As a college student you are required to have knowledge about a number things relating to your personal finance, such as budgeting for spending, student loan and the use of a credit card to build positive credit. And for those of you who need to incur a loan to further your studies, there comes a realization that along with a degree, you get a bill for all the money you receive while you are a college student. So, you have to learn how to efficiently manage debt and know when you reach your student loan's lifetime limit.
Keep track of your borrowing. For the average college student, student loans are as common as fight songs, but learning about how the loan system works is never absorbed by the student as much as it should be. Since every cent borrowed must be repaid upon completion of courses, you have to be aware of how much you are borrowing. Make a list of how much money you receive every semester, and keep your records in a safe place.
Identify which type of loan you have as the Federal Government offers subsidized or unsubsidized loans depending on the financial status of your parents. The type of loan you have will tell you how much money you are eligible to receive each year of college. You can combine the amounts yourself, or find a list of amounts on your school’s Financial Aid Web page.
Note that the amount of money you are eligible to receive changes according to the rising cost for each level of study. So, determine your loan limitations for each level of education. Verify your information with your lender via e-mail or phone.
You can also access the National Student Loan Data System at www.nslds.ed.gov. to find out the lifetime limit for loans. For example, this central database states that dependent undergraduates are eligible to receive a maximum of $31,000 in Federal aid to be repaid upon completion of the course. Once you have found the amount you are eligible to receive, you can compare this amount to your personal records.
If you have not manually kept track of you records, your loan information is accessible 24 hours a day through the Direct Loans Information site located at www.dl.ed.gov. By comparing your personal records to the lifetime loan limit information provided for each level of post-secondary education, you will be able to tell how much additional aid you can expect.
- Stafford Loan Limits
- National Student Loan Data System
- Federal Student Aid. "Standard Plan." Accessed June 11, 2020.
- One Wisconsin Institute. "Impact of Student Loan Debt on Homeownership Trends and Vehicle Purchasing," Page 4. Accessed June 11, 2020.
- The Institute for College and Success. "Quick Facts About Student Debt," Page 1. Accessed June 11, 2020.
- Center for American Progress. "Addressing the $1.5 Trillion in Federal Student Loan Debt." Accessed June 11, 2020.
- College Board. "Trends in College Pricing 2019," Page 9. Accessed June 11, 2020.
- Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. "Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2019 - May 2020." Accessed June 11, 2020.
- AmeriCorps. "Segal AmeriCorps Education Award." Accessed June 11, 2020.
Jennifer Simon has been a copywriter since 2007, a copyeditor since 2004 and currently teaches English Composition at Full Sail University. Her edited articles have appeared in "The Washington Post," "The Huffington Post" and "The Network Journal." Simon has a Master of Arts degree from Duquesne University with a focus in modern English grammar, linguistics and editing.