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Truth About Student Loans

Before deciding whether or not you should go to college, there are a number of questions you must ask yourself – “Do I really need to go?”  “Is college right for me?” Most importantly though, you must ask yourself, “How will I pay for it?”  Chances are you will have to take out expensive student loans (8.0% interest sounds low, but over time it will add up) in order to fund you education.  The average student debt is $27,000[1] (this includes students that have no debt at all), but your education can easily put you in over $100,000 of debt.  Now ask yourself another question – “Is it really worth it?”

Let’s say you get lucky, and after graduating you get a job in Manhattan making $40,000 a year.  After all of your expenses, you end up with a little over $12,000 – money that could be used to start saving towards a new life.  Instead, you need to use it to pay back your loans, and they are going to take a long time to pay off.  If you make a $1,000 monthly payment on $100,000 of debt at 8% (which seemed low when you took it) it will take you almost fourteen years to pay off, and you’ll end up paying more than $63,000 in interest alone[2].  That’s more than you make in eighteen months of work, gone.

This is assuming you even have a job after school.  Recent employment numbers have been encouraging – only 7.7% of people are unemployed[3].  You’re smart, and you’ll have a college degree; what are the chances that you will end up jobless or underemployed after college?

Fifty-three percent

Fifty-three percent of recent college graduates aren’t doing what they want to[4], and most of them are saddled with debt that they are on the hook for.  Worst of all, colleges try and hide the facts from you.  They would like you to think that all the degrees are created equal.  After all, a major in audio production is going to cost just as much as a business degree.  What they don’t want you to know is that graduate with an arts degree is 50% more likely to not have a job after college as someone who studied business[5].

The facts are simple.  A four year education, especially in the arts is a dangerous risk and an investment with money you don’t always have, but will always be responsible for.  Creditors don’t care about your success; they only care about the bottom line.  A secured student loan means that there is no avoiding payment.  Unlike unsecured loans, declaring bankruptcy won’t solve your problems.   If you don’t pay, you’ll default.

If you default?  You will be sued, your wages will be garnished and any federal benefits will be offset[6].  Creditors don’t care whether or not you have a job.  They don’t care whether or not you can afford it.  They only care about getting their money back.

Now ask yourself again; is all this debt really worth it?

If you take on these loans, you will spend the next decade owing money to creditors.  Money that you have to pay back, but may not have the means to do so.  There was a time when you were almost guaranteed a job after graduating college, and that time has passed.  The current economic climate is unkind to jobseekers, and expert knowledge is far more likely to get you ahead than a bachelor’s degree.

Employers, especially in this field, are uninterested in all of the electives you took.  They don’t care about the biology or political science classes you attended.  They are looking for people who know what they are doing, and often times a four year college will not prepare you with the real world skills you need to make it in the music business.  Think about that – four years and crushing debt all to find out that the education you received was neither what you wanted or needed.   Like it or not, you’re still stuck with that debt.

That doesn’t seem like a very smart investment at all.

Don’t lose out on your dream job because you wasted time and money, and failed to obtain the proper education.   A bachelor’s degree isn’t a golden ticket to getting that job.  Colleges want your money, waste your time and are uninterested in your future.  There is no silver bullet, but here at MPI we can help by giving you the training you need to succeed.

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