Rebekah went back to school at
"It makes it pretty much impossible to get a leg up,"
Blount, who was a teacher, has been a stay-at-home dad for the past few years, after he and his wife decided it would be more cost effective than paying for child care.
"We're pretty happy,"
The Blounts aren't alone with having debt.
The average graduate of a four-year-college in
Reform advocates have called for legislation to reduce student debt, including loan forgiveness.
But several education experts said it's also important that students consider what they'll be able to pay for when they consider how much debt they will accumulate during college.
"It's about how much debt you're willing to take on and what your aspirations are," said
"With someone aspiring to be a teacher ... if you go into hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, what's the realistic side of it going to be when it comes to paying the debt back?"
"You're much better off coming out [of school] and looking for a job when the economy is good," Wagner said. "The people who come in at a bad time never catch up, especially with more attention diverted to student loan," Wagner said.
"Obviously if you've got a higher proportion of your income going to debt repayment, that's less you're going to spend."
But Wagner said more questions need to be raised during any political discussions about debt forgiveness.
"A couple of issues people don't talk about much with that are if you look at college graduates compared to non-college graduates, they earn a lot more over their lifetime," Wagner said. "If you have a debt forgiveness, you are essentially transferring wealth to a segment of the population who will be much richer over their lifetime than the average person."
Hunter, who is a vice president at
He also recommends exploring options for loan consolidation, if possible.
"Any debt you have ... it's going to affect how much money you can put down on a home. It's going to affect your payment," Hunter said.
Hunter said during the height of the real estate boom many families took out home equity loans to pay for their children's college, but he said that's not happening as much any more.
"Now, a lot of the students themselves are absorbing that debt. Parents are helping them with payments while they get established with their careers," he said. "I always tell people to live beneath their means."
Bogues can be reached by phone at 757-247-4536.
The average college student graduates with the following amount of debt, by school:
Source: The Project on Student Debt; data from 2012
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