Managing Student Loans

In today’s fast paced society where many determine their self-worth and judge others by the size of their bank accounts and the amount and kind of possessions they have, it is easy for many to immediately assume that a mortgage which gives you a possession increases your self worth and is always financially better then having student loans.

Those that subscribe to the belief that our ultimate goal in life should be to acquire money and possessions must have been the same individuals in college just to get a piece of paper that they think will give them a huge paycheck. Of course they could also be the more common type, those that forgo education completely in pursuit of easy money. Fast forward 20 or so years and these are the same individuals drowning in credit card debt and also looking back and wondering what, if anything, they have done for society and what they have to show for their life besides a home and possessions.

Sure taking out a mortgage gets you a home, a home that can rise in value and become not only a place to live but also an investment. Yes, insurance can replace said home if it gets destroyed and one can always sell a home to try and get a larger home. But a home can also be taken away if one can’t afford it, and more importantly like most possessions, can’t provide something as priceless as an education; its just a bunch of bricks, concrete, and wood.

On the other hand, student loans when used for the purpose of education enable anyone with the desire to learn and gain an education the ability to do so. While many fools rush out to get that money, those who invest in an education will not only gain something far more valuable then a home or car, but will ironically make more in a lifetime then the fools who only see dollar signs.

Now of course many people who take a mortgage happen to have student loans, so what do those individuals do when comparing which was more valuable as an investment? Again the student loan not only enabled them to gain knowledge, critical thinking skills, and an education but also enabled them to get a career that may have very well got them the house they live in. So for those individuals, the student loans were clearly a worthwhile investment when compared to any other debts people are willing to incur.

Then there are those who pursue an academic field that leaves others wide eyed and confused. These are the individuals that take on student loans to learn subject matter and earn degrees that aren’t exactly going to land them a high paying job. Again an investment in an education is never a mistake, knowledge can never be taken away, but homes, cars, and jobs can. These are the people who see value in learning and not a paycheck and yet their passion in their given field may end up giving them more satisfaction then the one who takes a purely job directed degree such as business.

It is sad to see higher education filling more and more with people who only take on an area of study because it provides a job at the end. They take student loans on and may pay them off quicker, but do they realize that they didn’t pay for an academic education and great knowledge, rather a piece of paper and some job training that others already possess? Did these individuals become enlightened or curious, or did they just go through the motions to get to that job at the end of the line?

A mortgage is a good financial investment at times but without an education not only will a mortgage seem to cost more, but the individual without an education won’t possess anything more then material things while the educated possess something that will always serve them well and never be lost. Student loans are part of an investment in yourself, an investment that will always keep paying off for you.