Student Loans help students cover their education fees.
There is no doubt that student loans whether government loans or private loans have proved to be good sources of finance for students who don’t have money to sponsor themselves in schools. Under normal circumstances, payment for tuition fees and other related expenses should not be a headache to any student. It should be the responsibility of the parents to cater for their children. However, what students experience today is totally different. Some students are totally responsible for their education, hence the need for student loans. Why will students be responsible for his or her education? Well, this is the question any student that is on the favourable side of the coin may ask? Students may need to pay for their education through student loans for any of the reasons stated below:
Parents are deceased: This is one of the tragedies of life. Some students lost their parents when they were still kids leaving no one that can take care of their education. A member of the family may help foot the bills in the elementary levels. But the more a student grows and gets promoted to higher level of education, the higher the school expenses become. Such relation may not be able to take care of the College or University fees. If the student involved is determined in furthering his education, he may be left with no option other than to apply for student loans.
Parents are incapacitated: There are people who are though alive but incapacitated. This can be due to illness or an accident. Instead of parents taking care of their children, reverse becomes the case. The burden of taking care of incapacitated person is enough not to talk about going through the rigours of going through college or university education. When parents cannot provide, what else will such student do? The next option is to apply for student loans.
Parents are jobless or earning low income: When a take home package is not enough to take parent home, adding educational expenses to their main expenses may not be possible. It is either that the student will apply for student loans directly by himself or if the parents are so caring, they may apply for student loans for their children.
If you are reading this article and you fall into any of these categories, I actually share your feelings. Whatever the situation may be, I want you to know that you are not at the end of the road. Many people have gone through the same situation and become great. If your desire is to further your education, all hope are not lost. As mentioned above, one of the ways people in any of these categories are able to go to school is through student loans. Possibly, you are actually considering applying for student loans. Before you do that, I want you to complete the reading of this article. Student loans are actually helpful but it can become a burden in the future. I don’t want you to misunderstand me. Student loans can be seen as investment which will later pay for itself in the future. It is true but you can minimize the risks involved by ensuring that you reduce any student loan you are taking to the barest minimum. How can you achieve this? This is the reason for this article. You can reduce your student loans by taking the following steps:
Take a part time job: Do you know that you can be working while at school? There are many part time and flexible jobs that allow you enough freedom to school while working. Examples are freelance jobs and online businesses. Working part time may not provide you all the money you need for your education; it will definitely reduce the amount of student loan you will need to take. No matter how generous and flexible student loans may be, loan is still loan. You will need to repay. Working part time can help you reduce the student loan you will need by half or more. Even if it requires that you taking an extra semester or two, it is worth it.
Find less expensive institution: Success in life is more of your personal commitment. You don’t need to go to the most expensive institution before you succeed in life. The higher the school fees, the more student loans you will need to borrow. There is nothing bad in going to an expensive institution if you have the means. But if your main source of financing your education is through student loans, it is advisable that you cut your coat according to your cloth. Cheap institution does not actually mean low quality. Some of the most expensive institutions are leveraging on the achievements and attainments of their past students. For new institutions of the same quality and standard whose majority of their students are still new, they may need to charge low fees in order to attract students.
Work in organization that sponsors their employees’ education: There are organizations that pay for their employees’ education. You can seek for employment in such organizations. This is a good way to avoid or reduce student loans for your education. Although you may need work for certain number of years before you qualify for this, it is worth waiting for. Also, some organization may require that you sign a bond that you will work for them for certain number of years before you can leave for another organization. The truth is that, they will be making investment in you and they need to enjoy the benefits too.
Apply for scholarship and grants. It is not just about student loans. Some organizations and even governments do give scholarship and grants to brilliant students. The good thing about grants and scholarship in contrary to student loans is that you don’t need to repay whatever amount they offer you. It is totally free. Search internet to find out different grants and scholarships that are available in your area. They are usually offered based on merit in as much you satisfy their requirements.
Be frugal: For students that depend on student loans to finance their education, you may need to cut down on certain expenses. I remember the words of my parents to me when I gained admission into tertiary institution. They said to me; “remember the son of whom you are”. Those words guided me in most of the decisions I made in school. The fact that my colleagues were doing certain things did not mean I should do same. At school, you will meet different kinds of students from different backgrounds. Some students are super rich and can afford anything. But students that live on student loans, it will be like building castle in the air if they try to live big like their counterpart affluent students. If an expense if not necessary or important, you can do yourself good by avoiding it. The fact that you cannot afford some things today does not mean you will not be able to afford them tomorrow. You just need to make the sacrifice. People may not understand you but you know why you are making the sacrifice.
Apply for Federal Student Loans: Applying for federal student loans may not reduce the amount of student loans you may need for your education. However, federal student loans rates are the cheapest and their terms can be more friendly. The requirements for qualification for federal student loans are not that difficult. It will delight you to know that you can even qualify for certain government student loans without your credit check or level of your income. In some situations, you can also enjoy student loans forgiveness. If you enjoy student loans forgiveness, such loans become more or less government grants as you will not need to repay the loan. Therefore, before you apply for student loans from private organizations. If all attempts to get federal student loans prove abortive, you can then try other sources. But it is better to start with federal student loans. Government may not be too generous in giving student loans as they usually put cap on the maximum amount you can borrow. On the other hand, I see this very advantageous. This practice will not allow students to borrow more than they actually need.
Pay in Instalments: When you consider the tuition fee for the whole session, the amount can be intimidating and not affordable to many students. For this reason, student may seek for student loans. But there could be a better option to this. Why can’t you ask if you can be allowed to pay your school fees on instalments. If you are granted this opportunity, you may discover that there will not be any need for student loans.
Seek supports: A closed mouth is a close destiny. There is nothing bad if you discuss your predicaments with people you trust. These people can be your relations, friends and other students. As mentioned, some students are as rich as working class. Some of them can also be philanthropist in nature. Even though they may not be able to pay your tuition fees, they can help you pay some educational expenses. Some may even be willing to share their apartment with you. Therefore, before you amass student loans, ensure that you have talked with people you believe can be of assistance.
Apply Online: There are some credible websites where you can apply for student loans online. There are certain advantages you can derive through this medium. For example, with just one application, you will have access to multiple lenders who will be competing to offer you student loans at good rates. Getting student loan at a good rate can make a lot of difference. In most cases, it is the accumulation of interest on the loan that makes such loan becomes burdensome. This means that you don’t need to fill multiple application forms. In addition, you can enjoy supports.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Student loans
Before you conclude whether to apply for student loan or not, you may like to weigh the implication it may have on you. That is why we shall quickly talk about the pros and cons of student loans here.
Pros of Student Loans
Availability of funds: Except you win scholarship, you will agree with me that going to University require that you pay for tuition fees, accommodation, meals and so on. Unfortunately, it is not everybody that has the desire to go to University that can afford the tuition fee and other incidental expenses. At times, you come across brilliant students that are out of school by the reasons of lack of supports. With student loans, many students have been able to pay their way through colleges and universities. If not for student loans, the dreams of this category of students would have been aborted. Today, many people who are doctors, engineers, accountants, lawyers and many other professionals are direct beneficiaries of student loans
Career Success: Labour market is becoming more competitive. Before, you didn’t need to be a university degree holder to rise to the top of your career. But today, anyone that wants to take his career serious will need to have at least university degree. University degree gives you an edge in the labour market. So, if anyone is able to take advantage of student loans to secure a university degree in order to climb the career ladder, I think it is worth the pain. With good job and adequate planning, one can easily pay off the student loan within a short period.
Building of Credit History: If you don’t have a credit, it is difficult to build a credit history. And without a credit history, it is absolutely impossible to ascertain your credit worthiness. If you want to apply for auto loan, your credit history will be required. It is easier to secure student loan as a student than to get an auto loan. If you had a student loan which you repaid without any default, it will be easier for you to get an auto loan that somebody without any credit history.
Cons of Student Loans
Burden of Debt: Debt is a burden. The truth about debt is that it is now easy to repay especially when what you earn is not even sufficient for you. You know how much it is difficult to save. It actually takes a lot of discipline to save. In the same way, it is very difficult to repay a debt. And until you repay your debt, you don’t actually feel a sense of freedom. Ask anyone who had ever been in debt, he will tell you how he had a sigh of relief when he finally completed the repayment of the debt.
Increased Financial Difficulty: There is no guarantee that you will secure a good job immediately after you graduate from school. If you have the obligation of paying back student loan and its interest when you have no or little income coming to you at each month, it might create a financial tension for you. This may even affect other areas of your life.
Effects of defaults: It is easier getting student loan than repaying. By the time you are getting the loan, you may have a good plan laid down on how you will repay the student loan. But supposing the plan did not work out, this may lead to default in payments. Apart from the fact that defaults may attract penalties, it will not help your credit history. This will also have damaging effects on your credit score thereby making it difficult to secure other loans in the future. Even, if you are able to secure any loan, it will be at a high rate of interest.
I like to conclude that education is good. However, you don’t need to mortgage your future for the sake of education. If you need to secure student loans, please reduce it to the barest minimum. You will be glad you did. Best of luck.