Maine universities help students manage debt

7:15 PM, Oct 24, 2012   |    comments
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BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- This fall, more than twenty-one million students entered college and odds are very good they are paying more for that freshman year of education than those that came before them. Husson University has decided to offer financial education to students to improve their financial spending and loan borrowing.

Pharmacy student, Sarah Carter, knows the need for student loans, "You kind of have to take out student loans now because not everything is covered."

Sarah is not alone. The average student will leave college owing nearly 27-thousand dollars. Students attending college in the Pine Tree state will owe just over 26-thousand dollars.

Seven Maine schools are hoping to educate students to manage their finances and make smarter decisions. The finance authority of Maine has partnered with a new website, SALT, that allows students to plan their loans and look at career possibilities.

Mary Dyer with the Finance Authority of Maine said, "Students need to be empowered and know how much they borrowed while they borrow it. They need to know at graduation what their expected salary is going to be, what their debt is going to be."

Through the SALT website, students can determine how much their education will cost compared to their expected salary. It also provides payment options and educational videos for smarter borrowing.

"It is expensive to go to school so there is some amount of borrowing to be expected, but you can really do it responsibly," said Dyer.

The Finance Authority of Maine did have a few tips for students to follow. First, borrow responsibly if possible do not take out loans to cover books and supplies. Second, when borrowing always look at federal loans first because they have the more flexible repayment options. Finally, try to set a limit on how much you'll spend.

For more information on SALT visit their website.















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