Going off to college is one of the most exciting and important steps in a young person’s life. Many students look forward to college throughout their high school years and devote hours to planning their higher education journey. Unfortunately, the cost of a college education has skyrocketed over the past few years. Likewise, many students have recognized the risk involved with student loans and are looking for options to save money. Here, we’re going to discuss strategies you can use to reduce the amount you need to borrow for school so you can live debt-free after getting your degree.
Exploring Different Education Options After High School
One of the first steps you can take toward reducing the cost of your education is to consider all your options for higher learning. There are more than 5,300 colleges and universities across the United States that offer plans for higher education. Some of the most cost-effective options for college include:
- Online courses
- Junior college
- Technical programs
- Choosing an in-state college
You don’t have to choose and stick to just one of these options to earn a beneficial degree. Some of the most successful students combine educational opportunities to create a personalized plan that helps them graduate with little to no student loan debt.
Easy Ways to Cut Your Expenses
The biggest culprit when it comes to student loan debt isn’t tuition, it’s living expenses. The typical cost-of-living for a college student is more than $17,000 per year. If you plan ahead, there are ways you can reduce this cost and the total amount you need to borrow for school. Some recommendations for reducing the cost of living at college include:
- Finding multiple roommates and splitting the cost of an apartment
- Creating weekly meal plans
- Using public transportation or walking/biking to school or work
- Reducing non-essentials like cable and monthly subscriptions
When you’re on a limited budget, every move you make to eliminate monthly expenses will help reduce the total amount you need to get through college.
Finding Ways to Make Money During School
Approximately 40% of undergraduate students work 30 hours per week or more. Working a part- or full-time job while in college is one of the best ways to reduce the amount you need to borrow using student loans. Having a job can help you make tuition payments, pay your rent up-front instead of borrowing for it, and pay for non-essential items. Even if the job you have during college doesn’t pay a lot, it can help you gain experience to land a better job after graduation.
Be Smart About Student Loan Interest
Just as you should consider all your college options, you should also shop around for student loans. Not all student loans are created equal and some will end up costing you more in the long-run than others. One of the best ways to reduce the amount you owe after college is to find student loans with the lowest interest rate. Currently, the average interest rate for student loans is 5.8%. If you’re not careful, though, it’s possible you’ll end up agreeing to an interest rate of 10% or more. A lower interest rate means a lower monthly payment and will help you pay off your debts more quickly.
Discuss Your Current Student Loan Debt With An Attorney
If you’ve already graduated with debt, there’s still hope for your future. With the help of a knowledgeable attorney, you can learn all of the options available to you for your student loans.
At McCarthy Law PLC, we are dedicated to helping individuals get out of student loan debt with debt settlement. Debt settlement is when your creditor accepts a significant reduction in what you owe. At McCarthy Law PLC, we are qualified debt lawyers who believe that finances are a personal matter. When you meet with us, we will not judge your situation. Instead, we will work to help you come to a solution that gets your finances back on track.
To schedule a free consultation, call McCarthy Law PLC at 855-976-5777 or contact us online today. We are looking forward to helping you find a solution to your student debt.
Garrett F. Charity
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