Don’t ‘borrow’ trouble to pay for higher education

Student loans, and as a general proposition, student debt, has been in the news recently. Indeed, most Democratic candidates have included a discussion on student loaning and the accumulated debt in their individual speeches.

As a part of a public information campaign, the Michigan Department of Treasury’s MI Student Aid Team is providing tips so student loan borrowers can become their own best financial advocate.

In no particular order, the tips are:

≤ Visit the financial aid office once a semester: Students should know the status of their college or university’s student account and keep track of the types of aid they receive to know their financial status.

≤ Take advantage of the resources you’ve already paid for: Most schools offer resources such as free tutoring and writing centers, while some even provide free transportation locally and around campus.

≤ Visit the career center or services office: Graduates who visited the career center at least once were more likely to be employed full-time after college than those who did not visit.

≤ Make use of your college job board: Gaining professional experience while still in school is one of the most important factors employers look at when interviewing potential candidates for hire.

≤ Create a studentloans.gov account: By creating an account, students can track all their student loans, check the interest rate of each one and total interest accumulated to date, look over different repayment options and estimate monthly payments and learn who their loan servicer is for when repayment begins.

Be smart. Do all that you can to put yourself in the best possible position when borrowing. In the long run, it’ll pay dividends.