Keep Student Loan Debt Down

The costs of college keep rising each year, forcing more and more students to rely on student loans in order to afford an education. Student loan debt is a difficult challenge for students to deal with after graduation, so it is important that everyone enrolled at a community college or university works hard to keep their student loan debt to a minimum. At PaydayLoansCashAdvance.com, we offer our clients the following tips to help them reduce student loan debt and live a more fiscally responsible life.

  1. Look into Pell Grants. Pell Grants are a federal funding opportunity available to students who have to meet both certain income level requirements as well as academic requirements. While not everyone is qualified for these monetary awards, those who are able to secure a Pell Grant should definitely look into this option. These will help qualified students keep their student loan debt down because Pell Grants do not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are only available to students who are attending a higher education institution and working toward their initial bachelor’s degree. Anyone who has already earned a bachelor’s degree does not qualify for additional Pell Grants.
  2. Research every different scholarship avenue available. There are many unique scholarship opportunities available to students who will be heading off to college. High school students should talk with their guidance counselors and other academic leaders to find out where they can get information about various scholarships. Common places that offer scholarships for students include universities, corporations, local businesses, community organizations and financial institutions such as banks and credit unions. Every scholarship has different requirements. Some criteria include income, GPA, extracurricular activities, residency, ethnicity and standardized testing scores.
  3. Consider looking into the Federal Work-Study Program. This is a program sponsored by the United States government that allows college students to work part-time while still attending school. These part-time jobs are either located at the university itself or at a non-profit or public works agency off campus. Students are often able to secure a position that is related to their field of study. The benefits of this program are two-fold. Students are able to earn money to help offset the costs of tuition, books as well as room and board, and at the same time, they can add valuable work experience to their resume.
  4. Borrow only what’s needed. Know exactly how much is needed from a loan, and do not accept any additional loans that are not absolutely necessary. Many students are awarded loans from financial institutions that are larger than they really need at the same. This means that at the beginning of the semester, some students will receive a check from their loan of excess funds. This might seem like a great way to boost the bank account, but students need to keep in mind that they will be paying that money back with interest in just a few short years. Students can lower their debt amount significantly by simply taking out loans for the exact amount that they need for their classes, books and room and board.
  5. Choose Carefully. Choose a more cost-effective educational path, such as beginning at a community college before transferring to a four-year institution. The first two years of college often require a student to take basic prerequisite courses, such as an introduction to English and composition, a basic science course and a broad history course. The tuition rates at community colleges are significantly lower for these classes, so students looking to decrease their debt amount would be wise to attend one of these institutions for two years before transferring to their desired university. Most credits at community colleges easily transfer to four-year universities, allowing students to earn the degree they need for nearly half the cost.
  6. Research. Know the difference between unsubsidized loans and subsidized loans. Subsidized loans are available to students who are deemed to be in financial need of these loans. They are a unique loan option because interest does not begin accruing while the student is in deferment and attending classes. Interest begins accruing on the loans six months after the student graduates. Unsubsidized loans accrue interest throughout the entire course of deferment, and on top of that, the interest is capitalized. Any student who is offered a subsidized loan should accept this offer versus choosing an unsubsidized loan, as they will save much more money on interest costs in the end.
  7. Savings and Budgeting. Start saving early on and create a budget plan for each year. One of the best ways to keep student loan debt to a minimum is to have a cash savings when entering college. Many students get their first job when they are in high school, and it is never too early to get into good savings habits. Students who enter college with cash to pay for tuition costs upfront will not have as much debt, and they do not have to worry about paying even more for their education due to interest rates.
  8. Live frugally. Try to cut daily expenses that are not necessary. College students have never been known for having a lot of extra income available. In order to reduce student loan debt over time, it is important that students set a budget and stick to it. If they can’t afford fast food that week, they should not get it using extra loan money. These are smart spending habits that will stick with them through life, and at the same time, students can reduce the amount of debt they have when they graduate.

When a student starts college, it may seem like student loans are an easy way to get through the next four years. However, we at PaydayLoansCashAdvance know that students who are financially responsible throughout their college years end up being better off throughout the rest of their adult lives. Student loan debt takes many years to repay, so we advise our clients to take steps to reduce student loan debt before they even begin their college careers. These tips will help any student live a more fiscally conservative lifestyle throughout college, ultimately allowing them to graduate with less debt to carry through the start of their careers.

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