Best Practices for Handling Your Student Loan

Saturday, June 13, 2020, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

Going to college or university is an exciting, inspiring, and euphoric time.

However, to some, it can also seem daunting. The need to take thousands of dollars of student loan to sustain yourself through higher education is naturally unnerving, but so long as you handle it sensibly, it doesn’t need to be so scary.

Unexpected things happen, extenuating circumstances exist, and for some people, it may seem impossible to keep on top of their financial situation.

That is completely understandable, and there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to loan advice, but you will be maximizing your chances of handling your money well if you follow these top tips.

  • Budget

    Budgeting is something many people never have to do before arriving for their freshman year of higher education. To others, it has been part and parcel of their adolescent life. Either way, making sure you budget right from the beginning will set you on the sound path to handling your student loan well.

    Try and predict your outgoings. To begin with, this will be difficult, as you don’t know how many times a week or month you will be doing activities, meeting up with friends or buying personal items. After a couple of weeks, the outgoings prediction process will get easier and more accurate, and you will be able to better assess where you could save money.

    Prioritizing and organizing your expenditure is critical. If you know, there is a book you need to buy for one of your courses, try and make that purchase before a luxury or non-essential one. It’s all about balance.

  • Don’t overspend

    This is important in general, but even more so with loans: do not spend what you don’t have. It sounds simple, but it is a rule plenty of students break when they get carried away in their first year. It can be challenging not to overspend, especially when travel and university resources are sometimes extortionate. It is also important not to get downbeat or angry if you spend more than you wanted to in a week or month – budgeting is a learning process.

  • Protect yourself

    Once you’ve taken out a student loan, you must know how to protect yourself against debt collectors. The majority of the time, you will have no trouble with them, but if you do, then acting wisely and contacting professionals is critical.

    If you contacted by a debt collector, you should remain calm and do not get angry even if they seem to be at you; know that you are protected by consumer protection laws. Record the conversation if possible and contact a lawyer if they harass you, contact your family or workplace about the loan, or continue to call you after you’ve told them to stop. A good lawyer will provide successful help for consumer protection lawsuits – the exact thing you’ll be bringing upon an abusive financial provider.

  • Ask others

    At most universities and colleges, there is an effective and friendly support network not only for financial issues but also for health and wellbeing concerns too. Getting help from professional staff, seeking pastoral advice and contacting former students you know who have taken out student loans are all useful forms of raising your awareness of how to deal with them.

Never be afraid to ask for help: this is possibly the first experience you have of handling large amounts of money, and it could be unwise to try and do it alone.

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