Banner View: Student loan debts intimidate degree-seeking students

The most recent Federal Reserve financial report has many college students afraid of perusing a degree that might not get them a job. Student loan debt has increased to more than $1 trillion since 2008.

Higher education is a necessity in today’s tough economy.  It is apparent many college student’s concerns revolve around the mentality of “take the money and figure out how to pay it back later.”  The Federal Reserve reports student loan debt continues to increase, while the average household debt maintains a steady decline.

The job market is extremely competitive, and students must understand after graduation there is an even bigger battle to face: finding a job that will pay back that monstrous student loan debt, enabling the student to balance the debt as quickly and responsibly as possible.

Several companies have developed over the last decade with the intention of helping students manage their debt from student loans. However, many students are unaware there are options available that offer help to students to effectively monitor and manage debt now.

Students must first determine the actual cost of their education.  Net Price Calculators are mandatory for all university websites and are a valuable tool in estimating the cost of a student’s college education.

After answering a few simple questions, students can estimate their education costs, also factoring in the support of federal grants and scholarships.  Completing the Net Price Calculator can prevent students from creating a larger loan debt than necessary.

UNC Asheville’s Net Price Calculator can be found by searching for “Net Price Calculator” on the university’s website.

Students attending public universities are leaving school with the highest debt, the Federal Reserve reports.  Public universities also return the most college graduates, so it is up to the student to determine effective ways to manage their expenses.

Textbooks can cost students anywhere from $600 to more than $1,500 each semester, causing many bargain hunters to  search elsewhere.

Executing a “buy textbooks” search on Google.com provided a list of thousands of w ebsites offering students extreme discounts on college textbooks.  Determining costs that can be cut now will help students avoid the pressures of a looming debt in the future.

One of the leading questions students face after graduation is when to begin paying off their student loans.  For those fortunate enough to land a decent paying job after graduation, recent college graduates should avoid the temptation to splurge on their dream house.

On average, college graduates owe nearly $25,000 in student loans.  Those paying the minimum balance often find it will take years before a dent is made on the total amount due.

Students are often confused by the extremely low interest rates offered with federal student loans.  Many students believe they have plenty of time to pay off student loans, allowing interest charges to substantially increase the total amount due.

The fact remains even a low interest rate will add to the student’s total debt, and making the minimum payment often only pays up the interest that is charged.

The most frequent advice financial advisers give to college students is to avoid financial waste.  Eliminate as many unnecessary expenses as possible.  Cancel subscriptions to magazines you no longer read.  Cancel the membership to that gym you swore you were going to attend.  End your cable television contract; everything is available online, anyway.

Saving money and cutting costs now will allow graduates to quickly eliminate debt accumulated from loans.

Students invest in their futures just by attending college.  That does not mean graduates must spend their entire lives paying for the education.

 

– Heidi Krick

 

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