If you are like most young students hoping to pursue higher education, you are probably wondering how you will pay for it all. Student loans are likely in your future, but you need to learn more before agreeing to any terms. By reading the paragraphs below, you will have the information you need to manage your future wisely.
Try getting a part-time job to help with college expenses. Doing this can help you cover some of your student loan costs. It can also reduce the amount that you need to borrow in student loans. Working these kinds of positions can even qualify you for your college’s work study program.
If you have extra money at the end of the month, don’t automatically pour it into paying down your student loans. Check interest rates first, because sometimes your money can work better for you in an investment than paying down a student loan. For example, if you can invest in a safe CD that returns two percent of your money, that is smarter in the long run than paying down a student loan with only one point of interest. Only do this if you are current on your minimum payments though and have an emergency reserve fund.
Learn the requirements of private loans. You should know that private loans require credit checks. If you don’t have credit, you need a cosigner. They must have good credit and a good credit history. Your interest rates and terms will be better if your cosigner has a great credit score and history.
Know how much time you have in your grace period from the time you leave school until you must begin paying back your loans. For example, you must begin paying on a Stafford loan six months after you graduate. Perkins loans often give you nine months. Grace periods for other loans vary. Keep in mind exactly when you’re supposed to start paying, and try not to be late.
To keep the principal on your student loans as low as possible, get your books as cheaply as possible. This means buying them used or looking for online versions. In situations where professors make you buy course reading books or their own texts, look on campus message boards for available books.
To reduce the amount of your student loans, work as many hours as you can during your last year of high school and the summer before college. The more money you have to give the college in cash, the less you have to finance. This means less loan expense later on.
It is best to get federal student loans because they offer better interest rates. Additionally, the interest rates are fixed regardless of your credit rating or other considerations. Additionally, federal student loans have guaranteed protections built in. This is helpful in the event you become unemployed or encounter other difficulties after you graduate from college.
If college, professional or graduate school is in your immediate future, chances are that student loan debt is as well. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure that you get the best possible terms and set yourself up for a sound financial future. Refer back to this article often, and you should have no trouble at all.