Avoid the Student-Loan Debt Trap

How do you make the most of student loans without getting in over your head?

Does this sound familiar? Consumers clamor to buy a desirable commodity. To make the purchase easier, the government makes loan money available. Buyers rush to borrow, increasing demand and pushing up prices. Buyers borrow even more, creating a vicious cycle until…

Shades of the housing boom — only this time the scenario is playing out with student loans. With more than $1 trillion in federal and private student loans outstanding, the news media have suddenly discovered the issue, and observers are warning of a student-loan bubble.

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Janet Bodnar

Janet Bodnar is editor-at-large of Kiplinger's Personal Finance, a position she assumed after retiring as editor of the magazine after eight years at the helm. She is a nationally recognized expert on the subjects of women and money, children's and family finances, and financial literacy. She is the author of two books, Money Smart Women and Raising Money Smart Kids. As editor-at-large, she writes two popular columns for Kiplinger, "Money Smart Women" and "Living in Retirement." Bodnar is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and is a member of its Board of Trustees. She received her master's degree from Columbia University, where she was also a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism.