Written by Dominique McDonald
As a student in college you know you may end up with some serious student debt. With the cost of tuition, textbooks and meal plans, the struggle to keep money in your pocket becomes a real challenge. The average student will rack up about $30,000 in student loan debt and this number can be even higher depending on your major or degree level. After graduation this debt can sometimes seem overwhelming. Pretty daunting stuff isn’t it? It definitely can be, especially if you don’t have the tools to deal with your debt. So here are five great tips that can definitely, make your debt more bearable.
1. Free money is always a good thing. Before applying for loans be sure to apply for scholarships and grants. Basically this is money you don’t have to pay back and it’s all awarded to you based on various criteria. This can be anything from your GPA to your extracurricular activities. If you are unsure of where to look for these scholarships and grants then you can go to your school’s financial aid office. You can also check online at https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-search .
2. Understand your loan. There are many different types of loans you may be eligible for. Some of which, will allow you a grace period. This means that the lender will give you a certain amount of time in which you don’t have to pay back your loan; often without any added interest. Another important detail is the repayment amount. You will get this information upon graduation. If for some reason you’re not able to make any payments, be sure to ask for a temporary deferral or for a lower monthly payment.
3. Make more money. Getting a part- time job can help you get your debt repayment well underway. The great thing is you have a better chance of finding a job on your campus, also known as Federal Work Study. This way you can minimize your travel time and keep the stress to a minimum. Now of course you won’t be paying off a lot of your debt at once but taking steps towards it will put your mind at ease. Find out if you qualify for the Federal Work Study program with your financial aid office.
4. Spend less, save more. The best thing you can do to stay on top of your debt is make a budget. Once you know how much money you’re bringing in and how much you need to pay out monthly, you can see how much you can put toward your debt repayment. The key step to this is sticking to the budget. It may not be the most fun thing to do, but you’ll be thankful when your student loan is paid off in 3 years instead of 10.
5. Stay on top of it. Interest tends to be a silent killer when it comes to loans. This can be even more exact if you’re missing payments. If for any reason you feel you’re going to have to miss a payment be sure to contact your lender and schedule a delay.
With the help of these tips, you won’t have to stress over your student loan debt any longer.