Thinking about going back to school? You’re not alone. Thanks to night classes, internet courses, and flexible schedules, it’s easier than ever to continue your education on your own terms.
Deciding to learn something new is exciting, and something that can fill you with hope. Along with furthering your education, an advanced degree can help with job prospects or promotions. The fact that you’re considering this option is a first step on the “yellow brick road” of what you hope will be a brighter future.
However, not everything about pursuing a college degree (especially as an adult with a job, bills, and responsibilities) is exciting. The first question that many students ask is how they’re going to pay for it. Even if you’re not paying to live in a dorm room, college isn’t cheap.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to go back to school without worrying about money.
The Challenge of Personal Student Loans
To pay for college, many students turn to personal loans when they decide to go back to school. It’s an easy option that allows them to worry about money on a later date while they focus on education now.
Unfortunately, you have to start focusing on the money sometimes, and the cost can come back to haunt graduates. According to The Institute for College Access and Success, seven in ten college seniors graduated with student loan debt in 2015. The organization estimated that the average borrower had more than $30,100 in debt. That’s a lot of money you’ll be paying off for a long time, even before you include the interest payments.
You might even have to push back your long-term plans, like buying a car or moving into a new home, until you can get the monthly loan payments under control. If you don’t want to put off your future, there are ways that you can attend college without going into debt.
Pay as You Go Classes
If you don’t have future payments to sell, another option is to take classes only when you can afford them. Many people push back their graduation dates, taking a few classes per semester or year until they earn the credits they need to obtain a degree. You might turn that two year program into one that takes twice as long, but you’ll get a debt-free diploma in return.
Selling Structured Settlement Payments
If you’re receiving regular payments from a structured settlement or annuity, you could sell a portion of them for a lump sum of cash to use to pay for school. After speaking with one of our experienced Account Executives, they’ll give you a quote for how you can turn your future payments into money you can spend sooner on classes, textbooks, and supplies. The Atlantic reported on research by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that found only 37 percent of people with student loan debt are making regular payments on time.
It can take more than a decade to pay off student debt, which means spending at least 10 years worrying about money and interest rates. Paying for your education costs upfront can cut that worry out completely.
Selling a structured settlement in exchange for a lump sum is one way that students can take the classes they want, at the pace they want, without going into debt. If you are currently receiving payments from a structured settlement or annuity, give us a call. We’ll be happy to let you know what your options are.
J.G. Wentworth does not offer legal, tax, or financial advice. Please contact independent professionals for those services.