No one wants to graduate with a huge student loan, so why not think about reducing it whilst you’re still at college, and/or immediately after you graduate. That way, it’s not hanging over you for years?
The burden of student loans is much heavier than it was a decade ago. On average, a college graduate today has about $25,000 in student loan debt. In 2005 that figure was a mere $10,000. Education is going to be costlier over the years. So, what should a student do?
A student can either try to take less loan or they can pay off the loan by earning their earning potential, once they graduate out of the college.
Ways to reduce the student loan burden
1. Online Education
Sometimes taking up online courses can reduce your student loan burden, as online courses have generally less fee. These days a student can be connected to the teacher any time over the internet. Classes are held in a virtual classroom where a teacher can see the student and vice-versa. So there’s not much difference between online education and on-campus education in terms of quality.
Think seriously about taking an online course that might automatically entitle you to get a higher grade of pay. Reputed organizations like Harvard Online, Cambridge and much more have a huge range of courses on offer, in all sorts of employment areas.
These university websites detail eligibility, fee structure, curriculum details and also career options once you graduate. You can study at length and take an informed decision to take up courses.
2. Taking up a side job
The best way to do this is by working and studying at the same time, by taking evening and holiday jobs. And, it’s an even smarter idea to try to earn as much money as possible whilst doing temporary work. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with tossing burgers in a fast food joint at the minimum wage, but you are going to reduce your loan much, much quicker if you earn more.
Not only will skilled part-time work help you reduce your debts, but it will also be an excellent experience to highlight to prospective employers. It could also extend your network of professional contacts too. Here are some ideas about fields that are popular with those seeking temporary posts:
3. Loan shopping
We bargain at every possible transaction. So, why shouldn’t we bargain to get the best loan? Shopping for a loan is the best way to reduce your student loan interest rate. You can either go out to various lenders yourself or you can use loan brokers who can forward you offers from different lenders.
4. Picking courses that offer high paying jobs
I want to highlight 4 such courses here, which have a high potential for getting a high paying job, once you graduate.
Enjoy sports and meeting new people? Why not think of a part-time career as a fitness coach. Many gyms hire freelancers and you might even be able to start building up a lucrative portfolio of private clients.
Make sure you’ve got the right qualifications, though. Gyms will be looking for staff who on up to speed about health and safety issues, as well has to have an enthusiastic attitude. You might even find taking a course sparks an interest in a career in ‘lifestyle coaching’, advising people on ways to improve their health and well-being through exercise and nutrition.
This could be a very portable skillset to have. It might also help you find work at overseas resorts or children’s summer sports camps during the holidays if you’re interested in traveling abroad.
People who know how to write computer programs, fix hardware problems and keep business networks up and running are always in demand. But it’s a competitive market. Getting an appropriate qualification will help demonstrate to employers that you really know what you are doing, and also increase your confidence in finding solutions.
Taking a writing course is a no-brainer. Not only will it help you write your college essays and teach you how to construct cogent exam papers, but it might also earn you a part-time living – or even launch you on a successful career as the author of bestsellers.
There is a wealth of online jobs that involve writing, from crafting copy for articles, websites, and reports to proofreading, editing and helping students with their work. The more you do, the better you will get at it. But there are some crucial ground rules that it helps to learn, otherwise, you will waste a lot of time and energy in front of the computer screen with disappointing results.
Become an ESL teacher
Taking a TESOL course is ideal for those who think they might eventually want to pursue a teaching career and/or want to spend some time abroad. There’s a huge demand for teachers who are native English language speakers. You will notice that many job advertisements for ‘English as a Second Language’ teachers specify that they are looking for applicants from the United Kingdom, the United States or Australia.
It means that you can teach overseas students as well, take up a teaching post in another country or just work while you are traveling – all are great experiences for the aspiring teacher.
These are just a few of many options to pay off the student loans as quickly as possible. Investing in yourself might just be the best decision you ever made.