Career | Money | School

How To Not Feel Professionally Restricted By Your Student Loans

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Sometimes as a new college student, the exact path you want to take towards your professional goals is still undefined. You may find out down the road that the industry your majored in, and began your career in, lends itself towards a higher level of education such as a graduate degree. This can be exciting and leverage itself towards some great opportunities but can also induce some anxiety regarding another bout of student loan debt and what that will mean for your current financial situation. It is not uncommon for people to stay in undesirable professional situations because they feel paralyzed by their student loan payments, but there are ways to avoid that in the first place.

Financial Factors to Consider

Some companies will pay for in part, or in full, their employees graduate degree, but not all do. If you need to take out private student loans to fund your continued education, use what you learned from the process of taking out undergraduate loans to make the smartest choice, and be advised of how the differences in your personal finances between then and now will impact your overall experience. Your repayment history, and overall credit score are going to wager in with lenders when you apply for this next loan. This can really be to your benefit if you have been diligent about paying your monthly amount on time and in full.

Presenting as an attractive borrower will give you an opportunity to negotiate terms and interest rates with prospective lenders, and not feel like you must settle for whatever is offered. Since you are already earning a salary, this is also something to consider. You may not have been able to pay out of pocket for any amount of your undergraduate education, but you might be able to pay a little bit towards grad school, reducing the total that you’ll need to borrow. Look at your budget, and your savings, and see if there is an opportunity for your financial goals, and your educational goals to align, and play around with different scenarios. Your current position and salary will need to be evaluated, what does taking on another loan mean regarding your specific income and job?

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Personal Factors to Consider

Committing to another degree means you are also committing yourself to your professional field in some capacity. Give this some serious thought so you can avoid feeling stuck as your career moves forward. Student loan debt is a major reason that many people stay in unhappy professional situations, but it can be avoided. Evaluate what you do and do not love about your profession, employer, job duties, etc., and decide if your current situation lends itself to you happily continuing this path.

It is always easier to find a job, when you have a job, and significantly less stressful on your pocketbook. So, think about if you are willing to stay with your current employer during your graduate studies or not and what that time frame might look like. Give yourself a chance to make any necessary adjustments to your current professional situation to avoid feeling locked into it just because you have taken out another private student loan to fund your graduate education.

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