By Ashley Wermick | firstname.lastname@example.org
Flagler college alumnus Logan Abrams believes that debt is one of the biggest issues facing college students.
Abrams came to St. Augustine to speak to students about this rising problem, which he addresses in his book “Debt U: How Higher Education Breeds a Lifestyle of Debt.” The book looks at college debt from 1999 to 2009 and beyond by using facts, figures and stories of real people who are in or have gotten out of debt.
Abrams said the average amount of debt a college student graduates with is $23,000. According to Abrams, this is a 700 percent increase in 10 years and student loans and credit card purchases are to blame.
“This is the first generation that will be paying back student loans when their own children are going to college,” Abrams said.
He said the problem with student debt arises due to the lack of education on the topic. Abrams is an advocate for personal finance education, which he said can be solved with the advent of a mandatory class on the subject at the college or high school level.
“A mandatory class is necessary because there is a whole new set of finance issues that arise when you’re in college,” Abrams said. “It goes beyond how to pay for college and looks into how to make good financial decisions.”
No states currently require a mandatory personal finance class, but Abrams will continue to push for financial education.
Abrams suggests that college students should realize their choices and consequences every time they take out a loan or make a purchase with a credit card. He has a simple formula for figuring out loan payments after college: $100 per month for every $1,000 in loans.
“Small decisions you make during college can really impact your life after college,” Abrams said. “Those coffees you put on your credit card every day can really add up.”
He also said college students should “be poor” and enjoy doing so.
“As college students, you normally don’t have to worry about major financial issues,” Abrams said. “See how little money you can spend. It will help you in the long run.”
Abrams graduated in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. His book was published in February and is available at www.debt-u.com.