If you are in college, or soon will be, you will likely be faced with the choice of whether or not to take out student loans. The decision, of course, will depend largely upon your personal circumstances. For many students, loans are a necessity to pay for tuition, room and board, and books. For others, the lure of easy money that doesn’t have to be paid off immediately can be hard to resist. As such, too many students take out the maximum allowed amount of student loans and use any excess to buy things they want, to pay off other bills, or to simply spend. These students then find themselves out of college with thousands of dollars of unnecessary debt. Here are some tips to help you make the decision and to use student loans wisely.
Should You Take Student Loans?
Look at your financial options carefully before you decide whether to take out student loans. Have you applied for all available grant and scholarship funds that may be available to you? There are thousands of opportunities available for everything from physical impairments to memberships in particular organizations. Talk to your college’s financial aid department for leads on potential funding and make sure you apply for all of them.
If you are still short on enough cash to fund your education, make sure you find a job. Work as many hours as possible without cutting into your class and study time. Set yourself up on a budget that eliminates all unnecessary expenses. If your car is dependable, stick with it until you graduate. Forego buying a new television, computer system, video games, clothing, or anything else that you can live without. College students are notoriously poor. This is not the time in your life to try to get everything you have ever wanted. Pare your expenses down to the absolute necessities. If you do all of these things and still don’t have enough to pay for college, you will probably need student loans.
How Much Should You Borrow?
Many students find that they have much larger loan amounts available than are needed to pay for college. You do not have to accept the full loan amount. Instead, figure out exactly how much you have to have and only accept that amount. Although it can be extremely tempting to get a little extra for things you want, resist that temptation. Only borrow enough to meet your financial shortfall for paying for expenses that are directly related to your education, such as tuition, school fees, and books. It is also a good idea to ignore the fact that you don’t have to start repayment until after you graduate. Instead, make payments every chance you get so you will owe less later on.
So, are student loans good or bad? That depends upon the whether you need them and how you choose to use them. If you live on a good budget and only borrow the necessary amount, student loans can be a valuable tool to you.
About the Author
Jim K is a writer for MyCriminalJusticeCareers.com. If you are intrested in learning more about the forensic psychologist salary, take a look at the different forensic psychology programs to help you reach your goals.
I'm Louida from Atlanta, Georgia and I'm a mother of two daughters, blogger, and full time working mom at a Business Consulting Firm.
I love helping others learn how to start working from home on the internet free to supplement their current income.
I also blog at Productreviewmom.com
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