Everyone make mistakes as a college student. It just a part of life and a learning experience. But making mistakes about your student loans can quickly become a nightmare if you don’t borrow wisely. So heed the advice below and educate yourself on student loans and how to avoid costly mistakes.
Think about getting a private loan. Though federal loans are common, competition in the market does exist. There’s much less competition for private student loans, with small pockets of money sitting around untapped from lack of attention. Speak with people in your local area to find these types of loans, which at the very least can cover some of your expenses.
If you’re having trouble arranging financing for college, look into possible military options and benefits. Even doing a few weekends a month in the National Guard can mean a lot of potential financing for college education. The possible benefits of a full tour of duty as a full-time military person are even greater.
Choose payment options that fit your financial circumstances. A lot of student loans give you ten years to pay them back. If this isn’t possible, then look around for additional options. It is sometimes possible to extend the payment period at a higher interest rate. You might also be able to pay a percentage of your income once you begin making money. Sometimes student loans are forgiven after 25 years.
To keep the principal on your student loans as low as possible, get your books as cheaply as possible. This means buying them used or looking for online versions. In situations where professors make you buy course reading books or their own texts, look on campus message boards for available books.
When calculating how much you can afford to pay on your loans each month, consider your annual income. If your starting salary exceeds your total student loan debt at graduation, aim to repay your loans within 10 years. If your loan debt is greater than your salary, consider an extended repayment option of 10 to 20 years.
Never sign any loan documents without reading them first. This is a big financial step and you do not want to bite off more than you can chew. You need to make sure that you understand the amount of the loan you are going to receive, the repayment options and the rate of interest.
To make sure that your student loan turns out to be the right idea, pursue your degree with diligence and discipline. There’s no real sense in taking out loans only to goof off and skip classes. Instead, make it a goal to get A’s and B’s in all of your classes, so you can graduate with honors.
To get the most out of your student loan dollars, spend your free time studying as much as possible. It is good to step out for a cup of coffee or a beer now and then, but you are in school to learn. The more you can accomplish in the classroom, the wiser the loan is as an investment.
If you are in a position to do so, sign up for automated student loan payments. Certain lenders offer a small discount for payments made the same time each month from your checking or saving account. This option is recommended only if you have a steady, stable income. Otherwise, you run the risk of incurring hefty overdraft fees.
Educating yourself about student loans can be some of the most valuable learning that you ever do. Knowing all about student loans and what they mean for your future is vital. So keep the tips from above in mind and never be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand what the terms an conditions mean.