Smart Borrowing: The Secret to Easy Repayment and Limited Student Loan Debt

Smart Borrowing of Student LoansBorrowing money is almost always easier than paying it back! If you are using student loans to fund your education, the decisions you make when applying for aid just might make repayment a lot easier. If you make wise financial choices, you may be able to limit your loan debt, by only accepting the amount of loans that is absolutely necessary for school expenses (rather than the full amount you are eligible for).

Borrowing student loans responsibly isn’t just about the choices you make when applying for aid; the financial decisions you make every day can help make repayment more affordable, too. Compare two students’ financial decisions and see how it affected their monthly student loan payments.

And make sure to scroll to the bottom of the page for smart borrowing bonus tips and additional iGrad resources!

(Click infographic to view as full-size image)

Smart Borrowing of Student Loans

(Click infographic to view as full-size image)


Bonus Tip #1: If you have unsubsidized loans, interest is accruing on these loans while you are in school. If you pay the interest on any unsubsidized loans while you are in school, you’ll not only save money on your future repayment bills, but you’ll be forming the healthy habit of making those payments once you finish school.

Bonus Tip #2: Use iGrad’s student loan calculator to figure out whether you’ll be able to comfortably afford repayment in the future based on your expected monthly income.

Let iGrad Help You Be a Smart Borrower

These additional, multi-media iGrad resources will provide you with even more helpful information on how to be a smart borrower and give you some tips on how to responsibly manage your student loans! Check them out below!


  • Smart Borrowing and the Future of Repayment: As a student loan borrower, it is important to remember that borrowing money is always easier than paying it back. Our Smart Borrowing video series shows you how even a few simple strategies can translate into more manageable student loan repayments...
  • The Cost of Borrowing Money: In this clip from our Best Student Loan Repayment Strategies webinar, student loan expert Heather Jarvis teaches the basics of smart borrowing, the effect of interest on borrowed money, and how you can apply this knowledge to decrease your loan debt...
  • iGrad Guide: How to Access Your Student Loans on NSLDS: Learn how to access your federal student loans and grants with iGrad's video guide to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)! Our guide will have you easily maneuvering through the NSLDS site, prepared to ask any questions you may have...
  • Financial Literacy: Financial Aid and Other Ways to Pay for College: Although you may incur some debt to pay for school, educate yourself before signing on the dotted line for student loans. We go over all the basics, from filling out your FAFSA to finding federal grants and scholarships (aka "free money") to help you afford your degree!


  • Smart Borrowing: Limit Your Loan Debt: The most critical step in applying for student loans is determining the right loan size. Taking the full amount for which you are eligible is often unnecessary and financially unwise. Find out how much you should borrow in student loans...
  • Financing College: Use Free Money First: While a college education is expensive, there are a number of means available for paying for it. However, it is important to understand which kinds of funding are the best sources for you and your family to use. Here's what you need to know…
  • What Are My Options When Repaying Student Loans?: Before entering repayment it is a smart idea to estimate your expected monthly payments so you know if you can afford them. If they seem too high for your budget, consider these other loan repayment options to find a better fit for your needs…
  • Repayment Plans: Breaking Down the Options: One size does not have to fit all when it comes to loan payment plans, so it's nice to know there are different options available. We've broken down each one in specific detail to help you find a repayment plan that best fits your situation...


  • Loan Payments Calculator: If you take out a loan, it is very important that you understand all of your financial obligations, such as your repayment plan. Use the details of your loan terms to calculate how much your loan payments should be in order to pay them back on time...
  • Student Loan Calculator: When you're shopping for a loan, you should look at the total amount of interest you will pay on the loan. This calculator is a handy tool to help you compare loans.

What strategies are you using to be a smart student loan borrower? Share them with us in the comment box below!

About the Author: Mackenzie Maher

Mackenzie Maher graduated in 2010 from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a BA in Global Studies and a minor in Professional Writing, with an editing emphasis. Mackenzie’s diverse portfolio also includes writing, editing, photography, and documentary script writing on such subjects as travel, career, and finance. Next to writing, she is most passionate about world travel (she has visited 24 countries).

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