Managing Student Debt

Most college or university students must deal with debt sometime during their higher education. Nevertheless, this doesn�t mean that we should not do whatever we can to avoid debt. Here are some alternatives to student loans, tips on how to pay off loans if you already have them, and excellent money saving habits.

Avoiding Loans:

Obtaining a scholarship or grant is the best alternative to getting a student loan because they are free. Scholarships can be found most places and they are awarded for many different reasons. You can find scholarships at the university you want to attend (or are attending), at organizations in your area, and on the web.

Some businesses and organizations that award scholarships are the Lions Club, Optimist, Girls & Boys Club, and Retail Stores. Some great internet sites that will find scholarships specifically for you are Scholarships.com and FastWeb.com. Grants can be found at fafsa.ed.gov.

Another way to avoid student loans is to use your skills to get a high paying full time job during the summer and a part-time job during the school year. Look at your abilities, talents, and skills to determine which job is perfect for someone like you.

Repaying Loans:

If you follow this simple advice you will be able to pay off your student loans quickly and painlessly. It may be hard in the beginning, but once you get into the habit, you’ll be glad you did:

-Lock in a Low Rate: It takes time to find a low rate but it will save you a lot of money in the long run.

-Pay Through School: If your loan does not require you to pay while you are in school, do it anyway. Even a small monthly payment will save you a good deal of money.

-Don’t Miss Payments: Missing one or two payments may seem harmless, but soon you will be in a bad habit and a lot of debt.

-Make Large Payments: Paying more than the required amount will help you have that loan paid off in no time.

Save Money

Generally debt problems come because of the complacent way we spend our money. Innumerable amounts of students just scrape by no matter how much they’re making. They do this because they have bad spending habits.

The best way to kill these old habits is to create new ones. Try looking for sales, buying from discount stores, eating out less often, and attending matinees rather than evening movies. Certain movie theaters even offer discounts to students. If it’s possible, rent a shared apartment. Try to live without a car. This will save you lots of gas money. When you go shopping always ask the question “Do I really need it?” before you buy anything and never shop for groceries if you’re hungry.

Do not end up cheating your future self by racking up the debt in your college years. Listen to the advice given in this article and you will get out of college with little or no debt. You will be grateful you made the decision!

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