Responsible borrowing is often overlooked and because of this there is a lot of news floating around about student loan horror stories after graduating and realizing that their monthly payments are out of control. However, truth be told there are many responsible borrowing best practices that many students miss out on as they are following there dreams and not paying attention to the debt they are accumulation.
Responsible Borrowing Tips
The following tips should be followed as strictly as possible if you want to reduce your total debt after getting your degree:
- Make sure you have an understanding of your current finances. Here is a FREE Budgeting Worksheet to get you started so you understand your income v.s. expenses prior to stepping into school. (60 minutes)
- Once you have a good picture on what your personal finances look like you will want to determine the total cost of attendance (COA) at your school. Dont forget to include expenses such as supplies/books. Spend the time to estimate the total cost for all four years of college and develop a plan to finance the costs that do not include student loans. (30 minutes)
- Actively seek out alternative Financial Aid such as scholarships and grants that do not have to be re-payed. (30-60 minutes weekly)
- If you have to borrow, make sure you do so responsibly. Just because you are eligible for more loans than needed does not mean you have take them. This is the number 1 way to get yourself in trouble after graduating. (20 minutes)
As you can see, taking the right steps to borrow responsibly is straight forward if you take the brief time to fully understand what your personal finances are, the cost of attendance (COA) at your school and taking action on finding scholarships and grants.