Finance & Career
Student Loan Debt
Americans are burdened by student loan debt now more than ever before. In 2015, the average student loan debt at graduation was $30K, which has been growing steadily over the last two decades.
Whether you just graduated, are taking a break from school, or have already started repaying your student loans, there is probably one question you would like to know: how can I reduce my student loan debt?
Managing Student Debt
Fortunately, there are several options to choose from when it comes to lowering your student loan payments.
- Make payments while you’re in school. This will help to reduce the interest you accumulate on your loan.
- Pay more than your monthly scheduled payment. When it comes to student loans and paying them off, every dollar and cent helps. So, whenever you have any extra money, putting it with your already scheduled monthly loan payment will help to reduce your loan principal.
- Set up auto pay. With auto pay your payment for your student loan is automatically withdrawn from your bank account. Another perk for setting up auto pay is that most lenders cut rates or offer bonuses if you agree to have payments automatically deducted from your account. The federal government may cut your rate by one-quarter of a percentage point. This averages to about $500 on $30,000 worth of debt over 10 years (Clark, 2014).
- Apply for an income-driven repayment plan. This is one of the best ways to reduce student loan payments. These income-driven plans are specifically designed to help federal student loan borrowers reduce their payments according to how much they earn.
- Consolidate your loans. Depending on your loans, current interest rate, and credit history, you may be able to consolidate multiple student loans into one loan and lower your interest rate.
While no one likes student loan debt, just remember that you are not alone and that help is available.
Great Lakes. (n.d.) Top six ways to reduce what you owe.
Clark, K. (2014, September 25). 8 ways to conquer student debt. Family Finance.