As a student, you are used to taking notes and educating yourself. Yet, have you applied any of that to what happens when you graduate and its time to pay off your loans?
I remember when I started college and just walked along the sidewalk by the bookstore. In less than five minutes I was approached by at least ten credit companies. All of them offered me some sort of incentive to applying for their line of credit.
It just seemed like the natural thing to do, after all I had a part time job and now I was in college. Instant applications and approval for credit cards? Yes, please!
If you are still in school or have just graduated, it’s time to really start thinking about paying off your debts, credit cards and loans. Having an excessive amount of debt is really going to hurt you with your financial future and any goals you have set for yourself.
The average American college student, graduating after four years of college will owe anywhere from $10,000 to $200,000 (depending on your college, cost of living and expenses). That can take anywhere from 15-25 years to pay off!
Factor in starting your career, your family, purchasing a home, saving for your children’s education, investing your money and planning on your retirement. The longer you take to get started, the longer you will be in debt.
Take a look at the world we live in today, prices are on the rise. You have gas, rent, entertainment, anything that you feel is necessary to live, has probably gotten out of control. As hard as it may seem, it is in your best interest to start now paying off your debts.
Here are some ideas to help you start getting out of debt. Right away you need to cut back on any unnecessary expenses. The only things that are necessary right now is food, shelter and any possible medical bills.
How about a budget? If you can track what you spend your money on for one month, then you will be able to see where it is going. This can really help you to really understand where your money is going.
Come up with a plan. This is a plan that will help you to figure out how to start paying off your debts. Look at how much debt you have and what category it falls into (housing, car, insurance, credit card, food, clothing, entertainment, travel, etc).
Most college students are pretty computer savvy, so why not create your own spreadsheet? You can track exactly how much you are spending. This can also keep track of what you are bringing in every month.
If you are not taking a hard look at what you are making and spending, then you are probably in denial about how far you are in debt. Next you want to sort your spreadsheet so the debts with the highest interest rate are on top. Pay those off first! Make sure you are making the minimum payments, on time and if possible, even more.
Try contacting your creditors to make arrangements for reducing your debt. Just make sure it is one you can afford and that you stay on top of the payments. There are companies that can work with you to settle your debts and teach you how to be responsible with your credit.
A good tip is to plan for any unexpected expenses that can occur over the next year, like car maintenance, car registration or medical expenses. Total that all up then figure out how much money each month you can set aside for savings.
This might seem like a lot to figure out, while you are still in school or have possibly just graduated. Yet this is a valuable lesson that you need to learn right now. By managing your debts and being responsible this will stick with you for the rest of your adult life.
Think about how hard you have worked in school and apply this ethic towards your finances. After all, this is your credit. Getting out of debt is possible; it just requires a little more work from you. Don’t give up, it’s definitely achievable.