Student debt is one of the biggest financial problems facing millennials. Young people are not the only ones dealing with the burden, though. People of all ages have been saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in debt, and the solution is often not immediately clear. According to USA Today, the average North Carolina college graduate will have $25,849 in student loan debt upon completion of a degree.
If you are a student, here are some tips for minimizing the amount of loans and debt you must take on to graduate.
1. Work through college
Though college is certainly time-consuming, it may not be impossible to hold down a part-time job while attending classes. Student loans usually cover a student's tuition, fees, housing and living expenses. If you are working while you attend classes, though, you may be able to cover some of your own housing and living expenses and take out loans only to cover your tuition and fees. This can massively reduce the sum of your debt.
2. Apply for scholarships
Students should also seek out any and every opportunity for alternative funding that is available. Grants and scholarships are a great resource for offsetting the cost of classes and minimizing the amount that you must take out in student loans. You should do some research and consult with your guidance counselor, too, for more information on scholarships you might be eligible to apply for.
3. Graduate sooner
The typical timeline for finishing college is four years, but some people take longer and others finish faster. Those in the latter category might have lower student loan balances than those in the former category. Why? Most universities charge tuition per credit hour, and the more credits you enroll in per term, the less expensive they may be. Taking an extra class or two can help you finish sooner for cheaper.
Excessive debt can cause financial problems, poor credit and a host of other issues. It is important to consider debt relief options if student loans and other debts have put you in this situation and you are struggling to pay your bills.