3 tips before you take on student debt

Student doing homework on bedBetween tuition, textbooks, rent and other expenses - school’s expensive! Working part-time can definitely alleviate some of the financial burden but it’s not always possible when you’re trying to focus on your studies. A student loan can be a great way to help tackle those expenses.

Before you jump in, think long and hard about your loan. These 3 tips will help guarantee you’re getting the best possible deal before you take the plunge.

  1. Study hard

    A few sweet scholarships and you might not even need that student loan. This might mean hitting the books hard in your high school years, but it could also be volunteering in your community, showing off your leadership skills, or being involved with clubs and sports teams. Different scholarships consider different factors.
    If you’re looking for scholarships, Affinity’s a great place to start.

    Here’s a few other places you might have some luck:

  2. Mom and Dad
  3. If your parents are in a position to, they can be a huge help when it comes to paying for your post-secondary education, and this doesn’t have to mean stroking a blank cheque. Their help could mean you pay a much lower interest rate, for example. Interest charges will add up over the life of your loan, and even a slightly lower rate could save you big time.

    By acting as co-signer or guarantor on your loan, your parents can help push your interest rate down. If they have a secured line of credit or a home equity loan they could tap into, you’ll benefit from their low interest rate. But don’t forget that the bank of mom and dad also needs to get paid back, so like with any loan, you’ll need to figure out a payment plan.

  4. Don’t forget, you have to pay it back
  5. Unless you have a big juicy scholarship or a generous person in your life who’s going to cover your education costs, there’s a good chance you’ll be taking advantage of an education loan. That means, one day, you’ll be paying it back and that day will come more quickly than you might think, so do future you a favour and use that money wisely. Live within your means and spend only what you absolutely need to. That will put you in a better financial position and you’ll be free of student debt a lot quicker.