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How do I manage money to pay off student debt?

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The particular school I am going to has a very steep tuition. How can I make sure that I am not submerged in debt? #money #debt #scholarships #scholarship #financial-aid

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Taj’s Answer

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Ajani,


Many students will leave school with student loan debt - it's just the reality of our higher education system today. But here are some things you can do to reduce your student loan debt:


1) Only borrow what you need. I cannot stress this enough.


2) Make payments on your loans while IN SCHOOL. Most students wait until they enter repayment before making payments. Remember, if you pay on your loans while in school, you'll leave school with less debt.


3) Pass all of your classes! This may seem like a no-brainer, but any extra time you have to spend in school could mean more loan money needed. Keep in mind that some aid may be merit-based, so failing classes can make you ineligible for certain aid that would have reduced the amount of loans needed.


4) Apply for outside scholarships. As mentioned in #3, some aid is merit-based. You could earn money that could reduce your dependence on loans.


5) Be smart about your options. Try to limit changing your major multiple times or transferring schools (as these can prolong the time you are in school) and really focus on doing well in school and graduating in a timely manner.


Finally, 6) See if you qualify for federal work-study where you can work on campus and earn some money doing so.


Hope this helps!

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Shalee’s Answer

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I have to second what others have said. I would say the number one thing is only borrow what you need! If you are able to work while going to school, do it and use that to finance your personal expenses. If you determine that loans are absolutely necessary, which is so common in today's world, also look for grants and scholarships. Even those smaller ones can help bring down those loan amounts and may even help with the cost of books so that you don't have to take a loan out for the books. You can also find 2nd hand books through a lot of online sites to help save on that as well. Do what you can to make any sort of payments while you are still in school. Even if its only $20/months its still bringing those loan amounts down, the less principal you have the less interest you have to pay on over time.
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