On the one hand, you can’t put a price on a quality education. With the rise of everything from social media and the tech industry to the enduring value of a law degree to booming business opportunities in medical and engineering fields around the world, the importance of attaining higher education today for economic opportunity tomorrow has never been greater. Add to that the increased stratification in the wealth gap between the richest and poorest people in the world, and the need for a quality college education becomes all the more apparent.
Unfortunately, as the importance of a college education has risen, so too has the cost associated with it. The trend of college tuition climbing is nothing new, with rates and interest having increased for years to the point where student debt is one of the main sources of debt in nations such as the United States. Still, that doesn’t have to keep you from getting the education you need and deserve.
These few tips can help make college—and your future—a little more attainable.
Determine Your Need
First thing’s first—how much of a loan do you need? Determining your overall need is a critical step, both for yourself and for the banks to which you’re applying for a loan. Schools can offer scholarships up to a certain amount, and this might be either an alternative or a helpful secondary source to help you afford college. In addition, it bears noting that you should only borrow as much as you absolutely need—remember, you’ll have to pay that loan back, with interest, so the more you borrow, the more you’ll eventually have to pay back. With salaries for college graduates tenuous to say the least, airing on the conservative side of things is a good idea here.
Research Different Loans
Not all loans are created equal, or can help every student equally. For example, an education loan in Malaysia is good to apply for if you’re planning on studying there, especially if you are doing so as part of a foreign exchange or study abroad program. If you are studying in Malaysia as a Malaysian, you’ll want to check out loans specifically reserved for Malay citizens.
The longer you wait when it comes to student debt, the worse it becomes. This is true of both the decision to apply for a loan as well as the process of paying it off. The longer you wait to apply, there’s every chance rates and interest might increase, and the longer you wait to pay off those debts, the more the interest on which you’ve already agreed has time to accrue, making it all the harder for you to scale that mountain of debt and successfully pay it off. If you are unsure of the particulars about your debt situation, try one of the many great student debt calculators online for free, or consult a financial planner who specialises in managing student debt.
Do the math, do your homework, and you will have a great chance of doing what you need to get a student loan, which can be the first important step in a bright academic and economic future.