In May everyone was talking about Robert F. Smith who paid off the student loan debt of the Morehouse graduating class. Recently we found out that he included the Parent Plus Loans of the parents too. So entire families from that graduating class is now free of student loans. I don’t want to talk about that, but I want to talk about why parents need to learn the word no.

Understand The Threat:

Many parents and grandparents who get these loans don’t understand the threat to their finances. If you don’t pay these loans back your pay will be garnished and if you get a social security check that will be affected as well. Unlike the loans your students may take out you have to start paying back Parent Plus loans as soon as you take them out! You need to think long and hard about your future money before signing your name to any student loans for a child or grandchild.

There Are Other Options:

Your child can have a dream school in mind, but if you don’t have the money to pay for that dream school it is time for them to look for other options. If you have to take out a Parent Plus Loan it means that you all can’t afford that school. Look at other public colleges and also doing the first two years at a community college. The goal is to come out of college with the least amount of student loans possible.

Why Should I Care

I am sure there are people wondering “why should I care about this if I don’t have a Parent Plus Loan?” It is because there are people working for you that have the stress of these loans and it is affecting their productivity and your profits. There are people with these loans that are missing rent, mortgage, and other bills because they are trying to pay back student loans for a degree someone else has. Whether you like it or not these loans affect everyone directly or indirectly.

It is great that Mr. Smith paid off these loans, but what would be greater is if parents said the word NO and never signed for the loans in the first place. 

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International Financial Literacy Speaker and Author

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