Paying For College

In addition to help from my parents, I took out unsubsidized student loans and private loans to help cover the cost of tuition. I left college with about $25,000 in student loan debt, a little more than the average. In the 2 years since I graduated, I’ve paid off all the high interest debt and have about $9,000 left on a variable 2.25% loan, which I’m happy to pay off a little less aggressively.

I’ve done several posts about student loan repayment options, but I want to hear from you. What tips do you have for keeping costs low? One of the most important things you can do is keep current with payments and if possible, make payments during school! It may mean getting a part-time job, but the difference will be huge once you graduate and you will be grateful to have a big chunk of that debt missing!

Paying For College

Sweating the Big Stuff

4 thoughts on “Paying For College

  1. Looks like good info, but I couldn’t make it all the way through the video since I already know that stuff. I hope this helps kids understand how to pay for college.

  2. I had federal subsidized loans and one private student loan, all totaling $36,000. I just paid them all off last September, 2010 (I graduated in 2005). My strategy was to pay more than the minimum from the beginning, consolidate all of my loans except for one for an incredible low interest rate of 2.25% (which went down to 1.25% after 36 consecutive months of ontime payments), and then to pay off the higher interest loan right away. Each year I put a large chunk towards the loans of several thousand dollars, including paying off the 9% private interest loan all in one lump sum many years ago.


  3. If you can make the payments on your loans while still in school, then go for it! My loans were made worse by the accrued interest over the years, definitely my one regret was allowing the interest to capitalize.

  4. If you have more than one student loan, you may want to consolidate them into a single fixed-rate loan to simplify your payment. This also may lower your monthly payments and may qualify your for renewed deferment options, and will allow you to switch repayment plans during repayment. For federal loans, this is a free service of the Department of Education and most all federal unsubsidized and subsidized student loans can be consolidated. The federal government has a comprehensive site on federal student loan consolidation, at

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