When reaching the topic of finances, many students find it easy to assume that their parents will mainly be funding their education. However, students taking financial responsibility is vital to becoming an independent adult.
In the case of loans, taking on student loans is a huge responsibility. Major decisions wait to be made at every step.
The Student Loan Process
After exhausting all of your other financial aid resources, it’s time to start the student loan process. Student loans are built to be accessible to students wanting to fund their college experience. Be sure to do your homework, shop around, and weigh your options before settling on a loan. Also, make sure to read the fine print-some loan companies are not upfront about how much they actually charge and the consequences of being late on payments.
Once you’ve borrowed the money you have to decide whether you’ll start repaying right away while still in school, or if you’ll defer your payments until after you graduate—both options have their pros and cons. It is important to not only think of your present but your future. Often, people spend another decade paying the loans off after their education is finished.
After you graduate, you will have many more decisions to make on how to manage your finances so you can meet your monthly financial commitments, and which repayment plan works best for you. It is often advised that loans should be paid back as early as possible. After all, interest accrues with every passing year.
Why You Should Take Charge
While your parents may not hesitate to step in and help you out financially, you are ultimately responsible for managing your own debt. College is often the first time students are in charge of their own finances, and managing student loans offers many important lessons.
Often, students can’t sign on for a loan without a cosigner, usually a parent. That being said, in this case, it is still up to the student to come up with the funds, otherwise, your parent will have to pay.
With that in mind, it is a smart idea for you to take ownership of your loan-related decisions right from the very beginning. Don’t rely on your parents to make all of the decisions for you. It is extremely important to learn to be financially independent at an early age. Financing yourself does not stop at paying for college. It is often after college that young adults have to start living independently. This means everything from filing your own taxes to taking care of rent every month. Loans are considered the first taste of handling money in adulthood, and it is important that even if a student doesn’t take out a loan, that they know how loans work.
Start with shopping around for the right student loan. The search does not have to be more difficult, especially when resources wait around the corner. College Raptor can make that easier for you with our free Student Loan Finder. Compare lenders and interest rates side by side!