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Hey everyone, I have a great post from Drew Cloud over at The Student Loan Report, since student loans affect so many of us I thought it would be great to have Drew give us some tips for taking control of your student debt. Make sure to check out his site for more great info. 

How to Take Your Student Debt by the Horns

Are you trying to not become overwhelmed by the amount of your student loan debt? The best way to overcome this debt is to take the first step in the right direction. We all remember that Shel Silverstein poem from when we were kids about the old lady who had to eat a whale. How did she do it? She did it one bite at a time. The same is true for student loan debt. If you are ready to take your student debt by the horns, then here are a few tips that will put you on the path to financial freedom and get you out from under that debt.

 

Work a Part-Time Job While You Are Still in School

If you are lucky enough to still be in school with your loans in deferment, it is really a good idea to start working a part time job so that you can pay some towards that debt. After all, the whale might not be as big when it is all said and done if you start chipping away at it now. No one said you have to pay it all off at one time, and no one said that you had to wait until you finished school to start paying towards it. As long as your academics won’t take a hit, get you a part time job and start paying towards those loans well in advance. You will thank yourself later. On top of that, there are more benefits to working part-time than just paying off student loans effectively.

 

Make Larger Payments to Cut Away at the Principal

Whether you are still in school or you are already repaying your loans, it is a good idea to pay as much as you can towards it whenever you can. If you have a repayment plan, you are probably familiar with your minimum payment. Are you making just the minimum each month? If so, then you will be paying towards it for a long, long time. If you make larger payments, considering your budget will allow it, then you can cut the principal and have the debt paid in a fraction of the time. Any amount over the minimum payment each month will go directly towards the principal of the loan. This is good news for you, meaning less interest over time.

 

Look Into Student Loan Forgiveness Options

Student loan forgiveness options are also a great thing to check into. This is not an option for everyone though. You need to check into the public service student loan forgiveness options and see if it is something that you would qualify for. The only downfall is that you have to meet their qualifications, and you have to complete the work term that they require before they will extend the forgiveness. This means that it can take some time to get that debt relief. Just remember, it is the long term that you need to be focused on, so take advantage of this option if it is available to you.

 

Look Into Employee Benefits Packages that Help Pay off Student Debt

Many employers these days will pay a certain amount towards your student debt if you work for them. This is not something that you see often, but it does happen. It is something that you need to look into. This is often something seen in the medical profession especially. While you can’t bank on this as a way to cut your student debt, you don’t want to leave money on the table if it is available.

 

Consider Consolidation and Refinancing

Another option that has helped many graduates to get out from under their suffocating student debt is refinancing with a private lender. Through private consolidation and refinancing, you can take your student loans and have them combined into one single loan which often leads to a lower, singular interest rate for those who are eligible. You can often times choose your term length, giving you the freedom to pay the loan sooner or later at your discretion.

With repayment terms ranging from five to fifteen years, it can be more beneficial than federal repayment options that could span over thirty years. That lower interest rate is also a saving grace because it helps you to pay less over the life of your loan, freeing up more of your money to focus on the things that will matter in your future. To learn more about private refinancing and its similarities/differences with federal consolidation, read this resource back at my site, The Student Loan Report.

As you can see, there are ways that you can tackle that mountain of student debt. Just remember, you have to take the first step and create a plan of action! Get started today so that you can focus on your financial future.

Drew Cloud started The Student Loan Report when we found it difficult to find student loan news and information in one place. In his free time, you can find Drew playing basketball, reading other blogs, or playing with his Great Dane named Rudy.

1 Comment

  1. Lance @ My Strategic Dollar

    The biggest thing I’d say is working while in school and paying towards the interest that’s accruing. That will save thousands over the life of your loan repayment. That and refinancing for sure. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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5 ways to take control  of your student loans |Student Debt | Student Loans |