Earning a college degree can certainly get you ahead of the game, but student debt can set you back many steps. Here are three tips to help you minimize your student debt.
1. Search for scholarships and grants
Scholarships and grants are considered “gifted” money and typically do not have to be repaid. They are available through the federal and state government, your college, and local organizations. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to be considered for federal grants and visit studentaid.ed.gov for more information about other scholarship and grant opportunities.
2. Borrow only what you need
Borrow only what you need. Oftentimes, when you receive federal aid, you will receive more money than you actually need based on the estimated cost of attendance. Accept only what you actually need to cover the cost of schooling and try not to use the borrowed funds to cover cost of living unless necessary. If possible, pick up at part-time job to cover your living expenses.
3. Understand the terms
Before you sign the promissory note for your federal aid, actually read and seek to understand the terms. Understand how interest accrues, how repayment works, the meaning of “deferment” and “capitalized interest,” and know your rights.