The average student loan debt is almost $70,000.00. That’s a lot of money to have to pay back, obviously, but the problem most students face when they enter the job market is that there are very few jobs. Very few pay enough to take care of that student loan payment and all the basic bills. This makes paying off student loans in a timely manner quite difficult, to say the least.
With that in mind, here are some tips for paying off your student loans as fast as possible to avoid late fees and collection agencies knocking on the door.
First and foremost, at least until you land a well-paying job, keep living and spending like a student. If you managed to get through four years of college on a tight budget you can certainly keep it up for a year or two (or three, or four) more. The mistake most students make is that they start spending like crazy after graduation. Not a good idea, especially when those student loans start coming due.
Pay as much of the loan as you can before the interest starts kicking in. Most loans offer a grace period before the interest starts. Paying off during this period will save you a lot of money. If you can’t do this you can always look into refinancing your loan with another bank at a lower rate.
If you go through a time when you’re unemployed and can’t pay off the loan amount due every month you can apply for hardship status. Remember that the bills will start to come due no matter what because the bank that made the loan doesn’t keep track of what you’re doing. If you need help contact the right sources and find out what your rights are, starting with the loan officer assigned to you.
Finally, if you are lucky enough to read this before you graduate, one of the best ways to keep student loan payments down is to not take the loans to begin with. Even if it takes longer to graduate if you can pay as you go you’ll be better off in the long run.