Do your student loans feel overwhelming? Does avoiding debt in college seem impossible? If your answer is yes to either of these questions, you are not alone. Research by the Federal Reserve shows that student loans in the United States amount to over $1 trillion. This figure only comes second to the nation’s total mortgage debt.
Many people have to grapple with the problem of student loans after graduating, hindering them from making other financial advancements such as buying a home or increasing their savings. Ideally, you should start thinking about the impact that debt will have on your financial health while you are still in school.
These tips will help you minimize your borrowing in college:
1. Get a job and start saving
The best way to minimize the need to borrow is to get money to cater for your expenses. Apply for part-time jobs that you can do after school or on weekends. To concentrate on your studies while still working, try to find a job that is flexible, pays a decent wage and offers a good work environment. Once you get the part-time job, it is equally important to start saving a percentage of your income.
2. Find ‘free’ money
Funding your education through grants, scholarships, cash awards and employer tuition reimbursement is ultimately the best way to avoid debt. However, you have to look for funding proactively by researching and applying tirelessly.
3. Maximize your tuition fee
Take the maximum number of courses that your tuition fee allows.
4. Be frugal
Students can reduce their potential to take on student loans by reducing their expenses. This can be done by, for example; cooking instead of eating out and finding more affordable accommodation options.
While graduating debt-free might not be possible, it is important to stay focused on managing your finances for a better future.