The average student debt in America is approximately $30,000. This is the amount of debt that students are expected to repay once they are no longer attending college classes. The average student loan amounts have risen each year due to factors including the high cost of college education, more students seeking higher education than in previous years, as well as the relative ease of qualifying for student loans.
Types of Student Loans
There are two basic types of student loans: federal and private. Federal student loans may either be subsidized or unsubsidized. This basically means that either the federal government (subsidized) or student (unsubsidized) will be responsible for paying interest on the loans while that student is enrolled in school at least half time. Private student loans are offered by financial institutions. They may allow students to borrow more than federal loans. They may also have a much higher interest rate.
How to Repay Student Loans
With the average student debt being so high, student often wonder how they can make payments once they have stopped attending classes. Terms are set forth at the time the loan is made in order to explain to the student how and when they will be expected to make payments. Federal student loans are accompanied by a variety of repayment plans. repayment plan can be changed at any time at no cost. These include graduated, extended, standard, income-based, and pay-as-you-earn. Private student loans are treated similarly to car or home loans. They require monthly payments that can last for 10, 20, or even 30 years. Most financial planners agree that the wisest choice is to make double payments in order reduce the time spent paying student loans.
Avoiding Student Loan Debt
Higher education is a must. It is nearly impossible to become gainfully employed without a degree. Many students believe that they must take out a loan in order to pay for college. This is not the case. There are many ways to pay for an education without stealing from the future. Scholarships may be available to those who are academically gifted, have excelled in extracurricular activities, or who demonstrate need. Federal and state grants that do not require repayment may offer enough assistance to cover some or all of tuition. Military service can qualify individuals for full educational assistance through the GI Bill. Many students choose to work part- or full-time while they pay for their education out of pocket.
School Choice Matters
Some higher education institutions cost more than others. A prospective student must take into consideration whether the high cost is worth incurring debt. There are lower cost alternatives including online studies that may have a lower price tag. Sometimes it is worth spending more for the education while other times it is a better choice to opt for the less financially burdensome option. Only the student can decide for certain.
Regardless of how well prepared a student may be, student loans are sometimes necessary. Every effort should be taken to avoid as much debt as possible. Students should also have a plan in action to repay that debt once it has been incurred. Fear of the average student debt does not have to keep students from attending college as long as they are well prepared.