Many college students leave school with tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Most college freshmen have never lived away from home and have no idea how to manage their personal finances. When people hit the age of 18, they suddenly are hit with many pre-approved credit card offers which in conjunction with student loans can be a fatal financial combination. Here are some tips to help new college students handle the responsibility that comes with student loan and personal debt.

Music Building, Arizona State University
Creative Commons License Kevin Dooley via Compfight

Explore a Part Time Job or Paid Internship

A part time job and a paid internship are great ways for teens to be able to gain work experience and make money at the same time. Many people use excess student loan money that is refunded to them as a credit balance to pay for living mistakes. This just increases the debt much faster. Paying for expenses with a paycheck instead of loan money can save thousands in interest fees down the road as well.

Slow Down On Getting a Degree

Many students think that they have to be full time students but now the law is that children can stay covered under a parent’s health insurance policy until the age of 26. People can opt to slow down their education by taking one or two classes at a time instead of being a full time student. This gives students the opportunity to either pay down their classes or save for them in advance. The quicker that a person finishes their degree the more debt and interest they rack up. This is why it is so beneficial to slow down.

Rent Textbooks

Renting textbooks is much more affordable than purchasing them. Many undergraduate students are given some of their tuition money from their school through online book credits at bookstores. Purchasing text books is not worth the investment because most teens either sell them for a lot less than they are worth or sell them. E-books or renting textbooks saves time and money and is less expensive so more of the financial aid can be saved.

Leave the Car at Home If Possible

Having a car on campus can be expensive. It is a good idea for college students to try to commute via bicycle or public transportation because it saves money on fuel and car insurance premiums. Most college campuses have limited space for cars so often a permit has to be paid for as well. People should also consider living off campus versus renting a dorm room. Many campuses charge more for a dorm room than a studio apartment costs.

Avoid High Credit Limit Credit Card Offers

High credit card limit offers come often to people who are young and have no credit history yet. Young people can quickly get in over their heads when they try to emulate what their parents have when they do not have full time jobs yet. If it important for people to begin to build up a good credit history over time. The best way to do this is to inquire about student credit cards. These often have lower interest rates and credit lines. This helps students have low minimum monthly payments and access to money in the event of an emergency.

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