Are you Helping Your Members Prevent Student Loan Debt?
Monday, September 1, 2014 6:00 AM

Earlier this year federally backed student loan debt climbed to over 1.2 trillion dollars, surpassing both credit card and auto loan debt. One in every ten students exits college with debt in excess of 40 thousand dollars; some have debt over 100 thousand. The slowing of the economy and the over-education of the general public has left a surplus of highly qualified job seekers, and not enough lucrative positions to fill. Many college students end up with huge amounts of debt and no way to pay it off.

This is a known problem that carries serious consequences for both the indebted students, and the general public as taxpayers who fund these federally backed loans. If the loans are defaulted on, or come in at a slower rate than anticipated, it is the general public that pays the price.

What can we do to help solve this problem? As credit unions and believers that a stronger, more educated member base will create a stronger community, we have an obligation to educate our members on the options available to fight student loan debt before it occurs.

Many of our members are parents with children not yet at college age, have you educated those members about the benefits of a Coverdell Education Savings Account? Have you directed them to the Kirby Roo resource page to learn about other savings options like 529 and prepaid tuition plans, or even educational tax credits? If you haven’t, start today! (Really, go stop that woman and her two kids at the door-she will be happy you did).