Debt Management Tips to Pay Off Your Student Debt
It is never a good feeling to have debt, but sometimes debt is the best way to obtain certain things in our society. Of course, some debts are more important than others, such as car loans, mortgages, and student debt. Student debt can be high and seem insurmountable at times, but you can pay it off through hard work and diligence. We have written up a series of tips that can help you effectively improve your student loan debt management.
1. Make Payments More Than the Minimum
This is one of the most important tips we can offer. When you make a payment, it needs to be more than the minimum. When you make a payment, a portion of it goes to the principal and a portion goes to interest. If you pay anything on top of your payment, that extra money will go toward the principal balance. This is important for paying off your loan faster and saving on interest over time.
2. Create a Good Budget
Laying out a budget is critical when it comes to paying off any form of debt. You need to know exactly how much you have coming in and what you have to pay out each month. This allows you to have a set amount that you can add to your student loan debt every month. Budgeting can also help you recognize unnecessary spending that you can cut out.
3. Consider a Part-Time Job Early On
It may be a good idea to pick up a part-time job while attending school. It is probably not ideal to have to work while going to school, but it can be beneficial. This can help you save money and start paying on your loans early on. As a result, a part-time job will also help you pay your bills much faster.
4. Look Into Refinancing
If you are having difficulty paying off your loans or the interest is keeping you from effectively paying them, then refinancing might be a good idea. Refinancing allows you to find better interest rates or cut down the repayment time, which saves on interest over the life of the loan. You will likely have to pay for your student loans for a few years before you have a decent enough credit score and history to apply for refinancing. Also, keep in mind that switching to a private lender means that you will lose some federal benefits, but it can help you pay off the loan faster.
5. Look Into Loan Forgiveness Programs
There are loan forgiveness programs out there that can eliminate some or all of your student loan debt, though these programs have very specific requirements. One of the most well-known of these programs is Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), which requires you to have made payments on an income-based repayment plan for 10 years and be employed in the public sector by a nonprofit or government organization.
Depending on your field of education, another possible program is the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. This program will typically eliminate only part of your student loan debt, as it only covers up to $17,500. The requirements include having a loan under the FEEL program or Direct Loan Program and teaching five consecutive years in an educational service agency or low-income school. Furthermore, one of those five years has to have been after the 1997-1998 school year.
Seek Further Legal Advice
Hopefully, you can find some helpful information within our tips. Remember, the more you buckle down and practice good debt management now, the less time you will have to deal with them down the road. There is no best way to pay off debt, as it is different for everyone. At Bartifay Law Offices we can help you get on the right track. Give us a call (412) 824-4011, or visit us online to get started.