Wichita County is increasingly living paycheck to paycheck and one credit counselor believes student loans are to blame.
Michelle Kuehner, Certified Credit Counselor, understands that students do not fully understand the full amount of debt they will have to pay back because colleges are allowing them to have more money in loans to pay off living expenses. Also, fluctuating interest rates muddle the exact loan amount.
"So when they get that monthly payment in the mail and they have to pay extra for the spring break vacation, the new computer and school clothes, it's a big shocker," said Kuehner.
Kuhner said the average household income in Texoma is about $46,000. In Dallas, it's about $57,000.
"So students that graduate obviously want the higher paid position for the same amount of work," said Kuehner. "That's why we're losing some of those people to a metropolitan location because they offer better compensation."
She said people leaving Texoma and spending money elsewhere is hurting our economy.
Kuehner believes that many graduates have this fantasy that they'll be making a six-figure income right out of college and for many that just doesn't seem to be the case.
Kuehner said there are debt forgiveness programs for nurses, teachers and public service workers which will help some of the burden. For those who are not working in those industries, she said the best thing to do is to create a budget, stick to it and pay off the debt as soon as possible.