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Monday, March 2, 2009

How much do you Owe in Student Loans

By Steven R. Brooks

When you go to college, you will have to pay a pretty penny. College costs seem to go nowhere but up, and not everyone is able to afford them. In fact, most people aren't able to afford college without some type of assistance. This assistance could be college savings, scholarships, financial aid, loans, or a combination of them all. Loans are a very popular type of aid for college. Most students graduate with student loans.

How much are your student loans worth? Did you graduate with a lot of debt? When you went looking for loans, the first loan you got was probably the government Stafford Loan because of the low rate. If you have financial need, you can get the Subsidized Stafford Loan which allows you to not pay interest on it while you are in college.

Besides government loans, there are other lending options. You can go through a student loan service, get a personal loan, have your parents get a loan, take out a second mortgage, or use credit cards. I suggest that you don't take out a second mortgage and that you NEVER use a credit card to pay for college.

You may want to look into going to a cheaper school. Cheaper schools are usually state colleges and only cost less because the government pays for part of it. Often state schools are actually better than many more expensive private schools.

How can you use less loans? The best way to minimize student loan debt is by by not taking out loans in the first place. Unless you are a super genius and feel you must go to an Ivy League school, go to one of the top state schools and save a lot of money.

You can save even more money if you go to a community college first then transfer. Community colleges are even cheaper and you'll also save money on room and board because you'll be commuting.

You can also save a lot of money by commuting to school. You might find that living in residence halls or dorms isn't all they are cracked up to be anyway. Commuting can save you a lot, especially if you live close by and don't have to pay much gas.

A final way to pay for college is to work. Get a part time job during the semester and work full time over break to save the most money possible.

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