Student loans can be one of the scariest bills to have to pay off. You can’t file bankruptcy for them, they’re usually an impossibly high amount, and yet we need them to get a higher education and get a better job. Student loans are a vital part of starting a career, but they can also be our downfall when it comes to other milestones. If they aren’t paid off in time, we risk ruining our credit, making it impossible to get a car or a home.
They have to get paid, or you might have to put your entire life on hold.
If that scares you, and you want to do your best to pay them back in time- here are three ways you can get your payments in on time, so it doesn’t tank your credit.
Save and Pay More
This option takes some preplanning, so it’s better to start while you’re in college.
Save a little money, whatever you can afford to, every month while you’re still learning. You can use this to pay off your loan in one lump sum, or you can add a portion of it to your payments every month to shorten how long you have to pay. The shorter time you owe money, the less money you’ll have to pay through interest. If you have the means, pay higher than you owe to clear this debt.
Apply All Bonuses and Tax Returns
The average student debt in America is $32,000. Although this can be higher, this is already an impossibly large amount of money. Most jobs fresh out of college aren’t salary, and those usually don’t start at more than $60,000 for the first couple of years.
You can’t pour half of your income into your loans, but you can piece together other ways to boot how much you’re putting in. If you’re making $60,000, your tax return can be from $2,000 to $6,000, varying on whether you have dependents.
Refinance Your Loans
Refinancing isn’t for everyone since many loan sharks are ready to snap you up at abysmal rates. If you’re staring down your student loans and know your interest rate is too high and you’ll wind up paying more than you want to in the long term- look around at other interest rates.
With this plan, a new lender would buy your debt, paying it off in its entirety, so that you can owe them money instead. The vital thing to think about with student loan interest rates is how much will get lumped on the longer you take.
If there’s an offer out there with a better rate, from a reputable source, it’s time to consider refinancing so that you can save money. If your parents took a parent plus loan to cover your student debt, consider parent plus loan refinancing as well. This option can help them pay less interest and ditch debt sooner.
Don’t let student loans ruin your life, or put it on pause. Paying off this debt is possible as long as you plan, pay early, and consider your refinancing options.