Strategies for Avoiding Student Loan Debt
The price of a college education is constantly increasing — and at a much higher rate than the income of the average American. For incoming college students, future debt from loans might seem to be an inevitability. However, there are ways you can avoid at least some of the debt to relieve the financial burden as you work toward your degree.
The following are some sound strategies for avoiding unnecessary student loan debt:
- Save, save, save. This tip is for both parents and students alike — save as much as possible for as long as possible. For parents, putting together a separate college fund for your children can go a long way. For children, every single penny counts, whether it’s from a part-time job or birthday and holiday money.
- Apply for financial aid. Don’t just assume you won’t qualify for financial aid. It won’t hurt to fill out the application and see what happens. In fact, the worst possible result is a denied application.
- Seek out scholarships. You would be amazed at how many scholarships there are, both on a local and national level. If you commit yourself to finding and applying for as many scholarships and grants as you can find, you will likely find a lot of financial assistance. Ask your high school guidance counselor to provide you with a list of local scholarships and do some research online.
- Avoid private student loans. Private loan officers prey on young, naïve students. Their loans often feature extremely inflexible repayment options, high (and variable) interest rates and other pitfalls.
- Look for schools willing to pay for you. There are some schools that might be willing to offer you special scholarships. Do some research on these scholarship options and consider how they could affect your college choice.