Student loan debts growing steadily

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Nationwide Americans owe more for college debt than on credit card debt!  Student loan debt has been growing steadily.  According to Americans owe almost $830 billion in student loan debt.  That's four billion more than what's owed for credit card debt!

There are more than 13,000 students at ASU this fall.  Of those, more than half have at least one student loan.

"I do have a lot that's basically my financial aid and gives me the ability to go to school," said ASU student Travis Moore.

"I worry about it a lot because I know that only one student loan can take forever.  I have three student loans," said Valencia Pitts, a student at ASU.

Financial expert Susan Campbell works for Clearpoint Credit Counseling and said students don't think about what they're doing when they take out student loans.

"There are times you have to take out a student loan but take out only what is necessary, not above.  You can go out and a lot of people waste it," said Campbell.

While many students are on scholarship or are paying for their education out of pocket it is very common to take out student loans.  Campbell stresses you should only borrow what you need!

"It does not go away.  They have to repay these things and if you don't of course the interest is going to accrue on that and it's just going to compound," said Campbell.

Freshmen can borrow $5,500, sophomores can borrow $6,500, and juniors and seniors can borrow $7,500 a year.  It is a lot of money, and it is money many students don't put a lot of thought into when they borrow it.

"When you get those loans you're just basically trying to get a way to pay for school you're not really reading through that paperwork like you should," said Moore.

"I don't even know everything now but I'm sure they will lay it on me when I graduate," said Pitts.

Faced with a tough job market, students worry about what will happen if the jobs aren't there when they graduate, which means it will be even harder to pay back those student loans.

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