Student Loan Debt Help

by Nita
(Deltona, FL)

Student Loan Debt Help - Although not ideal, our children will HAVE to borrow money to have college educations. Knowing this early on, my husband and I really encouraged our two oldest sons to excel academically in high school.

Although some parents, with noble intentions, seek to grow a strong work ethic in their teen-ager by encouraging working while in high school, we embraced the belief that their number one priority was make good grades. It would be these good grades that would later translate into scholarship awards and thus reduce the dollars borrowed for their education. You would have a hard time convincing us that working minimum wage jobs during high school would ever financially compensate for the tuition benefits that many states offer to good students.

We are pleading with our children to keep their borrowing to a minimum, with good summer jobs, and tempered spending while in school. We have been amazed at how frugal our son has been during his freshman year. It is amazing how careful he has become when the money is coming out of his own wallet.

We are very new at this whole college and loan thing and we are learning as we go, but one glaring concern we have observed in the loan award system is that students and parents can be awarded more loans than are actually needed to finance their education. For two semesters running, our son has received checks from student loan money that were not needed for his bill. This money feels like a "bonus check" when in reality, it is borrowed money! We are choosing to reapply this money right away to our loans, rather than leaving it in a bank account that could easily look like a rainy day account.

Our last major plan to pay off student loans is to not take them in the first place. We are encouraging our son that keeping his academic scholarships is paramount. Having too much fun in college could come at a tremendous cost if these are lost. He seems to be taking things seriously and squeezing in quite a bit of fun at the same time.

We are grateful that funds are available for the borrowing, and we look forward to the rewards that a great education will bring to our kids.

Read more advice on Student Loan Debt Help on our page about Paying on Student Loans

Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Nita for sharing your experience with student loan debt help. It is very easy to fall for the extra money for loans, so it is good advice to not keep that money but pay it back immediately to reduce future student loan debt. Help giving others sound advice is what we are trying to do, so we appreciate your tips. Check out some of our Scholarship Money for College for some more scholarships to consider.

Is it Possible to Pay Off Student Loans?

(by Carl, Arizona)

Nobody ever said paying for college was easy right? Well, unless of course you have a top-notch kid who devotes their high school life to school that is. Or maybe your child will need some extra funding for their expensive and prestigious college. So what if they aren't that kid that gets a "full ride"? Now what? You'll be stuck with student loans that eventually need to be paid back. It's a college student's worst nightmare! Here's my story on the subject and how I
approached these seemingly terrifying loans.

I began my college career nearly 30 years ago. With great anticipation, my family and myself reviewed our family's budget and all the available student loans that I was eligible to apply for. It became apparent based on our financial situation, that I would need to go to a state school near our home and would need to find a part time job. My family already had an older sibling attending college and with myself plotting the college experience, we realized that a college loan was necessary.

I come from a family that attempted to stay out of debt and one that lived within our means. At an early age my parents advocated that I look for work, like for example, helping the neighbors (i.e. landscaping, home improvement, painting and dog walking to name a few). While my friends were spending money left and right, I was able to save this income and over time I was able reduce the amount of loan money that I would need. It was not easy, a young kid saving money up for college. The peer pressure was strong, my friends were jealous and many people thought I was foolish. I indeed did question what I was doing, and my parents were incredibly supportive. They were not only teaching me life skills, but reducing my future loan repayments, and I will admit it, at times I really didn't have such a strong desire to do what i was doing. When it was time to apply for student loans, my little to big nest egg of saved money helped me apply for half the funds I would have needed without using the money I had saved.

After graduation, when many of my peers were staring at large loan repayments, I also had a fair share of my own, yet they were minimal compared to my friends. Thus, I was able to live at a decent level without being strangled by loan repayments or worse go, into default on the student loans and have my credit history tainted for a while. The mere fact that I had saved up my money and took smaller loans out (which were easier to repay), allowed me to possess financial security with minimal debt and to begin my post-college adult life without the hassle of large loan repayments. I am proud to say that within 6 years of college graduation, all of my college loans were paid off.

So all in all, you shouldn't be afraid of loans, you just need to be smart with them, and not go overboard. If you can get the money in another way, like working or applying for scholarships, then go for it. Take it from me, the less loans you have, the happier your wallet and your life will be. Trust me.

Read more tips on Paying Off Student Loans from other students and parents who have been through the student loan process.

Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Carl for showing us that yes, Is it Possible to Pay Off Student Loans. Making wise choices early on helps a lot in paying back student loan debt. Best of luck to you.

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