Most college students have an idea of the amount of student loan debt that they have saddled themselves with in order to get through school, but the reality of paying it all back doesn’t hit them until the first payment becomes due.
Having even a moderate amount of student loans to pay back soon after graduation can be extremely impractical unless you manage to land a full time job, and perhaps have a nest egg to fall back on.
Not all college graduates will be eligible for the student loan forgiveness programs currently available but no college debt repayment plan is complete without considering all options. Use these smart student loan repayment strategies so that you can begin your life as a carefree, focused, financially stable college graduate.
Wait to Get Your Own Place
During college you may have lived in a dorm, commuted from your parent’s home to school, or shared a place with a few fellow students. After graduation, your immediate goal is likely to land a prestigious job in your field and get the keys to your own pad. Don’t be in a rush to be responsible for your own housing costs if you have student loan debt that you are looking to pay down fast. If you have minimal living expenses, you can put the majority of your paycheck towards savings, retirement, and your student loan payments.
Look Into Student Loan Forgiveness Initiatives
It can be tricky sorting legitimate opportunities from scams when you initially look for legitimate student loan forgiveness programs.
- First, you should know that only student loans backed by the federal government can be forgiven, so you will need another plan if you have taken any private student loans out.
- Second, college graduates who work in the public sector and take jobs with either the government or not-for-profit organizations can fairly easily get their student loans forgiven after a set period. Lastly, there are loan forgiveness programs for college graduates who are low income wage earners.
Learn How to Budget Effectively
If you have been having trouble paying down your student loans it probably isn’t because your priorities are out of wack. Instead, you just may not have any idea of how a budget works. Budgeting begins with looking at all of your expenditures and then cutting out anything that isn’t absolutely necessary.
You might find living without cable to be difficult until you look at the total amount of money you would save a year simply by streaming movies instead. It only takes a few minutes to pack your lunch for work instead of spending a high premium for takeout. Work on creating a personalized budget that will help to free up some extra funds that you can apply to your student loans.
Consolidate Your Student Loans
A lot of people with outstanding student loans have found consolidation to have several helpful benefits. Student loan consolidation makes it so that you are able to make a single payment on multiple loans, so you will no longer have to worry about various due dates coming up every month. Consolidating your student loans may also enable you to get a lower interest rate on your outstanding balance, so your payments might be lower as well.
Even if you have your loans consolidated or qualify for a student loan forgiveness program, it will probably be quite some time before you have a zero balance. The good news is that as long as you continue to make timely payments, your balance will diminish instead of late payment and interest charges being added. With every single penny that you apply to your outstanding student loans, you get closer to becoming debt free.