping you get ahead as a student. They’re just another money-making machine. And with countless students unable to keep up with payments after graduation, the impact they’ll have on our generation is bound to get worse.

What is Rachel’s advice? Avoid student loans completely. Go to a school you can afford.  That’s simple, and some might say simplistic, advice but it rings true!

As someone who took on over $250,000 in student loan debt (yes, as in a quarter million dollars) just to get an education to become a dentist I have real life experience dealing with massive debt.  And that’s just my student loans—not equipment debt, start up debt, a mortgage on a dental building or any personal debt for a house or a car.  Today’s dental student could EASILY have $300,000 to $400,000 in student loan debt alone.

My Advice

My advice? Only take on student debt if you really know what you want to do and what the return on investment will be–what kind of money will you make? Don’t just go to dental school and become a dentist because you want the title “Doctor” or you think the lifestyle will be fun.  It’s important to spend the time to get clear about what you want out of life and pursue it with passion.  And a dental education may not be necessary to get where you want to go.

-Dr. Marcus Neff DDS

Dr. Neff is a co-author of the book “So You Want to be a Dentist?: What you Must Know to Succeed in Dentistry”.  The book can be purchased at www.lulu.com, the iBookstore, Amazon.com, and many other digital retailers.

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