Tips for Decreasing College Debt
Published September 23, 2013 | Updated September 25, 2013
With college tuition on an upward trend, it can be a challenge to finance higher education. Some students may even decide against going to college because they worry about paying back student loans. It’s a good idea to plan for college expenditures in advance. You may even wish to meet with a college advisor to discuss ways of financing your education and decreasing your overall college debt.
Look for Financial Aid & Scholarships
Student loan experts at credit unions strongly recommend exhausting all possible avenues of financial aid. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine if your family is eligible for aid. Even if your family’s income is high, you could still qualify for aid, particularly if you’re applying to an expensive college. It’s also well worth your time to apply to as many scholarships as you’re eligible for.
Shop Around for Student Loans
Compare various student loan options to find the best deal. You may opt for a mixture of federal student loans and private student loans. Some lenders also offer multiple repayment options, including deferment and interest-only payments while you’re still in school.
Consider Off-Campus Housing
The cost of dorm housing on campus has skyrocketed. Although living on-campus used to be a cost-saving measure, these days it’s often more cost-effective to rent your own apartment near your school. This is particularly true if you’re moving in with a friend to share the rent and living expenses.
Consider a Part-Time Job
Many colleges offer on-campus employment as part of a financial aid package. You may even be able to find work in your department’s office. Otherwise, consider looking for a part-time job near the campus.