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Clark Howard: Student Loans

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Updated: 8/05/2013 6:41 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Congress is waiting to pass legislation that will lower federal student loan rates after they doubled earlier this month. Consumer advisor Clark Howard has some tips on how to shop for student loans even if interest rates don't budge.

While you've been enjoying your summer vacation, student loans have not been enjoying the summer at all. That's because the interest rates on student loans doubled on July 1 
and now it looks like there is going to be a new system for student loans that will cause the rates to bounce up and down like a yo-yo over years to come.

What you need to know if you are in college, or you're a parent of a college student, or if you soon are going to be entering college: The 
big issue is not going to be how high interest rates are, it's how much people are borrowing for college.

Overall student loan debt in the United States is 
roughly over a trillion dollars. That's much more than Americans owe in total on credit cards. A lot of people get out of school and can't pay back those loans. My rule of thumb: never borrow in total more than what you're likely to earn on your first year on the job. If you stay with that rule, you'll stay out of trouble.
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