Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Student Loans: What not to Do

As a freshman, it’s important to read and understand the promissory note before signing on the dotted line. As many previous graduates have learned, sometimes paying off your student loans is harder than what you bargained for. Here is what NOT to do when it comes to your student loans.

Taking Out Loans When You Do Not Need Them

About 60% of students currently take out student loans. The other 40% get around loans by choosing a cheaper school and paying in cash, finding scholarships that can pay for some of the tuition, or putting off school and working to save up some money. Do not sign accepting the loans if you do not need them.

Taking Every Dollar Offered

Unless you have chosen a very expensive school, you more than likely don’t need to take the maximum amount of money offered by the government. You should evaluate what you truly need and only take out that amount. If you are worried about books and other expenses consider working a part-time job.

Not Keeping Track of Your Paperwork

Whether you are organized or not, throwing away your debt information can hurt you in the long run. Where are you going to send payments if you don’t have your information? If you do lose your paperwork, the National Student Loan Data System is the place to go to try to recover some of your lost information.

Not Making Interest Payments While Still in School

Try setting aside a few dollars a month and putting it towards your student loan interest. While this may be tough to accomplish on a small budget, it can help you out in the long run if you get rid of some of the debt right away. Don’t let the interest capitalize and be added to your overall balance.

Using Your Loans Towards Non - School Related Activities

Using your loans towards non-school related activities. If you are taking extra money out on loans, don’t use it to buy another case of instant noodles. The best thing you can do is to take that check and immediately pay down your student loans. Spending borrowed money on vacations and off-campus housing isn’t necessary. Just because you have a check doesn’t mean you need to spend it.

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