National student debt up 5 percent compared to last year - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

National student debt up 5 percent compared to last year

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SAGINAW COUNTY (WJRT) -

(10/18/12) - We all know college is expensive, and the amount of debt student's are graduating with continues to clime.

According to the Institute for College Access and Success, 2011 grads had loans that averaged $27,000.

The national student debt average is up 5 percent compared to last year. Saginaw Valley State University senior Trevor Hoskins knows he has to start thinking about his credit.

"I know that I've probably taken out within the last couple years maybe seven to $10,000 that I did not need, just to be comfortable. It wasn't necessarily a necessity, because of that I have to pay well over the amount when I do start paying them back," Hoskins said.

"As of right now, I'm not going to owe any money because I've saved up since I was young," said Keri Crane, SVSU student. "I hear it a lot. A lot of my roommates talk about how they owe money and they need more help with being more educated."

Some counselors and teachers are spending a lot of time offering financial advice. When students come to this office at SVSU, they can learn how to stay on track when borrowing money. At SVSU,  more than 80 percent of the students are receiving financial help.

"We are always advising them, borrow as little money as you actually need," said J.J. Boehm, Media Relations at SVSU. "Many times the amount of loans that are available exceed what they really need to finance their education and that can be tempting for a student who's struggling to make ends meet.

Financial advisors blame the debt on the increase in tuition, the job market and less state funding.

"It's not surprising. Most people come to college not being able to afford it," Hoskins said.

Whether they can afford it or not, they'll still have to pay back thousands of dollars.

The average SVSU student who borrows money is nearly $20,000  in debt.

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