Ask any college graduate all of the things they regret doing while in school, and that list might include drinking too much and vomiting at a fraternity party, hooking up with a jerk down the hall or perhaps not being more "involved" in student groups and organizations.
However, that's not what graduates regret the most.
A study by the Citizens Bank found that 77 percent of former students wish they'd planed better for managing student loan debt.
On average, former college students are $30,000 in debt, thanks to college costs increasing over the years. In California, the state average of debt for those who graduated from public and private four-year institutions is $20,340.
Twenty-three percent of former students surveyed in the Citizens Bank study are not currently able to make their student loan payments.
The study also revealed that most former college students feel financing their education through student loans had a positive impact on their ability to get a job. However, seven out of 10 current college students worry they do not have the financial background to manage their student loan debt, suggesting colleges and high schools should increase efforts to help students understand how to manage debt.
"It's clear that a key step is having a plan for life after graduation before you enroll in the school of your choice to ensure the cost is appropriate to the career you want," said Brendan Coughlin, president of education and auto finance for Citizens Financial Group. "Also revealing was that most are unaware that they have an opportunity to make their student loan debt more manageable through refinancing--something that 93 percent of those who have refinanced say they recommend to others."