It’s easy to assume that everything is going to be alright once your college loan application goes through. High school days can be spent blowing cash on anything in between assignments because the real world hasn’t hit you yet. Then graduation nears and you choose a path for your next few years and one big shocker comes. When you find out just how much your post secondary life is going to cost, all hell breaks loose in your belly.
Run with that. Do not ignore it. Feel the pain and let it help you. Too many people, often in spite of their parents’ nagging, think they can fall back on a college loan and have their futures secured. For far too many people this is certainly not the case. A college loan can rarely do much more then hold your head above water for a few years. That is rarely enough.
Sure, if you choose to live at home then there is a lot less expense to worry about but many students don’t have that choice. When there is a choice, the stay at home option is often not appealing for more then the usual reason. After all, the school that offers the things you’re looking for is rarely the one next door. The college loan you so desperately relied on will hardly pay for the whole next three (or four or five…) years of your life. Most experiences you may hear about won’t even tell you the college loan barely got them by.
A college loan generally falls under the category of necessary loans. This means the borrower gets special privileges like low interests rates, grace periods and the like. It’s the government and schools themselves that most often offer these student loans and therefore the numbers can be quite predictable. Though the college in question, types of classes and predicted expenses play a huge role in determining what the borrower gets, it doesn’t mean the borrow will get enough.
For instance, when a college loan is calculated it is broken down into categories. Actual tuition, supply expenses, cost of living, etc. The chunk of money set aside for school supplies tends to max out around a thousand dollars. This part of your college loan is supposed to cover text books, computer equipment, pens, pencils and anything else your classes might call for. Forget about the extra hundreds of dollars a class in the fine arts would cost. Text books alone can cost over three hundred bucks a course.
The point is that part of every college plan should be an immediate part time job. Primarily this is necessary to make up the slack that the college loan is leaving out there. This is not only for school supplies and other basic expenses but, let’s fact it, even the most focused student is going to want a night out for fun once in a while. On top of this there is the ever forgotten fact that the college loan has to be paid back. Assuming you fall into a good career right after graduation this won’t be a problem at all. If you wind up like a growing percentage of students, though, this isn’t going to happen. The college loan payments won’t wait. Having that part time income going in the back during your studies and interest free loan period will then become a blessing.
So if you’re going to ignore all of this until the last minute that’s okay. Just make sure when you do start to think about it you do all the math and cover all the bases.
Christopher M. Luck has an extensive background in working exclusively with college loans and is now offering his free personal college loan advice to the public. If you are at all interested in Christopher's loan advice, tips, or secrets, you can visit his loan blog