Student loan debt is at an all time high, surpassing $1.2 trillion earlier this year. President Obama and the government have begun to take an interest in lowering student debt, and people of all ages and backgrounds are beginning to feel the effect of their loans. Young professionals trying to build a family are bogged down by loan obligations. Parents trying to put their children through college are still struggling with their own debt. Even grandparents planning for retirement are trying to help their children and grandchildren pay student loan bills. In light of so many facing these struggles, the following are a few tips for staying ahead of student loans:
- Don’t go to school outside your budget. Sometimes life requires that you make difficult decisions. One of those may be choosing a more affordable education over your dream college. If you won’t be able to pay back your student loans within a few years of graduating, consider another college or another major field of study.
- Start making payments early. If you can begin paying off some of your interest or even some of the loan money itself while still in college, then do so. The longer you wait, the more expensive your loans will be.
- Choose loans with good repayment plans. Some loans accrue interest more quickly than others, and some allow for deferments more easily. When you take out a student loan, make sure it will be relatively simple to pay back and, if possible, flexible enough to allow for any unforeseen difficulties.
By taking control of your student loans early, you will be able to protect yourself from financial problems.