I have 2 siblings in University right now. Not going to to college or university wasn’t an option in my family. My parents value education very much and gave us every opportunity to make sure that we were able to go. Having 4 children all destined for graduate school was not something they had anticipated, yet they were thrilled to be able to help out however they could. When you make the decision to enroll in college it can be an exciting time. One of the most common phrases you hear before you have even made the decision to enroll in college is that you must go to college in order to get a great job that pays very well. However, the most overlooked phrase that no one bothers to tell you is that while you will get a great education and a chance at getting an even better job, you will more than likely come out of college with a huge amount of debt racked up. Just ask me, or 80% of PF bloggers out there.
However with a few good tips you can be on your way to going into college debt free, and coming back out almost virtually debt free. The one thing you really cannot avoid too much is your student debt, but there are good tips to help you learn how to pay off student debt in a short amount of time. Its strange that learned most of these from my younger siblings.
Become friends with your High school counselor
One overlooked tip is to become good friends with your high school counselor and there is a really good reason to this. You counselor is the one person that can explain and help you choose different options that are available to you before going off to college. There are many different things to look at in order to prepare for college. Some of those include certain high school classes that should be taken to help prepare you, and what kinds of colleges you would like to go to. They will also be able to help you with the most important part of this with what scholarships or grants are available to you as well. Both grants and scholarships do not need to be paid back and that is one important step in leaving college virtually debt free.
Stay close to home
You may be thinking this is the time you can break away from the nest and get as far away from mom and dad as you can. However it’s always not the best choice when you are trying to avoid outrageous college debt. When you are closer to home, you can help to trim down costs by commuting right from home. This helps with transportation costs and room and board fees that rack up as the years go on.
Avoid all the college “perks”
Even when you are at school they still try to get you to rack up more money with special items that seem intriguing at the time. One of the most dangerous items that can cause you to leave college with a large amount of debt that you should avoid at all costs is
- Credit Cards: There will be many credit card representatives from all the major card companies waiting to give you a shiny new credit card. They usually come with a “free” gift in tow to get you interested in signing up.
One of the biggest expenses that you will encounter in college is your books. Campus books stores; although they do sell used books are still relatively pricey when compared to other places like Amazon.com. It’s always best to look online first to see if you can actually get your books much cheaper online before heading to the book store.
As you can see there are many different ways to save money while in college as well as avoid the normal debt that all college students usually fall victim to their freshman year in school. Once you start racking up the debt it can be difficult to try to pay off student debt. But as a good rule of thumb if you do start to encounter college debt before you leave school you should make consistent payments so you can come out of school with the least amount of debt possible.
I know it may be difficult to budget, but budgeting can save you a lot of hassle later. Not only does it teach basic financial skills that are valuable in the future, it also helps control spending on non-necessary things. For example. going is part of the university experience but a set amount of spending money put aside helps over-spending and running out of money for food.