The average student graduates with almost $33,607 in student loan debt. This figure is rising. Carrying this large burden can seem like it will never end. However, there are ways to tackle the loan debt if you put your nose to the grind and dig in. Many people have done it in a relatively short time. Here are some ways they conquered debt.
- The debt snowball method is principles outlined by Dave Ramsey. While some of these principles won’t work for everybody, many have successfully applied the strategies to their student loan debt.
- They took on extra work. This sounds exhausting, yet a couple days a week at a second job lifts the financial outlook temporarily. If you have a great skill, build a side business. There is always an opportunity for extra cash flow. You have to increase your income, whether it is working two jobs or simply renting an extra room out in your home. Every dollar counts when determination has its eye on a goal.
- Made temporary sacrifices to save money. "So much of paying off debt has very little to do with money and math and more to do with personal behavior and your outlook on life, says one who made it through debt "Live from a mindset of scarcity and you'll never be satisfied, no matter how much money you have. Live from a place of wonder in the wealth you've already been blessed with and you'll be much happier and more successful in paying off debt." You have to be willing to create financial momentum, which will then in turn fuel everything you set out to do. This means get creative and be ready to sacrifice luxuries. Five or ten years from now, you will not remember that expensive Starbuck’s coffee or that costly movie theater. What you will remember, if you are prepared to cut costs, is financial freedom. You will not have to bear the stress or anxiety of financial burdens.
- If you are a homeowner, check into refinancing your mortgage during a low interest rate period. Also, do most home repairs or renovations yourself if possible. This will save you on costly contractor expenses. Some success stories by those who paid off their large student loans even include moving into a smaller space. Then there are those who will move across country to more inexpensive cities. They were that committed.
- Look into student debt relief programs which forgive loans or erase some of the balance for public service jobs, such as teachers or military.
The keys to financial success with student loan debt are commitment, sacrifice, and prioritization of spending. You will need information, learn as much as you can about student loan debt and programs. There are also some great online tools available to help get a better perspective on debt. Tuition.io’s free tool has pay off strategies and repayment information. To gain an even wider perspective of paying off student loan debt, try Unbury.me. This site’s tool is able to visually put together a doable payment plan for all bills.
If you are ready to get started on chiseling away that large amount of student loan debt, then begin with the paperwork nightmare. With all the statements and agreements, this can easily be confusing. Do this to get a clear look at what you owe, to whom, and for how much and how long. The easiest way to shuffle through this is to use a free student loan tool. This way there is an easy-to-read dashboard and a strategy to pay off the debt.
When you are able to make your student loan payments without it causing any sorts of hardship, this is going to be the best outcome. If you continue, your loans will be paid off within the standard 10 year time frame. The biggest benefit here is paying less interest over the long run. Whenever you have additional income, try to pay a little more on the student loan than just the amount owed. This is often referred to as the debt avalanche method. Be sure to request that the extra dollars go directly towards the principal.
Many college graduates are not fully prepared for the reality of having to make student loan payments. When it finally does sink in, some can swim through it diligently and gracefully, while others carry the looming cloud of loan debt over their heads. The good news is, there is a plethora of resources and information available today to handle, and to solve the mystery behind student loans.