Most helpful positive review
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This is not just for students
on February 4, 2010
This book is packed with useful information, web sites, and explanations of the various types of student loans, their advantages and drawbacks. Whether they graduate or not, most students are left with debt that can run to thousands of dollars. The information on student loans provided is up-to-date and takes into account the current recession and its effect on both borrowers and lenders. Perhaps the early chapters are a little dense for a bewildered and frustrated student or recent graduate - the history and definition of all the various types of government-backed loans is an alphabet soup that only a bureaucratic society can produce. But there is a useful glossary and an index that allow the reader to find the precise information he or she needs.
While the early chapters may be more useful to a financial aid office, from Chapter 6 on the author concentrates on the advice that a student or graduate needs. Which loan is best for you, and how are you going to pay it back? Comparisons of loan terms, methods of repayment, budgeting, making decisions about your career and the impact that will have on your ability to repay debt - all aspects of the financial management of debt are covered in a sensible way that goes straight to the point, right down to the costs and time involved in preparing meals at home versus eating out, and the potential health consequences of each.
Inevitably, there is a good deal of repetition in the book. But the subject matter is so complex that repetition is helpful rather than not, and the content is enlivened by tips for the "savvy student" and anecdotes and quotes from people who have experienced the trials of student loan repayment. An appendix provides some useful worksheets, and the websites referred to throughout lead to many tools to work out your situation and the ways to pay off debt. The book does suffer from a few editorial mistakes. But the value of the book outweighs these errors, and it should be read not only by students and graduates but by anyone who struggles with debt.