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College Students and the Roots of All Evil

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College Students and the Roots of All Evil

It's no secret, college students have money problems. It might sound stereotypical, but money issues have troubled college student for years. The problem has been growing in the past decades. With credit cards readily available for students and loans becoming easier to acquire, students are running into a spiral of bad credit and long lasting debt. College loans are easy to acquire either from the government or from a private lender. Some students do not realize the debt they may acquire from college loans alone. Adding a credit card with a few thousands to your debt can easily contribute to the problem. Students may accumulate thousands in debt, not realizing that after college, they will have to pay it back.

Credit cards are just plain horrible for students and for most post graduates. Student will charge everything from designer jeans to pizzas. Even after graduation, the young adults still abuse credit card usage. The problem with students and credit cards is that most students do not pay off the balance every month. When a student buys a pizza on their credit card and do not pay off the balance that month, they will be paying for that pizza over and over again. (Chu) A twenty dollar pizza could easily turn into a fifty dollar pizza over a year's time. Credit card companies then add late fees and they usually have high interest rates, causing most students to work years after college to pay off their debt. It's bad enough that students are in debt because of student loans, but now adding the credit card bills, thousands of dollars must be paid off.

Loans are becoming a bigger problem each day. Since students will need to spend thousands of dollars on college, they will need to get the money somewhere. The majority of students do not have "rich parents" so they will need to find funding sources elsewhere. One of the most common ways to get money is to take out a loan. Most of the student loans that are not granted through the government are acquired through personal lenders. These can be places from your bank to lenders that specialize in student loans. A significant number of lenders that specialize in student loans are predatory lenders. Just like the credit card companies, they can have ridiculous rates and fees. Sadly more and more of these "poor" choice lenders are popping up everywhere for those desperate students. Now days, there are a lot of predatory lenders that now establish their businesses very close to college campuses. These can be just across the street in some instances. In addition to predatory lending to students personally, lenders now actually give money to schools for referring students to them. (Tergesen) Some schools will discourage students and their families from shopping around for the best deal on loans, simply because the school's "preferred lender" is paying them or offering them perks. (Tergesen) That is quite sad, but it's true.

There are a few stories I would like to share with you to show you the impact of debt. When I was in the Army, there was a fellow soldier named Franco. Franco had a lot of nice things. He had a nice car, nice stereo, big TV, and in general a lot of stuff. One day I was watching him crunch some numbers during a break and I became interested. I asked him what he was doing and I was in for a shock. He was dividing his entire paycheck up to pay credit cards. This was something he did every pay period. Franco had thousands of dollars in debt. The soldier had about five cards, all of them maxed out. Even though Franco wasn't in "college" at the time, he still learned the truth about credit cards. He was a student in the Army, but because of bad financial choices, he now would spend his entire paycheck for years paying off credit card companies.

Another example I would like to share is my friend Brandon. Brandon was attending school last year but decided it wasn't for him and dropped out. While in college, he took out a student loan that he now has to repay back to the lender. In addition to this student loan, he just bought himself a new car from a "buy here, pay here" establishment. He purchased a 02' Pontiac Grand Prix for around twelve thousand dollars. Because of his bad credit from

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