By: Jimmy Jacks
According to data from credit bureau Experian as reported by USA Today, the average American is taking to the grave an average of $61,554 in debt.
Most of that comes from home loans and mortgages, but other factors contributing to the debt include credit cards, auto loans and even student loans.
Out of 73 percent of 220 million U.S. adults surveyed, 6 percent still had student loans that needed to be paid. After doing the math, that means just under 10 million Americans died with outstanding balances on student loans at the time.
For college students, that reinforces the importance of making smart long-term decisions when it comes to borrowing money for college and scrutinizing things like interest rates or repayment options.
One way to avoid accumulating unnecessary debt: do not buy a new car coming out of college, or ever, for that matter.
Many college graduates feel that they deserve a reward of some sorts for years of homework, schooling and internships. That being said, a new car is a terrible investment because of the depreciation of value in automobiles, which includes as much as 11 percent by just driving the car home, according to Trusted Choice.
The article goes on to say that vehicle depreciation is actually the largest expense to automobile owners, and that it can create issues with selling the car in attempts to recoup losses if or when payments become too much.
In short, don’t underestimate what a visit to your college’s financial aid office or career center can do to prepare you for the financial burdens of leaving college and starting a post-grad life. They may even be able to prevent you from making a financial mistake that follows you into the afterlife.