Thoughts on Paying For College Beyond Just Loans

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You’ve made it through all of it – high school, prom, applications – and now you have finally been accepted into the college of your dreams. Move over mom and dad, it’s time to hit the college road. The only question now is, how do you plan to pay for your education?If you are like most newly accepted college students, you probably plan to apply for a number of student loans in order to help with those payments. And, let’s be realistic here. You probably plan to go for the maximum amount of money just in case you have to spend a bit on, um, books.While this strategy is one that is adopted by nearly every college student on the planet, more students than ever before are graduating with a boat load of debt. How much debt? Roughly seventy percent of all college students these days rack up around $20,000 worth of student loan debt.This number may not seem like much to you now, but it will seem like a lot when you start getting those repayment bills four years from now. Four years seems like a long way away, doesn’t it? Make no mistake about it, those four years fly by far too fast leaving you with a lot of hefty bills.So, how can you avoid this horrid fate? Well, choose your loans (and loan amounts) wisely. Should you have any amount of money currently save up, use this money to pay for some of that tuition prior to applying for loans. You may be a bit skeptical about spending this money on loans, but it is worth it.Should you have a decent job that you plan to hang onto in college, try and pay for your courses one by one without applying for loans. If you are spending your pay check as soon as you get it, now is the time to realize that you must start saving some of that money.You’re young, free, and ready to experience life, so you don’t have to save all of the money that you work hard for (after all, you do want to enjoy those college years too). Still, save enough to cover your courses, books, and tuition if you can. This way, the accrued debt will be a lot less when you graduate.It may be hard to think of those inevitable student loan bills now, but when those four years are up you will be glad that you did. Enjoy your college years, get a great education, and find a superb job that you love. Just don’t wind up owing more than you can handle when you graduate.