Debt Management Tips for College Students
When you head off for college, debt management is probably not at the top of your list of concerns. College students are more concerned with getting good grades, study habits and finding enough money to cover the next semester. They generally worry about debt management later…and that is a big part of the problem.
Here are some debt management tips for college students to get them off on the right foot:
Be practical with your housing
Housing is a big part of the college experience and young people often end up moving off campus. This can lead to some major expenses on the fringes of college life….rent, utilities, partying, food and so on. Staying on campus will provide most of that for you for one flat rate. Compare your options and go with the more frugal choice. Also make sure you pick a responsible roommate if you do go off campus. That last thing you need is to be stuck with the rent every month.
Make sure you know what you want before you go
Careers are funny and sometimes there is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent a mid-stream major change. That said, most kids can figure out what they want to do long before they head off to college. If you want to save some serious cash, try volunteering in the various fields you are considering before you go to college. This can help you figure out what you truly want to do and save all kinds of money in the long run.
Work a part time job
There was a time when going to school full time meant only studying. Having a part time job is now almost a necessity if you want to stay ahead of the debt. Debt management is all about mitigating expenses and small amounts are much more helpful than students realize. Just earning enough to cover one or two bills can make a huge difference.
Buy used when you can
Instead of investing in a new car, buy one that is dependable but used. Instead of buying brand new textbooks, buy used ones from students that are moving on. There are hundreds of things that you can enjoy used and save a ton of money over the course of four years. If you commit to this mentality early on in your college career, you will save a ton of cash and have great debt management.
Consider your future salary before taking on student loans
If you are going to medical school, more loan opportunities are available because you have more money coming in the future. Not all college students are heading for six figure salaries down the line. If you know your major is going to pay less, you need to consider this when you take out your student loans. Taking out loans you know you will be unable to pay is a debt management nightmare. Instead, focus on scholarships, grants and other options to save you money. Some people even have to work their way through college. The sacrifices will be well worth it down the line, so do what you need to do.
Check out this Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey!
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