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Image result for student loan debt betsy devos
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos stopped the rule that would protect students from student debt. Credit, New York Times

Thursday D.C. and 18 other states filed a lawsuit against Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos for delaying the Borrower Defense to Repayment rule.

#NewsUpdate: Last year the Obama Administration created the Borrower Defense to Repayment rule. The rule was set to apply this July and it would protect student loan borrowers and hold colleges who seek profit, accountable. DeVos has stopped the rule and asked her department to review and improve the rule. The lawsuit is led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. She said, DeVos’ delay of the rule, “is a betrayal of her office’s responsibility and a violation of federal law.”

game of loans - interest is coming
“Game of Loans… Interest is coming” graduation cap. Credit, Budgets Are Sexy

LendEDU reported there is an estimate of 43.3 million borrowers with a total of $1.41 trillion in educational loan debt.

As an incoming senior here’s my story and advice on how to survive college and graduate almost debt free.

Going away to college seemed insane after high school. I did not have the best GPA, SAT scores, or money. I knew I would have to take out loans but I did qualify for financial aid. I managed to find a good school with a low tuition cost. Thanks to my high school counselor I applied for scholarships and actually won. Even though it was not much it helped cover some of those little fees they charge all college students.

Squidward holding the bill. Credit, Sizzle

The reality of college debt

Loans are scary, I took out two loans my freshman year I have not looked at it since and I know it is adding up as you read this but I and other students are basically all in this struggle together. Student loan expert, Mark Kantrowitz said the average student loan debt is for class of 2016 is more than $37,000 and over time interest amounts to about $90 billion per year.

Before you get there

Research your top choices it might be your dream school but is it best for your dream wallet? Overall it is up to you. All that matters is if the college or university can provide you with all the skills and resources you need to have a career after graduation.

Everyone emphasizes how important it is to save up for college, and honestly it probably would have helped if I started saving when I was born but I did not. Better late than never, start saving immediately ask yourself do you need it? Try not to eat out, and just think before you swipe or for online shoppers before you enter your card information.

While you’re there

I have gotten $19,000 in scholarships, and I believe any college student can do the same. As an employee at my university, they offered scholarships. I worked as hard as I could on the job and in class. Your GPA matters, there is free money out there but you have to keep your eyes open and search a little. Check your email and ask your professors if they know of any. The ones on your campus are more ideal because the application pool is smaller than ones offered online to students everywhere. Take your time applying and make sure someone reads over your essay before it is submitted.  

Time is money. Try to graduate on time and save on textbooks, by not buying them if you know you are not going to read them. Try to share books with other classmates if you can. Remember you can always scan pages to print or download as a PDF.

Find a cheap place to live, it is a huge waste to pay hundreds of dollars a month on rent. Never lose sight of the goal: to start an ideal job right after graduation. Make sure you are comfortable but sleeping comfortably is something you can do later on in your mansion while you are making millions “debt-free”.

When you graduate

Pay your loans back gradually only give what you can. Do not stress about the loans and pay too much at one time. As stated before there are millions of others paying back student loans. According to Student Loan Hero, the average monthly student loan payment is $351, and it takes 10-20 years to finishing paying it off. 

Contributions from, Student Loan Hero, CNN Money, Mark Kantrowitz, LendEDU, and Reflect

LEARN MORE

Why 18 States Are Suing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

Repayment: What to Expect (Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans)