Career Key

Author: Career Key's President and CEO, Juliet Wehr Jones, GCDF, J.D.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Managing Education Debt by Early Career Choice

The trick to managing education or college loans is to limit the amount you take on to the bare minimum. You can do that in two ways:
By making the right career choice early on, you:
  • choose and pay for the training only necessary to reach your career goals, instead of paying for unnecessary classes,
  • spend less time in school and more time working to reach your career goals, and
  • focus your effort on building the skills needed for better paying jobs in your chosen career.
If you need to motivate your inner penny pincher, I read an excellent column by the NYT David Brooks this morning called "The Great Seduction," about how our country's approach toward debt has changed over the years, and not for the better. I know this kind of advice can be hard to follow; it's hard to hold back, especially when you are finally on your own, from spending money the way you've always wanted to spend it. The spending seduction increases when a loan company sends you a check or you have the plastic in hand. Hard to resist!

But if you have a clear career goal of where you want to go and financially where you want to be, you'll be less likely to sabotage yourself in debt. More debt only delays your success. Some educational debt is necessary for most people to get the training they need to advance in our economic system. So use it to your advantage, as a temporary, limited bridge just long enough to reach the other side of the gap.

No comments: