According to reports conducted at The Lending Tree, 69% of American students graduating in 2019 took out student loans to pay off their school debt. This includes both federal and private loans and averages at $30,000 per student. On top of that, more than 13% of parents took out a loan worth 10,000 in federal parent, which added to the children’s efforts, add up to almost $40,000 in loans plus federal parent. But this is not all. When we look at the statistics in more depth, we notice that Americans owe over $1.50 trillion in what is called student loan debt, which spreads among no less than 40 million purchasers or borrowers. That stands for $580 billion more than the entire credit card debt in the United States.
But you might already be updated on these stats. I’m pretty sure you’re here because you’re overwhelmed with the student loan process and want to ease up your way into clearing it off. This article will discuss just that – we will touch on some of the best ways to improve your student loan strategy and help you figure things out in due time. Let’s start.
- Strive for more than the minimum payment
College comes with many expenses and changes within a student’s life, but it also brings about more wisdom and conscious behavior. It is now that we learn how to be an adult and act as responsible individuals, so here’s your chance to learn something new. Making the minimum payment for your student loans is not enough – if you really want to see a change in your future, strive for more than that. The easiest way to pay off your debt quicker is to double or triple the amount of money you’re paying monthly. Some months might be tougher, and you might not be able to implement this strategy, but some months will allow you to, nonetheless. If you can, do it! Any extra amount will help out the future “you.”
Note: make sure that your extra payments add to your loan principal. This is crucial and can prevent future misunderstandings with your bank. Also, use a calculator to see how increasing the monthly amount of payments will impact your loan cost and how much money (in interest) you’ll save!
- Consider student loan refinancing
If you have good credit, this would be a good option for you. Refinancing simply means putting your student loans altogether and taking out a new loan, usually private, to pay off the original loans. You might be wondering why you would do that. Here’s why – this will allow a higher number of borrowers to secure you with lower interest rates. That happens because these lenders have more financial power and are more stable than the ones you used in the first scenario. You can consult with an online assignment help provider to discuss your possibilities and get help in writing an appeal, if necessary.
Note: student loan refinancing comes with certain disadvantages, such as not being able to apply for the student loan forgiveness program anymore or be denied access to income-driven repayment. In the end, you have to go with the option that will help you the most in the long term, so if you are not sure yet, don’t hurry into making a decision. Take your time to analyze your situation and come up with a plan only when you’re ready.
- Start making more money
Another option to pay off student debts quicker is to make more money. Of course, this is not easy to do, especially when you are in college, but it is not impossible. Working as a writing services assistant as a side job or driving an Uber could be some of your options. However, you don’t have to settle here. You could pursue higher goals, such as becoming an entrepreneur or a business owner even. Getting a side job doesn’t have to exist apart from your life-long goals – they could coexist. You could:
- Take on a paid internship in your area of interest and gain experience while making money.
- Tutor other students on the subjects that you already master to get a deeper understanding of these subjects yourself.
- Become a professor assistant or research specialist in your favorite college department and gain important expertise from there.
- Start your own blog and write about your favorite topics, school-related or not.
- Become a virtual assistant for businesses that need help and see how it feels to work remotely.
Note: for short term cash, you can always babysit, become a server or bartender, or even house sit. There are options out there, and you just need to find them. Once you do, start saving for your monthly payment and increase the money you put toward your student loan debt.
- Reduce your spending
The next thing you want to do is reduce your spending each month. This will help you pay off your debt easier also because you will be able to save quicker. Here is an example of something that you could reduce (and some quick math to go along with it):
- Buying a $3 coffee every day for one week equals $21 spent on coffee/week.
- Multiply that by four, and you’ll get $84 per month on coffee.
- Multiply that by 12, and you’ll get $1,008 per year on coffee.
Imagine saving $3 on coffee every day and putting that small daily sum aside in your savings account. Just by saving on coffee for four years of college (by purchasing it from the store, for example), you have already saved $4,032, which can go towards paying off your student loans.
Note: imagine if you saved like this on other unnecessary items such as eating out or buying clothes that you don’t need. In the end, it’s all about making a budget, identifying the threats, coming out with a financial plan, and sticking with it.
- Use digital tools to help you cut debt
The last but not least strategy to pay off student debts easier and faster is using digital tools to help you keep track of your finances. An important tool that you could use, such as ChangED, will automatically round up the purchases that you’re making and put that spare change towards your student loan. You can link your bank account to it. The moment your balance reaches $100, ChangED sends your student loan provider the payment. To use this tool, there is a fee of $1 per month.
Another tool that might be of great use to students in debt is EvoShare, which offers cash back every time you make an online purchase. The cashback option is another way of paying your student loan lenders. It works the same as ChangED, you connect it with your bank account, and the payment is automatically made when your balance reaches a certain amount. For this app, you will have to pay $4.99 per month.
Improving your student loan strategy is a great way to gain financial freedom as soon as you graduate. Instead of becoming complacent with how things unfold, you are taking action and making a difference for yourself. If you are able to do this, you will be able to do anything. Keep your head up, costs low, and dream mode on!
Michael Gorman is a highly skilled freelance writer and essay writing help assistant from the UK who currently provides assignment help in Adelaide. As the best essay writing websites developer, he writes various blog posts and discovers new aspects of human existence every day.