Money Watchers: Struggling with college debt - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Money Watchers: Struggling with college debt

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Jason Maintainis is deep in college debt since graduating in 2009.

"I have a mortgage of a house without actually owning a house," he said.

"I owe approximately $115 and I have interest rates between 4 and 7 percent and the payments are almost $578 a month for years."

Maintainis's story is not uncommon.

According to a recent Fidelity study, the average graduate leaves college with more than $35,000 in debt.

And finding a job in the current economic climate hasn't helped.

"It's a burden," Maintainis said.

Oliver Tutt, a financial planner, told NBC 10 that college students need to save, and be held accountable for their own financial futures.

"The kids need to be invested financially, and if they're completely immunized from the feeling of obligation and cost, they will be in for a real shock," he said.

Every nickel counts.

"It's not just the dollars but the concept of deferring enjoyment of money for another future purpose," Tutt said.

The report said that 39 percent of graduates said they would have made different choices to where and when they went to college if they fully understood the debt burden upon graduating.

The number is up 14 percent since 2011.

"You have to be a very careful consumer when choosing colleges," Tutt said.

Maintainis works two jobs to break even, and he said it's hard to get ahead.

His advice?

"Read all the disclosures. Talk to your financial aid office and ask about the stipulations are of deferring loans when you get out of school," he said.

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