Thursday, March 24, 2011

College students: Don't borrow more than you should.

Getting into debt with student loans is common these days. It will take years to payoff the average amount students get in loans. A college degree does lead to a higher average income, but with the economy the way it is, a mountain of student loan debt will hurt. Don't be reluctant to borrow money, but be realistic as to what a college degree can do for you financially. Your borrowing should be inline with future income.

Most students cannot afford to pay cash for college. Student loans may be the only reasonable way to pay for a college degree. You really should borrow no more than the actual cost of your education. Think about ways to cut the costs. Budget. Downsize your lifestyle to get through college as cheap as possible.

Federal student loans are your best bet. They will offer the best repayment plans according to your income. Private loans, even credit cards, can become very expensive in the long run. The federal government has many options for repaying. If the cost of your college educaiton is a lot more than the federal loans, strive to cut your budget and make college cheaper. Borrowing money from other sources is not a good idea. Nothing wrong with choosing a cheaper school.

What is your future income potential? It will make no sense to borrow thousands of dollars for a relatively lower paying job. You must consider how much income you will have in relation to student loan payments. The federal government will cap this at 15% of your income. But even that can be a big chunk out of your lifestyle.

Look into other ways of funding your college. From scholarships to grants. Even asking family and friends to contribute. Cut down on your expenses. Everything from a car to a cell phone adds to your budget. Doing without a few luxury items for four years makes good financial sense.

Know what your potential income will be. If you need to, sit down with a financial adviser and get estimates of salaries and expenses when graduating. Also, you need to look at potential job prospects as well. It makes no sense to go after a high paying job if there is no demand. Likewise, it makes no sense to get into boat loads of student loan debt to get an average salary.

>>30 college money savings tips.


>>Repaying student loans.

Monday, March 21, 2011

College students, car insurance, and states that have high rates.

Many prospective college students are now considering where to go to school in the Fall. While cars are not really needed in college, many students want them. In addition, many students will be driving cross-country to their new college homes, thus having a car while in college. A student that has a car has an extra expense. This expense can break your budget. You may want to consider your college choices if you do have a car and money is tight. Some states charge more on average than others. Here are some facts from insure.com.

Where you drive can have a huge effect on the price you pay for car insurance.

Michigan is the most expensive car insurance state. On average, drivers pay $2,541 a year. Michigan has problems that contribute to this high rate, including a high percentage of drivers not having insurance. Michigan also has a law that gives no limit to personal injury payments. That means insurance companies can pay out large sums of money. If you factor in winter weather, a college student in Michigan may be very well off by not using or having a car. Michigan has some fine colleges. If you are from out of state, think twice about having a car.

Louisiana comes in second highest at $2,541. Louisiana jury verdicts have given out large awards. This, like Michigan, raises the amounts insurance companies pay. They also have a high percentage of drivers with no insurance.

Oklahoma third with Oklahoma, $2,197. Again, a high rate of uninsured drivers and bad weather contribute to the cost.

A college student probably can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 a year for car insurance. California is a tad less than $2,000, while Vermont is the only state less than $1,000 at $995.

You probably would not factor in car insurance costs when making a decision about the college you wish to go to. But, after choosing, you need to think hard about not having a car. Most freshmen will be busy getting used to college life and studying. A car is not needed.

>>Tips for cheaper car insurance for college students.

>>Free college money help.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

College students can be ripped off.

College students are very vulnerable to identity theft and getting ripped off. College is expensive enough without having to pay for scams and other things. Keep a close eye on your wallet. Watch out for these things can really dent your college budget.

If you buy a high priced item, like a stereo or ipad, the salesmen will try and get you to buy lots of extras to go with it. Chances are, you don't need them. And the costs will add up. You don't need a fancy carrying case, cover, stand, ear phones, or whatever other add-on they try and push on you. These items last of taken care off, so a college student should not waste money on paying for extra insurance. Chances are you will never use it. The exception is if you are prone to leave things around the dorm. You may want theft insurance, but can probably get this as part of your parents' homeowners insurance. Bottom line on that is to keep tabs on your property while in college.

College students use smartphones and laptops a lot. You get texts and emails. Sometimes these are scams. Don't open texts or emails when you don't know the sender. Don't fall for text scams that will get you to click then bill you on your phone bill. Never give your social security number, birthdate, or other personal information to anybody via text or email. You may get scam phone calls as well.

Are you close to your grandparents? Many college students are. There is a grandma scam going around. You get an email from your grandma's email account, with some sob story of how she is stuck somewhere and needs cash. She asks you to help. Don't do it. People are having their emails broken into and scamming people with these. Check home first if you think it may be legit.

Spring Break is near, and college students will be traveling. Don't be ripped off by travel scams. You will not get free trips by doing anything, no matter how hard a salesman tries to push you. Chances are, the free will cost you plenty. College students cannot afford to toss money away. Pay for trips with a credit card. That way you will be protected.

College students may need some quick cash. Do not get suckered into an offered loan by sending money. The scam works by asking you to pay a fee upfront, then they will send you the loan paper. Chances are, you will never see the loan and say good bye to your money.

College students need to be smart with their money!

>>How college students can avoid identity theft.

>>Get a medical school scholarship.