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Planning ahead is essential to managing debt. If you plan to borrow each year you are in school, estimate the total amount you will borrow. Then use the Federal Student Aid Estimator to estimate how much federal student aid the student may be eligible to receive. Then decide how much to borrow, you can use the criteria lenders use when they consider an applicant’s ability to repay.

The total monthly payment for all debts should not exceed 8% of your gross monthly salary.