Most student loans use the simple daily interest formula, meaning the interest on your loan is being calculated on your principal balance and not on any unpaid outstanding interest. Once your loan enters repayment, any outstanding interest is capitalized (added to the principal balance) which mean your principal balance will increase. Your new, higher, outstanding principal balance will now be used to calculate your interest charges on your loan.
Pay Interest During Grace Periods
Paying interest during your loan grace period is a great way to prevent it from capitalizing, especially for federal student loans. With federal student loans, students have a six month grace period after leaving college, graduation, or falling below part-time enrollment before their loans come due. During this time, though you don’t have to make payments, interest is still accruing on your unsubsidized loan funds.
At the end of your grace period, that interest will capitalize (be added to the principal amount) on your loan and you will now be paying interest on this new balance. If possible, paying the interest off during the grace period will prevent capitalization and keep your loan balance lower.
Graduate On Time
Graduate on time. According to CNBC, just 41% of college students graduate in four years. Each additional year of study adds an additional year of debt. Transferring to another college or switching academic majors can add a term or two to your college career. Do your best to finish in four years to keep your overall costs down.
Save on College Related Expenses
College comes with related expenses, but these expenses are not fixed and offer students a lot of wiggle room when it comes to saving money.
Students can buy used textbooks, and rent textbooks or sell textbooks back to the bookstore or an online bookstore at the end of the academic term to save money. Also look to your school’s library to potentially borrow the texts you need, and digital versions of textbooks which may be more affordable.
Room and Board
Living on campus can be expensive. Some students www.paydayloanstennessee.com/cities/elizabethton/ save money by living off campus with roommates in an apartment that is less expensive that on-campus housing. Other students may choose to go to school near home and live at home while in college. This can result in substantial savings and have a noticeable impact on how much you’ll need to borrow.
Factor in transportation costs no matter what college you are looking at. If you live at home or off campus you will likely need to rely on a car or public transportation to get back and forth to school. If you go to school out-of-state or far from home, you will need to factor in the costs of traveling home for breaks and holidays, and adjust your plans accordingly to keep transportation costs within your means.
Yes, you can use student loans to cover living expenses, but those expenses should be necessities. Things like streaming services, spring break trips, and nights out should never be paid for with student loan funds. In addition, you can save more money to put toward your college expenses by being frugal and cutting unnecessary items like entertainment expenses.
Before You Borrow
Before you borrow student loans you need to plan ahead. Think of the immediate future and the future after you graduate. Keeping an eye on your future finances can help prevent financial stress down the road.
You should budget before you borrow. This will help you borrow only what you need. Often times, loan limits are higher than what you actually need to borrow. Having a budget ready ensures you don’t over borrow and in return, over spend.