This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

How to Get a College Degree Debt-Free

By considering alternatives to the standard "four years and graduate" routine, you can find ways to cut costs and leave college with a degree debt-free.

The credit crisis has been a mixed bag for students seeking loans. The federal government has increased lending by 18.6% to $65.2 billion in the year through November. Private student loans, on the other hand, have fallen by as much as 25%, with 39 lenders having stopped making those types of loans during the same period. But ask yourself first: "Do I really need a student loan?"

Let's assume you are like most people who have little, if any, college funding from parents. And let's say you have taken steps to get financial aid. Even if you are mainly on your own in funding your college education, you can still graduate debt-free.

The key to graduating from college debt-free is to plan long before you actually choose a school. Look at the opportunities and costs. While getting your diploma debt-free will likely mean getting your education in a less traditional way, it won't make that piece of paper any less valuable. Here is what you need to consider.

Know what you want to study: The cost of college no longer makes it a good place to figure out what you want to do, especially if that means adding an extra year or two. You need to have a good idea what you want to major in long before you even step onto campus. If you don't, you are better off taking a year to work and save money or attending a community college, whose fees are more reasonable. That should give you time to take classes to get a better idea of what you want to study.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,805.41 +127.51 0.76%
S&P 500 1,964.58 +13.76 0.71%
NASDAQ 4,483.7150 +30.9230 0.69%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs