Managing costs while in school can be difficult. Because you receive financial aid at the beginning of the semester, it is hard to make your money last. Here are some tips to help stretch your financial aid budget:
1. Keep good financial records and come up with a filing system for your documents.
Keep a copy of all loan related documents (MPNs, disclosure notices, award letters, repayment schedules, tax returns, correspondence, etc.). A good filing system will ensure that you can easily retrieve your documents if needed.
2. Create a monthly budget of all of your expenses.
3. Prepay bills if you can.
Students can check with their lease holders to see if prepayment of rent/mortgage is an option. They may also be able to pay certain premiums, such as car or health insurance, for a six month period.
4. Maintain a good credit history by paying bills on time.
Students may need to borrow funds through a Graduate PLUS Loan or a Private/Alternative Loan. Approval of these loans is based on the student’s credit history.
5. Research all sources of educational funding available before applying for credit-based loans.
6. Keep a calendar of important deadlines and meet them.
7. When applying for financial aid, remember to borrow only what you need.
Starting salaries in certain fields may be limited in the first few years of practice. Your starting salary may not be enough to sustain your monthly loan payments. Borrow wisely!