6 Strategies To Finish Student Loan Payments Fast

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So you’ve finally got your college degree. This is exciting! What isn’t exciting, however, is the student loan payments that you’re now responsible for.

College is expensive, and you need to pay it off somehow. If you wait too long, you can find yourself drowning in debt. How can you pay off student loans as soon as possible?

We’re here to help. Keep reading for a few tips that might help you pay off your student loans.

1. Consider Debt Consolidation

Any time you take out several loans, you have the option to get debt consolidation. When you consolidate, you combine all of your loans (student loans and otherwise) into one large loan with a consistent rate of interest.

So why would you do that when it comes to paying off a student loan?

When you consolidate, you’re paying debts with one monthly loan. This stops you from forgetting anything and it lets you get a clear picture of what you’re paying every month so you can prepare for it.

Depending on your situation, you may have access to different kinds of repayment plans when you consolidate with a Plenti Debt consolidation loan. You’ll also have more time to pay.

On the downside, however, is that as a result of having a longer payment period, you may also accrue more interest. You may also have to give up certain borrower benefits and lose credits for previous repayment plans.

2. Look Into Student Loan Forgiveness

Do you qualify for student loan forgiveness?

In a perfect world, this would be true for everyone. In the real world, only a few people qualify to have their loans forgiven or dismissed. Most of the time, you’ll still have some student loans after they’ve been forgiven, but the loans will be smaller.

Certain careers are great for student loan forgiveness. Teachers, nurses, and several government positions offer it. If that’s important to you, research potential jobs that offer this benefit before committing to a career.

To qualify, you must be in good standing with your loans and you must have made consistent payments.

3. Get a Side Hustle

This is controversial, but if you want to get rid of your loans as soon as possible, consider getting a side hustle to help you pay the bills.

There are plenty of side hustles available in 2021. You need to make sure that you’re getting into a good one if you don’t want to accrue more debt. Be wary of anything that seems too good to be true, like multi-level marketing (otherwise known as network marketing or direct sales) “careers.”

There are several side hustles that are great for people who have college degrees. You can tutor (which can be lucrative), write marketing content, and more.

You don’t have to work too much when it comes to paying off your student loan. Only work as much as you have to, which could be several extra hours per month. It’s going to be hard, but it’s also going to be worth it when you discover that you’ve paid off your debts sooner than you expected.

Some people discover that their side hustles turn into real careers. We recommend waiting until you’re making more money than your “day job” offered you before making the switch.

4. Talk to a Financial Planner

Financial planners aren’t only for people who have a lot of money to throw around. Many people choose not to take advantage of financial planners if they’re not in solid financial positions, but this is a huge mistake. Those are the people that will benefit most from a professional.

Financial planners will map out your finances to determine where you can move money to pay off your loans. They can help you with budgeting, investing, and organizing multiple streams of income.

A good financial planner will let you know where you can make changes to your loan within your budget. They may discover that you can make larger payments. They can also help you organize your finances for tax season.

5. Pay Extra When You Can

Many people are only able to make the minimum payments on their student loans. There’s nothing wrong with this, but don’t do it if you don’t have to.

Instead of choosing to pay the minimum every month without looking at your finances, put some thought into whether or not you’re able to pay more. Remember, the more you pay, the faster the debt goes away. You’ll also pay less interest over time.

Even if it’s only a difference of a few dollars due to changes in your budget or working extra hours, it will make a huge difference in the long run. Extra dollars add up.

6. Use “Found” Money

How often do you get “surprise” money? For most people, the answer is “not often,” but when you do get it, try to use it for your loans.

Many people who don’t need their tax returns for bills will use them for frivolous purchases. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself from time to time, but try to put at least some of that tax return money into your student loans.

If you get an unexpected bonus at work, put it toward your student loans. If you get a money gift for a holiday or birthday, put it toward your student loans.

This might seem like a negative thing. Why should you use a gift to pay off debt?

At the end of the day, you’re giving yourself a gift by paying off your loans. Again, paying your student loans off early will mean that you’re paying less in interest. This means that you’ll have more money in the long run even if you have to sacrifice something now.

Student Loan Payments: A Necessary Evil

No one wants to handle student loan payments, but it’s necessary to get them out of the way as soon as possible if you don’t want to overpay or accrue more debt.

Look into student loan forgiveness programs, consider consolidation, put aside “extra” money, and consider getting a side hustle for a few extra dollars each month. It’s going to be tough, but it’s going to be worth it.

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