by Heather, May 23, 2014
The cost of college has skyrocketed in the past few years and even so it is a dream for many. Now with the availability of affordable student loans, that dream has become a reality. Managing the debt while you are in school and after graduation can be a a strain, especially if the job market is not strong.
Before signing the bottom line taking on a new student loan, take a look at these smart tips to help manage your student loans and other student debt.
1) Make sure to apply for all college scholarships and grants first. There are federal scholarships as well as scholarships from private companies, the college you apply to and non-profit organizations that are available, all over the country. Grants are available that do not need to be repaid and these are offered through various schools, non profits and other organizations, many of them local.
2) Check out the work study programs that are available through your college of choice that can help you earn money to pay for educational expenses and loans.
3) Set up a budget before applying for college loans so you know what you can afford to borrow and repay. Make sure to be realistic about your income while attending school and if deferring payment options are right for your situation.
4) Always make payments on time to build and develop your credit.
5) Add additional money to your payment to help lower your principal quicker as well as the compounding interest.
6) Stay in touch with financial aid counselors and keep track of your loans even after getting out of school. If you have difficulty repaying or making payments on time, get help immediately. There are plans to help with loan consolidation and deferment, if necessary.
Using scholarships is a wonderful way to be able to attend school but take the time to learn as much as possible about the system and the programs you are applying for. Managing your student loans is important to the your future credit and financial history.