Most students often find themselves in this situation – burning the midnight oil trying to keep up with their coursework and getting stressed out due to student loan debts accumulating. But you do not have to be one of those students. Here are a few tips to avoid future student loan debt nightmares:
1. Know where you stand
The first step in doing anything is to know exactly where you are. Know your financial situation.
2. Plan your budget
Allocate money on basic needs like food, housing, and education. Then decide what you are going to do with the rest – it would be wise to save some, or use some to pay off your existing student loan debts.
3. Cut down on expenses as much as you can
Whether this means sharing an apartment or a dorm room with four other people or foregoing your usual cup of iced venti caramel macchiato which costs you $3.50 a pop and brewing your own coffee at home, it will help you pay off your student debt loans slowly but surely.
4. Find part-time work
Find a job which will work with your lectures and school work schedule to help pay personal expenses or pay some of your tuition and avoid further student loan debts. You may volunteer to work in the library, or find kids to tutor or to take care of. You can easily find these kinds of jobs in your university’s bulletin boards. You can also check out the malls and the coffee shops for job openings.
5. Work full-time during the holidays/summer vacations
If you have a really big student loan debt, then you may opt to spend your holidays and vacations working full-time. Just have fun at nights or during the weekends. You will not get bored, and you will have extra money to help you pay off your debt.
6. Learn practical skills, and earn money from doing so
Learning practical skills like typing or taking advantage of foreign language classes offered whether in your university or as a weekend course in some local college will help you land a great job after graduation. This will help you pay off your student loan debts quicker.
7. Go easy on the credit cards
Do not apply for credit from multiple credit card companies if you do not want to find yourself buried in debt. If possible, choose only one card which will give you the best rates and with no hidden charges.
8. Pay with cash
Paying with cash feels different from paying using plastic. You will be less tempted to make impulsive purchases when using cash because you will really feel that you are losing money and that you need to ease off in the future. It is entirely possible for your debts on credit card to accumulate without you realizing it. There’s nothing worse than the sinking feeling when the credit card bill arrives and you have no clue how you’re going to cover it.
9. Keep track of your finances
List every expense, every purchase you make. This way you will have a pretty good idea how much money you have spent, and how much you have left.
10. Find help
Most universities have programs to help their students with their finances. Some offer housing in exchange for volunteer work as a student resident assistant in some dormitories. There are also scholarships up for grabs for deserving students.
Being a student should be fun. Juggling education with student loan debts is a piece of cake if you know how to handle your finances well.