A college degree is a great investment for your future. If you are not careful you may be in debt with student loans for many years to come.
A study by the Department of Education found that 11 percent of student who were set to begin repaying their student loans in 2013 were in default by the third year of repayment. While this rate was getting overall student loan debt is rising. As of June $1.36 trillion dollars of student loan debt was owned. This was up from $961 billion in 2011. This information was provided by the Federal Reserve Board.
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Financial advisors from all over the United States gave some advice to student on how to pay off their debt. This includes reducing their total amount of debt and finding the best repayment place. Here are 16 tips right from the experts.
.1 Understand FAFSA
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid will determine how much money you need to put out of pocket for your education. This is used by states, colleges, and the government to award scholarships, grants, work study programs, and student loans. This will help reduce the overall cost of tuition and lower debt. You will be responsible for loss money out of pocket.
.2 Only Borrow What You Need
You should not take out the maximum amount on student loans. You can work with a college planner to take out just the amount of money that you need.Do not borrow money for going out partying during college. You will regret it in the long run.
.3 Be Aware of Loan to Income Ratio
Try to borrow 1:1 when it comes to student loans and your expect income. If you think you are going to make more than $35,000 a year after graduation do not borrow more than this amount. This rule does not apply to doctors.
.4 Find Alternative Borrowing Methods
Before getting a student loan look at alternative borrowing methods. They include
Applying for scholarships
Go to a community college for the first two years
Get a part time job and pay some tuition
Get used textbooks
Compare the rates for on campus and off campus housing
.5 Check Out Different Loan Options
There are subsidized and unsubsidized student loans. There are also private and parent Plus loans.  Look at the different interest rates and if they are variable or fixed.
.6 Opportunity Cost
If you are paying off student loans you will miss having an emergency fund or even a down payment for a home. If you have $50,000 in debt with 6% interest and a 10 year term you are paying $555 a month for that loan. At the end of this year your principal and an additional $16,612 in interest was paid back.  This is a great deal of money.
When Selecting a School
.7 Be Wary of High Tuition
For profit school charge a high tuition rate and may make promises of employment. State universities and community college costs less especially if you have not selected a major.
.8 Do Not Overpay
There are people that attend expensive colleges and get low paying jobs. There is no need to spend $100,000 to become a social worker. Go to a state school or a community college and then transfer to finish up your degree.
If you want to work in public service that is noble but do not attend a high priced school
.9 Stay in State
Look for state that are affordable.  Many state schools charge lower rates to their residents.  State run universities get some funds from tax dollars. This usually allows residents to pay a lower rate than out of state students. Students that live in California have some of the best schools in world to choose from since they are public schools.
.10 Look for Public Servants Programs
If you want to work for the government or part of a nonprofit organization you may be to get a Public Service Loan Forgiveness program application. With this program your federal loans can be forgiven after you make 120 monthly payments. You need to work a full 10 years before applying  for this program at an organization that qualifies.  Working in this field often pays a lower salary than those that are employed in the private sector. That is why these loans are forgiven.