How to keep your debt levels in check while attending college

The student loans debt is always growing on an annual basis across the US. Whereas this might be a good sign that we are having more young people getting educated in institutions of higher learning, there is a flip side to the growth in the student loan debt. The downside of it is based on the fact that the more debt you accumulate while still in college, the more financial burden you will have when you graduate. This may lead you to the distressful path of living from hand to mouth; with any surplus income being swallowed into debt repayment, for the better part of your lifetime. To keep your debt levels in check while in college, you will need to follow the tips provided below.

  1. Choose your college wisely

Private universities tend to be generally more expensive than public universities across the country. If you do not have the financial muscle to pay your school fees in the private universities, you can opt to enroll in a public university; whose school fees can be twelve times lower than what you would have paid in a private university. This helps you to lower the amount of student loan you apply for and eventually helps you to keep your debt levels in check from your younger years before you are out of college.

Choosing a university that is within your neighborhood or a distance that you can commute to from home is another great way to reduce your student loan size. Most of the college expenses usually go to cover your accommodation and food expenses. By staying at home with your parents, you are able to minimize these costs since you will be sharing the same house with your family and food costs will be lower due to economies of scale.

  1. Get alternative sources of income to reduce your dependency on student loans

Most students prefer having part time jobs in order to supplement their student loans and pocket money from their parents so as to meet their financial needs while in college. Having a part time job will however require that you schedule your classes in a manner that they do not collide with your working hours. This can be a hectic balancing act every semester especially with regularly changing school timetables.

To continue earning some extra income in your free time, you can opt to venture into online trading of forex, indices or commodities. This makes it easy for you to concentrate with your studies during class time and only get into trading when you are free at any time of the day. All you will need is to have an online trading account and be following market news and analyses provided by SaxonTrade through their online channel; or get the market trends from other reliable sources. Equipped with trading skills acquired through tutorials and trading via demo accounts; you can then use the latest market news and trends to make trading decisions that optimize your returns.

  1. Stay on top of your student loans

Repayment of the student loans is mandatory and you can never run away from them since the government will pursue you until you pay them. In addition, if you try to evade paying your student loans, you will be blacklisted and your credit score will be tainted; eventually limiting your access to other credit facilities. It is therefore very prudent to start planning on how to repay your student loan early enough; so that you can start reducing your debt burden before interest charge accumulates on the principle amount over the years.

In a nutshell, prioritizing your student loan repayment when you earn some extra income from your part time job or from online trading; will instill financial discipline in you and help you repay your student loan much faster than your peers in college. In addition, taking other measures such as choosing a public university that is cheaper will help you in cutting down your college expenses and hence you will need lesser amount in student loan to sail through college successfully.

photo credit: Kris Kesiak Ilaria via photopin (license)

One Response to “How to keep your debt levels in check while attending college”

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  1. Kevin says:

    This is an awesome article. Student loan debt is a significant burden for graduates. One thing I would like to add to this article is that its important to first figure out what you want to study before attending college. With college costs so high, its not a good investment of capital to spend 2 or 4 years figuring out what you want to do with your life, all while adding student loan debt to yourself. In fact I would argue that working part-time jobs, or internships for free at different jobs can give you a better idea of what you are interested in actually doing, and you dont have to add debt during this process. Another thing I’d like to point out is that some majors simply are not a good return on investment. Therefore, if its a major that falls into that category, it doesn’t mean that you should not pursue your passion in that career. What it does mean is that it may be a good idea to go to a state college as opposed to a private university which are more expensive as you pointed out in your article. College education, while valuable for many professions, unfortunately provides outdated skills for others and it may be time to reconsider college being the only option after graduating high school. Here is an article examining which college degrees offer the best return on investment:

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