Student debt is a real problem. According to Forbes reports, total student debt in the US is around $ 1.3 trillion, with the average debt per student for those currently enrolled in college being $ 37,172.
What can a climber do? You have goals and you need a degree, right?
Stop the madness and take control of your finances. There are strategies you can use to keep your student loan debt down.
Student loans are optional
First of all, remember that you don’t have to take out a student loan to go to college. If you go for a cheaper school (or cheaper for you), you may be able to earn enough to cover your bill by studying or doing an internship. Also, don’t forget to check out scholarships and grants. You will be surprised how many options there are. Many colleges also offer installment payment plans. Even if you don’t have the money today, with a little hard work, you may be able to make installment payments.
Keep it under control
If you need to take out a student loan, you don’t have to take out the maximum amount available either. While you certainly have a lot of expenses, from books to dorms, meal plans to socializing, the thing to remember is that every dollar you borrow now will affect your payment amount later. Kalman Chany, who wrote “Pay for College Without Going Broke,” recommends limiting your debt to what you can reasonably expect in your first year of employment.
Know your options
There are more than one type of student loan. You have private and federal loans, and each of them has different options. For example, if you look at federal loans, you will see Perkins loans and PLUS loans, both subsidized and unsubsidized. There is a lot to consider. Make sure you do your research so that you understand your options. Generally, federal loans offer the best terms. However, if you do not qualify or do not qualify sufficiently, you will need to look at several sources of credit, some of which have different terms. Just be aware.
Do not wait for the repayment
With most student loans, you have the option to wait until after you graduate to pay off – don’t do it. If you wait for the repayment, you may incur additional debt from interest and you will definitely get larger payments than if you started paying a little now. Even $ 100 a month could make a huge difference in keeping your student loan debt down.
Think about your payment options
Finally, remember that you have options for repayment. While these techniques don’t apply to everyone, certain federal loan programs offer lending (i.e., you don’t have to repay anything) up to a certain amount or after that many payments. Many of these programs are designed to help teachers, but there is also a public loan program. Talk to the grant to find out more. Also, check out income-based repayment plans. While you could spend more in the long run, you will find that these programs will help reduce the burden on your debt payments.
Carrying out student loan debt is no fun. It will take years to pay off and you will have less money each month, for example to save a down payment on a house or to pay your (future) children to attend a private, charter or Montessori school. Nor can you travel as freely or so far and forget about buying a new car unless you are willing to budget from other areas. However, with a little proactive planning, you can take your financial future into your own hands. You can get your degree and keep your student debt as low as possible.