he average undergraduate student graduates with over $30,000 in student loans. That’s a huge burden for many recent graduates to take on. The average graduate might not know how to pay back their student loans or even what to do about them. There are plenty of resources out there that can help you navigate the process and get relief from your debt. Here, we’ll discuss some of the best books on managing and paying off your student loans. It is important to understand all of your options before making any decisions about how to handle your debt. Read on for more information!
Best Books on Student Loan Debt: THE LIST
1.The Debt Trap | By Josh Mitchell
From acclaimed Wall Street Journal reporter Josh Mitchell, the “devastating account” (The Wall Street Journal) of student debt in America.
Over the next four decades, the student loan industry that Sallie Mae and Congress created blew up into a crisis that would submerge a generation of Americans into $1.5 trillion in student debt. In The Debt Trap, Wall Street Journal reporter Josh Mitchell tells the “vivid and compelling” (Chicago Tribune) untold story of the scandals, scams, predatory actors, and government malpractice that have created the behemoth that one of its original architects called a “monster.”
As he charts the “jaw-dropping” (Jeffrey Selingo, New York Times best-selling author of Who Gets in and Why) 70-year history of student debt in America, Mitchell never loses sight of the countless student victims ensnared by an exploitative system that depends on their debt. Mitchell also draws alarming parallels to the housing crisis in the late 2000s, showing the catastrophic consequences student debt has had on families and the nation’s future. Mitchell’s character-driven narrative is “necessary reading” (The New York Times) for anyone wanting to understand the central economic issue of our day.
2. Destroy Your Student Loan Debt | By Anthony ONeal
You don’t have to spend decades paying off your student loans! You can destroy your debt fast and live a life of freedom.
You’ve been lied to: there’s no such thing as good debt. Debt sucks. Period. And that includes student loan debt. No matter what you believed – or were told – when you took out your loans, you need to get serious about getting rid of your debt fast, because it’s costing you more than you know. That’s why best-selling author Anthony ONeal wrote this motivating audiobook – to show you why you need to dump your debt fast and how to do it.
If you have student loan debt and have never heard of Ramsey Solutions or the Seven Baby Steps, this book is for you. Anthony will walk you step by step through Baby Steps 1 and 2 to show you how to dump your debt forever. You’ll learn:
- The ugly truth about how debt hurts you
- The importance of an emergency fund and how to budget (Baby Step 1)
- The power of the debt snowball (Baby Step 2)
- Exactly what to do to pay off your student loans faster
- How to control your money so it doesn’t control you
- You’ll also hear stories from real people about how they paid off their debt fast
You don’t need relief from your debt, you need to get mad at it. Because the truth is, when you get mad enough, you can pay off your loans faster than you ever thought possible – and take control of your money, and your life, for good! Don’t let anything stand in the way of your future. This plan has helped millions get out of debt and you’re next. You can do this!
3. The Student Loan Scam | By Alan Collinge
Alan Collinge never imagined he would become a student loan justice activist. He planned to land a solid job after college, repay his student loan debt, and then simply forget the loans ever existed. Like millions of Americans, however, in spite of working hard, Collinge fell behind on payments and entered a labyrinthine student loan nightmare.
High school graduates can no longer put themselves through college for a few thousand dollars in loan debt. Today, the average undergraduate borrower leaves school with more than $20,000 in student loans, and for graduate students, the average is a whopping $42,000. For the past twenty years, college tuition has increased at more than double the rate of inflation, with the cost largely shifting to student debt.
The Student Loan Scam is an exposé of the predatory nature of the $85-billion student loan industry. In this in-depth exploration, Collinge argues that student loans have become the most profitable, uncompetitive, and oppressive type of debt in American history. This has occurred in large part due to federal legislation passed since the mid-1990s that removed standard consumer protections from student loans and allowed for massive penalties and draconian wealth-extraction mechanisms to collect this inflated debt.
Collinge covers the history of student loans, the rise of Sallie Mae, and how universities have profited at the expense of students. The book includes candid and compelling stories from people across the country about how both nonprofit and for-profit student loan companies, aided by poor legislation, have shattered their lives-and livelihoods. With nearly 5 million defaulted loans, this crisis is growing to epic proportions.
The Student Loan Scam takes an unflinching look at this unprecedented and pressing problem while exposing the powerful organizations and individuals who caused it to happen. Ultimately, Collinge argues for the return of standard consumer protections for student loans, among other pragmatic solutions, in this clarion call for social action.
4. Indentured Students | By Elizabeth Shermer
The untold history of how America’s student-loan program turned the pursuit of higher education into a pathway to poverty.
It didn’t always take thirty years to pay off the cost of a bachelor’s degree. Elizabeth Tandy Shermer untangles the history that brought us here and discovers that the story of skyrocketing college debt is not merely one of good intentions gone wrong. In fact, the federal student loan program was never supposed to make college affordable.
The earliest federal proposals for college affordability sought to replace tuition with taxpayer funding of institutions. But Southern whites feared that lower costs would undermine segregation, Catholic colleges objected to state support of secular institutions, professors worried that federal dollars would come with regulations hindering academic freedom, and elite-university presidents recoiled at the idea of mass higher education. Cold War congressional fights eventually made access more important than affordability. Rather than freeing colleges from their dependence on tuition, the government created a loan instrument that made college accessible in the short term but even costlier in the long term by charging an interest penalty only to needy students. In the mid-1960s, as bankers wavered over the prospect of uncollected debt, Congress backstopped the loans, provoking runaway inflation in college tuition and resulting in immense lender profits.
Today 45 million Americans owe more than $1.5 trillion in college debt, with the burdens falling disproportionately on borrowers of color, particularly women. Reformers, meanwhile, have been frustrated by colleges and lenders too rich and powerful to contain. Indentured Students makes clear that these are not unforeseen consequences. The federal student loan system is working as designed.
5. BYE Student Loan Debt | By Daniel Mendelson
Today, 70 percent of college graduates exit school with student loan debt – these students carry over $1.6 trillion dollars in student loans. The average 2020 graduate will leave school with over $32,000 in debt and an average payment of over $350 a month. BYE Student Loan Debt was created by author Daniel J. Mendelson to tackle this very epidemic. He and his wife once had nearly $150,000 in debt as a result of 14 combined years of secondary education. By following the principles outlined in this book, they eliminated it all within five years and gained financial freedom!
Use the five simple step process outlined with interactive online calculator tools to customize a repayment solution and empower you to eliminate your student loan debt. Say BYE to student loan debt, and hello to financial freedom! For those that are already in student loan debt, this book will show you the fundamentals of how to understand, manage and eventually eradicate your debt. For those yet to take out loans, the book will highlight the principles required to minimize your debt burden and prevent a lifetime of student loan payments.
You’ll learn these five simple steps to say BYE to your student loan debt:
- Assess Your Situation
- Create a Budget
- Set a Goal
- Restructure and Refinance
(Along with a few other tricks of the trade depending on your situation – i.e. pre-Med, Teachers, Nurses, if you take a gap year, etc.)
Unlike other “quick listen” books, we don’t just sell you a book – we give you an entire system to succeed. We provide entirely free calculator tools to go along with the book to help you visually see how much you can save.
So what are you waiting for! Time is literally money in this situation.
6. Student Loan Debt 101 | By Adam Minsky
NEW 2015 EDITION – CRITICAL UPDATES ABOUT FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN REPAYMENT, FORGIVENESS, AND DEFAULT RESOLUTION PROGRAMS! In 2013, student loan debt in the US passed $1 trillion. That’s more than our total amount of credit card debt and automobile debt. Graduates are starting out with poor employment prospects, obscene levels of debt, and few tools to help. Adam S. Minsky is a leading expert in student loan debt. He is renowned as a pioneer in student loan law as the founder of one of the first law firms in the country devoted entirely to helping student borrowers. With few resources available for student borrowers navigating byzantine repayment systems, he wrote this book as a practical, easy-to-read guide for managing your student debt. Whether your loans are federal or private, in good standing or in default, this guide identifies your options and helps you determine the best way forward.
7. The Student Loan Mess | By Joel Best
This illuminating investigation uncovers the full dimensions of the student loan disaster. A father and son team―one a best-selling sociologist, the other a former banker and current quantitative researcher―probes how we’ve reached the point at which student loan debt―now exceeding $1 trillion and predicted to reach $2 trillion by 2020―threatens to become the sequel to the mortgage meltdown. In spite of their good intentions, Americans have allowed concerns about deadbeat students, crushing debt, exploitative for-profit colleges, and changing attitudes about the purpose of college education to blind them to a growing crisis.
With college costs climbing faster than the cost of living, how can access to higher education remain a central part of the American dream? With more than half of college students carrying an average debt of $27,000 at graduation, what are the prospects for young adults in the current economy? Examining how we’ve arrived at and how we might extricate ourselves from this grave social problem, The Student Loan Mess is a must-read for everyone concerned about the future of American education.
Hard facts about the student loan crisis:
• Student loan debt is rising by more than $100 billion every year.
• Among recent college students who are supposed to be repaying their loans, more than a third are delinquent.
• Because student loans cannot be discharged through bankruptcy, the federal government misleadingly treats student loan debt as a government asset.
• Higher default rates, spiraling college costs, and proposals for more generous terms for student borrowers make it increasingly likely that student loan policies will eventually cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.
8. The Real College Debt Crisis | By Melinda Lewis
Higher education plays a critical role in the economy and society of the United States, creating a ladder of economic opportunity for American children, especially for those in poverty. Unfortunately, higher education today increasingly reinforces patterns of relative privilege, particularly as students without the benefit of affluent parents rely more and more on student loans to finance college access. This book presents penetrating new information about the fiscal realities of the current debt-based college loan system and raises tough questions about the extent to which student loans can be a viable way to facilitate equitable access to higher education.
9. Student Loan Debt Secrets | By Larry Morrison
Relief is in your hands
Student loan debt has become a burden of unprecedented proportions. Millions of Americans are losing sleep, highly stressed out over the investment they thought would better their lives and set them up financially making this debt easy to repay. But so many borrowers feel they have been duped because they have a bill every month the size of buying a fancy car with little to show for it. If you are one of the millions who silently suffer and feel pain at the mere mention of student loans this book is designed for you.
Student Loan Debt Secrets will show you how:
- All the unknown forces created a student loan trap that is currently crippling our economy.
- To navigate an intensely complicated system designed to keep you an indentured servant.
- To get your student loan monthly payment as low as possible and get a ton of money in forgiveness.
- To make a student loan financial plan that is bulletproof to scam artists, servicing companies, and political interests.
- How to beat the student loan game and grow the wealth being siphoned from your pockets.
This book is the key to your freedom!
10. Debt-Free Degree | By Anthony O’Neal
Every parent wants the best for their child.
That’s why they send them to college! But most parents struggle to pay for school and end up turning to student loans. That’s why the majority of graduates walk away with $35,000 in student loan debt and no clue what that debt will really cost them.
Student loan debt doesn’t open doors for young adults – it closes them. They postpone getting married and starting a family. That debt even takes away their freedom to pursue their dreams. But there is a different way. Going to college without student loans is possible!
In Debt-Free Degree, Anthony ONeal teaches parents how to get their child through school without debt, even if they haven’t saved for it. He also shows parents:
- How to prepare their child for college
- Which classes to take in high school
- How and when to take the ACT and SAT
- The right way to do college visits
- How to choose a major
A college education is supposed to prepare a graduate for their future, not rob them of their paycheck and freedom for decades. Debt-Free Degree shows parents how to pay cash for college and set their child up to succeed for life.
11. Landlord Away Your Student Loan Debt | By Michael O’Dell
Get someone else to pay for your education!
Landlord Away Your Student Loan Debt chronicles the path I took which made every student loan payment for me and put a few bucks in my pocket to boot. My strategy was simple: Pay off student loan debt with real estate. I have never made a student loan payment with my own money. I’m sorry to say I don’t have any gimmicky system to sell you. If you listen to this book, you will be equipped to start your journey toward financial freedom. You will be given advice, Internet search criteria, and suggested readings throughout this book. You will also be able to experience several pitfalls that plagued me while I established me in the landlord business.
I neutralized over $200,000.00 of student loan debt without using any of my own money! I turned to pay my student loans into a game, and I smile every month when the money is drafted out of an account that I didn’t fund (my tenants funded it for me). This book features lots of advice from a seasoned landlord, web searches for useful information, a primer on student loan repayment, and a great story. A lot of effort has gone into making this book accessible. I purposefully left out as much business, landlording, and real-estate jargon as possible. The approach taken assumes that the listener is not a seasoned landlord or an expert regarding student loans.
12. Student Loan Planning | By Ryan Law
●64% of students worry about having enough money to pay for school
●65% misunderstood aspects of their loans, including the repayment terms, the amount of their monthly payment, or the interest rate
●⅔ of borrowers do not understand the difference between federal and private loans
●60% of students have more student loan debt than they expected to have
●⅔ of borrowers are not sure they will be able to pay off their student loans
The purpose of this book is to give you a baseline understanding of student loans. We will review how to minimize student loans, types of loans, repayment plans, delinquency and default, forgiveness programs, and strategies to pay off debt as quickly as possible.
13. Pay Your Student Loans Fast | By Val Breit
Reading this book brought on so many emotions and made me take a hard look at how debt is affecting my life. This step-by-step guide to eliminating debt has it all. The author offers first-hand experience in crushing student loan debt in record time. She is inspirational and passionate about helping others achieve success. The book is quick and easy to read. There are several bonus features and the author provides links to websites that prove to be quite useful. She really goes the extra mile. I highly recommend this book. It will motivate and inspire you to set goals and work to achieve financial freedom. After reading it, I felt empowered to change my life and I believe you will too!
14. Student Loan Solution | By David Carlson
Eliminate Your Student Loan Debt
A step-by-step approach to financial freedom: David Carlson is the author of the book Hustle Away Debt and founder of the millennial personal finance blog Young Adult Money. In Student Loan Solution David explains what student loan borrowers should be focusing on. He provides a 5-step approach to help you understand your loans, your options, and how to improve your greater financial life while paying down your student loan debt. Learn how to take advantage of strategies that help you make more money, save more money, and ultimately pay down your student loans faster.
Everything you need to know about student loan debt: Student loans are complicated. College financial aid terms like “federal direct subsidized” and “GRAD Plus” mean little to most of us. Each type of student loan is slightly different, with its own set of rules and repayment options. Student Loan Solution explains everything you need to know about your student loans including how they work, repayment options and opportunities for loan forgiveness, and plans for managing and paying down your loans. David Carlson covers it all.
De-complicate your life: By the time you are done reading this book, you will understand student loans, gain control of your finances, and be armed with strategies to improve your finances.
Don’t be a statistic: For millions of Americans, paying for college meant taking out loans. If you are one of the 70% of college graduates burdened with these loans, Student Loan Solution could change your life. Fight the student loans epidemic affecting 40 million borrowers―learn the best way to pay off the college degree you worked so hard to earn.
Student Loan Solution has the tools you need to start your student loans repayment with a bang. Learn how to:
- Pay off your student loan debt
- Personalize your student loan repayment plan
- Live a happier, financially smarter life
15. Game of Loans | By Matthew Chingos
Why fears about a looming student loan crisis are unfounded―and how they obscure what’s really wrong with a student lending
College tuition and student debt levels have been rising at an alarming pace for at least two decades. These trends, coupled with an economy weakened by a major recession, have raised serious questions about whether we are headed for a major crisis, with borrowers defaulting on their loans in unprecedented numbers and taxpayers being forced to foot the bill. Game of Loans draws on new evidence to explain why such fears are misplaced―and how the popular myth of a looming crisis has obscured the real problems facing student lending in America.
Bringing needed clarity to an issue that concerns all of us, Beth Akers and Matthew Chingos cut through the sensationalism and misleading rhetoric to make the compelling case that college remains a good investment for most students. They show how, in fact, typical borrowers face affordable debt burdens, and argue that the truly serious cases of financial hardship portrayed in the media are less common than the popular narrative would have us believe. But there are more troubling problems with student loans that don’t receive the same attention. They include high rates of avoidable defaults by students who take on loans but don’t finish college―the riskiest segment of borrowers―and a dysfunctional market where competition among colleges drives tuition costs up instead of down.
Persuasive and compelling, Game of Loans moves beyond the emotionally charged and politicized talk surrounding student debt, and offers a set of sensible policy proposals that can solve the real problems in student lending.
16. Indebted | By Caitlin Zaloom
How the financial pressures of paying for college affect the lives and well-being of middle-class families
The struggle to pay for college is one of the defining features of middle-class life in America today. At kitchen tables all across the country, parents agonize over whether to burden their children with loans or to sacrifice their own financial security by taking out a second mortgage or draining their retirement savings. Indebted takes listeners into the homes of middle-class families throughout the nation to reveal the hidden consequences of student debt and the ways that financing college has transformed family life.
Caitlin Zaloom gained the confidence of numerous parents and their college-age children, who talked candidly with her about stressful and intensely personal financial matters that are usually kept private. In this remarkable book, Zaloom describes the profound moral conflicts for parents as they try to honor what they see as their highest parental duty – providing their children with opportunity – and shows how parents and students alike are forced to take on enormous debts and gamble on an investment that might not pay off. What emerges is a troubling portrait of an American middle class fettered by the “student finance complex” – the bewildering labyrinth of government-sponsored institutions, profit-seeking firms, and university offices that collect information on household earnings and assets, assess family needs, and decide who is eligible for aid and who is not.
Superbly written and unflinchingly honest, Indebted breaks through the culture of silence surrounding the student debt crisis, revealing the unspoken costs of sending our kids to college.
17. The Doctors Guide to Eliminating Debt | By Cory Fawcett
The Doctors Guide to Eliminating Debt will show you how to pay off debt faster than you imagined—including your house. Too many doctors carry perpetual debt and give away a large chunk of each paycheck as interest. Being in debt is not a default condition. It’s not too late to change the course of your financial life. Being debt-free is empowering, liberating, and invigorating, but most doctors don’t realize they can do it without significant sacrifice.
If you are feeling trapped by your financial obligations, realize there is a way out. In this book, you’ll find what you need to know to:
•Stop drowning in debt in four easy steps
•Pay off student loans and your house—faster than you expected
•Recognize biased financial advice
•Balance spending, loan repayment, and investing
•Make compound interest work for you, instead of against you
•Retire sooner than you expected
This second book in The Doctors Guide series shows you how to establish control of your money—and ultimately your life. Take a look inside this book to see how it can help you navigate your way out of debt.
“Repurposed” general surgeon Cory Fawcett has a mission to eliminate burnout, debt, and bankruptcy among physicians, dentists, optometrists, nurse practitioners, and others in the healthcare industry through keynote speaking, writing, and one-on-one coaching. Throughout his career, he’s been passionate about teaching personal finance to help doctors live healthy, happy, and debt-free lives and regain control of their practices, their time, and their finances. Dr. Fawcett is a consultant, speaker, award-winning author, and entrepreneur, and has been an owner, founder, or partner in more than two dozen business and real estate ventures.
18. Paying the Price | By Sara Goldrick-Rab
If you are a young person, and you work hard enough, you can get a college degree and set yourself on the path to a good life, right?
Not necessarily, says Sara Goldrick-Rab, and with Paying the Price, she shows in damning detail exactly why. Drawing on an unprecedented study of 3,000 young adults who entered public colleges and universities in Wisconsin in 2008 with the support of federal aid and Pell Grants, Goldrick-Rab reveals the devastating effect of these shortfalls.
Half the students in the study left college without a degree, while less than 20 percent finished within five years. The cause of their problems, time and again, was lack of money. Unable to afford tuition, books, and living expenses, they worked too many hours at outside jobs, dropped classes, took time off to save money, and even went without adequate food or housing. In many heartbreaking cases, they simply left school – not with a degree, but with crippling debt.
Goldrick-Rab combines that shocking data with devastating stories of six individual students, whose struggles make clear the horrifying human and financial costs of our convoluted financial aid policies.
19. The Graduate Survival Guide | By Rachel Cruze
This is the guide you wished you had when you went to college! Bestselling author Anthony ONeal is on a mission to help EVERY high school graduate succeed in life with The Graduate Survival Guide. There are five mistakes you can’t afford to make in college. Authentic, real-life stories from Anthony, along with compelling data, will help ANY high school graduate recognize how these mistakes can negatively impact their financial future. As Anthony tells students, “The caliber of your future will be determined by the choices you make today.” This is a must-have book for every high school senior!
- Identify and avoid the five biggest money mistakes.
- Learn how to make smart financial decisions during college.
- Put into practice healthy habits to keep them out of debt.
- Take responsibility for saving and spending with a plan.
- Discover how to avoid student loans and pay cash for college.
The Graduate Survival Guide will give you the confidence and wisdom needed to come out of college KNOWING you crushed it.
Final Thoughts on the Best Books on Student Loan Debt
Student loan debt is the highest form of personal debt in America. A recent study found that 40% of graduates from a large, private research university had an average student loan balance exceeding $40,000. It’s no wonder why these students are burdened by their loans and have a hard time paying for other necessities. The process of going to school should be an exciting time in your life, not filled with worry about how you’re going to pay back your student loans after graduation. In order to avoid this problem, it’s important to know as much as you can about your loans before you go into college. Below are some of the best books on student loan debt.
Do you see a book that you think should be on the list? Let us know your feedback here.
Meet Maurice, a staff editor at Bigger Investing. He’s an accomplished entrepreneur who owns multiple successful websites and a thriving merch shop. When he’s not busy with work, Maurice indulges in his passion for kayaking, climbing, and his family. As a savvy investor, Maurice loves putting his money to work and seeking out new opportunities. With his expertise and passion for finance, he’s dedicated to helping readers achieve their financial goals through Bigger Investing.