These days, it is hard for a kid to et through college without amassing huge amounts of debt. Debt that can strangle your finances for years, if not decades, to come. It is fairly common for people to wind up with debts of over $100,000 after graduating and that is a horrible way to start a life.
Staying Out Of Debt In College
You need to make a conscious effort to stay out of debt in college. Creditors are literally trying to throw loans at you. Student loans, car loans, credit cards, it never stops. Here are some ways to stay out of loan debt.
- Consider Community College
I know, you want the whole college experience but consider doing your first two years at a community college and then transferring into a big school. The tuition is a fraction of the cost of the big schools and you might even be able to pay it out of pocket and avoid loans entirely.
When you transfer to a big school, your degree will be from the major university so eventually, nobody has to know that you started out in community college. In addition, the courses are typically a bit easier in community college. This can allow you to have a higher GPA and eventually graduate with honors.
- Get A Job
Look for a nice part time job that will help you at least partially pay your way through college to cut down on loans. These days you have a lot of options such as Uber that allow you to work when and where you want. Another great choice is working as a receptionist or security guard. These jobs often afford you the opportunity to study while you are at work.
- Only Open One Credit Card Account
A credit card is a great way to build the credit that you will eventually need and is a good source of quick money in an emergency. Be careful not to get carried away. As a college student, you will receive dozens of offers for credit. Only take one and keep it in reserve for emergencies. If you do use it, keep the balance low.
- Apply For Every Grant Available
Those $500 grants might not seem like a lot but they can add up over the course of your college career. Consider that you would save the initial $500 and all of the interest that would have accumulated on that money as well.
- Community Service Can Eliminate Debt
There are currently programs available that will forgive student debt if you enter a career in public service. You typically have to pay on your loans for a number of years before they will pay off your debt while working in a career in public service. Be sure to investigate this option thoroughly as the loans need to be of a certain type to be forgiven. Make sure to take care of all the details so that you are prepared when it comes time to ask for loan forgiveness.
- Cut Expenses During School
There are dozens of ways you can learn to be frugal in college. Instead of buying new textbooks, rent them instead from places like Chegg. Get a meal plan at school and save money on fast food. Walk instead of driving your car. Borrow instead of buy whenever possible and basically take advantage of anything that is free. Free food, free wifi, free television.
- Power Through School
By this I mean, try to graduate in 3 years or 3.5 years instead of 4. You might not save much if anything in tuition but you will cut down on living expenses that you would have otherwise incurred. Graduate a year early and you would save one year of rent, food car expenses etc. Expenses that without a job you might have had to pay for with a loan.