If you are someone seeking a degree or helping someone in the process, you’ve probably already experienced the sticker shock associated with the cost of attendance, housing, books and food. For many, the only option becomes going into student loan debt. There are a few lucky ones who will be able to pay for their schooling with scholarships, but such luck is rare. The most recent research suggests that two thirds of all students will graduate owing money to their creditors. Fortunately, this debt does not have to be overwhelming, if you choose options that are right for you.
The critical factor of taking out loans for student expenses is to make sure you don’t take out more than you really need. If it’s a possibility for you, working part-time to pay for books and food can help you not only avoid unnecessary student loan debt, but amp your grades. Statistics reveal that individuals who work 10-12 hours a week actually tend to get better grades, as they manage their time a little better out of necessity. However, working more than 12 hours can actually hurt your grades, so maintaining a balance is key. If working 12 hours a week isn’t quite covering your necessary expenses, further student loans may be required.
Student Loan Debt 101
The federal Stafford loan program is one option that is highly beneficial, as it will cover your tuition without breaking the bank with interest. Typically, you will be left with $15,000 to $35,000 once you are handed your diploma. As soon as that diploma is in the frame, you’ll be expected to start paying it off, though how long the government gives you to get the diploma framed will depend on what kind of loan you took out to begin with.
It is critical to keep track of all of your paperwork regarding student loan debt. While we don’t really like to think about how much debt we’re in when hitting the books, once it’s time for us to get a real job, we’ll need that information to set up financial goals for the future- including paying off those loans. Having the paperwork will only grease the skids on the process, and make it far simpler for you to become the adult you want to be.