Sometimes it might seem as if college and student loans go hand-in-hand. You’re not getting one without the other. But, if you can manage to get through college without loans, you will find that there are massive benefits of graduating debt-free such as less stress, more options when it comes to jobs and your money, and of course, no loan payments.
No Giant Never-Ending Loan Payments
I wasn’t very smart about loans when I was in school. I took out too many and didn’t give it much thought at the time.
Of course, after school was over and I was faced with the reality of a $1,000 a month student loan payment, I sat up and took notice.
If you can manage not going into debt for a college degree, then when you graduate, you won’t be faced with a huge monthly loan payment.
This is massive when it comes to the benefits of graduating debt-free.
I realize with the high costs of college tuition it can be difficult to make it through without loans, but you do have some options.
- Go to a community college for your first two years
- Learn a trade like drafting or plumbing instead of getting a 4-year degree
- Have a side-hustle while in school to pay off your loans as you go
- Get whatever scholarships and grants you can
- Take out the smallest amount of student loans to just get by
- Have a side gig while in high school, so you will have money to help pay for college
Whatever you can do to graduate without student loan debt is worth the extra effort in the long run.
You’re Starting Life with a Clean Slate
Another great advantage of graduating debt-free is you are starting life with a clean slate. You don’t have any debts hanging over your head.
You don’t have any of the concerns or worries that are associated with student loan debt.
The path is clear ahead of you and you can decide what direction you want to take instead of having to take a path you might not want just to pay off your loans.
More Money to Save and Invest
One of the habits you want to get into as soon as you graduate is saving money and investing money.
If you don’t have an emergency fund start there. Then you can begin to invest money in your future.
That could be to buy a house or start to save for retirement or having money to send your own kids to college.
Whatever you want to save for or invest in, if you don’t have any debt after you graduate, you can start to do so much sooner.
You have a lot more cash each month from your paycheck that you can use for savings and investments.
When you have debt, such as student loans, you really want to get them paid off before you start saving.
Without them, your financial future looks much brighter, and good financial things will start to happen much sooner than they would otherwise.
You will be a lot further along financially than your friends who might be struggling just to make ends meet after they make their monthly loan payments.
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A Lot Less Stress
Being in debt is stressful. Having thousands, tens of thousands, or even more student loan debt is one of the most stressful situations you will ever deal with.
Student loans never go away. Unlike other types of debt, you can’t have it written off in a bankruptcy. You can’t wish it away either.
You have to pay it or sooner or later the federal government will come after you and they can keep your tax refunds and even worse levy your paycheck and take a percentage of it every month.
That’s kind of scary.
Knowing that could happen, especially if you are having trouble making your loan payments is something that can give you a lot of sleepless nights.
By not having this kind of debt, you know you can handle your other financial responsibilities, and even if you have trouble with them at least the federal government isn’t coming after you.
Less Pressure to take Any Job You Can Find
Let’s face it, if you know in a few months you are required to start paying a large monthly payment on your student loans, you are going to be in a hurry to take any job you can find.
This may not be your dream job. In fact, you may hate this job, but you are stuck. That loan payment comes at your pretty darn fast and it never goes away.
When your options are default or take a job you don’t really want so you can make the payment, the lousy job usually wins.
What’s great if you don’t have any student loan debt is you can wait a bit longer. You can look for, go after, and wait for your dream job to come along.
You don’t have to take just any job that you can find. You have options and the time to find the right opportunity.
I can’t begin to tell you how much impact this will have on your future happiness.
Not having student loan debt also means you can take a job that pays less but you are passionate about. It is really a win-win situation.
Is It Realistic to Graduate Debt Free?
While it certainly isn’t easy and takes some real effort and planning on your part, you can graduate debt-free. You just have to be willing to make it happen, so yes it is realistic to graduate debt-free.
Is It Smart to Be Debt Free?
Being debt-free if you can make it happen is very smart. Living a life free of debt is one of true peace and happiness.
Will Student Debt Ruin Your Life?
It certainly can. This is especially true if you are having a hard time making your payments. It can ruin your credit score, cause you a great deal of stress and make it impossible to save for other things you want or need.
To Sum it All Up:
There are massive benefits of graduating debt-free. Your life will be less stressful, you will have more money to save and invest, you won’t have the pressure that student loans can bring with them, and you can wait for that perfect job.