Student loan debt has recently exceeded credit card debt as the biggest debt that most Americans carry, and as of 2013, the amount of student loan debt burdening Americans surpassed the $1 trillion level. On an individual level, student loan debt is often a type of debt that stays with graduates for years, if not decades. In fact, in many cases, people approaching retirement are still paying on their student loan debts. While these facts may be daunting, especially for families with college-bound students, the good news is that there are some things you and your student can do to reduce his overall debt and to give him a brighter financial outlook (with less debt) after graduation.
Here are some tips on how to reduce college costs and minimize the need to borrow more money for student loans:
- Consider public universities as carefully as private schools: Private schools – particularly those with a strong reputation – are notorious for having excessively high tuition rates (with some being in excess of $30,000 per year). As you or your child considers his options for further education, be sure to consider public universities that tend to have significantly reduced tuition fees and that can be as prestigious as private schools.
- Think about alternative options to dorm living: Recent reports have indicated that living in on-campus dorms has become increasingly expensive over the past years (jumping up as much as 65 percent for some schools). When evaluating living options, consider living at home for the first (or more) year(s) or off-campus living options. While many people would say that dorm living is a great experience, is it an experience that is worth paying for over the next 10 or more years?
- Complete the FAFSA Application each year – The FAFSA application (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid application) determines whether a family and its college-bound child are eligible for federal student aid (in the form of loans or grants). A common mistake many people make is assuming that their income is too high and that they don’t qualify for federal aid. However, because federal aid officials take a number of factors into account when assessing eligibility, make sure to complete this application every year, as you/your child may be eligible for benefits.
Preparing to pay for college can be essential to alleviating financial burdens later in life. However, if you were not able to plan for student loan debt, are facing seemingly insurmountable debt and are looking for a financial fresh start, contact the trusted Colorado debt relief and bankruptcy lawyers at the Law Office of Jon B. Clarke, P.C. Our experienced legal professionals are committed to providing each of our Clients with the debt relief assistance they need, and we will work tirelessly to ensure that our Clients’ cases are resolved as favorably and efficiently as possible. For a thorough assessment of your situation, along with expert advice regarding the best manner in which to move forward to unburden yourself from debt, call us at (866) 916-3950.