Ways to reduce your student loan debt

  • Your TOTAL student debt should not be more than your starting salary.
    • Look at the average starting salaries for the field’s you are considering.
    • Look at the total expenses (tuition, books, housing, etc.) for the school’s you are interested in attending.
    • If the debt is greater than the salary find a different school.
    • With few exceptions, it matters that you finish much more than from where you finish.
  • If you have your heart set on a school that is over your budget, consider a Community College for a transfer degree.
    • For this to be cost effective, you must have a plan, meet with the counselors and know (AND DO) exactly what is needed to transfer to the college of your choice.
    • Get the transfer certification, an AA is often not enough to keep you from having to repeat a number of general ed classes.
  • Work as much as you can to pay for college now.
  • Ask about a monthly payment plan – many colleges have them – pay now and save yourself later.
  • Don’t pay for ‘extras’ with student loan money. Student loan money should be for the necessities not the wants.
  • If at all possible, do not defer payments – it only increases the amount you will have to repay.
  • Try to pay your interest payment while you are in school.
  • Remember, even if you declare bankruptcy you are stuck with your student loan debt – so borrow as little as possible and pay it off as quickly as possible.

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