How to Avoid Debt While in College

Debt is no stranger to the average college student. In fact, between building it up while in school and having to try pay it off afterward, most college students know a thing or two about it. The debt that college most students should worry about? Student loans and credit cards, both of which can grow out of control rather quickly.

So you’re probably wondering how you can avoid building up unwanted debt while in college. It really boils down to the choices that you make beforehand and along the way. Let’s look at what some good choices might be to help you stay on the right track:

  • Acquire scholarships. Getting your hands on one or more scholarships is a great way to avoid both types of debt. For instance, if you receive a full-ride scholarship from your school of choice and another scholarship from a private business or person, you may be able to use the money from the second scholarship to pay for books, clothes, and other items.
  • Start college while in high school. Another great way to avoid debt at the college level is to start taking advanced-placement classes while in high school. The more AP classes you pass while in high school, the fewer classes you’ll have to worry about paying for when you get to college.
  • Get a job. In addition to looking for scholarship opportunities – and even grant opportunities – it doesn’t hurt to look for a part-time job. This way, you can cover any additional expenses you may have without the need of a credit card to help you out.
  • Exercise discipline. Keep in mind that there’s nothing wrong with applying for one or two credit cards in college. If managed appropriately, you can actually build your credit in a positive way. However, if you use your credit cards for shopping sprees without paying them off on time, you could watch your credit score drop before you ever have a chance to apply for a serious loan (i.e. car or house).

Because college is so expensive, it can sometimes be tough to avoid debt. However, if you take the right steps, you can find yourself in a great financial position after you graduate.