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How Much Should You Borrow for College?

How Much Should You Borrow for College?

If you’ve heard the horror stories, you may immediately decide that borrowing for college is akin to making a deal with the devil. The truth of the matter is that it is how you borrow that will determine how firm this deal with the devil truly is. Indeed, college is far from free, so depending on your career aspirations, you could be putting yourself into heaps of debt. Yet, if you map out your collegiate future carefully and balance the cost versus the future return, you could be putting yourself in a pretty good place to borrow.

The key is to borrow smart. Many students that find themselves in debt don’t borrow smart, which is why the college debt problem has become something of an epidemic. So, how much should you borrow for college? – Let’s explore.


Consider Career Aspirations and Future Earnings Potential

For one thing, you need to determine what you want to do with your career. In some instances, the career you want to enter may not require that much schooling. For instance, you may be able to take online courses, which could be funded by an alternative source of income like a part-time job. However, if you want to get UC’s respiratory therapist degree or even a doctorate in medicine or psychology, you may want to borrow according to how many credits you need to graduate.

It is the hope that if you do need to borrow to get the education you want, you will be able to pay off your debts through a secured occupation after you graduate. Right now, the field of medicine is not as competitive as the world of law or other creative fields like marketing. If you are borrowing to enter a creative field, you may find it harder and harder to pay off your debts. This is where things can get dangerous – dangerous, but not hopeless.

Find Additional Sources of Income

If you do want to enter a creative field, you may not want to borrow. If you want to enter the world of advertising, you may want to get a part-time job, or you may want to look for grants or some other source to pay for your tuition and other expenses. Many students don’t realize that there are a lot of miscellaneous costs that go into paying for college, which is a recipe for sinking further and further into debt. In terms of other sources for college, asking your parents for the money can be another excellent option.

In the end, borrowing for college doesn’t need to seem like a dirty transaction and you shouldn’t feel daunted by the process. Moreover, you don’t need to feel like you aren’t worth an education. If you need to borrow, you should borrow. However, you want to heed some of the aforementioned advice so that you don’t wind up buried in unnecessary debt.

This is why you should look at the career you want to enter and you try to do some industry forecasting. In the end, you may also want to talk with a financial planner to help boost your credit and get your finances in order.



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