For a lot of people the initial idea of student loans is negative. You don’t want to owe more money after you’ve finally finished going to school. Who wants to make all those payments for years and then lose money that they worked hard for? It’s something that you have to push yourself to agree to simply because, if you don’t, you’ll never be able to go to college and that idea sounds even worse than making payments after it’s over. But once you start looking at those student loans they get a little more appealing.

A lot of people take out the maximum amount that they possibly can for student loans. They look at what the government or their credit union/bank are willing to give them and decide that they can do a lot with that money. After all, you need to eat and you need somewhere to stay right? And once in a while it’s nice to have some extra spending money. Of course not being able to work can make the process of buying all of those things pretty daunting. So why not take out a larger loan so that you can afford to live during that time you’re in school?


The Pros

It can sometimes be important to take out extra money for school. Some people really can’t afford to live if they don’t get a little extra money for gas, lodging and food. You may be extremely frugal and spend only the minimum amount that you can just to be able to attend school. If this is you and you can’t afford to make your way in any other fashion then go ahead. You are looking at the big picture and you see what the negatives are, you just can’t really help what you’re doing because of financial reasons.


The Cons

If you’re looking at this and thinking, ‘absolutely, I want to go out with my friends, buy a new gaming system, maybe a new laptop and why shouldn’t I get a loan to pay for it’ then you’re the one who really needs this article. What you need to understand is that student loans are very expensive and they are only going to be worse when you finally finish school and you’re getting all those bills in the mail to pay it back.


Think about this, you’re going to take out a loan for an extra thousand or more dollars every year (most likely you’ll be offered more than a thousand dollars above and beyond school expenses). Now you’re going to spend that money on things like, going out to eat, a new video game, a laptop or other things that you simply want to do. Think about how much money you could easily spend on those things in just one years’ time. Now consider how much you would be spending over the course of two or more years that you would be in college. The number adds up quick.


Now consider this, you’ve finished school and you’re looking at your first student loan bill. You owe a lot of money every month to pay for your education as well as all those meals and extras that you purchased during those years. What do you have to show for it? Well you’re going to have your education which will help you get a job. How about that laptop or video games or gaming system? Are they any good anymore or are you going to replace them? How about that food? Are you still feeling full from all those meals?


Chances are you’re probably not still using those games or the laptop because they’re outdated and you want something new. There’s no way you’re still full from those meals because they happened so long ago. But guess what? You’re still going to be paying for all of those things over the next several years because you used student loans to pay for them. Now that you have to look back on all those years of meals and extras are they worth it? Was it worth being able to go out to eat every day only to have to pay it all back at the end?


Your student loans could be thousands of dollars higher just because you decided to get the maximum amount and splurge a little for a few years. The problem however, is that you’re going to have to pay, not only for those meals you’re no longer enjoying, but tax on those meals as well. So you’re actually going to pay more than you would have paid otherwise for something that you don’t even really remember and you definitely aren’t able to enjoy at this point in time.


Student loans are expensive. They will seriously cut into the amount of money that you have to spend on the things you want once you’ve finished school. And that’s the time when you should be able to afford absolutely everything that you want. So now remember all those fun times you had and think about whether or not they’re it. Was that pizza with your friends (which would have cost you $5 at the time) worth $10 now? How about that laptop you would have paid $600 for? Is it worth $800-$900 now? Especially since you probably had to replace it between then and now?


It’s important to think about all of these things when you’re planning on taking those student loans. (If you need student loan consolidation then check out this application.) Think about some of these important factors as well. The government as well as your bank will allow you to sign on the dotted line for quite a bit of money. It’s going to feel great being able to walk around with all that money and plenty of things to do with it. It’s going to feel great while you’re buying all those things and spending time going out. But when you sit down and think about it two, three or even four years later when those bills start coming in is it really going to be worth it then?