Grads and debt - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Grads and debt

June is graduation season, and with it comes many ceremonies which celebrate the passage of a student from the academic world to the pursuit of their life's work.

Unfortunately many will be carrying more than a cap and gown into the "real world" this Summer. They will be carrying a huge sum of debt from student loans that looked attractive four years ago but now border on predatory.

Consider this: According to CNN, nearly two of every three undergraduates will go nearly 20 thousand dollars in debt. Most of that is owed to the government. That number multiplies when you talk about grad school, med School and even trade schools. Private lending for student loans is now a $10 billion business in this country.

Add to that a credit card or two and you are headed for big trouble, even before you enter the work force.

What can we do? One thing is to make personal finance a priority at the high school and even middle school level. It seems obvious, especially given the increasing amount of standardized testing that is mandated in most school systems. We expect our kids to be able to read and write. Shouldn't they also be able to balance a checkbook and understand the value of good credit? And really, that type of training isn't a bad idea for a lot of parents out there too.

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