Student loan debt is something that every student wishes he or she did not have. Although you may have loan debt once you graduate college, you can pay it off quickly and painlessly a number of different ways.
While the most obvious way to pay off student loans fast is by making payments to your loan provider, there are some other ways that you may not have thought of. Below, we will go over some of these ways and hopefully help you out.
1. Know Your Repayment Plan and Options
One of the best ways to pay off your debt is to know and understand your repayment options. Once you graduate college or you drop out, you are required to start making payments on your federal or private student loans once six months pass by. If you do not say anything to your loan servicer, you will be placed on the standard 10-year repayment plan.
There are additional options for repayment plans including the 20-year or 25-year plans along with income-driven plans. When you extend the length of your repayment term, you are going to decrease the monthly amount you owe, but you will increase the amount you owe in the long run.
Don’t sit on the sidelines when it comes to your repayment plan and make sure you are reading up on it and always monitoring it.
2. Manage Your Debt Properly
Have you looked at your loan lately? If not, you may want to. Sometimes, loan providers add in sneaky fees such as a fee to use a certain payment method, etc. You want to make certain you know these fees and you are not incurring them along the way.
It can be difficult to sort through your loan paperwork all at once, therefore, take a weekend to sit down and review everything in full. If you come across something you do not understand, highlight it and then contact your loan provider.
3. Respect Your Debt
To be able to pay down your loan debt, you must respect your debt. This means that you acknowledge it and pay it. If you do not respect your loan debt, you may miss payments, spend money on other things, and overall forget about the loans themselves.
4. Learn How to Budget
If you are not currently budgeting, it is important that you start. If you blindly send money out to pay your bills, you will not know what is getting paid, what is owed, and when each bill is owed.
Missing payments can lead to other problems later on down the road, so you want to start budgeting right away.
5. Pay More Than the Minimum Amount
When you are paying down your student loans, you want to make sure that you are sending in more than the minimum amount monthly. If you only send in the minimum, you are not actually paying down much of the loan balance and mostly just interest.
If you send more than the minimum, the amount over will be applied directly to the loan balance and you will see a dramatic reduction over time.
6. Change the Way You Spend
Lastly, you need to change the way that you are spending your money. This point goes hand in hand with respecting your debt. If you are going out every weekend and avoiding paying your loan debt, then you will find that your loans default and your wages are garnished.
No matter what it takes, get your loans paid off. If you have to sacrifice eating out at restaurants for two years, do it, as it will be worth it in the end.
The above six ways will help you pay down your student loan debt and get a better grasp of it. It takes a lot of patience and determination to pay your loans down quickly, but you can do it if you work at it. Remember, pay more than the minimum amount required; therefore, you will pay off your loans quicker.
Author: Jeff Gitlen
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