Paying off student loan debt must be the least fun activity you face once you graduate.
High-school graduates go off to college in the hopes that they’ll get a great education and land a well paying job. But when everyone has to actually face the debt monster, things can get quite intense.
Most people get into debt when they can afford to. You get approved for a new loan when you can prove you’re able to pay it back. This means you already have a comfy job or a way to secure your loan with collateral.
Students? Chances are young graduates are unemployed, inexperienced and unable to deal with such a huge financial responsibility all of a sudden.
However, all debts must be paid. And it’s better if you pay them sooner rather than later! Here are a few recommended strategies to help you pay off your student loans faster.
Strategies to pay off student loan debt faster
Know how much you owe
This doesn’t sound much like a strategy, but it’s a damn good motivational factor!
Know how much student debt you have to pay back and when is the loan due. Once you’re done screaming in terror, you can put everything down on paper and make a plan.
You’ll have to understand your loan first. Do you have fixed or variable interest rates? Can you set automatic payments? Make a plan and stick to it. Knowing how much you owe and when is your loan due will motivate you even more to just get there and be free of debt already.
Add extra money to your principal
This is a highly effective way to pay your student loans (and other types of loans as well) faster than originally planned.
The explanation is easy: if you have your individual payments already set up at a certain amount, just add a bit extra each time you make a deposit. This way, anything that exceeds the minimum payment will be added to your principal.
Don’t worry if you don’t have hundreds available, even 25$ extra will count in the long run.
Start paying before graduating
Hopefully, you’re not planning on starting to repay your student loans years after graduation. The sooner you start, the more you’ll save in interest rates in the long run! And we’re talking thousands here, not pennies.
One great strategy to pay off your student loan faster is to start while you’re still in college.
There are many students who seek employment before graduating. A job is indeed an added stress when you still have to deal with getting an education, but there are many perks that come with having a job while in college!
Learn how to budget
A college student probably doesn’t know much about budgeting. But if you manage to balance school and a side job, you’d have to learn how to manage your own money.
If you want to pay your loans faster, you’ll have to prioritize. What’s more important: a new pair of shoes or adding extra cash to your principal?
Learning how to budget will also help you once you graduate. If your aim is to land a great job, you’ll already know how to better manage your money as a young adult.
Refinance or consolidate your student loans
While refinancing has its pros and cons, it can turn out to be a good strategy to paying up your student loans faster.
The biggest perk with refinancing is your interest rates could go down. Another great advantage is you can get one single loan you’d have to pay, once a month. Combine these with what you’ve learned about budgeting and you’ll be out of debt in no time.
Apply to jobs that offer student loan forgiveness
Certain public service jobs may offer student loan forgiveness. You will have to meet certain requirements to be eligible, but basically you could literally apply to jobs that will pay for your student debt.
However, there are downsides to consider as well. Some of these jobs offer this incentive because people don’t want to work there. So, you could be stuck with a not-so-great job, because if you quit, you may not get any assistance.
Student loans are a difficult burden to bear, especially as a young adult. But paying them off is not impossible.
Apply these strategies to pay off student loan debt faster and you’ll be free sooner than you originally expected.
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