Top Student Loan Tips

Top Student Loan Tips to Get You Out of Debt Quicker

Is student loan debt bringing you down? You are not the only one! In fact, over 44 million Americans hold student loan debt for a whopping $1.5 trillion total dollars. This debt ends up holding many back from buying a home, upgrading to a newer car or even just living on your own.

Student loan debt also has psychological effects on many students and graduates. People are literally losing sleep, suffering from headaches and spiraling out of control.

There is hope however. You can create a path towards recovering from student loan debt so you can sleep easier at night.

Before getting into debt

If you happen to be reading this before getting into student loan debt, then you are taking some very wise steps. There are many things you can do manage your debt before taking the plunge. Post secondary education is a wise investment when done right.

  • Get a job: working in college is a huge benefit and is completely manageable. Many students work at least part-time (while some are able to hold down a full-time job). You can get a head start on debt, by saving during your college years.
  • Get credit in high school: Many high schools offer college credits for courses taken in high school, and they are free. You might have to pass an AP test at the end of the year, but every penny is worth it.
  • Scour for scholarships: You can never waste time searching for scholarships. They are out there and you should be applying until you are blue in the face. Even if you have already started school, you should keep searching and keep on applying. Thousands, if not millions of scholarship money goes unclaimed each year. It doesn’t hurt to try.
  • Consider your college options: A super easy way to save big is by getting tons of your prerequisites done at a local community college or junior college. As long as they transfer to your desired college, you will be ahead of the game.
  • Work for a company that will pay for your education: believe it or not, some companies will pay for your education (or part of it). Tuition reimbursement can help you before you attend college and even if you have already started. Some even offer assistance for children!
  • Do not use credit cards: while it is tempting to use credit cards to pay bills or buy supplies, it is important to steer clear. Trying to pay off high interest credit cards alongside student loan debt will become an even bigger headache.

I’m already in a load of debt

The average American graduate who borrows money now has over $37,000 in debt. Student loan monthly payments have risen from $227 in 2005 to $339 in 2017. There is good news. There is a growing demand for skilled workers and that number is forecasted to keep on going up.

If you are living with student loan debt, you know that even having a job in your desired field can feel hopeless when trying to pay back the loan. Here are some ways you can work towards that goal:

  • Work (more): it sometimes takes extra hours to get that loan paid down. The good news is that there are several ways to earn extra cash on your own time. From rideshare to teaching English in your home, you can easily find part-time hours that work for you.
  • Forgiveness options: Many federal loans also have forgiveness programs that you might qualify for. There are options for teachers, public service workers, Peace Corps volunteers, etc.
  • Take a semester off: If you have yet to graduate, you might consider taking a semester off to get ahead financially. Obviously this is not ideal, but could be worth it in the long run.
  • Restructure your payment plan: Oftentimes you can pick a repayment plan that suits you best. Sometimes you can receive an income-driven plan that will help you manage your budget and feel less overwhelmed.
  • Refinance: It might possible to refinance your students loans altogether. Check out SoFi for details.

Bottom Line

You are not alone. Millions of Americans are carrying tons of student loan debt and worried about paying it back. The goal to repayment is finding a plan that works for your budget and not ignoring your debt. This may mean picking up extra hours at work or getting a part-time job. It can be done and  you CAN manage your debt without losing sleep.