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Podcast: The accountants struggling with student debt

Written on Jan 30, 2019

OSCPA staff report

Student debt has wide-reaching impacts, and not just for new grads. Because -- even in a profession known for financial know-how -- student debt can be an issue well into a professional’s career.

In the latest episode of our podcast, “The State of Business with The Ohio Society of CPAs,” we spoke to those affected by student debt and found out what it’s like dealing with debt in the accounting profession. According to Forbes, student loan debt is now a $1.5 trillion crisis among 44 million borrowers in the United States. Statistically speaking, mortgage debt is the only consumer debt that is higher than student loans.

“I knew I would have to support myself through college, so I started working as much as I possibly could,” said recent Ohio Wesleyan University graduate Allisa Schuller.

Schuller worked three jobs for a total of 30 hours a week to make her monthly student loan payments and worked 40-50 hours a week in the summer.

The New Jersey Society of CPAs surveyed its members and found that nearly 70% are still paying off loan debt, with three-quarters of them citing debt of more than $20,000.

“College cost isn’t actually determined by the sticker price,” said Aaron Greene, CEO and founder of College Liftoff. “A student should not take on no more than half of their anticipated annual salary in debt based off of the particular career path they choose.”

If there is a silver lining for students and accounting professionals, it’s that sticking to the accounting path means there is job security and high earning potential over time, giving them a stronger chance of paying off their loans quickly.

For now, Schuller said she wants to pay off her loans as soon as possible and is making it her “number one priority.”

Listen to the episode now to hear more about what students and professionals are facing when it comes to student debt and expert advice for students in school now.