Avoiding Excessive College Debt
Do you want to go to college, but are afraid of going into debt? That’s a smart thought. Especially in the United States, college can be extremely expensive. When the going gets tough, it’s easy to reach for federal student loans, outside loans, and credit cards. This article can help you keep a tight wrap on excessive college expenditures. The following are some tips to help you along the way.
Use Coupon Code Websites To Save on Textbooks:
Coupon websites are a no-brainer way to save money. You have to make purchases, and if you need to do it online, then a quick google search for a coupon code can save you a bunch off your order, no matter what you’re buying. The Wise Investing homepage includes some necessary finance related coupons (like new customer bonuses at banking institutions).
Now you didn’t hear it from me, but used textbooks work just as well as new editions. There might be some page number differences, but you really shouldn’t be too concerned about it. And your local bookshop tends to have prices that are even lower than anything you’ll find on AbeBooks or Amazon.com.
Compare Tuitions For Different Colleges.
The first thing to consider when choosing a college is their tuition and fees. This is where most of your student account bill will come from. Your typical university will not offer free tuition, but did you know that there are a handful of colleges across the United States that will waive your entire tuition and you are not obligated to pay any of it back? A quick Google search will yield results that are hopefully in your vicinity. You may need to move further away from home than you want to, and the admissions process may be more competitive, but the money you will save will be worth it. This doesn’t mean that college is going to be totally free, however. You will still need to find a way to pay for books, room and board, and a meal plan.
Avoid Most Credit Cards.
Avoid credit cards if at all possible. It’s difficult to work full time and go to college full time, so it may be tempting to charge a few expenses with a credit card. Entrepreneurs will come out of the woodwork to find you and beg you to sign up for their student credit card, so proceed with caution and try not to let them rope you in. It would be hard to pay off a credit card before any APR grace period ends, and your debt will grow faster than any student loan could ever dream of.
Avoid Student Loans if at All Possible.
Try your best not to take out any student loans unless it’s absolutely necessary for the continuation of your education. Student loans have a bad rap, but they are probably the most friendly of all of the loans in existence aside from the one you never pay back to your grandparents. They provide an array of repayment options and hardship forbearance if you’re unable to make your payments. It sounds nice, but don’t be fooled. You essentially have to be on your death bed before you can file bankruptcy successfully on a student loan. Many people call their financial aid office and find out after the fact that the debt they thought they could write off will be with them until the bitter end. Try not to make this critical mistake.
Another reason to avoid student loan debt is the effect it will have on your debt-to-income ratio on your credit. It might actually help your credit score a lot if you are making payments on time, but if you are $40,000 in debt, chances are banks will not want to give you any additional loans, which include home loans, mortgages, and car loans. If you dream of owning a house, be careful with student loan debt because it can make it harder to get a good rate on a loan if they let you have one at all.
Avoid loans that are not federal loans such as Sallie Mae or other lenders. These loans are unforgiving and will turn you over to collections at the drop of a hat. If you have to resort to one of these loans, then you may consider another college or university, or opt for community college, where a simple Pell Grant could pay your entire tuition and fees.
Still thinking that college is the way to go? Then get to it! Don’t be afraid of college expenses. There’s always a way around going into massive debt. Explore your options and stay away from credit cards and non-federal loans and you should stay debt-free.