Hacking Your Student Loans: Minimizing Your Student Debt

hacking student loans

 

Facts About Student Loans

2016 Showed Some Startling Numbers for Student Loan Financial Strain
Average amount of debt for the class of 2016: $37,172
Average time to pay off student loans: 21 years
9.6 million Americans with federal student loans can’t make their monthly payments
3.6 million are in default and have not made a payment in over a year
3 million are delinquent and at least a month behind on payments
3 million have deferred loans or temporary permission to not make payments

How To Avoid The Stress of Student Loans

Planning Ahead Is the Best Way to Minimize Student Loan Debt
Estimate your total costs
College cost/pear will vary depending on the type of school you attend
Private Colleges: $32,405
Public out-of-state: $23,893
Public in-state: $9,410
Remember room & board, cost of living, & school supplies are not included in the price of tuition
Average cost of room & board: ~$10,597: Average cost of room & board
Textbooks & supplies: ~$1,200
*Cost of beer money will vary per person
Look into other types of funding before relying on loans
2014-2015: $123.8 billion was awarded in scholarships & grants that do not need to be paid back
37%: Federal grants & need based scholarships
41%: University funded merit & need based programs
14%: Private organizations like religious groups, companies, or other organizations
Save money before college, so you don’t have to pay it back later
Only 57% of families are actively saving money for college
Even though 90% of parents expect their children will attend college
On average only 33% of tuition gets covered by scholarships & grants
But according to the report, How America Saves for College 2015―you’ll save 46% more for college than the average family if you set a goal together & create a saving plan

Proper Planning Will Make Paying Off Student Loans Easier

Getting College Is About Learning & Growing as a Person
Find a work-study program or part time job
Resident Advisors (RA) for dorm rooms typically have their room & board covered
Federal work-study programs provide part time jobs for students with financial need, help with living expenses, & provide experience in your field of study
Part-time, off campus jobs can be flexible & fit into your college schedule
Be frugal with your spending habits
Cut back on the luxury items
Buy groceries with friends & limit how often you eat out
Only shop at stores that offer student discounts
Ditch the premium cable package—you should be studying anyway!
Buy used textbooks & sell them when you’re finished
Avoid spending full price at the college bookstore
Find used books online for cheaper prices
Check out textbooks from the library
Think about a “gap year” during school to gain valuable life experience
Students make better decisions when returning to their studies
73% believe it increased their readiness for college
57% say their gap year helped them decide their major
Changing majors even once can add a year onto school & your tuition bill
Students who take a gap year still graduate under average time
Only 60% of first time college students graduate from 4-year programs within 6 years!
Get a jump start on your career while still studying
84% acquired skills to be successful in their future career
77% say it affected decisions about their career
75% believe it helped or will help get a job

Sources

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/americas-growing- student-loan- debt-crisis- 2016-01- 15
http://www.ibtimes.com/student-debt- crisis-2016- new-graduates- owe-record- breaking-average- 37000-loans-2365195
http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2014/10/07/student- loan-expectations- myth-vs- reality
http://www.wsj.com/articles/more-than- 40-of- student-borrowers- arent-making- payments-1459971348
http://www.collegedata.com/cs/content/content_payarticle_tmpl.jhtml?articleId=10064
https://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures- tables/average-published- undergraduate-charges-sector-2015- 16
http://www.cnbc.com/2014/01/28/college-textbook- costs-more- outrageous-than- ever.html
https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for- college/grants-scholarships
http://www.businessinsider.com/sallie-mae- how-america- saves-for- college-2015- 2015-6
http://americangap.org/assets/2015%20NAS%20Report.pdf

Sara Morris

Sara Morris

Sara is the director of outreach at Affordable Online Colleges

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