What you need to know about student loans and debt
With a weak economy and skyrocketing education costs, going to college requires more students to take out loans than ever before. It’s a daunting prospect, and the whole process can be quite confusing, but fear not. Here are some tips to get you started.
### Exhaust all other options
Chances are, you’ll need to take out college loans – about two-thirds of students do. Review grants and scholarships and be sure to use all the resources available to you.
### Look for different types of loans
There is a good chance that you are eligible for several different types of loans and that you should fully understand them. Know the features of the different loans and choose the one that suits you best.
### Know what you can expect to do after you graduate
You might not have a major yet, and that’s fine, but you probably have a rough idea of what you’d like to do, and that should be taken into account. Often times you will have to start paying off your loans after you have left school for a year and you want to make sure that you will have enough to live on while you start paying off your debts.
### Set a limit and stick to it
Taking college loans might be inevitable, but you don’t have to be overdoing it. Figure out how much debt you’re willing to take on, then find other ways to cover the rest. Take a part-time job, or maybe even consider a brief stint in the military. It sounds like a huge sacrifice now, but the payoff will last a lifetime.
University debt is steep. Prices have only increased in the last decade, making the university often financially daunting. Here are some statistics to know:
$ 26,000 average amount owed per borrower
60% of American students take out loans to help pay for their education
10 years: the average repayment time of your loans