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If you are headed off to college — or you have a child who's heading there soon — financial guru Anthony ONeal (who went from homeless and $25,000 in debt to helping people stay out of it!) has one bold opinion:
Student loans? Do NOT get them!
"One of the biggest mistakes people make is getting student loans," Anthony tells Rach.
It just puts you in debt so early in life, and when you're making an entry-level salary -- which is probably why is comes as no surprise that, according to The Education Department, more than 11% of graduates with loans default on them within three years.
But it's hard to imagine another alternative, right?
Well, Anthony's answer is this — get on top of the scholarship game.
Like, really get on top of it.
"There is a ton of free money out there in the form of scholarships and grants, and you just have to take it!" Anthony insists. "In fact, every year, BILLIONS of dollars in potential scholarships and grants are left unclaimed. There are some great programs to help you start finding scholarships as early as freshman year of high school."
You read that right: billions. And getting a slice of that to you is all about two apps.
"Scholly is an app that makes it easy to find scholarships and apply for them," Anthony explains. "You put in your information and it finds the scholarships that are a match for you. Plus, you can apply for a ton at the same time and it keeps track of everything for you."
As he notes, "A lot of times students don’t want to spend the time to apply to a bunch of smaller $1,000 scholarships, but those add up so if you can do it all at once, it’s amazing! This one is $2.99 a month, but so worth it!"
Scholly is available wherever you buy apps or you can go to myscholly.com.
"RaiseMe is a website that helps students get micro-scholarships for their achievements in high school," Anthony says.
And trust — little scholarships can add up to LOTS of money.
"Starting in 9th grade," he says, "students can follow as many participating colleges as they want and as they enter their achievements, from good grades to extracurriculars and volunteer activities, they’ll see how much scholarship money they can expect to earn from those colleges once they apply and are accepted."
No hear THIS: "The average student earns $22,500 in micro-scholarships from colleges on RaiseMe."
To learn more, head to raise.me.