This story on student loans is sponsored by America First Credit Union – The member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution is the largest credit union in the state of Utah.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who regrets student debt right now.  Student loans can be brutal on your finances. And there’s a good chance you don’t even work in the field you studied at school. The good news is your mistake is a lesson for the Class of 2017.  Rex Rollo, CFO of America First Credit Union joins Jeff Caplan of KSL Newsradio to share 3 things will help future generations (hopefully) make better choices than you.

Be Pragmatic About Your Future

First, be more pragmatic about education and career choices.  Choose a career that you know will pay the bills and then focus on getting that education.  Take some time in doing this.  You may be attracted to a field of study that sounds exciting and rewarding.  Is there a real career here?  What are you trying to do?  Make this decision with clear eyes.  Maybe it’s something you can do on the side as you pursue a career that better fits your financial goals?

Avoid Student Loans

Second, avoid student loans if you can.  Rex Rollo, CFO of America First Credit Union, recommends trying as many other options as you can. “Financial aid, scholarships, grants, even family can be used to help out and sometimes a part time job in the field we want to pursue gives us experience that potential employers are seeking.”

Don’t Go To College

Finally, don’t go to college.  No, seriously, it may not be the best thing for you.  The world is changing fast and education is a continual process.  New careers appear and disappear as the world economy evolves.  Consider an education path that draws a more clear line between you and your career goals.  The classic example of this right now is in the software industry where you can land a great job very quickly with a good vocational program.  Of course, if you’re desperate to also take college english and history classes, you can always do it in your spare time.  You’ll certainly have the money for it.

Avoid College Financial Regret

You should always be learning throughout your career to keep up in today’s economy.  But debt will bog you down and sabotage great opportunities.  You can make smart choices in college and avoid that pitfall.