Students are left confused when their life needs less questions and more answers, for this is a crucial period of their time and they are about to make some big decisions. When it comes to pursuing higher studies, students and their families have a number of things to worry; it’s not just applying to a number of colleges and universities but the expenses that come along. From the constantly increasing college costs, to other necessary expenses during this period, higher university leaves you with the inevitable option of borrowing money through various loan providers.
We don’t want to scare you with all the scary stats and sad stories about how student loans have affected people’s life in general. We think the situation is not as bad as it is being portrayed, or even if there is a crisis then there are ways to get out of this debt burden. However, when students finally decide to finance their education through loans they should get a bit more responsible with their spending and should look for ways to utilize this money to serve the real purpose and a blessing rather than turning you into a scary debt stat.
Here are some secrets or should we say easy tips to put this amount of money to good use (i.e. just to serve the grand purpose of financing your education).
Despite all this optimism, you should realize that student loans are not free money and have to be paid back. The most common mistake students make is that they only start worrying about their repayments either after they are done with their studies or end of their final year. Before that they use this money for all sorts of personal or other college expense and not just to pay off their tuition or college fee. This approach will obviously take you to a dead end, where you are left in no position to make other life changing decisions, like getting settled, buying a home or applying for other loans. In order to avoid this, one must think strategically and start planning for their repayment mode before it’s finally time.
Understand Your Loan:
You cannot utilize your loan in the best way, unless you understand the nature, terms and conditions of your loans. Not everyone is a finance expert, so in order to have a better understanding of your loan, you should consult a financial advisor or the loan providing agency. They will help translate all the paper work and help you in understanding your loans better. However, even when you’re seeking help from experts, don’t go easy on researching on your own; there might be some hidden terms that your advisor may not tell you about.
Earn while you can:
While you are still in college and managing your time with studies and various other academic activities, it gets really hard to work full time. However, students with a will to increase their financial resources and save some money to manage other necessary expenses should always keep hunting for earning opportunities. There are several part-time working possibilities, if discovered can at least cover up some of your expenditures, leaving your loan money just to be used to pay off your college fee. This will not just help manage your budget but will also add value to your resume.
Take Little, Return More:
When in need people usually don’t think straight, while student loans can finance all your college cost, from tuition fee, accommodation, food, to book they can turn into your worst nightmare when you’ll be paying them back. The more you borrow, the more you’ll have to pay that too with interest. So think before you apply for a number of loans and only apply for federal loans, for they provide you with a number of benefits. Federal student loans are easier because there are various easy repayment policies, like Income based repayment or need based repayment programs, which are only applicable to federal loans. A federal loan granted for the sole purpose of funding your studies will naturally be utilized for that; while you bear the rest on your own. Finally, when it is time to repay you can pay more than your standard monthly payment since by now you will have some savings with you.
Borrow what you can Actually Pay:
When you are applying for loans, you should at least have some idea of your expected income the first year you’ll be repaying your loans with interest. The best way to have a ball park estimate of your starting salary is to do a little research about the kind of jobs, you’ll be applying for after college. When you have an idea about the starting pay scale of your first jobs, you’ll easily be able to evaluate the amount of loans you can easily start your repayments with. Repayment calculators can help predict your repayment amount. For e.g. if you expect your first salary to be around $ 27,000, you can easily get a clear idea of per month repayment to be paid for a period of 10 years, with 5% or more interest rate.
There is no rocket science needed when you take out loans and then want to utilize it in the most productive way. All you need to do is think smart and always stay a step ahead. Student loans are the only option for many to finance their education, but these loans should not affect other areas of your life.