Too many millennials are facing buyers' remorse over one of the most expensive purchases they'll ever make

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Millennials Get Brutally Honest About The Student Debt Problem

College tuition is one of the biggest purchases millennial graduates have made — and now many of them are regretting it.

In fact, 57% of millennial graduates regret taking out as many loans as they did, and 36% even said they would not have gone to college if they knew how much it was going to cost them, according to a survey by Citizens Bank.

But what's the alternative to an expensive education with suffocating loans?

Brendan Coughlin, president of consumer lending at Citizens Bank, encourages borrowers to get educated and informed on their loans rather than consider skipping higher education entirely.

"Do your homework and make sure you understand what it is you are signing up for when you take out loans for school,"Coughlin told Business Insider in an email.

As for millennial graduates who already signed on the dotted line, it's about taking control of debt.

"As they graduate and start to contemplate future life events like home purchases and retirement, it becomes increasingly important for them to take control of their college debt, whether it's through refinancing or other tactics that can help them limit its impact on their overall financial health," Coughlin explained.

Student loan debt in the US has topped $1.3 trillion, but most millennials aren't sure how much they really owe and how to get started.

The survey also revealed the average time remaining for millennial graduates to pay off their student loans is 11 years, but 43% do not know exactly how many years they have remaining to pay off their student loans, and 60% expect to still be paying off their loans into their 40s. Fifty-eight percent of millennial graduates even reported that they underestimate their monthly student loan payments, and end up extending the time — as well as interest — on their loans.

Andrew Josuweit, founder of student loan refinancing website Student Loan Hero, agrees millennials need to take control of their commitment.

"Millennials spend several hours preparing their taxes, chasing a few hundred dollars, but aren't willing to put in the same time creating a student loan game plan that can save them thousands," Josuweit told Business Insider in an email.

Related: Best part-time jobs for college students

7 PHOTOS
Best part-time job for college students
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Too many millennials are facing buyers' remorse over one of the most expensive purchases they'll ever make

Nanny 
If you grew up babysitting younger family members, then this position is perfect for you. Not only is being a nanny one of the most flexible part-time jobs, but you can set your own rate. 

Photo credit: Getty

Receptionist
While the hours for this position may not be as flexible, working as an office assistant or receptionist for a major company is a great way to get your foot in the door. As a receptionist you will be tasked with entry-level responsibilities, which will give you a great advantage when applying to your first full-time job. 

Photo credit: Getty

Waiter/Waitress  
Possibly one of the most demanding jobs, working as a server in a restaurant comes with just as much stress as reward. The hours may be long, but at some restaurants, wages can be worth it. 

Photo credit: Getty

Tutor  
Similar to working as a nanny, being a tutor is one of the most flexible job opportunities. As a tutor, you can help others in a variety of subjects. This is a great job for a college student because not only will you be helping others, but you will also be strengthening your knowledge in whatever subject you teach. 

Photo credit: Getty

Freelance Work 
Much like serving, being a freelancer can be very rewarding financially. As a freelancer, you can choose which industry you want to work in and begin to gain experience while still in school. 

Photo credit: Getty

Work-Study Job  
If you are a student who meets the qualifications for financial aid, you can apply for your school's work study program. Work study schedules your shifts around your class schedule and the best part is that most jobs are on campus and the money you make can go directly towards paying off your tuition or any other university balances. 

Photo credit: Getty

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Learning about different repayment methods (FinAid.org has a useful guide) and creating a "game plan" might keep you from brushing your loans under the rug or defaulting on them, which could have a major impact on your finances — or even your parents, if they co-signed — for years to come. And though not all companies help their employees with student loan debt, it could be worth it to look into those who do.

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SEE ALSO: 3 alternatives to grad school for a fraction of the price

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