As you make choices in how you finance your education, consider the following tips that can help you borrow responsibly:
- Plan ahead: Budget your expenses at the start of every quarter and only borrow student loans that you'll need to pay your school-related costs.
- Look to scholarships and grants to cover the costs of higher education. Since scholarships and grants don't have to be paid back, they're free money to put toward the cost of your education.
- Consider asking your employer for tuition assistance or reimbursement. Even if they don't have a formal tuition assistance program in place, they may still be willing to offer financial assistance.
- Make interest-only payments on your student loans while you're in school to save money in the long run when you're repaying your loans.
- Take advantage of tax benefits or incentives that are associated with your tuition and/or student loans.
- Estimate the amount of debt you can afford. Use the repayment calculator to figure how much you'll need to make your monthly loan repayments once you graduate.
- If you are struggling to make loan payments, contact your lender. It is critical that you communicate your situation with your lender so that you can make appropriate arrangements that will protect your credit score.
- Stay on schedule. Repaying a student loan on time can create and build an excellent credit history.
- If you can prepay a student loan, do so. You won't incur any penalties and you'll save on the total interest due.