How to Pay for College Without Suffering Crippling Debt

Many students pay for college by taking out federal student loans. While the loans can be the best funding option for many students, the main drawback is you’ll have to pay back more than you borrowed due to interest.

Also, federal student loans have fixed interest rates that are set by the government. The interest rates are adjusted annually on newly issued loans but the rate remains fixed for the entire life of the loan.

So, if you don’t find a lucrative job after graduation, you could potentially run into trouble. For instance, if you fall behind on your federal student loan repayment, it could lead to delinquency or default.

If your loan becomes delinquent, you’ll typically have a grace period of fifteen days before you will have to pay late fees. If your loan is still delinquent after ninety days, you’ll be reported to credit bureaus by your loan servicer. Your credit score will then go down and it could take years to get your credit score back to good standing.

If your loan is still delinquent after 270 days, it will go into default. Once that happens, there are various consequences. For instance, you will lose eligibility for future federal student aid and your wages will be garnished, which means your employer can withhold some of your pay to send it to your loan servicer.

Also, if your loan goes into default, your lender could take you to court.

Basically, when you take out a federal student loan, it could potentially leave you with crippling debt after graduation. However, there are other ways of paying for college.

Here are some of the best options that you’ll want to consider.

Apply for a Scholarship or Grant

If you’re eligible, one of the best ways of avoiding debt after graduation is to get a scholarship or grant.

Unlike federal student loans, college scholarships and grants don’t have to be repaid. Plus, you have the opportunity to apply for as many as you want.

You could get a scholarship or grant from a nonprofit organization, a local or national business, or a professional association in your field of study. The government also issues grants based on the financial needs of qualifying students.

It’s worth noting that, unlike grants, scholarship eligibility is based on academic merit rather than financial need.

Explore different scholarship and grant options to find out if you’re eligible.

Get a Private Student Loan

You always have the option of taking out a private student loan that has better terms than a federal student loan.

Also, the good thing about private student loans is you can apply at any time and you could borrow more than you would be able to receive via federal loans.

And if you choose a private loan provider with low rates and no fees to cover all of your school-certified costs, including tuition, supplies, and accommodation, you could significantly lower your student debt.

Crowdfund

You may be able to get full or partial funding for your education by crowdfunding.

By asking your family members, your friends, and friends of the family to contribute to your college fund, you could raise enough funds and not be left with crippling debt after graduation.

And by sharing your crowdfunding campaign on social media, you may be able to get even more funds.

Work While you Study

Lastly, you have the opportunity to work while you study to pay towards your education.

Sure, working alongside studying can be a lot of work, but if it means you aren’t left with enormous debt after you graduate, it can be more than worth it.

Many colleges provide students with resources for getting part-time jobs. Though, you can also look for a job by yourself or start a business from home.

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