Unless youre an heir of some kind, or have $50,000 lying around for a quality college education, I hate to break it to you but, chances are youre going to need to take out a student loan.
Not only have universities become extremely expensive, you also have other expenses to worry about likehousing, meal plans, textbooks (these will cost you an arm and a leg) and a plethora of other things to worry about. These days it feels like taking out the loan is just inevitable.
Im currently paying off my student loans and I can tell you, its not fun.
I was talking to my co-worker, whos about 40 years older than me, when I started to freak out. She wasstillcomplaining about her loans saying that she was $11,000 in debt from them and this is decades after shes graduated. I lost it.
She told me her biggest mistake was that she waited until she got her dream job and started making a lot of money to pay off her loans, rather than starting off smaller, earlier.
Her words absolutely shook me and I decided I couldnt let myself end up in that position. Dont let the loans control you, you control the loans.
Here are five tipsto keep in mind, and calm you, about student loans:
1. Student loans dont compromise your time.
Some of the best advice a friend gave me in college was this, It makes more sense to take out a loan, and have the time to focus on studying and getting good grades, than to try and balance multiple jobs and school at once.
I think this makes a lot of sense because, if you have a full-time job and you go to school its more difficult to focus on either one completely. You can always money back,but once time is gone, its gone forever.
Of course, youll have to pay the loans off eventually, but if you focus on your classes now and get the grades to show it, you can use those grades to qualify for scholarships and you wont need as many loans.
2. You can always pay as you go, dont wait until you graduate to start making payments.
People who dont take this seriously find themselves having increased interests to pay back. While youre still in school, and already have loans, you can gradually make payments.
Anytime you get a raise at work, or some unexpected birthday money, put it towards your loans. Youll see gradual decreases and itll only make you feel like skipping your daily dose of Starbucks is making a difference.
3. Know the rules of your loan repayment plans.
Today, a lot of loans have a set amount of money you need to pay back every month. Its still a good idea to do some researchand ask if you can adjust your loans in the future.
You can see if you can make less of a paymenta month, then you can pay however much you want based on how much youre making at the time. This can relieve some stress from the process.
4. Dont take out more money than you have to, only take out the loans you need.
Some loan packages offer more money than you actually need, and you might think, Yasss, a few extra $500 for those incredibly expensive shoes I dont need, come to mama! Dont take it. I repeat: Do not take the money.
Those $500 shoes are only going to double when you cant afford to pay them off in the future and the interest piles up. If you dont need the money, its not worth taking.
5. Think positive.
As simple as this sounds, student loans can really stress people out. They have a way of making you feel like youll be in debt until you die.A negative attitude and complaints arent going to make the loan payments stop, so take control and try to keep a positive attitude.
These tips have been advised to me from professionals and older colleagues that are still paying off their loans as well. These tips have helped keep me motivated to look for the finish line and if you follow them you might too.
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