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How do I ease my inevitable college debt?

I need financial aid and even with aid I will be in debt which may concern my future career choices. finance debt academic-advising

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Taj’s Answer

Autumn (Great name by the way),


Here are some simple things to reduce your debt:


1) Only borrow what you need.


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 (as this 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!


I totally agree! I'd add school choice in there. The best way to deal with debt is don't accrue so much of it. Luke Durkin, NCARB, LEED Green Assoc.

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Zahid’s Answer

Hey,

Here are simple ways to optimize your debt level -
1. College life can entice you to take some unnecessary expenses. Always remember dollar saved is dollar and interest earned :)
2. Apply for a scholarship and look for federal government support. There are some interesting programs you must look out for
3.Work on your grades and be involved in college. If you come out of college as a intellectual one, you could get a good job or start your own biz. The student loan may no longer seem so large
4. Understand interest rate cycles so that you know when to refinance the loan. Example: If you loan is at 7% and the current rate is 5%, it could be worthwhile to consider refinancing.
5. Lastly, have fund at college bcoz its probably the just once an individual goes to college. There could be exceptions.

Hope this helps!
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Luke’s Answer

People who I know who complain about debt have done one of two things, or both:
1. Graduate School
2. Relief programs like income-based repayment. They are traps.

Remember you don't have to do exactly what you want to do or live where you want to live right out of school. You can save that philanthropic, low-wage job for once you're financially secure. You can move to CA or NYC later as well. Personally it sounds a lot more fun to me being the 30-year-old, making a solid salary, debt-free in NYC than the 22 year old with a full load of student loans in NYC.

Dave Ramsey was a great source for me and I recommend him to everyone. Just google the name. I like the podcasts.

Hi Luke, from your post, it sounds like you are advising the student not to go back to grad school and avoid relief programs. Can you please give an explanation for the latter? In addition, I understand that you are being honest with your response and you are right, perhaps moving to an expensive state/city after graduation isn't financially sound but it could have been worded in a different way. Gurpreet Lally, CareerVillage.org Team

Relief programs typically trap people in debt simply because you're not paying enough on your loans to get out of them. Government Student Loans (note that there are opportunities to swap your govt student loan using companies like SoFi and banks.) typically stay with you to the grave in that they don't go away in bankruptcy. They are a relief in the short-term but in the long-term, they are very much a burden. The best strategy is to reduce spending and maximize hours to get out as fast as possible. Programs that foregive your debt after so many yrs can be an exception. Those can go badly too tough. Many people don't want to stick with these often unpleasant and physically dangerous jobs for 10 years and bail part-way through. You also have to consider the opportunity cost. Luke Durkin, NCARB, LEED Green Assoc.

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Cristina’s Answer

You can consider Universities abroad that offer scholarship- so you would nee money to support yourself but there is no fee for going through the coursers and classes. Mainland Europe has plenty of such programs where you study in English different lines of study.
You can find examples here https://www.study.eu/article/study-in-europe-for-free-or-low-tuition-fees
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