You’ve got a degree and the debt to back it up, so now what do you do? This is a question that is plaguing many Americans as the student loan debt rate continues to rise and the number of citizens with balances increase each year. While getting an education is a good thing, the hefty loan amounts and high interest rates can leave graduates struggling to make ends meet for years after they graduate. There are several ways to alleviate this problem, depending on where you’re at in the degree-seeking process.
The best time to begin preventing student loan debt is before you ever enter college. While having a college fund and asking relatives to help out with your schooling are easy ways to get money, there is a way to pay for your education without begging your parents or grandparents, and that’s with a scholarship. You can find plenty of scholarships online, many of which aren’t limited to specific majors or locations, but talk to your school counselor as well to get access to specific awards for your school.
Most people think that it’s impossible to affect your student debt once you’re already in school, but that is completely untrue. Many students continue to apply for government grants each year as well as scholarships for upperclassmen. You can also get a part-time job to help cover expenses or apply for a work-study position.
While these are all great, one of the easiest ways to earn money while you’re in school is to not spend it. There are many ways to do this, and some may be as simple as making a quick phone call to lower your monthly phone or internet bills. Other ways to save include finding cheaper housing, settling for an older cell phone and car, and limiting your entertainment spending to a strict budget. You may only be able to save a few hundred dollars a month, but think of how long it would take you to earn that much.
Once you’ve graduated and know exactly how much debt you have accumulated, it’s time to get technical. Using private wealth management in Austin, you can let an expert help you determine the best plan of action for paying your debt off as quickly as possible. Continue to implement the bill-reducing strategies you developed while in school, but take advantage of professional advice in other areas. Consider debt consolidation, student loan forgiveness, and refinancing. You’ll find plenty of information online that can give you pointers in this area, but it’s always best to consult with a professional before making decision.
Escaping the pain and stress of hefty student loan debt is possible if you have the right tools and knowledge of how to succeed. No matter what stage of life you’re in, there are always ways to make a plan to eliminate student debt or prevent yourself from accruing more in the future. Talk with a consultant for private wealth management in Austin today and start on your way to being debt- and worry-free.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.