How-to Deal With Debt As a College Student

Repaying student loans isn’t easy. You might be confused. We’ve put together an article to help you figure out what your student loan options are and how you can become debt-free.

When you’re a student, debt is just one of those things that most of you will have to deal with, although it can come in many shapes and sizes. Whether it’s just overusing your credit card while at college or taking out a loan to pay for a student apartment, they all have the same result, a level of debt that you will have to deal with sooner rather than later.

Based on my experience as a student I will try and detail how best to avoid debt while at college and how you should look to tackle it once you’ve finished.

During College…

Your number one priority should always be to save money in college, especially if you’re living away from home. If you’re staying in a student apartment, then with independence comes a lot of bills. You’ll have your necessities to pay for, as well as having to fund your social life. If you don’t have a lot of financial backing then paying for all these things whilst at college can be very tough.

Don’t be lazy, get a job!! – I had a job in a bar whilst at college and it’s amazing how much of a difference some extra income can make. Working in a bar you can also make tons of money on tips! The truth is, any job while at university is a good job, I also had a stint of handing out flyers outside of the campus, and any extra money you can make will help.

Avoid using credit cards – Talking from previous experience, credit cards can be very dangerous while you’re a student. My bank approved me for what they called a student credit card, and it arrived with quite a hefty limit attached to it. The truth is, it has been 3 years since I finished college and I have only just paid it off! The main reason for this, is that once you finish college the card no longer counts as a student credit card and your bank can automatically change your type of card and up your limit without you knowing, which means you could have more debt than you realize.

Spend wisely – While you’re a student your aim should be to live as frugally as possible. When you go out for food shopping you should be looking for the cheapest options available. Being frugal in college and saving money wherever possible is one of the best ways to keep your level of debt under control.

Bargains – While at college, shopping frugally is one thing but you should also be shopping clever. Having a keen eye for bargains is one way which you can save money, and if you spot a bargain whether it be a household good or a necessity, don’t be afraid to stock up on it if you know that it’s something you will make use of.

Budget – One way to ensure you don’t overspend while at college is by setting up a budget. A budget can be quite difficult to set up but if you follow it to the best of your ability, then you will know exactly where you have spent each dollar. You should set up a budget which will detail all of your accounts information, including whenever you make money and whenever you spend money. I used to budget monthly, and I used to put some money aside for any payments that I knew had to be made, this kept me from getting further into debt.

Remember, whatever debt you get in to while at college you will have to pay back some day, it’s not just free money!

After College…

Once you finish college, set yourself an aim, you should try to work towards your level of debt to ensure that you pay it off within a manageable time period. I’m still paying off my debt since finishing college and I was lucky enough to get paid work straight away.

That’s my number one tip here, once you finish college, if you want to be debt free within a manageable time period then you should look to get a job as soon as you can. If you don’t find the job you love straight away then you should consider taking a job in a related field until you find it. We all have to start somewhere and some extra money can go a long way.

Hopefully this post helps you deal with repaying student loans so that you won’t be in debt forever.

This article was written by Andreas Nicolaides.

2 thoughts on “How-to Deal With Debt As a College Student”

  1. I love love love the having a keen eye for bargains tip. With society today it can be so hard to avoid wanting to buy the “in” clothes but whats in style is most likely expensive, unless searched for. Yes it makes shopping a bit harder but it pays off. Another point I would add into the bargain section is taking advantage of as many deals as possible offered to students. I always ask if there are student discounts before I ever consider swiping my card. There are discounts everywhere to students even ones on things you wouldn’t think such as home services.

  2. When I was in college, I think it was easier to survive on a couple hundred bucks a month (after deducting housing and big bills like that) but I can only imagine its gotten a lot tougher to survive in college without either some assistance from parents, a part or full time job, and/or some kind of government/student assistance program.

    I think the best tip is to lay off of the credit cards.

    If you can’t live on whats in your bank account or cash, then you need to cut expenses by any means possible which could mean dumping the whip (car) for a bike or go full on pedestrian, fishing out those deals on second-hand/used books by shopping as early as possible before the semester starts or even seeing if you can share books with someone in the class.

    There are lots of ways to save money. Oh, and yes, take advantage of those “student discounts”! If you have a college ID, you can get anywhere from 5-20% off on cloths, at restaurants, even at the movies. Same applies to home bills like water service (yes, many cities offer discounts or deferred payments for water service to college students) or internet service. Fish out August deals for internet or TV service. Just make sure you know who your provider is.

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