Senior survival guide: College debt adds up

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MELISSA RODRIGUEZ
@_melisssaaaa

For most college students, debt is an inevitable reality. For those who are fortunate enough this debt may not be as high, but for those who rely primarily on federal assistance, this debt can quickly begin to accumulate into a frightening sum.

 
In recent years, college debt has started to rise due to actions taken by state government to pull funding from higher education. By doing so, they force universities to make up the money lost by raising tuition and other university fees leading students to either drop out or take out loans, more than likely putting them in debt by  graduation time.
Here are some steps to follow if debt is a current reality for those both in and out of college.

 
1. Start saving money.
If you are like me, then you know how hard it is to keep from buying food or unnecessary items. Make a budget list to refrain from making those purchases that negatively accumulate in the long run. Take it month by month. Plan out how much income you will be generating for the month and set aside specific amounts of money for immediate expenditures such as bills, gas, groceries and any other necessary bills. This way the remaining money can be focused to paying off any pending debt you may have.

 
2. Analyze your debt.
Take a moment to sit down and calmly analyze the amount of debt you need to pay off. Most of thetime people worry and panic at the mere thought of debt which leads their judgment to become clouded. Be clear-minded when you sit down to analyze the debt. It’s all about strategy. Look at how much you have to pay off and the interest it has added to it. By doing so, you will be able to realize which debt needs the most focus. The larger ones with higher interest should be taken care of first. Those are the ones that may be dragged on longer if not taken care of fast enough. Interest can be the most dangerous part of debt because, depending on the rate, it can make even more difficult to pay off all that is owed since money just keeps adding as time keeps passing.

 
3. Think of the future.
Sometimes the overwhelming feeling of impending debt can stray focus from future debts. Although it is important to take care of existing debts, one should also keep in mind that debt can be a reoccurring cycle. If possible, try to limit the amount of debt you put yourself in. Meaning, if you can stay away from having to take out loans or borrow any sort of money then do it. Give yourself time to pay off existing debts before embarking on any additional debt.

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