For recent graduates, nothing is more important than getting a good, well-paying job soon after graduation. Student loans make that goal especially urgent, despite the usual six-month grace period. But young, recent graduates often run into trouble in their job search, finding that even entry-level positions require sometimes years of experience. This catch-22, combined with still recovering employment rates, can lead frustrated young adults to take inferior jobs just to pay the bills. Ameritech Financial, a document preparation company that helps federal student loan borrowers apply for and stay enrolled in federal repayment plans, reminds borrowers that their first job out of college matters and that if they are worried about their student loan payments, income-driven repayment plans might be a good option.
A report by the Economic Policy Institute describes the job prospects and wages of young graduates as a bit lackluster. Historically, unemployment rates of young recent graduates have been higher than older generations. However, the Great Recession hit those rates hard and they are just now recovering. While wages have recovered to pre-recession levels, they have not kept up with inflation. Furthermore, unemployment rates for young black and Hispanic graduates remain much higher than for white graduates, and women face a greater wage gap now than before the recession.
“Student loans can cause a lot of pressure to start earning money right out of college,” said Tom Knickerbocker, Executive Vice President at Ameritech Financial. “That can be difficult for recent graduates who don’t have a lot of experience to speak for them. Unfortunately, that means a lot of young people take jobs not related to their college degree, or a job that doesn’t even need a college degree.”
Despite unemployment rates returning to pre-recession levels, underemployment continues to be a problem. Even in good economic times, a high amount of young college graduates end up in jobs for which they are overqualified. In fact, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, about 40 percent of recent college graduates are working in jobs that don’t require a college degree. For some, those jobs may simply be temporary income until they can land a career-launching position. However, being overeducated for a job can have far-reaching consequences, including lower wages throughout one’s career.
In a job market that is difficult for recent graduates to enter, how can borrowers balance their search for their first career job with their need to start repaying their student loans? Ameritech Financial suggests looking into federal repayment plans. Income-driven repayment plans base monthly payments on income and family size. With the lower income that’s associated with underemployment, IDR payments may be as low as zero dollars, which would certainly take student loan stress out of the equation when searching for a good job in which to start a career.
“Worries about student loans can rush a job search and important career decisions,” said Knickerbocker. “When borrowers should carefully consider wages and growth potential in a possible job, they often accept the first offer they get so they can make their monthly payments. With IDRs, they usually have less worry about their payments and can make decisions that will be better for them in the long run.”
About Ameritech Financial
Ameritech Financial is a private company located in Rohnert Park, California. Ameritech Financial has already helped thousands of people with financial analysis and student loan document preparation to apply for federal student loan repayment programs offered through the Department of Education.
Ameritech Financial is a member of the Association for Student Loan Relief (AFSLR), and each representative on the phone has received the Certified Student Loan Professional certification through the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA).
Ameritech Financial prides itself on its exceptional Customer Service.
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