Millions of Americans are saddled with thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. In fact, student loan debt has become a national crisis, with $1.2 trillion worth of outstanding debt in the United States. Approximately 70 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients graduate with massive amounts of debt, all at a young age and often without lucrative jobs. As college costs and living expenses continue to rise, and well-paying jobs become increasingly more difficult for recent graduates to find, America’s student loan debt grows by an estimated $2,726 every second.
For many college graduates, this debt can be overwhelming. While it may seem impossible to pay off school loans, there is hope to regain financial freedom once again. Consider this list of tips gathered from people who have conquered tens of thousands of dollars of debt in just a few years:
- Don’t ignore your debt. It seems obvious, but ignoring your debt won’t make it go away. Meet it head on and create a plan that you can stick to.
- Know your repayment guidelines. It is important to read the fine print on your loan documents before you sign them. You need to know how much your minimum payment is, when it will be due, and how much you plan to repay each month.
- Be prepared to sacrifice. Repaying your loans may mean that you will have to live below your means for a while. Try to eliminate or limit certain luxuries and focus on the necessities.
- Make more than the minimum payments. The longer it takes you to pay off your loans, the more money you will end up having to pay in interest. Making more than the minimum amount each month will make your balance go down faster, and save you money in the long run.
- Start paying immediately after graduation. If possible, start making payments as soon as possible, even before the six-month post-graduation grace period ends. This will get you into a routine and you will pay less interest.
- Pay more than once a month. The more you pay, the less you will owe in interest. Whenever you have leftover money, consider making another payment on your loans.
- Create a budget. Be aware of how you spend your money and set limits for yourself. Pay for everything with cash and avoid credit cards at all costs. Accruing new debt – and new interest – should be avoided.
- Pay off your highest-interest-rate loans first. You pay the most in interest on these loans, so your first priority should be to eliminate these first.
If you are struggling with unmanageable student loan debt, you are not alone. We invite you to speak with a Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer at Wadhwani & Shanfeld to talk about your options. When you choose to work with our firm, our attorneys can create a strategy best suited to your individual needs so that you can enjoy financial freedom once again. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
For a FREE consultation, please call (800) 996-9932.