3 Ideas to Leave College Better (Financially) Than When You Entered

You go to college, get a degree and you leave with the hope of making a career for yourself, earning a ton of money. What they don’t remind of you of often enough is the debt that most families and students face when you finish college.

Don’t get me wrong, not all debt is bad debt as some studies have shown. But here are three ways to help reduce that debt while still maintaining the desire to graduate!

Credit is your friend, and your enemy.

Credit card debt seems to always start in college – books, food and fun always seem to trump keeping the credit score up. While using credit helps build credit, misusing credit is even worse, and can create a debt that’s not even related to your college expenses.

For some, a poor credit score can affect the job hunt process – although a very limited practice, you can’t blame an employer for trying to reduce any potential risks.

Compiled with the possibility of having to pay for school loans, do you really need a huge credit card bill or even worse, bill collectors coming after you?

Protecting your credit worthiness was something I never thought about while I was a student and even less after graduation.  Thinking about it beforehand and understanding the benefits will keep you on track for financial freedom upon graduation.

Make some cash while you’re there.

Not just cash, but income. Many students see working during college in both a positive and negative way.  While having that extra cash on hand is nice, students are wary of how working a full or part time job will affect their ability to study. More so, some students find their calling through these jobs and never graduate.

Like all else, keep your eyes on the prize and decide in advance what your goals are.

Some programs, such as federal work study, do provide students with the flexibility and cash needed when juggling a full time student schedule. And working on campus has its benefits especially when you hit some of these more popular work study jobs.

A bit of counseling can be the difference.

Sometimes, all you need is a bit of sound advice.  Whether it be the most cost effective college in your field, great financial aid sources, help with college applications, tutoring beforehand to get your grades up to qualify for an academic scholarship, even just managing the money you do have (credit and cash) so you do not end up with extra debt upon graduation.

Finding quality advice for college is one of the more important things you can do to prep for college and should be started when you get in to high school.  If you know college is your path, or even if you just need help planning the next step after high school, find an adviser as soon as you can.

Don’t let going to college be a burden to college. While many great businesses and products have come from college dropouts, statistically, you’re better off going AND graduating.  Do it right the first time!

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