Attending College on a Student Loan? Be Sure to Avoid These Deadly Mistakes
Getting a bachelor’s degree is a dream for many. But attending college can be very expensive. This is why a lot of people would do everything they can just to be able to afford a college education. In fact, nearly 20 million Americans attend college every year. Thankfully, you can now apply for a student financial aid. According to research, around 60% of college students use a loan to get higher education.
In the United States of America, student loans are either federal or private, which include Stafford loans for students and PLUS loans for parents and graduate students. To be able to qualify for a student loan, generally, you need to:
- Be over the age of 24
- Be a permanent resident of the state where you will be attending college
- Be working toward getting a degree in an eligible program in a qualified school
- Possess a valid Social Security number
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress
- Have a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent like a GED (General Educational Development)
However, just like any other type of debt, you need to think carefully before you take out a student loan. Here are some tips you can use to ensure that you’ll be taking out a loan that you can repay in the future:
Not spending your loan wisely.
You might think that this is free money. Keep in mind that you’re still going to repay it after you graduate. This means that you need to make sure you cut back on spending and see to it that you stretch your loan as far as you can. Examine where you can save money and go for what’s more affordable as much as you can. For example, determine whether spending your money for living in a campus dorm is more practical than living with a relative and spending more on transportation. Sometimes, you can save more money if you live in a campus dormitory instead of outside, since you don’t need to spend on your daily commute.
Foregoing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
FAFSA is a very important and very useful program by the US Department of Education. The people running FAFSA are helping 15 million students make their college dream a reality through federal grants, loans and work-study funds year after year. This student aid program can also help you determine what is more suitable for your needs, ensuring that you’ll be able to get the most financial assistance from the US government.
Relying only on loans.
Student loans usually can only pay for the tuition and the rent. Of course, you need to spend on food, transportation and other needs. If you take out more loans, you’ll end up neck deep in debt when you graduate, since the interest can range from 4.66 to 7.21 percent. The best way to be able to fund your living costs while attending college is to get an on-campus part-time job. This can help you pay for anything from projects to trips home. But make sure to balance your work and student life to avoid sacrificing your grades. Take note of these three blunders to avoid any costly mistake.