Student Loan News: Student Debt Can Lead to Undesirable Jobs

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Welcome to Student Loan News, a weekly summary of developments and events affecting college debt in the U.S. Join us each Friday for a look at goings-on that could impact your own student loan situation.

Survey: Current students plan career choices based on debt

More than 6 out of 10 current college students would accept a job they’re not passionate about, and nearly two-thirds would jump at the first offer — all because of financial concerns, according to a survey released on Wednesday by Handshake.

That’s sad but not surprising. The country’s class of 2018 left school with an average education debt of nearly $30,000, according to our own student loan data.

Handshake’s survey reveals the ramifications: Respondents said their chief concerns after leaving college would be finding work (25.1%) and repaying student debt (20.1%). More than half said they believed it would be harder to land a position than it was when their parents graduated.

Student debt is also more likely to impact the career choices of first-generation students. About 42% of first-in-their-family graduates haven’t pursued their dream job because of salary concerns, according to a related Student Loan Hero survey of borrowers who finished school over the last five years.

How it affects YOU: If you’re still in school but already worried about your student loan repayment, consider ways to lighten your future load. By making in-school payments, for example, you could ensure your loan balance doesn’t balloon before graduation.

Also, confirm that your choice of major will lead to a rewarding, if not high-paying, career. You don’t have to earn six figures to stave off student debt. Income-driven repayment for federal loans, for example, would cap your monthly payment at a percentage of your disposable income, making servicing your debt possible even with a modest-paying job.

Also in the news…

  • The American Federation of Teachers sued Betsy DeVos on Wednesday, alleging that the Education secretary wasn’t protecting borrowers from for-profit schools, NPR reported. The teachers union took issue with DeVos repealing the so-called gainful employment rule in July 2019. Its suit follows a similar legal action last year against DeVos over Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
  • Presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) promised to fire DeVos in her first 100 days in office, as reported by The Washington Free Beacon. Of course, it’s rare for a president from a different party to keep their predecessor’s Cabinet secretaries.
  • Marketwatch reported on the drawbacks of mass student debt forgiveness proposed by presidential candidates Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.): increasing income tax burdens and decreasing credit scores. For their part, the candidates say their plans would account for such side effects.
  • A legislative proposal in Oklahoma would aim to protect the state’s student loan borrowers from predatory lenders, according to News on 6. If passed, the law would create a student borrower bill of rights, offering consumer-oriented guidelines for student loans that already exist for credit cards and other financial products.

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