Student loans: Expert advice on borrowing and repayment

Student loans: Expert advice on borrowing and repayment

When deciding whether you should attend grad school, one major concern is financing your advanced degree. The most common ways to pay for grad school are through student loans, scholarships and savings.

There’s no guarantee that you’ll find a scholarship, however, and it usually doesn’t pay all of your costs. Also, most students don’t have enough in savings to pay for grad school. So, loans may be necessary.

Determine your ability to repay the loan

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My advice is to first decide what you can afford, and then me can work, advises Sara Goldrick-Rab, professor of higher education policy and sociology at Temple University, and author of Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream.

For example, you cannot expect a master’s degree in education to quickly pay off and make loan repayment easy-so I would hesitate to borrow to get it. To reduce your student loan debt, Goldrick-Rab recommends attending school part-time while you work.

Most students assume that they’ll have a well-paying job; that can be dependent on a variety of factors. In addition, students often underestimate the monthly amount they’ll need to repay.

Unfortunately, student loans are crippling to many students of undergraduate and graduate schools, and it isn’t uncommon for students to graduate with well over $100,000 in debt and monthly payments after graduation of $1,000 or more, says Steven Rothberg, president and founder of College Recruiter. Read more “Student loans: Expert advice on borrowing and repayment”