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College students: beware, student loan debt is rising

December 19, 2013- Albany, GA from WALB- Graduation is a college student's dream but the next day can be a nightmare if you're facing student debt.

"I have no idea what my payments are gonna be or anything like that," Future Albany Tech student, Summer Roberts said.

Roberts isn't alone, a lot of students who take out loans aren't sure how much they owe or when they owe it. For Kaleb Briscoe, Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Albany Tech feels the number one mistake students make is avoiding contact with lenders because they fear high payment plans.

 "I think its important to have a relationship with your lender, they might have a standardized payment option but if you can't make that, they will work with you," Briscoe said.

According to The Institute for College Access & Success, the average amount a student has borrowed to graduate is nearly 30-thousand dollars in 2012, that's 10.5 percent more than the previous year.

Briscoe continues, "A lot of students get loans but can you match that with your expected salary once you actually graduate."

She recommends students to conduct research beforehand to make sure you actually need to borrow but for some it's their only option.

"That's the only way I'm able to go to school, people should know loans aren't bad they help people," Roberts said.

Experts say federal loans are the safest way to borrow and keeping a relationship with your lender can make your student debt manageable. If you default it could affect you negatively on your wages or obtaining a job.

See original story @ WALB

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