How to Face Your Student Loans
If you’re not descendant of Bill Gates and don’t have a six-figure savings account, student loans bring hope of a better future. It’s what helps us achieve a degree to have a promising career.
Now that the graduation has ended and elation has passed, it’s time to face the adult world and deal with paying your student loan.
Paying debt can be overwhelming. It sometimes knocks you out of your financial situation and can bury you alive. Knowing how to manage your finances and still continue to pay off toward your student loan is the key. Follow these tips and be cleared of your student loans:
Take Advantage of Your Grace Period
Right after your graduation, your lender is giving you a grace period. The duration of which depends on the type of your loan. Be one step ahead of your loan and use this grace period as a time to make a plan of your loan payment. Understand your loan better and research better payment options.
Say you were given 6 months grace period, you can start as soon as your graduation ends to save the needed monthly amount. This gives you a head start and creates a habit of saving money monthly.
Understand Your Loans
Understanding your loan is the first step toward your student loan payment. Not knowing what you will be dealing with is like driving blind towards a brick wall.
You can order a free copy of your credit report to know who your lender is. Familiarize yourself with your loan details and understand your payment options. You can opt for a income-based repayment plan based on what you are earning or ask for a temporary deferment if you are not able to make a payment at all.
Continue to Live a Simple Lifestyle
You probably got by in college with instant noodles and cheap takeout. Because your resources were limited, you have learned how to live simply and frugally. Now that you are earning money, it’s time to turn your back on this lifestyle and enjoy life and spend your money like there’s no tomorrow, right? Wrong.
While an occasional splurge is healthy, maintaining a simple lifestyle helps you in paying off your student loan. If you still live within your means, you will be able to save money toward your debt payment. You can start living a luxurious life as soon as you are out of debt.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun while paying off your debt. For example, if you want to take a vacation, try shopping around for the best deal. If you’re traveling with your family, consider a family-friendly resort–or if you’re looking for a romantic getaway, look into an adults-only resort. Going to an all-inclusive is likely to save you money considering you pay a flat rate before you even get there.
Stick to Your Budget
Once you have created your monthly budget, see to it that you will stick with it. As soon as you receive your salary, allocate a certain amount toward your loan payment. Don’t wait for whatever’s left of your money. Once you have allocated an amount toward your student loan, work out the remaining amount toward your necessities such as food, transportation, clothing, etc.
Find Ways to Earn More Money
Having an extra income is extremely helpful if you have debts to pay. You can allocate your salary toward your daily expenses while the money you earned from your extra jobs can be paid off towards your student loan.
Below are some ways of earning more money:
- Try to negotiate a promotion or salary raise if you’re currently employed. You can also ask for overtime or extra shifts.
- Look for freelance online jobs such as article writing, web designing, social media marketing, data research, etc.
- Start your own business according to your interests.
- Have a garage sale of items that you are no longer using.
Find a Job that Offers Student Loan Payment or Volunteer
More companies nowadays are offering help with paying student loans as one of their work benefits. Since the purpose of your student loan is to find good jobs in the future, look for a job that helps you achieve the goal of clearing your debt.
Many people are suffering from stress and depression caused by student loans. While you’re paying your student loan, you can also volunteer to help other people while doing it. There are organizations such as VISTA (Volunteers in Service To America), AmeriCorps, Teach for America, Peace Corps, and National Health Service Corps that offer some kind of student loan forgiveness or reimbursements in return of your service.
Move to Another City
Many cities such as Detroit, Kansas, New York, Niagara Falls, and Canada offer student loan assistance to entice fresh graduates to move in their city. There might be some strings attached with the reimbursements that they offer–but the money you’re saving could be worth it. You might be required to stay there for a particular length of time or work at a particular company. If you don’t want to move to any of these cities, moving to a location that is closer to your work can help. You can cut off your transportation allowance and allocate it towards your student loan.
It Takes Time, But it is Possible
Manage your finances well in order to pay off your student loan and avoid filing for bankruptcy. If you have developed another way of managing your student loans, stick with it. You want to be as responsible as you can with the money you’re making.
If you’re worried you will be in debt forever, as long as you are making the appropriate payments each month–you’re in pretty good shape. These tips can help you be on top of your student loan in no time.