Well, there is nothing fun about paying off student loans. In fact, it can be really shocking to realize how much you owe once you graduate. This feeling can hold you back from doing the things you love and live your life to the fullest. It can also affect both your life and career decisions. But, don’t freak out. We are here to help you.
There is nothing impossible about paying off your student loans and you might even be able to do it faster than required. To learn more about it, here is our list of 8 practical tips on how to pay student loans faster.
- Know your loans and make a plan
The first thing you need to do is to figure out what you owe. Then you need to create a debt payment plan. We recommend you to pay off the most expensive debt first. You can use an online personal loan calculator in order to find out which repayment scenario works best for you.
- Start making payments while still in school
Making loans payments before you graduate will no doubt help you pay them off faster. So, start looking for a part-time job and then use the extra money you make toward your student loans. You can consider working as a waitress because the job that offers tips is always a great idea. Also, you can earn good money while working as a freelancer or as a tutor. Explore all the options and try to find something that will help you earn some extra money. And don’t worry if you need to write an essay, but you have to work all day. You can simply buy argumentative essay online without spending a lot of money.
- Consolidate and refinance
One of the fastest ways to pay off your loans is to consolidate and refinance student loans. Consolidating your loans means grouping all the smaller loans into a big one. One of the benefits of consolidation is that it can extend your payback period. Student loan consolidation is not the best choice for everyone, but it can work for some students. Be careful here and never consolidate federal loans into a private student loan as you will lose all the benefits that come with federal loans, such as loan forgiveness.
- Take advantage of tax deductions
If you earn less than $60,000 a year, then you can deduct up to $2,500 of student loan interest on your taxes each year. So, basically, every student will be eligible. In fact, more than 12 billion borrowers have deducted student loan interest on their tax returns in 2015. More than 30% of students take advantage of this tax deduction every year.
- Loan forgiveness
Some jobs as teaching or working in a public service can offer forgiveness for your student loans. For instance, The Teach America program offers such programs. Also, some hospitals may offer forgiveness as well if you work in rural areas or inner cities. In order to get forgiveness, you need to meet all the requirements. Such programs are great as it is basically free money, but we recommend you to think carefully whether or not you will able to complete the full term of work.
- Get on budget
So, it is time to set up a tight budget and start saving money. You can even consider living with your parents. If you are still single, then moving back home with your mom and dad is not the worst idea. Parents can help you save money on living expenses, so you can pay off your loan faster. However, your parents may leave far away from you and it will not make any sense to move in with them. Then we recommend you to find a roommate. It’s a fact that the largest expense that we have is usually our renting, so sharing housing expenses can help you save some money as well.
- Get help from your employer
There is a great number of companies that offer student loan benefits to their employees. Sometimes private companies have their own already existing programs and you can check with the human resources department about them. Same as with bonuses or health benefits, some employers can include student loan repayment to your benefits package. Just ask your boss about it. However, you might need to promise to work for that company for a certain period of time.
- Student loan help
You don’t need to struggle with your loans alone. Managing them may be tough at times and you may need an extra student loan help. There are lots of services that can show you ways to manage your student debt and make it easy to understand. Moreover, if you are facing a default, there are agencies that can guide you through different repayment options.
They can provide free assistance in understanding information and resources available on student loans. Facing default can be scary, but luckily there is help out there if you find yourself in this situation.
There are lots of benefits to paying off students loans earlier. Getting rid of your debt will give you a lot of freedom – you will be able to travel, make home improvements, pay off other debts or take a lower-paying job that you would love to do more. By following the suggestions above you can speed up your student loan repayment.
Sandra Hayward is a freelance writer who specializes in financial news and advice. She has been writing online content since 2009. When she is not working, Sandra spends her time with her husband and two daughters. Sandra prefers dogs over cats and black coffee over tea.