Education: How First Year Students Can Avoid Debt

(NC) --  New post-secondary students across the country may be prepared for the 'Freshman 15' when it comes to extra pounds, but students should also keep in mind expanding debt when they hit campus this fall.

Student debt is on the rise and Raymond Chun, a senior vice president at TD Canada Trust, warns the repayment period of student loans can last years and cost thousands in interest.

“As high school graduates prepare for their first year of university or college, it's important they fully understand the financial realities of studying away from home,” Chun said. “Young people can help starve off lingering student debt and get post-grad life off to a solid start by following a financial plan from day one.”

Students should start saving for school as early as possible. Working part-time will provide invaluable experience and help students put more money in their pocket. “Don't forget to take the time to research and apply for every scholarship, grant and bursary available to reduce the amount of debt required to cover the costs of post-secondary education,” Chun said.

Chun also suggests students create a budget they can stick to before moving onto campus. “You can't get ahead if you spend more than you earn,” he said. “Create a detailed budget of income and expenses. If the budget is negative, rethink the budget or look for alternative financing options for school.”

Finally, students can consider a student line of credit from their bank to assist with any financial shortfall. Graduating with debt may be unavoidable but some options are better than others when it comes to financing education. A student line of credit, for example, offers students access to funds for essentials like books, tuition and rent. Unlike a traditional loan or credit card, a student line of credit can offer a lower interest rate and increased flexibility when it comes to repayment.


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