Student loan debt amassed by graduates is soaring and shows no sign of slowing down, unfortunately. In 2017, the New York Federal Reserve reported student debt to have reached an astonishing $1.3 trillion.
Graduated students just starting their careers, or who haven’t begun yet, can find themselves in positions where their debt payments are due, but their budgets are having trouble accommodating them. Those already in their career paths, but who decided to further their education or make a change, can also experience difficulty making loan repayments.
With all of that said, managing student loan debt on a budget isn’t impossible. Let’s look at some tips below that you can help build your pay-off plan.
Depending on the school you attended, the degree you obtained, and how long you were in school, you probably took out multiple student loans throughout your college stint. Each loan will likely have different terms: APR % rates will be different, fees/penalties vary, and the grace periods you have before beginning to pay off your loan will differ.
It’s essential to get to know what comprises each loan, as this will help you determine the best way to integrate your loan payback into your current budget constraints.
Once you have a good understanding of where your loans stand, you’ll need to assess your budget and how much money you have left after paying current bills and purchasing necessities.
If you find that you don’t have any room in your current budget for repayment of your student debt look at where you can cut spending costs. Some ways to lower bills and spending in an already tight budget are:
While it’s vital to satisfy monthly repayment requirements on all of your loans, it’s also important to design a budget to accommodate paying off said loans. There are two popular methods to pay off debt quickly; both approaches can work well to eliminate your student loans as soon as possible.
If after assessing your budget and making cuts where possible you still cannot find room to repay your Federal student loans, consider contacting your loan officer and requesting a loan term revision or to see if you can qualify for a different payment plan.
Some options to check into are:
If your loans are not Federal loans, or if you need help revising your loans, consider contacting your private lender and requesting your payments be deferred pending affordability or employment.