INDIANAPOLIS–If you put yourself through college, the odds are that when you get out, you will have incurred debt. Though some people are able to do it with scholarships and others work to pay as they go, the average Hoosier student loan debt is $30,609.
More than half of students from Indiana graduate with at least that much debt, said the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.
“There’s a lot of people that either have misconceptions about student loans or maybe they got more student loans than they were initially thinking they would have to get,” said Stephen Fletcher, spokesperson for the National Assoc. of Personal Financial advisers.
He said when the interest starts to pile up and things get tight, then stress kicks in.
Fletcher said some Hoosiers have debt that’s way more than the average and that can make for a stressed first few years out of college, or even longer.
“You do see a lot of people increasingly because of how aggressively college costs are increasing, you do see a lot of people where it’s beginning to be $50,000 plus. It is really starting to explode.”
He said the two words that millennials associate with money most are stress and worry.
“Really college students need to rely on mentors or those parents to make sure that money doesn’t continue to be a taboo conversation,” he said.
Fletcher said that people going to college need to learn about a budget either before going or while they are in college to help them better navigate and not end up in enormous debt when they get out, debt that could cause them stress, which could lead to health concerns and cost even more money.
Budgeting is also important for people who have already incurred the debt.
“In today’s day and age of your Netflix subscription and your Spotify subscription and everything else that you have, how often are you spending money on something that you’re not even using, and can you cut that out, whether it’s a few dollars a month or hundreds of dollars a month?”
Fletcher said having a personal financial adviser to hold you accountable and make sure you’re living within your means, whether in school or out.