Going to college is something to be proud of. Continuing your education is important to your future. You plan to study hard and graduate. Your endgame is to get a respectable job in your field. College is also expensive. There are options available to college students who qualify. Some students get scholarships and others get grants. You may have received these aids yourself. The reality is that many college students will have to take out loans to help pay for their college experience.
It was reported that as of this year there are over 44 million borrowers in the United States. The accumulated debt is estimated to be at 1.3 trillion dollars. That number is enough to make any college student nervous. You don't want to find yourself buried under a load of debt when you graduate.
As you prepare for the school year, you can be proactive in managing your debt. Create a budget plan. Allocate money for groceries, books, gas money or transportation fare and lodging. Once you have budgeted for these, decide if there is any money that can be saved. Know how much "spending" money you have for other events and items.
Before using your "spending money" as yourself these questions:
- Is this a want or a need?
- Can I really afford it?
- Can I consider this an investment? Will it be rewarding in the long run?
- What is the reasoning behind this purchase?
- Is there something more realistic that my money can be spent on?
As with any debt, know your student loan situation. Even if you haven't graduated yet, you should think ahead. Know that student loans need to be repaid and usually acquire interest.
Consider managing your debts with a plan.
- Make a running list of your debts and the total amount you owe on each.
- If you are currently making payments on debt, create a calendar to help track your payments.
- Know the minimum amount due for each debt. Know how paying more than the minimum will affect your debts and future payments.
- Consider any available payment plan options. Many federal student loans have repayment plan options available. If you qualify for these options, know how they work and how these plans affect your current debt and future purchases.
- Know your refinancing options. Pay attention to your current interest rates and check to see if refinancing would be beneficial to you.