Kara Stevens from The Root, gives six simple ways for students to decrease their student loans and achieve a level of financial stability. In her article, “6 steps to move from College Debt to Financial Success,” she lays it out. The article is part of a five part series discussing Black wealth and financial management. Stevens uses her experiences as a student to give some of her best tips. She offers, “While my credentials positioned me to earn more—my income nearly tripled from my first degree to the third—my degrees did not position me to save more, invest more or improve my credit; only strong money-management skills positioned me to do that. And those skills were acquired over the course of my 14-year journey toward financial freedom.” Stevens had an almost $70,000 student loan to pay down.
The first strategy she learned was to become well versed in what her loans required. Often times, most students enter into colleges and universities taking out huge loans. Many people do not fully understand that one day they will have to pay these loans back, including footing the bill for interest. Some of the other strategies for African Americans interested in employing cost saving measures, is to:
1). Live at home
2.) Understand that education is a costly enterprise sometimes without the return you intended
3). Always manage your credit score.
One of her most poignant strategies focuses on seeking alternatives to higher education. In today’s economy, a degree does not guarantee a job or an income that actually matches what you are worth. Knowing this information, it might be best to see if you can “work smarter.” Stevens suggests other educational options, “If you are committed to lifelong learning, consider a certificate course, self-study or one of the many low-cost or free online opportunities that some of the most prestigious colleges and universities offer, until you are 100 percent certain that you need that second or third degree.”
Read more about the feminist blogger’s six strategies to build Black wealth. Certainly a timely read.
Itoro Udofia is a first generation Nigerian writer, educator and singer/songwriter. You can find her work and follow her at http://www.itoroudofia.com/