Student loans are one of the significant financial shackles that young Americans need to bear for decades and a crisis that has crossed the $1 billion mark long ago. However, it doesn’t need to be a crisis, and you can manage with smart decisions. Here are six ways you can use to pay off your college debt
1. The Debt Avalanche Method
Depending on your student loans, you may be paying low interest on your undergraduate loans while a higher interest for others. With the Debt Avalanche method, you pay the minimum for all your loans while spending extra saved amount on the highest interest loans. This pattern keeps repeating itself till you pay off each highest interest loan, and you move to the next loan in the interest hierarchy. This method helps you pay less interest in the long run.
2. Increase the Frequency of Payment
One of the scariest things about student loans is that it accrues daily. So, the first step would be to calculate the interest that gets accrued every day. You’re one of the fortunate ones if the amount is in single digits. To combat the daily growing interest, you can make payments every one or two weeks instead of once every month.
3. Set-Up Auto-Pay
Every day there are plenty of things that might distract you or grab your attention. Bills, relationships, holidays, FOMO( Fear Of Missing Out) and a thousand things to make you anxious. While you are getting through the chaos of life every day, missing out on payments is a common issue. Setting up autopay would prevent you from paying extra money for missing out on payment dates.
4. Put More Energy and Effort to Bring in More Cash
With saturated markets and a tough economic situation, desirable jobs are scarce. You may not land your dream job right after your Master’s. However, your college debt isn’t going away. So, take every opportunity to earn money. Do as many side gigs as you can apart from your regular day job. Holidays are especially lucrative with plenty of gigs available on Fiverr, Craigslist and TaskRabbit. Don’t forget Amazon mTurk either.
5. Student Loan Forgiveness
There are different ways to have your student loans forgiven. Careers like teaching, medicine (doctors and nurses) or if you work in the public sector and some other scenarios. However, they all require some specific criteria that need to be fulfilled.
6. Adjust Your Tax Withholding and Refund
A lump sum of money each year in the form of a tax refund leaves everyone excited. But with debt, it’s no good and can deteriorate spending habits at the beginning of each year. Instead, you can adjust your tax withholding and get a bit heftier paycheck every month. This gives you more freedom with your cash every month so that you can put it into your student loans.
Being debt-free brings a different kind of joy. It requires discipline and foresight but as soon as you become free of your debt, you feel more happy and relaxed. So, cut down on your expenses and use the above-mentioned methods to pay your college debt faster and smarter.