When you think about the leaders of this country, do you think about debt? Most often not and you associate them with wealth and power. While many of them do have a lot of money and are worth millions, some of them are still paying off their student loan debt!
That is right, some Congress members are paying down their debt. For example, Representative Joe Kennedy III is still paying towards his college loans and he is worth $43 million.
It makes sense though that they would have student loan debt considering the nation’s student loan debt is well into the trillions of dollars. In fact, 53 members of Congress, or about 1 in every 10, has student loan debt and it totals between $1.6 and $4.1 million dollars. Woah! Yes, you read that right. Millions of dollars owed by our country’s leaders.
In fact, of that amount, the average amount per Congress member ranges from $30,000 to about $77,000 with most of those owing being Republicans. In addition, nine of the Congress members have more than one loan out as well.
The amount owed by Congress members looms right around the national average for students, which is between $29,000 and $35,000. As mentioned above, Kennedy still pays on his student loans and it is estimated that he owes somewhere between $40,000 and $115,000.
It is speculated that the reason Congress members owe so much is because the average cost of grad school. Whatever the reasoning for the debt amount, it is nice to see others have the burden as well and it is not just the general population that do.
Tips for Paying Off Student Loans
Though we’ve been discussing who has student loan debt and who doesn’t, it ultimately comes down to whether or not you do or not. If you owe money on your private student loans, it is important that you buckle down and start paying them off. The standard repayment plan is a 10-year option, which means if you are 30 now, you will be making monthly payments until you are 40. That seems like a lot, huh?
If you feel like you are having trouble affording your student loans, you need to sit down and work out a budget that works for you. It is imperative that you never just stop paying your student loans or ignore them as these actions will result in serious consequences.
If you are looking for some tips to help you when it comes to paying off your student loans, keep on reading below.
Cut Back on Unnecessary Items
Always cut back on unnecessary items that you do not need. You will eventually be able to add them back into your budget, but it is more important and liberating to dwindle that debt away first.
Plan for Your Bill
Many people do not plan for their student loan bill, which means that they are not ready for it when it’s due. You should always know your due date and remit payment prior to that day to avoid being late.
Get a Side Job
If you need extra money to put toward your student loan debt, find a side job to do during your winter and summer breaks. You will find that the additional money you send in to your loan provider helps knock down your loan balance that much quicker.
Student Loan Consolidation
Private student loan consolidation is an option for student debtors with good jobs and good credit scores. In general, you can refinance all types of student loan debt after graduation. When you refinance student loans, you may qualify for a lower interest rate which could save you money. Also, when you refinance you can adjust your term length. A longer term length, coupled with a lower interest rate, could make your monthly payment easier.
>> Read More: How to consolidate student loans
It is no surprise that everyone struggles with student loan debt, but it may have been a surprise to learn that Congress members do. It is important to make sure that you are always making your student loan payments, even if you can only afford the minimum.
If you find that you cannot afford even the minimum balance due, speak with your loan servicer, as they may have other options that may work for you. If you can, you should attempt to send in more than the monthly minimum as you will end up paying less over the term of the repayment period.
Author: Jeff Gitlen
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