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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Alexander

Student Loans-Do I Have to Pay For the Rest of My Life?

Working Toward Your Goal

We are told from a very young age that college degrees are a must and when we are young we listen to our parents and say yes, "I am going to college to be a ......" However; as we grow older and life's realities set in, we learn that college degrees come at a higher cost than we ever anticipated. Many of us have to foot our own college bill and if you are one of those people, this article is for you.


First, work hard in school to have and keep good grades. As we have seen recently on the news and online, many high school teens have earned full scholarships to the universities of their choice because they maintained high GPAs and were well-rounded students. Higher learning institutions select these types of students for their scholarship programs. So when choosing extra-curricular activities, be strategic about your choices. Do not join groups just for the sake of joining, select organizations that interest you now and support your long-term goals.


Start making payments before the loan is due. Check with your financial aid adviser to see if there is a pre-payment penalty on your loans. If not, send in payments while there is no pressure to meet due dates. As a college student, I understand you may not have extra funds. However; if you do earn salaries during your four-year term, earmark a few dollars for loan repayment. Even $20 a month will go a long way in decreasing the amounts owed on unsubsidized loans as these types of loans accrue interest from day 1. You should work on paying these loans off first. When your balance finally becomes due, your total amount will be lower which decreases your overall outlay.


Do not rely on earning a high income to repay loans. Most often, entry level jobs do not pay top dollar. Even if your particular industry does pay high salaries, your total student loan will probably be just as high and income-based repayments do not offer real relief. You will probably pay more over time than under the normal 10-year plan according to Deferments and forbearance only prolong the inevitable and the loans still accrue interest. Just as we make plans for vacations and other areas of our lives, plan for your desired career path and the repayment of that education as student loans are usually not forgiven.


One of my favorite quotes is from the ex-Chairmen & CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch; "Control your own destiny or someone else will." I apply this same concept to personal finance; control your financial destiny, so some business won't. The Federal government can garnish your wages to collect on student loans and unfortunately your high income will not protect you. Don't pay on your student loan for the rest of your life.

Happy Saving!

Listen to my segment on Girl Power Hour Radio Inspirational Radio 860am on August 11, 2017. GPH 8-11-17-2.mp3 .

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