Eliminating Student Debt
A college education used to be relatively affordable but that is no longer the case. The costs of a four year degree can often $100,000 and tuition and living costs continue to increase. The U.S. Government has estimated that the annual rise in educational expenses far exceed the pace of inflation. To pay for this, many students have resorted to taking out educational loans. These loans allow students to obtain an education in their desired field of study. However, in the long run these loans often turn into huge financial burdens that follow the student well into their professional careers.
One way to minimize student debt is to lower the total amount of borrowed money. This can be done in a variety of ways. Work/Study programs. These programs allow a student to rotate between full time college studies and full time work for a company in their field of study. The money earned while participating in a co-op program will help offset the cost of education. Work part time. This will help pay for a portion of the expenses. It may take longer than 4 years to obtain a degree but it would decrease the need for student loans. Look at school alternatives. Consider attending a local school or community college. These institutions are generally much more affordable, and the credits can be transferred. Apply for grants and scholarships. Nothing beats free money. There are many funds available for a wide variety of qualifications.
Begin paying as soon as possible. Many student loans have deferment options. It is easy to delay the payments until sometime down the road, however, the loan keeps accruing interest which makes the debt continue to grow. Consider consolidating your student loan debt as this is the time to take advantage of some outstanding interest rates. Programs are available to put all of your educational loans together, producing a single monthly payment. Any payment made above the minimum goes towards the principle. Take advantage of tax write offs as in most cases a portion of student loan interest is tax deductible. If this results in a refund, earmark that money to go towards the debt. Hold off on major purchase such as a new car or house for a few years and concentrate on paying off your debt.
The escalating cost of a college education is not a trend that is likely to reverse. As a result it may become a necessity for many students to resort to student loans. When this occurs, it is best to apply for the lowest amount of funds required to pay for your education and be prepared to pay down the debt as soon as possible.