Six Tips to Avoid Large Debt As a College Student

Six Tips to Avoid Large Debt As a College Student
  • Type: student debt
  • Opening Intro -

    Over the past seven years, college debt has grown by nearly six percent a year.

    Today the average student loan debt is $29,400 for an undergraduate degree.

    If you attend graduate school, debt can spiral upward to six figures.

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Following these six steps will help you get a handle on your debt before it becomes a burden well into your future.

Go to Community College

Community college is a cheaper alternative than the first two years at a university. You still experience college life and can have a challenging curriculum. Most community colleges work with a university to fulfill major prerequisites. Since community college is far cheaper you can work part-time to pay it off with out taking out a loan. Once you finish the two years, transferring and graduating from a school of your choice won’t look bad on your resume.

Maintain a Part-Time Job

While going to school, having a part-time job can help pay for the costs of college. The Federal government has work-study programs to help students in need. Many part-time jobs offer flexible schedules that give you the ability to go to morning or evening classes and still have time to study. If you manage your time well, you can even squeeze in some fun extra-curricular activities.

Have a Strict Budget

Learn how to create a budget and stick with it. The best budget is kept in a ledger with debit and credit amounts dedicated for each expense. Having a budget and sticking to it can be monotonous, but once you get the hang of it, a budget will become second nature. This will not only serve you well in school, but you will develop a positive life long habit.

Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships and grants are money you can get for college that does not need to be repaid. Many scholarships and grants target freshman and undergraduates. There are many online to search for, but they can be very competitive, so the sooner you start the better. There are a variety of scholarships and grants that often focus on academic achievements, athletics, a specific career and many majors.

Federal Loans

If you have to take out loans make sure they are Federal Loans. Fill out the Federal Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) even if you don’t need them. Federal Loans offer more flexibility when it comes time to pay them back. If you have a hard time finding a job out of college, you can apply for a deferment or forbearance. Avoid private loans they are less flexible to pay back.

Unsubsidized Federal Loan Interest

Pay off some or all of your unsubsidized Federal loan interest rates while you’re in school. That sounds like a difficult task, but it is possible. An unsubsidized loan is a kind of loan that the interest accumulates while you’re in school. If you don’t pay it off it becomes part of the loan’s principle. Paying $50 a month on a typical $15,000 loan can save you more than $1,000 in interest.

Take Control of Your Future

Getting a college degree is a great goal and helps to prepare you for many of life’s challenges. Paying back debt can take years and may interrupt your plans of buying a house and starting a family. By understanding the burdens of debt and managing it well, you will take control of your future and be financially free to do the things you want.

If you feel overwhelmed with debt and your finances, talk to an expert for advice and take control of you finances. It is possible to get through school with little or no debt.

Informational credit to Paddon & Yorke Inc.

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