With National Financial Literacy Month coming to a close, the Michigan Department of Treasury’s MI Student Aid Team is providing five tips so student loan borrowers can become their own financial advocate.
Michigan students and families cover a considerable amount of their higher education costs. Being your own financial advocate helps student loan borrowers understand how to manage and leverage the financial aid they receive.
The MI Student Aid Team encourages students and families to keep the following five tips in mind:
- Visit the financial aid office once a semester: Students should know the status of their college or university’s student account and keep track of the types of aid they receive to know their financial status. By making this a habit, students can avoid over-borrowing and stay within their budget.
- Take advantage of the resources you’ve already paid for: Most schools offer resources such as free tutoring and writing centers, while some even provide free transportation locally and around campus. With the average public four-year tuition at nearly $11,000, students should take full advantage of all the resources put in place to help them succeed.
- Visit the career center or services office: “Graduates who visited the career center at least once were more likely to be employed full-time after college than those who did not visit,” according to com. With employment being one of the most important end-goals of college, make a habit of visiting the career center or services office frequently to foster career growth that may lead to a job.
- Make use of your college job board: Gaining professional experience while still in school is one of the most important factors employers look at when interviewing potential candidates for hire. Working an on-campus job, participating in an externship program, landing an internship opportunity are all great ways students can make themselves more competitive when entering the workforce. Most Michigan colleges and universities have job boards that students can navigate to find these opportunities, post their resumes and find volunteer gigs, among other things.
- Create a gov account: By creating an account, students can track all their student loans, check the interest rate of each one and total interest accumulated to date, look over different repayment options and estimate monthly payments and learn who their loan servicer is for when repayment begins.