Student Loans

How to Make Your Student Loans Last Longer

If you want to get the most out of your student loans, it is important that you follow some basic tips. There are a few very simple things you can do to stretch the money you have been given farther than you ever thought possible. Being a student means having to save everything you can so you can live as comfortable as possible.

Create a Firm Budget for Yourself

One of the first things that you need to do is to create a firm budget that you live by month to month. You will want to write down all of your recurring expenses; including rent, utilities, food, text books, and anything else you can think of. This will give you a good starting point for making your loans last longer. When you actually see how much money you have to spend on a monthly basis, you will be far more likely to spend it wisely.

Examine Your Student Loan Options

There are going to be numerous student loan options that you will have to choose from, so it is important that you take a close look at them. The Maintenance Loan can provide you with a decent amount of money, but it’s definitely not the only option you will have. Make sure that you get money any way you can, including from your parents, your job, state benefits, local incentives, and other things. Every little bit is going to help, so take the time to review your options carefully.

Rearrange Your Spending

If the money you get from your loans doesn’t cover all of your expenses, you will need to get creative and do some rearranging. Make sure that you give first priority to the most important expenses, such as rent and other crucial bills. The money that is left over after you pay off the basic bills will be the money you can spend how you like. It is important to be responsible with your money, but there is nothing wrong with splurging once in a while.

When you are rearranging your spending, you will want to eliminate anything you don’t absolutely need. Chances are there are numerous expenses that you can forego. You need to be honest with yourself when going through this process.

One of the best ways to stretch your student loan money is by shopping around to get the best deal on what you need. You might be surprised at just how much you will be able to save when you take the time to do this. The internet can be a great resource for trying to find the best bargain on just about anything.

Take a Look at Your Rent

Rent is usually a person’s biggest recurring expense, so it is therefore important to see how you could possibly pay less. The ideal situation would be living at home so that you don’t have to worry about paying rent at all. If you absolutely have to rent a flat, you might want to try negotiating with the landlord for a lower monthly rate.

It is also a good idea to see if you can find a cheaper place to live while still remaining in the area. Take some time to compare different flats near where you go to school so that you know exactly what your options are. There will likely be a number of places you can live, so you don’t want to rush into a final decision.

Look for Loan Alternatives

Even those who already have student loans should take some time to look at the alternatives that are available. You can always use your credit card for certain school-related purchases, but you have to be careful. The last thing you want to do is accumulate a significant amount of debt that you are going to struggle to pay back for years. You should set up direct debit with your bank account so that your balance always gets cleared on time. Being late on your card payments can quickly ruin your credit. There are numerous credit cards that come with 0% interest for the first year or two, and they can be particularly useful for students.

Always Spend Wisely

One of the most important things that you can keep in mind when trying to make the most out of your student loans is to spend your money wisely. You should always think about how much you are spending and whether or not it is a good idea. The more cautious you are about spending your money, the easier it will be to pay for the essentials and still have enough left over for emergencies. This is something that many students don’t even think about, and it ends up causing them quite a bit of grief.


Everything That Millennials Need to Know About Building Credit

It is absolutely crucial for young people to work on establishing a solid credit rating as early on as possible. Your credit will determine how easy it is to get a loan for a home, car, or anything else you need. If you plan on buying a house one day, you will need to start focusing on building up your credit however possible. There are lots of different ways that you can do this, but some methods work better than others. When you take the time to learn some simple credit building tips, you can set yourself on the path to financial freedom.

Check for Errors on Your Credit Report

Make sure that you get a copy of your credit report every so often so that you can check for mistakes. Even a seemingly small error on your report can tank your credit rating. You should make a point of doing this at least twice a year so you don’t miss anything. Mistakes can happen, which is why you need to be vigilant. By spotting these mistakes, you could improve your credit significantly.

Select the Right Credit Card

There are many different credit cards that you will have to choose from, so you will need to take the time to look into your options. It is a good idea to look for a credit card with 0% interest for the first 12 months. You won’t have to worry about paying any interest on the money that you borrow for whatever you need.

It is still important to use your card responsibly, but repaying your debt will be much easier. Those who have a low credit rating are likely to be limited to high-interest cards, but it’s still important to do your research. If you consistently make your payments on time, you can build your credit fairly quickly.

Don’t Utilize All of Your Available Credit

Another great way to steadily build up your credit is by keeping your utilization ratio as low as possible. This ratio makes up a fairly large portion of your credit rating, so you will need to keep that in mind. Just because you have a certain credit limit doesn’t mean you have to use it all. It is a good idea to keep your credit utilization at about 10%.

Take Care of Your Balances

It is incredibly important that you clear all of your credit card balances each month so that you don’t get caught in a downward spiral of debt. Your credit rating can easily go down the tubes when you get into the habit of putting off payments. The sooner you take care of your balances, the better off your credit is going to be. Maintaining a low balance with your accounts will definitely work in your favour when trying to improve your credit rating.

Become an Authorised User

If you have a family member with very good credit, you should consider asking them to make you an authorised user on their card. This could go a long way towards improving your credit in the long term. Being an authorised user means that you will have complete access to the person’s line of credit. If you manage to use it responsibly, you can do a lot to boost your rating quite a bit within a fairly short period of time.

Spend Responsibly

Having a credit card can be a great thing for a number of reasons, but you need to use it responsibly. Those who treat a credit card like free money just end up in a deep pit of debt that is very hard to get out of. It is important that you treat your card with the respect it deserves. Always think twice before putting anything on your plastic.

Establish Positive Financial Habits

There are certain habits that you should get into from a young age when it comes to how you spend money. Always keep close track of your spending so you know how much you have versus when you need to pay in bills. It is also important to create a physical budget on paper or on your computer. Those who have an established budget usually have a much easier time with staying on track financially.

Final Thoughts

All millennials need to start working on getting their credit rating as high as possible. Good credit can make your life a lot easier and more enjoyable. The sooner you get started with taking these steps, the easier it will be for you to get all of the loans you need. Whether you need to get a new car or an entire house, your credit will be a major role. These tips can help you get started with improving your credit right now.