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Coping With College Debt: The Essential Guide

Its drilled into us from a young age that going to college is the way to achieve our career dreams. Of course, college isn’t free, and private institutions can cost a fortune even for a single term.

Sadly, what this means is that many students graduate from university and begin their adult life in earnest weighed down by the anchor of debt. What I’m here to tell you is that there are things that can help alleviate this burden and that you don’t have to suffer alone and in silence. In fact, that is precisely what this post is about. Keep reading to find out more.

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Avoid taking out loans in the first place 

Now, I’m not saying that this option is suitable for everyone. In fact, many people try it but discover that they cannot continue to keep up their grades while working almost full-time hours in a job as well. However, for some people, it is possible to avoid taking out a loan entirely or pay it straight back after college by working during their studies

Of course, for this to even be remotely successful, you need to be super disciplined and organized with your study. Something that drawing up a timetable that deals with all elements of your life can help you with. In fact, this will need to include contact hours at uni, self-directed study time, work hours, rest and sleep time, and at least some time for fun during the week as well. Otherwise, your mental health can really suffer. 

Of course, some folks are super smart and choose to get a job where they can combine other elements of their life. For example, those working in a restaurant may get a free meal and a break to eat in, which saves time and money for that day. While others that take on security guard positions may be able to study through their shift, as it only requires them to be present at their place of work. 

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Shop around for the best deals 

Next, another important strategy when coping with college debt is to make sure that you shop around for the best deal that is currently on offer. What this means is that rather than take the entirety of your loan for the year from a single course, it may be cheaper to find parts of the whole sum from a variety of sources. 

Of course, you will need to look carefully at the APR rate that you will be charged on your loan when paying it back. You also need to read the fine print to make sure there are no charges for early or late payments. Otherwise, you could end up losing any savings you earn. 

Consolidate your loans 

Another smart tactic for dealing with college debt is to group all of you loan together and consolidate them. Then you will only have one payment and one account to take care of each month. Something that can help you to stay on top was what you owe and not miss payments and incur additional charges! 

Luckily, this is an option on student loans managed by Great Lakes, and other reputable providers. In fact, you will even be given a choice on what payment plan to use to repay your debt. What this means is that means you can either pick a set amount each month to pay back. Alternatively, you can have the cost rise and fall depending on what you are earning at the time. Something that can make your replacement much more manageable after college. 

Dealing with the effect on mental health 

Finally, not many people acknowledge the impact that owing to a massive student loan has on mental health. However, this is a real issue that many students and their families have to deal with. In fact, starting adult life already in debt that seems near impossible to get out of can make things very difficult. Especially if you aren’t lucky enough to walk straight into your dream job after graduation. 


Of course, the important thing here is that you seek help and support. Not just with the practical side of managing your money, but with the emotional strain that it creates as well. 

In fact, if you feel anxiety/depression is creeping into your life, please speak to your doctor. Then you will be able to consider medication and CBT therapy. The latter being something that can help you reframe the negative thoughts you are experiencing about your situation, and so make them a lot less scary to cope with.

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