How to Avoid Student Loan Debt

Whitney Sparks "A Fearless Heart"

Wow!  There is a serious epidemic facing our kids today and it’s called DEBT.

What’s sad is that they learn this word early on in life.  Mostly when they start off to college.

The problem with debt is that it’s like a drug.  It is highly addictive.  You see how much you can spend on credit and how quickly you can get the things you want (not necessarily need) and then you’re hooked.

Don’t let it start in your 20’s.  You can avoid student loan debt.  It may not be easy, but it is doable!



I’m a teacher.  I love to teach.  I was a born teacher even before I had any kind of degree.

Find your talent.  Find you what you like to do and make money doing it.


My dad was always the type that liked to work outside.  So, he taught us early on to get small jobs.  He would mow yards, cut pulp wood, help on a friend’s farm.  That’s what he loved.  I didn’t necessarily enjoy mowing a yard, but I did it for the money.  He was always fair and would pay us our portion.


When I wanted to buy my own car at the age of 19, I went to work.  I worked as a waitress every day after school and then would work at a camp during the summer.  So, when summertime came I worked 2 jobs.  It didn’t bother me.  I bought a car to get me to college and a computer.


Find something that works around your schedule.  If you can’t handle a full-time job and full-time classes then cut back on something.  Maybe take summer sessions or mini-mesters to help catch up on your studies.




Is your degree really worth getting a PhD.  I am an educator.  I have taught for many years in a public school.  I could have stayed on and gotten my Master’s Degree, but all I would have done is accrued more debt and made very little.


Education is one of those areas where it’s not worth just stopping at a Master’s.  So I chose to just get my Bachelor’s.  I don’t regret my decision at all.


I have seen people doubt whether they should really be getting their PhD in a certain subject because they have friends out there already making a 6-figure salary with a Bachelor’s or Master’s.


Research your subject area to see if it’s really worth staying in past a Bachelor’s.  I am always a firm believer in education, but I learn best by getting out there and doing it.  Not just sitting in a classroom listening to someone talk about it:)




The best advice that I could give to you is to have some sort of plan.  Make a budget.


I did wind up having to take out $10K when my husband and I got married.  That’s not something I’m proud of but we didn’t see any way around it since we weren’t budgeting in our own lives.


So, I worked for 5 years in a Title I school and I was able to get $5K excused from my loan.  That left us with $60 left to pay on the loan which we did in cash.  So, I paid off a $10K loan in 5 years.


If we had been budgeting and not spending so much money on eating out, I would’ve probably paid off that loan in 1-2 years.  Here’s what we should have done…


We needed to sit down and say Okay.  We make X amount of money.  We have X amount in student loan debt.  We need to pay X amount per month and have this paid off in X amount of years.


Get it?  I’m not saying it’s just horrible if you just have to take out a loan, but you have got to have a plan.  I have heard of people racking up $50K, $100K, $150K worth of student loan debt. Where’s their plan?  Is their job going to make enough money to pay off this debt?


If not, then it’s time to get 2-3 jobs and really start whacking away before you wind up hurting yourself even more in the long run.



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