by Susan Paige
Nobody enjoys having a mountain of debt, especially freshly graduated students. However, that’s the harsh reality for many students in today’s climate. Some have amassed tens of thousands, while others have exceeded the six-digit mark. This can be more than a little stressful, and it might seem impossible to pay off such a staggering amount of debt, but there are actually a few strategies you can implement to eliminate your student loan debt as fast as possible.
Live on Half Your Income
Living off half your income might not be possible for everything and relies heavily on the individual’s specific income, but if you are physically able, you’ll be able to save a ton of money. You can then use this money to pay off giant chunks of your student loan debt at once. The best part about this strategy is that you can use it for as long as it is sustainable for you. Even after you’ve paid off your debt, you can continue to live off a smaller portion of your income to save for a house, a new car, a dream vacation, retirement, or just about anything else.
Pay More Than the Minimum
If you stick to the standard payment play given to you by the bank or University, you’ll likely be paying off your loans for 30 years. This is because you’ll rack up the most in interest payments, which gives them more money in the long run.
Don’t do this. Start by adjusting your loan to a price you can afford, but also one that won’t take the rest of your life to pay off. Then once you’ve got that set up, you should attempt to pay even more when you’re able. Just because you’ve got a minimum monthly payment set doesn’t mean you can’t pay more. The more you’re able to pay each month when you have the available funds, the quicker you’ll pay it all off.
Cut Your Spending
Many of us pay much more in a single month than we truly realize, and without a proper budget, it’s no surprise. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this in itself, but if you’re trying to pay off your student loans as fast as possible, this isn’t the smartest move.
Instead, cut back on unnecessary spending. Some costs are unavoidable, like gas, food, and bills, but others can certainly be monitored a little better. This means not going out to eat three times a week, not spending a quarter of each paycheck on new clothes, and not filling your Tri State Storage unit with motorcycles and other expensive luxuries. By simply cutting down on entertainment and other nonessentials for a while, you’ll be able to save enough money to pay your student loans off even faster.
Becoming Debt Free
By following these tips you’ll be able to pay off your student loan debt at a rapid rate, even if you’ve built up quite a bit. Whether you decide to split your income in half or cut your monthly spending altogether, there are more ways than one to pay off your student loans and still live comfortably.