I had researched college loans a lot and found out some shocking things. Shocking to me anyway. I found out...well, a common statistic is that the average amount of college debt for grads is roughly 30K. I had believed that when I was younger, but I found out that totally is not true.
The real truth is that those figures only account for the loans in the 'student's' name, not the loans in the parent's name. Because the loans that are in the student's name are called Stafford loans. The cap for the amount a dependent student is ever allowed to borrow in their name for these, is only 31K!!
The loans in the parent's name are called Parent Plus loans. They pay for most of the COA. So, the parents are the ones who are legally bound to paying the huge amount of college debt! I never knew this was going on. No one ever talked about Parent Plus loans. My parents had never heard of those types of loans either, and they had heard college debt horror stories IRL. They also both read plenty of horror stories online, and I had to. But, I had no idea that was truly how the loans worked.
I had always wondered though, how the student loan debt amounts in statistics could be so low...I think we had all assumed people got scholarships or something...but no, the parents have massive, massive amounts of college debt from their kids. Now that I know what to search for, I've found a whole new crop of horror stories from people.
I know people start applying for Univ soon, like early decision. So, before you do just do your research! For Parent Plus loans, I've read over and over that it's very difficult to transfer them from the parent's name to the student's name, even after graduation and if the kid got a job. So, lots of parents aren't able to keep making payments, and their kid could also even have trouble finding a job in the first place and lives with them to cut costs for their own selves. They may not be able to even pay their own Stafford loans in their name, let alone help their parents with the way higher Parent Plus loans debt. So there's just so many sad stories...
And now I know what students really mean, when they say that they worked part time through college and paid off like half their debt. Or they worked long hours before graduation and paid off most of their debt...no one was talking about the real debt!!!