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8 Ways to Pay Off Student Loans Debt

A recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics showed that 50% of recent college graduates have student loans, and the average student loan debt is $10,000. The average cost of college has grown at twice the rate of inflation. With the cost of college rising, it can be difficult for aspiring college students to secure enough scholarships and grants to pay for college and basic necessities. More and more college students are being forced to use credit cards to pay for basic necessities like books and school supplies. According to United Marketing Services (UCMS), the average number of credit cards per student is 2.8.

Here are 8 ways to help pay off student loan debt:

1. Make a plan. Make a plan to pay off your student loan debt before graduation.

2. Save money. Find a job or internship each summer during your college education. Put half the money in a high-interest savings account such as http://www.emigrantdirect.com (5.05%) or http://www.ing.com (4.5%). After a few months, consult a financial advisor to get the highest possible return on your money. After college, you can use the money you’ve saved over four years to pay off your college debt.

3. Merge carefully. Consolidating student loans consolidates your loans into one payment, but may or may not give you a lower interest rate. Do extensive research before consolidating student loans. Also, if you consolidate your student loans, you may not be eligible for various student loan forgiveness programs.

4. Swap jobs to reduce debt. Doing volunteer work or doing the following in exchange for reducing student loan debt: teaching in certain low-income student or teacher shortage areas, providing legal and medical services in low-income areas, or working for the Americorps or Peace Corps.

5. Find a work-study job. To help pay for college, find a work-study job on campus to help pay for college. Go to your campus staff office to inquire about their work-study program. Work Study Jobs paid at least the state’s minimum wage.

6. Apply for a lot of scholarships. Budgets for college scholarships have dwindled in recent years, making it difficult to get scholarships to go to college. You can increase the variation in receiving scholarships by completing as many scholarship applications as possible. If you complete at least 50, you should receive at least 5 scholarships. Also, go to your campus financial aid office to inquire about the school’s financial aid programs for students. Be friendly with the Financial Aid Office staff, who will alert you when financial aid programs are available. You can also search for scholarships on the internet. Some scholarship websites are http://www.fastweb.com, http://www.scholarships.com, http://www.finaid.org, [http://www.college-scholarships.com] or http://www.scholarshiphelp.org.

7. Apply for a grant. Apply for as many grants and scholarships as possible. You can also apply for federal grants, such as the Federal Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program, the Leverage Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP), and the National Science Scholars Program. Some funding sites are http://www.scholarships-ar-us.org/grants/, http://www.scholarships-ar-us.org/grants/women.htm, http://www.careersandcolleges.com .

8. Protect your credit. Try to avoid late payment of student loans, if you do, it will be reported on your credit report and can be retained for up to seven years. If you are experiencing financial hardship, call the student loan company and tell them about your situation, request a financial hardship or loan extension to make sure your credit is not damaged until you are able to start paying again.

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