Student loans are great because they help students study now and pay later. However, as times pass by, a student loan can become overwhelming, especially if you start a career. Some have even been paying their student loans for decades. But that shouldn’t be the case.
You can pay your student loans without breaking your budget. Although it may take a while to finish off your loans, you can still pay them quickly by following these tips:
If you want to turn all your student loans into one payment or find a lower interest rate, refinancing your loan may be a good idea. Refinancing means replacing your loans with a new loan, especially if you have a group of loans. With the new loan, your old loans will be paid off, and you’ll only be paying the new one with a new interest rate and new terms.
When you’re looking to refinance your loans, you should consider the following:
- Savings: One of the many factors you should look into when refinancing is the costs you can save. You should be able to save on your overall loan payment, monthly payments, and interest rate. If not, then refinancing might not be a good idea. That’s why you should compare various current rates of lenders to assess which can help you cut costs.
- Immediate Credit Needs: You might want to limit applying for new credit types, such as a mortgage, auto loan, and credit card. These credit types require hard credit inquiries, lowering your credit score.
- Credit Score: A credit score is essential when applying for any loan. You can find more lenders to refinance your loan, and many will offer you low-interest rates if you have a high credit score. On the other hand, with a low credit score, you’re more likely to find it difficult to refinance your student loans.
2. Pay More Than The Minimum
Even with student loans, it’s highly recommended to pay more than the minimum of your monthly payment. Because if you don’t, the interest is only piling up, and you’re not getting anywhere fast with your student loan payments.
On the other hand, you can pay off the amount you owe quickly by making larger payments. For instance, you have a $35,000 student loan with a 10-year loan term and a 6% interest rate. Your minimum monthly payment is about $389. As a result, you’re more likely to pay $11,629 more than the loan amount because of interest.
However, if you choose to pay more than the minimum each month, you can shorten the loan term and save yourself from incurring interest. For instance, an additional 20% to your monthly payment can save you $2,600 interest, and you can pay off your loan in about eight years. The more you add to your minimum monthly payment, the more interest you can save, and you can even pay your loan faster.
3. Consider Debt Snowball Or Avalanche Method
You may want to choose between the debt avalanche method and the debt snowball method with so many debt repayment methods. To do that, you need to understand how both works.
First, both methods require listing your student loans from the minimum monthly payment to the total amount owed. The two approaches also require you to pay one loan above the minimum monthly payment, while the others stay at a minimum.
With the debt snowball method, you’ll start paying off the smallest student loan. With such, you make larger payments from its minimum monthly payment until you complete paying it. Then, you move on to the next highest loan using the same strategy. In this method, you focus on the total amount owed and not the interest rate.
The debt avalanche method requires you to focus on the highest interest rate going down to the lowest interest rate. Similar to the debt snowball method strategy, you pay more than the minimum monthly payment on the one with the highest interest rate. After paying it, do the strategy with the next highest interest rate until you pay off every student loan you have.
Both methods can help you pay your student loans quicker because they motivate you to do so. Whatever works best for you, apply it.
4. Increase Your Income
Aside from the mentioned ways to pay off your student loans, it might be best to increase your income. It means cutting off your expenses, which mostly focuses on your wants. Instead of spending much on travel goals, limit it to once a year. Or, cut your luxury expenditures, like going to the gym, spa visits, mowing the lawn, car wash, and the like. By cutting on your expenses, you can use these extra savings to increase your monthly payment.
Another is to generate additional income, and here are some ways you can do such:
- If your job pays you to do overtime, then do so. An extra two to three hours a day can make a difference in your monthly payments.
- You can also get a part-time job during your days off. If you can, find online part-time jobs you can do after your work instead of wasting time watching TV or browsing your social media accounts.
- Create some artwork and sell them on various e-commerce platforms. You can even sell them to your colleagues or friends.
- Blog or vlog about valuable topics, especially matters people can learn from.
- You may even want to create and sell digital products, like online courses.
You can pay off your student loans quicker if you want to. Start with a refinancing option if you find a lower interest rate for all of your loans. Then, make larger payments instead of sticking to minimum loan payments. You can apply the debt snowball or avalanche method to keep you motivated. Also, increasing your income may help you pay more than your minimum monthly payment.
By following these tips, you can even shorten your loan terms since you’re putting extra money into paying them.
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