Tips for paying off student loans: Plan to pay off college debt over time, but mind other major loans, experts say

Thursday, May 4, 2023 10:02 PM

Tips to help pay off your student loans

Houston, Texas (KTRK) – Student loans can be daunting when it comes time to pay them back after graduation, but with good financial planning it doesn’t have to be.

John C. Lopez is a professor of practice at the University of Houston’s Bauer School of Business and explained how interest rates on student loans are generally low, giving students a good opportunity to get ahead of other big expenses.

“Plan to pay off your student loan debt over time and take care of the other debts you have, so things like auto loans, things like credit card loans,” Lopez said.

When applying for student loans, Lopez also suggests that students always make sure the loan amount matches their career choice.

See also: Here are other ways to get debt relief

“So, for example, a teacher’s professional earnings versus a doctor’s professional earnings, those are two different metrics, and so the loan amount should really reflect ‘how much money I’m going to make and pay off that debt,'” Lopez said.

Lopez adds that it’s important not to apply for too much money, either. It is a common mistake he sees among students. “The tuition for this particular semester is probably $7,000, and they’ll take out a loan for $10,000. Usually, what I see with students is that $3,000 (extra) in their checking account doesn’t really go into tuition.”

Student loans typically begin within six months after graduation with a 10-year savings period. Finally, students should consider scholarships or grant offers from their university or college.

Often times, Lopez says, students will choose the loan first before even considering other financial aid on campus.

“Students don’t apply for it because it’s easier to go to a financial aid office and apply for a loan than it is to write an essay or an application, or do whatever you need to do to apply for a scholarship. This is a big misconception that loans are Students must come first.

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