If you’re thinking about returning to school, you’re probably also thinking about how you’ll pay for it.
Rule No. 1: Do your homework before deciding whether to take on debt.
Indiana attorney Michael Lux, founder of The Student Loan Sherpa, a website dedicated to student loan education, strategy and borrower advocacy, offers the following advice:
“The older you are when you go back to school, the more important it is that you avoid student loan debt. Borrowing later in life can make retirement even more difficult. Before going back to school, a lot of long-term financial planning needs to be done to figure out what you can afford and whether it will be worth the investment.”
He also points out that “federal limits for graduate school borrowing are much higher than for undergrad. These loans can come with higher interest rates, but the federal protections like income-driven repayment plans and student loan forgiveness make them a very solid choice. If you find a great job after graduation and no longer need a safety net, you can always refinance them at a lower interest rate with a private company.”
And, like it or not, there are scammers looking to take advantage of your need for funds. One question Lux says he hears “far too often” is about purported student loan services “that are nothing more than a scam. Programs like federal student loan consolidation, income-based repayment plans, and student loan forgiveness are all free federal programs. Enrolling is as simple as calling your student loan servicer and following their directions.”
For more info and advice about student loans, check out Lux’s website: