How to Avoid Unwanted College Debt

In a recent interview, finance publisher Mark Kantrowitz pointed out 5 things a college student can do in order to keep tabs of his or her college funds while being able to stay away from the path of disheartening and unwanted college liabilities.

  1. Take the time to do your homework. Kantrowitz starts by saying “it is every student’s right to have his funds placed in his own choice of bank.” This ultimately means that even when one’s college or university supports on bank and the student fills the terms from that said bank is way too much for him then he, in all his right, have the choice of getting his funds in a bank that suits his needs best.
  2. Learn to flip the papers and read what’s in for you in fine print. Not reading the text in fine print is not at all fine. There may always be more to the terms you liked a certain bank for than what has been laid to you upfront. Most of the times the things in fine print are actually the ones that will help you get a decision whether to do business with a company or not. Especially when dealing with college funds, you need to be sure you know all there is to know.
  3. Remember that a penny worth having is a penny worth saving. Most huge and established companies will allow you to have your money when you need it without any charges. However, there are those that charge you even on transactions when all you need to do is access your own money. Even if these transactions cost only $5 on average, if you will sum it up until you graduate from college that could mean a huge sum of money.
  4. Whether you like math or not, do the math. Kantrowitz suggests this sleek tip whenever doing purchases. “Always double the cost of anything you buy when using student loan.” He then explains that anything bought through student loan amounts to a virtually twice the mark up price. It is always then best to keep tabs on tags.
  5. Need or want? Determining whether something is a need (something you can live without) or a want (something you “need” just because) is the first step to following a reasonable and attainable budget plan. List down the things you regularly spend money on, organize your list and see if there is anything you can do about it especially if you are overspending on something. Kantrowitz calls this a “descriptive budget.”

College, for most people, is the stage of life where financial dealing becomes true and real.

Of course, there is the need to efficiently manage your college funds from financial aid, your college loan and your credit card.

While tending to college debt is just reasonable stressing over overdue balances and being “broke” due to expenses you could have avoided but have not is just downright unreasonable.