Before inflation wreaked havoc in national economies, going to school was the hard part. Now graduating had become the easy part, while paying off the loans have become the most difficult part of life. School loan consolidation and “OPM” options (other people’s money) have become popular means to pay off debt.Reviewing one’s student loan documents may be one of the hardest things to do. Take the case of Virgil Hilliard, a graduate of University of Southern California. The slew of documents, no thicker than the regular bunch of Yellow Pages in a telephone directory told him that he owed $70,000. Medical school was no walk in the park- and the loans he owed were no laughing matter either. Hilliard shares:”The day of my exit interview with a financial aid counselor, it seemed I’d spent every week going through those papers and fretting over just how my life was going to change.”Diplomas and DebtsAccording to the Education Resources Institute (Boston) and the Institute for Higher Education (Washington):”Undergraduates today leave campus with an average $7,594 debt from public four-year campuses, $10,000 if they opt for private schools. That figure is increasing rapidly since tuition rises on average about 7% annually. Graduate students have it worse, particularly those who enrolled in professional programs.”The figures continue their meteoric rise:”On average, law students graduate owing over $40,000–a monthly bill close to $500, assuming a 10-year payback period and an 8% interest rate. Doctors and dentists, meanwhile, finish school owing an average $64,100 and $67,800, respectively, in debt. That makes for monthly payments of $777 and $822.”Solution: School Loan ConsolidationWith the staggering amount of debt of American graduates, it seems that school loan consolidation becomes a clear way out. There’s no way to sugarcoat the situation- any attempts to do so would just be pointless. The only way to tame the beast so to speak is to struggle against it head on. The struggle can be tiresome, but repaying all those debts is never impossible.Computing for Comfortable RepaymentThe general misconception is that the repayment of a hefty debt can be painful on one’s life. Given, you can’t bee too luxurious but it doesn’t mean you have to be a hermit and live on waffles for the next ten years.Take what the USA Group, a loan consolidating company from Indianapolis, has to say about school loan consolidation and repayment:”Most people can foot 8% of their annual salary in student loan payments comfortably. Translated into raw numbers, if you make $24,000 a year, $1,920 annually or $160 a month should be affordable with a minimum of financial pain.”Get a good job too. Because of the volatility of the market, there are many disappointments but bright opportunities still exist. If you have to move to the next city or the next state to get that extra $10,000 in take home bonuses, do it. You’re doing it for your sake (or your family’s sake) and it’s not going to be a permanent arrangement. View it as a way to gain more financial freedom in the future.