So you’re thinking about going back to school to breathe new life into your career. Perhaps you think you need a higher degree to get to the next step in management. Or you can’t stand continuing on the same path that you once thought was something you wanted to do for the rest of your life and need a fresh start. In fact, you’d be like the thousands of professionals who are returning to school in this less-than-favorable job market. However, before you jump on the shiny new degree bandwagon, ask yourself if the additional debt is worth the leap. With the rising costs of education, it’s unlikely that you will be able to pay tuition up front, so a student loan will be necessary.
Consider that an undergraduate degree will leave the average student with $25,000 in debt after four years. A graduate degree is likely to be more than that. A prestigious or private school will be significantly more than average. And once you graduate, those loans are due. Toss in less than ideal interest rates and the questionable state of the job market, and you may be in a worse situation than before you sought out more schooling. Take a moment to go over this infographic by Consolidated Credit  as it illustrates how much interest you’ll actually end up paying on a loan and how long it can take for the average person to pay off this debt—and take this information into consideration before seeking out another degree.

 Written by Maxine Wells, who writes on similar topics at

Consolidated Credit