Credit card debt can be a life-saver, but the advice you get from your financial aid agency could save your life.
That’s because financial education helps people make smart financial decisions when they’re struggling financially.
And that’s what happened to Stephanie Lohr, who had a student loan balance of $300,000 at the time of her graduation.
She said she thought she would have to pay it off on her own, but she realized she could do that if she started taking financial education classes.
“I just took a financial class on my own,” she said.
“And I think I saved myself about $300.”
Lohr said she was a good student and was accepted to a great school.
She even made friends with the president of the school.
But when she applied for a loan at the end of the summer, the loan officer at her local financial assistance office was surprised that she had a balance of more than $300.
She said she never received a letter from the school asking her to repay her loan, so she had to pay.
So, Lohrs family decided to start her own financial education course.
She went to the school to talk with them and get her debt forgiven.
“It was kind of like, ‘Oh, you’re the one that saved my life,'” she said.
“It’s really a lifesaver because if you’re paying off your student loans, it doesn’t matter what school you go to, you can’t get an auto loan or a student loans for that matter, so you’re able to focus on that.”LOHR said she took the financial classes for free and she is glad that she did.
“Because if you have to take on a loan and you’re like, OK, I’m not going to get my degree, I can’t take on an extra $300 on my credit card, I don’t want that on my account,” she added.
She had to wait nearly a year to see the loan forgiven and now is able to save money on her bills.
Lohrs graduation was the first financial education class she ever took, so it made a big difference.
“Honestly, if I could go back and take that class and save myself the $300 that I had, I would,” she explained.LOHr said the financial education has also helped her find work.
She was offered a job at a local restaurant, and she was able to start working her way up there.
“When I was in that restaurant, it was like, Oh, my God, I am graduating and I’m going to work full-time,” she laughed.
Lohnrs husband is now her primary caregiver.
She plans to go back to school this fall to take out a loan on her resume.