As a college student, there’s no doubt you may end up with student debt. Almost all college students will receive some form of student loan during their college career. After graduation, this debt can sometimes seem overwhelming; but fortunately, there are ways to relieve some of the debt and the stress that goes along with it. By following a few simple tips, you can avoid student loan debt, or at least make it more bearable.
- Save your money as early on as possible. By saving your cash before and during college, you can help to repay those loans much more quickly once they become due. Get a part time job, have a yard sale, or begin a savings account so that you will have extra money to pay off the loans and payments that will quickly accumulate.
- Take your time, and don’t be in a hurry. While everyone wants to graduate and get a new career as soon as possible, it is important to keep in mind that the longer you’re enrolled, the longer you can put off repaying those loans. Try out part time school, and work part time if you can. While this method won’t work for everyone, it can help ease the stress of being a full time student while allowing you to earn money and get a jump-start on paying back your loans.
- Get as many scholarships as you can. The difference between loans and scholarships is that you won’t have to pay those scholarships back. There are literally hundreds of different types available, so look into these as soon as possible. The more you are awarded, the less money you’ll have to dish out to student loans. Even if you earn a couple of smaller scholarships, every little bit helps to whittle down that student loan balance.
- Become an intern. A lot of internships are unpaid, but there are also many that do pay. It might not earn you as much as a full time career, but you will be able to simultaneously earn a paycheck and gain important experience along the way. Do your homework, and try to find an internship with a local company that offers positions for college students.
- Get granted a grant. Similar to scholarships, grants do not have to be paid off and can go towards your college education. The government offers several different grants, but be sure to pay close attention to the guidelines before applying. Grants are typically given to people who have certain financial difficulties, while scholarships are given to people who have different abilities in things like sports, the arts, writing, or other facets. Your financial aid counselor can walk you through the grant application process, and see if you qualify.
Aside from paying off those student debts, you will need money while you’re in school. College students are usually on a tight budget. Between paying for books, room, and board as well as hanging out with friends and of course, pizza, college can be quite expensive. It is a good idea to learn how to budget your money before you get to school so you don’t end up in debt or short at the end of each month when it comes time to pay your bills. Here are a few tips to help you budget your money while in school.
- Avoid tempting credit cards. Credit card companies often prey on college students. Avoid applying for one if possible, or else you will most likely end up with more debt than just student loans. Credit cards can be great in an emergency, but they can also be very tempting, especially when you want to buy that pizza or go out for a night on the town.
- Write down your expenses. Budgeting is the key to saving money, and to being able to pay bills on time. Write down every bill you have, as well as money you spend weekly or monthly on extra things like food, clothes, and hanging out. When you can see everything in front of you, it’s easier to figure out how much extra you will have to spend.
- Buy your own food. Try to avoid going out to dinner often, and stay away from fast food. If you live in the dorms, stick with eating at the school cafeteria since most colleges add that in to your tuition fees anyway. If you live on your own, buy groceries and make your meals at home. Not only is it healthier, it costs less too.
- Get your textbooks used. Books are a huge part of college expenses. Most school book stores have used sections where your textbooks can cost a fraction of the cost new. Look online as well; many websites sell textbooks there used for a great price.
Additional Resources Can be Found at:
- Tips to Avoid Student Loan Debt
- Avoiding Burdensome Student Loan Debt
- Take Control of Student Loan Debt in 5 Ways
- 5 Ways to Avoid Major Student Loan Debt
- What to do When You Can’t Pay Student Loans
- Avoid the Student Loan Debt Trap
- 10 Student Loan Tips for Recent Grads
- How to Make a Budget
- Budgeting Resource for College Students
- Budget Basics for College Students
- Making a Budget
- Hidden College Costs and College Budgeting
- 5 Steps to Dealing with Student Loans
- How to Deal With Debt
- 10 Ways to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck
Compare the Best Student Loan Refinance Rates
Here are our top student loan refinance picks for 2019
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Student Debt Relief Loan Refinancing Advertiser Disclosure
College Ave: College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
College Ave Refi Education loans are not currently available to residents of Maine.
1 – The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as the borrower or cosigner, if applicable, enrolls in auto-pay and authorizes our loan servicer to automatically deduct your monthly payments from a valid bank account via Automated Clearing House (“ACH”). The rate reduction applies for as long as the monthly payment amount is successfully deducted from the designated bank account and is suspended during periods of forbearance and certain deferments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
2 – $5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees. Information advertised valid as of 04/26/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
3 – This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.
ELFI: Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. To qualify for refinancing or student loans consolidation through ELFI, you must have at least $15,000 in student loan debt and must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an approved post-secondary institution.
LendKey: Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
CommonBond: Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate.
Splash Financial: Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval.com
Earnest: To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest’s fixed-rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with autopay) to 7.89% APR (with autopay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with autopay) to 7.27% APR (with autopay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms of 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 0.26% and 5.03% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 23, 2019 and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay Discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/23/19. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice.
Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 303 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.