COMMENTARY | Recently, a bill was signed into law that will help students like me. The law is holding the interest rate on federal student loans at a low percentage point and extending the amount of time we have before we start accruing interest.
According to a recent article by CNNMoney, the interest rate will stay at 3.4 percent. This is huge news to me and anyone who is in college or planning to attend college soon as the interest rate would have doubled had the law not passed. The law also says undergraduates can attend school for six years without accruing interest on their student loans.
The passing of this law was a game changer for me personally. I first went to a college several years ago right after high school but took a break to work full time. At the time, I had attended a community college and was able to pay for my education out of pocket. Last year, I decided to go back to school to finish my degree at a larger four year university. But the cost of getting a higher education had gone up since the last time I was in school.
I could only afford to take one course at a time without it affecting my budget. After all, I'm an adult now. I don't want to live in a dorm and I have other bills to pay. So last semester I took one course. Then I talked to my guidance counselor. While I could eventually graduate that way, it would take almost three years to complete my degree. That was three years I didn't have. I was going to have to take out student loans.
I'm not thrilled at the idea of being buried in debt to finish my education. I know having a college degree will help my career and that I will make more money over the course of my working life than I would have with a half-completed education, but taking on any kind of debt is daunting.
However, it is a little less daunting when I know that I am getting an incredibly low interest rate. And it doesn't hurt to know that I'm not sitting in class now building up that interest. Since I'm already working, I'll be able to pay off those student loans quicker than I would have when I first went to school years ago - cutting down on some of the interest and making my education at little easier to afford.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.
More From This Contributor:
- student loans