Student loan debt has become a widespread problem: 43.3 million Americans have it, with the total debt being over $1.3 trillion. The average debt for the 2016 graduate was over $37,000.
While not a whole lot can be done to cut college costs, students do have some options, which the American Consumer Council partnered with Kim Curtis to go over in this video:
Choosing Your Major
Should you follow your passion? Absolutely. Should you try to incorporate your passion into a lucrative career? Definitely. Choosing a major that consistently sees higher than average salaries will increase your chances of getting rid of student loan debt quicker. The top majors include computer science, engineering, finance and mathematics.
How do you meld one of these into a passion? Say your lifelong dream was working in a zoo, but a keeper position doesn’t come with a salary you can work with. Instead, aim to be an accountant or systems administrator for the zoo.
Earn Money During College
Sure, college schoolwork will keep you busy. But you can still fit in making some extra cash on evening, weekends and summer. Save as much as you can now before the bills start coming!
You also have the opportunity to earn valuable experience. Look for positions on campus or talk to your professors about paid internships.
Work for the Family Business
If your family owns a business, there’s a potential for a tax write-off that can benefit you. Once you’re over 21 years of age, your parents can hire you for two years and write off $5,250 that can be used to repay your college education.
Look at Repayment Options
Once you graduate and have to start making payments, there are a couple things you can do to make things easier on yourself:
Choose an income-driven repayment option, which will base your monthly payment on your salary
Consolidate your student loans into one so you only have one monthly payment to budget.
If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t make payment, you can work out a deferment settlement. This will postpone payments, but interest will still accrue. Still, it’s better than defaulting on your loan.