Paying for college is difficult. ‘Difficult’ may even be a grave understatement, since a recent poll revealed that three out of every 10 college graduates were willing to sell an organ if it meant that their crippling educational debt would go poof. Turns out, the fact is truer in countries other than Australia, but free college education remains an aspiration even in one of the world’s most loan-friendly countries.
Assistance and Obligation
Australia’s Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) is one of the most heralded financial assistance programs among college students — a system envied by graduates from countries such as the USA. Loans come in public, private categories, varying in the amount students can loan, and the interest attached to them.
While private loans can pay for higher costs in the interim, many students eventually find themselves cornered into paying nearly double than what they owed. A federal or public loan is not as clear-cut an option itself, since it is a race against time to make repayments before interest causes the loan to balloon.
Professionals from Rapid Loans state that there is significant difference between student loans and personal loans. Mainly, personal loans are short-term contracts for people in unanticipated need of money. Student loans require large repayments, which despite being immediately payable typically stretch their repayment periods through years, even decades of interest-fuelled catch-up.
The Group of Eight’s HELP Policy Notes describes the numerous benefits of making student loans easier to pay. It mentions how the government should help the youth integrate into the workforce without worrying about their financial future, and how important it is that students learn the value earning from hard work — not charged for it.
‘Over the course of their working life, university graduates will reap considerable private benefits from their degree. An underlying principle of the HELP scheme is that graduates are only required to repay their debts if they enjoy a financial gain from their education’, it states.