7 Tips for Getting Rid of Student Loan Debt
Student loans got you down? Well you aren’t alone. That type of debt can leave you feeling like you are carrying a lifetime worth of loan payments. Despite how dismal it may feel, it’s entirely possible to get a handle on your student loan debt. There are success stories everywhere of people who pay off their debt within a short period of time. However, the key is you must make your priority and follow some key pieces of advice.
1) Increase your minimum payment.
If you are just making the bare minimum payment, you will never make a dent in your debt. Actually, more than likely you are just paying off the monthly interest charges rather than making an impact on the loan itself. If you can’t afford much, even a little bit makes a difference in putting a dent in your debt.
2) Consolidate your loan.
This is one of best ways to make a dent in your student loan debt. While your minimum payment likely will not be lowered, it’s a fantastic way of lowering your interest rates. Also, this keeps everything organized and instead of paying two or more lenders, you are just paying one.
3) Consider an income-based repayment plan.
An income based repayment plan is a way of showing your lender your income and they calculate a 10% minimum payment based on how much you earn. Each year you resubmit your earnings and they recalculate. This is an excellent way of keeping your loan payments affordable while you are working on building your career and earning more income. Talk to the provider of your Federal student loan for more details.
4) Get a side hustle.
It’s what everyone is talking about lately it seems. A side hustle basically is that extra gig on the side while you are working a day job. If you really mean to get on top of your student loans, find a doable side job that gets you extra income that you can put towards your student loan debt. Whether it’s dog walking, house sitting, or personal shopping, these types of gigs are the way of the future and an important way of getting on top of your debt.
5) Go the unconventional route and volunteer.
Volunteer work can actually help you with eliminating student loan debt. For example, if you sign up to volunteer with VISTA or Americorps (just to name a couple), after the end of your term, they award you money that you can put towards your student loan debt. This can also be a unique way of boosting your resume, which can be a great way of earning more money later down the road.
6) Make a plan and budget for it.
One excellent way to get on top of your debt is to manage your own budget. See where you can cut expenses. Considering cutting the cord on cable anyways? Do it. Put the extra money you are saving from cancelling cable to put towards your student loan payment. And any extra amount you are putting towards your student loan, make sure you put this towards the principal to make an actual dent in your student loan debt. Look for ways you can cut corners – small ways and large ways. Consider switching your car insurance to something more affordable. Maybe even your cell phone provider and look for a cheaper rate plan while you are paying down your debt. Then sit down and figure out what is a realistic timeline for yourself to pay off that debt. Then stick to it.
7) Set up automatic payments.
Most student loan providers will offer you a discount on interest if you set up automatic payment. Basically, set it and forget it. Even better is to make sure you are setting up an automatic payment of an amount that is greater than your minimum. Then you are really going to start to see an impact on your debt.