Student loans offer a great way to pay for your education. However, they can become a huge burden within just a few years. In fact, according to the Student Loan Report, the average student loan debt for undergraduate students in March of 2018 was more than $27,000! Luckily, there are several things you can do to minimize your student loan debt. The following five strategies are some of the best tactics students should try.
Pay for Tuition with Pell Grants
If, after you complete your FAFSA, you find that you qualify for both federal Pell Grants and Direct Loans, only accept the Pell Grant funds. In many cases, these funds will be more than enough to pay for your tuition, textbooks, and miscellaneous school supplies.
Research Available Scholarships
Another great way to minimize student loan debt is to research any available scholarships you may qualify for. Check with your school's financial aid office to see what types of scholarships are currently offered. Many times, you can also find this type of information on the school's website.
Apply for GI Bill Educational Assistance
If you are a veteran, an active-duty member of the military, or an eligible family member of a veteran, the VA offers educational benefits through the GI bill. The amount of help you can get with the GI Bill may vary, but the average payment for full-time students is about $1,857 per month.
Take On a Part-Time Job
Rather than taking out several student loans to help pay for living expenses while attending college, taking on a part-time job or work-study might be best. Your school's financial aid office can tell you if you qualify for work-study and help you locate positions in your area of interest.
Reduce the Amount of Your Loan
If you find that you cannot pay for your education without a student loan, then accept only the amount you need. When you accept your loan, there will be an option for you to reduce the offered amount. Furthermore, try to make do with a Subsidized loan if possible. These loans do not charge interest while you are attending school, whereas Unsubsidized loans do.
Paying for expenses related to college can be overwhelming, and using loans to help pay these expenses is often very tempting. Unfortunately, student loan debt can build up rather quickly. There are several things you can do to minimize student loan debt, and the strategies described above are sure to help.
For more advice and tips regarding personal loans, saving, and paying for student debt after graduation, check out our blog!