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February 3, 2019

5 Tricks For Avoiding Debt In College

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated February 20, 2019

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Attending college is an exciting time in your life, but it can also be an expensive time. In addition to the rising costs of tuition and student loan payments, there are many other expenses that can cause you to fall into debt if you aren’t careful. However, there are quite a few tricks and some common sense tips you can follow to ensure that you can avoid debt in college.

Creating and setting a budget for yourself is important at any stage of life. Write down all your expenses and determine how much you’ve got left over for recreational spending, and what needs to be put aside for tuition payments, food, and rent if you’re living in an apartment off campus.

Research your options before settling for any particular student loan provider. Interest rates might vary slightly from one to another, but a small difference could add up to big savings in the future. Start putting aside money in an interest bearing account early to help you pay off student loans easier in the future. You might also be able to refinance a student loan in the future if rates are more favorable. If you decide to go that route, online loan reviews can point you to the most reputable lenders. Choose one of the best student loan refinancing companies to be sure you’re not getting scammed.

Credit card companies love college students, and you’ll be bombarded with lots of offers. But be careful—many of these credit cards come with high interest rates. Be sure you’re asking the right questions before you sign up for a credit card. If you feel that you need a credit card, consider a credit union or local bank instead. They often have better rates. And be sure to research the best credit cards before deciding on one.

You can save a great amount of money if you choose to attend a local college and stay at home. College tuition is often less expensive for those who live in the same state that the college is located, and you can also attend a community college for two years before transferring to another college to complete your degree. The savings could potentially be thousands, and living at home also lets you save money on expensive meals and eating out too often.

A paid internship is a great way to save a good amount of money as well as gain important career experience. If possible and it doesn’t interfere with your studies, you can also work part-time while attending college as well. With either option, you may feel as though you’re missing out on some fun, but you’ll feel a lot better when you have very little debt and possibly even some savings.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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