Minimize Student Loan Debt
Fastweb's article on How to Minimize Student Loan Debt
provides 14 tips on how to graduate with less debt. The tips fall into
several groups: before college, choosing a college, during college and after college.
- Save money in a college savings plan before enrolling in college. It is cheaper to save than to borrow.
- Search for scholarships on free scholarship-matching sites like Fastweb.
Choosing a College
- Enroll at a less expensive college, such as an in-state public college.
- If you enroll at an out-of-state public college, try to establish residency first so that you can qualify for in-state tuition.
- Consider enrolling at a college with a "no loans" financial aid policy.
- Compare colleges based on the out-of-pocket cost.
- Live at home with your parents.
- Borrow federal first. Federal student loans are cheaper, more available and have better repayment terms.
- Before buying something with student loan money, ask yourself whether you'd still buy it at twice the price.
- Pay the interest on unsubsidized loans during the in-school and grace periods to prevent the loan balance from growing larger.
- Work part-time during the school year and full-time during the summer to earn money for college.
- Graduate with a Bachelor's degree in four years, not five or six.
- Don't switch majors or transfer colleges.
See also Cutting College Costs