Student loan debt is a major concern for many college students. And while there are no magic solutions, there are a few things you can do to help keep your student loan debt down.
Here are six tips to help you lower your overall student loan debt.
#1 Take advantage of free tutoring services offered by your school
Understandably tutoring may be needed while you’re in college. However, the money you spend paying a tutor could be going towards your student loan balance while you’re in college. If your school offers free tutoring services, be sure to take advantage of them.
#2 Apply for scholarships – many are available, but you have to apply
Scholarships can help lower your student loan debt by giving you cash for school that doesn’t need to be paid back. However, to get these scholarship funds, you’ll probably need to apply for them. Many scholarships are not automatically awarded based only on your academic performance in high school.
So consider applying for as many scholarships, such as the Nancy Etz scholarship, as possible so you can take advantage of money meant specifically for students in college with financial needs.
#3 Consider taking a lighter course load if you’re struggling with time management
Many freshmen struggle with choosing their classes and balancing those classes with work, extracurricular activities, and social life. If you’re finding that you can’t handle the course load you originally signed up for, consider dropping one or two classes and taking a lighter course load instead. This will help free up some of your time and make it easier to manage your schoolwork. This helps you keep your student loan debt low because you won’t end up double paying for a course because you failed it and have to take it again before you can graduate.
#4 Avoid using credit cards or other loans to pay for expenses that can wait until the end of the semester (e.g., books)
It’s easy to be tempted to use a credit card or take out a loan when you’re short on cash. However, one of the best ways to keep your student loan debt low is to avoid using credit cards or other loans to pay for expenses that can wait until the end of the semester. For example, if you need to buy textbooks for your classes, try waiting until the end of the semester when bookstores have better deals and are more likely to sell used books. You can also rent textbooks online instead of buying them. By avoiding using credit cards and other loans, you’re able to put all of your bill income towards your student loans instead of dividing it across multiple debts.
#5 Look into work-study programs on campus and off-campus jobs where you can make money while in school
Working a part-time job while you’re in college is a great way to make some extra money. But not all part-time jobs are created equal. Try to find a job that offers a work-study program so that the money you earn will go directly towards your student loan debt. You can also find off-campus jobs that offer similar benefits. By working a job that helps reduce your student loan debt, you’re freeing up more of your time to focus on your coursework.
#6 Start saving now – even small amounts add up over time!
It’s never too early to start saving for your future. If you’re in your senior year of high school, you can save all of the money from your part-time job to go towards your college education. If you’re considering going back to school to further your education you can set aside a portion of your current paycheck and put it in a high interest-yielding saving account to go towards future education. By starting to save for your future now, you can reduce the number of student loans you have to take out and make it easier to manage them later on.
These six tips will help you lower your student loan debt while you’re in college. By following these tips, you’ll be able to better manage your money and make paying off your student loans a little bit easier. So start applying for scholarships, consider taking a lighter course load, and avoid using credit cards or other loans to pay for expenses that can wait until later on. And finally, start saving now so you can reduce the amount of money you need to borrow in order to pay for college. All of these steps will help you keep your student loan debt low and manageable. Best of luck!