Starting college is one of the most memorable experiences a young person will ever have. Unfortunately, it may also be one of the most expensive experiences that a person will ever have. Because of this, it is extremely important to pay attention to how much you’re spending while you’re in college, and how much you’re taking out in loans.
Unfortunately, too many college students start their higher education already in debt. Because students typically earn so little during their education, any debt that they start college with tends to stick around for a long time. At the very least, it will be harder to pay off the debt while you’re in school, and in many worst case scenarios it can prevent a student from taking out the loans they need to complete their education.
Because of this, it is important to make sure that you do not start school with any debt. To do this, start by looking at the debts you already have. While it is rare for young people to have large debts such as mortgages, it is becoming very common for teenagers to have credit card debts and car loans. If you’re an older student, make a list of all of the debts you currently owe.
Next, develop a plan to pay off as much of the debt as possible before starting school. Start by focusing on high interest debt such as credit cards. Do whatever you can to pay off this debt and avoid adding any more. If you’re just starting out, work as many hours as you can until the debt is gone. If you’re an older student, make changes in your budget to pay off the debt as quickly as possible. In addition to freeing up money, each debt that you pay off will eliminate a bill that you have to pay every month. While you’re in school, it makes the most sense to reduce your expenses as much as you can.
If you have to start school with debt, develop a plan to get it paid off as quickly as possible. You may want to consider taking a semester off of school to work and get the debt paid off.