It has always been axiomatic that higher education translates to increased earning power. Traditionally, educational options, along with corresponding financing, were relatively clear-cut. Students graduating high school would seek to attend an accredited brick and mortar university, and they would pay for it with a low-interest government backed student loans. However, times have now greatly changed. The current landscape of higher education is filled with a plethora of for-profit entities, and there has also emerged a large universe of predatory student lenders. These developments have prompted many to ask if the cost of student loans is worth the benefits yielded by some of these educational programs.
Those who are struggling within the working world are often drawn in by the fabulous promises and come-ons which now are regularly seen on Internet and television advertisements. Any institution which “guarantees” a high paying job upon graduation is making a promise that they can’t keep. Such puffery and inflated claims also can serve as a good indicator that the financing options associated with that program seek to ensure that the only guarantee is that the advertiser will make good money — at your expense. Those aspiring to advance their education with a degree from a for-profit institution should closely scrutinize all financing terms, and loans with interest rates above 12% should be shunned. You should also remain cognizant of the fact that you can not discharge student loan debt in bankruptcy — you are stuck with it for the rest of your life. Higher education is great — just make sure you select the right school for you while reviewing the financing terms closely before signing on the dotted line for any student loan.