Going to graduate school or pursuing an advanced professional degree can be the pathway to a great job. It can also lead to overwhelming student loan debt. Even though it is easy enough to take out student loans to finance an advanced degree, it can be crushing to pay them back. To ease the future financial burden, it can help to find the right school, maximize grants and scholarships, work a side hustle, and, if loans are a must, seek the best terms possible. Ameritech Financial, a document preparation company that helps student loan borrowers apply for federal income-driven repayment plans, encourages student borrowers to be extremely cautious in taking on more student loan debt.
“An advanced degree can lead to a high-paying job, but also to a lot of debt,” said Tom Knickerbocker, Executive Vice President of Ameritech Financial. “Of course, we want all our clients to pursue their dreams but we also advise them to do everything in their power to reduce costs and very carefully consider how any accumulated debt will be paid off.”
For those who have decided that an advanced degree is their best chance to secure a rewarding and fulfilling career, a first priority is to find the right school at the right price. An average public college graduate program costs $30,000 per year, while private schools average $40,000 per year. Prospective students can utilize search tools, such as one available at The Princeton Review, to search by cost, which should be a top priority.
Secondly, the FASFA for graduate students automatically categorizes students as independent, taking parental income out of the equation. As students receive aid offers from schools, they should contact those schools for additional grants, scholarships, and fellowships. This is money that will not have to be paid back and should be aggressively pursued. In addition, students might consider crowdfunding or researching employers that help with tuition.
Another idea is to search for on-campus teacher’s assistant openings and other opportunities based on research and teaching within a particular field of study. Students can also pursue entrepreneurship, starting a side-hustle in which student expertise and passion is leveraged. Successful side-hustles, based on interest and knowledge, can be a brilliant way to finance an advanced degree.
Lastly, and only as a final measure based on well-considered outcomes, students can apply for the absolute minimum of federal loans available to graduate students, or, when they are advantageous, private loans. Federal loans come with protections, but sometimes, if a borrower has a good credit score, better terms can be secured with a private loan.
“It’s so important to chase your dreams, but it is also important to take steps to solidify your financial future,” states Knickerbocker. “Federal income-driven repayment plans are great repayment options for federal student loan borrowers whose payments are high relative to their income and family size. These plans base payments on discretionary income and can potentially end in forgiveness after 20 to 25 years in the program. We encourage our clients to use any advantage they might gain with payment reductions from an IDR to pursue career and life goals.”
About Ameritech Financial
Ameritech Financial is a private company located in Rohnert Park, California. Ameritech Financial has already helped thousands of consumers with financial analysis and student loan document preparation to apply for federal student loan repayment programs offered through the Department of Education.
Each Ameritech Financial telephone representative has received the Certified Student Loan Professional certification through the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA).
Ameritech Financial prides itself on its exceptional Customer Service.
SOURCE Ameritech Financial