Student loan debt still a growing problem for students

By Mallory Lane

Student loans are the number one cause of debt among Americans today and for Durice White and her family, it’s no different.White decided to attend Elon because she loved the interaction between the students and professors and all the opportunities the many organizations offered. But after graduating in 2009, the memories of attending Elon weren’t the only thing sticking around for White.

“My student loan I took out my junior and senior year, (was) about $15,000,” White said.  “My parent’s loan is much more substantial because they took a loan out every year I came here. I did not have a scholarship and we had to do a loan.”

Last month, President Obama came out with a new plan to help keep student loans from piling up. The plan caps student loan payments at 10 percent of their discretionary income and forgives debt after 20 years.

After graduating college, students have up to six months to find a source of income before payments for their loans kick in. But what happens to those who don’t find a job after graduating is troublesome for White.

“Mounds and mounds of interest come up on that,” White said. “So their monthly payment went from $201 to $325 to now $415, and when you don’t have a salary position, it’s kind of difficult to make those payments.”

However Patrick Murphy, director of Financial Planning at Elon, said that while more students are asking about loans, most Elon graduates are able to pay them back.

As for White, she was able to find employment with the Elon Alumni office and for now, is on track to pay back her loans while enjoying Elon a second time around.

“It’s different being a student and then being a professional,” White said. “But it’s great to be back.”

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