Education is a lifelong investment. There are many costs associated with getting a degree that most people don’t think about until after graduation. These additional expenses can have a serious impact on your wallet, especially if you’re not working at the time of your studies. Working towards a career in any field requires investing time and money.
Education is one of the most important investments you can make in your future, which is why so many people take classes and get certificates even when they already have jobs. The only challenge comes from funding your education while still paying other bills.
It isn’t easy to find the money for schooling unless you have generous family members or financial support from another source. If you want to go back to school but aren’t sure how to pay for it, here are some ways that might help:
Get a temporary job
If you’re still in school, there are probably plenty of part-time or full-time jobs you can apply for to earn extra cash. If you’re close to graduating, you can look for summer or seasonal jobs that will let you earn enough to cover the rest of your schooling. While you’re working, you can also research scholarships that are available to students in your field of study.
Scholarships are another great way to fund your education without taking out loans or asking your family for money. Since scholarships don’t have to be paid back, they’re a great investment in your future. If your school offers a tuition reduction program, that’s another way to earn money to help pay for your schooling.
Borrow from family and friends
If you have no other option, you can always ask family and friends to lend you money. Just keep in mind that this is a risky situation, and you’ll want to pay them back as soon as you can. When you’re borrowing money from friends and family, it’s best to pay them back as quickly as possible.
If you don’t, they may not be willing to help you out again in the future. It’s also important to understand that interest rates on these types of loans can be much higher than on a credit card or bank loan. This means that you’ll have to pay more money back over time.
Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR)
If you have federal student loans, you can enroll in an income-based repayment plan that will let you pay less each month. This is a great option for borrowers who have high levels of debt and low incomes. You can apply for IBR by logging into your Federal Student Aid account and selecting the option to change your repayment plan.
You can also call your servicer if you have questions about the application process. You can also choose ICR (income-contingent repayment), which will let you pay less each month based on your income and family size. Your monthly payment will be between 10-20% of your discretionary income.
If you have loans through private lenders, you may qualify for similar repayment plans. Speak with your lender to find out whether they offer similar options.
Income-Based Repayment Plan Servicers (Servicer)
To be honest, servicers are the real heroes. They are the ones who determine how much you owe and on what date your payment is due. They are also the ones who send you a letter when you miss or are late with a payment.
You can find out who your student loan servicer is by logging into your account with the Department of Education or Federal Student Aid. If you’re unsure who services your loan, you can call the National Student Loan Data System hotline at 1-800-4-FED-AID or use the “Who is my lender?” tool on the Federal Student Aid website.
Deferring your loan payments
If you don’t qualify for IBR, you may be able to defer your loans. Deferring your loans means that you don’t have to make payments until after you complete your studies and begin working. This is a great option for people taking a significant amount of time off to pursue an advanced degree or earn a certification.
If you plan to defer your loan payments, you should try to find out what the requirements are as soon as possible. Many financial aid offices have application deadlines, so you should apply as soon as you know you’ll be taking a break from your studies.
Keep in mind that there may be disadvantages to deferring your loans. This may increase the total amount of money you end up repaying since interest will continue to accumulate.
Education is an important part of everyone’s lives, but never has it been more expensive. With tuition rates out of control, it can be challenging to cover the costs without a huge amount of student loans. Luckily, there are ways to fund your education without taking on too many student loans. These tips can help you fund your education without breaking the bank, so you can get the education you want without going broke.