This post may contain affiliate links; see site footer for more details.
**Thanks to Her Campus Media and College Ave Student Loans for sponsoring this post. As usual, all opinions and thoughts are entirely my own. #collegeaveloans
Happy Monday! I kicked off the week last night with a brand spankin’ new YouTube video and the first weekly newsletter for CUR. Did you get it?!? (Put your name and email in the lower right hand corner pop-up box if you didn’t!)
While your Monday is hopefully happy, you know what’s *not* happy? Student loans.
The most repulsive two words for many college kids. And pre-college kids. And parents of college kids. And graduates whose post-grad dreams feel stifled by the inability to spend hard-earned cash on anything but student loans.
It can be seriously depressing – and with a lack of resources, seriously scary!
Here are 3 tips to (hopefully) help you maximize your knowledge base for your own self, friends, kids, neighbors, or other cohort of hooligans, while also minimizing your own payments and stress levels down the road.
1. Plan ahead. Self-explanatory, right? Maybe. But there really are so many opportunities to save in often unexpected ways when it comes to paying tuition bills and taking out loans. In this day and age, there are scholarships out there for literally everything. Are you left-handed? There’s a scholarship for that. How about your Italian heritage? There’s a cute little meatball-making society of ladies who will sponsor a scholarship for you. Some scholarships are for the entirety of your higher education while some are annual, so just do your research and be persistent with the applications. Every $1,000 scholarship you get is $1,000 less in student loans that you might have otherwise had to pay later!
2. Know the system. Income Based Repayment (IBR) is a system meant to ensure that your student loan payments, once you have them, won’t exceed what you’re “able” to pay based on your current income. They’re supposedly “fair and manageable” and won’t extend indefinitely, meaning – an end WILL be in sight! With IBR comes Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Note: FORGIVENESS. PSLF is meant for those with federal student loans who work in a variety of “public service” jobs, like those in government and nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations. J is currently in this program to pay off his own loans, so he’s a near-pro with the system…and it’s going to be such a blessing to us down the road when he’s 37 and student loan-free! So long as you’re in the public sector, your loans can be forgiven in ten years. Gone. That’s ridiculously crazy awesome. Trust.
3. Use the smartest lenders. What might be the smartest of them all? College Ave Student Loans. They’re an online marketplace lender with a sole focus on student loans; they’ve got competitive rates, variable loans, the most repayment options, ad a customer-friendly process that makes each step from application through repayment a total breeze. They keep it simple so you can get on with what matters most: your amazingly bright future. On any loan, you’re typically balancing two things: paying as little interest as possible with monthly affordable payments. College Ave Student Loans has the most choices for when to start paying and for how long to pay back. It’s totally optional, but choosing to make in-school payments means that you can get started for as little as $25 a month. No fees to apply, no fees to pay the loan back early, and a 0.25% interest rate reduction when you sign up for automatic payments.
To help you through the college process, College Ave Student Loans has partnered with Chegg on a #CollegeGoals Instagram contest. From now until June 30th, you can share your college goals with College Ave for the chance to win big – a $5,000 college scholarship (remember that scholarship talk in point numero uno???) and $50 in Chegg textbook credits (because textbooks can be hella expensive). Click here for more contest information!
How are you paying for college? Or, how did you?
Seriously, on behalf of the entire Millennial generation, I’d love to know. Spill your secrets! And I’ll leave you with a financially-relevant quote from the good ol’ founder of my university:
“If you want to become rich, never waste your time and money.” – Ben Franklin
Since my morning started with neighborhood sirens and a complex-wide power outage, I’m hoping yours is exciting and full of coffee and donuts and kittens. See you on the hump!