Many people dream of being debt free. I certainly did. Unfortunately, when I was only dreaming about it I wasn’t doing anything to get myself there. Now I have a goal being debt free by 40 (student loans, mortgage, car… everything), and I’m working on it. Every day I take another step toward financial freedom. Having that goal motivates me to work in a way that dreaming about it doesn’t.

Conclusion

We all know about the financial hardship recent grads are facing, and we know about the debates in Congress over student loan interest rates. We all have our own opinions on what these things mean and what should be done about them, but, unfortunately, there’s not much talk going on about the positive aspects of student loans. Certainly it is a broken system that needs to be fixed, but that shouldn’t prevent us from learning from our experiences. Only when we gain some perspective on the situation will we truly know how to move forward.

The Dr. Cabler Take on Things

As you know if you’ve kept up with CFF for long, I advocate staying away from debt. It doesn’t have to be a part of life and only serves to keep you in bondage. With that said, I want to address some of the things Kyle talked about in his post (He agreed to let me do this).

Your Credit Report is a Measure of Your Responsibility

I guess I can agree with that to an extent. Your credit score is a measure of how well you use credit. However, in my mind, a credit score of zero because you don’t have any debt really is the best score of all. You can still buy a house or a car without a credit score.  You can still get a job without one too, you just have to make sure and tell your prospective employer that you have no debt, thus no credit score. There is nothing magic about a credit score that allows you to participate in commerce any better than you can without debt.

If You Don’t Ask For It (or work for it), You Won’t Get It

He’s right, you have to be proactive in everything you do. If you want the job, the date with the cute girl, or the raise, the best way to get it is to ask for it. It can be very surprising the advantages you can get in life just by asking, and what you can miss out on by not asking. You may not always get what you ask for, but if you don’t ask you’ll never get it, period.

Setting Goals Works

Right again. Setting goals does work, and it’s the best way to get you to where you want to go in life. You can’t just let life happen to you.You have to happen to your life. I believe if Kyle continues to be proactive and works hard on his goal of being debt free by 40, he can achieve that. Dreaming is a great first step, but you have to pair that with a plan and put action behind that plan.

Conclusion

In my opinion, there are not really any positive aspects to having student loans. Some people might argue that they allow you to get an education and make more money in the long run. But with good planning beforehand (Here’s a great resource), you can go to college debt free by working your way through college, among other things, and staying away from debt at all costs. It CAN be done.

Article originally published on Celebrating Financial Freedom. Used with permission.

After graduating college with $75,000 in student loan debt, Kyle Lambert became a writer for the Student Loan Killer blog. His goal is to motivate and help people find creative ways of paying down their student loan debt.

Dr. Jason Cabler is a Christian personal finance blogger, author, and speaker.  He teaches how to get out of debt and live a debt free lifestyle through his Celebrating Financial Freedom blog and self study course.  His new book How to Budget- The Quick and Easy Guide to Making a Budget That Works is now available.  He can be reached for interviews or  speaking engagements by email (jasoncabler@cfinancialfreedom.com) and can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Google +.

Publication date: October 31, 2012