This article is part of the Student Loan Debt Movement, which is encouraging and inspiring people to take action on their student loans.
I have a little over $60,000 worth of debt left. Over $59,000 of that is from student loans. At one time that amount was much higher than that. Student loan debt affects a lot of people in this country. Many people struggle to make their payments every month. I struggled with my student loan debt for several years after I graduated from college. I eventually got my act together and took some steps to get a grip on my student loan debt. In today’s post, I will be sharing with you six things you can do to attack your student loan debt.
Don’t Ignore It
To be completely honest with you, I ignored my student loan debt for a few years. I ignored calls from lenders and only made payments when they threatened to send my loans to collections. That wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but I was young and dumb. I also didn’t get my first full-time job until a year and a half after I graduated from college. If you’re in a situation that was similar, don’t ignore your loans. Tell your lender what’s going on. You may be able to get a deferment or forbearance. You may also be able to get a very low payment.
If you can, get current on your student loans. I was past due on two of my loans when I finally decided to get my act together. Student loan lenders will typically have some kind of program that will allow you to get current within a couple of months. With my Sallie Mae/Navient loan, I had to make an auto payment of about $50 for three months in a row. Once I did that, my past due amount was brought current. Check with your lender to see what options they have available.
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Check out Repayment Options
The next thing that you should do is check out the repayment options. You can view that information on your lender’s site. If you have federal loans, you can choose from several repayment options such as the standard repayment plan, the income-contingent repayment plan, the pay as you earn repayment plan, and the graduated repayment plan.
If the repayment options aren’t to your liking, you can consider getting your student loans refinanced. I attempted to refinance student loans for the first time in 2016. I was denied. I tried again a couple of weeks ago. This time, I was approved. Goodbye Sallie Mae/Navient, hello Earnest. I was able to get a lower interest rate and a smaller payment. The money that I’ll be saving will now be applied to my smallest debt. Debt snowball for the win!
Make Extra Payments
Before I got back in credit card debt late last year, I was making extra payments on my smallest loan. Soon, I’ll be able to do that again. Additional payments will help you eliminate those loans sooner than later. In my post titled 40+ ways to make extra money this month, I go over numerous side hustles that anyone can do. Once you find one, you can then add that extra money that you make from it to your student loan payment.
Refinance your student loans with Earnest today!
Don’t Give Up
I don’t know your situation, but don’t give up. You might be struggling right now, but this student loan debt is only temporary. There are so many people that you can look at for motivation. Look at the posts that are a part of the Student Loan Debt Movement. Reading the success stories should light a fire inside of you. It did for me. I plan on working harder so that these loans become a distant memory.
Make sure that you check out the Student Loan Debt Movement. You have a chance to win $500 by just signing up.
How are you coming with your student loan debt?