The student loan industry is huge now. Indeed, outstanding student loan debt now exceeds outstanding credit card debt in the U.S. As you get ready for college this fall, it’s a good idea to think about your college funding options, and consider your financing. If you have a child that is still a few years away from college, it’s never too early to start saving. Here are some ways to avoid student loans:

  • Save up: One of the best things you can do is to save up for college. There are tax-advantaged options for saving up for college using investment accounts that compound your contributions. The earlier you start, the more your money can work for you.
  • Work toward scholarships: Look around for scholarships. There are a number of small scholarships available. Added up, they could really help out. You can also have your child prepare for the future by getting good grades and choosing a couple of extracurricular activities.
  • Get a job: Most college students can handle a part-time job in college. This can reduce some of the need for student loans. On-campus jobs are usually flexible and can make it easy to balance class and work. You can also increase your income through side projects and passive investing.

Developing Good Financial Habits

Even if it is necessary to borrow some money for school, the development of good financial habits can limit that amount. College students that learn to be financially responsible can get ahead of the game. Those that live within their means, borrow as little as possible, and work to build wealth now, can find a great deal of success in the future. It’s never to early to start developing the habits that can lead to wealth.


Encourage teenagers and college students to improve their financial skills, and learn how to make wise decisions with their money. Those who make the effort to earn more, borrow sparingly, and save for the future will be well-placed to succeed. Even if student loans are needed, the development of good financial habits will lead to the ability to pay off the student loans sooner, reducing the total amount that one pays in interest. This can be a real help, since interest can be one of the things that erodes wealth.


Back to school time is an ideal point to stop and consider your college funding options. Even if you have a child that is years away, you can use this time to give him or her a solid start.