Your Guide to Responsible Borrowing: Part One) 12/19/2011 <p>Welcome, blog readers! Today we&rsquo;re beginning a new, 6-part series on Responsible Borrowing

Your Guide to Responsible Borrowing: Part One

Welcome, blog readers! Today we’re beginning a new, 6-part series on Responsible Borrowing for your education. We begin today by defining the idea of Responsible Borrowing:

Part 1: What Does Responsible Borrowing Mean?
Planning for your education is one of the most important steps to your successful future. What career field best suits you? How will you pay for your education? These questions can be answered with a little research and consideration, but today let’s concentrate on the last questions “How will you pay for your education?”

Many students use college savings that they have contributed to for years, veterans use the benefits they have earned by serving in our Armed Forces, while others depend on federal financial aid to cover the cost of tuition and other educational expenses. Federal financial aid is a great source for students, but is it the most “responsible” way to go? To help you make the best decision we want you to know that you have choices and these choices can lead to successful graduation with or without a large debt in the end.

Students who manage their debt and invest in their education are more likely to graduate. One reason may be the availability of funds throughout their education, which they have insured by only using the very minimum in loan monies. Other reasons may include the financial peace of mind that comes from making small investments along the way, thus eliminating the worry of loan payments and payback periods.

In the perfect situation, a student would be able to complete their education without taking out any loans, or paying them off while they are in school. This is what we want for each student, thereby reducing the long term debt you have when you are a college graduate. Imagine the joy of accomplishing your goal of a college education, receiving your degree and knowing that you can move into the next phase of your life with no lingering debt.

Your commitment to your education is not merely academic; it can be that time in your life that you refocus your energies in all areas of your life. Good stewardship of your finances will help you now and in the future, so take control and never borrow more than you need.

It is far too easy to borrow as much money as you possible can while in school. Don’t allow your debt to overwhelm your projected earnings upon graduation. In short, don’t borrow more than you need, do not take stipends and if you have to borrow money, use lenders that offer low interest rates and have a reputation of serving the student. The choices you make today can affect the rest of your life.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Paying for School – Your Choices

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