Recent grads struggling to pay back student loans - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Recent grads struggling to pay back student loans

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) It all begins at the financial aid office, where students can come and apply for loans to help them pay for school. But the problem isn't getting the money, it's paying it back. Almost 10 percent of borrowers from schools across the nation defaulted from federal loans within two years of getting out of school.

Gena Wilkins was one of those students, and she says when she applied for student loans, she didn't read the fine print. Then when Gena took a break from school, she soon defaulted. Wilkins planned to go back to school, but since the default set her back, she wasn't able to get the money she needed to continue. Wilkins says the key is to know exactly what you're committing to.

"I just assumed that I could get to that when I wanted to," said Wilkins. "And so I had to stand up and face that music. It was a huge reality for me to what it truly meant to borrow, and the responsibility of getting that back."

This is starting to be more common, as default rates have increased for public and private institutions. Students are having trouble footing the bill because they can't find a job or the job they have doesn't pay enough to pay off the debt.

Almost 80 percent of students at Coastal Carolina University use a student loan program or a parent loan program. The average amount of money that is being borrowed for in-state students is almost $9,000, and for out of state, $15,000. But once students get out of school, the issue is paying the money back.

The national default rate is on the rise. The default rate for CCU is four percent, which is up from the previous year. There are a lot of consequences with defaulting- from being sued for the amount to hurting your credit score. The school can even be punished if the amount of students not paying back gets too high. Schools can lose eligibility in federal student aid programs.

"We're seeing a lot of people just trying to exist by using financial aid," said James Smith Horry Georgetown Technical College Assistant Director of Financial Aid. "Being able to pay for their day to day living expenses. They're not trying to necessarily increase their lifestyle, but they're using this as an additional crutch to help them through the tough economy."

Smith also says the problem is once students can't pay, they are just giving up, when there are options. Such as deferment or forbearance, which is postponing those bills for up to three years.

Copyright 2011 WMBF News. All Rights Reserved.

  • Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • BREAKING: Victims Identified in Conway Murder

    BREAKING: Victims Identified in Conway Murder

    Saturday, August 18 2018 10:50 PM EDT2018-08-19 02:50:56 GMT
    Source: Ian Klein/WMBF NewsSource: Ian Klein/WMBF News

    CONWAY, SC (WMBF) — Horry County Police are investigating Saturday after two individuals were found dead in a Conway home.  According to Capt. John Harrelson with the HCPD the bodies were found in a home on the 4000 block of Highway 19 in Conway. Details are extremely limited at this time. WMBF will continue to provide more information as it comes available. Copyright 2018 WMBF News. All rights reserved. 

    More >>

    CONWAY, SC (WMBF) — Horry County Police are investigating Saturday after two individuals were found dead in a Conway home.  According to Capt. John Harrelson with the HCPD the bodies were found in a home on the 4000 block of Highway 19 in Conway. Details are extremely limited at this time. WMBF will continue to provide more information as it comes available. Copyright 2018 WMBF News. All rights reserved. 

    More >>
  • UPDATE: Police investigating body found Saturday morning in Socastee

    UPDATE: Police investigating body found Saturday morning in Socastee

    Saturday, August 18 2018 6:24 PM EDT2018-08-18 22:24:45 GMT
    Source: Ian Klein/WMBFSource: Ian Klein/WMBF

    HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) — Horry County Police are investigating Saturday after a body was found off Peachtree Road in Socastee. According to Capt. John Harrelson with the Horry County Police Department, investigators are still working to determine the exact cause of death.  WMBF will continue to follow this developing story and will pass along more information as it becomes available. Copyright 2018 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

    More >>

    HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) — Horry County Police are investigating Saturday after a body was found off Peachtree Road in Socastee. According to Capt. John Harrelson with the Horry County Police Department, investigators are still working to determine the exact cause of death.  WMBF will continue to follow this developing story and will pass along more information as it becomes available. Copyright 2018 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

    More >>
  • Mother arrested after child allegedly tests positive for heroin

    Mother arrested after child allegedly tests positive for heroin

    Saturday, August 18 2018 3:46 PM EDT2018-08-18 19:46:14 GMT
    Source: J Reuben Long Detention CenterSource: J Reuben Long Detention Center

    HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) — Reports released Friday provide additional details surrounding the circumstances leading to one Murrells Inlet mother's arrest.  Brooke Stellers, 23, was arrested on Thursday, August 16 and charged with unlawful neglect of a child. According to the police report, a Department of Social Services employee informed Horry County Police that a 2-year-old child tested positive for heroine/crack. Social services then took custody of the ch...

    More >>

    HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) — Reports released Friday provide additional details surrounding the circumstances leading to one Murrells Inlet mother's arrest.  Brooke Stellers, 23, was arrested on Thursday, August 16 and charged with unlawful neglect of a child. According to the police report, a Department of Social Services employee informed Horry County Police that a 2-year-old child tested positive for heroine/crack. Social services then took custody of the ch...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly