I’ve written before on the subject of student loans, but I ran across a very interesting article on the subject this week. The University of Utah has the lowest average student loan debt in the country among traditional four-year colleges. Most of us probably think that’s a good thing — after all, don’t we want students to graduate with minimal debt to pay off in future years?

However, administrators and experts question whether too little debt actually hurts graduates in the long run. The theory is that students who take out few or no loans are often working long hours outside of school to make ends meet and to pay tuition. As a result, they tend to graduate later and make lower grades. Consequently, they sacrifice earnings during their early 20s, and they have lower earning potential.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this. It seems like one’s chosen career field makes a difference here. For example, one student in the article is working as a realtor and he hopes to be a realtor after finishing school. Why would he sacrifice the work experience and take on debt to finish school faster?

On the other hand, it might be beneficial for students hoping to go to graduate school to finish college faster and have more time to focus on their undergraduate studies. They are sometimes using installment loans bad credit services if they are no longer approved by the state, which increases their revenue short term but may have consequences in the future. If you want to be a doctor or a lawyer, your grades are important. Not to mention that finishing your undergrad degree when you’re 25 delays your career until you’re nearly 30 or older.

So do you think in some cases it makes sense to take out student loans in order to finish school faster? If so, where’s the acceptable threshold? At what point does the debt become too overwhelming?

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