Curb Your College Debt

Student loans can be dangerous for a college student. Many students treat loans as extra spending money and don’t think about how it will affect them in the future. Being smart about the amount you borrow in student loans and who you get your loans from will play a big part in your financial success after you graduate. There are a number of things you can do to curb your college debt.

Good Lender

Make sure to carefully check out your options before taking out a student loan. It’s important to know you have found the best lender, and loan, for your situation. Interest rates, fee repayment plans, and cosigner release options are all important items to consider. The Smart Option Student Loan® from Idaho Central Credit Union by Sallie Mae® has three great repayment options and competitive interest rates.

Work-Study Jobs

Federal Work-Study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study. Work-Study jobs are nice because they are more likely to accommodate students when they need time off of work to study for classes.

Off Campus Jobs

Although they may not be as flexible with time off when you may need it to study for a class, generally you’ll be getting paid much more to work off campus. Working while going to school will not only allow you some extra spending money, but it provides good practice in time management and can provide you some valuable job experience and boost your resume.

Scholarships

Scholarships can be time consuming to find and complete, but any extra money you can get will be well worth it in the long run.  Unlike a part-time job, you can apply for scholarships whenever is most convenient for you and don’t have to go anywhere to do it.  And it’s not just 4.0 students that qualify. A lot of scholarships are need-based, major-based, talent-based, and location-based.

Budget

Having a budget and following it is an important piece to your financial situation. Not knowing where your money is going leaves you susceptible to overspending and spending too much on things you don’t really need.

Make a list of all your expenses like rent, gas, food and fun.  Also make a list of all of your income.  On a regular basis make sure you are reviewing your budget to see where you stand in each area.  There are many online resources that can basically do your budget for you. Idaho Central has a budgeting feature in our eBranch system that makes things easy and streamlines the budgeting process.