In today’s guest post, millennial blogger David Chen shares his advice on student loan debt and navigating the world of personal finance.
Why I Decided to Start Blogging – Tales from a Millennial Blogger
Blogging for me is fun and I find it easy to do because I like to write and I like to provide my readers with the information they seek out.
When I first started my blog, I was nervous because I did not know what to expect.
While I have an interest in personal finances, I was unsure of whether or not other people my age would. When I was younger, I was worried about partying and blowing my paychecks on a good time.
I have grown up a lot since then and have learned a lot of financial responsibility. Now I make sound decisions without putting myself in the hole.
I started my blog to be able to help other millennials just like me.
When reality hit, I knew I needed guidance with my finances and now I want to be able to provide you with the help that you need too.
Let’s take a look at what I talk about on my blog and how it is designed to help you.
Student Loan Debt and Education about Your Loans
I started my blog mainly because I was shocked to see how many students have student loan debt. Not only that, many millennials have no clue how to manage their debt.
There is a total of $1.3 trillion in student loan debt and this debt is spread across 44 million borrowers. About 11 percent of that debt is in default or considered delinquent.
That is a lot of money!
Student loans may seem like a great option when you look at them on paper. But the true effects of the amount of debt are hidden. They only come to light when you study them and spend time looking at the big picture.
The biggest mistake that many students make is they take out the entire loan amount that they are offered. This is the error that ultimately kills them financially in the end.
Remember this rule.
The Rule to Follow When You Borrow Money for Education
When you do take out your student loans, you should ONLY borrow
- what you can afford to pay back,
- and only what you need for your tuition and books.
If your tuition and books are only $2,000, it does not make sense to take out $5,000.
Students should seek out alternatives to student loans FIRST. You would never want to put your parents in a position where they are required to cosign a student loan for your sake.
Also, you do not want to have to rely on loans when there are other options such as the Federal Work Study program and also scholarships. You do not have to pay this money back either!
If you do need to take out a student loan, you should review the grace period, repayment options, and interest rate of the loan. Prepare yourself as much as possible and try to make the interest payments, at a minimum, while you are in school.
Make Extra Income to Pay Student Loans
If you have student loans and you are about to enter into your repayment status, you need to think about how you will pay them off. I started my blog, secondly, to provide you with options to make extra money. Some of the ways you can earn an extra income include:
- Odd jobs in the neighborhood
- Offer services to people such as lawn mowing, organizing garages, etc.
- Seasonal retail jobs
- Get a second job when you have down time
- And similar
The more money you can make and send to your student loan, the better. You do not want to be paying back your loan for 20 years, now do you?
I LOVE Personal Finance
Okay, the last reason why I started blogging is so I could talk about personal finances. I love the topic of personal finance because I also used to struggle in this area. But then I took the time to learn as much as I could to better my situation.
One thing I learned is that money is NOT disposable. If you do not set a budget and manage your money, you will run out of money every single month and have nowhere to turn.
The best approach is to set a budget for yourself and lean on it as heavily as you can. Use the budget until you are able to make better decisions on your own.
Never Lose Focus on Your Goal
When you start to think about student loans and your personal finances, you may become frustrated, but you do not need to. Take a deep breath and focus on how you can save yourself before it is too late. You do not have to be stuck in a bad financial place. Remember, make extra payments when you can and take on some additional work for some extra income.