Be patient, find your way…and forget about student loans

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David Ramsey

Dear Dave,

My husband and I are 30 and on Baby Step 2. He wants to go back to school and become a social worker. He currently earns about $20,000 a year as a teaching assistant and wants to take out student loans to do so. He already has an associate’s degree, which wouldn’t mean four years out, but the idea scares me. I have a good job, so how can I still support him and his desire to continue his education without agreeing to take on more debt?


Dear Britney,

So it’s kind of a situation where you are beautiful working baby steps and he is not. On top of that, he wants to get into debt do social work. Does he know what social workers earn these days?

This guy obviously has a heart for helping people. This is a good thing. But I have to believe that there are ways to expand his options. Social work is one path, but there are probably multiple paths he could take to get involved in what he loves about the idea of ​​social work.

I guess he also has a passion for counseling and advocacy. Completing a four-year degree would put him in a position where he could potentially move into a guidance counselor role or something, given his background. But taking loans is not necessary. He just needs to be patient and wait a while while you two attach yourself to the no baby and get out of debt. He could get a second job for a while at night or on weekends, and then you could pay off your debt faster. and avoid those dumb loans with the money you put aside. Moreover, there are millions of dollars in scholarships out there for traditional and non-traditional students.

Sometimes when people feel stuck in a job, they automatically default to thinking they need a degree. What your husband really needs right now is a clear idea and direction. Then you determine if a degree is needed to get there. Do not mistake yourself. I am not against social work. But I’ve talked to so many people who went into six-figure debt, only to end up earning $38,000 as a social worker for the state. It’s crazy!

You two need to sit down together, and talk about all this. Tell her why you’re worried and point out that borrowing a lot of money isn’t the only way — and it’s certainly not the smartest way — to do this. If you really want to support him, Britney, you have to help him see that he can take steps to pursue his dream without it turning into a financial nightmare for both of you.


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David Ramsey is a seven-time national #1 bestselling author, personal finance expert and host of The Ramsey Show, listened to by more than 18 million listeners each week. He appeared on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Today Show, Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and many more. Since 1992, Dave has been helping people regain control of their money, build wealth and improve their lives. He is also CEO of Ramsey Solutions.

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