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How To Pay for College and Avoid Debt

Dianne Jensen | March 28, 2023

How you'll feel when you avoid student debt ^^

Summary: Did you know that more than half of college students leave school with debts? To avoid accumulating student debt, you can start saving before you begin school, start a side hustle, choose schools carefully, apply for student aid, and try hybrid learning, create a budget, negotiate your financial aid package, and spend less time in college. SoloSettle can help you settle your student debt for good.

Investing in education yields one of the highest returns. But despite its undeniable benefits, it greatly burdens the borrower. Today, graduates are entering the workforce with unprecedented debts from student loans. On top of that, the older population is still paying off loans, even years after graduation. The solution is to get a college degree without student debt. Luckily, there are ways to achieve this goal, and we’ll discuss them in this article.

If you’re already struggling with student debt, SoloSettle can help you settle debts and move on with your life after graduation.

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Let’s explore some ways to avoid student debt, but first, a few facts about student debt.

Facts about student debts

Did you know Americans owed about $1.5 trillion in student loans at the end of March 2019? This figure represents over two times what was owed in 2009. As a result, student debt is growing due to the rising cost of academic learning. Here are a few other facts you may not know about student debt:

  • Student debt has risen faster since 2004 compared to other household debts. It has surpassed debt from credit cards and auto loans and is only behind mortgage debt.
  • About 92% of all outstanding undergraduate debt is owed to the federal government. The remaining 8% belongs to private institutions.
  • About 1/3 of adults under 30 years have undergraduate credit. Sadly, student loan holders are less intrigued about the value of their degrees.

Based on projections, the average American undergraduate will leave school with $35,000 in debt. When you add interest rate, it could take up to 30 years to repay. As a result, many people spend much of their middle-aged life repaying student loans.

Follow these tips to avoid student debt

Undergraduates with loans are more likely to struggle financially and academically than those without them. But finding money during school can be a stressful experience. Follow these tips to improve your finances and avoid college debt.

Start saving before you enter school

Saving is not a guaranteed way out of poverty, but it is a starting point. Every dollar you save now is less likely to be borrowed in the future. Plus, saving is a great habit to have, even long after your student debts are paid off. If you’re still in high school, use finance apps and create a savings plan. Besides relying on your pocket money, start a side hustle and put away the earnings in a high-yield savings account.

Start a side hustle

One of the best ways to achieve freedom in college is to start a part-time work side hustle. It is challenging to work during learning hours. As a result, the business must be flexible to accommodate your coursework. Thankfully, there are tons of work-study programs and opportunities. For example, if you’re skilled in writing, sell your paper or sign up as a writer. College students buy persuasive essays online from reputable online services like and hire experts in various fields to write papers. As a result, it is an opportunity to sell your skill. Explore marketplaces like Upwork or Fivers and become a freelancer. Here are some other ideas for side hustles:

  • Virtual Assistant
  • Tutoring and course creation
  • Complete surveys
  • Start a blog
  • Deliver groceries
  • Sell items online
  • Photography
  • Web design and app creation, etc.

Choose schools carefully

Expensive schools are attractive, but their fees are not. Instead, look for colleges that charge below-average tuition. For example, it can be a local community college, a public school, and institutions that offer tuition waivers. No-loan colleges don’t include student loans in the aid packages, and work colleges offer free or reduced tuition in exchange for working off or on campus.

Apply for all the student aid you can

There are different types of financial aid available to students. They include bursaries, scholarships, grants, etc. First, fill out and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to know if you qualify for any aid on a state or federal level. The U.S. Department of Education awards about $120 billion in free money yearly to students in higher education. Most school-based and private grants also start with the FAFSA to determine eligibility.

Every college offers scholarships, and the best type is a full-ride one. Full-ride scholarships cover the entire cost of learning, including tuition, food, living costs, and all other expenses related to college. Search your school’s website to see what grants they offer and apply to all of them. You should also explore assistantship or crowdfunding if you are eligible.

Try hybrid learning

Online learning has provided relief and allowed many undergraduates to avoid the high cost of living and schooling. It is flexible, and the structure is more affordable than in-person learning. Thanks to this flexibility, you can reduce transportation expenses and similar costs. Plus, you get more work hours without sacrificing your study.

Create a budget and reduce your expenses

Regardless of how much you make, you won’t achieve much if you don’t track your inflow and outflow of income. Create a budget for each day, week, or semester and stick to it. If you don’t know how, try listening to financial podcasts or ask your counselor for help.

To reduce your expenses, explore sharing low-cost, off-campus housing with a roommate and splitting bills. Don’t throw old items away. Instead, flip them and earn extra cash.

Negotiate your financial aid package

After applying for financial aid, you will receive reports on your eligibility. The letters include financial packages. Before accepting any, take time to understand the difference between them. Do they come with contingencies like maintaining a certain grade point average, or are they renewable?

Spend less time in college

Accelerate your time in the university with programs like CLEP and AP tests before entering college. These testing programs let you earn college credits for courses you take, and you won’t have to pay to learn them later. Likewise, when you pass advanced placement courses in your school, they will transfer to college points, and you don’t need to settle for them later. Take accelerated courses and summer classes to fill your schedule.

Settle your student debt

Student loans may seem like the best way to fund your schooling, but you won’t feel the pain of student debt until you need to start repaying it after graduation. This is why it’s best to avoid student debt as much as possible.

If you are already struggling with student loan debt, you can find help. You may have debt collectors calling or sending letters constantly. SoloSuit can help you get rid of debt collectors and settle your student debts once and for all.

SoloSettle, powered by SoloSuit, can assist you with negotiating a debt settlement and repayment program. Our software sends and receives settlement offers until you reach an agreement with your lender or creditor. To learn more, check out this video:

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