While I consider many financial reporters investment pornographers, John Wasik is one of the good guys. In addition to his columns, Wasik has written 17 books.
His recent e-book, “The Debt-Free Degree: How to Eliminate College Debt at Every Step,” is a must-read if you have kids who will attend college (they may even be filling out applications now), have kids in college or have student debt.
Wasik’s book can serve as a great introduction in that it covers a lot of bases for borrowers who aren’t familiar with their student loan options, as well as all the financial issues related to choosing a college.
It tells readers how to best manage student loans, as well as what pitfalls to avoid. It’s a handy, easy-to-understand and comprehensive resource.
This would make a great book for parents to share with their high school and college-age children so that they have the necessary information to make smart financial decisions regarding higher education.
Laundry List Of Advice
- The book offers advice regarding, and covers in detail, such topics as:
- Best savings vehicles to use
- Picking the right college to avoid debt
- Getting the best return on your college “investment”
- How to avoid problems with for-profit colleges
- Filling out the FAFSA form
- Getting the best deal from public and private colleges
- In-state versus out-of-state school
- Planning for aid and the questions to ask
- Choosing the best loan programs
- The dos and don’ts of managing loans
- How to deal with loan servicers
- Qualifying for forgiveness
- Available tax breaks
- Private loans
- Bankruptcy option
- Avoiding debt-relief swindles
In addition, Wasik provides some helpful case studies based on his own personal experiences. Finally, he compiles a list of other resources—books and websites—that can also be beneficial. It’s hard to imagine a better investment than the less than $4 you would spend for this e-book.
Larry Swedroe is the director of research for The BAM Alliance, a community of more than 140 independent registered investment advisors throughout the country.