Student Loans: A Burden or An Opportunity?

by Jaron White
(Morrisville, NC USA)



There are some people that get into college for free, but unfortunately a college degree does not come free for all and every household is not able to pay for a college education with the money from their pockets, or from their parent’s pockets. This is where financial aid comes into play, and students apply for grants and scholarships that they luckily will not have to pay.

On the other hand, many students have to get student loans for college that require payment with interest. This debt can be very hard to pay back especially with interest rates growing and a scarce job market. So the question now becomes: how can I pay these loans back? There are many different ways you can pay these loans back.

One way is to see if your college has a work study program that pays. This way you can go to school, and work at the school in your free time to save money for those dreaded loans that have to be paid. The challenge is keeping yourself disciplined enough to save the money and not spend it on unnecessary purchases.

Another way to pay is by internships. There are many degrees that have internships that pay over the summer that beg schools to give them people to pay and work for them. This is an efficient way to not only save money, but to gain experience and familiarity with the company you plan to work for in the future, and most of the time if a company hires you as an intern, they
will hire you when you graduate from college, giving you a secure job.

If all else fails and you cannot get an internship or work study program, then this is when you have the chance to be an entrepreneur. If you notice a need that college students have that can’t be fulfilled by the college, then you can become the supplier and have a monopoly on whatever the need is. This can be very lucrative. Even if you sell snacks from your dorm, this can be a wise investment because college students are always hungry, and if you can provide snacks for a slightly cheaper price than any nearby vending machine, then all the students will be coming to you for their fix.

All in all, if you need help paying for student loans, this is the perfect opportunity to think outside of the box and become an entrepreneur, simply be attentive and focused enough to get good grades and land an internship in the job of your dreams, or both. Whichever you choose, you'll be sure to get those student loans paid off in no time.

Read more tips on Financial Aid Funding 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 Jaron for sharing your fresh perspective on Student Loans: A Burden or An Opportunity? They can inspire you to try something different. Work-study, internships and entrepreneur opportunities are great ways to minimize the need for student loan debt. Best of luck to you.

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Student Loans... Ahhh

by Chelsea

My name is Chelsea and like many other college students, I thought I knew what I wanted to be when I graduated high school. But when I got there and actually started working to achieve my dreams and goals I realized there’s a lot more to that dream career I’ve always wanted.

It seemed like I changed my mind a hundred times on what career would suite me best and during that process my student and parent loans started to sky rocket. Even with working full time I could only afford so much since I also had to pay for my truck payment, insurance and phone. On top of those bills I already had, when I moved out to attend college I then had to pay for rent, food, furniture and all the other expenses of moving out. My advice to everyone is don’t be in a rush to move out! The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. If I would have listened to my parents I probably wouldn’t be in the place that I am today.

I began to feel extremely stressed everyday not knowing how I would ever be able to afford anything with all the school debt I had. I also accumulated so much debt in student loans because I went to a school out of state for a year then moved back home. The out of state tuition is what got me into the mess that I am in! I received thousands of dollars in different loans for school, some at which I had no idea accumulate more and more money and interest on top of that sum you already owe.

My advice to everyone graduating high school is to be sure to know all the details of loans and grants before you apply for them! Talk to your school counselors, check out websites and talk to friends who went through the same thing. It’s never too late to learn about scholarships, loans and grants. There are lots of ways to help everyone’s financial situations, so don’t let the thought of student loans get in the way of your education! Trust me when you get that diploma, it will be worth it in the end!

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 Chelsea for sharing your story. It is difficult to pay those loans back, especially if you have to pay for out-of-state tuition and if you change majors. Good luck to you.

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The Journey of Student Loans

by Michelle

When I finished my Undergraduate degree at Old Dominion University, I started to panic a bit knowing that I had 6 months to find a good job to pay off the ridiculous amount of student loans that I had out. In two years I had accumulated around $40,000 in student loans that included tuition, books, food, and off campus housing. I applied to over five different student loan companies in which I did not have good luck. My interest rates were abnormally high and I was having trouble finding a cosigner.

After begging my mother to be my cosigner she finally agreed. I was not sure if she was going to be approved because she makes about $20,000 a year. There is a required amount that the cosigner must make in order to be a cosigner. I then applied to CU Student Loans and was approved for a loan with a 5.24% interest rate. I thought that was going to be the best that I could find. They approved me for $40,000 for two years. The amount that I was approved for was not enough to live off of at Old Dominion University. I received about seven thousand in financial aid from the school which helped me out a tremendous amount.

When I graduated, I applied to consolidate both of my loans. CU Student Loans did not accept my request for consolidation because I did not make enough money on my own. I then reapplied to consolidate my loan with my cosigner that I used to get my loan. The company then denied me again because they said that my mother did not make enough money. I found this a bit strange because they gave me the loan with her as a cosigner. I realized that there was nothing I could do about my private loan since I could not find another cosigner. This is something that prospective students that are seeking out for a student loan, should be aware of.

I consolidated the federal student loan that the school gave me as financial aid. I extended the loan from ten years to fifteen years, which cut the payments in half. It went from about 300 dollars to about 87 dollars. I was very happy that they decided to accept my request for consolidation. I am very disappointed that the private loan company did not accept my request. I struggle every day to pay these student loans. I was originally going to pay around 600 dollars a month and it was brought down 387 dollars.

There are different options for consolidation for the federal loans that I have. There were about 5 different options. I chose the repayment option of fifteen years.
The student loan payments have been a nightmare. My suggestions to students that are going to be paying college through loans; research as many student loan companies as possible. This is in efforts to get the lowest interest rate. If their parents are willing to help then have them cosign the loans. There are also programs that allow the parents to pay back some of the loan also. Education is very important and also can be expensive. Many students have to receive student loans in order to pay for their education. I believe that it is 100 percent worth it because it is bettering the life of the student and hopefully paying off the student loans will not be so difficult.

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 Michelle for sharing your Journey of Student Loans. It is so much easier to get the student loans than to later consolidate them or pay them back. Good luck to you.

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