When you are young, it seems like summer is meant to be just an endless time for fun and relaxation. As you get older, though, you need to start making the transition to having your summers be as productive as the rest of the year. There are many things you can do now that will make your financial life easier for you, and will help you learn how to mix fun with getting ready for life.
Discover® Student Loans, a provider of private student loans, has issued a challenge to all of the students who will be entering or returning to college in a few weeks to make this the most productive summer ever. Here are a few tips that can help you enhance your summer:
1. Earn enough money to pay for your out-of-pocket expenses at school: One mistake many college students make is that they under-estimate their need for out-of-pocket funds during the school year. When they get to school, they start spending without any real thought behind it. If they find themselves without sufficient money, they start putting their purchases on a credit card. That’s where there financial problems begin. Interest starts accumulating, and they quickly end up with monthly payments that are beyond their means.
2. Put yourself on a budget for the school year: Sit down with your parents and try to draw up a budget for yourself for the coming school year. Think about the expenses you will have, and about your potential sources of income. Then, make sure you stick to your budget once you get to school!
3. Look for scholarships: One way to help reduce the costs associated with attending college is through scholarships. Check out Discover’s Free Scholarship Search tool which lets you search over three million scholarships with no registration required.
4. Learn about student loans: Student loans can be helpful in paying your college expenses, but some students get in over their heads by borrowing the maximum amount of money without thinking about how they are going to repay it. You will first need to compare federal and private student loans, so you can make smart choices about borrowing.
5. Think ahead: Don’t wait until you graduate to think about how you are going to repay your student loans. Use these student loan calculators to help you estimate monthly payments or prepayment benefits. Then check out Discover’s Return on Investment tool to make sure your future income will be able to cover your payments.
You don’t want to be surprised when you graduate to find out that you can’t earn enough in your chosen career field to repay your student loans. Start your journey to becoming a smart consumer now. Give yourself a summer that is both fun and productive! If you need more information about the college financial aid process, or would like to discuss more about federal and private student loans, contact College Financial Aid Advisors (CFAA).