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Student Loan 101: Get Money and Get a Degree
If you are like every other college student out there, you need to pay for college somehow. Many students look into getting government grants or taking out loans from friends and family. These can be extremely effective means of financing an education and these options should be looked at. However, a student loan may be the answer if you don't have the savings or the means to get the money.
College can be expensive. Most parents at least try to help their children financially through at least some part of their university experience. However, getting a degree at one of the prestigious universities can run you more than $30,000 in tuition alone at the top schools. You might be one of the myriad students who attend our large state schools and therefore go to school at a substantial discount. However, most people don't have an extra $100,000 saved up and therefore seriously need to consider taking out student loans and applying for scholarships if they can.
A student loan can help you pay for tuition, books, and general living expenses. Student loans are handy when you don't have a job and have an immediate bill that is coming due. Finding a grant or student loan shouldn't be as difficult as your classes are, so here are 3 valuable tips to consider when putting together your financial plan for your next year at college.
1)Find a student loan provider who is established. You don't want a fly by night organization that is merely interested in taking you for a ride and not providing the money you need to complete your education. Getting your student loan can be a long drawn out process where the lender delays and delays and you end up waiting and waiting with more debt piling up. I have friends that have had their student loans delayed until the end of the semester due to paper work errors! Wow! A $5000 tuition bill doesn't look pretty when it's sitting on your credit card statement.
2)When you receive your student loan, look to pay off high interest debt first. Guess what? Your money will do a lot more for you when it's only accruing debt at 5% per year than at over 20% on your Visa bill! Credit card companies can be very aggressive marketers and you might end up paying for that tuition bill many times over if you let it sit on your credit card. Always look to lower your highest monthly expenses if possible and this definitely includes credit card debt.
3)Shop around. I'd be willing to bet that some banks will give you a better deal on a student loan than you think they would. Find out who's got the best rate to get the best deal on your loan. Student loan payments can last a lifetime and that extra 1% can add up to literally thousands of dollars over the years. I have friends that are in their 50s and still paying off their student loans. It'll pay off in the long run to make sure you find the best deal possible.
Student loans are popular as today as ever: find one and use it to your advantage.
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