A Guide to Student Loans


How Much is too Much?

Student loan expert Mark Kantrowitz recommends students should not take out student loans that exceed their expected first-year salary. Taking out student loans may be necessary to pay for your degree, but remember to keep in mind your future projected income when deciding how much money to borrow. You want to think of the future and how much debt you can manage after graduation.

Try the Will Your Degree Earn Enough for Bills? calculator.

The calculator will compare loan debt to the average pay for your degree using real data from students who attended your university and graduated with your degree!

 Borrowing Advice


  • The less you have to borrow, the less you have to repay.

  • Estimate repayment amounts before you borrow.

  • Total student loan debt should be less than starting annual salary after graduation.

  • Use loans only for educational purposes - not for buying a car, going on vacation, etc.

  • Make a budget without using loans as a resource. Borrow only what you need to cover remaining expenses.