Making Smart Student Loan Choices

Student loans are among some of the easiest loans to get. They basically only require that you maintain a certain attendance percentage and pass all of your classes. Even if you fail to meet these requirements, you're usually put on probation. This means you have a second chance to meet the requirements. Student loans also offer unique forgiveness methods, low interest rates and payment terms that are based on your income. So, how is it possible to make poor student loan choices? Very easily.

Lower Your Need

You don't have to take out student loans. Even if you do take them out, you don't have to take the maximum amount allowed. In fact, you're better off to only take what you need. To do this right, figure up a tentative budget not just for the year, but for your time in college. If you base the amount you accept on the amount you actually need as deemed by your budget, you won't be accruing unnecessary debt, but you will be able to survive.

You can reduce your need for student loans by changing the way you spend money in your daily life as well as the way you spend money on your schooling. This is easily done by doing things like purchasing or renting used textbooks instead of new ones, taking only the classes that apply to your degree and reusing some of your school items from last year. Don't forget to take advantage of ways you can save money just by being a student. Some websites, stores and restaurants offer discount to students, but not all of them advertise it. Don't forget to ask about these types of discounts when you're out and about.


Student loans offer flexible payment terms in many ways. One of the ways that they do this is by offering a deferral option. This means that you aren't required to pay back any of portion of any of your student loans until you are out of school for six months or fail to meet the requirements of the loans. Of course, you don't have to wait until it's required for you to start paying on your loans. You can make payments at any time. The benefits of this package is that you reduce the amount of interest accrued on your student loans that build up interest. On student loans that don't have interest accumulating, your payments will go directly to the actual amount borrowed, meaning that you will have less to pay back in the end.

Making smart student loan choices is about more than being financially responsible in your present position. It's about planning for a future that you can afford. Student loans exist to help you obtain a valuable education and being able to afford to survive while you do it. You're getting your education so you can move forward with your life and live better than your current lifestyle. If you end up owing more money than you can afford when your education is complete, you may find yourself living the exact same lifestyle as you were living before you decided to get an education.

Sooner or later you may feel dismayed that you worked so hard, yet your student loan payments take so much out of your income that not much has changed for you financially. Such thoughts can lead to defaulting on your loans. Making smart student loan choices does not include using a default as an option. Be smart and plan ahead for your financial future.