If you’ve got serious student loan debts piling up, it can feel hopeless. Often, student loans are the last bill you want to have to pay when you’re struggling to put food on the table. The sooner you get rid of them, though, the sooner you can get back to living your normal life. Here are some of the best ways to organize your money and pay down your student loan debt.
Get a budget going. Look at every dollar your earn and give that dollar a job. When you’re doing this, take the hard step of cracking open those loan balances and looking at how much you really owe. This is far from fun, but it’s well worth it. When you’re making your budget, consider your highest-interest loans your highest priority.
The sooner you pay down your highest interest loans, the sooner you can reclaim that money for yourself. Importantly, you need to be making more than just the minimum payment, if you can. This helps you to actually make a dent in your loan, rather than just paying back the interest.
A lot of loans have options for what is known as “income-based repayment”. Essentially, these free you up a good chunk of money if you don’t make a lot.
Typically, these types of repayment plans assume you’ll eventually be making more money. If you don’t make a lot and your payments are killing you, consider going with an income-based plan.
Try to snowball your debts. Focus every spare dollar you have at paying down your highest-interest loan. As soon as it’s paid off, pivot to the next-highest interest loan, rolling all that extra money you’ve now got into it as well. This results in a great snowballing effect.
By consolidating your money like this, you’ll rapidly pay down your debts and get yourself out from under the interest in a timely manner. Trust us, it’s well worth the up-front money investment to snowball yourself out from debt.
If your debts are substantial and really digging into your way of life, consider refinancing. This could help you to roll all your debts into one bill and help fix the interest rate. This is a bit of an extreme step, but it can help simplify your debts and get you out of a tight spot. Remember, you’ve always got options. Keep at it and you’ll be debt-free before you know it.