Reduce Your Dependence on College Loans

Loans can be a great way for many students to finance a college education. Unlike scholarships and other forms of financial aid, loans have to be repaid, often with hefty interest charges. While it might seem like paying back your loans in something far in the future, college will go by faster than you think and you’ll soon be facing some big monthly payments on your loans. That’s why it can be a smart idea to do what you can to reduce your dependence on loans right now, so you’ll have less of a burden later. Here are some of the best ways to help you borrow less and still enjoy a great college experience.

Live like a student. You shouldn’t be dining out every night and buying fancy clothes if you’re a student. If you’re taking out bigger loans so you can maintain this kind of lifestyle, stop now. You’ll thank yourself when you get a job after graduation and have to pay back your loans.

Get a part time job. This can help cover your living expenses so you won’t have to take out additional funds to cover them. Over the summer, take on full time work and paying internships to help you save money for school expenses while living at home.

Apply for tons of scholarships. The more scholarships you apply for, the better your chances of getting one are. So, do your research, get your applications in there and work your hardest to get that free money.

Become a resident. Going to school out of state? You could save thousands of dollars (maybe even tens of thousands of dollars) by establishing residency first. Attend classes at a community college to get gen eds out of the way until you meet residency requirements.

Push yourself to graduate in four years. The fewer years you spend in college, the lower your debt will be upon graduation. So, plan out your college education carefully so you can graduate more quickly.

While loans are a big help for students who can’t foot the bill for college expenses out of pocket, they do come with strings attached (directly to your wallet.) Learning how to reduce your dependence on them can be a big help on your future finances and you may just look back and thank yourself for it later.

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