Financing a College Education Infographic
You got accepted into the school of your dreams, you’re moving out of your parents’ house, everything is lining up perfectly, and the last thing you want to talk about is money. Let’s be honest, everyone knows college can be expensive; however, not a lot of people know how to prepare a budget to be able to overcome the financial burdens of going to college. Luckily this infographic will give you a step-by-step rundown on managing college expenses, so you don’t have to survive on $0.50 packs of noodles and powdered drink mix for the next few years. The Financing a College Education Infographic will help you pave the way to get you through college financially, and be successful after completing your college education.
How to get you through college financially
- Start Planning Early. Students and their parents should begin thinking about financing a college education during the student's sophomore year of high school.
- Determine cost of tuition for each prospective school and expected contribution amounts.
- Apply for grants and scholarships, using studentaid.ed.gov, finaid.org, fastweb.com.
- Families should fill out their FAFSA application at the end of the student's junior year.
- Choose the school that will provide the most financial aid.
- Determine the first-year earning potential for careers of interest and compare that to expected cost of loan repayments.
- Start thinking about your credit. Open a savings account and contribute 10% of your income.
- Pull your credit to make sure you don't have a credit history due fraud or identity theft.
- Start building credit by paying bills and rent on time. Use Experian RentBureau to manage and report rental payments to build your credit history.
- Get a part-time or full time job for extra cash to help with living and college costs.
- On campus jobs or paid internships may enhance learning and help earn credits or housing stipends.
- Open one card and only charge what you can afford, and never pay your bill late.
- Monitor your credit with Credit Concierge.
- Calculate your monthly expenses and income. If there isn’t enough money left at the end of the month, it's time to start cutting back.
- Always have your student ID card with you to receive student discounts everywhere.
- Couponing isn't just for your parents. Use coupons and student discounts, buy generic, and buy used or discounted textbooks.
- Use budgeting tools such as Mintcom and various online banking apps.
- After your graduation give your budget a makeover. Factor in any additional income and payments.
- Continue to live like a student. Use extra funds for savings or paying down existing debt.
- Save! Save! Save! Coupons, discounts and moving back in with your parents can help.
- Save money aside for an emergency fund.
- Know your debt obligations, when your student loan payments begin, and if you qualify for refinancing or deferment.
- Don't open new credit cards or loan accounts unless it's on absolute necessity.
- Consider consolidating loans to lower interest rates and save money.
- Many rewarding careers offer full or partial federal loan forgiveness.
- Start investing immediately for your retirement.
- Get health, auto, and home or renter's insurance.
- Continue to monitor your credit.
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