Welcome back to The Selfish Column everyone, hope all is well in your world of adulting. As you can tell by the title today we are talking about that “wonderful” thing called student loan. And by wonderful I mean that life-sucking nightmare that gives false investment into your future (lol where is the lie though… RIGHT). If you live in North America and have ever set your mind on a post-secondary education, you may have noticed the expensive price tag that comes with this decision. Don’t get me wrong, investing in your future is an incredible thing and so is continuously educating yourself.
A little About My College/University Journey
During my college years, I was living with my parents while working the weekends and summer days to pay for my classes. Living at home helped minimize my expenses while paying for school. After graduating my college program, I went straight to the third year of my university program and took out my first loan. When it came time to pay it off I struggled with it because not only did I move away from home but I went back to school without informing student loan. Honestly, I did not know how to go about paying this. I fell behind and pretended that my loan didn’t exist, but that didn’t last long. Eventually, I took control of the situation and started slow. I decided to take a look at my interest rate and my income tax returns. The best course of action for me at the time was to give my tax return back to the government. It wasn’t easy to give this cash up because tax season is always around my birthday and the reality of no more extra birthday cash was saddening ( no more stunting with my returns hahahahahah). But I had to remind myself constantly that I lived without the income tax return money for a year and managed to survive just fine. After all, being out of debt is far more important in the long run. So without further or do, please see below my basic tips on managing your student loan.
1. Check when tuition is due for each semester:
This is good if you pay your own classes. This gives you time to save up and pay slowly toward your classes. I did this while in college, I made a point to treat it like a monthly bill and visited the registrar office each month to pay off a large sum.
2. Save a portion of your grants and or bursaries:
With a student loan, you get things such a grants and scholarships, I know it is money you don’t have to pay back but that doesn’t mean you can’t use a portion of it towards your student loan.
3. Use a portion of your income tax to pay a large amount:
Most students use their income tax return as extra money to go on trips— But if you divide accordingly, you will be able to enjoy more of it in the long run.
4. Always pay on top of your interest rate:
But most importantly always AlWAYS pay on time.
5. Build a relationship with the agent that holds your account:
Call the office and find out who is assigned to your account because having a strong and honest relationship with your agent can work in your favor. Keeping them in the loop of your financial situation can avoid your account being forwarded to collections and receiving those debt collector calls that we all hate.
Thank you for getting to this point and reading the whole post. I hope you found these tips to be helpful in your student career. Some of these tips I learned from personal experience and the rest I found afterward that I thought would be useful. If you enjoy this blog post please leave a comment below sharing your thoughts on it.
Have a great week everyone.