I’d like to preface this post by saying a lot of the material in my blog is very uplifting and light! This one is a little more informative and straight forward. I don’t want this post to be taken negatively! I want it to be a learning experience for students right now! I want you to know that I don’t regret my education ONE BIT, but I just wish I had made smarter and more informed decisions about money in college! I hope you guys like this read, and thank you so much for continuing to love on Yourheartismine! It means so much to me! – Kelsey
Lets just start by me telling you this: I have about $25,000 of Student Loan debt to pay off as of this month (I started with 30 something…), and an ADN nursing to degree to show for it all. That’s a 2 year college degree. Doesn’t make sense, does it? NOPE! I was also 17 when I went off to college, and that didn’t help the situation! I was very young! Every month that I pay back my student loans, I get so frustrated about the amount that I owe. I ALSO get frustrated about the amount of interest that I am paying to the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT from my EDUCATION loans!!!! Not car loans, not home loans, EDUCATION loans! Education is something quite essential today to make a living and have a decent job. I get so upset thinking about all of this, and I wanted to write a blog post to all current and future nursing students to prevent you guys for making the mistakes that I did! Because no one teaches you these things. No one tells you to take loans out with caution. No one tells you to work hard, save, and do what you can to NOT take out loans. In becoming a nurse, we’re not rolling in the Benjamins so to speak! We’re rolling in poop and urine, trying to saves lives, and make a paycheck to take care of our families, car payments, rent, food, etc! Nurses make a decent living, it’s just super hard when you throw student loans and interest into the mix! PLEASE listen up!
According to Mark Kantrowitz of WSJ.com, not only is average student loan debt rising, but more students are taking out loans to finance secondary education. Almost 71% of bachelor’s degree recipients will graduate with a student loan, compared with less than half two decades ago and about 64% 10 years ago. Holy moly! We have a problem, Houston! My generation of students are loan happy! And you know what, the government isn’t going to educate us about it because THEY are benefitting! This makes me so upset! We are taking out loans like “that’s just what you do!” You max out the amount you can get, you pay for school, room, and books, and then what do you do with the rest? Well, duh, you pay it back towards the loan so you won’t be paying in the future, right? WRONG! You pocket the rest and go do what young, silly, college students do and go have fun! You eat out, buy booze, go shopping, and the list goes on. Because you have ALL of this money in your account that you didn’t have! And all you had to do was “click” to get it.
This is the problem today with loans. Our generation is one where things are just given to us. We don’t have to work hard the way our parents did, and we get bailed out for our wrong doings! Not all fall under this category, but many do! I’m not okay with this! It’s creating a people who don’t know how to work for what they want. It’s creating a lazy culture. It’s setting up our nation’s future for failure! And ultimately, it’s creating a student nation of ridiculous debt that none of our bachelor degree professions can afford! Education is SO expensive when you think about it! For those of us taking out loans for it, I really need you to think wisely about what you’re doing! I made the mistake of just clicking the max amount of loan, when I probably really only needed half! I now OWE that money and I am paying interest on it! At the time, it was so easy, convenient, and seemed wonderful! “Free” money in my pocket! That’s what it felt like! What I should have been doing was working a part time job on my days that I wasn’t going through my prerequisites, and putting that money aside to pay for nursing school. Instead I was frolicking through Tallahassee, FL on Tennessee Street spending money on all things college related (GO NOLES!). I wasn’t disciplined, I wasn’t informed, and I had no idea of the total amount of debt that I was accumulating from college loans. That’s scary!
If I was prepared and informed, I probably could have cut my debt in half! I truly remember only needing about half of the loan amount to pay for my tuition and books every semester! Like many other students, I pocketed the rest and did what I wanted to! Students loans DEFINITELY have their place. Seeing my parents weren’t able to put aside for college ( yes, some people don’t have money put aside for their kids), my sisters and I had no choice but to take out loans. My parents helped in every way they could, and helped by sending money for groceries and other necessities. Now listen, we could have chosen to stay local and gone to a community college FOR FREE and lived at home, but we all were ready to venture out and a little hard-headed ;). Looking back, that wasn’t such a bad idea seeing I could have acquired the same degree, but with less debt if I had made that decision. But I chose to go off to Florida State University. I ultimately ended up graduating from a community college nursing program with the debt of a student graduating from a State University. It’s a hard sip for me to swallow today!
I wish I could go back and have made smarter financial decisions. I want you guys to understand the implications of student loan debt. A lot of people will tell you it’s not viewed the same way credit card debt and other debts are viewed. That’s not completely true. My husband and I together make a decent yearly amount. He is an Engineer and I am a Nurse. Great jobs, right? Well what if I told you we could barely get approved for a decent home loan because of our combined student loan debt? We both have great credit, but we have student loans from a private and state University. A LOT of loans! We pay on them monthly and on time. As a matter of fact, we pay MORE than the minimum and we’re still not ahead! We both wished we knew a little more about student loans in college. We’re doing our best to pay them off quickly, because interest is adding up! We could be living a lot more “freely” if we didn’t have these loans, but we’re having to bite the bullet and get them out of the way! That means lot’s of PB&J and less leisurely outings! I’m at least glad we are addressing it together! I recommend anyone looking for a way to pay back loans, you check out Dave Ramsey. He has great knowledge, experience, and advice! This links to a payback plan that is magical!
This website gives you a good breakdown on the types of loans out there. It’s important to understand them before you just “click!” Some have really high interest rates and some don’t at all. There are loans for first generation college students and grants available too! Grants are good! Scholarships are out there as well! There are a TON of scholarships for student nurses! Some of them you can just get by applying! No essay required! They take time to fill out, but this is FREE money! It’s worth it! I would also encourage any nurses who are staying local to check with their hospital to see if they have a scholarship fund for nursing students! I had one that paid for my books every semester if I committed to a year of working there! It helped me out tremendously! Do your research yall! And be smart!
Nursing school was a necessity in my life. It was what I wanted to do, and I did everything in my power to get through it! I got my act together financially once I got INTO nursing school, but I blew a lot on loans prior to that. I wasn’t educated. No body told me anything about loans. I never reached out to a financial counselor. I never took out just what I needed. I just clicked the max amount. That’s all I did. And those clicks now have me paying back back interest and payments that gives me regretful emotion every time!
(Shout out to Eastern Florida State College RN program!!!)
If it weren’t for student loans, I never would have become a nurse. I never would have lived out my dream job, and I would never have gotten to take care of and met the amazing people that I have! I never would have met my best friends, endured challenges in life that have made me stronger, and received the nursing education that I did, had I not had loans as an option! Loans are a beautiful thing because when it comes to education, there are many people out there like myself, who would not be able to attend college without them. However, they are only beautiful when they are dealt with in a smart, careful, thoughtful, and mature manner! If you are in school or heading off to college soon, I want you to sit down and do your research! This decision effects your future, your spouses future, and ultimately your family’s future! I hate how expensive education is and I hate that we are paying interest on education to the government, yet they are try to create loan forgiveness after 10 plus year of paying on them. Lord help them if they don’t get that 10 years of interest! I also hate how hospitals are pushing for furthered education! It is SO expensive even when tuition reimbursement is offered! I am TO THE PENNY every month! I don’t even like the idea of taking out another credit card with 0% interest to pay it off! It all just scares me and seems pointless when the incentive for a bachelors isn’t that great! I would LOVE to go back to school, but the financial issue is there! I do not want to take out another loan! I am NOT okay with debt! Many people see it as nothing and like its just another loan payment! NO! It’s still debt, nonetheless! My parents didn’t live their life with debt over their heads, and I’m not going to either! The American way is to be in debt, like it’t no big deal! Ummm, HOLD THE PHONE! No, not cool Robert Frost! I refuse to be in that category and let it become the norm!
Anyways, I just firmly believe education isn’t something we should have to pay interest on, especially when the Government’s main focus is helping Americans get jobs and decrease unemployment rates, so they can make money and help our economy. Grrrr! All of these Presidential Candidates are nearing 70. I guess you could say they’re “peaking” in their 70’s. Maybe this is foreshadowing that my loans will be paid off and everything will be happy dandy at 70? Joking. Bad Joke…REALLY bad joke! Don’t want to be paying until 70! ANYWHO…..I hope this is helpful and encouraging to anyone reading! Prepare yourself! Educate Yourself! Be smart with your money! It affects your future in more ways than you understand! Don’t make the uneducated decisions that I did! Go be an amazing nurse without debt 😉 !!!
Your Heart is Mine!