10 Ways to Reduce Student Loan Debt

Thanks to the rising cost of college, students are leaving college with overwhelming student loan debts. Can this be avoided? It’s pretty difficult to avoid student loans entirely, but with careful planning, there are both small and large steps you can take to reduce the amount of money you have to borrow. To reduce the frightening amount of money you’ll be paying off every month after you graduate, here are some tips.

  1. Graduate on time.
  2. Earn enough credits before college starts (through AP exams, community college classes, and so forth) to reduce your time in school. Or earn extra credits over the summer to reduce your total number of semesters.
  3. Go to community college for a year or two, and then transfer.
  4. Consider commuting from home (although, as this article in The Houston Chronicle points out, commuting is not as cheap of an option as it used to be because of the cost of gas.)
  5. Be realistic in where you choose to go to school. Ask yourself if that hefty price tag is really worth years of loans–or if a cheaper school can’t give you most of what you need.
  6. Invest a significant amount of time into finding scholarships.
  7. Buy used whenever possible–clothing, books, electronics, things for your dorm or apartment, and so forth. Used is good for the environment and good for your financial situation.
  8. Try to make do without a car–or to use the car you own as little as possible.
  9. Avoid eating out, and learn to cook.
  10. Avoid excessive spending on alcohol– unless you really think partying three times a week is worth thousands of dollars worth of student loan interest.

One Response to “10 Ways to Reduce Student Loan Debt”

  1. Tom says:

    When I was in school I didn’t spend my money on a laptop or fancy clothes or gourmet meals, but I DID spend it on an iPod and fast food. The quickest form of meal for a starving college student. I never drank either. I actually rarely saw what the “typical” college student should experience. Hmmm Guess I should have gone to a party school or somethin’. Oh hey, if any students that read this are struggling with gas prices. Here’s a cool promo. TWO FREE TACOS DAY!!! All you have to do is go to any Jack In The Box and present any gas fill-up receipt. That’s it. Like magic, you’ll get TWO FREE TACOS!!! C

    I am sooooo making a day out of it with all the receipts I have lying around.

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