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Minimizing the impact of student loans | Money Smart

Money and Career Expert, Tori Dunlap, joined FOX43 on June 2 to share her tips for pulling yourself out of student debt.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — The student loan crisis is keeping young people from building long-term wealth, according to Money and Career Expert, Tori Dunlap. This is why she joined FOX43 on June 2 to share her tips for pulling yourself out of student debt.

Dunlap shared that something she implemented to make sure she herself didn't overspend, was making sure she only spent money on things she really enjoyed, and tried to be conscious of every purchase. Not every American is very good at that, however. In fact, Americans owe $1.7 trillion in student loans, according to Dunlap. 

A recent CheapTickets survey also found that "folks were more likely to hold off on long-term big life milestones, like buying a home, getting married, in order to pay off their student debt faster," she said.

In this week's Money Smart, FOX43's Chelsea Koerbler spoke to Dunlap about three things young people can do to help themselves financially when it comes to education.

Her first tip for minimizing the impact of student loans is getting scholarships.

"...a lot of departments have specific scholarships," she said. "Find scholarships and ask your specific department at your university if they offer scholarships."

Second, you should set your financial priorities.

"I always ask clients when they are about to go buy something, 'Is that something that you really want?' and 'Is that something that you are okay with purchasing, knowing that you might not be able to have something else?'"

Third, paying more than you owe on your debt bills.

"Not only contributing your monthly payment, but also making sure you contribute any extra money to the principle balance," she said. "Being able to contribute more money there means less interest and less student loans over time."

To hear more of what Dunlap had to say, check out the clip above.

Download the FOX43 app here.