With the rising costs of tuition and textbooks, college is more expensive than ever. Unfortunately this has resulted in the majority of students graduating with significant debts.
Some debts are of course unavoidable when you are pursuing a certain career path, such as law school tuition, but you can still reduce your vulnerability.
To decrease your chances of getting into serious debt while in college, avoid these all too familiar financial pitfalls:
Taking Out Too Much Credit
Credit cards are great for emergencies or paying for things when you don’t have quite enough cash to cover them. However, they should be treated with extreme caution. A common mistake made not just by students but Americans of all ages is to take out too much credit at a time. Credit and charged interest can quickly build up and before you know if you could find yourself in trouble with your creditors. Bad credit can make renting and buying property in the future a nightmare, so make sure you go easy on your credit card spending .
Choosing an Overly Expensive School
Some degrees are better off completed at prestigious and ultimately expensive schools but for others the school you attend has little correspondence to your chances of employment. Vocational degrees for example can be completed at local cost effective vocational colleges or state schools without dampening your employment prospects. Therefore, avoid getting into huge amounts of debt by completing an overly priced degree program and look for cheaper alternatives.
Borrowing Too Much in Loans
The last thing you want to do is entirely rely on loans as you complete your education. Loans may look great when you sign them, but the interest they will charge may make them more hassle than they’re worth. Also be aware that you can never get out of student loans, you have to pay them back within your lifetime – even if you file for bankruptcy. Simple ways to avoid completely relying on loans in college is to enroll in a school that charges reasonable tuition, take on a part time job or ask your parents or family members for a non interest loan to get you through college. College is pricey, but it shouldn’t leave you chained down to inescapable debt.
Selecting Expensive Housing
Not only is tuition and textbooks expensive, but accommodation can lead to debt accumulation as well. Look for the cheapest options in school accommodation available or better yet continue to live with your parents for free while in college. This will mean you have to study local, but the huge savings you can enjoy via this route will surely work in your financial favor. Another solution is to rent off campus while in college, as on campus housing is often seriously hyper inflated.
Many students may think they can rack up their credit cards and take out further loans because they will soon be able to pay their debts off once they land their dream job after graduation. However, in this unstable economy getting a high earning job soon after graduating college is by no means a given. Spend wisely throughout college, even if you do have a great job lined up after you graduate. Learn to live thriftily by shopping discount, getting freebies whenever you can, always using your student card and sticking to your weekly budget.
College will likely leave you in some form of financial debt, but the amount doesn’t have to be crippling. Follow the above rules and you should be able to stay financially afloat both in and out of college. Good luck!