Get a return on your investment
If you begin with the end in mind, you will understand the impact of your borrowing and spending habits.
- Remember the big picture—your education will take time to complete. Consider the length of time it will take to complete your degree
- Be aware of your ability to repay your loan debt after earning your degree
- Consider the earning potential in your field of study. You can use the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook to estimate salaries for different careers or research employment opportunities advertised in the area where you plan to live to get an idea of a local starting salary. You also can use the Department of Labor's career search tool to research careers and view the average annual salary for each career.
- You do not have to borrow the maximum amount the lender will approve.
- Think before you borrow—an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
- Create a realistic budget. Live within your means.
Be aware of credit cards
As a college student, you will be inundated with offers from credit card companies promoting free gifts to apply. Although a credit card may be useful in emergencies and can help you establish credit, the lure of "easy money" offered by credit cards and a "Buy now—Pay later" attitude has contributed to financial problems for more and more college students.
Financing Strategy Help
- Temple University Money Matters
- You Can Deal With It
- iGrad (Financial Literacy for College students and Recent graduates)
- C.A.R.E. (Credit Abuse Resistance Education)
- Checklists for Academic and Financial Preparation (U.S. Department of Education)
- Avoid Scams
- Understanding Credit