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October 21, 2012

Student Loan Debt: The Good News

The costs of higher education keep getting higher and higher. Estimates today say that it takes the average college graduate over ten years to pay off his student loans. Dealing with student loan debt is one of the biggest challenges facing college graduates today.

It can seem inevitable that you will accrue this debt if you pursue a college degree, and it can seem insurmountable the debt that you will face upon graduation. The truth, however, is good news. The debt is not inevitable, and paying it off is not an insurmountable task.

There are several things to keep in mind when planning a college career in regards to student loan debt. The first is to avoid piling on the costs when they are avoidable. Going to school near your home may not seem as glamorous as running off to a big state school across the country, but it definitely makes more fiscal sense. Living at home while studying is one way to avoid huge costs of education.

Buying books is an enormous investment that most people planning for college do not even stop to consider. However there are several ways to avoid huge costs in getting the books you need for school. Dozens of businesses today offer programs where you can rent rather than buy your texts. You can then keep the books for 60, 90, or 120 days and return them for a refund of a portion of the cost. If you find that the textbook you need for a class is not available for rent, then hopping on the internet to buy it from a third party will save you a great deal of money.

One of the absolute best and least painful ways to save money on college costs is to ask for help. Apply for every grant for which you qualify. The federal government has invested billions of dollars in funding for helping college students defray the expense of higher education. A quick Google search will save you a huge percentage of what you will later owe. The FAFSA may not be fun to fill out, but the rewards for doing so will be experienced for years.

However, once the diploma is on your wall and your post-college career begins, there are several things you can do to reduce the amount you owe. You can also speed up the time it takes to pay it off. One way to speed up this process is to put off other expensive life decisions for a few years while you pay off your student loan debt. Getting married or buying a house or new car may be attractive, but waiting until the bulk of your loans are paid off will save you enormous amounts of money in interest.

As we have noted, quickly paying your loans off is a terrific means of saving money, since it avoids building up interest on your loans. However, it is not always possible to pay them off as fast as you would like. If you discover that your payments are starting to get higher than you can currently afford, you might want to request a deferral. You can also ask for extended payment options to help drop your payments each month to something you can afford. You definitely do not want to begin missing your loan payments and start receiving late fees.

Believe it or not, staying healthy is a great way to get your student loan debts paid off. Avoiding extremes in alcohol or smoking, exercising, and eating right will keep you working hard. You will avoid getting sick and losing pay. Making more money by staying healthy will allow you to get your debt paid off quickly and begin enjoying a high quality of life you were dreaming of over those books while in school.

Never let your student loan debt to keep you strapped for cash after graduation. Learn about managing debt by visiting our website at now.

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Filed under Finance by Sabastian Cruzz

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