College is all about academic development and growing/maturing as a young adult. Many valuable life lessons are taught in college….that aren’t found in a textbook. However, once the proud student receives their college degree and arrives in the “real world”, student loan debt can feel like a burden and paramount life stressor. Unless the recent graduate is on the fast track and has found the perfect high paying job, it will be difficult to pay off student loan debt with little or in some cases no money. Here are some simple yet effective ways to pay off student loan debt and avoid the stress of an uncertain payment future.
Ways to Pay Off Student Loan Debt
Many college freshmen never think about the future because it seems so far away. Unfortunately, a large number of college students never formulate a plan for paying off their student loans. Before the process gets exhausting and frustrating, make plans. This simple yet vital idea can save the student, parent, or guardian the headache that will await them in a few short years. Once the student takes out a loan, start making plans. If the borrower stays on top of their situation, the stress will be so much less.
College students want to experience life and have some money on the side. Getting a part-time job is certainly not uncommon, but many students only make money to spend money. The money is immediately thrown away to cater to a current want or need. Spending money in college based on want or need is perfectly acceptable; however, it’s also important to spend wisely. The idea of saving money is a forgotten art in many cases. During the college years it’s very important the save money on the side. The money saved “could” be enough to pay off the loan.
Do research. In the same way students would plan for the future, research is also a vital tool. Understand what plan or program is right for the current situation. Take the proper time to study the situation and find the outlets and options available that cater to specific needs. Lack of knowledge and lack of proper research can actually make the situation much worse. Understand the current payment plan and understand the borrower options and rights by contacting the lender or the college. In our tough economic standing the student may need to contact their lender and discuss deferment options. It is always wise to NEVER default on a loan because the borrowers’ credit will be adversely affected
Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Grants
Have a working knowledge of financial aid and apply for scholarships. Many students have loans, but don’t have the first idea of their situation. They have no clue who to speak with or how to handle a problem. The financial aid office is there to help, not hurt. If a situation occurs, feel free to ask questions and ask for help. Also, apply for scholarships. Complete numerous scholarship applications and understand the ones that are right for the current standing and unique situation. Scholarships and financial aid assistance are critical in the understanding of student loan payment and the student loan process.
Federal grants are also a vital tool for college students. Apply for as many grants as possible. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and the Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant) are two of the most common grants available. To file for most federal grants, loans and work study, students need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once again, ask questions and find out the proper channels to frequent in respect to websites. Understand which grant is right for the individual situation. Research is essential! What’s right for one person could be wrong for the other.