Is it Worth Getting a Student Loan?

If we went to study beyond high school then we will usually need to pay for our education. If we are lucky, we may be able to get a scholarship or our parents may have saved enough money to pay it for us. However, many young people find that they will have to get a student loan if they want to study beyond high school and this is a big decision.

Advantages of a loan
A loan will normally enable those that could not otherwise afford it, to get a better education. If they choose correctly, this should lead to a better paid job and overall a better career. The cost of the loan and the repayments should be worth it if this is the case. A higher income and a more secure income will mean that the loan repayments can easily be met.

As well as the career advantages, going to college or university will be a great experience. Many that have been say that living away from home and being with their peers like this gives them a life experience that they cannot get anywhere else. This can improve their confidence and give them an independence. This could happen if you moved away and got a job, but you would not necessarily be as close to your peers and you would not have the security of the institution and the activities it runs and services it provides.

Disadvantages of a loan
It is a difficult decision due to the debt that you are in once you have a loan. You will be repaying it for a long time. It is hard to think about the impact that it might have on you when you are a teenager and deciding on whether borrowing money is a good idea.

Some people find that debts start to really worry them. They feel stressed that they owe money and when you have a debt that lasts a long time, such as a student loan then this stress can be constant. You may not know how you will feel about it when you take it out because it is likely that this will be the first loan that you will have. You will therefore not know if you will just take it in your stride or if you will worry and get stressed about it.

The repayments may also impact you in later life. They may leave you short of money for buying other things that you need. It may be that you want to borrow money for other things, such as buying a home and the fact that you already have a loan means that you are reluctant to borrow again.

Alternatives
It can be worth considering alternatives to getting a student loan. It may be possible, for example that you might be able to get a scholarship or bursary which could help towards part or all of the costs. It is always worth applying as you never know whether you will get one. If there are not many applicants you may get one even if you feel your chances are slim.

You may decide to start work and save up. This will take a long time and you may find that it is really tricky to get enough money saved. However, it will allow you some time to experience what it is like to work. This should help you understand more about working and know whether you would like to do a job like this. You could use it as an opportunity to try working in different industries and types of job and this could help you get a better idea of what you would like to do in the future; career wise. You may even find that your company will pay for some training for you or that you will be allowed to study part-time while working so that you can keep the costs down.

A way to keep costs down is to study locally and live at home while you do so. This means that you will only need to cover the costs of the course and will not need to cover living expenses as well. This will only work if your parents agree to paying your keep while you are living at home.

Conclusion
It is good to spend some time thinking about which option would work best for you. It is a big decision and will have a long-lasting impact and so it should not be something that you make lightly. Try not to just think about what friends are doing and what family say but how you want your life to turn out and what you think will be the best decision for you. Try to imagine what life will be like after you graduate and whether having a student loan will hold you back or help you.

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