Think Wisely When Borrowing Money To Cover College Costs

Think Wisely When Borrowing Money To Cover College Costs

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By now, you’ve probably received your college’s tuition bill outlining costs for the fall semester. If you have the funds on hand to cover your college costs, then you’re in good shape. If not, then you’ll need to explore your borrowing options which typically involve taking out some sort of student loan.

Student loans, both public and private, are worth considering but borrowing too much money now can mean that you’ll be saddled with a tremendous amount of debt later. Clearly, the best approach is to minimize your borrowing so that your post-college debt can be eliminated as soon as possible later on.

Online Calculators Can Help You Decide

Borrowing money to pay for college makes sense, but if you dont shop around for a student loan or if you borrow too much money, you could find yourself in a money trap later on.

Borrowing money to pay for college makes sense, but if you don't shop around for a student loan or if you borrow too much money, you could find yourself in a money trap later on.

What hurts some students is that they aren’t always sure how much money they’ll need to live on over the coming months. Fortunately, an “Amount To Borrow Calculator” such as found on our sister site, OfftoCollege.com, can help you pinpoint your costs. Use this tool along with the related “College Costs Calculator” to determine how much you should borrow. Even if you can borrow more than what you need consider this – whatever you borrow now will have to be repaid later, with interest. Therefore, avoid the temptation to borrow more than what you need.

Subsidized federal Stafford loans will pay accumulating interest while you’re in school, but unsubsidized Stafford and most private student loans do not. This means that if you take out a loan before your freshman year begins and you don’t make your first loan payment until six months after you graduate, then five years of interest can accumulate. Consider choosing a student loan that requires interest payments while you’re in school – your parents may be able to make these payments for you.

Limiting Your Debt Burden

Finally, you don’t want to take on other debt while in college which means that you’ll want to avoid tempting credit card offers which can drag you down deeper in debt. Fortunately, most of these offers have disappeared thanks to tighter lending requirements instituted during the current economic downturn. However, as the economy improves, lenders may start to send out offers especially as you approach graduation and are likely to land a job.

Some consumer advocates warn students against any borrowing, but that isn’t an option for those students who don’t have enough money to pay for college or who don’t qualify for aid. In any case, you’ll want to find out how much money you will owe after you finish your schooling, how much your monthly payments will be and whether you’ll be able to afford to repay what you’re planning to borrow.

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Categories: Student Aid