Ugh, student loan debt. Those are three words that every recently graduated college student hates to hear. Even though you are ready to set out on your own and enter into your career, you aren’t yet free from the grasp of debt. And, guess what? Debt can put a strain on you.
Many students hustle hard to pay off their student loans because they do not want it looming over their head and who blames them? Student loan debt can be with you for a while, unless you pay it off relatively quickly.
The standard repayment plan is set at ten years, so unless you plan to hustle, you can expect to spend 10 years making consistent payments to your student loan servicer.
Start the Realization Process
Before you can hustle to pay off your student loans, you need to know how much you owe. If you can only guesstimate your debt, then you need to gather your paperwork, make some calls, and start finding out the real numbers.
It is not uncommon for grad students to graduate with a hefty amount of debt, sometimes in the hundreds of thousands. While you pop your eyeballs back into place, try not to panic too much. There are ways that you can manage your debt, but be prepared to make some sacrifices.
If you do owe a hefty amount in debt, you will find that you may be paying a lot per month, sometimes as much as $1,000 or more. If you do not make much money throughout the month, this could be half your payment.
One of the first things you should do when your monthly amount is too high is call your loan servicer. You may be able to extend your payment plan or apply for another repayment plan based on the amount of money you make. These plans will help bring your payment down a bit.
Pay More Than the Monthly Amount
Now that you have reduced the amount you need to pay monthly, you still need to send more money to your loan servicer each month. You may be wondering why this is and let me tell you – you will pay off your loan quicker.
If you only make the minimum monthly payment each month, your amount of debt will not fluctuate by much because of your interest rate. You need to pay above the amount you owe so that money will be deducted from the principal amount and not the interest amount.
You should take additional money you earn throughout the year and apply it to your loans. For example, if you get a year-end bonus at work for $10,000, take that additional money and put it toward your loan.
Don’t Give Up
One thing you MUST remember is not to give up on paying your loans and never feel discouraged. While it may be discouraging looking at the bill each month, remember you are working toward a goal.
Once you begin to see your progress, you will be motivated to keep it up. This is also where the additional payments come into play as you will notice the loan balance dwindling quickly.
You must keep a positive attitude because, after all, you did want to go to college and get the degree you got, so only you can blame yourself for the debt you are in. If you ever find yourself in a position where you cannot afford your loan debt, speak with your loan servicer as there are other options to help you.
Keep in mind that the more you sacrifice now and put toward your loan, the sooner you will be free from the clutches of debt. That means, you should apply bonuses, tax returns, and additional money you make directly to the loan. One of the benefits of doing so is that you can choose which loan you want the extra money to go to, therefore, you will be able to pay off one or two of your smaller loans quicker and then tackle the larger one.
Student loan debt can be frustrating at times, but the more you work, the more you hustle, and the more you sacrifice will help you get to the end result quicker.
Author: Jeff Gitlen
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