Commentary

August 2, 2013

‘Good debt’ can bolster earning potential, official says

Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON – Establishing “good debt” can be valuable for future earning potential, particularly in today’s challenging economy, a Defense Department official advised here recently.

Obtaining a student loan for a college education or a higher degree to pursue a professional career is an example of good debt for service members and their Families when they make the right choices, Barbara Thompson, director of the Defense Department’s office of family policy, children and youth, said in an interview with American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel.

“You want to make sure you analyze the return on your education investment so you will have a higher earning potential,” Thompson said. Education is an investment in a service member’s future, because those with a higher-education degree usually have better earning potential and less unemployment, she said, so it is important for service members to have a plan for their career opportunities when they transition out of the military.

Taking out student loans, Thompson added, could be part of that strategy, but she cautioned that those who choose this option should do their homework.

“Whether for a service member or a Family member, it’s important to think about [which] student loan would be the right fit, and how much debt [one] should incur,” she said.

Thompson advised seeking practical counseling advice to pursue the best education choices in schools and in funding.

Military members and their Families have numerous resources at their fingertips, she noted, with installation education offices among them.

“They have people who can help go through the pros and cons of what would be a smart decision,” Thompson said. “Debt is something that [can] take on a life of its own if you’re not careful.”

Education office counselors can provide service members and Families advice on applying for student loans that suit individual needs, in addition to choosing the best college for their chosen studies.

In addition to seeking counselors’ advice, Thompson encouraged service members and Families to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill and other resources available to help in paying for an education at a school that’s within their financial means. Scholarships and other resources are available to reduce the cost of a college education, she noted.

Thompson pointed out that the Military OneSource website has a wealth of information for people seeking higher education.

“MilitaryOneSource.mil is a really good tool for our service members and Families, not only to seek out a career choice, but also to find information about financial assistance and choosing the right college,” she said.

Military OneSource has “wonderful career counseling,” especially for spouses, Thompson said.

“It helps you define what you want to do and study. It helps you figure out the best path to take,” she added.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also can help with choosing fields of study, Thompson said. The bureau offers a website that shows the earning potential in a variety of professions.

The varying costs of an education are a major factor to weigh, Thompson said, adding that a popular way to cut expenses for a bachelor’s degree is to attend a community college for two years and transfer to a university to finish.

“There [also] are a lot of wonderful opportunities to have your loan waived for certain professions for advanced degrees,” she said. “It’s important to match your aspirations with your opportunities … [and] to offset the cost of getting an advanced degree.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Monsoon season arrives, brings needed moisture to desert

The monsoon is here! It’s that time of the year again when our region gets much needed rain. We all look forward to the moisture and some relief from the hot weather we’ve been experiencing recently. But what is the monsoon? Most people say it’s the time of year when we get ‘a lot’ of...
 
 
haynes3_62415_lakosil

Family, faith, focus Resiliency helps Soldier heal from extensive combat wounds

Maj. Jeremy Haynes, Warrior Transition Brigade, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Maryland, and wife Chelsea speak with Capt. Kate Degategno, Alpha Company, 304th Military Intelligence Battalion, in Alvarado Hall, F...
 
 

National Safety Month – June 2015

During the past 10 years fatal Army accidents have declined significantly, both on and off duty. That trend has persisted through years of combat operations and continues now as we remain committed on multiple continents in support of National Defense objectives. Army leaders, Soldiers and Army Civilians have worked hard to make this possible. Thank...
 

 
Courtesy graphic

Employees have right of union representation

Courtesy graphic Bargaining unit employees who need to visit the American Federation of Government Employees Union, Local 1662, will now find the office in Nealis Barracks, Building 52204, on Cushing Street across from the Thun...
 
 

Presidential Proclamation LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2015 BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION From the moment our Nation first came together to declare the fundamental truth that all men are created equal, courageous and dedicated patriots have fought to refine our founding promise and broaden democracy’s reach. Over the course of more than two centuries of striving and sacrifice, our country has expanded civil rights and...
 
 

Presidential Proclamation — National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2015 NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH, 2015 BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION This year, approximately one in five American adults — our friends, colleagues, and loved ones — will experience a diagnosable mental health condition like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or post-traumatic stress, and many others will be troubled by significant emotional and psychological distress, especially in times of difficulty. For most of these...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>