Are Student Loans A Gateway Drug To Debt? (Infographic)

by Ron Haynes

I ran across this infographic at the Consumerist and was granted permission by to host it here on The Wisdom Journal.

Student loans are certainly unique in why they’re used and how they’re eventually collected, but this infographic crystallized the history and information surrounding this “gateway drug to debt slavery” in a way that really hit home for me. Personally, I’ve been making payments on student loans since 1988.

Student Loans Scheme.

Infographic by College Used by permission.

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1000 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.

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Hi Ron, Thanks for this great post! This sure is an Eye opener I have a 14 year old daughter and I am saving for her college it sure is a priority for me. Hopefully she will be able to get grants and go to our local college for a couple of years and then transfer to a 4 year college. It is sad that we treat our children like criminals when they are the future of this country. It’s all about money!!


Yes, it is … all about the money that is.


Did you know that over 9 million American students receive free financial aid of up to $5,500 each year? This is thanks to the the Pell Grant that was created in 1972 and originally named the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant (BEOG). In 1980, the grant was renamed to the Pell Grant thanks to Senator Claiborne Pell (D-RI) who was the pioneer of the entire concept. Pell Grants are awarded to low income undergraduate college or university students who are citizens or eligible non-citizens of America. Students can use their Pell grant funding at approximately 6,000 post-secondary institutions across America. Pell grants do not have to be repaid & funding is dependent on the student’s expected family contributions, cost of attending a post-secondary institution, whether the student attends full or part time, and whether the student attends for a full academic year or less. More information can be read on The maximum Pell grant award for the 2011 – 2012 school year is $5,550


The problem is that the average family won’t qualify because of the income requirements. Pell grants are great in one sense (never forget that taxpayers fund these), but they simply aren’t the answer for many, many people … including me and my family.


It is so important for these kids to do their best to go through college without student loans. Scholarships, affordable community college for the first couple of years, or just working while going to school to help pay. We have a 13 year old daughter and an 8 year old son and we will help out as much as we can, but we are going to teach them to help pay and perhaps work while in school to help fund their education. Having that loan over their head for years to come after they graduate isn’t getting them started on the right foot in my opinion.


Yeah, I’m currently trying to find a way around having to get loans, because they’re so ridiculous and my family’s income won’t really support one. I’m a college student, trying to finance my education as a freshman, and it’s hard. I’m doing Community College right now, to cut down on expenses, which is helpful, but books and tuition are still very expensive – and my family isn’t in a position where we can get grants or loans without a million strings attached. I really wish schooling was less expensive, or the loans were less terrifyingly designed to be near impossible to pay back without a full-time job while you’re still finishing college.

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