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Money Managing Tips
for Graduate Students

 

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Money Managing Tips for Graduate Students

If you're thinking about attending or you're in graduate school now, chances are money is tight and your free time is limited. We put together the following tips to help you make informed decisions about borrowing and repaying your student loans.

Before and During Graduate School

Consider 'stopping out' between college and graduate school for a few years. A work experience can make graduate school more rewarding and allows time to save money to reduce borrowing.

Request deferment on any undergraduate student loans you may have (as long as you're attending graduate school at least half time); and follow up with your lender(s) to be sure they have received any necessary paperwork to process your request.

Pay the interest on your loans while in graduate school, if possible; this will save on the total amount you repay and will get you in the habit of making payments and on time.

Prepare a budget and strictly follow it; itemize a list of all your expenses and eliminate those that are not needs.

Borrow from relatives, if possible, at lower rates than on student loans. Make and sign a contract so that your relatives know you're serious about repaying. Yes it is traditional way for lower interest rate loan.

Get a roommate(s) to help reduce living costs (and the amount needed to borrow to cover those costs).

Use public transportation and access student commuter discounts, where available.

Use e-mail than calling by phone or cellular, always use less expensive means of contacts.

Use credit cards only for emergencies or essentials; and then pay the full amount at the end of the month, if possible. Remember:- your financial aid budget cannot include consumer debt.

Research starting salaries and employment growth predictions for your chosen field while you're still in school. Visit www.truecareers.com for average salary estimates.

Limit your student loan borrowing to the amount of your anticipated starting salary, or less.

After Graduate School

If you need to postpone loan repayment, try to make payments on private loan(s) and defer or forbear federal loans only. Private loans generally have higher interest rates and less favorable deferment options, so it's more costly to postpone private loan repayment.

If you receive a monetary gift for graduation or a signing bonus, prepay a portion of your loan(s).

Compare repayment options during your grace period to determine what's best for you. Also, consider loan consolidation if you have high debt and several federal loans from different lenders.

Make your loan payments on time to avoid late payment charges and adverse reporting to credit agencies.

For every $20,000 you borrow, you'll repay approximately $250 per month. Consider options to keep borrowing down, such as less expensive living or travel arrangements while in school. Keep a simple lifestyle.

Make your consumer credit and student loan payments on time to ensure good credit for future borrowing, such as buying a car or home, or starting a business.

Consider an area's cost of living when you relocate after graduation.

BORROW ONLY WHAT YOU NEED.

Tips for Education Students

Find out about loan forgiveness programs for teachers in teacher shortage areas (visit www.ed.gov.)

According to the American Federation of Teachers, the national average salary for public school teachers is $40,547. Try to keep your monthly student loan payment at or below 15% of your expected monthly net salary for easier repayment.

Tips for Law Students

Check into scholarships and loan forgiveness programs that help keep debt down, or help with repayment. Contact Food and Drug Law Institute Scholarships and/or Equal Justice Works at www.equaljusticeworks.org or (202)466-3686.

According to National Association of Law Placement, the average salary for first-year lawyers is $53,250.

Tips for MBA Students

Seek out business internships while in school. A paid position will help you keep your debt level down; even if unpaid, the experience can lead to a higher salaried position after graduation.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the projected average starting salary for MBA graduates for 1999 is $59,140. Estimate what your yearly monthly will be and try to keep your monthly student loan payment at or below 18% of your monthly net income.

Tips for Medical Students

Look into scholarship and loan repayment opportunities available through the National Health Service Corps, 1-800-221-9393; and the National Institutes of Health.

According to the American Association of Medical Colleges; The average educational debt for medical graduates is $103,855.; and the annual mean income in 1996 for doctors was $199,000 after expenses but before taxes, Try to keep your monthly student loan payment at or below 18% of your monthly net income.

Tips for Dental Students

According the American Association of Dental Schools the average student loan debt for dental students is approximately $81,688.

Visit the American Dental Association web site for information on scholarships and other dental student issues.

Look into scholarship and loan repayment opportunities available through the National Health Service Corps, 1-800-221-9393; and the National Institutes of Health.

To learn about the importance of maintaining a positive credit history, visit EquifaxTM.


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