If you feel buried under student loans, you’re not alone. In the U.S. alone there are around 44 million individuals dealing with crushing student loan debt. In fact, the average amount of debt for students in the class of 2016 is $37,172.
So, you aren’t alone if you’re being dragged down by student debt. You also aren’t trapped without options. Learn more about how you can resolve your student debt with our ultimate guide to paying off student loans faster.
Budget, Budget, Budget
The first step to paying off your student loans is sitting down and coming up with a budget. You need to find out exactly how much you can pay towards your loans each month. Most loans do not have early-payment fees, so if you can pay a little bit extra every month you can quickly chip away at your debt.
Setting up a budget can also help you identify areas of your finances where you can cut back. Trimming out other expenses can give you more funds to put towards your student loans.
Consolidate Your Student Loans
Student loans can come with high interest rates that eat away at your funds and leave you deeper in debt. Interest rates are even more likely to cause problems if you’re juggling multiple student loans, all with their own interest payments.
You can immediately boost your chances for paying off your student loans faster by refinancing your loans and consolidating your payments. This can give you a chance to drop your interest rates, which can allow you to put more money towards your principal.
Focus on Lump Sum Payments
You can pay directly towards your principal on a student loan by making lump sum payments. We know that it’s difficult to find money just laying around, but windfalls do happen. You can use extra funds to pay off your student loan quickly.
In some cases, you can even get proactive about paying down student loans with lump sums. You could take out a car title loan to put money directly towards your student loan. You might also be able to take out a personal loan with a bank or a credit union.
Lump sum payments can help you work around your interest rate, helping you pay off your loans more quickly while spending less money in the end.
Take All the Help You Can Get
Student loans are hard to handle all on your own, as the rising amount of student loan debt in the U.S. shows. Don’t be afraid to take help if it’s available. For example, you may be able to get a deduction on your federal taxes if you are dealing with student loans. This deduction can be up to $2,500, so it’s worth looking into.
You might also be able to find a job that will provide you with student loan forgiveness. You might be able to get loan forgiveness through:
Taking advantage of these programs can help you get out from under crushing student loans.
When it comes to paying off student loans faster, there often isn’t a single-day solution. Budgeting your finances, focusing on refinancing, and taking all the help you can find will all help you pay down your student loans more quickly, so you can focus on the rest of your life.