The first year after graduation can feel more daunting than walking into your first class as an undergraduate. Students instantly crash into #adulting — a new job, new responsibilities, and tons of bills to pay. A big portion of those bills being student loan-related.
In many ways, coming of age has become simultaneous with student loan repayment.
To be blunt, student loans are a pain in the butt, but they can help you build your credit and learn how to pay loans off quickly. If you’re eager to get those loans out of the way, we’ve got some tips that just might help.
1. Signing Bonus & Tax Refunds
Cut your extra cash in half. 50% goes towards a gift for yourself and the other 50% towards your student loans. You will thank me when you’re the first of your friends out of debt, trust me.
2. Investigate if refinancing will save you money
If you are looking to reduce your interest rate, and pay less in the long run, refinancing may be something to consider. You can also consolidate your loans into one payment, and ditch the confusion that comes with multiple lenders and bills.
Make sure to read the fine print to ensure that you’re getting a better interest rate than your current rates.
3. Make a B-U-D-G-E-T without having to think about it
Not the budgeting type? No worries. Instead, pay a portion of your bills each paycheck. If you get paid twice a month, pay half of every bill with each paycheck and funnel extra money where you need it to go.
If you find you have an excess of money with that last paycheck of the month, toss some of it towards your student loans. Not only do you prevent yourself from the costly mistake of missing a payment, but you always know how much spendable money you actually have.
4. Congrats on your yearly raise – put a part of it towards your student loans
Although it may be tempting to treat yourself with your raise, future you will thank you if you put this money towards getting rid of your student loan bill.
5. Create reminders to help hold yourself honest
OK, this sounds silly and insignificant, I hear you, but reminders are more powerful than you think.
With everything else you have going on in your life, reminders give you one less thing to remember. Add automated reminders to your bank account for when you spend over a set amount or put a sticky note over your credit card that you use for large expenses as an easy reminder.
- Put extra money toward the loan with the largest interest – By putting extra dollars beyond your minimum payment to your loan with the largest interest, it will allow you to pay that loan off faster, and it will reduce the amount of interest you need to pay in the long run.
- Bonus Tip: Create a fun fund – When you get started with repayment, it case feel easy to get demoralized with a feeling that all your
6. Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Opportunities
For my good samaritans who want to pay your loans faster, check out 1-3, and for business majors, number 4 is just for you.
- For the community service-minded people, check out Peace Corps. If you can’t commit two years to the Peace Corps, look into a non-profit that receives a tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3)(1). Check out different job boards like Foundation List or filter out non-profit jobs on Indeed.
- Calling all teachers, you fit in this category too. Student Aid explains the qualifications to receive loan forgiveness.
- All military personnel with pre-existing student loan debt qualify for student loan repayment plans too. Students can be eligible for up to $65,000 in repayment from the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Veterans meeting specific criteria can have their student loans discharged under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
- Corporate people, don’t worry, you are not forgotten. Student Loan Repayment is one of the hottest new work benefits. Check out Forbes’ list of companies offering this perk.
You can do this!
The best motivation is to imagine the immeasurable weight that will be lifted off your shoulders when your loans are paid in full. That feeling encompasses the meaning of adulthood.